On the Hill

Planned Parenthood Super PAC Announces 2020 Push to Back Pro-Choice Candidates

On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood announced its’ plans to spend at least $45 million to support pro-choice candidates in local, state and national races. “This year what we’re finding is that people really understand exactly what’s at stake. The stakes are higher than ever, and our donors and our supporters understand that very clearly,” said Kelly...

Supreme Court to Hear Louisiana Abortion Case Next Term

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will take up a controversial abortion case next term, a first since Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Grouch have joined the court. Many are worried that the now conservative majority court will use this as an opportunity to rule against abortion rights.  The Louisiana case, June Medical...

Trans Woman Fired for Coming Out Awaits Supreme Court Judgement

Aimee Stephens was fired from RG and GR Harris Funeral Homes in 2013 for coming out as trans to her (now ex) boss, Thomas Rost. Rost testified in court documents that he fired Stephens because she “wanted to dress as a woman” which would be a “distraction not appropriate” for grieving families.  Following her firing,...

Trump Administration Amends Rule to Weaken LGBTQ Employment Protections

Following a thread of Supreme Court decisions that protected business owners’ rights to discriminate on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, on August 15th, 2019 the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) — a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor — published a proposed rule that aims to expand the number of...

2020 Democratic Candidates Hold Climate Crisis Town Hall Forum

Yesterday, ten of the Democratic presidential candidates vowed to take unparalleled action on climate change in the first prime-time televised forum dedicated to the issue in a presidential race, promising to undo the current administration’s environmental policies, allocate trillions of dollars to promote renewable energy programs and pressure companies to pay new fees and taxes...

Department of Homeland Security Blocks Congressional Oversight Committee from Visiting Detention Centers

Rep. Elijah Cummings sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security yesterday expressing his alarm at DHS’s decision to block the House Oversight Committee from visiting 11 detention centers after previous visits revealed serious problems with the treatment of migrants being held in ICE custody. In his letter Cummings wrote that detainees had said in...

Mayors Across the Country Condemn Trump Food Stamp Plan

Mayors from across the US came together today to sign a letter condemning Trump’s proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program which would potentially disqualify 3 million people from receiving food stamps. According to the letter, the changes to SNAP would harm the most vulnerable populations in the U.S.: children, seniors, and people with...

Trump Administration Instates Rules to Detain Migrant Children Indefinitely

The Trump Administration has moved to enact new rules that would overturn protections that mandate safe and sanitary conditions at detention facilities and allow border agents to detain migrant children indefinitely, claiming it will allow them to keep families together. Currently, the Flores settlement mandates that the government has 20 days to transfer migrant children...

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,...