NALC Legislative Updates

Action needed: Contact your member on privatization resolution before August recess
Jul 25, 2018
Last week, a group of 10 bipartisan representatives including Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Paul Cook (R-CA), Brian Mast (R-FL), Don Young (R-AK), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) introduced a House Resolution (H. Res. 993) calling on Congress to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the Postal Service remain an independent agency of the federal government and not be subject to privatization.

As of today, 48 members have cosponsored the resolution (37 Democrat, 11 Republican). At the end of this week, members of the House will return to their districts for August recess, but before they go, letter carriers must let them know we need their support.

With 435 seats in the House, we need 218 cosponsors to achieve a majority. If we hit that milestone, it will make it all the more unlikely that some in Congress might try to use the legislative process to privatize USPS. With the White House Postal Task Force’s report due no later than August 10, 2018, having a resolution demonstrating that there is not sufficient support in the House for privatization will hopefully deter the Task Force from including the idea especially with the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recent reorganization plan calling for privatization of the Postal Service. Letter carriers have already hit a majority on each of our priority resolutions, including (6-day H. Res. 15; door delivery H. Res. 28; service standards H. Res. 31), let’s do it again!

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, provide your ZIP code to connect to your representative, and ask them to oppose postal privatization by cosponsoring H. Res. 993 or use this link to send a message to your member of Congress now. If your member of Congress is already a cosponsor, please thank them.

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H. R. 993, Postal Privatization Bill

We’ll see where it goes from here-
“July 16, 2018 House resolution introduced on USPS privatization. Today, a group of 10 bipartisan representatives introduced a House Resolution (H. Res. 993) calling on Congress to take all appropriate measures to ensure that Postal Service remain an independent agency of federal government and not be subject to privatization.” YO!

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Trump Bombs Syria Hours After 88 Lawmakers Urged Him To First Consult Congress

Jennifer Bendery  HuffPost•April 13, 2018  WASHINGTON ― Dozens of House lawmakers on Friday urged President Donald Trump not to take any military action in Syria without first getting authorization from Congress.
“Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution,” reads a letter signed by 88 Republican and Democratic members of Congress.
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“We stand ready to consider the facts before us and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict,” the letter stated.
Yet hours later, Trump did attack Syria ― without consulting Congress. The United States, joined by France and Britain, launched strikes against Syrian research, storage and military targets.
Republicans on the letter included Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Ted Yoho (Fla.), Raúl Labrador (Idaho), David Schweikert (Ariz.), Mia Love (Utah), Mark Sanford (S.C.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Andy Biggs (Ky.), Jason Lewis (Minn.), Mo Brooks (Ala.) and Rod Blum (Iowa).
Here’s a copy of the full letter:  In recent days, Trump tweeted about potentially launching missile strikes on the Syrian government in response to President Bashar al-Assad’s latest suspected use of chemical weapons on his own people.
As the House lawmakers pointed out, Trump may not have the constitutional authority to unilaterally bomb Syria without their sign off.
Lawmakers are constitutionally required to authorize any sustained military action. For years, President Barack Obama went around Congress to take military action against the self-described Islamic State by saying he could use a sweeping 2001 authorization for use of military force, or AUMF, to do it. That AUMF, which has no expiration date, allowed then-President George W. Bush to attack anyone connected to Al Qaeda, anywhere, at any time. Obama argued that ISIS was an offshoot of Al Qaeda, so he argued he could invoke the same AUMF.
Trump can’t make that argument for launching missile strikes on Syrian government targets, even if House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says it’s fine if he does.
The administration hasn’t even tried to make that case. When Trump directed strikes on a Syrian government airbase in April 2017 ― the first-ever direct military strike by the U.S. against Assad’s regime ― the administration claimed the president had that authority under his presidential powers because it was a limited military action, not because of the Iraq War-era AUMF.
But as lawyers at the nonpartisan Protect Democracy note, U.S. military action in Syria is unlikely to be limited to a single engagement. Instead, they say, it is likely to lead to larger and ongoing conflicts, which sounds a lot more like the beginnings of war than a surgical attack. Hence the growing concerns among lawmakers about Trump’s next step.
Trump received plenty of support from members of his own party Friday night after he announced the attacks. But some were unhappy at not being consulted.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said one night of U.S. airstrikes would not be “a substitute for a clear, comprehensive Syria strategy” and said Trump must go to Congress to receive congressional authorization “by proposing a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives that keep our military safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians.”
A White House spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on the letter.
Amanda Terkel contributed reporting.

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Republican House Members Think a $450K Salary Is Middle Class

By Nicole Goodkind On 11/3/17 at 1:08 PM
Paul Ryan believes that $450,000 a year is middle class.
That’s rich! Republicans suddenly believe that 1 percenters are barely struggling to be in the middle class, party officials revealed.
On Thursday, House Republicans issued a fact sheet about their new tax cut plan that referred to Americans earning $450,000 a year as “low- and middle-income”—even though that income level would put those taxpayers in the top 0.5 percent of all individual Americans.
The median household income in the United States is $59,039, after all.
The GOP made the announcement as part of the rollout of the tax cut plan, saying they would cut tax rates from 39.6 percent to 35 percent for those $450,000-earning middle-class members—but the announcement was quickly overshadowed by the Republicans’ bizarre understanding of wealth.

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