Saturday, March 27, 2021

Congress Update

Daily Digests: M 3/22 • T 3/23 • W 3/24 • Th 3/25 • F 3/26 — Prayers

Related Headlines:

Monday

US Senate Confirms Former Union Leader and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as Biden's Labor secretary — 68-29

Tuesday

Vivek Murthy Confirmed by Senate as Surgeon General — 57-43

Senate Confirms Biden’s Deputy Budget Director Shalanda Young — 63-37

Wednesday

McConnell details the earliest history of the filibuster

Sen. Sasse spoke about how the filibuster allows for diversity

Senate confirms Levine for HHSconcerns remain over COVID-19 record — 52-48

Senate confirmed the nomination of David Turk, of Maryland, to be Deputy Secretary of Energy —  98-2

Sen. Sasse (R-NE) read a 2005 speech from then-Senator Biden (D-DE) on the filibuster.Original 2005 speech

Thursday

Senate pays tribute to victims of mass shootings — Record

Senate passes extension of popular small-business loan program

The forgotten history of Sunday in America

Senate passes bill heading off Medicare cuts

Senate Approves Two More Months of PPP, With $79 Billion Left

Friday

The House agreed to concur in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1651, to amend the CARES Act to extend the sunset for the definition of a small business debtor.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The forgotten history of Sunday in America

Senate Majority Leader Schumer spoke on the Senate floor yesterday about voting, and he said, “Our Republican Party has sunk so low that they have a Republican leader who is over in the Rules Committee defending these actions by State legislatures. I asked him and all the Republicans to give us a reason. Why did the Georgia Legislature only pick Sundays to say there should be no early voting on Sunday? We know why. It is because that is the day African Americans vote in the ‘souls to the polls’ operation, where they go from church to vote. It is despicable.”

It is true that African Americans go to church on Sunday. Many others also do the same.

It is also true that some states have allowed voting on Sunday.

Finally, it's true that Sunday in one instance is the same Sunday as the other. No contest there. The circumstances line up.

What does not line up is his ascribing of motivations behind these moves.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Congress Update

Daily Digests: M 3/15 • T 3/16 • W 3/17 • Th 3/18 • F 3/19 — Prayers

Related Headlines:

Senate Confirms Trojan Horse Picks For Biden’s Radical Energy Agenda

Senate confirms Biden's pick to lead Small Business Administration

Senate Confirms Katherine Tai as Biden’s Top Trade Envoy

Senate Confirms Xavier Becerra As HHS Secretary

Senate confirms former diplomat William Burns as CIA director

Haaland officially bids farewell to U.S. HouseFull Speech

‘Life-Changing’: Schumer Urges Biden To Pay Out $50,000 In Debt For StudentsFull Speech

No. 2 Senate Democrat torches filibusterFull Speech

Clyburn rails against Senate filibuster on House floorFull Speech

McConnell: If Democrats Eliminate Filibuster the Senate Will Be ‘100-Car Pileup’ • “Even the most basic aspects of our colleagues' agenda, the most mundane tasks of the Biden Presidency, would actually be harder—harder—not easier for Democrats in a post-nuclear Senate that is 50-50, dead even.” • Says with a post-nuclear Senate Republicans “wouldn't just erase every liberal change that hurt the country. We would strengthen America with all kinds of conservative policies, with zero—zero—input from the other side. How about this: nationwide right-to-work for working Americans; defunding (abortion provider) Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities on day one; a whole new era of domestic energy production; sweeping new protections for conscience and the right to life of the unborn; concealed-carry reciprocity in all 50 States and the District of Columbia; and massive hardening of the security on our southern border.” — Full Speech

Warnock uses first Senate floor speech to urge Congress to pass voting rights legislationFull Speech

House Democrats Block Bill Requiring Testing Illegal Immigrants for COVIDMiller-Meeks floor speech

House Extends Small-Business Rescue, With $93 Billion Still LeftH.R. 1799

House passes bill reviving the Equal Rights AmendmentWould Create “Right” to Kill Babies in AbortionsRepublicans quote Ruth Bader Ginsburg on ERAH.J.Res. 17

House Reauthorizes Violence Against Women Act bill has new gun restrictions and transgender provisionsH.R. 1620 — The connection between the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and abortion

Congress honors Capitol Police with Congressional Gold MedalsH.R. 1085

Republican Study Committee Members spoke about the “self-inflicted crisis” on the southern border

McConnell: Pelosi trying to 'overturn a state-certified election' in IowaFull Speech

House Democrats Reject Removing Swalwell From Intelligence Committee Over Ties To Chinese SpyH.Res.243

House Passes 2 Immigration Bills As Border Crisis Intensifieswould give 3M 'Dreamers' and farmworkers pathway to citizenshipH.R. 6, H.R. 1603

The connection between the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and abortion

Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1620, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 (VAWA), by a vote of 244-172.

VAWA has been a consistent funding stream for abortion provider Planned Parenthood through Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors (STOP) grants (Title I, Sec. 101 of H.R. 1620). A GAO report published in March 2018 showed the abortion provider received $340,000 in funding through these grants over a three-year period (2013-2015).

