We hope this message finds you well. Happy Women’s History Month! Today marks the beginning of a month dedicated to honoring the women who have made our country great and the moments that have defined this nation.
Thursday was a great day for women across the country with the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passing in the House of Representatives, following the Senate’s passage of the same bill. Also this week, the Department of Labor announced the rescission of “Compensation Standards” and “Voluntary Guidelines.”
Today marks the beginning of a month dedicated to honoring the women who have made our country great and the moments that have defined this nation. You can find the President’s Women’s History Month Proclamation here.
The White House Council on Women & Girls
President Obama Holds a Press Conference to Address the Sequester
President Obama held a press conference this morning after meeting with Congressional leaders to talk about his plans to move the country forward in light of the severe budget cuts that will start to take effect today.
These cuts, which are known as the sequester, will hurt our economy and cost us jobs, the President said. And as Americans all across the country work hard to keep our economic recovery going, arbitrary cuts to services and investments that businesses and workers depend on makes that far more difficult. As the President said:
“None of this is necessary. It’s happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit. As recently as yesterday, they decided to protect special interest tax breaks for the well-off and well-connected, and they think that that’s apparently more important than protecting our military or middle-class families from the pain of these cuts.”
Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Passed by Congress
On Thursday there was exciting news for women across the country with the reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act passing in the House of Representatives. This bill, which the Senate has already passed, supports the reduction of domestic violence and the improved treatment of rape victims, extending these protections to members of the Native American and LGBT communities.
“I was pleased to see the House of Representatives come together and vote to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. Over more than two decades, this law has saved countless lives and transformed the way we treat victims of abuse. Today’s vote will go even further by continuing to reduce domestic violence, improving how we treat victims of rape, and extending protections to Native American women and members of the LGBT community. The bill also reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, providing critical support for both international and domestic victims of trafficking and helping ensure traffickers are brought to justice. I want to thank leaders from both parties – especially Leader Pelosi, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Senator Leahy – for everything they’ve done to make this happen. Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it hits my desk.”
US Labor Department Rescinds Restrictions On Investigating Pay Discrimination
This week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced exciting news for women and all Americans. The Department is resending two documents, commonly known as the “Compensation Standards” and “Voluntary Guidelines,” that have dictated how pay discrimination can be investigated. This change will enable to Department of Labor to identify and remedy more forms of pay discrimination.
“Today, we are lifting arbitrary barriers that have prevented our investigators from finding and combating illegal pay discrimination,” said Patricia A. Shiu, a member of the President’s National Equal Pay Task Force.
The Department of Labor also plans to release new guidance for employers that will explain the procedures, analysis and protocols that will now be used in conducting compensation discrimination investigations.
“A strong American middle class hinges on ensuring equal pay,” said acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris. “As President Obama has made clear, everyone – including the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters among us – must be paid fairly and without discrimination. These new standards will strengthen our ability to ensure that women and men are fully protected under our nation’s laws.”
The new approach will enable investigators to better examine practices and available evidence to uncover discrimination.
Igor Volsky Deputy Editor, ThinkProgress
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed
Justice Scalia is worse than you already thought.
Yes, the vast majority of our long-term debt is because of Bush-era policies.
Obama administration calls for marriage equality in upcoming Proposition 8 Supreme Court case.
Shocking but true: top GOP senator wants to give the NRA veto power over judges.
Another day, another extreme anti-abortion law enacted by the GOP.
FACT: low tax states have lower economic growth.
Violence Against Women Act Finally Passes
A year and a half after the landmark law expired, House Republicans finally relented and allowed the updated and expanded reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to pass. The bill had already passed the Senate with overwhelming, bipartisan majorities not once, but twice.
We say House Republicans allowed it to pass because they’ve done nearly everything in their power to block it from doing so, including:
- refusing to even take up the Senate bill last year
- passing a watered-down, partisan version that had no chance of passing the Senate
- attempting to block a vote on the Senate bill as recently as this week
- trying to remove protections for LGBT people and Native Americans from the Senate bill earlier today
- voting against the Senate bill en masse today
Last time VAWA was reauthorized, in 2005, just two House Republicans voted against the measure. Sadly, 138 House Republicans voted against VAWA today. Even more shamefully, 27 House Republicans voted against both the Senate bill and the watered-down version Republicans themselves had proposed.
