U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives
Remove health-care subsidies for Members of Congress and their families
Several years ago, my dad got the news that he had cancer. Sadly, he passed away. My dad had a job at the time, but his employer did not cover him, and without coverage, he avoided going to the doctor until it was too late. As Congress and President Trump try to pass a new healthcare law, I'm reminded of my father and whether he would have made it if he had early access to cost-effective health care. Affordable health care is in decline as premiums and health costs increase at exponential rates. Some politicians cannot relate to the cost burden experienced by families across the nation because they’ve historically received health benefits that most Americans have not. Like millions of people who are panicking about possible changes to their health insurance, I’m concerned the people elected to represent us won’t have to live with the consequences or expenses that the rest of us may have to face soon. I want lawmakers to commit to treating themselves just like those who will be impacted by ACA repeal or replacement. A lot of Members of Congress promote choice as an American value, which is all the more reason for them to have to continue to choose their own health coverage from the free marketplace. If private health care is good for the American citizen, it should also be good for the people that defend it. If Congress is willing to drastically cut healthcare subsidies for most people, are they willing to have the same rules apply to them and their families?
Require all MLTS/PBX Phones Dial 911 Easily: Help Enact Kari's Law
On December 1, 2013 Kari Rene Hunt was murdered by her estranged husband whom she was intending to divorce. She agreed to meet him at a local motel to leave their children with him for a short visitation while he was in town. Her estranged husband ambushed her in the motel room and cornered her in the restroom. During the struggle and resulting death of Kari, her oldest daughter, age 9, (name with held for privacy) attempted to dial 911 from the motel room phone. She followed instructions as taught by her mother on the way to call for help but she was never instructed that in some hotels and motels you must first dial a "9" and then 911. We are attempting to ensure that any person needing police, EMS or the Fire Department at any hotel or motel location or from any MLTS/PBX system be able to dial the numbers 911 and receive emergency response. In a panic, any under age child, or for that matter anyone in an emergency situation should be able to depend on dialing 911 from any phone in the United States and receiving assistance. We pray the lawmakers in our Congress and Senate hear the cries of Kari and her children and enact a law requiring all hotel and motel chains, including all "Mom & Pop" locations have all phone systems updated to E911 systems. These systems allow the 911 call to automatically connect to a 911 operator without having to dial a "9" in order to get an outside line. Total E911 fees/funds collected from the use of telephones in the United States was $2,322,983,616.36 in 2012. Total amount spent for E911 or 911 enhancements in the United States was $97,367,543.46 leaving $2,225,616,072.90 un spent. Where is this money? Some states such as Illinois, has diverted monies from the collection of E911 fees to it's general fund therefore being spent on who knows what. The money is there, it's being collected by who? THE GOVERNMENT! It's being spent on very little E911 functionality or just sitting there. Why? WE ask that Wyndham Hotels, which is the parent company of Baymont Inns and Suites where this incident occured, lead the way in the industry by updating the antiquated phone systems still used in some of their hotels. Sadly though, 2 year 11 months later we have heard nothing from the Wyndham Corporation, however, the Marriott International Corporation has mandated to all franchise hotels under the Marriott brand to update their systems to be direct dial 911. Can you you guess what hotel we will be using from now on will be? That's right , MARRIOTT! Seconds count and when a 9 year old little girl is mature enough and brave enough to attempt to dial for help, she should be answered. When that child dialed 911 she should have heard, "911, what is your emergency?" Instead she heard static. We understand the cost implications (which in most cases is very minimal or free) and know that E911 has been a requirement for a few years, but only a handful of states require it. Why? Money is collected from every citizen that uses a phone but it's the citizen that is NOT benefiting from the collection of these funds. We ask the United States Congress to make it a requirement for all hotel and motels operating the United States and offer conversion assistance where needed. We also ask that such law(s) prohibit excessive charges for doing this update, in most cases it is simply a series of buttons from a keyboard that will solve the problem. Please help make this "Kari's Law". https://www.change.org/f/help-get-karis-law-through-the-senate?source_location=petition_show
We want to see Trump's tax returns.
President Trump calls reports of his alleged compromising ties to Russian businesses and government officials, “FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT.” He can prove it by releasing his tax returns. Who does our president owe money to? Can they use his debt to manipulate our Commander-in-Chief? Is he receiving income from foreign sources to his businesses from which he has yet to divest? The answers are easy to discover if he releases his tax returns. In a press conference, Trump told the assembled reporters, “The only people who seem to care about my tax returns are you people here.” Our country does care. In fact, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll, 74% of Americans (including 53% of Republicans) want him to RELEASE HIS TAX RETURNS. Every major presidential candidate for the past 40 years has voluntarily released their tax returns. President Nixon even released his tax returns while under audit. Why does President Trump refuse to release his taxes if he has nothing to hide? Please sign and SHARE this petition calling on President Trump to RELEASE HIS TAX RETURNS NOW.
