Weekly Legislative Update June 14, 2024

You can make a difference

Join us for upcoming events in July and August!
On Thursday, July 18 at 6pm at the Portage Library  Valerie McCray, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator, will join us for a Community Forum. Hear from the candidate running to defeat Rep. Jim Banks and become Indiana’s next Senator.
Please sign up here–and bring a friend!!

And save the date!! Wednesday, August 14 at 6pm we will host a community forum with Congressman Frank Mrvan! This event will be at the LaPorte Public Library. 

On Thursday Indivisibles wrote 500 postcards to voters in our first congressional district!. The message highlighted the Inflation Reduction Act and what it is already doing for us in Indiana–and nationwide.

  • Saves millions in healthcare costs
  • Invests billions in clean energy projects
  • Saves energy costs
  • Creates millions of jobs
  • Collects billions from wealthy tax cheats

Learn more at www.indivisiblenwi.org, ‘Inflation Reduction Act’
I keep hearing that young people are dissatisfied with President Biden because he hasn’t done anything on climate. Spread the news. He’s done more on climate than any other president–ever. He is delivering for all of us with this amazing legislation, executive orders, and other legislation passed during his first term. Read more at our website and at www.investinamerica.gov.

The truth matters

“We’re producing more energy than ever before in this nation. We have the strongest economy in the world, and we are beating China for the first time in decades. More people went to work this morning in America than at any other time in our nation’s history. So I’ve got a message to Donald Trump and all his negativity and his whining: Stop sh*t talking America. This is the greatest country on earth, and it’s time that we all start acting like it.” (Pennsylvania governor Josh Shapiro) in Letters from an American.

Spreading facts and truth is up to us and Indivisible can help. Check out Indivisible’s Truth Brigade. Anyone can join and learn best practices for spreading the truth far and wide.

Thank you Joe Biden

{Beginning with President Biden’s inauguration] Democrats continued to demonstrate that the government could work for the people.
They passed

  • The American Rescue Plan to shore up the U.S. economy after the pandemic shutdowns,
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act to rebuild roads and bridges and improve broadband access,
  • The CHIPS and Science Act to promote semiconductor manufacturing,
  • the Inflation Reduction Act to invest in climate change mitigation and permit the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies over drug prices,
  • The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to close loopholes in gun purchases.  

Government working for all of us:

  • Those changes have created a roaring economy with an unemployment rate that has just last month ticked up to 4% after 27 months below that number, with wages growing faster than the inflation that plagued the U.S.—and the world—after the pandemic eased. The highest wage growth has gone to the lowest earners, helping to cut the nation’s extreme wealth inequality.
  • The FBI yesterday released a report showing that violent crime in fact dropped by more than 15% in the U.S. during the first three months of 2024.  As Jim Sciutto of CNN pointed out today, “Murders fell 26.4% and rapes decreased by 25.7%. Aggravated assaults decreased by 12.5%, according to the data, robberies fell 17.8%.” In his own assessment, Biden attributed those dropping numbers to “putting more cops on the beat, holding violent criminals accountable, and getting illegal guns off the street.” 

(Letters from an American)


Passed the House and Senate, President next

S. 138: Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act
Last Action (in the House): On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 391 – 26
S. 2051: A bill to reauthorize the Missing Children’s Assistance Act, and for other purposes.
H.R. 4581: Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2024


Passed the House
H.Res. 1292: Recommending that the House of Representatives find United States Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on the Judiciary.
Passed 216-207 along strict party lines. View the vote.
H.Res. 1293: Recommending that the House of Representatives find United States Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Accountability.
This simple resolution was agreed to on June 12, 2024. That is the end of the legislative process for a simple resolution.
The House voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview in his classified documents case, Republicans’ latest and strongest rebuke of the Justice Department as partisan conflict over the rule of law animates the 2024 presidential campaign.
The 216-207 vote fell along party lines… Garland is now the third attorney general to be held in contempt of Congress. Yet it is unlikely that the Justice Department — which Garland oversees — will prosecute him. The White House’s decision to exert executive privilege over the audio recording, shielding it from Congress, would make it exceedingly difficult to make a criminal case against Garland.” (AP News)
“House Speaker Mike Johnson said Friday he will move in federal court to enforce a subpoena against Attorney General Merrick Garland to obtain audio recordings of President Joe Biden, after the Justice Department declined to act on the House’s contempt referral.” (CNN

