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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
2,517,497 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Donald J. Trump

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
822,637 supporters
Petitioning Secretary Wilkie

Dogs need your help! Tell Congress to stop cruel taxpayer-funded experiments.

UPDATE (March 2018): Following your efforts, U.S. Congress enacted a law to de-fund the VA's dog experiments for 2018 and placed dramatic restrictions on the practice. Read more here. We're still working to end this waste and abuse for good! --- An investigation by White Coat Waste Project revealed that more than 1,100 beagles, hounds and mixed-breed dogs—even puppies—are subjected to secretive, wasteful and cruel experiments inside government laboratories each year. As a physician, researcher and dog-lover –and someone who once reluctantly experimented on dogs—I know there’s no way to defend the government’s use of dogs for invasive and unnecessary experiments.  It’s also a betrayal of a 10,000 year old bond between dogs and humans built upon mutual affection and loyalty. The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and other major news outlets have been documenting how the Department of Veterans Affairs, Pentagon, National Institutes of Health, and other agencies spend taxpayers’ money to abuse dogs: Death by Sand Flies: Infected sand flies are strapped to beagles’ bare skin, causing painful ulcers. Forced Vomiting: Dogs are cut open, their nerves severed, and electrodes are implanted on their intestines. They're then forced to vomit repeatedly. Forced Heart Attacks: "Snares" are tightened around dogs’ coronary arteries to induce heart attacks before they're killed and dissected. American taxpayers are forced to pay millions of dollars for these studies with virtually no access to information about what’s being done or why and how much it costs. Is this how you want your money spent? Please sign our petition to end wasteful spending and increase transparency and accountability about taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs! Most agencies including the VA, DOD, FDA and CDC do not reveal details of how our taxpayer dollars are being used for experiments on dogs, but on one of the few projects for which spending data is available, NIH experimenters have used nearly $6 million of taxpayers' money since 2011 to give dogs heart attacks. Bipartisan Members of Congress also recognize the ethical, scientific and economic problems with these controversial experiments on dogs. They’re now working to help spare dogs from abuse and cut wasteful government spending. Please join us and encourage Members of Congress and the administration to end this wasteful government spending on flawed research.

White Coat Waste Project
739,425 supporters
Victory
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives

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

Hank Hunt
612,205 supporters
Victory
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives

Don't Deny Compensation to 9/11 First Responders

My name is John Feal and I’ve been to 181 funerals since September 11, 2001, for first-responders who joined me at Ground Zero after the attacks on the World Trade Center. They are now dying from cancer due to exposure to asbestos, burning jet fuel, burning computer parts, pulverized concrete and other toxic substances. By 2021, it’s expected that more people will have died from toxic exposure than were killed in the attacks. And Congress could break their promise to provide them with compensation. I went to Ground Zero hoping that my experience as a US Army veteran and demolition supervisor could save lives. Seventeen years later, many of my fellow responders have died or are dying from cancer, respiratory illness, and other health problems caused by their exposure to debris and toxic chemicals. In 2015, we successfully fought to reauthorize the James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act, which ensures victims could receive health screenings and medical benefits for 70 years, and compensation through 2020. In less than two years, that Victim Compensation Fund will close — and it’s already running out of money. After 9/11, the EPA assured the responders and residents that "the air is safe," and hundreds of thousands of residents and workers returned. Today over 10,000 people have been diagnosed with WTC-linked cancers and more than 2,000 of those people have died, including 184 NYC firefighters. I live with the memory of the lives lost that day, but also the sadness of knowing survivors are still dying. It’s tragic that our elected officials won’t come together to guarantee support for these victims, who inhaled cancer causing chemicals as they searched for survivors and recovered bodies. Now, thousands of families face steep medical bills and struggle every day just to survive. This is no way to treat human beings who sacrificed so much that day. Please sign my petition to make sure 9/11 responders and victims are supported by the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund after they sacrificed everything.

FealGood Foundation
534,021 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, John R. Curtis, Kurt Schrader, Ralph Norman

Dock Congressional Pay When Government Shuts Down

My oldest daughter came to visit on Christmas day with the expectation that she would be receiving a furlough notice after the holidays. I am a retired transportation executive and a former Marine in my early 70's. Katie has worked for the federal government for almost 27 years. We disagree on most domestic political issues, and we vote for different parties. But we found common ground when we started talking about the current partial government shutdown. Our country is in a difficult place. We are divided on so many issues, even within our families. But we can all agree that when the government shuts down, the wrong people pay for it. It’s time for Members of Congress and their highest-paid staff members to be docked salary when they don’t decide on annual budgets before the start of a new fiscal year. Continuing resolutions and government shutdowns waste taxpayer dollars year after year. Congress should be making tough decisions about how much the government should spend and for what. When they refuse to make decisions about the annual budgets of federal agencies, they create waste and chaos - without facing any consequences. Members of Congress and their senior staff are receiving their salaries during the shutdown even though they created it. Federal workers did their jobs, but they are not. When we were together over the holidays, Katie shared some frustration about working under Continuing Resolutions year after year, regardless of which party has a majority in Congress. In the 26+ years that she has worked for the government, it has been shut down six times. Every time it looks like federal employees might be furloughed because of lapses in federal appropriations, agencies have to prepare furlough notices for thousands of employees and develop shutdown plans. This wastes millions of dollars and thousands of staff hours. While the things we want Congress to fund and tax are different, my daughter and I agree that Congress's failure to make decisions is seriously bad for the health of our democracy. This is not the first time Katie has been furloughed, but when it happened in 1995 she was single and had no children. Twenty-three years later, she and her husband have three kids, two of whom are still at home. He is also a federal employee. It's scary not knowing when the next paycheck is coming, even when you are pretty sure that the money will come eventually. Wherever you stand on the policies and funding that are being debated during this shutdown, please join us to make sure every Member of Congress, every Senator and every senior member of the Administration knows that We the People expect them to do their job. And if they're not going to do it, then they shouldn't be paid. The House of Representatives should introduce a bill to change Congressional pay regulations so future Members of Congress and their highest-paid staff members will face direct financial consequences when they cause a government shutdown.

