national legislation

Attend a Town Hall!

Alert date: 
August 3, 2015
Alert body: 

Congress is in recess now for the month of August.  Two members of Oregon's Congressional delegation, Senator Merkley and Rep. DeFazio, have announced town halls on their websites, and one, Rep. Walden, invites registration for telephone town halls.  The schedule announced below is current as of August 3.  You might check the links below for any updates.

Town halls offer the best opportunity for voters to address their legislators publicly and in person.  They are your best chance to express your opinions directly to the legislator.

SENATOR JEFF MERKLEY

Sen. Merkley says he “will update constituents on his work in Washington, DC and answer their questions and invite their suggestions about how to tackle the challenges facing Oregon and America.”  http://www.merkley.senate.gov/events/town-halls

August 10, 2015 @ 2:30 PM

Clackamas County Town Hall

Wilsonville Public Library, 8200 SW Wilsonville Road, Wilsonville, OR 97070
Get Directions

 

August 12, 2015 @ 4:00 PM

Wallowa County Town Hall

Joseph Charter School Cafeteria, 400 E Williams Ave, Joseph, OR 97846
Get Directions

 

August 12, 2015 @ 12:30 PM

Union County Town Hall

Pleasant Grove Grange Hall, 67218 Hunter Road, Summerville, OR 97876
Get Directions

 

August 13, 2015 @ 9:30 AM

Grant County Town Hall

Long Creek Community Center, 210 West 2nd Street, Long Creek, OR 97856
Get Directions

 

REPRESENTATIVE PETER DEFAZIO

“Each year, Rep DeFazio holds town hall meetings across Oregon's 4th District to hear from his constituents and update Oregonians about what's been going on in Washington.”  His schedule is posted at http://defazio.house.gov/2015-town-hall-meeting-schedule

 

Wednesday, August 5

Brookings, 9-10 am, Chetco Activity Center, 550 Chetco Ln

Canyonville, 1-2 pm, Azalea Room, Seven Feathers Hotel, 146 Chief Miwaleta Ln

Roseburg, 5-6 pm, City Hall, 900 SE Douglas Ave.

 

Monday, August 24

Sweet Home, 10-11 am; Senior Community Center, 870 18th Ave.

Albany, 12-1 pm; City Hall,  333 Broadalbin St SW

Corvallis, 5:30-6:30, Benton Public Library, 645 NW Monroe Ave.

 

Tuesday, August 25

Eugene Seniors Town Hall Meeting, 10-11 am, Campbell Senior Center, 155 High St., Eugene

Springfield, 4:30-5 pm, Willamette Center for Sports & Recreation, 250 S. 32d St.

Eugene, 6-7 pm, NW Community Credit Union, 545 E. 8th Ave.

 

REPRESENTATIVE GREG WALDEN

Rep. Walden’s website invites constituents to sign up for his telephone town halls, after which they will be notified when a telephone town hall is scheduled.  To add your name to the list, please visit https://walden.house.gov/telephone-town-hall-signup-form.

House Approves Obamatrade’s TPA, Bill Must Go to Senate Next

Obamatrade is alive.

One week after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected Obamatrade by voting against a key provision of it — Trade Adjustment Assistance — GOP establishment lawmakers resuscitated Trade Promotion Authority and rammed it through Thursday afternoon. The final tally was 218-208.

The House action is unusual. As Breitbart News reported: “To engage in the complicated procedural chicanery needed to revive the once-dead Obamatrade, bringing its Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) portion back to life,

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) 58% needed to gut a previous bill that has passed the House and Senate and then insert Obamatrade into it. It’s actually a very similar process to how Obamacare passed the House”...

Because the Senate passed TAA and TPA together, the individual House version will now have to go back to the Senate for approval, where it may face a filibuster. It’s unclear how many senators would support TPA without TAA, a measure to aid workers who lose their jobs because of trade policy.

The Senate isn’t expected to take up TPA until next week, but Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 52% has expressed confidence it can pass.  Obamatrade is making for unusual partnerships in Washington. Barack Obama is working with McConnell and House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) 35% to pass a measure his own party largely rejects.

Last week he traveled to Capitol Hill to lobby for his trade measures, but shortly before the House vote on TAA, Minority Leader. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) 9% announced she opposes it. More than 300 representatives ended up voting down TAA, setting the stage for Thursday’s moves to bring TPA back to life.

