Decision Maker

U.S. House of Representatives


Does U.S. House of Representatives have the power to decide or influence something you want to change? Start a petition to this decision maker.Start a petition
Petitioning Andy Beshear, Daniel Cameron, Rand Paul, Tom Wine, Donald J. Trump, U​.​S. Senate, U​.​S. House of Representatives

Justice for Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor was an award-winning EMT and model citizen. She loved her family and community, working at two hospitals as an essential worker during the pandemic. Over six months ago, a division of the Louisville Police Department performed an illegal, unannounced drug raid on her home, executing a discriminatory, botched no-knock warrant. Not a single officer announced themselves before ramming down her door and firing 22 shots, shooting Breonna 6 times, killing her, according to her lawyer, boyfriend, neighbors, and relatives.  Also named on the warrant was Jamarcus Glover, who had already been arrested earlier that day. Officer Joshua Jaynes lied to obtain a no-knock warrant on Breonna’s residence, citing that the US Postmaster had claimed that Breonna was receiving illegal packages at her home — the US Postmaster later testified that he had never verified these claims.  Police were dressed in plainclothes when they knocked Breonna’s door down in the middle of the night; Kenneth Walker, her boyfriend, fired a single shot, believing that someone had broken in. In response, the officers fired multiple rounds, killing Breonna.  No one has been held accountable for the systemic failure that caused Breonna’s death. 1. Charges must be filed immediately. The officers involved, specifically John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, Joshua Jaynes, and any other law enforcement officer involved in the death and coverup of the death of Breonna Taylor must be fired, charged, and arrested immediately. There have been no charges thus far (it has been over 7 months). Their pensions must be revoked.  2. Her family must be paid in damages for wrongful death and the negligence of the LMPD.  3. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear must speak up on behalf of Breonna, and Governor Beshear or Attorney General Daniel Cameron must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Louisville Police Department immediately. An in-house investigation is unacceptable.  4. The "no-knock" warrant that police had used in Breonna's murder completely violates the constitutional rights to reasonable search and seizure. By law, police must be legally obligated to announce themselves before breaking and entering into a home privately owned by American civilians. Legislation to federally ban no-knock warrants must be passed in Congress and signed by the President; what happened to Breonna was a complete violation of her constitutional rights, and threatens the rights of all American citizens. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has voiced similar concerns. A special session must be intervened by Congress to discuss the constitutionality of no-knock warrants immediately.  5. WE DEMAND A NEW PROSECUTOR AND A NEW GRAND JURY HEARING. Recent testimonies released by the brave jurors involved in the grand jury hearing have revealed, quite clearly, the conflict of interest involved in allowing Daniel Cameron to serve as the prosecutor on this case. His partisan interests and position within the GOP have clearly influenced his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as an Attorney General and officer of the law. His conduct in the case, and his complete disregard for the injustice and tragedy that occurred to Breonna Taylor, is completely unacceptable.  This has carried on for over seven months. For weeks, the city treated Breonna like she was a criminal, calling her a “suspect” before finally admitting that she was an innocent, crimeless victim. She had no drugs. She committed no crime.  Yet, she is dead, and the perpetrators are facing no charges.  She was not only an exemplary citizen, but an essential one. She was a daughter, a friend, an American hero, and most importantly, a person. She deserved to be treated as such.  In what world is it fair, just, or legal, to kill a crimeless victim in their own home, and call it an accident? You cannot kill an innocent woman and chalk it up to a clerical error. At the very least, we must hold the system that killed Breonna Taylor accountable.  Let’s get justice for Breonna. Say her name.  PLEASE help me get the word out, and share this campaign on your social media platforms. Thank you to everyone who is helping in our fight to get justice for Breonna.

Loralei HoJay
11,422,225 supporters
Petitioning U​.​S. House of Representatives, United Nations, U​.​S. Senate, Democratic National Committee, Nancy Pelosi

