Who To Call To Make Your Voice Heard on Trumpcare

June 9th 2017

Kyle Jaeger

With all eyes fixed on former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday, news about efforts to fast-track the GOP health care bill was largely buried. But whether you support or oppose the bill, there's still time to make your voice heard on Capitol Hill.


In fact, as MoveOn's Washington director Ben Wikler explained in a tweet thread on Thursday, calling to your representative "can go even further" if you also contact their health legislative assistant—a designated staffer who works on health care legislation. Wikler included a partial list of phone numbers for health legislative assistants here:

"These staffers are human beings," Wikler wrote. "They work on health care because they care about health. Even if their bosses don't. Tell your story."

The call-to-action comes as Senate Republicans move to expedite their version of the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) invoked "rule 14," which lets the chamber schedule a vote on a bill without first putting it through a committee review. Part of the reason for the urgency has to do with an upcoming deadline: If Senate Republicans don't vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by September 30, then they can't use a process called "reconciliation."

Reconciliation was "designed to allow for expedited consideration of certain tax, spending, and debt limit legislation," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). By folding the Senate's version of the AHCA into the federal budget through reconciliation, lawmakers can avoid a Democratic filibuster and pass the bill with a simple majority of 51 votes, as opposed to 60.

"The Senate’s job is harder because unlike the House, the Senate cannot vote on a bill until the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scores it," ThinkProgess reported. "The CBO will need time to score the bill, so fast-tracking this Senate health bill makes the most sense for Senate Republicans."


Opponents of the GOP health care bill have raised concerns about a lack of transparency around this legislative process. The Senate's version is currently being drafted behind closed doors by a select group of lawmakers and hasn't been made available to the public or the full Senate.

"We have no idea what is being proposed," Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price during a hearing on Thursday. "There's a group of guys in a backroom somewhere making these decisions. There were no hearings in the House."

"And listen, this is hard to take because I know [Democrats] made mistakes on the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Secretary, and one of the criticisms we got over and over again was that the vote was partisan," she said. "Well, you couldn't have a more partisan process than what you're engaged in right now."