CONGRESS: Republican led House :::::: Senate led by Democrats


Wethepeople

The Senate will convene at 2:00pm on Monday, February 25, 2013.

Following the prayer and the pledge, Senator Ayotte will deliver Washington’s Farewell Address.  Upon the conclusion of the reading, the Senate will be in a period of morning business until 5:00pm with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.

Following morning business, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider Executive Calendar #7, the nomination of Robert Bacharach, of Oklahoma, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit with up to 30 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled between Senators Leahy and Grassley or their designees.

Upon the use or yielding back of time (at approximately 5:30pm), there will be a roll call vote on confirmation of the Bacharach nomination

5:30pm The Senate began a roll call vote on confirmation of Executive Calendar #7, the nomination of Robert E. Bacharach, of Oklahoma, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit;

Confirmed: 93-0

WRAP UP

ROLL CALL VOTE

1)      Confirmation of Executive Calendar #7, Robert E. Bacharach, of Oklahoma, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit; Confirmed: 93-0

LEGISLATIVE ITEMS

Passed S.298, A bill to prevent nuclear proliferation in North Korea, and for other purposes with committee-reported amendments.

Adopted S.Res.41, Supporting the designation of March 2013, as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

No EXECUTIVE ITEMS

At 12:00 noon on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, the Senate will proceed to vote on
the motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #10, the nomination of Charles Timothy
Hagel, of Nebraska, to be Secretary of Defense, upon reconsideration. If cloture
is invoked on the nomination, post-cloture debate time will count during the
recess for the caucus recess, any period of morning business or adjournment.

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The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on February 25, 2013.

« Previous Day

Weekly Women’s Update: Averting the Sequester and Reducing the Deficit


Greetings All-

We hope this message finds you well.

Just 7 days from now, Congress might permit a series of severe and automatic budget cuts, called the “sequester,” to go into effect. Read the President’s proposal to resolve the sequester and reduce our deficit by over $4 trillion dollars in a balanced way. You can also view the President’s remarks on the importance of Congress finding a balanced approach to deficit reduction that doesn’t harm our economy or the middle class.

Join us for a call about the sequester on Tuesday, February 26 at 10:30am. RSVP details are below.

President Obama was in Chicago last Friday to talk about the importance of making sure every child in America has every chance in life to succeed. The President laid out a plan to rebuild ladders of opportunity for every American who is willing to work hard and climb them.

The White House Champions of Change program highlights the stories and examples of citizens who are moving their communities forward. This March’s event will focus on Women Veterans’ contributions within the veterans’ community. Nominate a woman veteran as a Champion of Change by midnight on Tuesday, February 26.

Best wishes,

The White House Council on Women & Girls

Engage With The White House About The Sequester

You are invited to join a call with senior White House officials on Tuesday, February 26 at 10:30am EDT to discuss the President’s call for Congress to replace harmful cuts with a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

Participants must preregister for this teleconference at http://ems6.intellor.com?p=600025&do=register&t=1. Once the participant registers, a confirmation page will display dial-in numbers and a unique PIN, and the participant will also receive an email confirmation of this information.  This call is off the record and not for press purposes.

President Obama: Automatic Budget Cuts Will Hurt Economy, Slow Recovery, and Put People Out of Work.

Just 7 days from now, Congress might permit a series of severe and automatic budget cuts, called the “sequester,” that will hurt our economic growth, add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls, and threaten military readiness. President Obama said Tuesday morning:

“Now, if Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research. It won’t consider whether we’re cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day. It doesn’t make those distinctions.”

But, these cuts don’t have to happen — Congress has the power to stop them. The President has called on Congress to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines tax reform with additional spending reforms – an approach that doesn’t harm our economy or the middle class.

View the President’s complete remarks on the sequester here:

President's remarks on the sequester

A Balanced Plan to Avert the Sequester and Reduce the Deficit

The President and Congressional Democrats have put forward solutions to avoid the sequester’s severe cuts and allow time for both sides to work on a long-term, balanced solution to our deficit challenges.