Hands Up Act

My name is Travis Washington. I received my M. A, degree in Higher Education and Administration from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in May 2019. I have been politically involved, from registering people to vote, to work in the Springfield Capitol (as an Alexander Lane Fellow, January to May 2017). We know how so many people of cultural minorities are in constant fear of leaving their household. This fear in our lives far too often comes from individuals working in public safety who harm people. Every single week we hear about another unarmed innocent vulnerable human being shot by the police. This has increased the trauma and fear that has made people of color scared to leave their homes. We need legislation now that prohibits police officers from shooting unarmed citizens. If there isn’t a weapon found after someone has been shot (therefore, unarmed) by a police officer, then I propose that the officer should receive a mandatory 15-year prison sentence. We have seen over and over police officers get off, even with videotape footage of citizens having been shot by police officers. This is a new form of lynching. I am pleading with you to propose a bill that protects people who have every right to feel threatened by law enforcement. We always say we need more training for those involved in public safety, and there are increasing policies and laws that mandate that police officers have “body cameras” on them. Those measures do not address the whole problem, not when the individual officers who shoot unarmed victims aren’t punished. Senator, we are in a crisis where relationships between people of color and police officers are deteriorating, beyond the critical level. In order to build any sort of positive relationships again, we need laws to keep a balance in the lives of all the public. I might even suggest this as a title for this proposed legislation: the Hands UP ACT. I will be emailing this to the all of your colleagues in the U. S. Senate, members of Congress, State Governors; Democracy Now, the Huffington Post, ThinkProgress; and to other appropriate organizations across the country. Once this petition receives enough attention. My goal to speak before the House of Representatives or United Nations during a committee hearing to bring attention to this policy.  Thank You !!  

Travis Washington
2,734,791 supporters
Petitioning Federal Communications Commission

Save Net Neutrality

The ability to organize grassroots movements, whether locally or across the globe, is made possible by an open Internet. Since its creation, the Internet has become the world’s megaphone for free speech, protected by the principles of Net Neutrality, which require internet service providers (ISPs) to give everyone equal access to everything you use the internet for -- email, watching videos, listening to music, or signing petitions on Change.org.  Without Net Neutrality, ISPs can choose what you see online, favoring some sources or blocking others. For example, if someone launched a petition on Change.org against a company like Verizon, Net Neutrality prevents Verizon from blocking or slowing their customers’ access to our site.   In December of 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality rules -- giving big cable companies room to charge extra fees, block and censor users. By removing ISPs from Title II of the Communications Act, a rule that means ISPs are subjected to tougher regulations that prevent them blocking sites, creating paid “fast” lanes, and throttling internet speeds. This decision will have global implications for the way the world shares and receives information from journalists, newsrooms, and NGO’s. However, following the FCC’s vote, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) announced a Congressional Review Act resolution that if passed, would stop net neutrality repeal. That resolution now has the support of 50 senate members, which means just one more vote is needed for it to pass the Senate. Net Neutrality also prevents ISPs from creating paid “fast lanes” that would give faster delivery of content to companies who can afford to pay more. An organization or platform like Change.org that couldn’t afford those fees, couldn’t communicate with their supporters.  In the United States, there is strong bipartisan support for Net Neutrality. A recent poll conducted by Mozilla found that Republicans, Democrats and Independents overwhelmingly support these rules.  At Change.org, we believe that people everywhere should have the tools they need to make their voices heard. We’re a social good company powered by technology that empowers anyone anywhere to take action on the issues they care about. A closed off Internet means fewer ways for millions of people to make the change they want to see. Without an internet equally accessible to everyone regardless of income or geography, we can’t continue that mission. Add your name to let Congress and the FCC know that you support an open internet.

Change.org
2,520,222 supporters
Petitioning U​.​S. House of Representatives, U​.​S. Senate, Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence

US Physicians/Healthcare Workers For Personal Protective Equipment in COVID-19 Pandemic

