House of Representatives

WaPo: Foreign policy elite hates Obama for blocking new Syria war

The Washington Post reports that Washington's bipartisan foreign policy elite is united in their passion for a new war in Syria, and is looking forward eagerly to Obama's departure from office, because they see the Obama Administration as the key obstacle to their plans for a new war in Syria.

Reality-based comments like this from Obama Administration officials drive the bipartisan foreign policy elite up the wall:

“You can’t pretend you can go to war against Assad and not go to war against the Russians,” said a senior administration official who is involved in Middle East policy and was granted anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.

New York Representative Eliot Engel, who voted for the Iraq war and opposed the Iran nuclear deal is trying to promote a new war in Syria and undermine U.S. diplomacy with a bill that calls for the U.S. to impose a "no fly zone" against Russian and Syrian planes. Engel's bill also attacks the Iran nuclear deal by re-imposing sanctions on Iran that were lifted in the deal.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to oppose Engel's bill HR 5732. This bill promotes a new war in Syria, undermines U.S. diplomacy, and undermines the Iran nuclear deal."

TODAY: Call Your Rep. Against the TPP!

The fate of the corporate-rigged Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being decided right now. Dozens of organizations are working together to make TODAY a nationwide TPP Call-In Day to press our Representatives to publicly announce their opposition to the TPP before the election.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to make a public statement in opposition to the TPP now, before the election."

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

TPP backers are working now to generate enough congressional support to pass the deal in a lame-duck session of Congress, after the election. We can foil their plan if we force members of Congress to take a public position against the agreement now, before Election Day.

The TPP would grant corporations new rights to sue the U.S. and other governments before a panel of corporate lawyers that can award unlimited sums, including for loss of future expected profits, to be paid by taxpayers when corporations claim government policies violate the new entitlements the TPP would promise them. In practice, the U.S. is likely to change its policies rather than pay TPP claims, and for poorer countries, it's not even a realistic choice. Even the threat of a TPP lawsuit is likely to deter a poorer country from exercising its rights.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121 to urge them to issue a public statement opposing the TPP.

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

Ask your Rep. to Stand up to Saudi Arabia, Oppose New Arms Deal

On June 16, 204 Members of the House voted to bar the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. Now we need them and others to stand up to Saudi Arabia on the new proposed arms deal.

Call your Rep. now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to oppose the new Saudi arms deal. Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen is a humanitarian catastrophe and the U.S. should get out of it."

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

If you haven't yet signed our petition to Congress against the Saudi arms deal, you can do that here.

Tell Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Stand With Democrats Against TPP!

Roll Call reports: "Because of the strength of [Sanders'] campaign, his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership has now become accepted Democratic policy, even as President Barack Obama continues to support it."

Call Debbie Wasserman Schultz now at 202-225-7931. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like,

"I urge Debbie Wasserman Schultz to stand with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and other Democrats in publicly opposing the TPP and opposing any lame duck vote on the TPP after the election."

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

Politico reported:

In his prime-time moment on Monday night … Sanders went one by one through the platform’s central provisions, including its “strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the TPP.”

The crowd cheered, and some began chanting “No TPP! No TPP!” Sanders tried to move on, but the chanters kept at it; many waved anti-TPP signs.

Sanders started again, then stopped; then pointed at the crowd, laughed, gave a thumbs up — and finally made his second TPP point: “We’ve got to make sure that TPP does not get to the floor of the Congress during the lame duck session.” (More cheering.)

Politico also reported:

Call your Rep.: End "security aid" to Honduras!

Today, July 14, there is a National Call-in Day in support of the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act (HR 5474). The bill would cut off U.S. funding and training of the Honduran "security" forces, as called for by the AFL-CIO and many human rights groups.

See if your Rep. is a co-sponsor of the bill.

If your Rep. is not, please call them now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"So-called U.S. security aid to Honduras is hurting Hondurans, not helping them. I urge you to co-sponsor HR 5474 to cut off U.S. funding and training of Honduran security forces."

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

If you haven't yet signed our petition in support of the bill, you can do that here.

Rep. Cummings: Affirm U.S. Opposition to Settlement Expansion

Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, chair of the Democratic Platform Committee, says an agreement on the platform language between the Clinton and Sanders forces could happen within days. One of the issues that has been in dispute is what the Democratic Platform will say about Palestinian rights and the occupation of the West Bank, especially about settlement expansion in the West Bank.

