GSC 2022 September Newsletter

EDITION 7 September 2022

 

CONTENTS


We’re back! How was your vacation, and are you ready to WIN in November?

This month we’ll take a look at the explosion of news coming from the January 6th Committee, the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, and what it might mean for the November election.

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VOTING NEWS

Our New Jersey and Massachusetts State Teams have made an impact on voting rights in their respective states. Nearly 200,000 overseas voters from NJ regained their right to vote in down-ballot races (for state and local offices); while overseas MA voters can now return their ballots ONLINE. These are significant achievements because, as we’ve seen ourselves, just a few votes in any race can put a Democrat in office.

“Not only do we help win elections, we protect and expand the voting rights of our members. This work will be a key part of our work in 2023.” ~ Candice Kerestan

The Inflation Reduction Act

This is the beginning of the end of Big Pharma’s iron grip on Washington. The Inflation Reduction Act is a critical step toward lower drug prices. It will ensure that Medicare beneficiaries pay no more than $2,000 a year for prescription drugs. It will stop pharmaceutical corporations from raising the prices they charge Medicare for drugs faster than the rate of inflation. At long last, it will give Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices on key prescription drugs.

With the passage of the IRA, the U.S. government now has the legal ability to determine a "fair price” for prescription drugs. While that ability is currently limited to a few key medications, it can and should be expanded in the future.

Senate News —

In the past couple of weeks alone, our Senate pro-science majority has:

– PASSED the most ambitious climate bill ever signed into law in U.S. history
– PASSED the first major gun safety bill in three decades
– PASSED a landmark bill to reduce inflation and drive down prescription drug costs
– PASSED the largest investment in domestic computer chip and semiconductor production in U.S. history
– PASSED the largest bill designed to aid and provide treatment for Veterans exposed to toxins and burn pits during their time in service
– CONFIRMED dozens of Federal judges (nearly 100 since Joe Biden was elected!) who are pro-choice, pro-climate, and share our progressive and democratic values.

But if we lose a SINGLE Democratic Senate seat in November, we lose control of the Senate. Then Mitch McConnell and Republicans will sweep back into power and they will block the remainder of Joe Biden’s Presidency and will bring our progress to a screeching halt. They also plan to advance a 50-state abortion ban.

Can we flip the Senate?
Key Senate Races for November 2022

Mark Kelly - Arizona
Raphael Warnock - Georgia
Catherine Cortez Masto - Nevada
Maggie Hassan - New Hampshire
John Fetterman - Pennsylvania
Mandela Barnes - Wisconsin

Popular thinking is that Democrats are about to get their clock cleaned in November — media outlets have been pushing the "red wave" narrative for months already.

But here's the thing: Inflation is slowing, gas prices keep coming down, and President Biden just signed the most sweeping climate change legislation in history. It feels like the tide is turning, and it's starting to have a major impact on the election that's just over two months away:

  • The backlash to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade caused an anti-abortion referendum to go down in  overwhelming defeat in deep red Kansas
  • Democrats  have a narrow lead in generic congressional ballot polling, a key indicator for House elections nationwide
  • Republicans have  cut back $13 million in spending in four major swing states as they struggle with fundraising
  • Polls show Senate Democratic challengers taking leads in not  one, not  two, but  three Republican-held seats, which could be a huge boost to Dems' Senate majority
  • The Senate GOP's biggest super PAC is dumping  $28 million into Ohio—a state that has trended sharply Republican in recent years and was considered a long shot for Dems until recently.

Source: Daily Kos

Every single Democrat voted "yes," and every single Republican voted "no." Now, imagine what could happen next year if the Republicans regain a majority in Congress.

Get ready for November!

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MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY

In case you missed our August newsletter announcements, here they are again.

Our GSC Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) committee teamed up with a group in the U.S. that has been working to get HR.82 - Social Security Fairness Act of 2021 passed. The team made calls to Congress, urging them to sign on as co-sponsors on HR.82 — and it worked! HR.82 now has 292 co-sponsors, and on July 15th, a motion to place the bill on the Consensus Calendar was filed. Next step: the House will vote on it. We will continue to update you on our next steps.

Announcing our new Medicare FAQs page!

Special thanks go out to Diane Daniel and Toni Kamins for researching and writing our new FAQs page for our Seniors Caucus website, and to the WEP committee for their hard work on this issue. Take a look and let us know if you have any questions.

Help with Medicare Costs: What you need to know

Low-income Americans on Medicare can get assistance paying their premiums and other expenses. Several states have allowed more people to qualify. Read more

Medicare Rights Center Helpline

Are you or a loved one receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to? If you or someone you know is struggling, counseling expertise is available. Try it now.

We welcome the overwhelming Congressional support of the Social Security Fairness Act to provide relief for Americans abroad negatively impacted by the WEP. This is a major step to address one of the many inequalities that Americans abroad experience, to recognize the disproportionate unfairness, especially for seniors who can be particularly financially vulnerable as they retire and age. The bill has achieved bi-partisan support and will provide a fair calculation for those that paid into Social Security and deserve to receive a fair amount in retirement.

Find Out More

You can find out more information about what our caucus is doing and how you can help repeal WEP from these resources:

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FRAUD corner

This section could fill our entire newsletter this month with news reports from the January 6th Commission and the Mar-a-Lago raid in which 42 boxes of classified documents were found. The irony of the finding from the raid is that they were looking for Russiagate documents, and found a whole lot more.