Take a look at these 27 Republicans. Notice a pattern?
BOTTOM LINE: Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act is a huge victory for women and their families — a victory that came in spite of the GOP’s best efforts to prevent it.
Climate change and the Arab Spring.
from: the Congressional Budget Office
H.J. Res. 118, a joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Office of Family Assistance of the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health
On September 17, 2012, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for House Joint Resolution 118. In response to Congressional questions we are providing the following additional explanation of the basis of that cost estimate.
As introduced in the Senate on February 26, 2013
S. 388 would eliminate the automatic spending reductions scheduled to occur under current law for 2013 and would partially eliminate the reductions scheduled for 2014. The bill also would eliminate direct payments to certain agricultural producers, provide funding for agricultural disaster assistance, and exempt from sequestration all mandatory funding provided for the Department of Agriculture.
The Senate stands in adjournment until 10:00am on Thursday, February 28, 2013.
Senator McConnell obtained consent that the Inhofe-Toomey bill at the desk be considered as the bill that qualifies for introduction under the previous order. He then moved to proceed to S.16, Sequester replacement, and filed cloture on the motion.
The Senate then reached an agreement that results in 2 stacked roll call votes in relation to the sequester replacement bills at a time to be determined tomorrow. We expect the votes to occur after 2pm, but as always, another message will be sent once a time has been set.
The votes would be in relation to the following items:
The details of the agreement are as follows.
On Thursday, February 28th, at a time to be determined by the Majority Leader after consultation with the Republican Leader, the Senate will proceed to vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the McConnell motion to proceed to Calendar #19, S.16. If cloture is not invoked, the motion to proceed would be withdrawn and the Senate would then proceed to vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Reid motion to proceed to Calendar #18, S.388. Further, if cloture is invoked on the McConnell motion to proceed, the motion to proceed would be agreed to and the Senate would resume consideration of the Reid motion to proceed to S.388 and vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Reid motion. If cloture is invoked on the Reid motion, the motion to proceed would be agreed to. If the motion to proceed to S.16 was previously agreed to, the Senate would then resume consideration of the bill and upon disposition of S.16, the Senate resume consideration of S.388 if the motion to proceed was previously agreed to.
- Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business for one hour with the Republicans controlling the first half and the Majority controlling the final half.
- Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.388, the American Family Economic Protection Act.
- At a time to be determined on Thursday, the Senate will conduct 2 roll call votes on the following items in the following order:
- Senators will be notified when those votes are scheduled.
This morning Senator Ayotte asked unanimous consent that the Senate vote on the motion to proceed to her alternative sequester bill, which is at the desk.
Senator Reid countered by asking that the Senate proceed to vote on passage of the Inhofe bill (S.16), the Ayotte-McCain-Graham bill, which is at the desk; and the Mikulski-Murray-Reid bill (S.388),all relating to sequester replacement; and that each vote be subject to majority vote thresholds.
Senator McConnell declined Senator Reid’s offer to have majority votes on the three bills. Senator Reid objected to the Ayotte request.
The Senate has reached an agreement that results in a series of 2 roll call votes at 2:30pm today. Under the agreement, it is in order for the Republican Leader to move to proceed to S.16. The time until 2:30 is equally divided between the two Leaders or their designees.
The 2:30pm roll call votes will be on the following motions:
- Cloture on the motion to proceed to S.16, sequester replacement.
- Cloture on the motion to proceed to S.388, American Family Economic Protection Act of 2013, and
Senator Hatch asked unanimous consent that following the two cloture votes today, it be in order for him to make a motion to commit S.388, American Family Economic Protection Act of 2013, to the Finance Committee, the text of which is at the desk, and the Senate proceed to vote immediately on the motion without intervening action or debate.
The Hatch language would strip tax provisions from the bill.
Senator Baucus objected.
2:32 The Senate began a roll call vote on McConnell motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.16, a bill for sequester replacement;
Not Invoked: 38-62
2:57pm The Senate began a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.388, American Family Economic Protection Act of 2013;
Not Invoked: 51-49 (Senator Reid entered motion to reconsider failed vote)
Cloture on the McConnell motion to proceed to S.16, a bill to provide for sequestration replacement (Inhofe bill), was not invoked by a roll call vote of 38-62.
Cloture on the motion to proceed to S.388, American Family Economic Protection Act of 2013 (Mikulski-Murray-Reid bill), was not invoked by a roll call vote of 51-49.
