House of Representatives

Stand with Rep. Ellison, Probe Assassination of Berta Cáceres

Please call (202) 224-3121 now and ask your Representative to sign the Ellison-Johnson-Kaptur letter urging Secretary of State Kerry to support an independent international investigation into the assassination of Berta Cáceres.

When you reach a staffer (or leave a message on a machine) you can say something like:

"I urge Rep. _______ to sign the Ellison-Johnson-Kaptur letter asking Secretary of State Kerry to support an independent international investigation into the assassination of Berta Cáceres."

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

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) are circulating a sign-on "Dear Colleague" letter in the U.S. House of Representatives to Secretary of State Kerry urging him to support an independent international investigation into the murder of Berta Cáceres. The letter also calls him to support protection for other Hondurans receiving threats, review U.S. support for loans to Honduras, and stop all aid to Honduran security forces. Like Senator Leahy, the letter urges that the Honduran government stop the Agua Zarca dam - the cause for which Berta gave her life.

Please call (202) 224-3121 now and ask your Representative to sign the Ellison-Johnson-Kaptur letter urging Secretary of State Kerry to support an independent international investigation into the assassination of Berta Cáceres.

Call-in: Tell your Rep. to oppose anti-refugee riders to Omnibus bill.

The U.S. has a moral obligation, as well as an obligation under international law, to welcome refugees fleeing war and persecution.

Despite this obligation, reports suggest Republicans may attach provisions blocking refugee resettlement to the “must-pass” year-end spending legislation (a.k.a. Omnibus) in order to try to force President Obama to sign them into law. [1]

Rep. Jared Polis is circulating a letter among his colleagues urging Speaker Paul Ryan to reject amendments to the Omnibus bill that would block refugee resettlement. The letter also states that funds for refugee vetting and resettlement should be increased so as to “ensure a thorough and expeditious process.”

Several Democrats who earlier voted for a bill to block refugee resettlement have already signed Rep. Polis' letter. Your representative is a Democrat that has not signed the letter, but voted for the earlier bill. Call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121. You can say something like,

“We have a moral obligation to aid the Syrian and Iraqi refugees. I urge you to sign Rep. Jared Polis' letter calling for rejection of riders to the Omnibus spending bill that would block refugee resettlement.”

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

Tell Congress: We can’t fight terrorism with xenophobia

Some have used the attacks in Paris Friday to whip up a xenophobic hysteria against Syrian refugees. Members of Congress say their phones are ringing with demands to keep Syrian refugees out, but not with voices insisting that America is a place of refuge from persecution. We need to speak up. Welcoming refugees is our moral obligation. It’s also our obligation under international law.

Help us turn the tide. Call your Representative at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

“We can’t fight terrorism with xenophobia. I urge you to reject efforts to block Syrian refugees from resettling in the United States.”

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

Call-in: Tell your Rep. to co-sponsor H.R.508 in support of diplomacy to end Syrian War

"We die in the war or we die at sea - people are dying either way."

That's one Syrian refugee's bleak analysis of the crisis that has forced over 4 million people to flee from their homes, families, and livelihoods. The ultimate answer to the Syrian refugee crisis is to end the war through diplomacy among the powers backing various sides in the war, so more people won't be driven from their homes and so that those already displaced can go home.

The first round of diplomatic talks at Vienna concluded with a firm commitment from all parties to end the war. Another round begins next week. But there's no guarantee these talks will succeed because real diplomacy requires compromise. And the Obama administration will be less likely to compromise if it does not have the public support of Congress and the American public.

Rep. Jim Himes, who led 54 other members of Congress in sending a letter in support of using diplomacy to end the war, has now introduced a resolution “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the President of the United States should use the full authority of his office to convene international negotiations intended to stop the civil war in Syria.”

Tell your Representative to co-sponsor Rep. Himes' resolution in support of diplomacy to end the Syrian war. Call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say,

“The solution to the Syrian refugee crisis is realistic diplomacy to end the Syrian war. I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 508 calling on President Obama to use his full authority to end the Syrian war through international diplomatic negotiations.”

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

And if you haven't signed our petition urging members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 508, you can do that here:

Call-in: Your Rep. should sign Dingell-Ellison and support diplomacy in Yemen

The US-backed Saudi bombing of Yemen has killed thousands of civilians – including Americans trapped in Yemen – while Congress has been mostly silent. Now, at long last, we have an opportunity to something about it: Reps. Debbie Dingell & Keith Ellison are circulating a letter [1] to President Obama pressing for the US to take responsibility for protecting civilians from US airstrikes and urging greater diplomatic efforts to end the war, including engagement with Iran.