CALL NOW! Another Fast Track vote imminent

Alert date: 
June 18, 2015
Alert body: 

The so-called free trade bill is being pushed again in the House, with all its harmful features expanding Presidential control of immigration, bringing in unlimited numbers of immigrants.

We are forwarding the alert from the Citizens Trade Campaign which targets Representatives who continue to support these bad trade bills.  Please call or email again. Thank you!

Call Representative Earl Blumenauer: 202-225-4811, or in Oregon: 503-231-2300
Webform for email: Click Contact on the homepage of his website: http://blumenauer.house.gov

----------------------
from Citizens Trade Campaign, June 17, 2015:

Fast Track Vote Imminent: Please Contact Your Rep Again Now
Apparently, some politicians didn’t get the message after last week’s vote blocking Fast Track legislation from moving forward in the House.  As I write this, the House Rules Committee is meeting to discuss a new scheme that would allow Fast Track to be voted on again this Thursday.

TAKE ACTION: Please tell Congress again now to vote NO on Fast Track.

There’s a reason we were able to block Fast Track in the House last week: you and countless others keep telling Congress in no uncertain terms that you want "No Fast Track for the TPP!"  We can't let up now.

Corporate lobbyists' and certain political elites' attempt to try ramming Fast Track legislation through again so soon after last week's failure � possibly as early as this Thursday � is a desperate movmove.  I have every confidence we can stop them again, but we need your support once more.

Tell Congress enough is enough, and to say NO to Fast Track for the TPP.  

You know as well as I do that the stakes here are very high.  If passed, Fast Track would create a virtual rubber-stamp for dangerous trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that threaten jobs, wages, the environment, public health and more in your community and communities throughout the world.  

As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote recently in USA Today, "As we look to the future, it is clear that this debate on the trade authority is probably the last of it’s kind.  The intense debate of the past few weeks has further convinced me that we need a new paradigm."

Fast Track legislation really did take a major blow last week.  Winning this vote should knock Fast Track out for good.  Please take action now.

Sincerely,

Arthur Stamoulis, Executive Director
CITIZENS TRADE CAMPAIGN
http://www.citizenstrade.org/

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign:

We just found out that a stand-alone Fast Track bill for the TPP is going for a vote in the House tomorrow.

Congresswoman Bonamici has said publicly that she would not vote for Fast Track without Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). TAA helps workers whose jobs have been displaced by trade. We need to make sure she keeps her word and votes NO on Fast Track this time.

We need tons of constituent calls telling her to stand by her word and stand with Oregonians by voting NO on Fast Track when it comes for a vote tomorrow (Thursday). Please call her offices as soon as possible, and spread the word!

DC Office: (202) 225-0855
Oregon Office: (503) 469-6010

Script:

Hi, my name is ______  and I’m calling from __[City]__. Congresswoman Bonamici has said publicly that she would not vote for the Fast Track bill without Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). I’m calling as a constituent to ask her to keep her word and vote NO on the stand-alone Fast Track bill tomorrow  [THURSDAY, JUNE 18].

Thank you! Let’s win this!

Elizabeth Swager & Robyn Gottlieb
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

House blocks trade deal from moving forward but may try again

After votes earlier today, the House has at least for now set aside the threat of giving Presidents the authority to use trade deals to guarantee other countries the ability to send their workers to take jobs in the U.S.

When the Senate passed the "fast-track" Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, it set things up so that it could go to the President to be signed only if the House passed BOTH the TPA and a companion Senate trade assistance bill.

The House today was able to pass only one of those must-pass bills, narrowly approving the TPA bill (219-211). But the trade assistance bill garnered only 126 votes, with 302 voting against it. That effectively killed TPA for the present moment.

Republican House Leaders, however, could decide to bring the trade assistance bill back to the floor early next week in hopes of persuading around 90 Members (mostly Democrats) to switch their vote to pass what Pres. Obama and House Majority Leader Boehner consider to be a top priority.

"We are not done with this," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

Moments before the first vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had been silent on the issue, urged Democrats to vote against the two bills, hoping to keep TPA from reaching the President's desk. Pelosi pleaded with Republican House Leadership to focus on legislation that puts American workers first instead of free trade; something she failed to do during the amnesty debates of the past two years.

Pelosi led 144 Democrats in joining 158 Republicans to defeat the trade assistance bill. That was all that was needed today to keep TPA from going to Pres. Obama, who had made a rare personal visit to the Capitol to meet with Democrats in an emotional appeal for them to help him pass TPA as an important part of his legacy.