www.frontlineppenow.org As cases of COVID-19 escalate around the country, physicians and other healthcare workers (HCWs) are facing severe shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). This shortage is already a major crisis and will place an insurmountable strain on the health system of this country as cases continue to rise and more people require hospitalization for complications of COVID-19. As a result of this shortage, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for appropriate PPE for HCWs on the frontlines have shifted. This shift does not come in response to overwhelming evidence, rather to a supply chain issue. As quoted directly from the CDC website: “PPE recommendations for the care of patients with known or suspected COVID-19: Based on local and regional situational analysis of PPE supplies, facemasks are an acceptable alternative when the supply chain of respirators cannot meet the demand."..."When the supply chain is restored, facilities with a respiratory protection program should return to use of respirators for patients with known or suspected COVID-19."(1) These statements in no way suggest that droplet precautions are adequate, supported by the statement that as soon as the supply chain has been restored, we should go back to using N95 respirators. As a result of these recommendations, many hospitals have taken the CDC recommendations to mean that facemasks are the preferred PPE, rather than a less desired (and potentially less safe) alternative. They have thus rationed respirators to be made available only for procedures, such as intubation and bronchoscopy, during which the virus is more likely to become aerosolized. This is putting our HCWs in tremendous danger of contracting and spreading COVID-19, which is unacceptable in the country with the most expensive health care system in the world. The evidence that droplet precautions are acceptable is lacking. CNN recently published an article titled “Health care workers getting sicker from Coronavirus than other patients”.(2) This statement is corroborated by data from a Harvard Study in China that suggested HCWs were at a 20% increased risk of severe infection compared to the general public. This risk decreased once the Chinese implemented full gear: protective suit, medical goggle, face shield, N95 mask and gloves – following this change there were no further reports of infected HCWs.(3) The debate is still ongoing as to whether or not COVID-19 can be transmitted via droplets vs. aerosols, yet as we speak, HCWs around the world continue to get infected, end up in critical condition, and die while using “appropriate PPE”. According to an ahead of print New England Journal Article on aerosol and surface stability of COVID-19, the virus can be detected up to 3 hours after aerosolization.(4) According to Dr. Milton, professor of environmental health at University of Maryland, “you cannot tell epidemiologically between something aerosol transmitted by weak sources and large droplet spray”, and he suspects the capability of long distance transmission will be dependent on the degree of symptoms.(5) Considering the mortality risk and lack of data to support a step-down to surgical masks, N-95 masks should continue to be the standard PPE for care of COVID-19 patients. As a physician, I do not know how long it takes to make an N95 mask, but I do know how long it takes to train a physician, a nurse practitioner, a physician’s assistant, a respiratory therapist or nurse. We are the supply chain that needs to be protected. Our friends from Italy have described the loss of infected HCWs as a critical hit to an already strained system. Infected HCWs are of no benefit to patients – in fact, they pose a serious risk.(6) They not only endanger the health of their colleagues, families, and communities, they also serve as a vector to infect the most vulnerable among us – the patients they care for. China, Italy, and S. Korea have more experience with this virus than we do and are taking the protection of their HCWs seriously. In France, Dr. Benjamin Davido, Infectious Diseases and Clinical lead for COVID-19, explains the importance of protecting HCWs against the severity of the illness, by using FFP2, the European equivalent of N95 masks.(7) “If we don’t do all we can to protect them (HCWs), they will quickly transition from providers to patients… Governments must support private-sector manufacturers in providing N95s and other equipment to HCWs.”(6) This letter serves to urge our government, industry, media and general population, to assist HCWs in obtaining immediate access to critical PPE, including N-95 masks. Our HCWs are already on the front lines, taking care of patients without appropriate protection, and our COVID cases and we are nowhere near the peak. Many hospitals are already running out of protective supplies. (NY Times, 3/9/2020) Recommendations to protect HCWs should not be based on what’s available; availability should be based on what is necessary. We urge the government to access the Strategic National Stockpile, and to utilize both the public and private sector to immediately increase production of PPE supplies. In addition, we urge our hospital systems to maintain the highest level of PPE standard for our HCWs, and demand the supply of N-95 masks. Sincerely,  Dr. Milla J. Kviatkovsky Dr. Constance Chace Dr. Supraja Thota https://www.frontlineppenow.org/ #frontlineppenow #getmeppe References: 1)    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/infection-control/control-recommendations.html 2)    Howard and McLaughlin, ‘Health care workers getting sicker from coronavirus than other patients,’ expert says, CNN Health, March 12,2020 3)    Xihong Lin, ‘Analysis of 25,000 Lab-Confirmed Cases in Wuhan: Epidemiological Characteristics and Non-Pharmeceutical Intervention Effects, Department of Biostatistics and Department of Statistics, Harvard University and Broad Institute 4)     N Doremalen et Al, 2014, Aerosol and Surface Stability of HCoV-19 (SARSC-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1, New England Journal of Medicine 5)    Souchery, ‘Unmasked: Experts Explain Necessary Respiratory Protectin for COVID-19’, Center for Infectious Disease and Research Policy, Feb 13, 2020 6)    Osterholm and Olshaker, ‘Health-Care workers are the front-line warriors against coronavirus. We must protect them’, The Washington Post, Feb 14, 2020 7)    Duqueroy, COVID-19: Advice From a French Doctor on the Frontline, Medscape, 3/16/2020    

GetUsPPE .org
2,050,954 supporters
Petitioning U​.​S. House of Representatives, U​.​S. Senate