Revoke the Tax-Exempt Status of the National Football League
Despite the fact that it is a $10Billion/Year industry, the National Football League (NFL) continues to enjoy status as a non-profit organization -- meaning it doesn’t have to pay federal corporate taxes. The Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, makes nearly $44 million a year -- earning more than the heads of companies like Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart. Through TV deals alone, the NFL has inked nearly $30 billion with various television networks. And so often, fans like you and me are asked to foot the bill for new stadiums through our own taxes. Yet despite being the most profitable sports league in the entire world, the NFL does not pay federal taxes. The NFL should pay their fair share towards our economy! Just like Major League Baseball, which gave up its nonprofit status in recent years, as well as the National Basketball Association, the NFL should not be able to hide under a nonprofit status in order to avoid paying federal taxes. The NFL has methodically worked to shift all the power to their side, leaving players, employees and PARTICULARLY THE FANS little say in what goes on with the league. We deserve a say, but do not wish to boycott our teams! Therefore, we are calling on our elected representatives to revoke the tax-exempt status we bestowed upon the league half a century ago. Please sign this petition, and let Congress know that you want them to reconsider the NFL’s tax exempt status.
Military Rape: change the sex offender requirements and law!!
I joined the military because I wanted to serve my country. I served as a Lance Corporal in the Marines for over three years. In that time I was raped and sexually assaulted. When I decided to report the sexual assault I was led through a maze of questions and excuses and I was even discouraged from reporting the crimes. In the end, instead of getting justice I was ostracized and humiliated. I learned that that offenders are not required to disclose their crimes on their discharge papers, and is not on a background check if they get a Non-Judicial Punishment. Most veterans are honorable men and women who have served our country, but there are some who have committed serious crimes like rape and sexual assault during their service and the military has a responsibility to disclose that information for the sake of the public good. If they are not charged per a Court Martial, the Command does not have to make them register, they do not report to ANYONE that the active duty member has to register, and the crime will NOT always be on their criminal back ground. Most Commands do not turn in the paperwork to the proper Civilians to make sure it's on the background check. When asked why Members who got a Non-Judicial Punishment do not have to disclose on their discharge papers, some of the responses I was given were 1) It will take too long to create a national database or 2) the military is going green and it takes too much paper to add an extra check box to discharge papers, THE COMMAND FORGETS SOMETIMES?? This is part of a larger issue of rape within the military. Some estimates reveal that more than 1/3 of women in the armed services are raped during their service and of the reported rapes, 55% are males. If you serve in the US military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member you have an 86.5% chance of keeping the crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding court martial. Let's get this changed, and make it a requirement that Sex Crimes in the Military should be taken serious, and even if punishment is suspended, or does not go to Court Martial, it should still be on their background for employers and citizens to see while performing a back ground check. And to also include Active Duty Military in our current Database if they were charged per Court Martial (punishment suspended or dropped) Non Judicial Punishment or any form of punishment. If charged one way or another with a sex crime, he/she should also not be allowed to live in Base Housing. Please call (703) 571-3343 and continute to ask WHY they are ignoring our request. Join me in asking the Department of Defense to report criminal history (Military crimes INCLUDING NJP) on their DD214 and request that suspending punishment when being charged with a sex crime not be allowed, Include in Policies and orders that reports MUST be turned into local courthouses to ensure the member registers as a sex offender !! CONTACT email@example.com to send stories, ask for help, need to talk, or media inquiries.
Pass the ABLE Act
My name is Sara Wolff. I am a 31 year-old from Moscow, Pennsylvania, who happens to have Down syndrome but that doesn’t stop me from achieving “my” better life. I work as a law clerk and also at Keystone Community Resources in the Office of Advocacy. I am a board member of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). I'm calling on Congress to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (S. 313/H.R. 647), a bill that will help individuals with disabilities to save for their futures. When the ABLE Act passes into law this year, it will change my life forever. I lost my mother this past year, Connie, to a sudden, rapid illness. With my whole life ahead of me, I need an ABLE account to plan for my future. And, I am not alone, like most individuals with disabilities, people with Down syndrome and other conditions are out living their parents. Families, like mine, need to rest assure that they can equally care for their children and adults with disabilities, just like they can for their other children and family members. Just because I have Down syndrome, that shouldn’t hold me back from achieving my full potential in life. I can work a full-time job, be a productive member of society, and pay taxes – but because of these outdated laws placed on individuals with disabilities, we hold people like me back in life. This is the year, we call on leaders in Congress to put an end to the inequities that exist for people with disabilities by passing the ABLE Act and allowing individuals and families to save for the future and break down the barriers to employment for these individuals. I spoke last week during the NDSS gala in New York City about my personal lobbying efforts on the ABLE Act – before a large audience, I declared that I will be standing right next to President Obama when he signs the ABLE Act into law this year! The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. An ABLE account could fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals, including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program. The ABLE Act was introduced into Congress on Feb. 13, 2013 by a bipartisan, bicameral set of Congressional Champions including Sens. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX). It currently has 325 cosponsors in the US House and 62 in the US Senate.
