Around 2am on December 2nd, the Senate voted 51-49 to pass H.R. 1, the Republicans' sweeping, multi-trillion dollar tax bill. Bob Corker (R-TN) was the only GOP Senator to vote No, citing the bill's massive and consistently-reported $1.4 trillion deficit increase as a dealbreaker. In a major departure from procedural norms, Senate GOP leadership waited until only a few hours of floor debate remained to unveil the final text of the bill (479 pages, filled with illegible notes and changes written by lobbyists), preventing senators, nonpartisan analysts, and the American public from understanding the bill's widespread effects before the vote took place.
The House and Senate have each passed differing versions of H.R. 1, and on December 4th, the House voted to send H.R. 1, the Republican tax bill, to a Conference Committee with the Senate. This means an identical compromise bill will be agreed upon and sent back to each chamber for another full member floor vote, ... and a window for the bill to be derailed. The chambers may struggle to reconcile differences — ACA individual mandate repeal, child tax credit, estate tax, etc. — or other previously agreed upon caveats may fail in the interim. For example, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), voted for the Senate bill under the condition that two ACA-protecting bills pass first, but the House has offered no guarantees that they will pass either of them.
The passage of this bill in both chambers has illustrated that Republicans have prioritized lining the pocketbooks of the wealthy and corporations over providing much-needed relief for struggling middle-class families and workers.
Who To Call: Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, Representative Richmond or Scalise.
Senator Bill Cassidy: DC Office: 202-224-5824; Metairie office: 504-838-0130; Monroe: 318-324-2111; Lake Charles 337-493-5398; Alexandria: 318-448-7176
Senator John Kennedy: DC office: 202-224-4623; New Orleans: 504-581-6190; Lafayette: (337) 269-5980; Monroe: (318) 361-1489; Alexandria: (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge: (225) 926-8033; Shreveport: (318) 670-5192
Because of how Congressional districts are drawn, New Orleans residents have either Richmond or Scalise as their representative. If you don't know who your representative is, you can look it up by entering your home address on the U.S. House of Representatives website.
Representative Cedric Richmond - in DC at (202) 225-6636, and in New Orleans at (504) 288-3777
Representative Steve Scalise - in DC at (202) 225-3015, and in Metairie at (504) 837-1259
Hi, my name is [Your Name] and I’m an active voter from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from.].
I'm calling to express my strong disapproval of H.R. 1, the disastrous Republican tax bill, and to ask that the [senator/congressman] vote against it when it comes out of the conference committee.
— Tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations will create a massive deficit increase, which will then be paid for with devastating cuts to Medicare, Social Security, education, and other vital programs.
— This bill was written behind closed doors by lobbyists and the American people have been consistently lied to about what it will do to their pocketbooks and livelihoods.
— The repeal of the ACA individual mandate will completely upend the health insurance market, uninsuring millions, spiking premiums, and risking coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.
— This bill will hand over pristine Alaskan land to oil companies, destroying protected land and endangering wildlife.
— The elimination of the SALT deduction will cause millions of middle-income Americans to pay higher taxes.
— The [congressman/senator] needs to meet face-to-face with the people of Louisiana before voting for H.R. 1.
Thank you for your time and attention.
This call is adapted from 5calls.org.