$2000/month to every American #moneyforthepeople #covid19

My name is Stephanie, and I am one of millions of Americans who fear for my financial future because of this coronavirus crisis. With businesses and schools closing across the country to control the spread of this virus, many people have already lost their jobs. Others are being forced to stay home. This is catastrophic for working families like mine.  I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis. Otherwise, laid-off workers, furloughed workers, the self-employed, and workers dealing with reduced hours will struggle to pay their rent or put food on the table. My husband and I own a restaurant in Denver and these past two weeks have been a blur. Our restaurant community is wrestling with seeing everything we all have worked so hard for irrevocably changed. Our hearts were breaking as we watched our staff divide the ingredients in our kitchen to bring to their homes: a dismal token for employees who worked tirelessly every day. Our talented and cherished team, some of whom have been with us since we opened our doors 15 years ago, are now without an income. Like our team, my family has lost all of the income from our restaurant, and business owners and the self-employed can't claim unemployment. This is the story of America right now. For our team and other Americans who can claim unemployment, even the maximum payments will not be enough for most people to continue paying their bills – and avoid slipping into poverty. The facts are, even successful small businesses can’t go months with their doors closed.  But supplying Americans with monthly support until they can get back on their feet can save our communities from financial ruin. We need immediate checks and recurring payments so that we can keep our heads above water.  Congress needs to make sure that we won’t be left financially ruined for doing our part to keep the country healthy.

Stephanie Bonin
1,798,464 supporters
Petitioning Robert Menendez, Cory A. Booker, U​.​S. Senate, U​.​S. House of Representatives, Donald J. Trump, Michelle Obama, DA Mike Freeman, Mayor Jacob Frey, Nancy Pelosi, Charles E. Schumer, James Beach

Federally Required Psychological Screenings for Police Employment and Federal Reforms

Over this past decade, we have seen numerous police killings and brutality—much of which has been captured with the help of social media. The use of social media has exposed much of the violence which would have otherwise been hidden. Recently, George Floyd was a victim of this violence. A police officer in Minneapolis, Derick Chauvin, used his knee to pin Floyd down by his neck. A 10 minute video captured his murder. Floyd pleads that he can't breath, and about halfway through the video, Floyd appears unconscious and is likely dead at this point. Still, Chauvin keeps Floyd pinned to the ground with his knee until the paramedics arrive; ignoring his duty to render aid. Also captured, were the three other officers at the scene who also refused to assist Floyd and ignored the pleas of the bystanders to check his pulse. It was recently shown that Chauvin had multiple complaints against him, 2 of which he was punished for. The following proposed law would be able to prevent many of the incidents which have occurred with George Floyd, Freddie Gray, Atatiana Jefferson, and countless others. As of now, potential officers go through a psychological screening before employment that tests their fitness to be an officer. The test screens for judgement, integrity, dealing with stress, honesty, etc. This needs to go further in order to eliminate people who could pose a danger to citizens while on the job. Not all states require psychological screening which makes a federal requirement a necessity. The psychological screening, which is already done to screen an officer, should be more in depth and should also include evaluations that test for psychotic disorders, mood disorders & personality disorders. Around 88% of police departments have required drug screening. This should be included in all police departments since it would serve as a necessary precaution for screening. Since Chauvin was involved in incidents during his tenure as an officer, a re-screening should be required every 6 months to a year while the officer is employed. Much like how a doctor or lawyer is re-examined on their knowledge to ensure they are fit to practice, an officer should be required to take a re-examination too. These requirements should be federally mandated to ensure that across the country, officers are screened effectively. I appreciate you for taking the time to read this. Thank you! UPDATE (6/5/20): Since posting this petition, I have received numerous suggestions which I believe should be included and federally required as well. These include: regular & initial drug testing, social media screening, a federal hate crime for falsely reporting a racial crime, redirecting police funding in major cities to programs that support the communities, a national database for police officers involved in misconduct, QR codes on uniforms, an associates degree requirement for all departments, and banning police officers from being hired at another department if they are fired from one previously.

Bryce Showell
1,547,569 supporters
Petitioning Dr. Alex Azar, Dr. Sonny Perdue, Ryan Zinke, Dr. Robert Wilkie, General James Mattis, Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Dr. David Skorton, Dr. Robert Redfield, Rep. Ken Calvert, Jackie Walor...

Retire dogs, cats & monkeys from government labs!