Passed the House, Senate next

H.R. 8580: Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2025
GovTrack.us: “The White House says it will veto the bill if presented in this form because of a host of anti-abortion, anti-LBGTQ+ and anti-immigrant provisions within it. House Republicans tried this last year and the result was that the controversial provisions were stripped in order to pass the bill in the Senate and have the President sign it. Expect the same, but maybe in a more protracted form this year.” The bill passed with all Indiana representatives voting yea except Rep Carson who voted nay and Rep Mrvan who did not vote. View the vote.
H.R. 8282: Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act
GovTrack.us: “To impose sanctions with respect to the International Criminal Court engaged in any effort to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any protected person of the United States and its allies.”
Passed 247 – 155, 2 Present. Indiana Representatives Mrvan and Carson voted nay; all other Indiana reps voted yea. View the vote.
H.R. 6543: No Hidden Fees on Extra Expenses for Stays Act of 2023
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 384 – 25
H.R. 2964: To require certain products to be labeled with ‘Do Not Flush’ labeling, and for other purposes
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 351 – 56
Passed by Voice Vote:
H.R. 7988: Small Business Procurement and Utilization Reform Act of 2024
H.R. 7989: ThinkDIFFERENTLY About Disability Employment Act
H.R. 7984: Rural Small Business Resilience Act
H.R. 537: Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust Congressional Gold Medal Act
H.R. 8014: Transparency and Predictability in Small Business Opportunities Act
H.Con.Res. 27: Condemning Russia’s unjust and arbitrary detention of Russian opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza who has stood up in defense of democracy, the rule of law, and free and fair elections in Russia.


“Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a Democratic-sponsored bill that would require Supreme Court justices to adopt a binding code of conduct.
“The highest court in the land cannot and should not have the lowest ethical standards,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said in a floor speech before the motion.
Durbin took to the Senate floor Wednesday and sought to pass the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act by “unanimous consent,” which immediately faced Republican opposition.
The bill would require the justices to adopt a binding code of conduct, create a mechanism to investigate allegations of violations of the code and other laws, require them to explain decisions to recuse themselves from cases and improve disclosure rules when a justice is connected to a party or amicus in a case.” (NBC)
Failed cloture
Senate Republicans voted Thursday to block a bill put forward by Democrats that would guarantee access to in vitro fertilization nationwide.
The legislation failed to advance in a procedural vote by a tally of 48-47. It needed 60 votes to advance. Republicans criticized the Democrat-led legislation as unnecessary overreach and a political show vote.
S. 4381: A bill to protect an individual’s ability to access contraceptives and to engage in contraception and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide contraceptives, contraception, and information related to contraception.
Cloture on the motion to proceed to the measure not invoked in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 51 – 39.
Explanation: This bill is provisionally dead due to a failed vote for cloture on June 5, 2024. 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 Senator Young voted nay and Sen. Braun did not vote. View the vote.
Passed the Senate, House next
S. 3984: Countering Threats and Attacks on Our Judges Act
Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.
S. 2291: A bill to establish the Northern Border Coordination Center, and for other purposes.
Passed by Unanimous Consent

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

In other news

“A U.S. Navy submarine has arrived in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a show of force as a fleet of Russian warships gather for planned military exercises in the Caribbean.
U.S. Southern Command said the USS Helena, a nuclear-powered fast attack submarine, pulled into the waters near the U.S. base in Cuba on Thursday, just a day after a Russian frigate, a nuclear-powered submarine, an oil tanker and a rescue tug crossed into Havana Bay after drills in the Atlantic Ocean.” (AP News)

