Over the course of the last several years, it has become increasingly clear that the partisan nature of the United States government has reached a crisis point. The Congressional shutdown in 2013, the refusal of Republican representatives to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominations, and finally the failure of both parties to offer a successful alternative to the divisive and bigoted rhetoric of Donald J. Trump are just a few examples of how political absolutism and cronyism have eroded the trust between elected officials and American citizens.
Call Them In seeks to address this by reconnecting the people with their government in the most straightforward manner possible: through telephone calls. A phone call ties an identity to an opinion and reminds politicians that their constituents, not party drama or power plays, are their first responsibility. Much more effective than an email or social media post, a phone call can make the difference in how a representative votes — which means you can make a difference in how your government is run.
Our strategy focuses specifically on placing calls to Senators (as opposed to House Representatives, Governors, or other elected officials). The Senate, unlike the House, gives the minority party (in this case, Democrats) power to block legislation through a filibuster. These days, the Senate uses something called a Silent Filibuster to hold up legislation without actually having someone go on the floor and talk. To overcome this Silent Filibuster, Senators need to hold a cloture vote, which requires 60 Senators to vote to end debate and move on to a final vote.
Because of this procedure, it is very difficult to pass things through the Senate if one party does not have 60 seats. Currently, Republicans have 52 seats, which will make it easy for Democrats to hold up legislation to force the Republicans to negotiate. Our goal is to reach out to Senators from all parties to advocate that they keep damaging or dangerous legislation from being put to a vote. By reminding them of their duty to their constituents — and of their vulnerability to an empowered and unhappy electorate — we can play an active role in the shaping of the nation.
Call Them In has three fundamental issues toward which to direct our initial focus. We believe the outcomes of these issues have the broadest ramifications for the American public. Though we are certainly open to exploring and adding other goals to Call Them In’s agenda in the future, these three are our starting point, from which we hope to learn, expand, and continue to deepen our impact.
We’ve seen how Republicans blocked President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, and we are urging Democrats to block any radical judge that President Trump nominates. Trump has already promised to appoint pro-life judges and has hinted at overturning Roe v. Wade altogether. The Senate should oppose any nominee who cannot separate their personal opinions from the law. In addition, many of Trump’s appointments for his cabinet have radical, conservative opinions and a host of ethical conflicts. We plan to block both radical judges, as well as Trump’s ethically troubling cabinet appointments.
It is no secret that Trump wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with “something great.” We are calling on our Senators to protect Obamacare. We will not allow Trump to take us back to a time when millions of Americans did not have access to health insurance and anyone could be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition. Obamacare should be expanded and improved, not repealed altogether.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center analyzed Trump’s tax plan, and found that although every American will see tax cuts, the wealthy will benefit the most from Trump’s proposed cuts. In addition to providing substantial benefits to the richest, Trump’s plan would cause a $6.2 trillion decrease in federal revenue. This decrease in revenue would undoubtedly lead to cuts in vital social programs.