01/03 Weekly Legislative Update

You can make a difference:

So far twelve senators, including Indiana’s Senator Braun, have joined the effort to overturn election results on Wednesday when Congress convenes to approve the certified electoral college results of each state. (Carney, Jordain. “11 Senate Republicans say they will oppose Electoral College results Wednesday.” The Hill. 02 January 2021: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/532366-11-senate-republicans-say-they-will-object-to-electoral-college-results-on?rnd=1609609018.)

Senator Braun has signed on to the effort even though he acknowledged Biden’s victory after the states certified: “I, like many Hoosiers, am disappointed by the results of the Electoral College vote, but today marks a watershed moment where we must put aside politics and respect the constitutional process that determines the winner of our Presidential election,” Braun said. (McKinney, Matt. “Sen. Mike Braun acknowledges Biden as president-elect.” WRTV. 15 December 2020: (https://www.wrtv.com/news/politics/sen-mike-braun-acknowledges-biden-as-president-elect.)

We MUST make our voices heard:
Contact Senator Braun:
Email: https://braun.senate.gov/contact-mike
Phone: 202-224-4814

Contact Senator Young:
Email: https://www.young.senate.gov/contact/email-todd
Phone: 202-224-5623
Contact other MOCs: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

Control of the Senate will depend on the results of the two runoff elections in Georgia.

Help flip the Senate by getting involved in the Georgia Senate races to help elect Jon Osoff and Raphael Warnock.
Check out ways to help through Indivisible, including opportunities to phone bank.

If you are able, one of the best ways to help is to donate:

New Georgia Project

Black Voters Matter

Indivisibles in GA

and/or to the candidates’ campaigns:
Raphael Warnock
Jon Osoff

Let’s do our part to help alleviate food insecurity, which is especially dire during these times.

Donate to or volunteer 

For a list of local food pantries: https://www.foodpantries.org/st/indiana

Meals on Wheels, NWI: https://mownwi.org/


Senator Braun has joined at least 12 other senators in efforts to overturn legitimately cast votes. Read Senator Braun’s stated reasons for this action. (Shelley, Jonathan. “Cruz leads 11 GOP senators, including Braun, challenging Biden win.” ABC 21 WPTA. 02 January 2021: https://wpta21.com/2021/01/02/gop-torn-over-trumps-electoral-college-challenge-of-biden-2/.)

Pence will support the rejection of certified electoral college votes on Wednesday. (Politi, Daniel. “Pence “Welcomes” Efforts by Republican Lawmakers to Overturn Biden’s Victory.” Slate. 02 January 2021: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/01/pence-welcomes-republican-lawmakers-electoral-certification.html.)

The House and Senate convened the 117th Congress on Sunday. Speaker Pelosi was elected Speaker for the 117th Congress by a vote of 216 to Kevin McCarthy’s 209. Wednesdays’ vote to certified the state by state results of the electoral college will dominate, but there are other issues that may be considered this week. (Revell, Eric. “The 117th Congress Convenes for the First Time, House Holds Speaker Election.” Causes. 03 January 2021: https://www.causes.com/articles/46716-117th-congress-convenes-speaker-election-certify-electoral-college-results.)

In Congress this past week:

Passed the House

H.R. 9051: CASH Act of 2020

GovTrack.us: “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase recovery rebate amounts to $2,000 for individuals, and for other purposes.”
Passed the House on Dec. 28 and goes to the Senate next. See the vote.

Senators Sanders and Hawley have unsuccessfully attempted to bring the above bill to a vote. Sanders also tried and failed to bring McConnell’s bill to a vote. That legislation combined the checks with measures to investigate election fraud and remove protections from social media bill. McConnell called the $2000 checks socialism for the rich while Sanders countered that Republican passed tax cuts were the real socialism for the rich. Time is running out. The current Congress ends Sunday and any pending legislation will have to be reintroduced. (Schultz, Marissa. “GOP-led Senate again blocks $2,000 stimulus check vote.” Fox News. 01 January 2020: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/gop-led-senate-again-blocks-2000-stimulus-check-vote.)