“Two sets of federal charges, from Weiss’s gun probe and tax probe, were filed against Hunter Biden last year just months apart. After a failed plea deal and subsequent trial, he was convicted on Tuesday in the first of those cases, which accused him of lying about his use of illicit drugs when purchasing a gun in 2018 and unlawfully obtaining it for 11 days after. The second case, regarding alleged tax law violations, could go to trial in September – right in the heat of the general election.” (The Hill)

“Major League Baseball announced that it has incorporated the statistics of more than 2,300 Negro Leagues players from 1920 to 1948 into its records, which are now available in a newly integrated online database.” (NPR)

“Despite pressures on financing, global investment in clean energy is set to reach almost double the amount going to fossil fuels in 2024, helped by improving supply chains and lower costs for clean technologies, according to a new IEA report.” (IEA 50)

“Consumer prices did not rise on the whole in May and the annual inflation rate came in slower than expected, according to data released Wednesday by the Labor Department.” (The Hill)

“The producer price index, a gauge of prices that producers get for their goods and services in the open market, declined 0.2% for the month against expectations for a 0.1% increase.” (CNBC)

President Biden took executive action to close the boarder when unauthorized crossing reach 2500. “The President’s executive action this week, a Proclamation and a DHS regulation, attempts to tweak the asylum seeking process by a) forcing the potential asylee to ask for protection instead of having Border Patrol ask if they’re looking for asylum and b) use an untested but supposedly higher standard to decrease the number of people who are granted asylum.
The President’s executive action makes no new law, repeals no existing law, and provides no new funding for the wide range of resources needed to more speedily remove immigrants from the U. S. because, and we can’t stress this enough, only Congress can do those things.” (GovtTrack.us)
The ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the executive actions. (NPR)

  • President Joe Biden’s new executive order tightening asylum limits at the U.S.-Mexico border could mildly dent growth in the U.S. labor market, but it may also help unclog supply chain bottlenecks.
  • Immigrants helped buoy the U.S. workforce throughout the pandemic, supercharging America’s economic recovery.
  • A migration slowdown could threaten that labor market strength, economists say.
  • But limiting migrant crossings could also clear up shipping bottlenecks at the U.S.-Mexico border and potentially ease inflationary pressures.


Israel-Hamas war
“ President Biden says Israel has offered a “comprehensive new proposal” that offers a “roadmap to an enduring cease-fire and the release of all hostages.” In remarks from the White House, he urged Israel and Hamas to accept the proposal, which comprises three phases and includes a complete cease-fire, a release of all hostages and a reconstruction plan for Gaza. The deal came as Israeli forces pushed deeper into Rafah, and days after an Israeli airstrike there sparked international condemnation. In his remarks, Biden said that Hamas has been weakened to the point that it cannot carry out another attack like it did on Oct. 7, and that “indefinite war…will not bring Israel lasting security.” (NPR)

“Chances of reaching an immediate agreement on the plan, first set out by President Biden, appear distant. The US has blamed stalling of the deal on Hamas but Israel is also yet to accept what Biden said was an Israeli proposal.” (CNN)

“Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a fiery dissent harshly denounced a Supreme Court ruling Friday that rejected a ban on bump stocks, saying it “eviscerates” the congressional regulation of machine guns.” (The Hill)

“The Supreme Court unanimously rejected a lawsuit on Thursday challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s approach to regulating the abortion pill mifepristone, allowing the drug to stay on the market.
The court ruled that the doctors and anti-abortion groups that had challenged access to the drug did not have standing to sue. Though technical, the court’s reasoning is important because it might encourage other mifepristone challenges in the future.” (CNN)

“The court ruled in favor of Starbucks regarding workers it fired. The ruling makes it harder for the government to intervene when workers accuse companies of suppressing union organizing.” (NY Times)

“Justice Clarence Thomas failed to disclose three more trips on a Republican donor’s private jet, a Senate investigation found.” .” (NY Times)

