6/14 Weekly Legislative Update


How did your MOCs vote last week?

H.Res. 995: Appointing Rep. Mfume to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform
Agreed to with no objection (no individual votes recorded)

S. 3637: A bill to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to extend lease protections for servicemembers under stop movement orders in response to a local, national, or global emergency, and for other purposes.
Passed Senate with unanimous consent (no individual votes recorded)

S. 939: Concerns Over Nations Funding University Campus Institutes in the United States Act or the CONFUCIUS Act
Passed Senate with unanimous consent (no individual votes recorded)

S. 149: Stop Senior Scams Act
Passed Senate with unanimous consent (no individual votes recorded)

S.Res. 454: A resolution calling for the immediate release of Cuban democracy activist Jose Daniel Ferrer and commending the efforts of Jose Daniel Ferrer to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba.
Agreed to in Senate by unanimous consent (no individual votes recorded)


Bills On the House Schedule This Coming Week:

H.R. 1957: Taxpayer First Act of 2019
According to GovTrack.us, this bill ” This bill modifies requirements for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding its organizational structure, customer service, enforcement procedures, management of information technology, and use of electronic systems.” A full summary can be found here.

In Committee:

Three pieces of legislation written in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and their committee assignments:

  • George Floyd Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act: This bill introduces several reforms, including establishing federal minimum standards for policing (which don’t currently exist), mandatory reporting on deadly use of force, and creating a federal task force on investigating & prosecuting of law enforcement agencies. It currently awaits a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. You can reach them with your opinion at: 202-225-3951
  • H.R. 4408: Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act of 2019: Introduced last year and named for yet another victim of excessive force by police, this Act is seeing new support by Democrats in the House and would make choke-holds and similar oxygen-restricting tactics illegal. It also awaits a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. You can reach them with your opinion at: 202-225-3951
  • H.R. 7115: The Restoration of Civil Rights Act: This brand new bill would effect several practices at the legal level, including eliminating “qualified immunity” for law enforcement officers, and allowing individuals to sue local law enforcement for federal constitutional violations of their civil rights. With the two above, this bill awaits a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. You can reach them with your opinion at: 202-225-3951


H.R. 7044: To withhold the pay of Members of the House of Representatives who cast a vote or record their presence in the House by proxy, and for other purposes.
This bill by Ted Budd (R-NC) would declare it unconstitutional for a MOC to vote by proxy rather than in person, a practice that until Covid was unheard of in US Congress. Supporters say MOCs need to show up in person like the rest of working America does in order to get paid. Opponents say this is in the best interests of both the Constitution and public health. The bill awaits a hearing in the House Administration Committee. You can reach them with your opinion at (202) 225-2061

S. 3796: A bill to withhold funding authorized under the CARES Act from any State or municipality that provides economic stimulus payments through a program designed to exclusively assist illegal aliens.
This bill by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) (with a House version introduced a week later on May 28 as bill number H.R. 7043, by Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO4)), would as advertised block federal CARES Act aid from people who are undocumented. Supporters say the money should go to “hardworking Americans who obey all laws.” Opponents say if you work and live in the US and pay federal taxes, you should be eligible for this federal aid. This bill awaits a hearing in the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. You can reach them with your opinion at (202) 225-5051


As racial justice continues to dominate the news and our minds, I want to extend two invitations to you. Much has been made in the past nearly four years of the “intersectionality” of all the issues we each hold so dear. All of us have found ourselves called into this space for different reasons, different priorities. Mine was predominantly environment. Despite having members of my family and close friends involved in anti-racism work since Ferguson and before, I personally had given only silent support to this movement, telling myself that I had limited resources and really needed to focus on what was most important to me. That nothing mattered unless we addressed climate change.
In the past weeks, witnessing the sea-change that is happening all around us in the wake of so many injustices and so, so many years of oppression, I’m truly beginning to finally understand what intersectionality means. The culture that gives us police brutality and racism is the same that gives us environmental exploitation, that gives us sexism and misogyny, that gives us the defunding of education, social safety-net programs, healthcare… The list goes on.
The movement for abolitionism and anti-racism IS the movement for climate justice. It IS the movement for healthcare for all, for education, for true peace, for de-militarizing our world. Whatever your dearest issue is I promise you, now is the time to ACT.
So to my invitations. There are two events this week I hope you’ll consider:

  • SURJ’s Collect Your Cousins Campaign: This is a weekly training/phone banking event, Thursdays from 5pm-8pm Central, taking place via phone/Zoom. You will learn how to talk and listen to voters in swing states, and then you’ll actually call them and have meaningful conversations with the goal of getting out the vote!
  • Acknowledging that the majority of those reading this newsletter are white, we must acknowledge that one of the biggest barriers to true racial justice is white silence. Commit to ending white silence by showing up at your own city/town’s police department. Bring friends, and a sign that simply says End White Silence. For resources and information on this action, click here. If you’re newer to anti-racism and maybe uncomfortable with calls to defund the police, here are several resources you can use to get more information: