Contact Your Federal and State Elected Officials
Call your U.S. Senators and Representative, and your State Senators and House Leadership.
Please add their contact information to your smart phone for easy anytime access. Find their numbers here. Or send a text to 520-200-2223 with your zip code (only) in the message, and you will get an instant reply with all your Federal and State representatives’ names and phone numbers, making it very easy to add them to your phone contact list.
- Please report your calls and any notable information you get to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11/9/17.
- Use personal stories to support your request.
1) Call Senators Casey and Toomey and Congressman Fitzpatrick with the urgent message to reauthorize CHIP, the health insurance program for kids. Your call to your U.S. Senators and Congressman is needed. The missed deadline on CHIP has direct impact on women and their families. Congress failed to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) before September 30th that leaves health care coverage for 9-million children and 370,000 pregnant women in limbo. This is unacceptable. There is a strong bill in the U.S. Senate (S. 1827) that Senator Casey is co-sponsoring (thank him) which reauthorizes CHIP for the next five years. There is another bill in the House that is a mixed bag (H.R.3921) the HEALTHY KIDS ACT.
- Extend CHIP funding through fiscal year (FY) 2022;
- Maintain federal matching rate at current statutory levels through FY 2019, change to 11.5 percent for FY 2020, and return to a traditional CHIP matching rate for fiscal years 2021 and 2022; and
- Create protections and flexibility under the maintenance-of-effort provision.
H.R 3021 – the House HEALTHY KIDS ACT also extends CHIP and maintains funding but it has off sets that would harm other critical programs benefitting children and families. It has not moved out of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and no co-sponsors.
2) Congress also missed the deadline to reauthorize another popular and bipartisan program: the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program which funds evidence-based home visiting programs in every state to improve the early health, school readiness, and economic stability of families. This investment in the future program also expired on Sept. 30th. The longer it takes Congress to reauthorize this successful program, the more likely home visiting programs will shut down, home visitors will lose their jobs, and families will lose this family strengthening service.
S.1829, the Strong Families Act of 2017, reauthorizes MIECHV for five years without the harmful state-match requirement included in the House bill (H.R. 2924) that passed the House September 28, 2017 (214-209).
Our BCWAC organization Partner, Maternity Care Coalition, is part of the Home Visiting Coalition, a diverse group of organizations committed to the well-being of children and working to promote continued federal support of home visiting to strengthen families in communities across the country. Voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs improve the health, development, and education of young children. These programs set the stage for children and families to become self-sufficient and successful.
Please call your U.S. Senators to get the reauthorization of MIECHV done quickly. Urge members to make sure the final legislation doesn’t require matching state funds. Senator Casey is a co-sponsor of S.1829.
3) Call Congressman Fitzpatrick to vote “NO” on gun silencer bill.
SCRIPT: Hello, my name is ________ , one of your constituents from _______. I am calling today to express my concern about the gun lobby’s attempts to push its dangerous agenda through Congress. In particular, I am worried about H.R. 3668, the SHARE Act, because it guts regulations for gun silencers and make it easier for dangerous criminals to get them, especially in PA where long guns can be purchased without a background check. This deregulation would make our community less safe and put law enforcement at risk. Please stand up for the safety of our community and vote NO on the SHARE Act when it comes to the House floor.
BACKGROUND: Since the beginning of this year, Congress has been threatening to pass H.R. 367, its disingenuously titled “Hearing Protection Act”-i.e., the act that would federally lift most of the restrictions on the sale of silencers. Despite the fact that even 3 out of 4 gun owners oppose reducing regulation of silencers (according to an Americans for Responsible Solutions poll), the traditional gun lobby groups and the American Suppressor Association (ASA) have been aggressively claiming otherwise and are marketing the bill as a way to reduce hearing damage for long-suffering hunters. Many more gun deaths will result if silencers were deployed, both because gunshots would be very difficult to hear in an active-shooter situation and because medical response would be significantly delayed if others nearby who are not shot would not know that a shooting was occurring. Thanks in no small part to your advocacy, Congress has not yet moved the bill in its original form. However, it has instead buried its provisions in H.R. 3668, the new “SHARE” (Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement) bill that has passed out of Committee and is on its way to a full House vote in the not-so-distant future.
PA STATE FOCUS THIS WEEK:
1) For years, the BCWAC has been advocating to give nurse practitioners full practice authority in PA. We believe there are enough votes to pass this legislation now. The PA Senate passed SB 25 in April by a vote of 39-to-10. The companion House bill is HB100 and sits in the Professional Licensure Committee. Bucks County Reps Marguerite Quinn (R) and Tina Davis (D) sit on this committee. The bipartisan legislation will improve health care quality, expand access, and lower costs, and help keep Pennsylvania’s Nurse Practitioners, in Pennsylvania. In our letter to the PA Representatives this week, we list multiple reasons why they should support this legislation.
ACTION NEEDED: Call your PA House representative encouraging him/her to request the House leadership (Speaker Turzai and Rep. Dave Reed) and Licensure Committee Chair Mark Mustio and Minority Chair Readshaw to schedule HB100/SB25 for a vote in committee and on the House floor as soon as possible.
2) Domestic Violence Abuser Gun Relinquishment (SB501) – Call Senators Greenleaf and Mensch asking that they co-sponsor SB501 as a show of support for victims during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Call Senators McIlhinney and Tomlinson to thank them for co-sponsoring Senate Bill 501 and request that during Domestic Violence Awareness Month they hold hearings and move this bill forward for a vote.
BACKGROUND: SB501 requires those under a Protection From Abuse Order (PFA) to stay away from his/her victim must surrender their guns to a judge or sheriff within 24-hours. The current time frame of a 60-day leeway to surrender guns to a family member or a friend which has lead to deaths in PA.
3) Gerrymandering – Call our State Senator and Representative asking them push the leadership to hold hearing immediately on SB22 and HB722 that is a Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, further providing for the Legislative Reapportionment Commission for the purpose of reapportioning and redistricting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
BACKGROUND: Bucks County’s Senator Tomlinson is a co-sponsor. Senator McIlhinney sits on the PA Senate State Government Committee where this bill sits. The following Bucks Co. Representatives are co-sponsors: Davis, DiGirolamo, Galloway, Quinn, Warren, and Watson. Gerrymandering weakens the power of our votes. Incumbents draw lines that protect their seats. Politicians feel safe so they ignore issues you care about. Gridlock worsens in Harrisburg and Washington. Pennsylvania is one of the worst gerrymandered states in the nation. This practice must stop and a clear way is to establish an independent commission that decides how the lines are drawn. Find out more information at Fair Districts PA. BCWAC is a member of the Fair Districts PA Coalition.