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Nationwide protests against gun violence will be held on Saturday, June 11.
March for Our Lives, the student-led gun control advocacy group started by Parkland survivors, is planning the protests in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting. The marches will take place in Washington, DC, and all around the country four years after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (CNN)
Find one near you at their website: https://marchforourlives.com/
See below for more about gun violence and what Congress and the President can and are doing. Learn what you can do here.
Join us for our Kick Off Volunteer Event for Congressman Mrvan
Saturday, June 25., 11 AM to 2 PM
Michigan City, democratic headquarters, 1712 East US Highway 20, Evergreen Plaza
We’ll canvas, phone bank & write post cards. Training & talking points will be provided at the event.
Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 and commemorates the liberation of the last slaves in Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had abolished slavery in the Confederate States in 1863. First recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, many celebrations will be held throughout NW Indiana. Find an event near you.
Enacted, signed into law by the President
Enacted — Signed by the President
Passed the House and Senate, President next
H.R. 4591: VA Electronic Health Record Transparency Act of 2021
Passed Senate without amendment by Voice Vote.
H.R. 350: Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022
Cloture on the motion to proceed not invoked in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 47 – 47.
This bill is provisionally dead due to a failed vote for cloture on May 26, 2022. Cloture is required to move past a Senate filibuster or the threat of a filibuster and takes a 3/5ths vote. In practice, most bills must pass cloture to move forward in the Senate. Indiana Senators Braun and Young voted nay. View the vote.
S.J.Res. 46: A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security relating to “Procedures for Credible Fear Screening and Consideration of Asylum, Withholding …… of Removal, and CAT Protection Claims by Asylum Officers
GovTrack.us: “This joint resolution nullifies the interim final rule submitted by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security and published on March 29, 2022, concerning procedures for the consideration of asylum claims and other related issues. (Among other changes, the interim final rule requires an asylum seeker subject to expedited removal to be screened by an asylum officer for a credible fear of persecution or torture, rather than a credible fear of persecution, reasonable possibility of persecution, or reasonable possibility of torture.)”
Failed of passage in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 46 – 48. Indiana Senators Braun and Young voted yay. View the vote.
Passed the Senate, House next
S. 629: GAO Database Modernization Act of 2021
GovTrack.us: “This bill requires federal agencies to report to the Government Accountability Office certain information about agency rules that are made ineffective due to an agency action or other reason.”
Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.
S. 1941: MAPS Act of 2021
GovTrack.us: “A bill to direct the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to standardize the use of core-based statistical area designations across Federal programs, to allow between 120 and 180 days for public comment on any proposed change to such designations, and to report on the scientific basis and estimated impact to Federal programs for any proposed change to such designations, and for other purposes.” Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.
S. 2322: CTPAT Pilot Program Act of 2021
GovTrack.us: “This bill requires the Department of Homeland Security to carry out a pilot program that assesses whether allowing certain entities to participate in the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) would enhance port security, combat terrorism, prevent supply chain security breaches, or otherwise meet the goals of CTPAT.”
Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.
The House was not in session the last two weeks although the House Judiciary Committee did meet in emergency session to mark up 8 bills that address gun control. All 8 bills form an omnibus package, the Protect Our Kids Act. It incorporates eight separate bills and may be brought to the floor as one large bill or separately. The measure is expected to pass the House.
The omnibus package includes bills to
- Raise the purchasing age for semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21
- Ban the import, sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines, although existing magazines are “grandfathered” in
- Requires existing bump stocks be registered under the National Firearms Act and bars the manufacture, sale, or possession of new bump stocks for civilian use
- Amends the definition of “ghost guns” to require background checks on all sales, as ATF is trying to do through rulemaking
- Imposes stronger federal criminal penalties for gun trafficking and “straw purchases”
- Establishes new requirements for storing guns at home – especially with minors present – while providing tax credits for storage devices. (Punchbowl News)
This week in Congress
“Congress returns from recess this week with the House set to debate Democrats’ gun control bills, while the Senate starts debate on a bipartisan bill to expand healthcare and benefits for veterans who were exposed to toxins during their service.
Off the floor, a bipartisan group of senators who are negotiating a potential compromise gun safety bill that’s focused on red flag laws, background checks, and securing schools are expected to continue their talks.”
“If the bipartisan group of senators makes progress in their negotiations, the Senate may move to consider their gun control package later this week or next. However, if the compromise proves elusive, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) may set up votes on other proposals.” (Causes) Read more about expected action in each chamber along with committee hearings at Causes.
In other news
“A healthcare policy analysis calculated the Obamacare premium hikes that millions of Americans would face right before the midterms if Democrats fail to extend the subsidies in the American Rescue Plan.” (What a Day, Crooked Media)
“Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann was acquitted Tuesday of lying to the FBI, in the first trial of special counsel John Durham’s investigation. The verdict is a major defeat for Durham and his Justice Department prosecutors, who have spent three years looking for wrongdoing in the Trump-Russia probe. He claimed Sussmann lied during a 2016 meeting in which he passed a tip to the FBI about Donald Trump and Russia.” (CNN)
Five Republican candidates for governor of Michigan have been blocked from the state’s primary ballot after signatures the candidates submitted included alleged forgeries. The candidates have said they were unaware of any problems with their signatures, and most are pursuing legal avenues to get on the ballot. (NPR)
“Primaries will be held in California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. There’s also a special general election for California’s 22nd Congressional District to fill the seat vacated by former Republican Rep. Devin Nunes in January…Voters in Alaska will head to the polls for a special primary election to fill the state’s lone US House seat after the death of longtime Rep. Don Young in March. Among those in a crowded field hoping to advance to the August 16 special general election is former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.” (CNN)
“President Joe Biden delivered remarks Thursday from the White House on gun violence in America in the wake of several mass shootings.” (CNN) Read his important and impassioned remarks here.