Senator Reid changed his vote to no and then entered a motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on his motion.
The Senate is now in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each. There will be no further roll call votes during today’s session of the Senate.
Senators should expect the next vote to occur around 5:30pm on Monday in relation to a judicial nomination.
ROLL CALL VOTES
1) Motion to invoke cloture on the McConnell motion to proceed to S.16, to provide for a sequester replacement; Not Invoked: 38-62
2) Motion to invoke cloture on the Reid motion to proceed to S.388, the American Family Economic Protection Act; Not Invoked: 51-49
No LEGISLATIVE ITEMS
No EXECUTIVE ITEMS
At 5:00pm on Monday, March 4 the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider Calendar #15 and #16.
There will be 30 minutes for debate equally divided in the usual form prior to votes on confirmation of the nominations.
At approximately 5:30pm, the Senate will vote on confirmation of the following nominations:
- Executive Calendar #15, the nomination of Pamela Ki Mai Chen, of New York, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York; and
- Executive Calendar #16, the nomination of Katherine Polk Failla, of New York, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.
We expect to voice vote the Chen nomination and conduct a roll call vote on the Failla nomination.
On Tuesday, March 5th, at a time to be determined by the Majority Leader, after consultation with the Republican Leader, the Senate will proceed to the consideration of Calendar #20, S.Res.64, a resolution authorizing expenditures by committees of the Senate for the period March 1, 2013, through September 30, 2013.
The only amendment in order to the resolution is a Paul amendment striking provisions relative to the National Security Working Group. There will be up to 30 minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form on the Paul amendment. Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will proceed to vote on the Paul amendment. Upon disposition of the Paul amendment, the Senate will proceed to vote on adoption of the resolution, as amended, if amended.
The House votes on VAWA
286 – 136
but should Americans trust Republicans
|9:00:48 A.M.||The House convened, starting a new legislative day.|
|9:00:53 A.M.||The Speaker designated the Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.|
|9:01:24 A.M.||Today’s prayer was offered by the House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.|
|9:02:31 A.M.||The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.|
|9:02:33 A.M.||PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Barrow of GA to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.|
|9:02:50 A.M.||ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches which by direction of the Chair, would be limited to 5 per side of the aisle.|
|9:14:57 A.M.||S. 47||Considered under the provisions of rule H. Res. 83. S. 47 — “To reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.”|
|9:15:02 A.M.||S. 47||Rule provides for consideration of S. 47 with 1 hour of general debate. Previous question shall be considered as ordered without intervening motions except motion to recommit with or without instructions. Measure will be considered read. A specified amendment is in order. The resolution waives all points of order against provisions in the bill. It provides that an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 113-2, if offered by the Majority Leader or his designee, which shall be sparately debatable for 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent.|
|9:16:10 A.M.||S. 47||DEBATE – The House proceeded with one hour of debate on S. 47.|
|10:48:16 A.M.||S. 47||An amendment, in the nature of a substitute offered by Mrs. McMorris Rodgers, consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 113-2 printed in House Report 113-10.|
|10:49:09 A.M.||S. 47||DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 83, the House proceeded with 20 minutes of debate on the McMorris Rodgers amendment in the nature of a substitute.|
|10:58:14 A.M.||The House received a message from the Senate. The Senate passed H.R. 307 amended.|
|10:58:44 A.M.||S. 47||DEBATE – The House resumed with debate on the McMorris Rodgers amendment in the nature of a substitute.|
|11:39:52 A.M.||S. 47||On agreeing to the McMorris Rodgers amendment; Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 166 – 257 (Roll no. 54).|
|11:57:08 A.M.||S. 47||On passage Passed by recorded vote: 286 – 138 (Roll no. 55).|
|11:57:09 A.M.||S. 47||Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.|
|12:05:44 P.M.||COLLOQUY ON HOUSE SCHEDULE – The Chair recognized Mr. Hoyer for the purpose of engaging in a colloquy with Mr. Cantor on the expectations regarding the legislative schedule for the House during the upcoming week.|
|12:35:05 P.M.||Mr. Cantor asked unanimous consent That when the House adjourn on Thursday, February 28, it adjourn to meet at 12 noon on Monday, March 4 for morning-hourd debate and 2 p.m. for legislative business. Agreed to without objection.|
|12:35:46 P.M.||ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with further one minute speeches.|
|12:55:00 P.M.||Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise- Pursuant to section 3166(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013, and the order of the House of January 3, 2013, the Speaker appointed Ms. Heather Wilson, Albuquerque, NM .|
|12:55:15 P.M.||British-American Interparliamentary Group – Pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 276L, and the order of the House of January 3, 2013 the Speaker appointed the following members of the House to the British-American Interparliamentary Group: Mr. Petri, Mr. Crenshaw, Mr. Latta, Mr. Aderholt and Mr. Whitfield .|
|12:55:30 P.M.||Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China – pursuant to 22 U.S.C 6913 and the order of the House of January 3, 2013 the Speaker appointed the following member of the House to the Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China: Mr. Smith of NJ .|
|12:56:39 P.M.||SPECIAL ORDER SPEECHES – The House has concluded all anticipated legislative business and has proceeded to Special Order speeches.|
|2:07:05 P.M.||Mr. Wolf moved that the House do now adjourn.|
|2:07:07 P.M.||On motion to adjourn Agreed to by voice vote.|
|2:07:08 P.M.||The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on March 4, 2013.|
- Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business for one hour with the Majority controlling the first 30 minutes and the Republicans controlling the second 30 minutes.
