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Just as they did in February, constituents will confront lawmakers at hometown forums between April 8-23. (Image: Town Hall Project)

As Congress Goes on Recess, Resistance Movement Gears Up for Round Two

"You called, you showed up, and, ultimately, you stopped TrumpCare from becoming law. But we aren't done yet. We're just getting started."

Deirdre Fulton

Despite calls for them to stay in Washington, D.C. to address President Donald Trump's unilateral military action in Syria, members of Congress are all but certain to be on recess for the next two weeks—and the resistance plans to hold them accountable on everything from the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to the ongoing national healthcare debacle to the country's latest "reckless act of war."

Just as they did in February, constituents will confront lawmakers at hometown forums (or, if they are missing in action, call them out on their evasiveness) to remind them "that they need to stand up for you—and that means standing up and speaking out against the Trump agenda," as the Indivisible Guide tells supporters. 

Doing so, say organizers, really works.

"During the first recess period, thousands of you showed up to ask your [members of Congress, or MoCs] hard, vital questions about whether they'll resist the Trump agenda," Indivisible continued. "And your hard work is already paying off. You defeated TrumpCare: the Republican plan, seven years in the making, to strip healthcare away from 24 million Americans just three months into the Congressional calendar. No one thought we could do it—but you called, you showed up, and, ultimately, you stopped TrumpCare from becoming law. But we aren't done yet. We're just getting started."

Indeed, declared, "[a]s Trump remains under investigation and as Congress continues to push Trump's unconstitutional and dangerous agenda, we must make sure that no one allows the passing of time to normalize this president and his harmful policies."

MoveOn and other groups are holding a "Ready to Resist" strategy and action call on Sunday night to help "supercharge" this Resistance Recess using lessons learned from the first round.

Indivisible held its own call earlier this month, and has released a series of resources including a document outlining five "policy priorities" for the April recess. Constituents are encouraged to hold lawmakers' feet to the fire on issues including:

  • Calls for an independent commission to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Specifically, Indivisible is urging support for bills in both the House and Senate that propose setting up an independent commission, composed of experts outside of Congress, to examine Russian influence in the 2016 election.

  • Budget Fight: No funding for Trump's deportation force at the expense of essential programs.

"Tell your MoCs that you don't want Congress to spend one penny more to fund Trump's deportation force, detention facilities, or border wall," the document reads. "Tell them that you don't want funding for essential programs cut."

  • Demand Trump's tax returns.

Bottom line, says Indivisible: "The integrity of American democracy is at stake here, and Congress needs to defend it."

  • Obamacare is the law of the land, and we intend to keep it that way.

"Congratulations! Your actions leading up to the scheduled vote on TrumpCare were extraordinary and you achieved something no one imagined possible: You stopped Donald Trump and Paul Ryan from taking health care away from millions of Americans," organizers write. However, "[t]he only thing stopping Republicans from trying to gut the [Affordable Care Act] again is YOU. Over April recess, you have to keep showing up and you have to keep the the pressure on your MoC. MoCs considering another stab at TrumpCare need to hear from you that this fight is over, and it's time to move on.

  • Your Senator's vote on Neil Gorsuch and the "nuclear option."

As Indivisible Project co-founder and executive director Ezra Levin said Thursday following the Senate's "nuclear" vote: "Let's get one thing straight: no one forced Mitch McConnell to go nuclear on Gorsuch. If a Supreme Court pick is too extreme to get through, don't change the rules, change the nominee. Republicans will try to point fingers, but the onus falls squarely on them. They've chosen party and partisanship over country, and I expect they'll hear about this from their constituents over the upcoming congressional recess."

With the April 15 Tax March events happening right in the middle of the recess, plus a Medicare-for-All day of action kicking things off on Saturday and the #EarthtoTrump Roadshow of Resistance making stops in the northeast all month, there will also be opportunities for demonstrating outside of town halls—and that's a good thing, given reports of some lawmakers taking steps to shield themselves.

Find your town hall here.

Follow Resistance Recess coverage at Common Dreams and on Twitter:

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