Source: Common Dreams
Senate Republicans have once more indefinitely delayed a vote on Trumpcare, but resistance groups have not used this as an excuse to scale back their efforts to stop the legislation. In fact, progressive organizations and activists across the country are teaming up this week to further ramp up the pressure, hoping to capitalize on the bill’s deep unpopularity.
On Monday, dozens of protestors descended on the offices of several so-called “moderate” Republicans—including Rob Portman of Ohio and Dean Heller of Nevada—who have expressed doubts about Trumpcare to demand that they come out against the legislation.
“The bill is simply a handout to billionaires that will result in the unnecessary hardship, pain, and even death for tens of thousands of Americans,” said Alexandra Flores-Quilty, a spokesperson for #AllofUs, a progressive group that participated in the protests at the Capitol on Monday. “People all across the country are standing up for our fundamental rights. It’s time to defeat this bill and ensure that every American is guaranteed the right to health care.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can only afford to lose two votes if Trumpcare is to pass. After an updated version of the legislation was unveiled last week, two senators—Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky—announced that they would vote against the bill, leaving McConnell with little room to maneuver. Furthermore, several recent polls have confirmed that Trumpcare is widely disliked, placing extra political pressure on senators vulnerable to electoral challenges.
Resistance groups have not viewed these developments with complacency. Rather, they have emphasized the importance of keeping up the heat until the bill is dead and gone.
As Slate‘s Jim Newell has observed, it is not at all clear that a third Republican will come out against the bill, despite the fact that around eight to ten senators are reportedly expressing doubts about the legislation, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated would strip insurance from 22 million people.
“Instead of finding their exit ramp off the bill,” Newell noted, “they’re trying to find their way to yes.”
Our Revolution, National Nurses United, Indivisible, and many other organizations are organizing mass acts of civil disobedience in the coming days to ensure that the legislation is defeated.
Indivisible on Tuesday is set to carry out civil disobedience at congressional offices throughout the country “to say that Trumpcare would hurt our friends, our families, and our country—and we’ll remember this vote.” In total, the group has at least 120 #KilltheBill actions planned in 39 states.
But as Vox‘s Jeff Stein noted, Wednesday will likely be the largest day of demonstrations.
Led by National Nurses United, Center for Popular Democracy, and several other progressive groups, the day’s actions are expected to bring out over 500 people from across the nation and “at least 200 will risk arrest,” the groups said in a statement.
“People with disabilities and life-threatening chronic illnesses, cancer survivors, Medicaid recipients, Affordable Care Act (ACA) policyholders, registered nurses, doctors, and others directly impacted by the Senate healthcare bill will be traveling from all states represented by Republican senators to descend upon Capitol Hill,” the groups said in a statement.
The message of the protestors will be simple: “Kill the bill—don’t kill us!”