the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 8/5 ~~ the House


The Senate stands in recess until 11:00am on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 5 minutes each.

There will be no roll call votes during Tuesday’s session of the Senate.

The next roll call vote will be at 5:30pm on Monday, September 8, 2014.


Roll Call Votes

No roll call votes were conducted during Tuesday’s session of the Senate.


Legislative Business

Adopted by voice vote H.Con.Res.112, Adjournment Resolution

Began the Rule 14 process to place on the Legislative Calendar of Business H.R.5272, Limitation on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Began the Rule 14 process to place on the Legislative Calendar of Business H.R.5230, Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014

Executive Business

No Executive Business conducted.


Last Floor Action:
10:06:42 A.M. – The Speaker announced that pursuant to the order of the House of today,

the House stands adjourned until noon on Thursday, August 7, 2014,

unless it sooner has received a message from the Senate transmitting its adoption of H. Con. Res. 112, in which case the House shall stand adjourned pursuant to that concurrent resolution. Agreed to without objection.


Ryan’s Poverty … a repost


Paul Ryan’s Latest Rhetoric On Poverty Doesn’t Add Up To Any New Ideas

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced a new anti-poverty plan in a speech in Washington today. But while Ryan is trying out new rhetoric around the issue of poverty, his “American idea” is full of the same empty promises he’s been making for years, this time with Ryan Rhetoric 2.0. His plan to fight poverty doesn’t include a fair wage for hard work and would dismantle the safety net. We need an economy that works for everyone, and Ryan’s cuts to low and moderate income Americans are not what this country needs to continue to prosper.

Here are a few things we know about his plan:

1. The Math Doesn’t Add Up. Ryan claims his plan is deficit-neutral. That’s a 180 degree turn from his budget proposal from earlier this year, which gets over two-thirds of its cuts from programs helping low and moderate income families. So either the plan is a dressed-up version of his budget, or he has abandoned his goal to balance the budget.

2. “Consolidation.” Ryan’s rhetoric calls it consolidation, hoping you won’t notice he is actually cutting programs helping low and moderate income Americans. And we already know that this strategy doesn’t work. Ryan holds up the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program as a model reform of the safety net. But under TANF, extreme poverty rose, fewer families received help, and states were unable to respond to the Great Recession. Consolidating multiple programs into a single funding stream would carry these same risks. In fact, Ryan undermines his own argument by proposing to eliminate an already-existing block grant, the Social Services Block Grant, calling it “ineffective” (which, by the way, helps approximately 23 million people).

3. Not Every Idea Ryan Proposes Is Without Merit. Depending on the details, ideas such as reforming our criminal justice system to give people the opportunity to rebuild their lives have a lot of merit and could attract bipartisan support. In fact, Ryan is not a leader on this issue, which has already had a bipartisan team of Senate champions in Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). On the whole, however, his plan would exacerbate poverty and inequality.

If Ryan were serious about cutting poverty, here are three policy ideas he could embrace — taken from a column by the Center for American Progress’s Melissa Boteach:

1. Increase The Minimum Wage. Ryan’s speech comes on the day marking five years since the last federal minimum wage increase. Progressive leaders and advocates around the country are marking the occasion by taking the “Live The Wage” Challenge — walking in the shoes of a minimum wage worker by living on the average minimum wage budget of $77 for one week. It’s simply not enough to live on. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 could lift as many as 4.6 million people out of poverty.

2. Bring Our Work And Family Policies Into The 21st Century. Women are now the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of families, but our workplace policies and public policies don’t reflect this change. One thing Rep. Ryan could do in this realm is support the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, or FAMILY Act, which would create a national paid leave program and stop the United States from being the only developed country that with no paid maternity leave. This is a critical poverty issue, as having a child is a major cause of poverty for families that can’t afford to leave the workforce.

3. Support High-Quality Child Care And Early Education. Poor families who pay out of pocket for child care spend approximately one-third of their incomes just to be able to work. Ryan could support policies to provide greater economic mobility for low-income families, like Head Start. He could also sign onto the bipartisan Strong Start for America’s Children Act, which would invest in preschool, quality child care for infants and toddlers, and home visiting as a resource to pregnant women and mothers with young babies, simultaneously helping parents work while boosting the future economic mobility of young children.