 

House blocks trade deal from moving forward but may try again

After votes earlier today, the House has at least for now set aside the threat of giving Presidents the authority to use trade deals to guarantee other countries the ability to send their workers to take jobs in the U.S.

When the Senate passed the "fast-track" Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, it set things up so that it could go to the President to be signed only if the House passed BOTH the TPA and a companion Senate trade assistance bill.

The House today was able to pass only one of those must-pass bills, narrowly approving the TPA bill (219-211). But the trade assistance bill garnered only 126 votes, with 302 voting against it. That effectively killed TPA for the present moment.

Republican House Leaders, however, could decide to bring the trade assistance bill back to the floor early next week in hopes of persuading around 90 Members (mostly Democrats) to switch their vote to pass what Pres. Obama and House Majority Leader Boehner consider to be a top priority.

"We are not done with this," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

Moments before the first vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had been silent on the issue, urged Democrats to vote against the two bills, hoping to keep TPA from reaching the President's desk. Pelosi pleaded with Republican House Leadership to focus on legislation that puts American workers first instead of free trade; something she failed to do during the amnesty debates of the past two years.

Pelosi led 144 Democrats in joining 158 Republicans to defeat the trade assistance bill. That was all that was needed today to keep TPA from going to Pres. Obama, who had made a rare personal visit to the Capitol to meet with Democrats in an emotional appeal for them to help him pass TPA as an important part of his legacy.

 

Greg Walden endorses trade bill, calls it a 'win for jobs and exports in Oregon'

As a House vote nears on the "fast track" trade bill, Oregon Rep. Greg Walden says he will support the legislation clearing the way for approval of the massive Pacific Rim trade pact now in final negotiations..

In a statement released late Tuesday night, Walden said:

"The U.S. House will soon vote on a bill that would allow us to establish fair and strong trade rules.  The bill lays out our trade priorities of fairness and competition—to whomever is in the White House. It requires any final agreement be made public for at least 60 days. And it requires an up or down vote in the Congress before any trade agreement is final. It's a win for jobs and exports in Oregon, and a win for transparency and accountability. I intend to support this bill to ensure that we can tear down barriers and open up new markets for Oregon's farmers, ranchers, and small businesses."

Walden's statement appeared to be aimed at part at influencing wavering Republicans in anticipation of what is expected to be a close vote....

Under the fast track bill, known as Trade Promotion Authority, the president can submit a trade pact to Congress for an up or down vote with no amendments allowed.

Walden is chairman of the House Republican campaign committee and thus has strong political ties...

On the Senate side, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., opposed the bill while Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., helped shape the wording of the measure and was a strong proponent.
 

ATTN: Yamhill, Clatsop and Columbia counties - Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Suzanne Bonamici will hold joint town halls soon.

According to a press release from Rep. Bonamici’s office, “They will update constituents on their work in Washington, DC and answer questions and invite suggestions about how to tackle the challenges facing Oregon and America.”

OFIR members, please attend if you can, and ask questions or make comments.  Below the schedule, we include suggestions for subjects to be discussed.

What: Joint town hall in Yamhill County

When: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 3:30 pm

Where: PCC Newberg Center, Room 115 and 116, 135 Werth Blvd., Newberg, OR 97132

 _______________________________________________________________

What: Joint town hall in Clatsop County

When:  Friday, April 3, 2015, 10:00 am

Where:  Cannon Beach Chamber Community Hall, 207 N Spruce, Cannon Beach, OR 97110

 _______________________________________________________________

What:  Joint town hall in Columbia County

When: Friday, April 3, 2015, 2:00 pm

Where: Vernonia High School Commons, 1000 Missouri Avenue, Vernonia, OR 97064


1.  Talking point suggested by NumbersUSA:

Rep. Bonamici and Sen. Merkley, I am disappointed that you voted to fund the President's executive amnesties. These programs are not only unconstitutional, but will directly harm American workers by providing work permits and social security cards to over 5 million illegal aliens.

