Saturday, January 22, 2022

In Context: Who are we as a Nation?

While last week's storm in the Senate has passed, it remains important for reflection because that which brought it on remains.

Near the end of the all-day debate Wednesday, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia began remarks saying, “Mr. President, I am glad that a number of my Republican colleagues are in the Chamber because I am going to speak very briefly just to reassure you that I am not so immodest that I believe I am going to persuade you, but I do want to try to reassure you.”

Interestingly, this came right on the heels of remarks from Sen. Murphy of Connecticut who spoke about the “stakes” of the debate, how “democracy may actually collapse,” and “it matters more than anything, even the traditions and the rules of the Senate.” It seems he needs some reassuring.

Congress Update

Daily Digests – House • Senate — Prayers — Committee Reports

Senate — Daily Leader Remarks • Actions begunpasseddeclinedsummarized

McConnell calls filibuster vote 'biggest day in history of the Senate' • Senate GOP blocks election bill • Ossoff and Collins clash over her past support for voting rights legislation (Floor Debate) • Manchin chides Dems over filibuster, saying he can't support 'such a perilous course' • Manchin, Sinema join GOP to sink filibuster change for voting bill • Vote: 52-48 • Biden, Schumer respond • Schumer, Dems accept floor failure

Former Sen. Donnelly confirmed as Vatican ambassador

House of Representatives — Bills • Actions passedsummarized

House votes to award medal to Willie O'Ree, first Black NHL player

Members spoke on the House floor for an hour about the March for Life, and in several other speeches given and recorded

Sunday, January 16, 2022

In Context: Senate Nuclear Chain Reaction

Unable to come to bipartisan agreement and consensus on significant issues, under Majority Leader Schumer the Senate is considering a path it has never before taken: eliminating minority rights on blocking legislation and “as President Biden argued decades ago, the filibuster is about more than what gets blocked. It shapes almost everything the Senate actually does pass. It gives all kinds of citizens and all kinds of States a meaningful voice in nearly everything.”

Two Senators in the majority restated their longstanding positions last week on the filibuster after the President's speech. Majority Leader Schumer appears poised to put Senators on the Record this week anyway. It's one thing to publicly state your position. It's another to cast a vote accordingly. This current storm has not yet fully passed.

In the last two decades as this rule change has been considered, it has been referred to as the “nuclear option” and the subsequent fallout as “nuclear winter.” The analogy is fitting for several reasons.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Congress Update

Free speech concerns in #HR5746

Thursday, the House of Representative passed the House Amendment to Senate Amendment to H.R. 5746 by a vote of 220-203.

This bill contains problematic provisions that previously appeared in H.R. 1, the For The People Act, S. 2747, the Freedom to Vote Act (which contained many provisions similar to H.R. 1), and H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021.

H.R. 1, S. 2747, and H.R. 4 threaten the integrity of elections and undermine free speech, and problematic provisions are included in H.R. 5746. For example:

Saturday, January 8, 2022

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