MONDAY 11/06/17

FEDERAL:

GOP TAX SCAM

Today we have a tax bill that codifies in law that 529s, aka new tax savings accounts, can be opened in the name of 'children in utero.' The GOP tax plan CUTS tax credits for adoption, medical expenses, and for student loans, but creates new tax savings accounts (529s) for Fetuses “at any stage of development.” That’s right, a FETUS. The GOP's focus on the unborn in its tax plan ties directly into the party's war on abortion rights and is lock in step with the GOP's war on women and their attempts to limit our bodily autonomy. Fetuses would be eligible to be beneficiaries of tax-free savings accounts under the GOP's new tax plan. This is completely absurd and illegal as a fetus is not protected under the constitution and is not awarded rights and privileges in any other case as an individual is under federal and state law. Therefore, a fetus should not be treated as such under IRS code.

The Act would expand 529 college savings plans in two big ways: first, by allowing an unborn child (or “fetus”) to be a beneficiary; second, by allowing funds to be used for private education at the K-12 level, rather than just for post-secondary education.

This provision means expecting parents would have the option of opening a 529 savings plan, which sets aside money for college or other higher education, before their child is even born. Page 93 of the GOP's proposal spells out who counts as an unborn child at “any stage of development.”

This is evidence of the GOP's relentless obsession with advancing its dangerous anti-choice ideology. Introducing 'personhood' language into their tax bill is just the latest example of how they're trying to turn back the clock on this country.

SCRIPT:

Hello, I am a constituent calling to urge Sen./Rep. _________________ not to support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The GOP tax plan CUTS tax credits for adoption, medical expenses, and for student loans, but creates new tax savings accounts (529s) for fetuses “at any stage of development.” The GOP's focus on the unborn in its tax plan ties directly into the party's war on abortion rights. Giving a fetus legal status in the tax code would be an extraordinary and unprecedented move. It also allows for K-12 tuition savings, a move that encourages the use of private elementary schools rather than improving the existing public school systems in this country. If a fetus counts as a beneficiary for 529 plans, why not for the Child Tax Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit? A fetus should not be treated as an individual such under IRS code. This is a dangerous and destructive bill, and I want Sen./Rep. _______________ to vote against it.

GUN SAFETY:

Just weeks after the largest mass shooting in US history, we are once again mourning the deaths of 25 innocent people who were attending a church service. We’re still learning about the shooter’s motives, but once again, we have an instance of a shooter who used a semiautomatic gun to kill dozens of people. The NRA will once again claim that now is not the time to “politicize” tragedy, and GOP leaders will call for “thoughts and prayers,” but today’s events speak to the urgency of our country’s gun problem. There are a number of fixes that we can push for, including banning bump stocks, closing the gun show loophole, and even banning AR-15s. Not every gun homicide will be prevented by these measures, but taken together, they can have an impact.

Script:

Hello, I am a constituent calling from ______________ to demand that Rep./Sen. _________________ support sensible gun legislation. We should be taking steps to ban bump stocks and to close loopholes that allow guns to be purchased without a background check. We should also restrict the sale of AR15s. Since the ban on AR15s expired in 2004, we have seen a massive increase in the severity and number of mass shootings. It is disgraceful that Congress has taken no action to prevent mass shootings in the wake of Sandy Hook, Charleston, Las Vegas, and Tucson, and now in Texas. Congress needs to act now to enact common sense gun laws. Thank you for taking my call.

Oppose the lifetime appointment of Thomas Farr.

Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted down party lines 11-9, to clear North Carolina attorney Thomas Farr for a confirmation vote with the full Senate. Once confirmed, Mr. Farr will be a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The Congressional Black Caucus submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary committee alleging Mr. Farr has worked for decades to intimidate and disenfranchise black voters. Mr. Farr is also known to North Carolina’s for having defended North Carolina’s voter photo ID law, which was struck down by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for discriminatory intent. Senator Thom Tillis has specifically defended his record. The seat for which Mr. Farr was nominated has been vacant since 2005. President Obama nominated two women of color to the seat during his administration. it would have been the first time a black judge sat on the Eastern District of North Carolina’s bench in the court’s 143-year history, Unfortunately Senator Richard Burr refused to submit his blue slip (signaling a vote to acquiesce to the appointment) for either of President Obama’s nominees so the appointments stalled out in committee. We must share our opposition of Mr. Farr with our Senators despite their clear support of him. We are on the right side of history and will not sit back and allow this appointment to go unchallenged.

Script:

Hi. I’m a constituent urging Senator _______ to oppose the nomination of Thomas Farr to a lifetime appointment to the United States District Court. When literally hundreds of civil rights groups formally oppose him we ought take pause. Mr. Farr has a history of opposing workers, civil and voting rights. This appointment must be opposed in the interest of protecting the rights of the American people. Thank you.

Tillis:

DC: (202) 224-6342

Charlotte: 704-509-9087

Greenville: (252) 329-0371

Hendersonville: (828) 693-8750

High Point: (336) 885-0685

Raleigh: (919) 856-4630

Burr

DC: (202) 224-3154

Winston-Salem: (800) 685-8916

Rocky Mount: (252) 977-9522

Wilmington: (888) 848-1833, (336) 631-5125

Asheville: (828) 350-2437

House:

https://www.house.gov/representatives/