Dina Titus — Notes from the Hill

079 Capitol Hill United States Congress 1993
079 Capitol Hill United States Congress 1993 (Photo credit: David Holt London)

An extreme faction of the Republican Party forced a shutdown of the entire federal government. In Nevada and across the country, we’re already seeing the dire consequences of this manufactured crisis.

Brave members of our National Guard have been furloughed. Critical medical research has been halted; access to federal student loans and Pell grants has been delayed; and small business loans for women entrepreneurs have been cut off.

If this shutdown continues, WIC programs across the country will run dry and 9 million women, including over 74,000 in Nevada, will lose access to the nutrition assistance they rely on to survive. As many as 19,000 at-risk kids will be kicked out of their Head Start classrooms – and that is on top of the 57,000 kicked out by sequestration. This hurts children who deserve a leg up and working mothers who struggle to find adequate childcare at a cost they can afford. The list of negative impacts goes on and on.

But instead of working to find a commonsense solution to end the shutdown, some lawmakers are playing reckless, political games at the expense of the American people.

Americans are fed up with the political obstructionism and dysfunction that have led our country to this unnecessary government shutdown. And there’s an easy way to stop it.

Right now, there is a clean funding bill (a C.R. or continuing resolution) on the table that would end this madness. All it takes is 15 minutes and one vote.

Congressional members in both parties and houses of Congress support it. If it were brought to a vote, it would surely pass. The President would sign it into law and the government would reopen. Congress could refocus and start having a reasonable debate about how to reduce the deficit, grow our middle class, and create new jobs.

Unfortunately, the Speaker of the House refuses to bring this clean funding bill to a vote. Instead, the Republicans have pushed a series of piecemeal measures that neglect essential services for veterans, vital nutrition assistance for low-income families, and countless other programs that help seniors, children, and small businesses.

Cherry-picking parts of our government is irresponsible and unfair. The best way to take care of the needs of all Americans is to pass a single, simple, clean continuing resolution that would immediately reopen the entire government.

It’s time to put aside politics, call a vote on the clean funding bill to reopen the government, and end this harmful brinkmanship.

Surely taking 15 minutes and one vote is not too much to ask to reopen the government, end the uncertainty threatening our economy, and give the American people confidence in knowing their elected officials are working for their best interests.

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Disregard Those AFP Scare-Ads for Healthcare Answers

Americans for Prosperity have begun running “scare” ads to convince people to take action against their own interests.  Their goal is to sufficiently lie about what Obamacare does or doesn’t offer in an effort to get low-knowledge citizens to support the #GOP’s plan to gut meaningful healthcare protections for American families across our nation.

Take a moment to watch this great ad from AmericansUnited refuting claims being made in one of those Americans for Prosperity scare ads:

Resources:

Oh, and when one of your neighbors claims “Obamacare is going to cause insurance premiums to skyrocket” … tell them it only takes one quick search on the terms “insurance premium drops” to prove them absolutely WRONG:

And then there’s the Obamacare side effect — job mobility — once healthcare exchanges are in place, one will no longer being tethered to a job one hates only because one needs the healthcare benefits provided by that job:

Tell House Leadership: Remove Steve King from immigration subcommittee

Rep Steve King, R-IA

Remove Rep. Steve King from his seat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Border Security now. His hateful characterization of immigrants as criminal drug smugglers and his continued extremism don’t reflect the views of a majority of Americans — nor his constituents in Iowa. It’s time to show your commitment to real immigration reform by removing him from his position.
Sign-the-Petition
Why is this important?

Wildly irresponsible and hateful comments are nothing new for Rep. Steve King of Iowa’s 4th District, who has repeatedly pushed legislation against the children he calls “anchor babies.” But recently, he may have hit a new low.

In an interview with Newsmax, King slandered young immigrants who would be eligible for citizenship under the DREAM Act stating that “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Even House Speaker John Boehner responded by suggesting King’s comments were out of bounds, stating “There can be honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language. Everyone needs to remember that.” And Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., suggested on Tuesday that “we as a nation should allow this group of young people to stay in the U.S. legally.”

Yet King has shown no remorse and refused to back down. In an interview with Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson on July 24th, King said, “It’s not something that I’m making up. This is real,” and responded to critics by saying “it’s enough for anybody to be offended these days. They apparently don’t have to use their brain.”

It’s time for House leadership to take stronger action against King and distance themselves from his hateful rhetoric.

As a member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Border Security, King’s disgusting comments on immigrants have been highlighted by the media. And despite the fact that his views are completely outside the views of mainstream Iowans, he’s been given a national soapbox to distort our views. The fact that House leadership have allowed King to keep his position send the message that they’re not actually interested in real immigration reform.