The President is serious about cutting spending, reforming entitlements and the tax code to reduce the deficit in a balanced way. The question is, will Congressional Republicans come to the table to get something done?

The President’s proposal resolves the sequester and reduces our deficit by over $4 trillion dollars in a balanced way- by cutting spending, finding savings in entitlement programs and asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share. As a result the deficit would be cut below its historic average and the debt would fall as a share of the economy over the next decade. View the President’s plan here.

We can’t just cut our way to prosperity. Even as we look for ways to reduce deficits over the long term, we must grow the economy in a way that strengthens the middle class and everyone willing to work hard to get into it.

We hope that Congressional Republicans come to the table for the sake of middle class families, our national security and our future today.

Deficits as a share of GDP

Giving Every Child a Chance in Life

President Obama was in Chicago on Friday to talk about the importance of making sure every child in America has every chance in life to succeed. Speaking at the Hyde Park Career Academy, which is less than a mile from the Obama’s home in that city, the President laid out a plan to rebuild ladders of opportunity for every American who is willing to work hard and climb them. This includes making sure every child in America has access to high-quality pre-K, and raising the minimum wage so that no family that works hard and relies on a minimum wage is living in poverty. But creating a path into the middle class also means transforming high-poverty communities into places of opportunity that can attract private investment, improve education, and create jobs.

Read the President’s remarks on his plan to make that happen.

Champions of Change: Women Veterans

The White House Champions of Change program highlights the stories and examples of citizens across the country who are “Winning the Future” with projects and initiatives that move their communities forward.

This March, the White House Office of Public Engagement will host a Champions of Change event for Women Veterans to highlight their contributions within the veterans’ community, especially female veterans who served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. We know many Women Veterans continue to role model leadership and a dedication to service, often continuing engagement within the veterans’ and military families’ community.

We are asking for your help to identify women veterans that may be “Champions of Change.”

For example, a champion’s work may entail:

  • Improving health care services available to women and children
  • Helping women veterans transition into the workforce
  • Leading programs to improve the well-being of young women
  • Developing a program to support victims of domestic violence or trauma
  • Helping engage and support Wounded Warriors transition to new careers
  • Providing services and support to eliminate homelessness

Nominate a woman veteran as a Champion of Change.

Please submit nominations by midnight on Tuesday, February 26

Wells Fargo


Wells Fargo vs. Bernetta Adolph

Tell your Friends

Bernetta Adolph taking action against Wells Fargo.

CFS Logo Connect with the Campaign for a Fair Settlement

Bernetta Adolph is a member of CFS partner Home Defenders League. We thought you’d want to hear about her story and help her and thousands of others fight back against Wells Fargo.
–Brian, Campaign for a Fair Settlement


Retired. Cancer survivor. Disabled. Single mother. Senior. And Wells Fargo is about to steal my home.
My name is Bernetta Adolph, a retired employee of the City of San Francisco, and I’ve lived in my home for almost 20 years. My trouble with Wells Fargo started when I took out a loan against my house in order to ensure my only son could afford a good education.
Click here to tell Wells Fargo to keep me in my home and add your voice thousands of others taking dramatic action against Wells Fargo across California and Minnesota on Wednesday the 27th!
It turns out the loan to provide for my son’s future was designed to ruin my own. It was predatory, calculated to strip my equity and set me up for failure. When I tried to work with Wells to fix the loan, they offered a modification so small it didn’t make any difference. Then they started trying to take my house. The stress hastened my blindness and continues to aggravate my health problems.
But I’m far from the only one to have suffered at the hands of Wells Fargo bankers. Here’s what I’ve found out:

  • Wells Fargo is foreclosing on more people in California than any other bank. [1]
  • Wells Fargo paid $175 million to settle a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that it targeted African-American and Latino borrowers for high-cost loans. [2]
  • From 2008-2010 Wells Fargo received $17.9 Billion in tax subsidies from you and me. [3]

