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Can Congress End the Cuba Embargo? Many Republicans Want the Embargo to Fall

 A left-right coalition, supported by the president and public opinion, could successfully push Congress to end the Cuba embargo.

Can Republicans nostalgic for the Cold War block President Obama from taking executive actions to improve US diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba? Could a Republican-led Congress vote to end the US embargo? Some Republican leaders were quick to denounce President Obama's announcement that the United States was restoring ties with Cuba. But how many divisions do these Cold War dead-enders control?

On whether Republicans can follow through on threats to block the president, Associated Press is skeptical:

Call your Senator TODAY against US ground troops in Iraq & Syria

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) is expected to vote soon on an authorization for the use of military force against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. It is virtually certain that some authorization of force will pass. But the committee will consider limits on the authorization of force, and meaningful limitations could pass.

If you have a Senator on the committee, you are in a unique position to influence the vote.


Sen. Tim Kaine has a proposal that would prohibit the use of ground troops except for rescue missions and "limited operations against high-value targets" – that is, against terrorist leaders who directly threaten the United States. It would expire in one year unless renewed by Congress. It would also require the White House to give legislators a list of groups that might be covered by the authorization because they are associated with the Islamic State.

Call your Senator at (202) 224-3121. You can say something like,

I urge Senator X to support Sen. Kaine’s proposals to limit the authorization of the use of force against ISIS, including by prohibiting the use of U.S. ground forces in combat in Iraq and Syria except for rescue missions and against groups that directly threaten the U.S.

When you’ve made your call, please report it below.

This Week, Senate Democrats Can Limit the ISIS War

At long last, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote this week on an authorization for the use of force for the war against ISIS that started in early August. There is little doubt that a majority of the committee supports the use of force against ISIS. What will be revealed this week is what limits the committee will support in authorizing the use of force.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has proposed to prohibit the use of U.S. ground troops in combat except for rescue missions and "limited operations against high-value targets" -- that is, against terrorist leaders who directly threaten the United States. Kaine's proposed authorization would expire in one year unless renewed by Congress and would require the White House to give legislators a list of groups that might be covered by the authorization because they are associated with the Islamic State.

Warren and Sanders: Missing Voices for Iran Diplomacy?

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are increasingly seen as leaders of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, largely as a result of being the most talked-about alternatives among progressives to Hillary Clinton as the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

Progressives who are most enthusiastic about Warren and Sanders tend to be those most engaged on the issues of challenging Wall Street and corporate power and making the economy work for the majority of working families. It's obvious why those issues are at the top of the marquee as people fight about 2016.

But if you're going to be an alternative to Hillary, you have to be an alternative to Hillary all the way around, not just on corporate power and the economy. That doesn't mean, of course, that you have to have the most progressive position on any issue that anyone can imagine -- that's obviously not how it goes. But if most Democrats have a progressive position on an issue, you should not be far away from majority Democratic opinion.

Tell your Senators: Don't Kill the Iran Talks!

It’s been little over a week since the US and its European partners agreed to extend talks with Iran and anti-diplomacy forces are already pushing Congress to pass new sanctions, which would violate the interim deal and kill the talks.

Your Senators are being pressured to support efforts to kill the Iran talks and need to hear from you!

Call your Senators NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say

I support diplomacy with Iran. Passing new sanctions now would violate the interim deal and kill the talks. [NAME] should oppose such measures. [NAME] should speak up in support of letting diplomacy work.

When you’re done, report your call using our easy response form below.

For those calling Sen-elect Gary Peters: If you can't get through to his House line or if his voicemail is full, call his Detroit office at (313) 964-9960.

Torture Report: Mark Udall's World-Historical Moment to Rescue CIA Oversight

 "Time Is Running Out on the CIA Torture Report," the National Journal reports:

Urge your Senator TODAY: No War $$ Without AUMF!

If Chris Murphy, Tim Kaine, or Rand Paul is one of your Senators, you have a great opportunity to help block funding for US military action in Iraq and Syria until Congress has considered an AUMF.

Your Senator is one of a handful of Senators who have been protesting the fact that Congress has not yet debated and voted on an authorization of force for the new war in Iraq and Syria.

But your Senator hasn’t yet spoken out about the Pentagon’s request for $5 billion more in new money for the war. If Congress approves the money without debating and voting on an AUMF, it would be endorsing the claim that a debate and vote is not necessary.

Since your Senator has already gone public with his support for a debate and vote on an AUMF, we think it’s likely that he would also speak out against the funding request if given a little push.

Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. Say:

I’m calling to thank Senator X for speaking out about the fact that Congress has not yet voted on an AUMF, and to urge Senator X to publicly oppose any new funding for the war until Congress has debated and voted on an AUMF.

When you’ve made your call, please report it using our easy response form below.

Call Congress TODAY: Stop Another Endless War

The US military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria is entering its fourth month. Congress has been reluctant to act on their obligation to debate and vote on the new war—but that’s about to change.

Last week, President Obama announced that he would seek a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in Iraq and Syria. But the AUMF the Administration is proposing may go even further than targeting ISIS to embroil us in another endless and borderless war.

Congress will begin considering a new AUMF very soon, with hearings in the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee expected this week. That means we need to speak up NOW in order to influence the debate.

Call your reps in Congress NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say:

I urge you to support the principles of H. Con. Res 114 which calls for Congress to oppose the use of ground troops and says any AUMF on Iraq and Syria should be narrow and limited. [1]

In particular, any AUMF should:

  • prohibit ground troops, as the President has said;
  • be narrowly focused on ISIS and Al Qaeda, as the President has said.
  • have a time limit or sunset provision so that it has to be renewed in the future for war to continue rather than lasting indefinitely by default; and
  • include a provision for regular public reporting on civilian deaths and injuries from U.S. airstrikes, so that the public, Members of Congress, and journalists can better understand reports in the media about civilian casualties.

When you're done, please report your call below.

Concerned About ISIS, But Also About Endless War? Back Limits on the Use of Force

In response to the U.S. bombing of Islamic State ["ISIS"] fighters in Iraq and Syria, which Congress has never explicitly approved, Members of Congress long concerned about presidents and Congresses skirting the Constitutional role of Congress in deciding when the U.S. will use military force have introduced H. Con. Res. 114, "Urging Congress to debate and vote on a statutory authorization for any sustained United States combat role in Iraq or Syria."

Call Congress TODAY: Not Another Endless War

While Members of Congress are preoccupied with the upcoming midterm election, it’s our job to remind them of the obligations they face when they return to Washington in November—namely, to debate and vote on the Obama administration’s war in Iraq and Syria.

It is not too late to rein in the war and ensure it doesn’t become another endless quagmire.

Just before the recess, Rep. Raul Grijalva introduced a resolution on behalf of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, H. Con. Res. 114, which states that Congress

  1. should debate and vote on a statutory authorization for any sustained U.S. combat role in Iraq or Syria,
  2. does not support the deployment of ground combat troops in Iraq or Syria,
  3. should ensure that any such statutory authorization is limited, and
  4. should ensure that any statutory authorization includes robust reporting requirements.

Call your Rep TODAY at (202) 224-3121 and say

Congress has an obligation to debate and vote on the war in Iraq and Syria when it returns to Washington in November. Rep. ______ should co-sponsor H. Con. Res. 114, which states that Congress should debate and vote on an authorization for the US use of military force in Iraq and Syria which is limited and prohibits the use of US ground troops.

When you’re done, report your call using our easy response form: