In August 2009, conservatives stormed into town hall meetings all across the country to protest President Obama’s health care plan.  It was a defining moment in our nation’s history – and the traditional August recess hasn’t been the same since.  But just because town hall meetings are scarce these days doesn’t mean conservatives shouldn’t be prepared for direct interaction with lawmakers or their staffs; in fact, it is all the more reason to be prepared.

Below you’ll find a series of resources and questions to make interactions count during this August recess:

Accountability Starts with Voting

Heritage Action’s Legislative Scorecard is designed to help conservatives hold their members of Congress accountable.  Below are five important votes to ask your lawmakers about:

1.      In response to the drought, the House passed a $383 million bailout known the Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012 (H.R.6233).  Why pass a bill that makes farmers, ranchers and orchardists more dependent on government?

Farm Bill: Heritage Action Key Vote: NO | Legislative Scorecard: How’d They Vote

2.      In an effort to prevent Taxmageddon, the House passed the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012 (H.R.8), but Senate Democrats killed a companion measure.  Why hasn’t Congress acted to stop Taxmageddon? 

Taxmageddon: Heritage Action Key Vote: YES | Legislative Scorecard: How’d They Vote: House / Senate

3.      Congress approved the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011 (S.679), which reduces the number of executive branch appointments requiring the Senate’s consent.  Why did Congress vote to reduce one of the Constitution’s most significant structural safeguards against an overreaching executive branch?

Nominations: Heritage Action Key Vote: NO | Legislative Scorecard: How’d They Vote: House / Senate

4.      Following the Supreme Court’s misguided decision to uphold Obamacare, the House passed the Repeal of Obamacare Act (H.R.6079), but Harry Reid has refused to allow a vote in the Senate.  Will you do everything necessary next year to fully repeal Obamacare?

Obamacare: Heritage Action Key Vote: YES | Legislative Scorecard: How’d They Vote

5.      Congress approved the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (H.R.4348), which reauthorized highway and transit projects for two years at bailout levels.  Why did Congress vote to maintain unsustainable levels of funding when we are nearly $16 trillion in debt?

Highway Spending: Heritage Action Key Vote: NO | Legislative Scorecard: How’d They Vote: House / Senate

Winning Starts with Bold Ideas

Hoping to coast to victory in November, many in the Washington Establishment are afraid to put forth bold ideas, but our country can no longer afford a campaign run on painting in pale pastels.  Below are five key questions to ask your lawmakers:

1.      Thanks to the Budget Control Act – the bipartisan deal that raised the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion – our military faces a cut of $1 trillion over the next decade.  What is the plan to avoid this disastrous cut to our national security?

2.      Lawmakers have promised to pass the nearly $1 trillion farm bill – 80% of which goes toward food stamps – when they return from August recess.  Do you support market-distorting farm subsidies and a continuation of stimulus-level food stamp spending?

3.      Massive pension costs and an outdated business model have pushed the U.S. Post Office to the brink of bankruptcy.  Do you pledge not to support another bailout of the Post Office?

4.      In the past, the Washington Establishment has used post-election lame-duck sessions of Congress to push through big-government, big-spending legislation.  Do you believe Congress should tackle substantive issues in a lame-duck session?

5.      Despite the stated opposition of 34 U.S. Senators – enough to effectively kill a treaty – business groups are continuing to push for the ratification of the United Nations’ Law of the Sea Treaty.  Do you oppose this dangerously flawed treaty that threatens to undermine America’s national security and economic interests?

Let us know how you hold your Members of Congress accountable during recess in the comments.