Tag Archives: Party leaders of the United States Senate

Rape Insurance?


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GOP War on Women, Michigan Edition

After the 2010 elections swept Republicans into power in legislatures across the country, they set about passing an unprecedented number of restrictions — 135 in 2011 and 2012 and 84 more so far this year — on abortion rights.

Michigan has been no exception. A year ago, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed one of the nation’s most extreme anti-abortion laws.

Now lawmakers have used a quirk in Michigan law to push through a bill mandating rape insurance. Yes, you read that right: rape insurance.

ThinkProgressTara Culp-Ressler explains:

On Wednesday evening, both chambers of the Michigan legislature approved a measure that will require women to purchase an additional insurance rider if they want abortion coverage, even in cases when the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. It will take effect 90 days after lawmakers adjourn, making Michigan the ninth state to restrict coverage of abortion on the private insurance market — an increasingly popular method of imposing barriers to the procedure.

Opponents decried the legislation as a “rape insurance” bill, pointing out that victims of sexual assault would be forced to pay out-of-pocket for an abortion procedure unless they had thought ahead and purchased a separate rider. In the lead-up to the vote, State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) called the bill “one of the most misogynistic proposals” that has ever been up for debate in the legislature, adding that forcing women to consider purchasing extra insurance in case they’re raped in the future is “truly despicable.”

And Republicans endorsed the measure even after their own colleagues shared their personal stories of sexual assault and miscarriage. Last year, two female Michigan state representatives were temporarily banned from speaking on the Michigan House floor after they dared speak the word “vagina” during the debate on a different draconian anti-abortion bill.

Snyder had vetoed the bill last year but it will become law this year without his signature because “citizen-initiated” bills (bills advanced following a signature gathering drive) approved by the legislature don’t require his approval. The legislature could have disapproved, in which case the measure would’ve been put before Michigan voters in 2014. Instead, they endorsed the offensive and cruel notion of rape insurance.

Harsh anti-abortion measures like this are just one example of a nationwide campaign by right-wing activists to impose their own theological doctrines onto others using public policy.

BOTTOM LINE: If Republicans don’t want to be accused of waging a war on women, they should stop passing bill after bill that attack women and their families.

10 Crazy Things the Right Did This Week


By  The summer may be over, but it’s never the end of crazy season when it comes to conservatives–from the silly to the serious.

1. Republicans Threaten To Push Nation Into Default Unless Obama Agrees To Delay Obamacare For One Year: Ironically, the proposition could actually increase the deficit by billions of dollars.
2. Secret Koch Fund Decries ‘Corporate Welfare’ And Stimulus But Funds Their Top Defender: A tax-exempt group claims to fight runaway stimulus spending and “corporate welfare” but gave millions to the Chamber of Commerce, perhaps the top backer of those programs.
3. GOP Tries To Sink Uncontroversial Energy Bill With An Obamacare Amendment: An energy efficiency bill would be the first major energy legislation passed in the Senate since 2007, but Republican amendments aiming to repeal Obamacare threaten to sink a long-awaited bill that has broad bipartisan support.
4. Heritage Puts Anti-Obamacare Billboard In Times Square After State Announces Huge Premium Drop: The message is just the latest political stunt from the organization that first developed the individual health care mandate and later touted Obamacare-like reforms in Massachusetts.
5. The Origins Of An Epidemic: How Right-Wing Religious Communities Give Measles A Chance To Spread: A recent measles outbreak in Texas was traced to an evangelical church that preached against vaccines. That’s not an isolated incident.
6. Five Reasons Congress Can’t Blame The Calendar For Delaying Immigration Reform: House Republicans are telling the media they simply don’t have time to pass immigration reform this year. They’re wrong.
7. Benghazi Conspiracy Rally On Capitol Hill Attracts Dozens Of People: It was meant to be a rallying moment for thousands of conservatives to demand the truth about Benghazi. Less than a hundred bothered to show up.
8. Conservatives Pressure Textbook Publishers To Downplay Existence Of Climate Change, Evolution: Prominent creationists with little scientific background or training are asking publishers include disclaimers about existing scientific theories.
9. Meet The Maryland Republicans Who Want To Secede:  The group, which calls itself the Western Maryland Initiative, is dissatisfied with the fact that, in a democracy, people with minority views are frequently outvoted by people with more common views.
10. Mitch McConnell Exploits Syria Conflict For Campaign Fundraising: The letter opened with the claim that Mitch McConnell “does not politicize issues of national security” but went on to argue that the senator’s opposition to the authorization for use of force is “a ringing example of why we need to keep Mitch fighting for us in the United States Senate.”

ThinkProgress


By  CAP Action War Room

GOP Blockade of Nominees Collapses

Today was supposed to be D-Day when it came to the so-called nuclear option in the Senate — a relatively minor change in the Senate rules to stop a minority of senators from using the filibuster as a means of nullifying democratically created government agencies and functions that they object to purely for ideological reasons.

After a three and a half hour meeting last night and ongoing negotiations through this morning, senators announced a deal to avert changing the Senate rules. Nevertheless, the deal represents a huge victory for Democrats and an almost unconditional surrender on the part of Senate Republicans.

