the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 8/10 ~~ the House On break until September 8, 2015


The Senate stands adjourned until 11:30am on Thursday, August 6 for a pro forma session, with the Record being kept open from 11:30am until 1:30pm for the introduction of bills and resolutions, statements, and cosponsor requests. Committees will also be allowed to file bills and reports on August 28 from 12:00pm until 2:00pm.

When the Senate adjourns on August 6 it will stand adjourned under the provisions of H.Con.Res.72 until 2:00pm on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.


Last Floor Action:
12:06:57 P.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn. The next meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday, August 7, 2015 unless it sooner receives a message from the Senate transmitting its concurrence in H. Con. Res. 72, in which case, the House shall stand adjourned pursuant to that concurrent resolution.


Thank Governor Bullock for Medicaid Expansion!

Wordpressmo-medicaid-whiteRight now, 70,000 Montanans are caught between not qualifying for Medicaid and being unable to afford health insurance on their own.

Governor Bullock has just signed a bipartisan bill that would close this gap and ensure all Montanans have access to quality health care.

SIGN YOUR NAME: Thank Governor Bullock for expanding Medicaid!

DACA Works


Every State Would Benefit Economically From The President’s Immigration Directives

DACA, DAPA, and DACA expansion could have a huge economic impact on all Americans, according to a new state-by-state analysis from the Center for American Progress. President Obama’s immigration directives to defer the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants would grow the US economy by $230 billion over 10 years. That is, so long as it is allowed to be implemented fully.

CAP’s report analyzed the impact the three deferred action programs will have on state GDP, gains in income, and creation of jobs over 10 years in 37 different states and Washington DC. In Texas, for example, more than half of the 1.5 million undocumented immigrants in the state are eligible for the programs. The graphic below shows what that would mean in economic terms:

Speaking of Texas, it is leading a coalition of 26 states that are suing the administration to block the implementation of DACA expansion and DAPA. All 26 states involved in the lawsuit stand to gain economically if their lawsuit is unsuccessful, and Texas stands to gain the second most of any state. The reason states will see such economic gain from the implementation of DACA, DAPA, and DACA expansion is the same reason the entire country will benefit from the programs: more than half of the undocumented population have been in the country for more than 13 years, and the vast majority are already contributing to our society by working in our farms, factories, restaurants, and hotels. If the millions of people already contributing to our economy are allowed to come out of the shadows, they will enjoy wage increases and better workplace protections, which, in turn, will give them more money to put back into our economy.

As 2016 approaches, many GOP candidates are gearing up to repeat the same immigration mistakes as those who came before them. Mitt Romney’s deputy campaign manager explained yesterday how Romney’s anti-immigration rhetoric hurt him in 2012 and warned current GOP candidates not to repeat his mistake. While anti-immigrant rhetoric may play well at a primary rally, it has proven to alienate everyday Americans.

BOTTOM LINE: The entire country stands to benefit economically from President Obama’s immigration directives. Allowing millions of hardworking people to live without fear of deportation would raise their wages and give them the protections they deserve, which would in turn benefit the entire country. And as presidential primary season gets underway, the Republican candidates seem poised to repeat the same extreme positions as those who came before them.

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Representative McDermott: Please cosponsor the #SaveOakFlatAct STOP #RioTinto

Dear MoveOn member,

Congress is poised to hand sacred Apache land in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest to the multinational mining company Rio Tinto, after Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake tucked the giveaway into a military spending bill last December. Both senators have close ties to Rio Tinto.1

The Apache have held gatherings and ceremonies on the land, called Oak Flat, since “well before recorded history.”2 Rio Tinto plans to establish a massive copper mine there, using an underground version of open-pit mining that will devastate the land.

But we can still save Oak Flat, because the land transfer isn’t yet final. Today, Apache leaders are in Washington, D.C., meeting with members of Congress and rallying outside the U.S. Capitol.

Can you call Representative Jim McDermott now? Tell him: “Please cosponsor the Save Oak Flat Act to stop a foreign mining company from destroying sacred Apache land.”

Here’s where to call:

Representative Jim McDermott
Phone: (202) 225-3106

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

The Save Oak Flat Act (H.R. 2811), sponsored by Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva, simply repeals the congressional giveaway.3

Senators McCain and Flake inserted it into the 1600-page military spending bill behind closed doors and literally in the dead of night, with the news leaking out just before midnight on the day before the vote. Senator McCain is the top congressional recipient of Rio Tinto campaign contributions, and Senator Flake used to be a paid lobbyist for the company.4

Between 2005 and 2011, bills allowing Rio Tinto to mine the federally protected land died in committee five times in the U.S. House of Representatives and six times in the U.S. Senate.5 The bills were going absolutely nowhere until Senators McCain and Flake bypassed the democratic process.

Oak Flat is now on the 2015 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.6

Apache leaders have been fighting back and building increasing pressure on Congress to reverse the land giveaway. At the rally today in Washington, D.C., MoveOn will join with Avaaz and others to deliver 885,000 signatures demanding Congress return the land to the Apache people.

With Apache leaders in Washington only through the end of the day, now is the time to act. Please help right a terrible wrong by calling Rep. McDermott now at (202) 225-3106 to save Oak Flat from copper mining before it’s too late.

Thanks for all you do.