The U.S. continues to grapple with mass shootings as at least seven have occurred over the weekend, resulting in the deaths of 11 people and injuries to 54 others.” (Axios)
“There’s one thing that is indisputable in the available data on gun violence — and the data is limited since until recently the federal government was effectively barred from gathering it. The indisputable fact is that where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths.” (CNN)
“The latest account [of the mass shooting in Uvalde] from authorities indicates the shooter trapped the 21 victims with him inside two adjoining classrooms for more than an hour as officers gathered in the hallway, despite repeated 911 calls from students asking for help.”Nobody’s been disciplined for this. There’s been no repercussions at all for what many have described as one of the worst law enforcement failures in American history,” US Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat, told CNN Saturday. “All of us, the American people, have seen the story and the version of the story change four or five times now.”” (CNN)
Indiana must focus on school safety and making sure all schools maintain safety standards, rather than changing state gun laws, said Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, responding to questions about the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school. (WIBC)
“Not far from Uvalde, the NRA went forward holding its annual convention in Houston. It can best be described as a physical manifestation of the alt-reality presented nightly on channels like Fox, where everything is to blame but the guns used to carry out the mass-shootings plaguing the country. “The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law-abiding citizens,” Trump told the crowd. “The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens.” Notably, Trump was speaking to a gun-free crowd. Apparently, the Secret Service didn’t agree with his analysis, and determined that the existence of evil was plenty of reason to disarm the law-abiding citizens in attendance.” (Reliable Sources)
“The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection announced its first public hearing will take place on June 9. The committee promised “previously unseen material” will be presented during the primetime hearing. And on Friday, former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro was indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the committee.” (NPR)
“The Treasury Department said that it won’t extend a license that has allowed Russia to continue paying its debt back to international investors through U.S. banks. The license will expire on Wednesday, making a Russian default on its debts just about inevitable. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week that the default wasn’t likely to take a major toll on the global economy: The bond payment exemption was always meant to be temporary, and investors have known a default was coming.” (What a Day, Crooked Media)
“Western officials are increasingly worried about the threat of a worsening global food crisis stemming from Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports and attacks on its grain warehouses. Some 20 million tons of grain are trapped in Ukraine, and the EU has begun considering options for alternative shipment routes and methods, but those steps could risk a direct confrontation with Russia.
Ukrainian officials have accused Russian forces of stealing grain from occupied areas and exporting it to Russia, an effort that satellite images show to be ramping up. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told leaders at the Davos summit that Putin was using the threat of famines as a weapon: “On top of [stealing and bombarding Ukrainian grain supplies], Russia is now hoarding its own food exports as a form of blackmail, holding back supplies to increase global prices, or trading wheat in exchange for political support.” (What a Day, Crooked Media)
“U.S. President Joe Biden has agreed to provide Ukraine with advanced rocket systems that can strike with precision at long-range Russian targets as part of a $700 million weapons package expected to be unveiled on Wednesday.” (Reuters)
The legislature overrode Governor Holcomb’s veto of HB 1041, banning transgender girls from playing in school sports. Here’s the vote in the House: http://iga.in.gov/documents/cb3dea76 and the vote in the Senate: http://iga.in.gov/documents/0da89936
Remember these legislators who voted against children when you cast your ballot in November.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb says lawmakers override of his veto regarding transgender athletes playing in girls sports will impact some companies’ decisions to relocate to the Hoosier state. (Indy Politics)
Republicans overrode the Holcomb veto of the Transgender Sports Bill. Now they’re headed to court with the ACLU. (Statehouse Happenings, WIBC)
Two years of added food benefits will soon came to an end on June 1 in Indiana. Enhanced federal benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, have been in place since the start of the pandemic. Indiana lawmakers ended the public health emergency in early spring signaling the change set to take place on June 1. (WFYI)
Governor Holcomb has won his lawsuit over legislators’ attempt to call their own special sessions. (WIBC)
THC products and potential cannabis decriminalization are among the topics lawmakers may study this summer. The topic selection was part of the General Assembly’s one-day technical session. (Indiana Public Media)
Indiana ranks seventh highest in the nation for hospital costs, according to a recently released study from the RAND corporation (WFIU)
Chief of Police Pete Land has been selected as the new mayor of Crown Point. (Times of Northwest Indiana)
Indiana must focus on school safety and making sure all schools maintain safety standards, rather than changing state gun laws, said Gov. Eric Holcomb, responding to questions about the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school. (WIBC)
Republican legislative leaders aren’t saying what new abortion policies they plan to implement in Indiana if the U.S. Supreme Court in coming weeks gives states the green light to further restrict, or outright ban, abortion access (Times of Northwest Indiana)