“The Times reported in May the Alitos flew an upside-down American flag outside their home right after the Jan. 6 riot, when the upside-down flag—normally a symbol of distress—became associated with the “Stop the Steal” movement challenging the 2020 election results. The publication then reported a second flag was also flown outside the Alito’s beach house in 2023, known as the “Appeal to Heaven” flag, which originated during the American Revolution but has more recently been adopted by supporters of the “Stop the Steal” movement and Christian nationalists.” Documentary filmmaker Lauren Windsor secretly recorded incriminating comments from the justice and his wife at an event last week. (Forbes

“Former President Donald Trump led House Republicans through a gripe-filled closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill on Thursday, airing grievances about his legal and electoral challenges, attacking his critics in the room, and only briefly addressing policy matters like abortion and taxes, according to multiple GOP lawmakers in the room.” (CNN)

“An appeals court has halted the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump and others while it reviews the lower court judge’s ruling allowing Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on the case.” (AP News)

“Arguing Trump is “unfit” for office, [former House Speaker Paul] Ryan, a Republican who represented the battleground state of Wisconsin in Congress, said on Fox News this week that he’ll write in some other Republican – a conservative rather than a populist like Trump.” (CNN)

In Trump’s election interference/hush money case, “The jury decided that former president Trump created fraudulent business records in order to illegally influence the 2016 election. The presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States of America is a convicted felon.” (Letters from an American

“Sentencing is set for July 11, after which Trump would have 30 days to file an appeal.”
“But given the timeline and the high bar to overturn the verdict, Trump will almost certainly still be a convicted felon on Election Day.” (Axios)

“U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a security agreement on Thursday during the Group of Seven summit, sending what they described as a message of unified opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin.” (AP News)

“An agreement was reached at the G7 conference “on guaranteeing a $50 billion loan to Ukraine using profits from frozen Russian central bank assets held in Europe.” (AP News)

“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky drew parallels between World War II and his country’s battle against Russia in an address to French lawmakers in Paris Friday. “ (CNN
“The Biden administration has given Ukraine permission to use certain U.S. weapons to strike inside of Russia near Kharkiv for “counter-fire purposes,” according to two U.S. officials. This is a change in policy, as the U.S. has publicly and repeatedly said it opposes the use of U.S.-supplied weapons to strike inside of Russia, even as it continues to support Ukraine in its war effort.” (NPR)

Women’s Reproductive Rights
“The Texas Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the most significant challenge to Texas’ new abortion laws yet, ruling Friday that the medical exceptions in the law were broad enough to withstand constitutional challenge.
The case, Zurawski v. Texas, started with five women arguing the state’s near-total abortion laws stopped them from getting medical care for their complicated pregnancies. In the year plus it took to move through the court system, the case has grown to include 20 women and two doctors.” (Texas Tribune)


“For nearly three hours during the state’s Board of Education meeting in Indianapolis Wednesday, teachers from all over Indiana criticized the state’s proposed changes to high school diplomas and urged the Indiana Department of Education to revise its plan.” (NWI Times)
“The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) on Tuesday won budgetary approval to pour $256 million into “welcome center” rest areas and truck parking at multiple highway locations around the state.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
Election news
“Gubernatorial candidates have agreed to battle it out during two debates slated for October. Democrat Jennifer McCormick also challenged Republican nominee Mike Braun to participate in two town hall forums.
The tentative dates for the debates are Tuesday, Oct. 1, for the Fox 59/CBS 4 debate and Thursday, Oct. 3, for the WISH-TV event, according to the Braun campaign.
Libertarian Donald Rainwater told WIBC-FM that he will participate in the WISH-TV debate, but has not been invited to appear at the FOX59/CBS4 debate.” (State Affairs)
“Former President Donald Trump issued an unexpected endorsement in Indiana’s Republican lieutenant governor race Thursday — backing Rep. Julie McGuire for the nomination.
She is the choice of GOP gubernatorial primary winner U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, a staunch Trump advocate.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

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