Sign the Citizens' Petition To Fix The Debt
America’s gross debt of over $19 trillion is a catastrophic threat to our security and economy, and the time to Fix the Debt is now. We see clearly that the national debt is out of control, and its continued growth puts our national security, social safety net, job growth prospects, and everything we value most about our nation at risk. Washington has done nothing about this looming catastrophe, and our voices must be heard in a way our elected decision-makers in Washington can’t possibly ignore. The “Citizens' petition” will boldly demonstrate that Americans across the political spectrum want Congress and the President to take action on the debt now by enacting a plan that uses the framework of Simpson-Bowles and other bipartisan plans to reduce the federal debt.
Pass the CARERS Act and protect medical marijuana patients
My six-year-old daughter Morgan suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that causes frequent and dangerous seizures. We’ve tried everything to help her. She’s taken more than 10 different anti-epilepsy medications but at best, she's gone only four weeks without a seizure. Based on our own research, advice from our doctors, and what we’ve heard from families living in other states, we would like Morgan to try cannabidiol oil -- a form of medical marijuana. For children with similar illnesses in other parts of the country, the results using medical marijuana have been life changing. Medical marijuana comes in many different preparations, and is prescribed accordingly to treat specific conditions. The treatment Morgan needs would not make her "high", and she wouldn't smoke it. It would come in a bottle just like her other medications, but with fewer side effects. The medications that Morgan has tried have devastating side effects. They gave her kidney stones, ulcerative colitis, and compromise her respiratory system. She should be able to try this much safer option. But medical marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. It’s currently a Schedule 1 drug, which means the federal government considers it just as dangerous as heroin and says there is no medicinal value. This means our family would have to move to a different state to get it, or obtain it illegally and risk arrest. I have decided that neither of those choices are good enough for my family. That’s why I’m supporting the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act -- a bipartisan bill that will let states legalize medical marijuana without federal interference. It will also expand research into the health benefits of marijuana and allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend marijuana to ailing veterans. The CARERS Act would remove also CBD from scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act, affirming to the world that marijuana does have medical benefits. This bill will change the lives of so many sick and suffering people, like my daughter, around the country. Please sign my petition asking Congress to pass the CARERS Act.
Allow Transgender People Into the U.S. Military
On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Donald Trump announced that transgender individuals would no longer be accepted or allowed into the U.S. Military because their cost is a "burden." This is extremely disgraceful and an insult to all those who have already given their lives for this country. This is not equality, and this is not "supporting the LGBT community," as he said he does. This is utterly transphobic. Many people who served are going to be left jobless, and many others will no longer be able to fulfill their dreams. This is not okay, and this should not be legal. Trans people are still people.
Congress: Stop blocking gun violence research
My mother taught second grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14th, 2012. Six of her colleagues — all women — were killed, as were 20 first-graders, in a mass shooting at her school. My mother survived, though our lives will never be the same.After the shooting, I dedicated nearly all of my efforts to gun violence prevention advocacy. I learned a lot of disturbing things about our nation’s gun laws. Most Americans do not know the extent of our broken system; regulations are nearly non-existent. But one of the most frustrating obstacles to building a safer country free from gun violence is that Congress has banned federal gun violence research since the year I was born -- 1996.You read that right. An average of 32 people are killed by a gun in America every day, and yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can’t even conduct research into the root causes of all forms of gun violence.How are we expected to come up with the most impactful solutions if we can’t even study the problem?Through lobbying by the National Rifle Association (NRA), Congress has prevented the CDC from studying the causes of gun violence by claiming that research could be “used to advocate or promote gun control.” Congress even extended the ban right after the Charleston church shooting that left 9 people dead, by rejecting an amendment that would have repealed the ban.It’s time for this petty politicking to stop. Join me in calling on Congress and the CDC to resume studying the causes and impacts of gun violence.