Passed the House and Senate to override a veto

H.R. 6395: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021

Passed the House on Dec. 28. See the vote.

Passed the Senate on Jan. 1. See Causes for details.

The vote in the Senate was 81-13 with Senator Braun among those voting no. Senator Young voted Yea.(Carney, Jordain. “Congress overrides Trump veto for the first time.” The Hill. 01 January 2021: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/532321-congress-overrides-trump-ndaa-veto)

Dec 31, 2020 — Passed House & Senate (President next)

H.R. 4044: Protect and Restore America’s Estuaries Act

Dec 27, 2020 — Enacted — Signed by the President

H..R. 133: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 [Including Coronavirus Stimulus & Relief] Trump finally signed the the above spending and covid relief bill, allowing millions to suffer from an expected lapse in benefits because he delayed. He said he signed it because Republicans agreed to pass $2000 stimulus checks, an agreement McConnell has not acknowledged. It will likely take weeks for the benefits to take effect because states will need to reprogram their systems to accommodate the changes. ((Liptak, Kevin. “Trump chooses chaos with delayed signature of Covid relief bill.” CNN Politics. 27 December 2020: https://cutt.ly/nh5FhzN.)

Dec 30, 2020 — Enacted — Signed by the President

S. 212: Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act of 2020 S. 2472: Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility Act S. 5036: Secret Service Overtime Pay Extension Act

To find and contact your Members of Congress:  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials 

In Other News

The Herald Bulletin published a brief review of Trump’s claims, the facts, and conservative support of the legitimate election of Biden. (Howey, Brian. “Brian Howey column: The whole world will be watching Pence.: The Herald Bulletin. 01 January 2021: https://cutt.ly/jjiJhwm)

Here’s what you can expect on Wednesday in Congress as Trump continues to “Make American Chaotic” in his own image. (Schwadron, Terry. “Routine” Electoral College session in Congress next week promises loads of fireworks.” Salon. 01 January 2021: https://www.salon.com/2021/01/01/routine-electoral-college-session-in-congress-next-week-promises-loads-of-fireworks_partner.)

Following a defeat from the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Trump is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out 50,000 votes and for a decision before Jan. 6 when the Congress will vote to accept the elecotral college vote. (Rosenblatt, Joel. “Trump Lobs Supreme Court Challenge to Overturn Wisconsin Vote.” Bloomberg. 29 December 2020: https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-12-30/trump-lobs-supreme-court-challenge-to-overturn-wisconsin-vote)

Washington D.C. authorities are preparing for the ‘wild rally’ Trump has called for to protest the election results when when Congress votes to certify them on Jan. 6. (Ponciano, Jonathan. “Trump Offers New Details On ‘Wild’ Rally To Protest Election Results, And D.C. Authorities Are Gearing Up For It.” Forbes. 01 January: https://cutt.ly/vju8n2N.)

Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Arizona’s 11 Republican electors revealed Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence declined to sign onto their plan to upend Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.  (POLITICO)
The lawsuit has since been dismissed by the judge in the case who is a Trump appointee. (Kruzel, Johm.”Judge dismisses Gohmert’s election suit against Pence.” The Hill. 01 January 2021: https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/532344-judge-dismisses-gohmerts-election-suit-against-pence.)

The Census Bureau did not meet the end of year deadline to turn over Census numbers to President Trump, jeopardizing Trump’s plan to exclude the undocumented from the population totals. (Schneider, Mike. “Census Bureau to miss deadline, jeopardizing Trump plan. AP News. 30 December 2020: https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-joe-biden-census-2020-8dd78fbb0460c377cde074e3c8d6f967.)

At least one in 1000 Americans have now died of coronavirus. Caldwell, Travis. “How quickly the US lost 1 in 1,000 Americans to Covid-19.” CNN 26 December 2020: https://cutt.ly/zh6kRou.)

