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Saturday, June 25, 2022

In Context: God made the decision

Father, we have much to thank You for this week. Generations of Americans have been at risk of having their lives ended before they were ever allowed to see the light of day.

At 10:10 a.m., Friday, 6/24/2022, the Supreme Court released its decision to overturn two Supreme Court decisions that for decades had prevented States from passing laws to protect the unborn from having their innocent blood shed for profit.

Weekly Congress Update

Daily Digests HouseSenatePrayersCommittee Reports

Related Headlines:

Senate, Congress passes gun legislation, Biden signs (S. 2938) • What's in the billexpands school safety spending beyond securityAbortion had slowed gun bill’s health care provisionsMike Lee on gun bill: “schools under this legislation easily could use the clinics established under the bill as a means of accomplishing the provision of abortions and also prescribe abortifacient drugs using State rather than Federal Medicaid funds.”

‘Keep Kids Fed Act’ passes, extends kids nutrition waivers nationwide (S. 2089)

SenateDaily Leader Remarks • Actions begun, passed, declined

Senate passes bill addressing the formula crisis (S. 4261)

‘Blue slip’ problem hangs up veterans toxic exposure bill (H.R. 3967) • bill stalls as lawmakers head home

Supreme Court security funding bill heads back to Senate with COVID-19 vaccine injury adds (H.R. 4346Hagerty Floor Remarks, House Amendment)

Senate Democrats block vote on Tuberville bill to ban males from women’s sports (S. 251Floor Debate) • Tuberville: Biden plan to allow trans athletes in school sports ‘an offense to every woman’

HouseWeekly Leader ColloquyBills • Actions passed, declined, summarized

House Approves Medical Research Bill, to Create Biomedical Agency Wins House Passage (H.R. 5585) • Congress Moves to Give the New Health Research Agency More IndependenceThe campaign to host the newest billion-dollar agency, ARPA-H, has begun

House passes package addressing mental health (H.R. 7666)

House passes LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act (H.R. 4176)

Friday, June 17, 2022

In Context: Home Training

After Senators ask questions, they would do well to listen to the answers given.

By his own account, Senator Durbin recently asked a group of young people from “gun-infested neighborhoods” in Chicago, “Tell me what I need to know as a U.S. Senator about what it means to grow up in your neighborhood.”

One young man said: “Senator, we need home training.” Asked what he meant, he elaborated, “We need parents to tell us what is right and wrong, to tell us what to do. There are no rules. The only rules I find are the rules of the gang's on the street. I know what their rules are, but I don't know what the rules are in terms of my own life.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

In Context: Overcoming Power Deficits

Senate Majority Leader Schumer began his daily floor remarks Wednesday by saying, “Mr. President, today, the House oversight and reform committee heard from a witness who, by all means, should never ever ever have had to come before the Congress, Miah Cerrillo, an 11-year-old girl who survived the shooting in Uvalde, TX.”

There's nothing to disagree with there. We agree that shooting should not have happened.

It did, and so the question now is what could have been done to prevent it there that could prevent that elsewhere.

Weekly Congress Update

Daily Digests HouseSenatePrayersCommittee Reports

SenateDaily Leader Remarks • Actions begun, passed, declined

Legislative Session

Toxic exposure bill would rewrite America’s compact with veteransSenate advances bill to address toxic burn pits and veteran healthcare (H.R. 3967)

Executive Session

Senate fails to clear Biden nominee with Harris in LA (49-51)

HouseWeekly Leader ColloquyBills • Actions passed, declined

Lawmakers hold bipartisan moment of silence on House floor to honor Uvalde victims (Moment of Silence) • Group of House Democrats boycott

House Democrats pass resolution condemning ‘great replacement’ theory (H.Res. 1152)

GOP push for SCOTUS security bill after arrest outside Kavanaugh's house (House floor attempts)

House passes sweeping gun package in largely party-line vote, Two Democrats vote against advancing (H.R. 7910223-204) • package faces uphill battle in Senate

House passes ‘red flag’ gun legislation in mainly party-line vote (H.R. 2377224-202) • legislation faces tough road in Senate

Rep. Ted Lieu recites ‘what Jesus Christ said about homosexuality’: Remains silent (Speech) • Jesus didn't say anything about kidnapping or about elder abuse either

Democrat gaveled out as he tries to read names of children killed by guns this year (Speech)

House passes resolution to allow annual Greater Washington Soap Box Derby on Capitol grounds June 18 (H.Con.Res. 88)

Saturday, June 4, 2022

In Context: Supreme Court Damage Showing

Normally, this weekly update is about Congress, those elected to the Legislative Branch and their actions in their elected capacity. There's also no question that each Branch also affects the other. This time of year, as the Supreme Court approaches the normal end of its ~9-month term in June, its decisions usually come more frequently, appear in national news headlines, and redirect policymaking conversations in Washington.

The Court usually takes about 60 cases per annual term, hears oral arguments from September through April, and then has about half of those cases remaining to decide during the remaining 2+ months of its term. This year, as of 5/1, the Court was already 4 cases behind its opinion-issuing pace from the two prior years.

Since the leak of the Alito draft opinion in the Dobbs abortion case a month ago, it has issued only 4 opinions, and none since 5/23. For post-6/1-issued opinions, the Court is now about 10 cases behind pace from the two prior years. That's now upwards of a 50 percent increase in its amount of work remaining.

Weekly Congress Update

Foreign Policy

Portman crosses into Ukraine, calls for more artillery shipmentsWhat's in Biden's $700 million military aid package for UkraineFive questions about U.S. help for Ukraine: (1) Is this the first/only time Washington has imposed a restriction on how Kyiv’s forces may use a weapons system provided by the United States or its allies? (2) When is a U.S. cyberattack not a violation of Biden’s policy of avoiding direct conflict with Russia? (3) How bad are Ukraine’s losses in its eastern Donbas region? (4) What can the United States and its allies do about Russia’s Black Sea blockade of Ukrainian ports, which has stranded the country’s wheat, barley, and sunflower oil exports, threatening dozens of countries with prospects of a food crisis? (5) What arms will Ukraine ask for next?

Duckworth pays three-day visit to Taiwan amid China tension


Puerto Rico governor hopeful that status bill will move quickly through Congress (Draft bill, discussion) • Context: Puerto Rico's electricity infrastructure has not yet fully recovered from Hurricane Maria (2017), and there was a fire at a power facility in April 2022.

Second Amendment

Congressional chambers approach new gun laws differently

Gun groups ready for aggressive effort against ‘red flag’ legislation — The House is planning to vote next week on a red flag bill, H.R. 2377, a “Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act” which includes language that allows a “family or household member,” including a “dating partner” or anyone who has “resided” with them, to confidentially request a Federal extreme risk protection order forcing “Relinquishment Of Firearms and Ammunition”. It also requires Federal law enforcement officer training to address “bias based on race and racism, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, language proficiency, mental health condition, disability, and classism in the use and administration of Federal extreme risk protection orders”.

Senate Targets Modest Deal on Gun ControlSenator says 'serious' bipartisan negotiations on gun legislation underwayTop GOP senator cites 'very constructive' gun reform talksSenators Zoom, but don't rushtalks continueMurphy says 'growing momentum' after latest meetingThe latestIs Cornyn the key to a compromise?Biden barges in after pledging to meet with Congressgun control groups not impressed

Graham: 'It is time to mobilize our retired and former service members' to secure schools

House Dem declares gun control will happen even if it means abolishing filibuster or expanding Supreme CourtRep. Nehls: Left Launching Second Amendment AssaultTo confiscate guns, Democrats are ready to destroy the courts and the Constitution

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