What stunned Trump’s health care reform? The calls to the congressmen

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Republicans who did not endorse the plan received thousands of calls. As the demonstrations become smaller, pressure on congressmen is the most effective weapon for a president to change positions.

Warren Davidson, a Republican congressman from Ohio, says he received about 300 calls against the health insurance plan to replace the current and one in favor. His Kentucky counterpart Thomas Massie counted 275 against and four in favor. On Friday, a few hours before the vote, New York Republican Frank LoBiondo asked citizens to stop collapsing their hotline because he had already decided to oppose and nobody was going to convince him.

The three Republicans are among the more than thirty congressmen of that party who had not supported the plan. They, pressured by the citizens they represent, pushed House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump to withdraw the legislative proposal that would have ended with the reform passed in 2010.

Citizens also called on Democrats to make sure they would not back the plan. According to David Price, of North Carolina, they contacted 3,298 against and 217 in favor. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts called him 2,013 against and 17 in favor.

Not to mention that the main reason for the protest of the meetings of the congressmen with their represented at home has been medical insurance.

Obama White House Tips

A few days ago, at the New York presentation of the book by Alyssa Mastromonaco, deputy chief of staff forBarack Obama, several people asked what they could do to show their opposition to the current administration or to influence President Trump’s policies.

“What can you do on the spot for a president to change positions?” Asked a young man in the audience at the Rizzoli bookstore in Manhattan.

Mastromonaco replied that what influences the presidents are not usually the mass demonstrations, but the direct pressure of the citizens on the legislators.

“Putting pressure on your senators and congressmen is the most important thing. A million women protested in Washington and Donald Trump did not say a word. I think the key is that he could look the other way and say that the marches in Washington, New York are from Democrats on the shores. Not so because if you look at the matches in Salt Lake City, Duluth, Des Moines, were also important. But the people in the White House are not easy to persuade. It all depends on the calls to your representatives, “he said. Mastromonaco advised to call “Republicans and Democrats” three or four times a week and act “at a very local level.”

Politicians will play it soon. The consequences of popular discontent can have a rapid effect. In November 2018, all members of the House of Representatives and a third of the senators are again elected.

Smaller protests

Protests have ceased to be so numerous, but they continue to occur almost every day, especially in places like New York, as reflected in the calendar posted on the NYC protest page, created by a 26-year-old activist who could not find a place to look at all the information.

The creator of the website, who prefers not to give his name so his activism does not influence his work, explains that every day he receives calls from groups that want him to publicize his protest. Most are small concentrations, of about a hundred people, but they maintain the pressure, in particular on the local authorities.

The creator of the website values the demonstrations, but mentions call to congressmen and assistance to their town halls as “very relevant.” “We have to call the congressmen, also the Democrats,” he says.

Trump’s “practical guide to resisting against the agenda” prepared by three former Democratic congressional aides after the election is centered on pressure from Senators and House members. The manifesto, which began circulating in December, has had the most visible effect of agitation in the public hearings of congressmen, mimicking the mobilization of Republicans against Obama’s healthcare reform in 2009 and 2010.

The last of the Trump Tower

In the daily protests, people who had never participated in such acts, such as a few days ago from religious leaders in Washington Square to denounce the attacks against minorities and ask especially the New York authorities, Protect immigrants more.

But some of the more common concentrations this winter are more subdued, for example next to the Trump Tower, among other things by the increase of security measures and because the president has not returned to his house since his inauguration. In the place that is to be seen, on the sidewalk in front of Fifth Avenue, two or three people are usually seen, some of them peddlers of plates against the president.

One of the regulars is Tom LeClair, a university professor who every day goes a few hours to protest in front of the skyscraper and sells his book of essays on why he does, Harpooning Donald Trump. He says he had never protested before but says the current president “is not within the normal range of politics.”

When it began in November, “there was much more interest in the protests” and remembers how many people took pictures with him. “Now I’m sometimes here alone,” he says. “It does not have a very big effect … but it’s a way to amplify the message.”

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