These reasons plus stopping the theft of my home are why I’m proud that the Campaign for a Fair Settlement is joining with me, the Home Defenders League, and my home-state organization, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, to take on Wells Fargo directly by demonstrating at their branches and headquarters all over the state.You can add your voice to our direct actions by signing the petition here.
Not only that, but we’re also teaming up with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change,Occupy Homes MN, and Minnesotans for a Fair Economy to make the message as powerful as possible. Those groups are leading a huge day of action against Wells in Minneapolis the same time we’ll be taking them on in California. Here’s what we’re demanding:

  • Deliver on promised relief through full implementation of AG settlement and other programs.
  • Broadly implement of loan modifications by resetting mortgages to fair market value.
  • Restore our stolen wealth by ending predatory practices, ending discriminatory lending and paying your fair share of taxes.

Add your voice and tell Wells Fargo to keep me in my home and pay us back!
Since his inauguration in January, we’ve been pushing President Obama to use the first 100 days of his second term to finally hold Wall Street banks like Wells Fargo accountable for breaking our economy. This is the week we broaden the “100 Days to Fix What Wall Street Broke” campaign to Wall Street itself. They are the ones with our savings and our homes. It’s time for them to pay us back. Starting with Wells Fargo.
Click here to tell Wells Fargo it’s time to pay us back!
In solidarity,
Bernetta Adolph, ACCE and Home Defenders League member
 
[1] Based on statistics found in Foreclosure Radar, http://www.foreclosureradar.com [2] http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/July/12-dag-869.html [3] http://www.ctj.org/taxjusticedigest/archive/2011/11/tax_dodger_wells_fargo.php#.USfd0zDWi3w

Will our USPS be sold out?


 by Rashad Robinson, ColorOfChange.org
House Republicans are trying to bankrupt the post office — so they can privatize it.postal worker sorting mailTell Congress: Stand up for postal workers and the public. Hands off our Postal Service!Join Us

House Republicans are jumping at the chance to put the U.S. Postal Service — one of America’s most widely-used and well-trusted civic institutions1 — on the chopping block, and to throw a half million largely Black and female unionized workers out of a job.2,3

It’s a scandal. By most mainstream news accounts, the USPS is broke and beyond repair. The media is now parroting what used to be far-right talking points about actually selling off, or privatizing, the postal system outright.4

Except the post office isn’t broke — and hasn’t taken a dime of taxpayer money since 1971.5 Congress created the USPS’s financial crisis, and they could end it today. A Bush-era requirement that the Postal Service pre-fund its retiree benefits 75 years into the future — a burden imposed on no other government agency or private employer — has been digging the otherwise profitable Postal Service deeper and deeper into the red.6,7 Instead of working to fix the problem, Republicans in the House are taking advantage of the post office’s financial vulnerability to try to shut it down.

Please join us in urging Congress to enact postal reform that drops the USPS’s unfair 75-year pre-funding burden and keeps the post office in service to the public.

Due to its exceptional efficiency,8 the Postal Service has managed to turn a profit on postal sales in the worst economy since the Great Depression. But the massive pre-funding payments required by Congress have added up, and the USPS’s financial situation is now so dire that the Postmaster General is threatening to cut Saturday mail delivery.9 Such a move would immediately slash 18% of the postal workforce10 and create delays for Veterans’ and Social Security checks, putting people who are already struggling to make it to the end of the month at even greater risk.11

Because of its obligation and responsibility to provide affordable, universal service, only the USPS can be counted on to reach every home in America, rain or shine. After Superstorm Sandy, which severed public transportation links and shuttered retail for weeks in the worst-hit areas, the Postal Service was all many had to rely on for access to life-saving medicines.12 Live in an urban neighborhood “too dangerous” for UPS and FedEx, or down a remote rural lane? Without the USPS you’d receive no service at all.13

The public sector is under relentless right-wing attack14 — and Black working women are bearing the brunt. Nationwide, 40% of postal workers are women and 20% are Black, although in cities like Chicago, Black letter carriers can comprise upwards of 75% of the local USPS workforce.15 When the country is still experiencing nearly 8% unemployment — and Black unemployment has climbed back up to 14%16 — any deliberate effort to put even more of us out of work is indefensible.

