*URGENT* #SaveACA Conference Call TONIGHT 7 pm CST

Everyone is invited to join a conference call this evening to discuss critical strategies to oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Congress began the process of dismantling this law that protects the health and lives of millions of Americans last night.

UPDATE: Tonight’s call will focus on Texas, but the topics and tactics will be useful for anyone interested in advocating to stop repeal and save our healthcare.

Thanks to the Children’s Defense Fund-Texas for convening this informational call!

We’ll be joined by two of Texas’ top healthcare policy advocates at the beginning of the call, and then provide plenty of time for Q&A.

Cheasty Anderson, Health Policy Associate, Children’s Defense Fund-Texas
Melissa McChesney, Healthcare Outreach Coordinator (contractor), Center for Public Policy Priorities

Call-in #: 641-552-9245

PIN: 283674

Simply dial the number above and follow the prompts.

Committees and Caucuses for Austin Congressmen

Here’s some helpful info for targeting your Congressman by special interest.

A Congressional Committee is a sub-group within Congress that handles a specific duty. Congressional Committees can contain Members of Congress from multiple political parties.

A caucus is a group of people with shared concerns that usually align along party or racial/ethnic concerns but can also be “special interest”-based. (i.e. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, The Congressional Motorcycle Caucus).

District 10 – Michael McCaul (R)

  • Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security
  • Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • Committee on Science and Technology
  • Co-Chair of the Congressional High Tech Chair
  • Co-Chair of the Childhood Cancer Caucus
  • Co-Chair of the Congressional Cyber Security Caucus
  • Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Sudan and South Sudan
  • Tuberculosis Elimination Caucus

District 17 – Bill Flores (R)

  • House Energy and Commerce Committee
  • Energy and Power Subcommittee
  • Environment and the Economy Subcommittee
  • Oversight and Investigations Committee

District 21 – Lamar Smith (R)

  • Chairman, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
  • House Committee on Judiciary
  • House Committee on Homeland Security

District 25 – Roger Williams (R)

  • The Committee on Financial Services
  • Vice Chairman of the Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee on Financial Services

District 31 – John Carter (R)

  • Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee
  • Defence Subcommittee
  • Chairman, Homeland Security Subcommittee
  • Co-Chair, House Army Caucus (bi-partisan)

District 35 – Lloyd Doggett (D)

  • House Ways and Means Committee (tax, trade, Social Security, Medicare)
  • Subcommittee on Human Resources (child care, family services, and unemployment compensation)

A Quick Government 101 for Texans

Here’s a quick primer for those of us who might be a little foggy on the civics we learned in high school!

  • Each state in the US has two senators. Each person in Texas has the same two Senators – Ted Cruz (R) and John Cornyn (R).
  • Texas is divided into 36 Congressional Districts – each person lives in the District of one Member of Congress. In Austin, there are 6 Congressional Districts (35, 10, 25, 21, 31, 17). Thanks to gerrymandering, all Austin Congressmen but one are Republicans.
  • We are each the constituents of two Senators and one Congressman. While “congress” technically refers to both the Senate and the House of Representatives, Representatives are often called “Members of Congress” or “Congressman/woman.”
  • Senators serve terms of six years and Congressmen serve terms of two years. Senators are elected by popular vote within the state. Congressmen are elected by people who live within their district.
  • For a bill to become a law, it is proposed in the House of Representatives or the Senate. From there, it goes to committee, then to the House of Representatives for a vote. If the bill is passed there, it goes to the Senate; if passed there it goes to the President for final approval.
  • The Senate’s unique duties include ratifying treaties and confirming Cabinet Secretaries (Secretary of State, Secretary of Education, etc), Supreme Court Justices, Federal Judges, other federal officials, and Ambassadors. The presiding official of the Senate is the Vice President of the US (son to be Mike Pence).
  • The House of Representatives’ unique duties include the initiation of all bills related to revenue (sets the federal budget), the impeachment of federal officers (who are sent to the Senate for trial). The presiding officer is the Speaker of the House (Paul Ryan).

Here’s a quick primer on the Texas Legislature for those working at the state level.

Action Item Sun. Jan 8 for D-25!

ACTION ITEM for District 25 folks (and any others who want to show up and help out): Rep. Roger Williams will be attending a parade in Lakeway today to honor the Lake Travis HS football team. He will participate in the parade and present the coach with a trophy. The event is free and open to the public.

Location: Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave. More info at https://t.co/panuZumCVF

Question for Rep. Williams at the parade:

Why did you support the Goodlatte Amendment? (Pronounced “GUUD-lot.”)

Background: The Goodlatte Amendment would have dismantled the Office of Congressional Ethics. Rep. Williams himself is under ethics investigation, so there is clear conflict of interest.

IMPORTANT: People are there to support their kids’ football team winning the state championship. Be sure to support the team, saving your political fire for your representative. Most people won’t know what the Goodlatte Amendment is, so this is a relatively safe thing to shout at a parade.

If you wish to protest, please bring homemade signs that have #RESIST and @indivisibleATX on them!