Call your Members of Congress at 1-888-744-9958 and tell them that it's time for the richest Americans to pay their fair share.
Call 1-888-744-9958 today!
It's time for Congress to restore some fairness to the tax code. As early as next week, Congress will start to vote on whether to end — or extend — the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest two percent.
Extending the Bush-era tax cuts on income up to $250,000 per couple as President Obama has proposed would give 98 percent of Americans their full tax cuts next year. And the wealthiest two percent would still receive tax breaks on their first $250,000! We simply can't afford to give even more tax breaks to those who need them least when so many women and families are struggling just to make ends meet.
Call your Members of Congress at 1-888-744-9958 and tell them that it's time for the richest Americans to pay their fair share: we need to end the Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000. Read more »
When you hear the word lobbyist, what comes to mind? Special interests, back-door wheelings and dealings, and other generally shady shenanigans, right? Not always, as it turns out.
Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to lobby my representatives in Congress as part of Intern Advocacy Day, a joint endeavor between Advocates for Youth, SIECUS, CHANGE, and Choice USA. Over forty interns from various health advocacy organizations around DC gathered near the Capitol to advocate on behalf of two very important pieces of legislation, the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act and the Global Democracy Promotion Act.
As an NWLC intern and as a person who cares about the rights of women more generally, I was eager to urge my congressional delegation to champion these bills. Although they differ wildly in scope, both pieces of legislation are premised on the idea that the best way to promote healthy, empowered decision-making is through the provision of uncensored, scientifically accurate information that is free of ideological biases and paternalistic assumptions.
The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act, for instance, sets forth a policy vision for federally funded comprehensive sex education programs. It outlines standards that sex education curricula must adhere to in order to receive federal funding, directs grant money to comprehensive sex education programs that prioritize information over ideology, and allows for education that is inclusive of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students. Read more »
Last week, the Senate voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act by a bipartisan vote, an important step forward for the many thousands of women who depend on its protections. But before we forget the Senate debate, we should note not only the surprising resistance the bill met there, but also the specific basis Mike Lee (R-Utah) offered for opposing it. Senator Lee, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and whose views on the Constitution are thus particularly influential, implied that VAWA was unconstitutional.
Senator Lee objected to VAWA’s grants to state and local governments. VAWA provides funding for programs operated by courts, law enforcement, state agencies, local governments, and others, in order to address the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. In general, recipients must apply to receive these funds. Senator Lee asserted that somehow providing this funding to the state and local governments seeking it compromises states’ rights under the Constitution, because violent crime is regulated primarily by the states. “As a matter of constitutional policy,” Senator Lee stated, “Congress should not seek to impose rules and standards as conditions for federal funding in areas where the federal government lacks constitutional authority to regulate directly.” He also protested that “the strings that Congress attaches to federal funding in the VAWA reauthorization restrict each state’s ability to govern itself.”
Senator Lee’s theory of the Constitution seems to forbid Congress from imposing any sort of standards on the money it gives to state and local governments, even when state and local governments have specifically sought the money and voluntarily assumed the conditions that come with it. This is a radical theory that would make it impossible for Congress to fund the VAWA programs that have been so important for improving the criminal justice response to violent crime against women and for creating coordinated community responses to address the needs of those who experience domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault. Read more »
Do you think our nation’s leaders would allow a hospital to refuse to perform an emergency abortion on a woman – even if it means she would die? Unfortunately, if some leaders have their way, the answer would be yes. The House of Representatives actually passed a bill that would allow hospitals to turn away women needing emergency abortion care. This bill is just one example of the recent onslaught of attacks at both the federal and state level that that aim to deny women’s access to reproductive health care.
Getting the emergency care a woman needs should not depend on the hospital to which she is taken.
It's Valentine's Day, and we have an idea about how our Senators could show all Americans how much they care about us!
Millions of hardworking Americans will be cut off of unemployment insurance (UI) unless Congress acts to fully renew the federal UI program that's set to expire at the end of this month. But House Republican leaders are at it again, trying to slash benefits, impose onerous new burdens on unemployed workers, and dismantle the UI system that is a lifeline for so many families.
We need your help! Call your Senators toll-free today at 1-888-245-3381 and ask them to have a heart this Valentine's Day: fully and cleanly renew unemployment insurance for the rest of the year with no cuts and no barriers to benefits!Read more »
I used to think that making a statement on the floor of Congress required showing some respect for the venue in which you are speaking, including refraining from making untrue statements. Yesterday, several members of Congress have proven to me, again, that for some of them this just isn’t the case anymore. When speaking on the House floor today, several members claimed that the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage rule would require employers to cover pills that cause abortions. This is simply false. The rule requires coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods. What is an FDA-approved contraceptive method? That’s easy enough to find right here on the FDA website. Pills, patch, IUDs, etc. The members of the House are probably conflating emergency contraception, which is an FDA-approved contraceptive method, with abortion. But as my colleague Jill Morrison pointed out last week, it’s not. Read more »
They're at it again. I'm sure you remember the feverish news cycle — federal unemployment insurance (UI) benefits were set to expire right before the holidays in December. House Republicans passed a bill that would slash the UI safety net (and more). At the last minute, Congress agreed to continue federal UI benefits for two months. But that extension expires in less than a month. We need your help to prevent millions of unemployed workers from losing the lifeline of UI benefits.
Anti-abortion advocates were in rare form during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing on H.R. 3541, the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011 ("PRENDA"). The bill would criminalize race and sex selective abortions. Throughout the hearing pro-PRENDA committee members shamelessly misappropriated and exploited civil rights and women's rights history in their crusade to rebrand their "anti-choice" agenda as a "civil rights" agenda. But this proved to be no easy task for pro-PRENDA committee members who unfortunately lacked knowledge of and respect for civil rights and women's rights. This led to several major offenses that outraged the civil rights community. And it revealed these committee members' true colors, exposing PRENDA for what it really is — just another attempt to turn back the clock on women's access to safe, legal abortion care.
Offense #1: Misappropriating the Names of Susan B. Anthony and Fredrick Douglass
I’m very happy to report that millions of jobless workers and their families can rest a little easier over the holidays. Last night, House Republican leadership agreed to move forward with a two-month extension of federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) and other measures, like the payroll tax cut, that were set to expire December 31. This morning, Congress approved a slightly modified version of the extension that the Senate passed 89-10 last Saturday, ending the standoff that began when House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced Sunday that the House intended to reject the Senate bill. President Obama is expected to sign the bill shortly. Read more »
On December 6, 2011, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on H.R. 3541, the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011 (“PRENDA”). The bill would criminalize race and sex selective abortions. According to the sponsors of the bill, it addresses the disproportionality high rate of abortions among black women and combats abortions performed in the name of son preference in some Asian communities.
Throughout the hearing, women’s rights advocates, including many women of color, watched in amazement and disbelief as many committee members who have historically ignored their needs tried to convince the public (and possibly themselves) that they were the true champions of civil rights and women’s rights. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona), the chairman of the committee and sponsor of the bill, led this charge, opening the hearing with a distorted version of our country’s civil rights history and deceptively invoking civil rights icons and civil rights activism for his own misguided purposes. (For more on this brazen misappropriation of civil rights history, stay tuned for part 2 of this blog.) Read more »