The Postal Service must continue to work for all of us. Please join us in urging Congress to stop bankrupting the USPS’s future and adopt real postal reform that respects workers and our communities.

Claims that mail delivery has been made obsolete by the advent of email and online bill payment ring hollow for the 46% of Black Americans without access to high-speed Internet in their homes.17 And making financial transactions online isn’t an option for the more than 37 million American households — over 60% of whom are Black or Latino — without a bank account or access to formal credit,18 for whom inexpensive post office money orders meet a vitally important need.

Congress will make a decision on ending Saturday delivery as early as next Friday, setting the stage for a showdown on the larger question of retiree benefits in March. To that end, Congress is now working on competing proposals for postal reform that will result in either further punishing and privatizing the Postal Service, or in removing obstacles to innovation and expanding USPS’s flexibility to meet additional critical needs — including by offering public Internet access, community banking and expanded vote by mail.19,20,21

Please join us in urging Congress to stand up for postal workers and the public, by adopting postal reform legislation that rejects privatization and puts the post office back on solid financial ground. And when you do, please tell your friends and family to do the same.

Thanks and Peace,

–Rashad, Matt, Arisha, Kim and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team    February 21st, 2013

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.

References

1. “The Postal Service is struggling, but not because of the mail,” Washington Post, 07-19-12 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2245?t=10&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

2. “Postal Workers: The Last Union,” Truthout, 09-08-11 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2246?t=12&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

3. “USPS’s Largely Black and Female Workforce Rallies to Save Jobs,” Colorlines, 09-28-11 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2255?t=14&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

4. “Post Office Privatization Is Probably a Huge Real Estate Deal,” 08-02-12 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2244?t=16&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

5. “The Post Office is not broke—and it hasn’t taken any of our tax money since 1971,” Hightower Lowdown, 03-01-12 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2259?t=18&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

6. “Congress Can Block Postal Austerity, and Save Saturday Delivery,” The Nation, 02-13-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2248?t=20&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

7. “Mandate pushed Postal Service into the red for first quarter,” Washington Post, 02-08-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2249?t=22&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

8. “Why the Postal Service Is Going Out of Business,” Forbes, 12-06-11 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2258?t=24&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

9. See reference 6.

10. “Dead Letter Blues,” Jacobin, 02-11-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2272?t=26&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

11. “Nader, Bernie Sanders Slam Postal Service for No Sat. Delivery,” The Progressive, 02-06-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2251?t=28&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

12. “Do We Really Want to Live Without the Post Office?” Esquire, 01-22-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2254?t=30&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

13. See reference 2.

14. “The collateral damage of cutting postal service,” Washington Post, 02-12-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2247?t=32&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

15. “U.S. Post Office cuts threaten source of black jobs,” Reuters, 01-21-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2256?t=34&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

16. “Black Unemployment Rate Shoots Up from 12.9% to 14%,” Politic365, 01-04-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2257?t=36&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

17. “Pew Internet: Broadband,” Pew Internet & American Life Project, 05-24-12 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2252?t=38&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

18. “Black, Latino Consumers Severely Under-Banked,” Atlanta Black Star, 12-07-12 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2253?t=40&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

19. “Issa’s Postal Service Reform Bill Includes Hidden Union Busting,” ThinkProgress, 07-14-11 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2260?t=42&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

20. “End of Saturday Mail Delivery Gets Conservative Support,” Roll Call, 02-06-2013 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/2261?t=44&akid=2820.1174326.XREeCr

21. See reference 6.