Six Petitions That May Create New Federal Laws
You’ve probably heard more about what Congress hasn’t done this year than what it’s accomplished.
National discourse has been dominated by numerous health care reform attempts, hotly contested cabinet appointments and highly anticipated Congressional testimonies. Americans have scrambled in the wake of chaotic political conversations and controversial policy decisions to figure out how new or potential changes would impact them directly.
While President Trump has signed more than 50+ bills into law since taking office in January, many agree that both his administration and Congress have yet to secure any major legislative successes this year. Lost in the daily political drama are the bills on important issues that could impact millions of Americans like you.
When Congress returns to Washington next week, lawmakers will kick off a busy session to decide whether to fund Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts, among other tall tasks. Before they get back to work, we’ve compiled several petitions that may have flown under your radar which your support could help secure legislative victory in the near future.
Require All Hotel Phones Dial 911 Easily: Help Enact Kari’s Law
Hank from Texas started a petition in 2013 after his daughter Kari was murdered by her estranged husband in a hotel room. Kari’s nine-year-old daughter repeatedly tried to dial 911 from the room’s phone, but couldn’t get through because some hotels require dialing “9” before 911. Hank’s three-year campaign to force hotels nationwide to provide easier phone access in emergency situations took a big step forward when Kari’s Law passed in the Senate a few weeks ago. Hank hopes that the differences in the House and Senate bills can be reconciled soon, so that President Trump can sign the bill into law. You can learn more in this recent Dallas Morning News article.
Urge Congress to Support a Bill of Rights for Airlines Passengers
Global outrage around a troubling United Airlines passenger incident in April reminded Renee from Connecticut of her own experience with American Airlines in 2015 when her family was taken off a flight to allow for 11 non-paying passengers to board. They slept in the airport until they could get on another flight 10 hours later because they weren’t provided compensation for lodging. She started a petition calling for Congress to build public support for a bill that one of her senators, Richard Blumenthal, introduced in June. The bill would limit the amount of force used to take passengers off flights and mandate a minimum compensation for those involuntarily denied boarding.
Pass the CARERS Act and Protect Medical Marijuana Patients
Kate’s six-year-old daughter Morgan has tried countless types of medications to help prevent periodic seizures that result from epilepsy. Research shows that medical marijuana has positively impacted children with similar conditions, but medicinal drugs are illegal at the federal level, so she can’t access it. Her two-year campaign calls on Congress to pass the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act. The bipartisan bill would clear the way for states to legalize medical marijuana, increase research into the health benefits of the drug and more. The bill was reintroduced in both the House and the Senate in June.
Tell Congress It’s Time to Fix Our Water Systems
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan revealed an outdated infrastructure that leaves many of our communities vulnerable to dangerous health risks. Robert from Virginia has spent four decades working to secure government funds that help to upgrade critical infrastructure projects nationwide. He’s spent the last year and a half urging Congress to make the necessary investments that can protect public safety before more lives are jeopardized. His petition is renewing calls of federal lawmakers to pass the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act, which was reintroduced in the House by Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) in June.
Pass the Food Recovery Act to Fight Food Waste and Hunger
Americans throw away up to 40 percent of our nation’s food. Folks like Jordan from California consider this an unacceptable problem, given the tens of millions of Americans that fight poverty and food insecurity on a daily basis. Jordan has joined forces with author Jonathan Bloom and nearly 40,000 Americans to ask Congress to pass the Food Recovery Act. The bicameral bill, which was reintroduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) last month, would provide schools, consumers, retailers, restaurants and farmers with greater resources to help tackle food waste and hunger.
Stop Congress from Sentencing Wolves to Death
A growing petition calls on Congress to help protect the animals with whom we share our land. The Endangered Species Act has long offered threatened species such as wolves with protection against being preyed upon by hunters. Those protections are now at risk as part of the House budget bill, and The Center for Biological Diversity won’t stand for it. They’re concerned more wolves’ lives will be lost, as the organization claims that 3,000 wolves have been killed since Congress removed the act’s protections in five Western U.S. states in 2011. Their 50,000+ petition supporters are urging lawmakers to act in their favor during the budget decision-making process.
These petitions are made possible thanks to the generous support of Change.org members, who contribute on a monthly basis to help fund the tools and professional support that have mobilized Americans for legislative impact.