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Congress Update

Daily Digests: M 3/8 • T 3/9 • W 3/10 • Th 3/11 • F 3/12 — Prayers

Related Headlines:

Senate Confirms Merrick Garland As Biden’s Attorney General • 20 Senate Republicans Join Democrats

Senate Confirms Marcia Fudge As Housing and Urban Development Secretary

Senate Confirms Michael Regan To Lead EPA

Senate Republicans Put Hold On Haaland’s Nomination For Interior Secretary • Schumer moves to break GOP holds on Haaland

Schumer moves to bring up Becerra's nomination after committee tie

57 Republicans take to House floor in push to reopen schools

House Passes Partisan Pro-Union Bill Decried By Business Groups. Here’s What’s In It (H.R. 842) • Imposes a version of California’s job-killing law Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) on the entire nation • Puts 57 Million Jobs in Jeopardy

House chaplain criticizes lawmakers during prayer over failure to unite against pandemic (Prayer) • Sounded more contrite later in the week, citing Psalm 19 (Prayer)

House Passes $1.9 Trillion COVD-19 Relief Bill (H.R. 1319) • No Republicans support

Pro-Life implications of Senate changes to the American Rescue Plan (H.R. 1319)Bill Makes Americans Fund AbortionsFunding ‘Unprecedented’abortion industry ‘slush fund’ • undermines retirement plans • How Much of Biden’s $1.9T ‘Rescue Plan’ Actually Combats the Virus • Joe Biden Signs COVID Bill With the Greatest Expansion of Abortion Funding in a Decade

House Passes Two Gun Control Bills To Delay Gun Sales, Create National Gun RegistryH.R. 8, H.R. 1446

Pro-Life implications of Senate changes to the American Rescue Plan (H.R. 1319)

After passing the House two weeks ago, the Senate modified the American Rescue Plan and sent it back to the House last week. The following are among the changes made by the Senate:

The provisions below increases the amount of funding available in the bill that is not Hyde protected:

Section 9911: Appropriates $8.5 billion for the Provider Relief Fund. This funding lacks Hyde protections, so it could be used to directly pay for abortions. It could also be used to bail out abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

Section 9501: Increases the COBRA subsidy available in this bill to 100% of the premium. Currently, individuals who lose their jobs are eligible to continue their employer-based health insurance for 18 months, but they must pay 102% of the total premium. The House-passed bill required the federal government to cover 85% of the premium through September 30, 2021. The Senate-passed bill increases this subsidy to 100%. Many employer-based health care plans include coverage for elective abortion, and there is no protection in place to prevent taxpayer dollars from covering those plans.

Monday, March 8, 2021

How the American Rescue Plan is different from the CARES Act

Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Schumer took issue with Republicans opposing the bill “because most of the measures in the bill are exactly the same ideas Republicans supported a year ago in the CARES Act (P.L. 116-136), which passed without a single dissenting Republican vote.” He cited several of those measures and said, “All of them were in the CARES Act,” and now the American Rescue Plan (H.R. 1319) “has the basic, same structure.”

What Schumer doesn't mention is that Republicans voted for the CARES Act on the basis of that being an extremely one-time exception to financial need in the country. They said at the time they had no intention of ever doing anything of the sort ever again, especially given that money appropriated from the previous much smaller bills already passed had not yet been spent.

Leader Schumer went on to ascribe motivation for Republican opposition saying, “now that a Democrat is in the White House, now that Democrats control the Senate, those same ideas, which they supported when Trump was President and McConnell was majority leader, are a liberal wish list—same ideas. Who the heck are they kidding? They have no good answer.”

These are not the “same ideas.” For the very reason he cites, “a Democrat is in the White House” and “Democrats control the Senate,” many of the policies he praised have taken on very different contours in this legislation.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Congress Update

Daily Digests: M 3/1 • T 3/2 • W 3/3 • Th 3/4 • F 3/5 — Prayers

Related Headlines:

Senate Confirms Miguel Cardona For Education Secretary

Senate confirms Biden Commerce secretary pick Gina Raimondo

Senate declines to stop DC from allowing 11-year-olds to give their own consent for vaccinesS.J.Res. 7

Senate declines to request information on unspent funds from previous COVID billsS.Res. 88

House Narrowly Passes ‘George Floyd’ Police Reform BillH.R. 1280

House passes partisan election bill without bipartisan supportH.R. 1Here’s What’s In ItSticks Police with Massive Bill20 Republican AGs Point to ‘Constitutional Deficiencies’Would Suppress Free SpeechNullify, Nationalize State Election LawsWould Allow Justice Department To Demand Removal Of Social Media Posts

House Rejects Effort to Lower Federal Voting Age to 16H.Amdt. 22

Marjorie Taylor Greene's procedural maneuvers splitting House GOP

Senate Advances Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Relief Package, as VP Harris Casts Tiebreaking Vote (50-50)

GOP Senator Forces All 628 Pages of $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Bill to Be Read AloudRon Johnson grinds Senate to haltTook Senate Clerks Just Over 10 Hours To Read Out Loud

Senate rejects Sanders $15 minimum wage hike (42-58) • Senate deadlocked for hours Friday over unemployment insurance in the COVID-19 relief billlongest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill

McConnell makes failed bid to adjourn Senate after hours-long delay (49-50)

Senate GOP gets short-lived win on unemployment fight (50-49) • Senate Democrats vote to provide $300 unemployment benefits into September (50-49)

Republican Senators Introduce Pro-Life Amendments to COVID-Relief BillLankford statement • Senate rejects S.Amdt. 1031 (52-47)

Senate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants (49-50)

Democrats block Tuberville amendment barring federally funded schools from allowing biological males to compete in female sports (49-50)

Senate Democrats Reject All but 3 Republican Amendments — All Amendments

Senate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote (50-49) • changes infuriate House Democrats

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