Critical of Trump’s failure in rolling out vaccinations, Senator Romney said that the states are already overburdened. He urged a number of measures to improve distributions of the vaccines and substantially increase inoculations. (Heavey, Susan. “Romney urges sweeping vaccine plan as U.S. surpasses 20 million COVID-19 cases.” Reuters. 01 January 2021: https://cutt.ly/Kju4rJI.)


Rob Kendall and Abdul-Hakim Shabazz preview the upcoming legislative session, which will once again be short on Democrats in the House and Senate. The pair discuss what the party has to do to start winning elections again, and if they have the candidates and message to make it happen.  (Statehouse Happenings, WIBC)

Many Republicans hope to scale back Governor Holcomb’s executive powers that have tried to conatin the coronavirus pandemic in Indiana. They also look forward to drawing congressional maps based on census figures. Republicans have full control over the process as they did in 2011, which has cemented their control over the state legislature and congressional seats. (Associated Press. “Indiana lawmakers face virus actions debate, budget struggle.” Fox 59. 02 January 2021: https://fox59.com/news/indiana-lawmakers-face-virus-actions-debate-budget-struggle/.)

Health and Safety were “hot button” issues this year in Indiana even before COVID-19.  In fact, new health-related laws passed before the pandemic took effect Friday and throughout the year.  (WTHR)

Indiana gained nearly 24,000 new residents during 2020, a slight increase that continued the state’s ongoing trend of slow population growth, the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual estimate shows.  (IBJ)

New Indiana law expected to help thousands of diabetics Hoosiers will be able to get a certain kind of insulin without a prescription starting January 1, 2021. Since 2014, Indiana has been …

Gov. Eric Holcomb has remained largely silent about longstanding problems with Indiana’s nursing home system, despite a months-long IndyStar investigation that has uncovered dangerous conditions at poorly staffed facilities across the state. But about two weeks ago, Holcomb said long-term care reform will be one of his priorities during the upcoming 2021 legislative session.  (South Bend Tribune)

While legislation related to COVID-19 will likely take center stage during Indiana’s 2021 legislative session, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s multiple-year push to increase broadband accessibility will continue.  (WFIU)

Indiana state lawmakers hopeful they can avoid education cuts as pandemic continues
WLKY Louisville
The Indiana General Assembly begins Monday and lasts through April 29. The state budget will dominate the session, but lawmakers must also tackle .

Proposal would allow video gambling in Indiana bars
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The expansion of gambling in Indiana has traditionally been a tough sell in the Statehouse. Legislation proposed in the …

Indiana National Guard soldiers and airmen will continue their mission assisting long-term care facilities across Indiana in their battle against COVID-19.  (Journal Gazette)

CVS Health began vaccinating residents and staff at Indiana nursing homes for the coronavirus on Monday, the company said.   (Indy Star)

CVS starts COVID-19 vaccinations at 1000 Indiana nursing homes
To this point we’ve been in about 75 locations across the entire state in Indiana and we are looking to vaccinate as many as 1,000 long-term care …

For nearly 300 days, Indiana has been in a state of emergency due to COVID-19. That order was given by Gov. Eric Holcomb, who has extended the public health emergency nine times  (South Bend Tribune)

Indiana’s COVID-19 positivity rate rises to 24.8%
Indiana’s 7-day positivity rate for all tests is 24.8%. Alert Map. Four southeast Indiana counties are at the highest advisory level on the state’s COVID-19 …

Nearly half of Indiana counties were rated with the highest risk level of coronavirus spread in Wednesday’s state update after state officials corrected a flaw in Indiana’s reporting.  (AP Indiana)

Mental health resources for Indiana residents
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– With Indiana health officials saying its “Be Well crisis helpline” has received more than 6,000 calls since the …

It will take a panel of seven judges to decide who can set work schedules for city firefighters.  (Times of Northwest Indiana)

Retroactive law may be partial fix to legal dispute between Lake Council, Commissioners
The legal issue at the center of an unprecedented lawsuit filed by the Lake County Council against the Lake County Commissioners could be resolved by the Indiana General Assembly.

To find and contact your Indiana legislators: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/