6/20/2021 Weekly Legislative Update

You can make a difference

Join us for a virtual screening of Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem. The film exposes how our country’s history of racial injustice evolved into an enormous abuse of criminal justice power. Thirteen million people a year–most of them poor and people of color–are abused by this system.

Akili Shakur from Black Lives Matter, NWI Gary and Saving Our Families will speak after we review the movie about how this issue has affected the African-American community. She will also suggest a call to action that allies can participate in to help further knowledge of this issue and to help. 
Our co-hosts are: Greater Lafayette Indivisible, Muncie Resists, Indivisible Indianapolis, Black Lives Matter NWI -Gary 
Please register: https://indivisible.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0odumtpzotHdcbM6wx85kBkTmQKY-GMF1d

Our democracy is under attack, but can be rescued by Congressional passage of legislation that will help guarantee every American easy access to the ballot box. State legislatures across the country are working to strip that access from people of color and those with low income. the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, The For the People Act (HR1 & S1) and Washington D.C. Statehood will assure that all voters have equal access to voting and equal representation in Congress. Please note that the For the People Act will be brought up in the Senate for a procedural vote to allow debate on Tuesday. Contact our Senators to demand they vote in favor.
John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,  HR 1 S1Washington D.C. Statehood
Contact our senators:

Todd Young: (202) 224-5623;
To email: https://www.young.senate.gov/contact/email-todd
Mike Braun: (202) 224-4814;
To email: https://www.braun.senate.gov/contact-mike

Find your representative and contact him or her.

Contact your Indiana senator and representative to demand that district maps are fairly drawn. See more redistricting information below. Common Cause Indiana has issued a report summarizing public input and study into what fair redistricting should look like in Indiana, organized by district.

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

Donate to or volunteer at Food Bank of NWI

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

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

The Truth Matters

COVID’s origin is unknown. It may have mutated in bats, infected guano miners, been taken to a lab for study, & then escaped. Possible. But the GIP is twisting Dr.Fauci’s emails to shift blame from Trump. Wherever it came from, Trump failed at his job to protect us.

The Justice Department has released additional videos showing assaults against police officers defending the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The GOP is continuing to downplay the insurrection while over 500 people have been charged, many with violent assaults against police officers. Read details and view some of the new videos at NPR.


Indiana republicans gerrymandered districts in 2011 so drastically that they have successfully shut out any chance for democrats to win. As a result, elections in Indiana are determined in the primaries and republican primary winners often run unopposed in the general election or are guaranteed, regardless, of beating any democratic opponent. Today the number of democrats in the state legislature is minuscule. Our republican representatives and senators have no obligation to the voters; gerrymandering has assured them victories at the polls. In 2011 the drawing of districts was done in secret and behind closed doors. Then, as now, republicans held meetings seeking public input into the process. Then the maps were drawn quickly and with no transparency. (PD Clarion) The national Republican State Leadership Committee targeted and funded several state redistricting processes, including Indiana’s, to guarantee as many republican state legislature wins as possible. The whole process was shrouded in mystery and still is to this day. Read more about the history of gerrymandering and what is known about the 2011 drawing of maps in Indiana. (Indiana Citizen)

“Indiana, like other states, now is engaged in the redistricting process required after every census. This is the moment for Hoosiers to make their voices heard about the kind of government they want—about whether they want a system in which citizens choose their leaders or whether we will continue to allow politicians to pick their voters. …gerrymandering is the problem we must solve before we can solve every other problem.” (Herald-Times)


Enacted; Passed the Senate and the House and signed into law by the President

S 475 Juneteenth National Independence Day Act
Causes: This bill “would make Juneteenth a federal public holiday to be observed on June 19th. Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery, as slaves in Texas learned of their freedom on June 19, 1865, after the conclusion of the Civil War.” The vote in the Senate was unanimous by Voice Vote. The vote in the House was 415 yeas to 14 nays. All Indiana representatives voted yea. See the vote. Read more details at Causes.
Juneteenth National Independence Day is the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. (CNBC) Friday, June 18 was the first observance of this new holiday.

Passed the Senate

S.Res. 269: A resolution designating June 19, 2021, as “Juneteenth Independence Day” in recognition of June 19, 1865, the date on which news of the end of slavery reached the slaves in the Southwestern States. Passed by Unanimous Consent.

S.Res. 252: A resolution unequivocally condemning the recent rise in antisemitic violence and harassment targeting Jewish Americans, and standing in solidarity with those affected by antisemitism, and for other purposes
Resolution agreed to in Senate without amendment and with a preamble by Voice Vote.

Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed 53-44 on Monday to the D.C. Circuit, becoming President Joe Biden’s first appellate appointment. “She replaces Attorney General Merrick Garland on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, known for its high-profile docket and as a potential springboard to the Supreme Court.” (Bloomberg) This week and last the Senate confirmed a number of President Biden’s judicial nominees. (Causes)

Passed the House

HR 1187 Corporate Governance Improvement and Investor Protection Act (ESG Disclosure Simplification Act)
Causes: “This legislative package, the Corporate Governance Improvement and Investor Protection Act, contains five bills that would create new environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure requirements, establish disclosure requirements for political activity spending by corporations, establish reporting requirements about pay raises, and require country-by-country reporting of corporate financials.” Each bill in this package is summarized here. Passed 215-214. Indiana representatives Mrvan and Carson voted yea; all other Indiana representatives voted nay. View the vote.

HR 3325 To award four congressional gold medals to the United States Capitol Police and those who protected the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021
Causes: “This bill would award four Congressional Gold Medals to the United States Capitol Police officers who protected the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.” Passed 406-21. All Indiana representatives voted yea. View the vote.

