Because you’re on our email list, we know you don’t get all your news from Fox News or the GOP’s Twitter account.
But if you did, you’d probably have the impression that House Republicans spent their first week passing a series of reasonable, straightforward rules and sensible bills. The Fox News spin machine, cranking out MAGA propaganda, might show you headlines like:
- House Republicans committed to adopt a measure balancing the budget in 10 years through long-term reforms.
- House Republicans formed a panel to look into the origins and handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
- House Republicans imposed term limits for board members on the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).
But that’s all spin. Here’s what’s really happening:
Republicans say ‘balancing the budget’ because what they actually mean — slashing Social Security and Medicare — is wildly unpopular with everyone but their ultra-wealthy funders. Their coronavirus panel? It’s an anti-scientific endeavor meant to discourage future public safety measures like mask mandates and stay-at-home orders while attacking scientists, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who helped guide us through this pandemic. And those term limits on the Office of Congressional Efforts? They’re merely a plot to kick Democrats off the board — and because Republicans also passed a rule making it harder to replace OCE staff, the moves ultimately hollow out the office that would lead investigations into people like George Santos… or the role of congresspeople on January 6th.
And don’t get us started on the utter nonsense they’re using to sell the two anti-abortion bills they passed this week.
This sort of messaging sleight-of-hand is exactly what we’re going to find ourselves up against in this new House session. Republicans are going to attempt to use every opportunity to sow dissension by pushing legislation that sounds reasonable on its face but actually seeks to undermine the rights and freedoms of Americans and cement their hold on power.
To combat that, we created a MAGA Messaging Decoder Resource.
This resource is meant to cut through the lies that MAGA Republicans will use to attempt to skew the conversation to their values. Democrats try to legislate while in charge, passing bills that improve life for Americans like the Inflation Reduction Act. Republicans are waging a political campaign meant to broaden their power while ignoring the needs of the American people.
Now that we’ve covered what Republicans are up to, it’s time to talk about how we fight back.
The First House Recess Is a Time for Action
This weekend begins the first House recess of the new session. During this recess, we are going to remind our representatives that they are still accountable to the American people and that we are watching them. We have three levels of engagement for Republican and Democratic representatives each to ensure you have multiple ways to participate with the in-person actions being the most impactful.
If you have a Republican House representative:
- Birddog your Republican representative (PDF). We want to be visible in holding our elected officials accountable. Republican officials are abdicating their duty to legislate on behalf of the American people in order to score political talking points and attempt to consolidate power. Find a public event your representative will be attending (hint: There are lots of office openings and events this week). Call them out! Ask the hard questions! Get it on camera and share that video widely!
- Submit a Letter to the Editor (LTE). Republicans are already making a mockery of the legislative process, showing no ability or interest in actually governing. Use this template to write an LTE on Republican focus on sabotaging Biden rather than governing, their blatant disregard for adhering to basic ethics, their lack of support for American families, or their attacks on our freedoms.
- Call your representative and let them know that you’ll be holding them accountable for their actions. House Republicans used their first few days in office to pass legislation aimed at increasing their political capital rather than helping the American people, all this while gutting ethics protections and handing power to the most extreme members of their caucus. Let your representative know that you’re paying attention and will be holding them accountable for their actions.
If you have a Democratic representative:
- Visit your Democratic representative’s office! We want to thank our Democratic leaders for continuing to hold the line against MAGA extremism. While GOP chaos took the limelight during the Speaker vote and subsequent rules approval, House Dems managed to hold a strong line against Republican extremism, never wavering from a unanimous vote for Minority Leader Jeffries and condemning Republican maneuvering. Bring your representative popcorn and a thank you card for fun! Bonus points: Try to set up a standing meeting with your representative or their staff to check-in.
- Submit a Letter to the Editor (LTE). Write a letter championing your Member of Congress (MoC) for their work opposing MAGA extremism. Highlight all the good votes they have taken recently (like supporting abortion rights). And encourage them to continue to be fighters for the people.
- Call your representative and thank them for their strong start. If you can’t catch them in person, make sure to give a call to their office thanking them for holding the line. Let’s make sure our Democratic representatives know how much we appreciate them in the face of Republican mayhem.
The new Congress has just begun and already we are clearly seeing the difference between our parties. Democrats are holding strong to a platform of solidarity and progress for their constituents while Republicans bicker and jockey for power within their ranks, bowing to corporate greed and political gain.
Let’s start off this new Congress strong, letting our elected officials know that our work doesn’t end with an election — we’re here year-round to ensure they are taking care of business for the benefit of the American people, not themselves. Reach out and form the relationships now that will keep us fresh in their minds for the rest of their tenure. The work begins anew.
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