Up top again, for the night … so you can see the action project we’re launching. Next up, Rep. John Adler, after a news cycle dominated by President Barack Obama (yeah, I love saying that). Stay tuned.- – Rosi
Over the weekend, I posted a diary that outlines an initiative we are undertaking here at Blue Jersey with respect to the upcoming health care legislation as it relates to the public option. While most of the NJ Congressional delegation supports a public option, only Rush Holt and Donald Payne have committed to NOT SUPPORT a bill that did not have a public option.
And, as I said in that diary, as well as on Blue Jersey Radio last night, that is why we here at Blue Jersey are going to ask you – the Blue Jersey community – to help whip our fine Representatives into shape.
We will be focusing on each of the six other NJ House Democrats and then probably the three republicans (LoBiondo, Lance, Smith), and will go in order of District, which brings us to Rep. Rob Andrews (NJ-1). We are also coordinating this effort with DFA-NJ, and with your participation, this could be a great way to show how the progressive community in NJ can work together to accomplish great things.
Before I get into it though, I have two requests/rules – please please follow them, as they are not difficult at all:
- When you call the Congressman?s (and eventually Senator’s) office, please be very respectful. You will likely be talking to a staffer, and they will hopefully be getting a lot of calls about this issue, so we want to make sure that we are productive. If you can get a name, that would be excellent too, so we can compile everything.
- Just as important, please keep the topic of the call to the public option and trying to get a pledge that the Representative will vote against a bill without a public option. I know that many people (myself included) feel that single payer is the best answer, however, President Obama does not want single payer now, nor does the current House bill contain anything regarding single payer. The Senate bill will most likely be more watered down, and any discussion on single payer, while noble, will only distract from the issue at hand, and will tie up Congressional staffers from receiving other calls regarding this initiative.
What we need you to do
Rep. Andrews’ contact information is below:
DC Phone: 202-225-6501
DC Fax: 202-225-6583
Please call his office and most importantly, thank him for the work he and his committee has done in order to bring a strong health care bill to the House floor, as well as his support for a strong public option (if you want to thank him for his support of single payer, that’s great too, but not the major purpose here). Secondly, we want to try and get his staff (or him) on record to not just support a public option in its current form, but to vote against a watered down bill that may ultimately be produced in reconciliation that will either (1) not include a strong public option or (2) will include a “trigger”. A “strong public option” includes the following:
- available nationwide;
- on day one
- and accountable to Congress and the voters
Please report your findings in the comments section below. Additionally, FireDogLake has a “whip tool” that you can fill out with the applicable information, if you are able to get anything definitive (either good, bad or neutral).
A little bit about Representative Rob Andrews
Rep. Andrews has been in Congress since 1990, is on the House Committee on Education and Labor, where he is Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions.
This House Committee is one of the three that put out the House bill on health care, which HealthcareForAmericaNow.org called a “good bill”. Rep. Andrews is also one of 13 members of the NJ Congressional delegation (everyone except for Rodney Frelinghuysen and Scott Garrett) who have expressed support for a public option. Additionally (as noted last month here at Blue Jersey), he stated that single payer should be “on the table”, even though it ultimately did not make it to the House version of the bill.
Thanks so much and we really appreciate your help and participation. I am sure the hundreds of thousands of uninsured and underinsured New Jerseyans thank you even more.
Our next diary will focus on Freshman Representative John Adler (NJ-3).