Here’s the main elements of the deal:

  • The president’s nominees to head the Department of Labor, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Export-Import Bank, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will be confirmed without delay.
  • Two of the president’s current nominees to the National Labor Relations Board will be withdrawn; however, Republicans agree in advance to confirm any two nominees of the president’s choosing before the Senate recesses in August.
  • Democrats retain the right to revisit changing the filibuster rules on executive branch nominees at any time should Republicans once again begin a blockade.

Interestingly, Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) had offered a deal last night that would have also confirmed the current group of seven nominees, but would’ve required Democrats to promise to never again threaten to change the rules. Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) wisely rejected this offer in favor of the offer outlined above made by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and a group of breakaway Republicans.

Real progress has already been made as a result of this deal. CFPB nominee Richard Cordray had been prevented from receiving an up-or-down vote by Senate Republicans for 730 days. Following today’s deal, a cloture motion on his nomination passed 71-29 and a final confirmation vote is expected later today.

Hopefully this new spirit of cooperation from Senate Republicans will also extend to other areas. The president deserves up-or-down votes on his judicial nominations, which have also faced unprecedented levels of obstruction and delay from some Senate Republicans. In particular, we look forward to timely votes on the president’s three nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

BOTTOM LINE: Today’s deal does not fix all of the problems with the Senate, but it represents a huge victory for consumers, workers, and anyone who cares about clean air and water. In addition, the deal underscores that a unified Democrat caucus can stand up to unprecedented Republican obstructionism and get results.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

Seven mind-blowing moments from the first interview with Zimmerman juror B37.

GOP attacks on abortion rights likely to backfire.

The real reason why GOP leaders are terrified of filibuster reform.

The death and life of the party?

Reuters exposed: wire service is openly hostile to climate reporting, top editor doubts climate science.

The mundane, yet potent weapons of today’s anti-abortion movement.

House Republicans will vote tomorrow to leave an extra 13 MILLION people without health insurance.

Latest abomination in North Carolina: GOP plan to cut taxes on the rich, raise them on the poor.

Stevie Wonder to stop performing in Florida and other states with shoot first Stand Your Ground laws.

1.4 Million Americans : Want #GunViolence to STOP


Last Thursday in Washington, D.C., I joined 30 OFA volunteers and three
gun violence survivors as they delivered our petition to Congress with
more than 1.4 million signatures — including yours. It was an amazing
day, and a reminder that we’re nowhere near done with this fight.

What impressed me most on Thursday was getting a chance to talk with survivors like Pam Simon, Sami Rahamim, and Lori Haas.

You’ll see in the video that these folks have turned their personal pain
into action, and a force for good. It’s enough to change hearts and
minds.

OFA volunteers got a chance to meet with a few leaders in Congress, like
Rep. Mike Thompson, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, and House
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who asked all of us to keep fighting —
and even gave folks a few tips on how to keep the pressure on their
fellow lawmakers.

Senator Reid even tweeted: “Today, we received a petition from over 1.4
million Americans who demand action on background checks. This fight is
not over.”

I am more confident than ever that, if we keep working and making our
voices heard, we can and will win this. The petition delivery was a big
moment — but it’s not the end of this fight.

Watch the video and please, pass it along to anyone else who should see it and ask them to say they’re in, too:

CONGRESS: The Republican led House : the Senate, led by Dem


The Senate Convenes: 10:00amET November 27, 2012

  • Following the prayer and pledge, the Majority Leader will be recognized. The first hour will be equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders or their designees with the Republicans controlling the first half and the Majority controlling the final half.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30pm until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.
  • We hope to consider the Disabilities Treaty (Executive Calendar #6, Treaty Document 112-7) during tomorrow’s session.

2:35pm The Senate began a roll call vote on adoption of the motion to proceed to Executive Session for the consideration of Treaty 112-7, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;

Agreed to: 61-36

The Senate is in Executive Session considering Treaty 112-7, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, with debate only until 6:30pm. The time until 5pm is equally divided and controlled between the proponents and opponents.

WRAP UP

ROLL CALL VOTE

1) Motion to proceed to Executive Session to consider Treaty Document #112-7, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Agreed to: 61-36

LEGISLATIVE ITEMS

Passed S.3642, the Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act of 2012.

Adopted S.Res.602, designating 2012-2013 as the “Year of the Korean War Veteran” and recognizing the 60th anniversary of the Korean War.

Completed the Rule 14 process of S.3637, FDIC TAG Extension bill. (Reid)

———————————————————————————-

Watch Most Recent House Floor Activity

The next meeting in the House is scheduled for 2:00p.mET on November 27, 2012.