- The nomination of Jacob Lew to be Treasury Secretary was reported out of the Finance committee on Tuesday. We hope to reach an agreement to consider the Lew nomination on Wednesday.
- Also during Tuesday’s session, cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to S.388, the American Family Economic Protection Act (introduced by Senators Mikulski, Murray and Reid). Under the rule, that cloture vote will occur on Thursday.
The Senate has turned to Executive Session to consider Executive Calendar #26, the nomination of Jacob Lew, of
New York, to be Secretary of the Treasury. There will now be up to 8 hours for
debate equally divided between the two Leaders or their designees. Upon the use
or yielding back of time, the Senate will proceed to vote on confirmation of the
There will now be 10 minutes for debate prior to a vote on confirmation of the
Lew nomination. If all times is used, the vote would begin at approximately
5:38pm The Senate began a roll call vote on confirmation of Executive Calendar #26, the nomination of Jacob J. Lew, of New York, to be Secretary of the Treasury;
ROLL CALL VOTE
1) Confirmation of Executive Calendar #26, Jacob J. Lew, of New York, to be Secretary of the Treasury; Confirmed: 71-26
Passed H.R.307, a bill to reauthorize certain programs under the Public Health Service Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to public health security and all-hazards preparedness and response, and for other purposes with a Committee-reported substitute amendment.
Adopted S.Res.58, authorizing the reporting of committee funding resolutions for the period of March 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013.
Adopted S.Res.61, designating March 1, 2013, as “Read Across America Day”.
Adopted S.Res.62, a resolution to authorize the production of records by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
No EXECUTIVE ITEMS
Last Floor Action:
7:14:10 P.M. – The House adjourned. 2/26/13
The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on February 27, 2013.
|10:00:22 A.M.||The House convened, starting a new legislative day.|
|10:00:27 A.M.||The Speaker designated the Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.|
|10:01:02 A.M.||MORNING-HOUR DEBATE – The House proceeded with Morning-Hour Debate. At the conclusion of Morning-Hour, the House will recess until 12:00 p.m. for the start of legislative business.|
|11:19:14 A.M.||The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. today.|
|12:00:50 P.M.||The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of February 27.|
|12:00:55 P.M.||Today’s prayer was offered by Reverend Ronald Derrick, American Legion National Chaplain, Rigby, Idaho.|
|12:01:00 P.M.||POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS ON APPROVAL OF JOURNAL – The Chair announced that he had examined the Journal of the last day’s proceedings and had approved it. Mr. Joyce demanded that the question be put on agreeing to the Speaker’s approval of the Journal and by voice vote, the Chair announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Joyce demanded the yeas and nays and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of agreeing to the Speaker’s approval of the Journal until later in the legislative day.|
|12:02:25 P.M.||PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Roskam to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.|
|12:02:54 P.M.||ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches which by direction of the Chair, would be limited to 15 per side of the aisle.|
|12:38:13 P.M.||H. Res. 83||Considered as privileged matter. H. Res. 83 — “Providing for consideration of the bill (S. 47) To reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.”|
|12:38:34 P.M.||H. Res. 83||DEBATE – The House proceeded with one hour of debate on H. Res. 83.
