Utah Federal Delegation: Request for April 2017 Town Hall

Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Mike Lee, Representative Rob Bishop, Representative Chris Stewart, Representative Jason Chaffetz, Representative Mia Love

State-of-utah-office

The month of April 2017 has a 16-day stretch of congressional recess. Would you like to see your representative at home, in Utah, for a public town hall? Sign below to request that the ENTIRE federal delegation plan to schedule a public forum with their constituents during the April recess.

Petition by
Madalena McNeil
Salt Lake City, Utah
Sponsored by

To: Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Mike Lee, Representative Rob Bishop, Representative Chris Stewart, Representative Jason Chaffetz, Representative Mia Love
From: [Your Name]

We, the undersigned constituents of Utah, are writing to request your presence at a public town hall during the congressional recess of April 8-23. This is the longest stretch of recess since President Trump’s inauguration, and we are asking that you please take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your constituents in a public forum. This letter is addressed to the Utah Federal Delegation as a collective, rather than being split into six separate documents, because we believe that acts of political accountability and transparency from any Utah elected representative will greatly benefit our entire state, and even our country as a whole. In a time of incredible political uncertainty, it is more important than ever for Utahns to be able to connect to their elected representatives. We are asking that you please demonstrate your commitment to the people of Utah by extending us an opportunity to meet with you during this period of congressional recess. We are requesting a public, in-person event, that is open to the entire community. If you choose not to schedule an event of this nature during the April recess, we are requesting an explanation as to the prohibiting circumstances, and some information on when you next plan to hold a public, in-person town hall event in Utah. We are requesting a response by Friday, March 31st. Additionally, a list of questions was recently delivered to your office with a response requested by March 17th. Those questions are attached to this document for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration. Signed, Your fellow Utahns ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- List of questions: 1. Do you acknowledge human-caused climate change? Polluted air can cause health issues, including unsafe pregnancies, dementia, heart disease, and lung cancer. Utahns need clean water and air — will you commit to keeping Utahns and Americans safe by resisting efforts to dismantle the EPA? What environmental protections will you help put in place for our future generations? 2. Efforts made by the Utah federal delegation to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument have cost our state the Utah Outdoor Retailers Convention. What will you do to replace the $45 million dollars we will lose every year, and the potential $500 million we could have made with the expansion to five conventions a year? 3. Do you approve of Steve Bannon’s role on the National Security Council? Why or why not? What will you do about it if you oppose the presence of a civilian on the NSC? 4. Do you support a thorough investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election? Do you support an investigation into President Trump’s potential conflicts of interest, including financial ties between President Trump and Russia, which would include a release of Trump’s tax returns? Why or why not? 5. Do you feel it is right that American taxpayers have to pay the additional Secret Service expenses to protect President Trump’s children while they are traveling on business? Why isn’t that something the Trump Organization pays for and claim as a business expense when they file their corporate tax return? Additionally, why should taxpayers pay approximately one million dollars a day for the Secret Service while Melania and Barron Trump live in the Trump Tower in New York City? 6. The president has made numerous statements accusing various reputable news agencies of being “fake news” and has gone so far as to ban certain entities such as The New York Times and CNN from press conferences. In light of this, former President George W. Bush recently stated that a free press is “indispensable to democracy.” Do you agree with former President Bush, and what are you doing to oppose the president’s mis-characterization of reputable news agencies and ensure we maintain a free press? 7. A study from the Guttmacher Institute showed that the abortion rate in 2016 was the lowest since Roe v. Wade. The study attributes this decrease in abortion to increased availability of birth control, particularly for lower income women. Both the ACA and Planned Parenthood have helped provide affordable birth control to women. What will you do to make sure these programs will continue to receive funding to help provide vital health care to those in need? 8. What do you plan to do to ensure that members of our community are treated with respect and dignity in light of President Trump’s latest adaptation of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regulations and executive orders on immigration? 9. Utah is currently ranked last in funding for students and 38th overall for education. How will dismantling the Department of Education help Utah when we can’t even seem to help ourselves? How will it help the nation as a whole? 10. A recent study by education professor Martin Carnoy of Stanford University examined 25 years of research and found that voucher programs do not significantly improve test scores. Carnoy says vouchers distract from proven policies and programs with proven impact on test scores and graduation rates, and contribute to teacher shortages due to lack of funding for public, tenured positions. If you support moving towards a nationwide voucher program, please explain in detail how you feel that will be best for students and teachers in Utah? 11. According to SAMHSA’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 43.6 million (18.1%) Americans ages 18 and up experience some form of mental illness. In the past year, 20.2 million adults (8.4%) had a substance use disorder. Of this population, 7.9 million people had both a mental disorder and substance use disorder, also known as co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, mental health and substance abuse coverage was not required on all plans. The ten essential health benefits mandated by the ACA requires all non-grandfathered plans to cover mental health and substance abuse treatment. What will you do to make sure that mental health and substance abuse treatment coverage is extended to every insurance plan in America, if the ACA is ultimately repealed? 12. Will you commit to preserving Medicare and Social Security? 13. What will you do to ensure low-income people get the same level of health care they have with the ACA if it is repealed? Including the 10 essential health benefits of the ACA, coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, and no lifetime caps? 14. Do you recognize the tribal sovereignty of Utah’s indigenous populations? Why or why not? 15. When will you hold your next in-person town hall in Utah? 15a. Chris Stewart: We would like to thank you for scheduling two upcoming town halls in Utah. Do you intend to continue to hold regular Utah town halls, and do you believe it is the responsibility of an elected representative to meet face to face with constituents, even if the representative is encountered by points of view with which they disagree? What steps will you take in the future to make sure that your constituents feel heard?