In 2014, I adopted my best friend Violet from the basement of a taxpayer-funded animal experimentation lab. Now, I’m working with Congress to get dogs like her, as well as cats and monkeys, released from government labs at the end of experiments.  When I met Violet, she lived alone in a cage in a laboratory basement.  She had never been outside, never seen stairs and most of her experiences with humans involved fear and pain. She loved other dogs but was understandably terrified of humans. Now, we’re inseparable, and she’s best friends with our cats and even helps us foster kittens! But, Violet is one of the lucky ones. Thousands of cats, monkeys and dogs like her are experimented on each year in government labs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Smithsonian Institution. Because its quicker and easier than relocating them to rescue groups, private homes or sanctuaries, experimenters usually kill these animals and dispose of them like trash, even if they’re healthy.  Now, the taxpayers who bought these animals want them released. Recently, our organization White Coat Waste Project has secured the release of monkeys from the FDA, and is working to get dogs out of VA labs and kittens released by the USDA.  Please join me in urging all government agencies to #GiveThemBack: retire and release animals at the end of taxpayer-funded experiments! --Julie Germany, Board Member, White Coat Waste Project

White Coat Waste Project
1,316,870 supporters
Victory
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives

Pass the Preventing Animal Cruelty (PACT) Act

Ask Congress to pass the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, the first-ever general federal Animal Cruelty law in history. This is a bill with broad bipartisan support. Even prior to swearing in the new members of Congress, this bill had 36 Co-Sponsors in the Senate and 283 Co-Sponsors in the House. It was previously blocked from a vote by a single congressman. Now that the House of Representatives has changed, this bill needs to be brought to the floor of Congress for a vote. We should not go another day without protecting the animals from cruelty, bestiality, and torture. Why is this law important? This law will allow the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies to crack down on malicious cruelty and the sexual exploitation of innocent animals. The legislation will build on the federal “animal crush” video law that was enacted in 2010, which banned the creation, sale, and distribution of obscene videos that show animals being crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or subjected to other forms of heinous cruelty. The PACT Act will prohibit those same extreme acts of animal cruelty when they occur in interstate or foreign commerce, regardless of whether a video is produced. The PACT Act will also enable the federal government to prosecute malicious acts of animal cruelty on federal property such as military bases, federal prisons, airports, and national parks. Additionally, it will enable federal authorities to crack down on the practice of bestiality which often involves a subculture where animals are moved across state lines and where information is exchanged on websites that enable the exploitation to happen. Who supports this bill? This legislation is endorsed by more than 200 law enforcement agencies across the country. This bill was previously passed in the Senate by a UNANIMOUS bipartisan vote. This bill had 283 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 36 Co-Sponsors in the Senate even prior to the swearing in of the current members of congress. History In December 2017 the Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, S. 654.  This bipartisan legislation protecting animals against cruelty and torture was led in the U.S. Senate by Senators Pat Toomey, R-Pa, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and was joined by 34 cosponsors. Despite the overwhelming bipartisan support we still do not have this important federal law. The bill was blocked by a single member of Congress despite the valiant efforts of Reps. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, and Ted Deutch, D-Fla. to help pass this bill (H.R. 1494). Reps. Lamar Smith and Ted Deutch previously secured an unbelievable 283 cosponsors and broad bipartisan support by ⅔ of Congress. Now, with the change of leadership in Congress, there is a new and fresh opportunity for congress to pass this important law with vast bipartisan support. Why should we sign this now? There is a new and fresh opportunity for congress to pass the overwhelmingly bipartisan Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act that was previously blocked by a single member of congress. The shift of power in Congress has removed this one congressman as an obstacle. Now this bill has a real opportunity to pass if the public demands that Congress makes it a legislative priority, and brings it to a vote. Passage will bring the first federal animal cruelty bill that protects against bestiality, animal cruelty, and animal torture. Your signature will help demonstrate the public outcry to make this a legislative priority.   The animals cannot speak for themselves. Please consider being the voice for the voiceless and sign the petition. Your support will speak volumes to lawmakers! "Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have." ~Margaret Mead What you can you do to help RIGHT NOW in addition to signing the petition? (IMPORTANT) (Total Time: 5-7 minutes) 1.  Share this Petition on social media, and ask your friends, co-workers, and family to sign the petition and consider sharing it as well. 2.  Contact your congressional representative's office, and politely inform them that you are calling to ask your representative to support H.R.724 - The PACT Act which will make animal cruelty a federal crime. (The process is simple. Just call the Capitol Switchboard. (202) 224-3121. Give them your zip code, and they will provide you with the telephone number for your congressional representative. Call that number, and express your support.) This will make a big difference. 3. Follow the progress of this petition on our Facebook page, and find ways that you can have a positive impact on the lives of animals: Animal Welfard Center Facebook Page

Sydney Helfand
866,724 supporters
Justice 4 Amie - Domestic Violence Laws Updated

We are all shocked and horrified by the murder of Amie Harwick, and my thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. Violence against women continues to be a scourge in our society that must be eradicated, and the circumstances of this crime by a man who had been subject to a restraining order are all too common and horrific. While this issue gets broad attention when those well known to the public are victimized, it affects countless women all over the county. Protective orders need to be easier to obtain and renew, and their enforcement — from police to prosecutor — must be much more highly prioritized to be effective. I have met with police, the city attorney and district attorney to advocate for victims on this issue, and I am going to continue to pursue the matter until all victims are protected. In Congress, we can start by reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act which was passed by the House last year and remains held up by opposition in the Senate. I look forward to staying engaged with your effort and doing everything I can to protect victims of domestic violence and secure Justice 4 Amie.