H.R. 256: To repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.Passed 268-161. View the vote.

Passed by Voice Vote so no record of individual votes was taken:

H.R. 539: Preventing Disaster Revictimization Act

H.R. 468: Expedited Delivery of Airport Infrastructure Act of 2021

H.R. 2016: Federal Disaster Assistance Coordination Act

H.R. 1262: Notice to Airmen Improvement Act of 2021

H.R. 2093: Veterans and Family Information Act

H.R. 2429: VA Police Improvement and Accountability Act

H.R. 2726: VA FOIA Reform Act of 2021

H.R. 290: To amend title 38, United States Code, to render an individual, who transfers certain educational assistance, to which the individual is entitled because of an agreement by such individual to serve in the Armed Forces, to a dependent of that in

H.R. 1257: To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a study on the effect of financial and credit counseling for homeless veterans and veterans experiencing housing instability, and for other purposes.

Failed Under Suspension These bills are provisionally dead due to a failed vote on June 15, 2021 under a fast-track procedure called “suspension.” They may or may not get another vote.

H.R. 239: Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Failed by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 240 – 188 (Roll no. 160). View the vote.

H.R. 1443: LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act
Last Action: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Failed by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 248 – 177 (Roll no. 162). View the vote.

The week ahead in Congress: The Senate will take a procedural vote to start debate on the For the People Act; that vote will undoubtedly fall short of the 60 needed to continue. See what else is ahead for the week in Congress, including committee hearings at Causes.

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


President Biden met with Russian leader Putin for talks that lasted just over three hours. The President said, “I did what I came to do.” Read details of the summit at CNN Politics. Both leaders said the summit was constructive. (NPR)

President Biden concluded his first overseas trip as President, including G7 and NATO summits, ending with his meeting with Putin. Read details of the trip at CNN Politics.

The Biden Admin froze the sale of lethal arms to Ukraine. (Causes)


Causes: “The Supreme Court issued a 7-2 opinion on Thursday which dismissed a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) made by conservative states, which were later joined by a pair of individuals, for lack of standing.” Justices Alito and Gorsuch dissented. Read more at Causes.

Causes: “The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled that the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania violated the First Amendment rights of a Catholic foster care service agency by attempting to require it to commit to placing children with same-sex couples.” Read more at Causes.

In other news

Beginning July 15 millions of American families will receive the first of what should be several incremental payments from the newly expanded and more generous Child Tax Credit that was included in the American Rescue Plan. The Biden administration and Democrats need to tout this program more than they have. People may not even realize why they suddenly received a deposit from the IRS in their bank account. They need to know it came from the ARP. The expanded child tax credit will bring 40-50% of children out of poverty while reaching not only middle income families, but the lowest income families who previously did not qualify. The expanded child tax credit is temporary, however, and so it is up to Congress to make it permanent. (Slow Boring) The IRS will open two portals. The first opened this week. It is for families that do not traditionally file tax returns but are eligible to provide information on where and how to send the monthly payments. (IRS) The Non-Filer Tax Tools is here. The other portal will be for families who have had changes in the number of children and/or income. (CNBC)

With protections expiring June 30, more than 8 million households are facing eviction or foreclosure. (CBS News)

“The Department of Veterans Affairs is moving to offer transgender veterans gender confirmation surgery, Secretary Denis McDonough announced at a Pride Month event in Orlando Saturday.” (Associated Press)

“The US Department of Justice (DOJ) came down against state laws restricting the rights of transgender kids, weighing in for the first time in lawsuits seeking to remove the laws.” (Business Insider)

Deaths in the United States due to COVID surpassed 600,000. (Associated Press)

“Newly revealed documents obtained by the House Oversight and Reform Committee reveal that former President Trump and his allies pressured the Department of Justice (DOJ) to back his unproven claims of election fraud in the days and weeks before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.” (The Hill)

“The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to invest $10 million in voter protection efforts ahead of the 2022 midterm elections…” (CNN Politics)


A Marion County judge heard arguments Wednesday over whether he should dismiss a lawsuit by Governor Eric Holcomb regarding whether he has the authority to hire outside counsel and whether he can actually sue Indiana lawmakers while they are in session. (Indy Politics)  

Gov. Eric Holcomb said he does not support public schools requiring a COVID-19 vaccination.  (Indiana Public Media)

A New Lawsuit Aims To Stop Indiana From Pulling Unemployment Benefits Early  NPR
Two organizations filed a lawsuit against Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb in an attempt to block the state’s push to end pandemic unemployment benefits …

Teachers challenging new Indiana law targeting union dues payments nwitimes.com
Three central Indiana teachers unions have filed suit at the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis seeking an injunction to halt the enforcement of Senate …

Indiana AG calls Affordable Care Act ‘insidious government takeover’ after court ruling
The Indianapolis Star
His predecessor, Curtis Hill, joined the lawsuit along with officials representing other Republican-led states, and Rokita kept Indiana in when he took ..

Several Indiana cities have opted out of the state’s pending lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors, reasoning that they will likely see more cash from their own litigation filed in response to the nation’s opioid epidemic. (US News and World Report)

Indiana rushes to spend virus relief aid on new jobs program Jacksonville Journal-Courier
Indiana’s budget negotiators wrote in $75 million for the Career Accelerator Program — nearly triple the $27 million going to a 2% increase for the state’s higher education system.

HUD Awards $8.1M for Indiana Housing Vouchers Inside INdiana Business
“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $8.1 million in funding to support individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. HUD says the funding will cover the cost of nearly 740 Emergency Housing Vouchers and related administrative costs…The funding is part of $5 billion that the American Rescue Plan Act enabled HUD to allocate in additional vouchers to PHAs.” (Public Housing Authorities).

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