The Fraud Effect

In June of this year, seven weeks before the FBI raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in search of classified materials, former Defense Department appointee and outspoken Trump loyalist Kash Patel vowed to retrieve classified documents from the National Archives and publish them on his website. Read on

Lachlan Murdoch is Awfully Defensive About the Implication Fox News Helped Incite Jan. 6

The Fox Corp. boss is threatening legal action over what he claims is a "defamatory" article suggesting his family bears responsibility for the Jan. 6 attack. Speaking of defamatory, an election technology company’s $1.6 billion libel case against Fox appears to be ramping up. Read on

What Allen Weisselberg’s Guilty Plea means for Trump

ALLEN WEISSELBERG, the Trump Organization’s former finance chief, has now confessed, which is the latest and largest development in New York State’s multiyear investigation into the company headed by the former president.

Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 counts related to tax fraud and will serve five months in prison followed by five years of probation. He will also pay almost $2 million in back taxes and penalties. 

As part of Weisselberg’s plea deal, he has agreed to testify against The Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation at trial, which is scheduled for October. Read on

Fox News Poll: A record 65 percent favor keeping Roe v. Wade

Two-thirds of voters want to keep the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 abortion decision Roe v. Wade in place, according to a new Fox News survey released Thursday.

This comes as the court prepares for its new term, including hearing a case in December concerning a Mississippi abortion law that will challenge the landmark ruling

There is and will be much more to report on, all of which affects senior voters, but we found this one to be especially horrific.

Two Pennsylvania judges ordered to pay $200m to kids-for-cash scandal victims

In Pennsylvania 2 judges were ordered to pay $200 million to hundreds of families of kids they victimized by sending them to for-profit jails in exchange for kickbacks. This from the “family values” party! Read more

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Events

Our GSC monthly coffee chats will continue via Zoom on the following dates:

Friday 30 September from 9am to 12 noon Eastern Time (US & Canada).

RSVP to get your local time and add to your calendar.

1 & 2 October - Oktoberfest Extravaganza in Munich! After a two-year break, Oktoberfest is back on. If you’re in Europe you won’t want to miss this annual event. Tickets are $85 and include lunch, beer, a reserved seat, and a 10 euro coupon. Meet DA members and enjoy Munich.

Meet the Candidate events Our DA State Teams are putting together very interesting events in September and October. There is something for everyone at Democrats Abroad.

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CHAIR'S CORNER

I hope you all have had a relaxing summer wherever you are in the world. In some ways, it has been a hair-raising summer. There is the Department of Justice’s seizure of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago; the success of pro–Trump primary candidates including Liz Cheney’s Wyoming primary defeat; the riveting hearings of the January 6th House Select Committee; Rudy Giuliani identified as a target in the Georgia election probe along with Lindsey Graham’s inability to duck a subpoena in the same probe, etc. Perhaps, it will go on and on until the DOJ indicts our former president.

Let us be hopeful and encouraged by the advancement of the Social Security Fairness Act which would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). Hopefully, you all received Candice’s and my email on August 11 noting this as I am aware that some of you have reduced benefits which affect your financial standing. Remember to Write and call your Members of Congress to ask them to help repeal WEP.

I would like you to know that on August 1st, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and DNC Chair of the Seniors Council, Steve Regenstreif, released a statement marking the 57th anniversary of the signing of legislation that established Medicare and Medicaid. They say: “Fifty-seven years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation that established Medicare and Medicaid. As a result, millions of seniors and low-income Americans finally got the health care they needed. Since then, these programs have provided millions of Americans dignity and peace of mind — knowing affordable, quality health care is within reach...”

Also, on August 15th DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and DNC Senior Council Chair Steve Regenstreif issued the following statement marking the 87th anniversary of the signing of legislation that established Social Security: “Eighty-seven years ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed legislation that established Social Security. In the years since, this program has kept millions of seniors, children, people with disabilities, and low-income Americans out of poverty. It is one of our nation’s greatest achievements.

The GOP’s plan to cut Social Security — which goes hand-in-hand with their proposals to cut Medicare and threaten our health care, and their opposition to lowering costs for families — is proof that every step of the way, Republicans side with the special interests and push an extreme MAGA agenda that costs the American people.

While Republicans would put Social Security on the chopping block, Democrats will always fight to protect it. We will work to improve the benefits it provides and build on the legacy of this essential government program. We know that Social Security is too important to millions of Americans to do anything else.”

Have a good rest of the summer!

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STATE TEAMS — ARE WORKING!

Already our New Jersey and Massachusetts State Teams have made an impact on state voting rights. NJ regained the right to vote in down ballot races (for state and local offices) for overseas voters; while MA voters overseas can now return their ballots ONLINE. These are significant achievements because, as we’ve seen ourselves, just a few votes in any race can put a Democrat in office.

➔ Join the State Team Slack group to get the meeting links, or email us
➔ Join your Voting State group on Facebook

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IN SEARCH OF VOLUNTEERS...

It is that time of year — GOTV time!

We are gearing up now for DA’s GOTV drive through October. We need phone bankers — the backbone of our organization. Training is underway — sign up today!

The Global Communications Team is also looking for volunteers as they ramp up for the midterms! Do you have a communications background and are interested in helping? If so, please fill out the Global Communications Team Interest Form.

The Global Senior Caucus is looking for an Events Coordinator and two other Steering Committee members. Click here to find out more.

The Global Black Caucus is searching to fill more positions. Get in touch here.

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THIS MONTH IN U.S. HISTORY

September 9, 1776 -  The U.S. Congress officially changes the name of the nation from United Colonies to The United States of America.

September 22, 1862 - President Abraham Lincoln declares the Emancipation Proclamation.

Many more historical events are listed here for September.

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Final Thoughts

If you like comedy, Cory Booker and informative videos, this might be for you - “Jordan Klepper Solves Guns”. You’ll hear quotes like,

“Thanks to the NRA lobbying efforts, the AFT is not allowed to use a national database to solve gun related murders.”

~ Thanks to Karen Lee for sending us this video.

 

 

Will we go right or left in November?

 

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