Budgets are statements of values and priorities. What the GOP is preparing to do in less than a week says a lot about their priorities. Instead of closing tax loopholes and making smart spending cuts, the GOP is going to let damaging across the board spending cuts kick in next Friday. These cuts will not only damage the economy, they’ll hurt individual families and communities across the country.
Check out what eliminating just two giveaways to the wealthy and corporation could pay for. For example, we could avoid painful cuts to investments in jobs and education just by ending a giveaway to corporate jet owners”
And we could stop harmful cuts to children and families with disabilities if we just stopped letting the wealthiest Americans get tax breaks for the vacation homes and yachts:
Instead of asking the wealthiest Americans and special interests like Big Oil and Wall Street to pay their fair share, Republicans are insisting that families, including the most vulnerable among us, shoulder the burden of reducing our deficit and debt.
BOTTOM LINE: There’s still a week left to avert the damaging and painful sequester cuts. All Republicans have to do is agree to a balanced approach that replaces the indiscriminate cuts with both new revenues and smarter, targeted spending cuts.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed
House Republicans quietly introduce watered-down Violence Against Women Act.
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Here’s 5 ways the sequester might make you sick.
Why taxes must go up.
How Republican activists are trying to use the courts to dismantle decades of progressive victories.
April is known as “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” … Help break the accepted cycle and culture of violence -
Tell Congress to do what is right for ALL victims of Domestic Violence.
What better way for members of the House of Representatives to show ALL victims of domestic violence that as Public Servants, they support and protect the right to live a decent life which includes the pursuit of happiness by passing the Senate version of VAWA S.1925.
The fact is the Violence Against Women’s Act has always passed in both Chambers without a problem is well known, though the Republican led House chose to show overt prejudice against Native Alaskan, Native Americans, Undocumented and LGBT Americans when it rejected VAWA on March 30, 2012.
However, Republicans have yet another opportunity to do what is right. Tell your Republican member of Congress to be on the right side of History and pass the Senate version of #VAWA that protects all victims of these crimes, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexuality, or faith. The mission to continue that conservative party line lives on and seems to insist on taking, stripping, yanking, cutting, slashing away personal power while yelling that they want smaller Government and it defies what Americans are about . Teapublicans in Congress, a small coalition, have made a choice to attack social issues, the decision to go out of their way to filibuster the economy is beyond my understanding.
If you believe Americans have A RIGHT to experience equality in all its forms: voter, union, women’s, gender, minority, and gay RIGHTs -along with more than a splash of compassion for the poor think about the Violence Against Women Act and how it might be affecting your family friends neighbors or co-workers.
on Apr 25, 2012 by SenateDemocrats
Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer (CA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), and Patty Murray (WA) stress the importance of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act to protect victims of domestic violence, regardless of sexual orientation or background.
President Obama and his administration changed the definition of rape to help more people
Please show support for S.1925, Call your member of Congress Tell them to PASS #VAWA -
A lot of misinformation is being circulated by the bills detractors about S. 1925, the real #VAWA.
Read below for the facts !
(1) Since #VAWA first passed, the number of individuals killed by an intimate partner has decreased by 34% for women and 57% for men. #VAWA has saved lives while saving money, saving $12.6 billion in its first 6 years alone.
(2) S. 1925 saves money by consolidating and repealing more than 15 programs, ensuring more funding will go directly to needed victim services rather than grant administration.
(3) S. 1925 adopts almost word-for-word the accountability measures developed by Senator Grassley for the Trafficking Victims Reauthorization Act.
(4) S. 1925 does not create “new victims” or support “special interests”. The real #VAWA protects all victims of these crimes, regardless of their age, gender, race, citizenship, sexuality, or faith.
(5) Our nation must not say, “There are too many victims” or “You are not the ‘right’ kind of victim”. All victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking deserve help. That is what S. 1925, the real VAWA, does. It’s time – way past time — to do much more to stop this violence, and to protect victims from all walks of life including:
- Lack of services available to LGBTQ victims;•
- Barriers to services for undocumented victims; and•
- Please support VAWA’s Reauthorization.
- Domestic violence affects all of us.
- Congress should reauthorize the VAWA and provide funding.
Be a Seed for Change