2.  Talking point suggested by NumbersUSA:

Rep. Bonamici, Please co-sponsor the following:

The Mulvaney Resolution declaring Obama’s amnesties illegal (H.Con.Res.28)

Rep. Gowdy’s interior enforcement bill (H.R. 1148)

The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1147)

Rep. Chaffetz’s asylum reform bill (H.R. 1153)

Protection of Children Act (H.R. 1149)

The Birthright Citizenship Act (H.R. 140)

3.  Other suggestions:

for Sen. Merkley:  Your voting record on reduction of unnecessary worker visas for foreign nationals is F- over your time in the Senate, from 2009-2015.  Citizens are being passed over for jobs in favor of lower-paid foreign workers, in STEM occupations and elsewhere, by companies that exploit weaknesses in the visa programs.  (See herehere and here.)

for Rep. Bonamici:  Your voting record on reduction of unnecessary worker visas for foreign nationals is F- over your time in Congress, from 2012-2015.  Citizens are being passed over for jobs in favor of lower-paid foreign workers, in STEM occupations and elsewhere, by companies that exploit weaknesses in the visa programs.  (See herehere and here.)

for both Sen. Merkley and Rep. Bonamici: 

4.  There have been 7 major amnesties passed by Congress from 1986 to 2000, each resulting in ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants. Now more, even larger amnesties are being pushed. We need enforcement of the immigration laws, not more amnesties. 

5.  Did you know that between the Censuses of 2000 and 2010, 80% of population growth resulted from immigration (immigrants plus the children of immigrants). The U.S. is already overcrowded.  After more than 4 decades of unprecedentedly high immigration, we need a pause, a moratorium on immigration, or we face a steep decline in the quality of life for everyone. If you are truly concerned about our environment, you should work for major reductions in immigration.

Some Senators don't want to protect American workers

 
 
The displacement of citizen workers by foreign nationals brought here under flawed visa programs is a serious problem for this country, but falls very low on the scale of importance to many U.S. Senators.
  
This was clearly shown at the recent Senate hearing described by John Miano in a blog on the Center for Immigration Studies website.  Here he names the names of organizations that appear to control certain Senators’ positions on the issue of jobs for Americans first.
 
Neither of Oregon’s 2 Senators is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but Senators Wyden and Merkley both have very poor records on importation of foreign workers.  Sen. Wyden’s voting record on reducing unnecessary worker visas is F over his whole US Senate career from 1989-2015.  Senator Merkley’s is F- over his Senate career, 2009-2015, on the same subject: unnecessary worker visas

 
By John Miano, Center for Immigration Studies, March 22, 2015 
[abridged version]
 
I testified last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Reforms Needed to Protect Skilled American Workers. It was a great honor to be invited. However, participating in an event like this highlights the growing isolation between Washington and the rest of America.
 
At one time there was a consensus that American citizens should come first under our immigration laws. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that preserving jobs for American workers is a primary purpose of our immigration laws; see, for instance Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 334 (1993).
 
No such consensus exists in today's Washington.
 
The impetus for the hearing was the recent replacement of Americans by H-1B workers at Southern California Edison, Northeast Utilities, Cargill, and Walt Disney World.
 
You would think that members of Congress, upon learning that Americans workers are being replaced by foreign workers, would response in unison, "This is outrageous. That needs to stop now!"
 
I sensed such outrage from Sens. Durbin, Grassley, Sessions, and Vitter—but none of the rest present.
 
In fact, the impression I came away with is that most of the senators did not think it is even a problem when Americans are being replaced by foreign workers.
 
(Senators, that was just my impression. I know that some people put on a restrained face hiding rage behind that. If I left out any senator at the hearing who was outraged, I will be happy to amend this post and link to any statement you have made that Congress should act immediately to stop the replacement of Americans by foreign workers.)
 
 
While at the hearing, I saw that a number of organizations had put out a statement that included the following claim:
 
MYTH: Foreign workers displace American workers in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. 
 
The liars who signed this statement are:
• American Immigration Lawyers Association
• BSA | The Software Alliance
• Compete America Coalition
• Computer & Communications Industry Association
• Consumer Electronics Association
• Council for Global Immigration
• FWD.us
• HR Policy Association
• Information Technology Industry Council
• National Association of Home Builders
• National Association of Manufacturers
• National Venture Capital Association
• Partnership for a New American Economy
• Society for Human Resource Management
• Semiconductor Industry Association
• Silicon Valley Leadership Group
• Tech CEO Council
• TechNet
• U.S. Chamber of Commerce
 
While I was in the hotel room the night before, I watched a Rachel Maddow segment on MSNBC in which they went over a poll that asked Americans what the biggest problem in the country was. The number one problem, by far, was government.
 