But if Iowans and others from across the country stand-up and demand that House leadership throw King out of his seat on a major immigration subcommittee, we can hold him, and house leadership, accountable. GOP leaders know that showing leadership on immigration reform is extremely important to the future of their party. We can demand they do more than just give lip service to DREAMers and voters by kicking King off his immigration subcommittee seat now.

Sign this petition and demand house leaders show their commitment to real immigration reform by telling extremist Tea Party congressman Steve King that his hate speech has no place on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security now.

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REFERENCES:

Here’s a Look at the Week Ahead in Congress!

— Rachna Choudhry, Co-founder, POPVOX.com, rachna@popvox.com

The House returns this week to vote on a bill repealing “Obamacare,” the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, while the Senate continues work on a water resources bill and comprehensive immigration reform. Weigh in on POPVOX — and we’ll deliver your message to Congress. (Learn how it works or link to this update online.)

In the House

Repealing the healthcare law (HR 45): The House will yet again vote on a bill to “repeal Obamacare.”  Many Republicans have been asking for this vote all year as a chance to get new Members on the record as opposing the controversial law. – https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/hr45

  • From our Hill Sources: House leaders promised in April that a vote would come, after a failed attempt to pass legislation to adjust the law. House passage will once again give the GOP a chance to remind voters that they are fighting to repeal the law. But just as in the last Congress, House passage will likely be as far as the bill goes, with no indication that the Senate will consider it.

The SEC Regulatory Accountability Act (HR 1062): This bill would require the SEC to conduct an enhanced cost-benefit analysis for all regulations it issues, and ensure that the benefits of a rule outweigh the costs. – https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/hr1062

The House will also consider several other bills this week, including:

  • HR 180: encouraging the development of plans for law enforcement to send out information when an officer is hurt or killed.
  • The Hill Creek Cultural Preservation and Energy Development Act (HR 356): To clarify authority granted under the Act entitled “An Act to define the exterior boundary of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in the State of Utah”.
  • The Homes for Heroes Act (HR 384): requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development to pay closer attention to veterans’ housing needs.
  • HR 573: granting the Northern Mariana Islands the same coastal land rights as other US territories.
  • HR 701: setting a fall deadline by which the Securities and Exchange Commission can exempt securities from regulation.
  • HR 767: assigning regional Bureau of Land Management offices as Pilot Project offices under the Energy Policy Act.
  • HR 1580: affirming US policy on Internet governance.
  • SConRes 10: authorizing the celebration of King Kamehameha’s birthday in the Capitol Visitors Center.

In the Senate

The Water Resources Development Act (S 601): The bill authorizes several projects related to flood and storm risk reduction, and coastal and environmental restoration. – https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/s601

The bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill (S 744): The Senate Judiciary Committee will continue its consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. – https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/s744

 

It’s National Women’s Health Week, So Naturally, the GOP is Voting Yet Again to Repeal Obamacare!

— by Kathleen Sibelius, Secretary–Dept. of Health & Human Services

This week, starting with Mother’s Day,  we celebrate National Women’s Health Week. As a nation, we honor the women in our lives – our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, friends, and colleagues – by encouraging them to make their health a priority and to take steps to live healthier, happier lives.

Women are frequently the health care decision-makers in their families. We take time off from work to drive a parent to the doctor. We hold our children’s hands while they get their vaccinations. We make the appointments for our spouses’ checkups – and then make sure they actually go. We stretch and re-work our family budgets to pay the doctor’s bills. And too often, we put our own health last.

But the truth is unless we take care of ourselves first, we cannot really take care of our families. That means we have to eat right, exercise, and get the care we need to stay healthy. Unfortunately, preventive care has not always been easily accessible or affordable for everyone, including young women.

But the health care law is helping to usher in a new day for women’s health. The Affordable Care Act is making it easier for women to take control of their own health.  For many women, preventive services like mammograms, Pap smears, birth control, and yearly well-woman visits are now available without cost sharing. The health care law improves women’s access to appropriate preventive health screenings, which can help detect diseases early, when treatment is most effective and least costly.

Starting next year, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to refuse us coverage just because we’re battling breast cancer or have another pre-existing condition – and they won’t be allowed to charge us more just because we are women.

If you’re one of the millions of women who are uninsured or who buy insurance on their own, more options are on the way because of the Affordable Care Act. Starting October 1, 2013, you will be able to visit a new Health Insurance Marketplace where you can compare and choose from a range of plans to find one that best fits your needs and budget. All of these plans must cover a package of essential health benefits, including maternity and newborn care.

To get more information about the Marketplace and to sign up for email and text updates to get ready for October, visit HealthCare.gov.

Being healthy starts with each of us taking control. So Monday on National Women’s Checkup Day, and during National Women’s Health Week, I encourage you to sit down with your doctor or health care provider and talk about what you can do to take control of your health.

There’s no better gift you can give yourself – or your loved ones.

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