WEDNESDAY 4/5/2017

FEDERAL
Egypt and Human Rights
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with President Trump Monday at the White House, and distinctly lacking from the conversation was any mention of the rampant human rights abuses that have plagued Egypt since Sisi took power in 2013. Tens of thousands have been jailed, media outlets have been closed, and many have been tortured and brutalized in captivity. Sisi professes his outright admiration for Trump, who in turn says that the Egyptian leader is doing a “fantastic” job. Given that Egypt relies on billions of dollars in economic and military aid to shore up its flagging defenses and economy, should we not demand immediate reforms in human rights before we give it more money? Of course, Trump is the man who famously vowed to revive waterboarding and other forms of torture “because it works.” If he means that “it works” at crushing dissent, he is sadly correct. As we have seen in the case of Vladimir Putin, Trump has no problem cozying up to dictators, but in this case we have a choice.

A bipartisan group of Senators, led by Ben Cardin of Maryland, but also including Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Tim Kaine (D-Va); Todd Young (R-Ind.); and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), are introducing legislation that would hold Egypt accountable. The bill details human rights abuses, and states that “any proposed restructuring of U.S. assistance to Egypt, which is subject to the approval of Congress, will take into account progress on meaningful political reform, human rights, and fundamental freedoms.” In other words, future aid will be contingent upon significant reform. Donald Trump may not care about the human rights of non-Americans, but we as citizens should, because it is moral, but it is also smart. Today’s prisoner languishing in an Egyptian jail with the tacit approval of the United States is tomorrow’s potential terrorist.

SCRIPT:
I am a constituent calling from __________ zip code to urge Senator _______ to support a bipartisan resolution that would make U.S aid to Egypt contingent upon that country drastically improving its record on human rights. Thank you for recording my call.

Tillis DC: (202) 224-6342
High Point: (336) 885-0685

Burr DC: (202) 224-3154
Winston-Salem: (336) 631-5125

________________________________
STATE:

NC Senate Tax Bill:
The GOP in the North Carolina Senate is proposing what they call a “Billion Dollar Middle Class Tax Cut.” Sounds great, right? Of course, in actual practice, this is just a huge tax break for millionaires with no real benefits for the middle-class and poor workers who really need the help. It would also gut our state budget at a time when we need more funding for pressing issues like schools, highways, and Hurricane Matthew recovery. According to Progressive Pulse, a millionaire in North Carolina will have received an average annual tax cut of $20,000, while only a third of taxpayers who earn less than $20,000 would get anything. More crucially, these income tax policies do not address the reality that many low-income taxpayers contribute through sales tax and do not have sufficient income to benefit from increasing the standard deduction or a Child Tax Credit that is not refundable.

Script:
Hello, I am a constituent from ___________ and I am calling to urge Sen. ______________ to oppose the so-called “Billion Dollar Middle Class Tax Cut” bill. This bill is a thinly disguised attempt to give tax breaks to the wealthiest taxpayers, while doing nothing to relieve the tax burden on North Carolina residents earning less than $20,000 a year. It will also contribute to underfunding needed public services such as health care, education, and Hurricane Matthew recovery. Please tell Sen. ____________ to vote against “The Billion Dollar Middle Class Tax Cut.”

NC Senate:
http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gas…/members/memberListNoPic.pl…

HB 562: A Bathroom Bill
It is hard to believe, but here we are. Just days after the hurried, undebated HB2 “compromise” was passed, a group of Republicans in the NC House just dropped a hateful piece of bigotry. This bill increases the penalty for trespassing, and specifically mentions “multi-occupancy bathroom, shower, or changing facility” by name. We must remember that there were critics of the compromise on the right, representatives who thought, despite near-universal condemnation of our state for its retrograde laws, that we ought to write discrimination into the books. Scapegoating transgendered people was not acceptable then, and it is not now.

SCRIPT:
I am a North Carolina constituent calling to protest the filing of HB 562. The state has never needed a bill regarding bathrooms, and it does not need one now. The continuation of lies and stereotypes about transgendered people as molesters and pedophiles is factually incorrect and morally reprehensible. Thank you for recording my call.

Call & email the sponsors of this bill:
Brendan Jones: 919-733-5821 Brenden.Jones@ncleg.net
Gregory Murphy: 919-733-5757 Gregory.Murphy@ncleg.net
Holly Grange: 919-733-5830 Holly.Grange@ncleg.net
Chris Malone: 919-715-3010 Chris.Malone@ncleg.net