On the Hill

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...

Democratic Majority to Prioritize Passing the Dream Act and Immigrant Protections

Nancy Pelosi promised to pass legislation protecting Dreamers and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) once the House Democratic majority convenes in January. Colleagues are urging Pelosi to schedule a vote on bills that protect Dreamers and TPS immigrants from deportation and provide pathways to citizenship within the first 100 days of the new Congress....

Introduction of National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2019

On Thursday, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) announced they will introduce the very first National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights when the new Congress convenes next year. The bill, co-sponsored by Representative Pramila Jayapal and Senator Kamala Harris, would increase wages, labor conditions and protections for domestic workers. Domestic workers are often underpaid, and...

Nancy Pelosi Closer to Being the Next Speaker of the House

The first round of voting for House Democratic Leadership was completed on Wednesday, putting Nancy Pelosi one vote closer to being the next Speaker of the House. Following a fight to ensure she would have enough votes to regain speakership in the upcoming Congress, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, unopposed, handily won her election. Throughout the...

Stacey Abrams’ Lawsuit Challenges Georgia’s Voting System

Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate, is leading a lawsuit that aims to reform Georgia’s voting system as a whole. The lawsuit argues that the overall effect of the various voting regulations and policies is that voters, especially voters of color, are prevented from casting their ballot. The issues the lawsuit targets specifically...

Hyde-Smith Wins Mississippi Senate Special Election

Last night, Cindy Hyde-Smith won the special runoff in Mississippi for U.S. Senator against Mike Epsy. The election follows a month-long fight between Hyde-Smith and Epsy, which led to numerous allegations of racism against Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith. Following Senator Thad Cochran’s resignation from the Senate in April due to health reasons, Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith...

Almost a Year Later, Sexual Harassment Legislation May Pass

Almost a year after Congress announced plans to pass sexual harassment legislation, Mitch McConnell announced that the legislation can still move forward before 2019.  The House passed sexual harassment legislation in February while a weaker version of the bill was passed in the Senate in May. However, the Senate has struggled to negotiate the differences...

Election Night 2018 Historic for LGBTQ+ Candidates

A week after the midterm election, Kyrsten Sinema was declared the winner of the Arizona Senate election, making her the first openly bisexual person elected to Congress and Arizona’s first female Senator. After Tuesday’s election, the total number of LGBTQ+ members of Congress is now eleven, the first time that the number has reached double...

Democrats’ First Legislative Priority is Voting Rights Reform

Democrats announced this week that their first legislative vote will be a sweeping voting reform act, H.R. 1, that Democrats believe will increase public trust in the government and strengthen democratic institutions. The legislation aims to reform redistricting, create automatic voter registration, revive the Voting Rights Act, overturn the Citizen’s United ruling, and expand the...