8 months ago
Retire dogs, cats & monkeys from government labs!

Animals should always be treated humanely, including when they are used in taxpayer-funded laboratory research. I strongly agree with the more than one million people who have urged federal agencies to retire dogs, cats, primates, and other animals from government laboratories by signing this White Coat Waste Project petition. After hearing from many of my constituents and other advocates, I recently introduced the Animal Freedom from Testing, Experiments and Research Act, or the AFTER Act. This first-of-its-kind bill would require federal agencies to enact policies allowing for the retirement of healthy animals no longer needed in government testing labs. The bipartisan AFTER Act will ensure agencies make good faith efforts to safely and humanely relocate healthy animals to loving homes, rescues, or reputable sanctuaries when they are no longer needed for testing. Last year, I had the opportunity to visit one of those sanctuaries in my congressional district. The Peaceable Primate Sanctuary is a wonderful non-profit refuge that is home to more than 30 baboons and other primates retired from biomedical research. Now I’m working to ensure that primates from U.S. government labs are relocated to sanctuaries like this where they can live out the rest of their lives. In addition to introducing the AFTER Act, I recently helped introduce the PUPPERS Act to end painful research on dogs at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Thanks to your advocacy, we’re making great progress. I remain committed to working to ensure animals can be adopted or transferred to sanctuaries when they’re no longer needed for taxpayer-funded research. Sincerely, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) https://twitter.com/RepWalorski https://www.facebook.com/RepJackieWalorski/ https://www.instagram.com/jackiewalorski/

1 year ago
Dock Congressional Pay When Government Shuts Down

Two weeks ago, Congress managed to finally pass a spending bill to avoid another government shutdown. This bill was 3 months overdue, and we cannot wait for the next shutdown to hold Congress accountable. Every Member of Congress, “Solemnly swears [to] support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution states that “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of Appropriations made by law.” This means that when each Member of Congress takes the oath of office, it is their Constitutional duty to ensure the government is open, funded, and running. So, when the government is shutdown in any manner, it means Congress is not doing their jobs. (Disclaimer: Congress has fully funded the government on time only four times since 1974!) The fact that Congress continuously has the same issue every year is shocking. Where else in America do employees get paid for not doing their job? The answer is easy – nowhere. If this is the standard across America, then it should also apply to Members of Congress. As it stands now, Members receive regular pay when federal workers, and thousands of Americans, have their pay withheld during a government shutdown. This is ridiculous. It is appalling that Members get paid when the government shuts down, and now is the time to bring a dose of reality to Washington. If we cannot do our jobs we have failed the American people and therefore have not earned our pay – plain and simple. There is bipartisan consensus that Congress should not be paid during a government shutdown, and now is the time to bring common-sense back to the legislative branch of government. Without common-sense and proper accountability, Congress will continue to fail to do its job and will always fail the American people.

2 years ago
Dock Congressional Pay When Government Shuts Down

Two weeks ago, Congress managed to finally pass a spending bill to avoid another government shutdown. This bill was 3 months overdue, and we cannot wait for the next shutdown to hold Congress accountable. Every Member of Congress, “Solemnly swears [to] support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution states that “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of Appropriations made by law.” This means that when each Member of Congress takes the oath of office, it is their Constitutional duty to ensure the government is open, funded, and running. So, when the government is shutdown in any manner, it means Congress is not doing their jobs. (Disclaimer: Congress has fully funded the government on time only four times since 1974!) The fact that Congress continuously has the same issue every year is shocking. Where else in America do employees get paid for not doing their job? The answer is easy – nowhere. If this is the standard across America, then it should also apply to Members of Congress. As it stands now, Members receive regular pay when federal workers, and thousands of Americans, have their pay withheld during a government shutdown. This is ridiculous. It is appalling that Members get paid when the government shuts down, and now is the time to bring a dose of reality to Washington. If we cannot do our jobs we have failed the American people and therefore have not earned our pay – plain and simple. There is bipartisan consensus that Congress should not be paid during a government shutdown, and now is the time to bring common-sense back to the legislative branch of government. Without common-sense and proper accountability, Congress will continue to fail to do its job and will always fail the American people.