Urge Rep. Cummings to affirm opposition to settlement expansion in the West Bank by signing our petition at MoveOn

The other three House Democrats on the Platform Committee - Keith Ellison, Barbara Lee, and Luis Gutierrez - all signed Rep. Betty McCollum's letter asking that the U.S. speak up for the rights of Palestinian kids in military detention. The other three House Democrats on the Platform Committee have also all co-sponsored HR 686, which calls for affirming U.S. opposition to settlement expansion in the West Bank. But Rep. Cummings didn't sign Rep. McCollum's letter, and so far he hasn't agreed to co-sponsor HR 686. That's reason for concern about where he stands on opposing settlement expansion.

Urge Rep. Cummings to affirm U.S. opposition to settlement expansion by signing and sharing our petition.

Thank your Rep. for Speaking Up for Palestinian Children

20 members of Congress signed the Congressional letter to President Obama urging his administration to take steps to "address serious human rights abuses against Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation." The letter, organized by Rep. Betty McCollum, calls for a Special Envoy for Palestinian Youth to work with human rights organizations, the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority to ensure that the rights of children are protected.

According to a report from Defense of Children International-Palestine, three-quarters of detained Palestinian children suffer physical violence. As the lawmakers note, an ever-present fear of arrest, detention, and violence for Palestinian children both violates their human rights and serves to fuel the conflict.

If your Representative signed, please call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, mention that you are a constituent and thank them for using their power to uplift the human rights of the most vulnerable. You can say something like:

"Thank you for speaking up for the rights of Palestinian children by signing the Betty McCollum letter urging the President to engage diplomatically to address the abuses of Palestinian youth in Israeli detention."

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

And please share this video highlighting the human rights abuses Palestinian children face by the Israeli military occupation using the hashtags #700ChildPrisoners and #NoWayToTreatAChild.

Cosponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act

In response to the assassination of Honduran indigenous environmental leader Berta Caceres on March 2, Reps. Hank Johnson, John Conyers, Marcy Kaptur, Keith Ellison, Jose Serrano, and Jan Schakowsky have introduced legislation that would suspend U.S. funding to the government of Honduras for police and military operations until the Honduran government investigates credible reports indicating the police and military are violating human rights.

Urge Reps. to cosponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act by signing our petition at MoveOn.

The U.S. is sending the Honduran government $18 million in 2016 for "security assistance." The State Department, the New York Times, and human rights groups have reported credible allegations that the Honduran police and military have committed gross human rights abuses – including torture, rape, illegal detention, and murder – with impunity.

HR 5474 requires investigations into killings of human rights activists and demands the Honduran government protect the rights of trade unionists; journalists; human rights; defenders; Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous, small farmers and LGBTI activists; critics of the government and other civil society activists so they may operate without interference from the police or military.

Urge your Representative in the House to co-sponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act by signing and sharing our petition.

House to Vote on Saudi Cluster Bomb Ban - Call Your Rep. Now!

On Tuesday the House Rules Committee agreed that the Conyers amendment permanently banning the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia will be voted on by the full House.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to vote yes on the Conyers amendment to ban the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia."

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

Don't assume your Representative is a lost cause on this. There's a new bipartisan skepticism towards Saudi Arabia in Congress. We've never had a vote like this before, and we don't know how it will go.

Please call your Representative now and urge them to support the Conyers amendment to ban the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.

And if you haven't signed our petition urging Congress to ban the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, you can do that here.

Speak up for Palestinian kids in military detention

The Friends Committee on National Legislation, Jewish Voice for Peace, the American Friends Service Committee, Defense of Children International, Churches for Middle East Peace and other groups - including Just Foreign Policy - are urging Members of Congress to sign Rep. Betty McCollum's letter calling on President Obama to act to protect Palestinian children in Israeli military detention.

Your Rep. has spoken up in the past for peace, diplomacy, and human rights. Please help us today by calling your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. Ask to speak to the legislative aide who handles foreign policy. When you speak to a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge Rep. _______ to sign the McCollum letter asking President Obama to appoint an envoy for the protection of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention."

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

If you haven't signed our petition to the House in support of the letter yet, you can do that here.

Human Rights Watch has reported that Israeli security forces are abusing Palestinian children detained in the West Bank. "Israeli security forces are using unnecessary force in arresting and detaining children, in some cases beating them, and holding them in unsafe and abusive conditions," HRW said.