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Tell Mitch McConnell: Seat Senator-elect Doug Jones now

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The petition to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reads:

"Do not schedule a vote on the Trump Tax Scam before Alabama’s newly elected senator, Doug Jones, is seated."

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    Tell Mitch McConnell: Seat Senator-elect Doug Jones now

    Tuesday night, Alabama voters picked former prosecutor Doug Jones – once a huge long-shot for the seat – over right-wing Trump-endorsed Roy Moore as their next U.S. senator.1

    But Republicans have already begun plotting to deny the will of the voters. Even before polls closed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled he would delay seating Sen. Jones in order to keep Republican Luther Strange – the current, temporary Alabama senator – in the seat as a reliable vote for the Trump Tax Scam in the coming weeks.2 Roy Moore is refusing to concede, and the Alabama secretary of state will not certify the results until after Christmas or into the new year.3

    The people of Alabama elected a Democrat to the Senate for the first time in 25 years – they deserve to have their voices heard – especially when it comes to sweeping legislation that will affect them and the rest of the country. It’s unacceptable for Republicans to delay seating Jones so they can slash taxes for the ultra-wealthy and biggest corporations. Already Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Merkley have demanded McConnell seat Senator-elect Doug Jones without further delay.4,5 We need to speak out now to turn up the pressure.

    Tell Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: No Tax Scam vote until Senator-elect Jones is seated.

    Republicans rammed through the Senate version of the Trump Tax Scam in the dead of night a few weeks ago – they even hand-wrote some of the edits in the margins.6 The committee reconciling the House and Senate versions of the bill released a final version Friday and the Senate could vote as early as next week, so we do not have time to delay.

    Before Jones is seated, Alabama officials must certify the election results. Counties have until Dec. 22 to report their results to the State Canvassing Board, and the Board then has until Jan. 3 to certify Jones’ election.7 McConnell and other Republicans in leadership have complete power to schedule a Tax Scam vote or hold it until Jones is seated, but they are putting their greedy Tax Scam before people who spoke loudly in support of Senator-elect Doug Jones. Tuesday, Republican National Senatorial Committee Chair Sen. Cory Gardner even went so far as to call on Senator-elect Jones to “truly represent Alabama” by voting Republican.8

    Senate Republicans held a Supreme Court seat open for a year before the 2016 election, but now want to rush through a vote before their majority shrinks. It seems only fair that the Senate should wait to take such an important vote until its newest member is seated – especially since Alabama voters sent a clear message of opposition to Donald Trump and his racist, pro-corporate agenda.

    Tell Mitch McConnell: No Tax Scam vote until Senator-elect Jones is seated.

    In 2010, when Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s seat in a special election after Sen. Kennedy’s passing, then Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Brown’s election a referendum on the ongoing congressional deliberation to pass health care legislation and argued that the Senate should not finish voting on health care legislation until Brown was seated.9 Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid honored that request and decided not to hold a vote until the Senate had sworn Brown in.10

    Roy Moore is an alleged pedophile, and while some in his party refused to support him after women came forward to report how he had dated, harassed and even assaulted them as teenagers, the Republican National Convention renewed its support for Moore by pointing to his policy positions.11 Doug Jones ran on a pro-choice, pro health-care platform. He voiced his opposition to the Trump Tax Scam during the race.12 Republicans must now accept that voters did not just reject Moore’s appalling behavior, they rejected his policies.

    The Senate must not hold a final vote on the Trump tax scam until Alabama’s new senator is able to vote on it.

    Tell Mitch McConnell: No Tax Scam vote until Senator-elect Jones is seated.

    References:

    1. Alex Seitz-Wald, “In stunning upset, Democrat Doug Jones is projected winner over Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race,” NBC News, Dec. 12, 2017.
    2. Jordain Carney, “McConnell: Strange to stay in Senate until end of current session,” The Hill, Dec. 12, 2017.
    3. Kim Chandler and Steve Peoples, “Democrat Jones wins in Alabama Senate upset, but Moore won’t concede,” Chicago Sun Times, Dec. 13, 2017.
    4. Kamala Harris, “Tweet,” Dec. 12, 2017.
    5. Elizabeth Warren, “Tweet,” Dec. 12, 2017.
    6. Jim Tankersley and Alan Rappeport, A Hasty, Hand-Scribbled Tax Bill Sets Off an Outcry,” The New York Times, Dec. 1, 2017.
    7. Adam Levy, "Alabama's Doug Jones may not take office until 2018," CNN, Dec. 13, 2017.
    8. Matt Shuham, “NRSC Chair Says Jones Should Vote With GOP To ‘Truly Represent Alabama’,” Talking Points Memo, Dec. 12, 2017.
    9. Michael O’Brien, “McConnell: No more health votes until Brown is sworn in,” The Hill, Jan. 20, 2010.
    10. Susan Davis, “Webb: No Health Care Action Until Brown is Seated,” The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 19, 2010.
    11. David Graham “The Republican Party Slinks Back to Roy Moore, The Atlantic, Dec. 5, 2017.
    12. Eric Bradner “Where Doug Jones stands on the issues, CNN, Nov. 27, 2017.