2 years ago
Dock Congressional Pay When Government Shuts Down

I want to thank Thomas and Katie for taking the time to write this petition, and everyone who has signed onto it thus far. Our number one job in Congress is to write and pass a budget to ensure the entire federal government is open and operating. In any other profession, if you don’t do your job, you don’t get your paycheck. Congress should not be any different. That is why my first action in this Congress was to re-introduce my Hold Congress Accountable Act. The 27th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened,” prohibits Congress from altering its own pay. This necessary amendment was written, of course, to prevent Members of Congress from giving themselves a bloated paycheck. The unintended consequence, however, is that Congress cannot pass legislation that would reduce our salaries. To put it simply, it is written into the Constitution that Members of Congress must be paid in full every month, even during a shutdown. Changing this would require a constitutional amendment like H.J.Res.18, a bipartisan joint resolution that I have cosponsored. As Thomas and Katie note, however, cutting Congress’s paycheck during a shutdown is not a partisan idea. There is plenty of support from across the political spectrum for holding Congress accountable. The reality, however, is that two-thirds of the House and the Senate are required to pass a constitutional amendment. And I am a realist – in this climate, it can feel like getting two-thirds of both chambers to agree on anything would be nothing short of a miracle. As an alternative to a constitutional amendment, my bipartisan Hold Congress Accountable Act is written such that for any shutdown during the Congress in which my bill becomes law, Members’ pay will be withheld during the shutdown in an escrow account and they would receive it at the end of the Congress. For any shutdown taking place after 2020, Members’ pay during any lapse in appropriations would be canceled altogether. I first introduced a version of my bill in 2013, following the 17-day shutdown in October of that year. Since that time, I have also donated the paycheck that I have received during shutdowns to charitable organizations in my home state of Oregon. A handful of my colleagues have done the same, and I applaud them. I just think it’s the right thing to do. But it is not enough. Members of Congress ought to feel the same urgency that our constituents and communities often face during these shutdown. It is totally inappropriate and just plain wrong to hold the paychecks of public servants across the country in a limbo because Congress isn’t doing its job. We owe it to everyone to change this. I want to thank every one of you for continuing to raise your voice on this issue. Together, let’s make this change!

2 years ago
Dock Congressional Pay When Government Shuts Down

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about congressional pay during government shutdowns. You may be pleased to learn that I agree with you. In fact, when the partial government shutdown began in December, I immediately sent instructions to the Clerk of the House to halt my pay. The American people expect Congress to do its most basic job: pass a budget and fund the government. If we can’t, then we shouldn’t get paid. To ensure this is the standard, I introduced the No Work, No Pay Act of 2019 (H.R. 26). This bill would prohibit senators and representatives from being paid during periods when any Federal agency is shut down due to a lapse in funding appropriated by Congress. Republicans and Democrats need to come together and find an end to this government shutdown. Additionally, I believe we cannot continue to govern with continuing resolutions and short-term spending deals. I strongly believe it is an irresponsible way to govern and that we should focus on passing appropriations bills on time and through regular order. Before coming to Congress, I was the Mayor of Provo, Utah. I was proud that my city balanced our city’s budget every year. Washington should take note of states, like my home State of Utah, that do it right. Not only does the Utah Legislature pass a baseline budget at the beginning of each legislative session to avoid any state government shutdown threats, but they also responsibly balance the state’s budget every year. Utahns expect better from their elected representatives and I don’t intend to let them down. Once again, thank you for sharing your views with me on this important issue. Your input is an essential part of the decision-making process as I represent the interests of my constituents in Utah. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @RepJohnCurtis for updates on my work in Congress.

2 years ago
No more kids with cancer: clean up the Santa Susana Field Lab

Thank you for your participation in the Change.org advocacy campaign regarding clean-up at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) site. I appreciate knowing of our shared commitment to clean-up the SSFL site and protect public health. Clean-up of this site is a high public health and safety priority, and my involvement with the clean-up goes back to my time in the California Assembly as a principal co-author of SB990, state legislation to require the full clean-up. It is vitally important that we hold all three responsible parties, the Department of Energy (DOE), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Boeing, to the highest standards that will fully protect the public health from harmful chemical and radionuclide contamination. As the state and federal environmental documents are prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), it is also critical that DOE, NASA, and DTSC continue to engage with the local community to ensure that local resident and stakeholder views are heard. Since coming to Congress, I have been constantly engaged in this issue with local stakeholders, DTSC, and the two responsible federal agencies, DOE and NASA. I have also been working to push Congress to appropriate the necessary funding for the NASA and DOE federally responsible areas of SSFL. While Boeing was successful through the courts in overturning SB990, the law that was intended to force a complete clean-up for the areas controlled by Boeing, NASA and DOE, DTSC still has an important role in ensuring the highest clean-up standard possible and I believe it would be in Boeing's best interest to work with not only DTSC, but the community and local elected leaders to ensure the highest level of clean-up. Please be assured that I will continue to be engaged in this process and that the time you took to express your views is extremely helpful as the process moves forward. Please be assured that I will also continue to work at the federal level to ensure a full clean-up of the SSFL site.