–Maria, Erica, Milan, Corinne, and the rest of the team


1. “Selling Off Apache Holy Land,” The New York Times, May 29, 2015

2. Ibid.

3. “Grijalva Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Repeal Giveaway of Sacred Arizona Native American Land to Multinational Mining Conglomerates,” House Natural Resources Committee Democrats, June 17, 2015

4. “Rio Tinto Group, Profile for 2014 Cycle,” Open

5. “In Arizona, a controversial federal land swap leaves Apaches in the lurch,” Aljazeera America, February 20, 2015

6. “Grijalva’s Save Oak Flat Bill Boosted by Historic Preservation Listing,” Indian Country Today Media, July 20, 2015

Men, Women and Children of the San Carlos Apache tribe have been camped out at a place called Oak Flat

Photo Credit Maëlle Doliveux 


The Economy: Beneath the Din … Campaign for America’s Future

Robert Borosage

The Economy: Beneath the Din

Donald Trump’s “barstool eruptions” fill the news shows, but Trump seems tame compared to the economic headlines. The stock market craters and then bounces back. Growth for the second quarter is revised up to 3.7%, even as CBO revises its projection for this year down from 2.9% to 2.0%. The dollar is up and inflation is down, yet the Federal Reserve is talking itself into hiking interest rates. The owner of our office building decided to put TVs into the elevators, all tuned loudly to the babbling heads on CNBC. One thing is clear amid the din: these economic weather-vanes don’t have a clue which way the wind is blowing. So to help clear the murk, here’s a bit of common sense.

Labor Board Ruling Boosts Right To Unionize

In landmark case, labor board will let more workers bargain with their employer’s employer. Washington Post: “A federal labor board voted Thursday to redefine the employee-employer relationship granting new bargaining powers to workers caught up in an economy increasingly reliant on subcontractors, franchisees and temporary staffing agencies. The decision by the National Labor Relations Board could upend the traditional arms-length relationship that has prevailed between corporate titans such as McDonald’s and its neighborhood fast-food franchises. And it comes as concerns are growing about a generation of new Internet-fueled business such as Uber and Lyft that depend heavily on independent contractors.”

New ruling could give fast-food workers more power to unionize. Christian Science Monitor: “A major ruling handed down on Thursday by the US National Labor Relations Board could give unions greater bargaining power by enabling them to negotiate directly with large parent companies like McDonald’s that rely heavily on franchisees and contractors. The board in a 3-2 decision ruled that an existing standard that said companies only qualify as “joint employers” of workers hired by another business if they had “direct and immediate” control over employment matters was outdated and did not reflect the realities of the 21st century workforce. The ruling said parent companies can be held liable for labor violations committed by franchisees and contractors even when they have only indirect control. It is expected to impact a broad range of US industries built on franchising and contract labor, from fast food and hospitality to security and construction.

Obama in Post-Katrina New Orleans

Obama, in New Orleans, Praises Results of Federal Intervention. New York Times: “President Obama came to this once-stricken city on Thursday to make a case for his entire presidency: that when disaster strikes, the federal government should help not only to rescue the stranded but also to rebuild better and fairer than before. … The president explicitly linked New Orleans’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina, which struck 10 years ago this month, to the nation’s recovery from the 2008 recession. “That’s the story of New Orleans, but that’s also the story of America,” he said.”

Obama praises New Orleans’ recovery from disaster. Politico: “‘What started out as a natural disaster became a man-made disaster — a failure of government to look out for its own citizens,’ the president said. In that light, Obama said he considers the city’s rebirth over the last decade ‘remarkable.’ ‘Because this is a city that slowly, unmistakably, together, is moving forward,’ he said. ‘Because the project of rebuilding here wasn’t just to to restore the city as it had been. It was to build a city as it should be – a city where everyone, no matter what they look like or how much money they’ve got, where they come from, where they’re born, has a chance to make it.’”

GOP Presidential Race

Trump Proposals Risk Deepening GOP Rift on Immigration. ABC News: “Donald Trump has exposed anew the deep rift inside the Republican Party on immigration, a break between its past and the country’s future that the party itself has said it must bridge if the GOP ever hopes to win back the White House. … Some Republicans then hoped candidates with more moderate positions on immigration — such as Jeb Bush, the Spanish-speaking former Florida governor, or Sen. Marco Rubio, a Miami native and son of Cuban parents — would rise during the 2016 campaign and boost the party’s appeal to Hispanic voters. Instead, it’s Trump — with his call to deport everyone living in the U.S. illegally and eliminate birthright citizenship — who has surged to the top of the summertime polls, reinforcing the lasting power of white, conservative voters who the GOP has courted for decades and continue to dominate the party’s presidential primaries.”

Eric Cantor endorses Jeb Bush for president. CNN: “Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor endorsed presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Thursday. ‘Governor Bush is a true conservative leader with a long-term vision for this country and the practical know-how to implement it,’ Cantor said in a statement. ‘After eight years of anemic growth and declining international relevance, America needs a president that can re-energize our nation and recapture our greatness — Jeb Bush is that man. I look forward to working closely with the governor and his team as they chart a course to the White House.’”

Progressive Breakfast is a daily morning email highlighting news stories of interest to activists. Progressive Breakfast is a project of the Campaign for America’s Future. more »


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