We all know that the administration’s Muslim ban goes against the basic values of this country, is extremely cruel and harmful, and is proving to have worldwide repercussions. What is happening within the White House on this issue (as well as on all others) is not normal, and therefore should not be normalized and enabled by the members of the Senate and House. Both Senators Schumer and Gillibrand have expressed outrage over the Executive Order (EO) on Refugees and Immigrants. Both have written several strongly worded statements on Twitter, and both spoke at a protest in New York City this past Sunday. Senator Schumer led a protest last night with Nancy Pelosi and others Democrats, which was held in front of the Supreme Court. This is an issue that is obviously very personal and heartfelt for Schumer, as he became very emotional when speaking about it at a press conference.
The question is, can more be done by our Senators to attempt to rescind the EO? The Indivisible team is suggesting that there is. Senators can “withhold consent”, which is a procedure that causes a delay in Senate business. This can to hold up the hearings on cabinet nominees, and prevent any bills that come to the Senate floor from being voted on. Our Senators need to be asked to use this procedure as a way to force an end to the EO. Today, Senate Democrats did something similar when they boycotted the confirmation hearings on Mnuchin and Price, because they felt that both had lied during their respective testimonies.
Definition of “withholding consent”, courtesy of The Indivisible Guide–
“For Senate business to proceed normally, Senate leadership relies on universal agreement by Senators to move forward on procedural matters. This is called universal consent. If any individual Senator withholds consent, it triggers a delay as the leadership has to initiate a time-consuming process in order to move forward. This means that business in the Senate slows down significantly and it will greatly hamper Trump’s ability to move forward on any other legislative priorities.”
Sample Call Script
Hello, I am [name], from [town, zip code]. I am calling to thank Senator Schumer/Gillibrand for taking a strong stand against the Executive Order banning refugee and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. In addition, I am asking the Senator to take more concrete action in the fight to preserve the basic values of our country. Please ask the Senator to withhold consent on Senate business, preventing votes on cabinet nominees and floor bills, until the ban is ended. The Senator has the power to force a vote to rescind the ban. We cannot allow business to proceed as usual when the president is most likely in violation of the Constitution, and is causing great harm both to people and to this country. Thank you.
@SenSchumer #WithholdConsent on all nominees and votes until immigrant & refugee ban is ended. Preserve our democracy!
@ Sen Gillibrand #WithholdConsent on all nominees and votes until immigrant and refugee ban is ended. Preserve our democracy!