On the Hill

Philadelphia Mayor Makes Public Plea for Gun Control in Aftermath of Police Shooting

Mayor Jim Kenney (D) held a press conference last night in which he called on legislators to strengthen gun control laws after an eight hour standoff between police and an active shooter in North Philadelphia. The mayor expressed frustration and outrage at the excessive amount of weapons and ammunition the gunman seemed to possess. “Our...

Stacey Abrams Says She Won’t Run for President in 2020, Is Open to VP Nomination

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams announced this week that she will not be running for president in 2020, but said in an interview with the New York Times that she would be open to a VP nomination from any of the 2020 Democratic candidates. Ms. Abrams said that her decision not to run ultimately...

Four Democratic Congresswomen Call Trump’s Racist Tweets a Distraction

Yesterday, four democratic congresswomen of color held a joint press conference to address a series of racist tweets made by President Trump in which he called for the women to “go back” to the countries they came from. The four women, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, condemned his words as...

Black Maternal Health Caucus Holds Stakeholder Summit at the Capitol

Last Thursday afternoon, the Black Maternal Health Caucus (BMHC), composed of Congress members, such as co-founders Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Alma Adams (NC-12), Jackie Speier (CA-14), and Ilhan Omar (MN-5), gathered to hear the opinions of the stakeholders involved in developing a course of action to how to best deal with the issue of discrepancies...

Candidates Announce their Bids to Unseat Senator Susan Collins

Democrat Sara Gideon, Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, has announced that she is officially running to unseat Republican Senator Susan Collins in 2020. Gideon has declared her bid amid a wave of several other Democratic, Republican, and Independent candidates announcing their campaigns. There are two other Democrats who have also launched their campaigns...

U.S. House Holds First ERA Hearing in Over Three Decades

Last week, high profile women’s rights advocates and feminists gathered in Washington, D.C. for the first Congressional hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in over three decades. The ERA is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would specifically ban discrimination on the basis of sex.

Congress to Reintroduce Women’s Health Protection Act

On Tuesday, the Act for Women Campaign alongside Planned Parenthood, National Network of Abortion Funds, and Center of Reproductive Rights, held a briefing on two bills that aim to protect the constitutional and reproductive rights of women nationwide. The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) protects abortion services against medically unnecessary restrictions, and the Equal Access...

Lindsey Graham Holds Hearing on Dangerous Anti-Abortion Act

Today, Senator Lindsey Graham, the head of the Judicial Committee, is holding a hearing on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a dangerous bill based on “junk science” that would make abortion after 20 weeks illegal. This bill could have lethal consequences for women who “are faced with pregnancies complicated by severe birth defects that...

Only 33 House Republicans Support the Violence Against Women Act

The House passed the Violence Against Women Act yesterday in a 263-158 vote, with 33 Republicans voting for the bill, and 157 voting against the re-authorization. The current law only bars gun ownership for convicted abusers who are married to their victim, live with their victim, or have a child with their victim. A new...

Sen. Shaheen Invites Afghanistan Ambassador as NATO Joint Address Guest

Senator Shaheen (D-NH) brought Afghanistan Ambassador Roya Rahmani, the first female ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States, as her guest to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s Joint Address to Congress to highlight the need for women’s inclusion in all peace talks involving the U.S. and the Taliban. “I am thankful for Ambassador Rahmani’s willingness...

Paycheck Fairness Act Passes U.S. House

On Wednesday, the Paycheck Fairness Act, also known as H.R. 7, passed the U.S. House of Representatives, with a final vote of 242-187 that included seven Republicans. The bill must pass the Senate and be signed by the President to become law. The Paycheck Fairness Act aims to strengthen protections against wage discrimination and amend...

Congressional Negotiators Prepare Offer to Prevent Government Shutdown

On Monday, Congressional negotiators came to an “agreement in principle” on a spending bill to prevent another government shutdown from occurring Friday that includes an offer of $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new border fencing to satisfy President Trump’s demand for a border wall. Once the text of the actual spending bill is complete,...

Congress Leads Renewed Fight For the ERA

On Tuesday, Congresswomen Jackie Speier (D-Ca.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) hosted a press conference at the U.S. Capitol to announce the introduction of legislation in support of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). They were joined by activists and organizations spearheading the movement such as the Feminist Majority, the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s...

Senate to Vote on Short-Term Spending Bill

The Senate has scheduled a vote for Thursday on Trump’s proposal to reopen the government, after the 33 day government shutdown. If the proposal fails to receive the 60 votes needed to prevent filibuster, the Senate will then vote on a different short-term spending bill that will reopen the government until February 8th—the House has...

Government Shutdown Now at 32nd Day, Impacting Federal Workers

On Saturday, during a White House address, President Trump stated he would grant a temporary three-year protection for Deferred Action For Child Arrivals (DACA) immigrants from deportation, without a pathway to citizenship, in exchange for $5.7 billion to fund a permanent wall on the U.S. – Mexico border. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he...

Government Shut Down Stretches In To 19th Day With No End In Sight

The government shutdown, which began December 22nd 2018, persists into its 19th day as President Trump continues to rebuff any spending bill that does not allocate $5.7 billion to fund a wall on the border of Mexico and the United States. Congressional leaders are expected to return to the White House today to resume negotiations,...

Record Number of Women Sworn into Congress

History is made today - an all-time record breaking number of women were sworn in to the US Congress. Out of the total number of 127 women elected to the Senate and House, a majority of the women are Democrats and include firsts from various minorities. They include the former Teacher of the Year, small...

Congress Finally Passes Updated Sexual Harassment Policy

Yesterday, Congress finally passed a deal to update its sexual harassment policy; the new policy now requires lawmakers to use their own money, not taxpayer funds, to settle suits for workplace sexual harassment. The new policy no longer allows members of Congress to use tax dollars to pay for sexual harassment settlements. Provisions such as...

Nancy Pelosi Secures Speakership, Promises to Step Down by 2022

Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi announced that she will step down as the House Democratic leader by 2022 in order to secure the votes she needs to become the Speaker of the House in January. Pelosi’s support of leadership term limits won the votes of several Democrats and ensured she would have the 218 votes necessary to...

Wisconsin Republicans Undermine Election Results by Stripping Incoming Democrats of Power

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin state legislature has voted to strip Democratic Governor-elect Tony Evers and Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul of a significant amount of power, a last ditch effort by lame-duck Republican Governor Scott Walker to undermine the democratic process after losing his race in November. Governor Walker is expected to sign the bill into...