Instead, just a day after his speech, he and his House Republican colleagues will vote tomorrow to exclude millions of low-income working families from the Child Tax Credit, pushing millions of children deeper into poverty.

BOTTOM LINE: Addressing poverty with more than rhetoric is the challenge our country faces. America was not built on rhetoric, it was built on an idea that if we came together and worked hard, we could create a nation full of opportunity. There are policy proposals that exist that would help us do that — create an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest. Paul Ryan’s latest rhetoric on poverty is not the answer we need.

Step up the pressure …

For months, we’ve asked Google to stand up to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the group’s anti-environment, anti-education and anti-worker agenda.

From ALEC’s dirty backroom deals to its vocal support for anti-consumer actions like the Comcast/Time-Warner merger, it couldn’t more clearly contrast Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” credo. That’s why it’s time to step up the pressure on Google to say goodbye to ALEC.

Last week, Microsoft, one of Google’s biggest competitors and rivals, formally ended its relationship with ALEC. Can you take a moment to highlight what real leadership in the tech sector looks like by congratulating Microsoft on its move?

ALEC’s work and lobbying hurts everyday Americans, both online and off. For decades, the group has abused our legislative process by promoting “pay-to-play” politics and working with crooked politicians to push for greater inequality, fewer rights and less long-term security for working families across the country.

But with your help, we’re shining a light on ALEC’s greed and power grabs. That’s why more than 90 corporations and 400 state legislators across the country have pulled their support from ALEC in just the past few years.

Let’s make sure Google joins them.

Please, sign the ‘thank you’ note to Microsoft to help push Google, and corporations like it, to stand up to ALEC today!


Can a Dietary Supplement Treat a Concussion? No

08/25/2014 03:15 PM EDT

Some companies are marketing untested, unproven, and possibly dangerous products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.

Learn why dietary supplements can’t treat concussions and why using them for this purpose can be dangerous. Read the Consumer Update to learn more.

FDA Logo

A policeman rips the American flag away from 5-year-old Anthony Quinn, having already confiscated his ‘No More Police Brutality’ sign. Jackson, Mississippi; ca. 1965

Originally posted on I hope to be remembered for my atrocities!:


The guy in the background looks justifiably shocked. And yet is doing nothing.

In the South during the civil rights movement, the American flag was a potent symbol of support for racial integration (and support for federal law). Southerners who believed in racial segregation displayed Confederate flags instead. People were pulled from their cars by policemen and beaten simply for displaying an American flag on their license plates. So the simple act of a small child carrying an American flag represented defiance of Mississippi law and custom.

Anthony and his mother were arrested and hauled off to jail, which was a cattle stockade at the county fairground, since the city jails were already full of protesters. The Quinn protest was organized by COFO (Council of Federated Organizations), an umbrella organization responsible for most civil rights activities in the state. Today Anthony lives in Florida. I believe he is a lawyer…

View original 38 more words

Murder and Police Cover-Up?

Did police cover up Alfred Wright’s murder?Alfred Wright and his two sonsDemand Texas officials and the Department of Justice uncover the truth and bring justice for Alfred’s family.Take Action

an Update entry 3/13/2014

Mounting evidence suggests a police cover-up in the possible murder of Alfred Wright. Recently, a private investigator hired by Alfred’s family condemned the Sabine County Sheriff’s Department for not following basic police procedure, calling its investigation, “one of the worst in Texas history.”1

Nearly 40,000 ColorOfChange members have already called on Texas authorities and the United States Department of Justice to conduct a full and proper investigation. Unless enough of us urge federal and state officials to make Alfred’s case a high priority — and dedicate the resources necessary to uncover the truth — Alfred’s death, like so many others involving Black victims, may go unsolved.

Please join us in calling on the Department of Justice, Governor Rick Perry, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to conduct a thorough investigation into Alfred’s death and the Sabine County Sheriff’s Department’s mishandling of the case. It only takes a moment.


