10/19/2021 Weekly Legislative Update

You can make a difference

Your Indivisible NWI Steering Committee wants to be sure we are concentrating on the issues that matter to you and we want to give you every opportunity to get involved with Indivisible NWI. Please fill out this survey so that we can focus our planning for the rest of this year and into the important mid-term election year of 2022. Click here for the survey.

Indivisible National has launched a new campaign. The new initiative, named “Give No Ground,” will provide support to vulnerable incumbents who are crucial to Democrats achieving their agenda this Congress and whose districts and states must remain blue for Democrats to hold trifecta power in 2022. (Indivisible) Read how you can get involved. Read some of what the national press has to say at CNN and Forbes.

The Freedom to Vote Act is an essential voting rights bill that could help save democracy. It is expected to be brought up for a vote in the Senate on Wednesday. The majority of Americans want to know that their vote counts. But when the minority can manipulate where people vote through redrawing election maps and make voting unreasonably difficult with other discriminatory measures, our voices can be silenced.
Contact our senators:
Senator Braun: email– https://www.braun.senate.gov/contact-mike    phone–(202) 224-4814
Senator Young: Email–https://www.young.senate.gov/contact/email-todd    phone–(202) 224-5623

Not only is 2022 just around the corner, but democracy itself stands on the brink, requiring action at every level of government. For the first time in a long time, progressive changes are possible, but not without work. If you’re ready to jump into action and volunteer with Indivisible NWI, email our president, Kim Eldridge at kimeldridgeevents@gmail.com

The truth matters

Colin Powell, 84. has died as a result of complications from COVID. He was the highly respected former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first African American to hold those offices. He was fully vaccinated, but suffered from myeloma, a form of blood cancer that attacks the immune system and made him highly vulnerable to the virus. Fox and other anti-vaccine right wing media immediately used his death to question the efficacy of vaccines and push back against vaccine mandates. (Vanity Fair) and (Business Insider). According to a study published in Nature, only 45% of patients with myeloma had an adequate response to the COVID vaccines. Colin Powell’s death is actually a strong reminder that it is everyone’s social and moral responsibility to get vaccinated to protect themselves and those around them.

Enacted, signed into law by the President

S. 1301: [Increase of Public Debt Limit]
GovTrack.us: “On September 29, 2021, this bill became a House proposal to temporarily suspend the public debt limit through December 16, 2022. The Senate amended the bill on October 7, 2021 to be an increase in the public debt limit in an amount, $480 billion, that was projected by the Treasury Department to be the amount of debt needed through early December 2021 to not reach the public debt limit.”
The Senate concurred in the House amendment to S.1301 with an amendment (SA 3847) by Yea-Nay Vote. 50 – 48. Republicans filibustered the bill, but in a vote an hour earlier, 11 Republicans joined with Democrats to break the filibuster, knowing that the bill would pass and the economic crisis would be averted. Those Republicans then voted against the bill here. In the House the measure passed strictly along party lines with no Republican support. (Causes)

S. 848: Consider Teachers Act of 2021

H.R. 2278: To designate the September 11th National Memorial Trail Route, and for other purposes.


Except for the vote in the House to temporarily raise the debt ceiling, Congress was in recess last week.

The week ahead in Congress

On Wednesday the Senate will vote on Joe Manchin’s compromise voting rights bill, Freedom to Vote Act. Read about what’s at stake at Letters from an American. “The vote is expected to fail along party-lines in the evenly-divided Senate because Republicans oppose the measure and will deny it the 60 votes needed to overcome the legislative filibuster.” (Causes)
“Lawmakers return to the Capitol from recess this week to kick off what’s expected to be a busy second half of October, as Democrats continue to negotiate their social spending plan.” (Causes) Read more about the week ahead in Congress, including committee hearings at Causes.

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

In other news

“Both the New York Times and the Washington Post today ran op-eds from Republicans or former Republicans urging members of their party who still value democracy to vote Democratic until the authoritarian faction that has taken over their party is bled out of it.” (Letters from an American)

“A record 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August, evidence of the considerable leverage workers have in today’s economy. About 2.9% of the workforce quit in August, up from 2.7% in July, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report, released Tuesday. That marks the highest quit rate since the report began in late 2000…Companies continue to grapple with a serious worker shortage.” (CNN Business)

“President Biden on Wednesday vowed to call out companies that don’t step up and address the global supply chain bottlenecks, urging support from the whole private sector.” (The Hill)

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Wednesday reported that the all items consumer price index (CPI) rose by 5.4% over the last 12 months through September, which tied June and July for the largest 12-month inflation total since a 5.4% increase in the period ending in August 2008.” Read more about the trend and which items and services have been most impacted at Causes.

“A commission created by President Joe Biden to study potential changes to the Supreme Court released discussion materials on Thursday and held a public hearing Friday. It’s expected to prepare a report for the president by mid-November. Biden formed the commission by executive order earlier this year…” (Causes)

The insurrection
“A federal judge in Washington has repeatedly sentenced people who stormed the U.S. Capitol to more prison time than prosecutors sought, saying that even people who were not violent should face consequences for joining the unprecedented assault.” (Reuters)

“Seven major offshore wind farms would be developed on the East and West coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico under a plan announced Wednesday by the Biden administration. The projects are part of President Joe Biden’s plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, generating enough electricity to power more than 10 million homes. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said her department hopes to hold lease sales by 2025 off the coasts of Maine, New York and the mid-Atlantic, as well as the Carolinas, California, Oregon and the Gulf of Mexico. The projects are part of Biden’s plan to address global warming and could avoid about 78 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions, while creating up to 77,000 jobs, officials said.” (Associated Press)

“The Biden administration told the courts late Thursday that it plans to reimplement the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy in mid-November if it can get buy-in from the neighboring government. The move comes after an initial victory by Texas and Missouri in a suit that argued the Biden administration too hastily withdrew the policy, under which the U.S. transported 70,000 asylum-seekers to Mexico to await a determination in their case. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has appealed the case and is working on a memo to rescind the program anew, but it is still required to reimplement what was formally termed the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) “in good faith.”” (The Hill)

The courts
“…A federal appeals panel in New Orleans, in a 2-1 decision, allowed the restrictions to remain in place for a third time in the last several weeks alone.” “The Biden administration said Friday it will turn next to the U.S. Supreme Court in another attempt to halt a Texas law that has banned most abortions since September.” (Associated Press)

“Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who had been fired hours before his retirement as then-President Donald Trump’s political furor toward him grew, has settled a lawsuit with the Justice Department, allowing him to officially retire and to recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and his pension.” (CNN)


There appears to be light at the end of the financial tunnel for the Gary Community School Corp. some four years into an unprecedented state takeover of the district. (Times of Northwest Indiana)

The courts
The Indiana Supreme Court has no problem with deceased parents using their wills or trusts to attempt to control the lives of their adult children, including whether or whom their children marry. (NWI Times)

Indiana’s pace of COVID-19 vaccination shots has fallen to its lowest level since the shots became available last winter. (News and Tribune)

Parents upset about school mask mandates asked the Porter County Board of Commissioners about county Health Officer Dr. Maria Stamp’s advice on wearing masks in schools. (NWI Times)

The environment
An Israeli company is spending $1.5 billion to create the nation’s largest solar installation here.  The installation will cover 13,000 acres in Starke and Pulaski counties. (Times of Northwest Indiana)

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