2:00:07 P.M.   <ACTION_DESCRIPTION>The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
2:00:19 P.M.   <ACTION_DESCRIPTION>The Speaker designated the Honorable Steve Womack to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
2:00:42 P.M.   <TODAY’S class=hiddenGrammarError title=”Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaplain_of_the_United_States_House_of_Representatives&#8221; pre=”prayer ” target=”_blank” rel=”wikipedia” House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.
2:02:22 P.M.   <The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
2:02:25 P.M.   PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Poe of TX to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
2:02:54 P.M.   The House received a message from the Senate. The Senate passed H.R. 6063.
2:03:27 P.M.   a communication from The Honorable Nydia M. Velazquez. Pursuant to Rule VIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Velazquez notified the House that she had been served with a subpoena for documents issued by the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Kings in connection with civil litigation currently pending before that court and that after consultation with the Office of General Counsel, she had determined that compliance with the subpoena is inconsistent with the privileges and precedents of the House.
2:03:44 P.M.   <ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches.
2:10:31 P.M.   The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for 4:30 P.M. today.
4:34:56 P.M.   The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of November 27.
4:35:11 P.M.   will be postponed until a time to be announced.
4:35:18 P.M. H.R. 6025 <>Mrs. Miller (MI) moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. H.R. 6025 — “To provide for annual reports on the status of operational control of the international land and maritime borders of the United States and unlawful entries, and for other purposes.”
4:35:30 P.M. H.R. 6025 <Considered under suspension of the rules.
4:35:33 P.M. H.R. 6025 DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 6025.
4:42:19 P.M. H.R. 6025 motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.
4:42:22 P.M. H.R. 6025 <>Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
4:42:40 P.M. H.R. 5913 <MR. class=hiddenSpellError pre=”Mr ” McCaul moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. H.R. 5913 — “To create an independent advisory panel to comprehensively assess the management structure and capabilities related to the Department of Homeland Security and make recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the Department.”
4:42:48 P.M. H.R. 5913 <Considered under suspension of the rules.
4:42:51 P.M. H.R. 5913 <>DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 5913.
4:53:46 P.M. H.R. 5913 <On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.
4:53:49 P.M. H.R. 5913 >Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
4:54:18 P.M. H.R. 915 Mr. McCaul moved that the House suspend the rules and agree to the Senate amendment.
4:54:35 P.M. H.R. 915 DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 915.
5:07:00 P.M. H.R. 915 At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.
5:07:31 P.M. H.R. 5997 <MR. class=hiddenSpellError pre=”Mr ” Bilirakis moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. H.R. 5997 — “To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to codify authority under existing grant guidance authorizing use of Urban Area Security Initiative and State Homeland Security Grant Program funding for enhancing medical preparedness, medical surge capacity, and mass prophylaxis capabilities.”
5:07:42 P.M. H.R. 5997 <Considered under suspension of the rules.
5:07:43 P.M. H.R. 5997 <DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 5997.
5:15:47 P.M. H.R. 5997 At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.
5:16:17 P.M. H.R. 6328 <MR. class=hiddenSpellError pre=”Mr ” Bilirakis moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill. H.R. 6328 — “To amend title 49, United States Code, to direct the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration) to transfer unclaimed clothing recovered at airport security checkpoints to local veterans organizations and other local charitable organizations, and for other purposes.”
5:16:25 P.M. H.R. 6328 Considered under suspension of the rules.
5:16:27 P.M. H.R. 6328 DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 6328.
5:22:59 P.M. H.R. 6328 <On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote.
5:23:02 P.M. H.R. 6328 <Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
5:23:30 P.M.   Mr. Bilirakis asked unanimous consent That when the House adjourns on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, it adjourn to meet at noon on Wednesday, November 28, 2012. Agreed to without objection.
5:25:37 P.M.   The House received a communication from Representative Jackson (IL) wherein he resigns as a member of the House of Representatives effective Wednesday, November 21, 2012.
5:26:46 P.M.   <ACTION_DESCRIPTION>ADJUSTMENT OF WHOLE HOUSE – Under clause 5(d) of Rule XX, the Chair announced to the House that, in light of the resignation of the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Jackson, the whole number of the House is 433.
5:27:46 P.M.   The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 P.M. today.
6:30:16 P.M.   The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of November 27.
6:31:24 P.M.   UNFINISHED BUSINESS – The Chair announced that the unfinished business was on motions to suspend the rules which had been debated earlier and on which further proceedings had been postponed.
6:31:58 P.M. H.R. 5997 Considered as unfinished business. H.R. 5997 — “To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to codify authority under existing grant guidance authorizing use of Urban Area Security Initiative and State Homeland Security Grant Program funding for enhancing medical preparedness, medical surge capacity, and mass prophylaxis capabilities.”
6:57:12 P.M. H.R. 5997 On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 397 – 1 (Roll no. 609).
6:57:14 P.M. H.R. 5997 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
7:07:00 P.M. H.R. 915 <On motion that the House suspend the rules and agree to the Senate amendment Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 397 – 4 (Roll no. 610).
7:07:01 P.M. H.R. 915 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
7:11:28 P.M.   The House proceeded with further one minute speeches.
9:44:01 P.M.   <MR. class=hiddenSpellError pre=”Mr ” Lungren, Daniel E. moved that the House do now adjourn.
9:44:14 P.M.   On motion to adjourn Agreed to by voice vote.
9:44:15 P.M.   The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on November 28, 2012.