Matt Nelson Director of Organizing,


1. “Family Searching for Answers After Man’s Mysterious Death,” ABC News, 02-05-14

A Sabine County, TX community suspects foul play and a police cover-up after the tragic disappearance and death of Alfred Wright — a 28-year-old Black husband and father of three.1

In November, Alfred went missing in a section of Texas notorious for racial violence and hostility directed at Black residents.2 Days after Alfred’s mutilated body was located by a family-organized search party — in an area police claimed was searched repeatedly by trained dogs3 — the county medical examiner released an autopsy claiming his death was “accidental” and caused by “combined drug intoxication.”4 But a separate, family-ordered independent autopsy found evidence of severe head and neck trauma and determined there was a “high likelihood of homicidal violence.”5

Growing doubt with the official story and the two conflicting autopsies have forced the Department of Justice and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to launch independent investigations into Alfred’s disappearance and death. But this is not enough. Your voice can help ensure that the DOJ, Texas Governor and AG feel the pressure of a national spotlight, are compelled to make the investigation a high priority, and dedicate the resources necessary to find the truth and hold local law enforcement accountable.

Please join us in demanding that the Department of Justice, Governor Rick Perry and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott conduct a thorough investigation into both Alfred’s death and the Sabine County Sheriff’s Department’s mishandling of the initial investigation. It only takes a moment.

Violent and unsolved murders when the victim is Black are an old story in this part of Texas and Alfred’s family has good reason to suspect racially-motivated foul play. In 1998, just 45 minutes away from where Alfred’s body was discovered, James Byrd was beaten to death by three white supremacists, chained to the back of a pickup truck and dragged by his ankles for three miles.6 The three men responsible for James Byrd’s lynching and murder were convicted only after strong and sustained public pressure forced the government to prosecute and enact historic hate crimes legislation.7

Call on state and federal officials to conduct a thorough investigation into Alfred’s death and the Sabine County Sheriff’s Department’s mishandling of the initial investigation.

Law enforcement officers across the country often use deeply ingrained stereotypes to demonize Black men and boys as drug addicts and “thugs” in order to justify the violence perpetrated against them.8,9 These dangerous notions lead to a culture of impunity where Black folks like Alfred are seen as undeserving of police resources, including a thorough investigation.10

Due to the Sabine County police department’s egregious history of racially-motivated attacks against Black residents, few in that community trust that the Sheriff’s Department can conduct a proper investigation when the victim is Black.11 In 1987, a Black man named Loyal Garner was arrested in Sabine County, charged with drunk driving and taken to the county jail where he was severely bludgeoned, hospitalized and eventually died from the brutal assault. The three white police officers responsible for Loyal Garner’s death were quickly acquitted of civil rights charges.12

Our elected officials and leaders in government have a duty to hold law enforcement to a high standard of conduct and ensure that the murders of Black people do not go unsolved.

Please join us in demanding a thorough investigation into Alfred’s death and the Sabine County Sheriff’s Department’s mishandling of the investigation. And when you do, please ask your friends and family to do the same.

Thanks and Peace,

–Matt, Rashad, Arisha, Aimée, Jamar, and the rest of the ColorOfChange team    February 28th, 2014

Help support our work. is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.


1. “Alfred Wright’s Death Shrouded In Mystery,” Huffington Post, 02-07-14

2. “A Missing Man and Familiar Old Wounds in Jasper,” Texas Observer, 11-21-13

3. “Death of East Texas Man Shrouded in Mystery,” ABC News, 02-08-14

4. “County-paid autopsy report lists ‘drug intoxication’ as cause of Alfred Wright’s death,” KLTV, 01-08-14

5. “Another Tragic Murder of a Black Man Near Jasper, Texas #Justice4AlfredWright,” BK Nation, 10-09-14

6. “Cover-up? A mysterious death in Texas,” CNN, 02-16-14

7. “Today marks the 15th anniversary of the murder of James Byrd Jr.,” Dallas Voice, 06-07-13

8. “No Country for ‘Black Teens’,” Huffington Post, 04-05-13

9. “Black Man Vs. Criminal,” New York Times, 03-13-12

10. “Why black people don’t trust the police,” CNN, 03-23-12

11. “A Missing Man and Familiar Old Wounds in Jasper,” Texas Observer, 11-21-13

12. “Race and Justice: A Killing in East Texas – A Special Report; Death as a Ripple in Deep Racial Current,” New York Times, 05-11-90