Please call your Representative today at (202) 224-3121, urging them to join efforts to protect civilians in Yemen and push for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. When you reach a staffer you can say something like:

“Please sign the Dingell-Ellison letter urging protection of civilians in Yemen from US-assisted airstrikes and engagement with Iran to end the war.”

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

According to Amnesty International, more than 2,100 civilians, including at least 400 children, have been killed in the war, with the “vast majority” of civilian deaths and injuries attributed to attacks by the Saudi-led coalition. [2] More than 1.4 million people have been displaced; 12.9 million are considered food insecure; more than 1.2 million children are suffering from serious malnutrition. Your representative can only sign on until Friday, so please call today. When you’ve made your call, please report it below.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called for an “end to bombings” in Yemen and has said there is no military solution to this conflict. Diplomatic action, including sustained engagement with Iran, is the only way to end the hostilities, reverse the humanitarian crisis on the ground, and protect more innocent lives from reckless airstrikes.

Tell Schumer and Your Representative: They're Wrong on the Iran Deal

Today, thousands of activists across the country are participating in over 200 events outside the offices of their Senators and Representatives to show their support of the Iran deal.

We are so close to ensuring that Congress can't kill the deal. With Sens. Harry Reid, Debbie Stabenow, and Patty Murray announced their intention to vote in favor of the deal in the last few days, we only need five more Senators to throw their support toward the deal in order to uphold a presidential veto on a resolution of disapproval.

We are also building momentum in the House, where recent announcements by Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Alan Lowenthal, and John Lewis are paving the way for other supporters to come out into the public.

Your Senator, Chuck Schumer, and your Representative are opposed to the Iran Deal. They are wrong on this issue and they should know that their constituents think so — which means they need to hear from you NOW!

Call Senator Schumer NOW at (202) 224-3121, then call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say

"Sen. Chuck Schumer/Rep. ______ are wrong to oppose the Iran deal. It is our best chance to avoid another war in the Middle East."

When you're done, report your call below.

Call-in: Tell Your Rep. to Say Yes to the Iran Deal!

On Tuesday, the Arms Control Association released a statement signed by 75 non-proliferation and arms control experts stating that the Iran deal “will reduce the risk of a destabilizing nuclear competition in a troubled region… and head off a catastrophic military conflict over Iran’s nuclear program.”

If experts agree that the deal peacefully stops Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and prevents another U.S. war, why hasn’t your Representative publicly committed to voting in favor of the Iran deal yet?

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

“I urge Rep. ______ to support the Iran deal because it is the best way to avoid the U.S. starting another war.”

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

Call-in: Tell Your Rep. to Stand with President Obama on the Iran Deal

Did you listen to President Obama’s speech yesterday?

The President put it bluntly: the arguments against the Iran Deal do not stand up to scrutiny. But, as President Obama astutely observed, “if you repeat these arguments long enough, they can get some traction.”

That's why President Obama concluded his speech by asking Americans to contact their representatives in Congress. For the Iran deal to succeed, Members of Congress need to hear that their constituents recognize that this deal is the best option for a safer world and a more peaceful future.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121 and say,

“I urge Rep. ______ to support the Iran deal because it is the best option to peacefully shut down the possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapon and because it will keep us from engaging in another war of choice.”

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

Kucinich Calls the Question on Libya War Powers

Last week, voting on amendments on the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the House of Representatives began taking action to limit U.S. military involvement in Libya's civil war.

Now the House leadership has agreed to a vote on House Concurrent Resolution 51, introduced by Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich, which would direct the President, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, to remove U.S. armed forces from the Libya war. The vote could come as early as Wednesday afternoon.

The U.S. military intervention in Libya was never authorized by Congress, and thus violates U.S. law and the U.S. Constitution.

Some have argued that other Presidents have violated the War Powers Resolution, therefore it is no big deal. This is a breathtaking argument on its face: "everyone breaks the law." But moreover, as the New York Times noted on May 25:

 

many presidents, citing their power as commander in chief, have bypassed a section that says they need prior Congressional authorization to deploy forces into hostilities, except if the country is under attack. But there is far less precedent of presidents' challenging another section that says they must terminate any still-unauthorized operations after 60 days. In 1980, the Justice Department concluded that the deadline was constitutional. [my emphasis]

On May 20, the New York Times reported, referring to the 1980 Justice Department memorandum,