2 years ago
Save Net Neutrality

Thank you for joining this Change.org petition and standing with me and millions of Americans in strong support of Net Neutrality. A free, fair, and open internet is essential to our way of life and economy, and we must continue the fight to protect it. As a member of Congress representing the South Bronx, a community predominantly made up of Latinos and African Americans, overturning Net Neutrality will disproportionately hurt underserved people of color who continue to face systemic barriers in most aspects of life. An open internet allows these communities equal access to cultural programming, online services that meet their unique needs, education and training benefits, employment opportunities, and the ability to connect with loved ones near and far. These working families rely on equal access to the internet in order to be successful in business, school, and life. We must never allow corporations the power to determine what online services and content Bronxites and Americans all across the country are able to access of their own free will, or choose who can gain access because of their ability to pay. I’m proud to be working with an organization called Full Color Future — a group of innovators, creators, entrepreneurs and advocates of color who believe the Internet provides unprecedented opportunity to build businesses, share stories, and spark movements for justice. If you agree with their mission, add your name to their Change.org petition to save neutrality as well: http://bit.ly/2EtcJUK In Congress, I have been a staunch defender of the 2015 rules reclassifying broadband services under Title II of the Communications Act. I have joined many of my House Democratic colleagues on numerous letters and bills defending Net Neutrality. Over the summer, I introduced an amendment in the Appropriations Committee to prevent Chairman Pai and the FCC from using federal funds to undermine, weaken, or overturn these rules. After Republicans on the Committee rejected my amendment, I tried to bring the same amendment to the House floor, only to have House Republicans prevent my amendment from coming up for a vote. While these attempts were not successful, I believe this fight is too important to give up. The FCC’s vote to overturn the 2015 rules on Net Neutrality, and effectively hand over control of online content to Internet Service Providers and big corporations, was a huge step back for equality and fairness. However, the fight is not over. My colleagues in Congress and I will continue fighting to keep the internet open for you and all Americans. I hope you will remain in the fight with me. Rep. Jose Serrano

3 years ago
Urge congress to return ICE deported oncology nurse Maria Mendoza Sanchez to U.S. (S.1763)

Thank you for joining this important petition in support of the Sanchez family. For more than twenty years, Maria & Eusebio Sanchez were longstanding residents of the East Bay, who were respectful neighbors and friends. Maria worked as a nurse at Highland Hospital, giving back to our community, and the family recently bought their first home in Oakland. Their story is the epitome of the American Dream. The cruel and heartless deportation of the Sanchezes tore apart their family and emphasized how broken our immigration system truly is. Despite our calls for compassion, and the Administration's insistence that it would prioritize the deportation of those with serious criminal records, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement heartlessly deported the Sanchezes, forcing them to leave their daughters here to care for themselves. That is unacceptable. Instead of tearing families apart, we need comprehensive immigration reform that creates a path to citizenship for those like Maria and Eusbio who are well-respected members of our communities but lack immigration status. Until then, we need to support and protect our undocumented neighbors. That's why in Congress I have introduced H.R. 3818, to provide permanent resident status for the Sanchez family and I will not rest until we bring Maria and Eusebio back home to Oakland where they belong. Know that I will continue the fight to improve our immigration system and protect immigrant families. We must all work to resist this Administration's heartless immigration policies that reject the core values of our nation. Thank you again for your support of this petition. Sincerely, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA 13)

3 years ago
URGENT PLEA for Trinh Phan

Dear Friends, Thank you for joining this petition. Your participation is very helpful in drawing attention to Mrs. Phan and her need to be reunited with her mother given her dire medical condition. I have been trying to help Mrs. Phan’s mother get into the United States to see her daughter. In addition to contacting the US Embassy in Vietnam and contacting the State Department, I want you to know that I have also reached out to President Trump to request his assistance. I have urged the President to consider the Nguyen-Phan family’s request with the utmost urgency and compassion. You can read my letter to the President here: http://bit.ly/2vVn1ew Thank you again for adding your voice and demonstrating your support for Mrs. Phan. Sincerely, Zoe Lofgren Member of Congress

3 years ago