JanF

Fighting Back: “Democrats will continue to protect your access to affordable health care.”

 
 

Last week House Democrats unveiled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, #ForThePeople legislation to build on the Affordable Care Act to lower health costs. It will be brought to a vote on Monday.

(House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), along with freshmen and veteran lawmakers, unveiled a new proposal to lower the cost of health care. The speaker intends to put the bill on the House floor, arguing the legislation is a priority during the coronavirus pandemic. She also criticized Republicans and the White House for filing legal briefs asking the Supreme Court to put an end to the Affordable Care Act. “It was wrong any time. Now, it’s beyond stupid. Beyond stupid.” )

Speaker Pelosi:

“I always like to quote Mr. Clyburn, who always likes to quote Martin Luther King, who said, ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhumane because it also often results in physical death.’ Well, that is true, generally speaking. It is also true at the center of this pandemic, where there is a disproportionate number of deaths in communities of color because of inequality of access to health care. So, that is what we are here to talk about.

From our Freshman Class we have here Lauren Underwood, Colin Allred, Andy Kim, Angie Craig, who, from day one have taken the lead on this and in terms of asserting Congress’s right to fight in court against the President*’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act, repeal of the pre-existing benefits condition, the repeal of [health care opportunities] for people.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

1+

Fighting Back: “Democrats believe that the halls of Congress should reflect our highest ideals as Americans.”

 
 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the removal of portraits of the former House Speakers who were members of the Confederacy stating “there is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy.”

There is room in the halls of Congress for celebrating #BlackJoy, brought to you by Senator Kamala Harris of California in her Juneteenth tweet:

~

Speaker Pelosi’s letter:

Dear Madam Clerk,

Tomorrow, Americans will mark Juneteenth, a beautiful and proud celebration of freedom for African Americans. Very sadly, this day comes during a moment of extraordinary national anguish, as we grieve for the hundreds of Black Americans killed by racial injustice and police brutality, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others.

To appropriately observe Juneteenth this year, I write today to request the immediate removal of the portraits in the U.S. Capitol of four previous Speakers who served in the Confederacy: Robert Hunter of Virginia (1839-1841), Howell Cobb of Georgia (1849-1851), James Orr of South Carolina (1857-1859), and Charles Crisp of Georgia (1891-1895).

As I have said before, the halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy. There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy. We cannot honor men such as James Orr, who swore on the House Floor to “preserve and perpetuate” slavery in order to “enjoy our property in peace, quiet and security,” or Robert Hunter, who served at nearly every level of the Confederacy, including in the Confederate Provincial Congress, as Confederate Secretary of State, in the Confederate Senate and in the Confederate Army. The portraits of these men are symbols that set back our nation’s work to confront and combat bigotry.

Our Congressional community has the sacred opportunity and obligation to make meaningful change to ensure that the halls of Congress reflect our highest ideals as Americans. Let us lead by example.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this request.

best regards,
NANCY PELOSI

Speaker of the House

CC: The Honorable Zoe Lofgren, Chairperson, Committee on House Administration

You can watch the removal here.

The Weekly Democratic Party Address is below the fold.

1+

Summer Sunning!

Today marks the Summer Solstice. Astronomically, it looks like this:

The Summer Solstice occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. The seasonal significance of the Summer Solstice is in the reversal of the gradual shortening of nights and lengthening of days. That will occur later today – June 20th at 21:44 UTC (4:44pm Central Daylight Time).

Today the sunrise (where I live) will be 5:18am and sunset will be 8:40pm – 15 hours and 22 minutes of sunlight. On Winter Solstice, six loooong months ago, sunrise was at 7:25am and sunset was at 4:25pm, 9 hours of sunlight. On Monday, we actually pick up one more minute of sunlight with a sunset of 8:41pm!

On Tuesday the 23rd, though, the sunrise will be one minute later, signalling the waning of the year. But that’s Tuesday and today we have 922 minutes of sunlight to enjoy!!

(Don’t forget to hover on the images!*)

3+

Fighting Back: “We have an opportunity to reimagine public safety so that it is just and equitable for all Americans.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Karen Bass of California, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, discussing the Justice in Policing Act which seeks to reimagine public safety.

(In this week’s address, Chair Karen Bass of the Congressional Black Caucus discussed Congressional Democrats’ newly unveiled legislation, the Justice in Policing Act, which advances key steps to achieve transformational, structural change to end police brutality in America.)

“When society does not invest in communities, police officers are left to pick up the pieces. Police officers are the first to say it is unfair, that they are not trained to be social workers or health providers.

“Homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse are health and economic problems. The Justice in Policing Act reinvests in our communities and empowers them to shape the future of public safety through grants to community-based organizations to develop innovative solutions.

“We all want to be safe in our communities. We all want the police to come to our rescue when we are in trouble. We all want to support the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day for us. And, when we interact with police, we all want and expect to be treated with respect, not suspicion – and we should not be in fear of our life when interacting with officers.

“We are here to answer the calls of thousands who are marching.

“Today is an opportunity. An opportunity to reimagine public safety so that it is just and equitable for all Americans.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

2+

Fighting Back: “We must reform the laws and institutions that have perpetuated inequality and injustice.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Doug Jones of Alabama weighing in on the need for change to achieve social justice.

(As Americans peacefully protest across our nation against racial injustice, Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) delivers this week’s Weekly Democratic Address. Senator Jones begins by connecting today’s protests to the protests in Alabama nearly 60 years ago that helped spark the Civil Rights Movement. Senator Jones closes by asking Americans to join him in listening and learning so that we can become a stronger and more just society.)

“I spoke Sunday afternoon at a rally for justice at Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham – where 57 years ago, in the shadow of the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Police turned fire hoses and vicious dogs on peaceful demonstrators – many of them schoolchildren – who were making a stand for equal rights and importantly a stand for dignity. The scenes from Birmingham at that time – and around the world – made it clear that the inequity in our society could no longer be ignored. Sadly, the legislative changes that came from that movement have been eroded over the years in far too many ways.

“There is a clear and direct path from the shadow of the 16th Street Baptist Church where four little girls died in a bomb blast to the death of George Floyd, just a week or so ago – and centuries of injustice that preceded both. […]

“The test we all face today is not only in changing our laws. We must commit ourselves to personal and systemic change. Can we see the dignity and the humanity of those who in some way are not like us? Can we have hope for others and work for their success? We must pass this test together. And we must maintain as a sense of urgency at reforming the laws and institutions that have perpetuated inequality and injustice.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

1+