It would behoove some senators to read Aesop's fable of The Ass and His Purchaser. The moral is "You are known by the company you keep."
 
Senators, when you hang out with liars, like those listed above; when you put their statements in the record; and when you repeat their statements without question you look like an ass too. You are measured by the company you keep.
--------------------------------
 
 
 

 

Enforcement Comes First

There are many issues plaguing our nation’s immigration system, but the biggest problem is that immigration laws are not enforced. While presidents of both parties have not fully enforced our immigration laws, President Obama has made several moves to unilaterally gutthem altogether. In order to protect against this, it is essential that any immigration reform start with enforcement.

Over the last several weeks, the House Judiciary Committee, which I chair, has approved four bills focused on enforcement of the law. These bills would strengthen the interior enforcement of our immigration laws, remove the ability of the President to unilaterally shut down immigration enforcement, ensure jobs are preserved for American citizens and legal workers, reform the United States’ asylum laws, and make sure unaccompanied alien minors who make the dangerous trek to the U.S. are safely returned home.

The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1147) requires all U.S. employers to use E-Verify, a web-based system that checks the Social Security numbers of newly hired employees to help ensure that they are genuinely eligible to work in the United States. Expanding E-Verify nationwide is a critical component to the interior enforcement of our immigration laws and brings the employment eligibility system into the 21st century.The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act (H.R. 1153) closes loopholes in current law that encourage illegal immigration, such as weak standards for asylum claims that enable the Obama Administration’s rubberstamping of fraudulent applications and policies, and effectively ends the current “catch and release” policies of the Administration that result in apprehended illegal immigrants being admitted into the interior of the country rather than being returned to their home country. In doing so, the bill restores the integrity of our immigration system so that it works better for our country and those truly persecuted in their home countries.

Another bill approved, H.R. 1148, introduced by Congressman Trey Gowdy, strengthens the interior enforcement of our immigration laws by granting states and localities the authority to enforce federal immigration laws and defunds President Obama’s unilateral executive actions on immigration.

Additionally, the bill makes our country safer by making it more difficult for foreign nationals who pose a national security risk to enter and remain in the U.S. The Protection of Children Act (H.R. 1149) ensures that unaccompanied alien minors who make the dangerous journey to the United States are safely returned home. For those who stay here with a sponsor while awaiting their immigration hearing, the bill provides for greater transparency and safety of these minors to ensure they are not inadvertently delivered into the hands of criminals or abusers.

By refusing to enforce the law, the President’s immigration policies collectively undermine our immigration system and send the message to the world that our laws can be violated without consequence.These four bills end many of the Obama Administration’s disastrous polices that wreak havoc on our immigration system and strengthen the interior enforcement of our immigration laws. I hope that the full House of Representatives will take up these bills soon. We must ensure enforcement of our immigration laws before we can address other broken aspects of the system.

Bob Goodlatte is the representative for Virginia’s 6th District in the U.S. House.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to address Lane County Lincoln Day dinner

Alert date: 
April 5, 2015
Alert body: 

One of the true heroes in the fight against illegal immigration on our southern border is former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. We are so fortunate to have her traveling to Oregon to speak at the Lane County Lincoln Day dinner (more info. below).  OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll has been invited as a special guest. 

OFIR encourages you to attend this very special event!  Read more about Governor Brewer.

Lane County Republican Party is honored to host keynote speaker, former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer during our 2015 Lincoln Day Dinner, Thursday, April 9th.  It will be held at Valley River Inn, 1000 Valley River Way, Eugene

For decades, the federal government has failed to fulfill its constitutional and statutory duties to secure the border and restore integrity to our immigration system.  In response, Governor Brewer crafted state-level solutions, such as SB1070, aimed at protecting the people of Arizona from illegal activities.  When the Obama Administration challenged SB 1070 in court, the Governor stood up for their state's rights and Arizona's responsibility to keep its people safe.  Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Arizona's hotly disputed part of SB 1070 and Governor Brewer.  Additionally, she repeatedly urged President Obama and Congress to utilize the National Guard, Border Patrol and technology to secure the U.S. southern border.

We are privileged to welcome Governor Brewer's political courage and strength of character to Eugene. 

As we have discovered, elections have consequences.  This event will help us prepare for the 2016 election to provide Republican candidates with the best tools, volunteers and resources for success in 2016. Help us help them, and see Governor Jan Brewer in person.

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