Congress is on its August recess, meaning Representatives and Senators are in their home states meeting with constituents and taking part in events. MAPPS members should use this time period to contact their Senators and urge them to cosponsor the soon-to-be-introduced "Digital Coast Act of 2014." Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) plans to introduce the Senate companion to H.R. 1382, a bipartisan bill in the U.S. House by Representatives "Dutch" Ruppersberger (D-MD) and Don Young (R-AK). This bill would formally authorize the highly popular “Digital Coast” project in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that provides geospatial data to our coastal communities.
Current cosponsors include Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Angus King (I-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). From this list, you will see that no Republican Senator is listed. The challenge is for MAPPS members from coastal states (including the Great Lakes), or branch offices in these states, with a Republican Senator to contact your respective Senators and urge them to join Sen. Baldwin in cosponsoring this important bill. Visits, meetings and communications should be focused on Republican Senators from Coastal states.
Targeted Coastal Republican Senators are: AL: Sessions, Shelby; AK: Murkowski; FL: Rubio; GA: Chambliss, Isakson; IL: Kirk; IN: Coats; LA: Vitter; ME: Collins; MS: Cochran, Wicker; NC: Burr; OH: Portman; PA: Toomey; SC: Graham, Scott; TX: Cornyn, Cruz; and WI: Johnson.
You can also contact these Senators’ legislative staff in Washington, DC. To help identify staff, or for further assistance, please contact MAPPS government affairs manager John "JB" Byrd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-787-6996.