So much of the energy on the left is rightly aimed at contacting Republican lawmakers. At times, if you live in a Blue State as I do, it can feel like you have a smaller part to play in the Resistance. But as I was scrolling through twitter, I saw a tweet from Ezra Levin that caught my attention.
Got a Democratic Senator? Here’s how they can ACTUALLY PLAY HARDBALL on TrumpCare. Yes, they have tools to use. Yes, they can win. 1/
— Ezra Levin (@ezralevin) June 15, 2017
Levin* proceeds to outline a procedural way in which Democrats can force discussion of the AHCA.
There are ways to stall the passage of AHCA which have nothing to do with convincing Republican lawmakers to have a conscience, honor the public nature of debate or recognize the political consequences of their votes. For years, Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, have weaponized the procedures of Congress to stymie Democratic legislation. It is time to use the same tactics against them.
To those who would say “two wrongs don’t make a right”, I would argue that we are past that point now. We have a President who lost the popular vote (and won the EC college with an assist from Russia) and yet acts as if he has a mandate for a vastly unpopular legislative agenda.
We have a Republican Congress refusing to debate or hold town hall meetings because they fear the public will get a chance to voice their dissent. And do not forget that McConnell and the Republican Senate subverted the Constitution by denying Obama’s right to appoint a Supreme Court Justice.
It is foolish to slavishly abide by some idea of fair play when the other side abandoned it years ago.
So- what does this have to do with you, Blue State dwellers? Call your Democratic Senators’ offices and ask them to filibuster the AHCA through amendments. Indivisible has a script. The basic idea is that McConnell is using the process of Reconciliation to avoid a filibuster in the Senate. Indivisible suggests that Democrats use the procedures of Reconciliation which allow endless amendments to essentially filibuster the legislation. Democrats can offer as many amendments as they want- each requiring debate- 10 minutes for each.
A concerted effort (thousands of amendments) could block the bill from passage until the July 4th recess. This would mean that Americans would have the opportunity to actually see what is in the bill as well as make the CBO score public. Republicans would then have to go home and defend their legislative monstrosity.
So, call your Senators. It’s time to fight. Strongly worded condemnations are not enough. I have already called. So should you.
*Sadly- in order to gain the attention of the twitter sphere and demoralized Democrats, Levin felt the need to re-tweet his 11 tweet thread with pictures of cute puppies.
PREFACE: in an effort to make this steely-eyed 11-part tweet storm on the dire state of TrumpCare friendlier, I’ll include puppies. 0/11 pic.twitter.com/Y7MIRkwYC3
— Ezra Levin (@ezralevin) June 16, 2017