Thomas Howard
445,289 supporters
Closed
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Let's make Net Neutrality a basic human right

The open internet is a revolutionary tool that offers countless benefits to everyone around the globe. Whether it be the freedom for anyone to speak one’s mind, start a business, collaborate with others or rally for a cause (like Ratify28), these things are only made possible by a free and open internet. Commonly known as Net Neutrality, all information on the internet must be treated equally. Internet service providers (ISPs) must allow any user to access any data on the internet that they wish. This protection ensures that everyone has a global voice and an equal opportunity. However, Net Neutrality is under attack… Again! Without it, the internet would be a much different place. ISPs would be permitted to control and regulate what their users see and do on the internet by either blocking or slowing websites that do not fit their business interests. Could you imagine if Netflix and Hulu were blocked by Comcast simply because Comcast wanted to force you to use their streaming internet services instead? How about no longer being able to read your favorite newspaper or blogger simply because your ISP didn’t agree with their political affiliation? ISPs have already begun planning for internet “fast lanes”, or toll booths, in order to extort additional fees from online companies. Creating a financial barrier would suppress startups all around the globe as they would not have the funds required to pay these fees. Net Neutrality resolves all of these issues and protects a free and open internet. Unfortunately, we are only days away from a vote that could drastically alter everyone’s online experiences. Therefore, we want to end this fight once and for all. By either directly petitioning Congress or by reaching out to state legislatures to call for a Convention of the States, we would like to propose the 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. We want to permanently protect the free and open internet for everyone by ensuring that all data on the internet be treated equally, regardless of its origin.“The right of the people to a fair, open and unbiased internet shall not be infringed.” Learn More:https://www.ratify28.org/

Ratify 28
442,358 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Congress

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. 

Lynda Woolard
427,424 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Senate

March for Our Lives: An Act to Protect & Save Your Children

In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now. Created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country, we will no longer risk our lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. We support the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, as set forth in the United States Constitution. But with that right comes responsibility. We call on all the adults in Congress elected to represent us, to pass legislation that will protect and save children from gun violence. Our elected officials MUST ACT by: 1. Passing a law to ban the sale of assault weapons like the ones used in Las Vegas, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, Sandy Hook and, most recently, to kill 17 innocent people and injure more than a dozen others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Of the 10 deadliest shootings over the last decade, seven involved the use of assault weapons. No civilian should be able to access these weapons of war, which should be restricted for use by our military and law enforcement only. These guns have no other purpose than to fire as many bullets as possible and indiscriminately kill anything they are pointed at with terrifying speed. 2. Prohibiting the sale of high-capacity magazines such as the ones the shooter at our school—and so many other recent mass shootings used. States that ban high-capacity magazines have half as many shootings involving three or more victims as states that allow them. Limiting the number of bullets a gun can discharge at one time will at least force any shooter to stop and reload, giving children a chance to escape. 3. Closing the loophole in our background check law that allows dangerous people who shouldn’t be allowed to purchase firearms to slip through the cracks and buy guns online or at gun shows. 97 percent of Americans support closing the current loopholes in our background check system. When Connecticut passed a law requiring background checks on all handgun sales, they saw a 40 percent reduction in gun homicides. 22 percent of gun sales in this country take place without a background check. That’s millions of guns that could be falling into dangerous hands. A background check should be required on every gun sale, no exceptions. The children of this country can no longer go to school in fear that each day could be their last. Please sign our petition and demand a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. 

March for Our Lives
425,551 supporters
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/

5 months 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.

9 months 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.

9 months 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!

10 months 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.

10 months 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.

1 year 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

2 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)

2 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

2 years ago
Dogs need your help! Tell Congress to stop cruel taxpayer-funded experiments.

Hello, I applaud your advocacy for dogs and am excited to share some important news about my work with the White Coat Waste Project and colleagues in Congress to end abusive dog testing at the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.). This week, after hearing from countless constituents about this issue, I helped introduce a bipartisan amendment to the V.A.’s spending bill that would prohibit taxpayer funds from being spent on dog experiments that cause the animals significant—and sometimes unrelieved—pain and distress. I proud to report that the House of Representatives unanimously passed our amendment to cut funding for these cruel and wasteful experiments. There is still more work to do, including winning support in the Senate, but this is an important first step. It signals to the V.A. and other federal agencies that Congress will not tolerate taxpayers’ money being wasted on dog abuse. As an Army veteran and wounded warrior, this is especially significant for me. Having sustained catastrophic injuries on the battlefield, which included the loss of both my legs, I am acutely aware of the vital role dogs play in helping troops recover from war’s physical and psychological tolls. Additionally, given the V.A.’s limited resources, it is unjustifiable for it to spend taxpayers’ money hurting dogs in questionable experiments when veterans are unable to get the treatment and care they need. We must do better for veterans, dogs and American taxpayers. I am grateful for your involvement and support and will continue to keep you informed about our progress on this issue. Sincerely, Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL) http://www.facebook.com/RepBrianMast http://www.twitter.com/RepBrianMast http://www.instagram.com/RepBrianMast

2 years ago