Action Alerts

Sen. Reed: Renounce Your Support of Cluster Bombs

On June 16, the House of Representatives narrowly failed to approve an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Conyers [D-MI] that would have blocked the transfer of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, which has used U.S. cluster bombs in civilian areas in Yemen, in defiance of U.S. law.

Textron, based in Providence, Rhode Island, is the last North American producer of cluster bombs, and has the contract to supply cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. Some opponents of the amendment cited this as a reason for their opposition - banning the transfer of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia might hurt the profits of a U.S. company. Rhode Island's Representatives in the House, David Cicilline and Jim Langevin, rejected this argument - they did the right thing and voted yes on the Conyers amendment.

But Rhode Island Democratic Senator Jack Reed is leading the charge to keep the flow of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia going. Textron has been one of Reed's top campaign contributors.

Urge Jack Reed to do the right thing and renounce his support of cluster bombs by signing our petition at MoveOn.

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.

Larry Korb for Secretary of Defense, to Prevent Unnecessary Wars

Now that Hillary Clinton is the "presumptive Democratic nominee," some inside-the-Beltway supporters of Clinton who want more war are being more open about their pro-war agenda. Michele Floury, the former Defense Department official whom Defense One calls "the woman expected to run the Pentagon under Hillary Clinton," this week advocated for "sending more American troops into combat against ISIS and the Assad regime than the Obama administration has been willing to commit." Floury said she would "direct U.S. troops to push President Bashar al-Assad's forces out of southern Syria and would send more American boots to fight the Islamic State in the region."

It's not a done deal that Flournoy will be Secretary of Defense; at the very least, we should have a public debate over whether a Secretary of Defense who advocates for more war is the kind of Secretary of Defense that we want to have. As the Democratic primaries and caucuses have just shown, in order to have a real debate, we need to have an alternative candidate.

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.

Thank your Rep. for voting no on sending cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia

164 Democrats and 40 Republicans voted yes on Rep. Conyers' amendment barring the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. The amendment was defeated 204-216. A switch of merely seven votes would have passed the amendment. We want those Reps. to know they have constituents who appreciate their vote and urge them to go further by co-sponsoring, if they haven't already, the Lieu-Yoho bill (HJR 90) to increase oversight over arms transfers to Saudi Arabia.

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

"I thank Rep. ______ for voting to stop sending cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. I urge Rep ______ to co-sponsor the bipartisan Lieu-Yoho bill, HJR 90, to increase oversight over weapons transfers to Saudi Arabia."

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

And if you haven't yet signed our petition to Congress in support of the Lieu-Yoho/Murphy-Paul bill, you can do that here.

Ask yr Rep: Why'd you vote for sending cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia?

16 House Democrats voted no on Rep. Conyers' amendment barring the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. 164 Democrats voted yes, along with 40 Republicans. The amendment was defeated 204-216. A switch of seven votes would have passed the amendment.

If your Representative is one of the 16, call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I'm very disappointed by Rep. _______'s vote to continue sending cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. I would like to know the justification for this vote. I would like a written response."

Leave your contact information so they can send a written response. If you receive a written response, please forward it to info@justforeignpolicy.org.

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

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.

Senator Baldwin: Explain Your Vote for Pentagon Bloat

On Thursday, June 9, the Senate rejected an amendment by John McCain to increase the Pentagon budget by $18 billion. The vote was 56-42 in favor; 60 votes were needed to pass. McCain's amendment tried to violate a bipartisan budget accord that increases in Pentagon spending must be matched by increases in domestic spending. 31 Democrats and 11 Republicans voted no on McCain's amendment; 44 Republicans and 12 Democrats and voted yes on McCain's amendment. McCain's amendment was opposed by groups who disagree with diverting our tax dollars from human needs to the bloated Pentagon budget, including Just Foreign Policy. So: a VICTORY! Hooray!

But Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, who is widely seen as a "progressive Democrat," was one of the 12 Democrats who supported McCain's amendment to pad the Pentagon budget by $18 billion.

Urge Senator Baldwin to defend and explain her vote for McCain's amendment by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Tuition-Free Public College vs. McCain $18B #NDAA Pentagon Bloat

It's bad enough that more than half of our federal tax dollars go to the feed the bloated Pentagon and its fat cat contractors, while we're told there's not enough money for public education. But now Senator John McCain wants to pad the Pentagon budget with $18 billion more in an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA].

Urge your Senators to oppose the McCain amendment by signing our petition at MoveOn.

How much money is $18 billion? Bernie Sanders' plan for tuition-free public college would cost $70 billion a year. So-called "conservatives" howled: you'll bust the budget! We don't have the money! But McCain's bid to pad the Pentagon budget by $18 billion is barely being noticed by the national media. You flush $18 billion down the toilet four times, you just threw away the money for tuition-free public college.

Urge Senators to oppose the McCain amendment to waste $18 billion more of our tax dollars on the Pentagon by signing and sharing our petition.