Register2Vote.fw

Marshall Campaign Site

Miller Campaign Site

SPEAK UP!
Let those who represent you know how you feel about issues being considered. Here's contact information related to those who represent residents of Humboldt County, NV:


Assy Dist 32: Ira Hansen
Twitter: @irahansen
Office: 775-684-8851
FAX: 775-322-8889
Cell: 775-221-2502
Email Assyman Hansen


Senate Dist 14: Don Gustavson
Twitter: @DonGustavson
Office: 775-684-1480
Cell: 775-722-1278
Email Sen. Gustavson


US Senate: Sen. Harry Reid
Twitter: @SenatorReid
202-224-3542 (DC)
702-388-5020 (LV)
775-686-5750 (Reno)
775-882-7343 (Carson)
Serves as Senate Majority Leader


US Senate: Sen. Dean Heller
Twitter: @SenDeanHeller
202-224-6244 (DC)
702-388-6605 (LV)/
775-686-5770 (Reno)/
775-738-2001 (Elko)
Cmtees: Banking-Housing-Urban Affairs; Veterans’ Affairs; Energy & Naural Resources; Commerce-Science-Transportation


US House: Rep Mark Amodei (NV2)
Twitter: @MarkAmodeiNV2
202-225-6155 (DC)
775-686-5760 (NV)
Cmtees: Natural Resources; Judiciary; Veterans Affairs


RSS Next up in Congress

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Paul Ryan Envisions New, State-Based Castigation Opportunities

Rep. Paul Ryan has released yet another “plan” to fix poverty and the Safety Net.  He’s release a new discussion draft, “Expanding Opportunity in America.” This latest draft proposes a new “pilot project” which he asserts will strengthen the safety net.  He also proposes a number of reforms to the EITC, education, criminal justice, and ‘regressive’ regulation.

Upon releasing the discussion draft, Chairman Ryan made the following statement:  “Hardworking taxpayers deserve a break in this country. Too many Americans are working harder and harder to get ahead, and yet they’re falling further and further behind. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, we can all agree: America deserves better.   “So with this discussion draft, I want to start a conversation. I want to talk about how we can expand opportunity in America. I don’t have all the answers; nobody does. But by working together, we can build a healthy economy and help working families get ahead.”

I can agree that we need much better than Rep. Ryan, who is now proposing state-led pilot programs.  Under his latest rendition, he proposes to consolidate funding for 11 federal programs, including food stamps, housing vouchers, heating aid, child-care assistance and welfare payments into an “opportunity” grant that would be managed at the state level by those opting into his grand experiment.  Participating states could then “experiment” with various methods for delivering services, as long as they meet certain standards defined by Rep. Ryan and his GOP cohorts.  Something tells me execution of this approach will go about as well as executions of death row prisoners have performed of late by Republican governors. As Rep. Ryan envisions our Safety Net should be handled, a “life plan” contract would be developed for each recipient by case managers working for non-profit or for-profit organizations.  I guess he’s proposing to get around “big government” by having private contractors administer any services to be received (the first step in siphoning off monies from those block granted funds, like Haliburton did in Iraq).  At a minimum, each “life plan” contract would be required to include, at a minimum:

  • A contract outlining specific and measurable benchmarks for success
  • A timeline for meeting those benchmarks
  • Sanctions for breaking the terms of the contract
  • Incentives for exceeding the terms of the contract
  • Time limits for remaining on cash assistance
  • A commandment that to receive any benefits at all — “thou shalt work”

Holy crap!  The GOP may talk “small government” — but they certainly don’t walk that talk.  His grandiose plan is going to take some serious bureaucracy, albeit a huge state-level network of private contractors, to get that done.  Just think about it.  It’s like having to hire a whole bunch of parole officers, oops, I mean case managers, who would need to monitor things like parenting skills, substance abuse, finances, living situation, and relationships with friends and family members. Plus—they would need to have authority to castigate those whom might not be in conformance with their “life plan.”  What I see is “overseers” and shaming for the recipients, but I don’t see—is oversight for the castigators. I also don’t see assurances of consistency from state to state, or across audiences of recipients within a state. Ryan claims that states, being closest to the recipients of these programs really do know best what their citizens need.  Really?  Just like they really know who should vote and who shouldn’t?  How long before “Jim Crow-like” permutations begin spreading through the disparate “life plan” contracts being imposed on certain citizens based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, etc.?  How long would it take before governors like Sam Brownback of Kansas, or Rick Scott of Florida, or Pat McCrory of North Carolina can find ways to channel those grant dollars into the pockets of rich and powerful individuals and corporations across their states instead into programs helping the truly needy? Those funds they’ll be doling out are our Federal tax dollars that, as it is now, are disparately disbursed to States, with Red State taking a larger portion of that bucket of available dollars. If the GOP truly believes those programs should be State-based programs, owned and managed by the States, then they should have the intestinal fortitude to propose eliminating those programs entirely from the Federal budget and tell the States they’ll just need to increase their taxes to fund what they’re willing to provide. Modifying National programs which have been created over time to help those in need in such a way as to victimize and unjustly punish them for seeking help, is flatly contrary to our Nation’s established moral principles.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s well past time to end Mr. Ryan’s tenure as House Budget Committee Chairman.  I’ve had enough, thank you! Know Thine Enemy — Other References:

 

A Way Forward on Child Refugees

Immigration

SOURCE: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

From left, Raul Amador Sanchez, 7, from Georgia, Alexandra Diaz, 9, and her brother Andy Diaz, 7, both from Baltimore, Maryland, hold up signs as they join their parents during a news conference of immigrant families and children’s advocates responding to President Barack Obama’s response to the crisis of unaccompanied children and families, Monday, July 7, 2014, on the steps of St. John’s Church in Washington.

Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala have become increasingly more violent and inhospitable to children over the past few years. Honduras is now the murder capital of the world, with El Salvador and Guatemala not far behind. In fact, the murder rate in Honduras is now 30 percent higher than in Iraq in 2007, at the height of the insurgency. Gangs and organized criminal enterprises in these countries are increasingly targeting children. Is it any wonder, then, that children are fleeing these countries and heading for wherever they can find safe haven? In this year alone, the United States has seen more than 57,000 children arrive, a 106 percent increase from last year. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, asylum requests in the neighboring countries of Central America from children of these three nations are up 712 percent since 2009.

Finding a solution that helps stem the tide of these arrivals in the United States while still ensuring that children who arrive are protected and have their claims heard is not easy. But it is doable.

The administration can revise the process that these children face, without changing the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, the law that governs how children in this situation are treated. Fixing the process through administrative action will cut the amount of time that children have to wait to have their claims heard. Reducing the waiting time may also take away some of the incentive to flee in the first place; currently, children spend many months, if not years, in the United States before seeing an immigration judge. Most importantly, such a change will speed up the process while still ensuring that children have full and fair hearings.

The current system

Under current U.S. law, there are two policies for children who arrive here without a parent or guardian: one for children from the contiguous countries of Mexico and Canada and one for children from everywhere else. Children from contiguous countries receive an immediate screening by the Border Patrol to determine whether they are victims of trafficking or would face persecution if returned home. In theory, if a child articulates a fear of return or has been trafficked, he or she is allowed to stay in the country while awaiting a hearing by an immigration judge. But in practice, as the UNHCR has found, the Border Patrol has neither the training nor the ability to adequately screen these children. In many cases, screenings are done in a matter of minutes, without regard for whether the child even understands the process. In the Rio Grande Valley, as Dara Lind of Vox points out, the vast majority of Mexican children were not even asked if they had a fear of returning to Mexico.

Children from everywhere else are apprehended by the Border Patrol and placed into deportation proceedings. Within 72 hours, they must be turned over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, or ORR, in the Department of Health and Human Services. ORR provides shelter and care for the children and works to place them with a family member or a sponsor while they await their immigration hearings.

But the waiting times to see an immigration judge have skyrocketed for everyone, not just children, with average delays of 587 days, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. These long waits are the result of years of underfunding of the immigration court system: The average backlog in the courts has increased by 120 percent since 2006.

The wrong approach

With up to 90,000 children estimated to arrive this year, a number of proposals by legislators such as Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) have proposed changing existing law to prioritize speedy deportations over fair proceedings. These legislators contend that the law’s current requirement that these children receive full immigration hearings, coupled with the long backlogs in these cases, incentivize children to come to the United States.

To speed up the process, legislators such as Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Cuellar believe that children from countries such as Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala should be pushed through an expedited screening process more similar to the one applied to children from Mexico. This is a serious mistake. A system that takes years to adjudicate a single case makes no sense, but the failure of that process does not diminish our responsibility to treat all children with care and to give them their day in court. The president has ample authority within existing law to accelerate the process and ensure that children receive appropriate hearings quickly, without sacrificing protections and due-process rights for children.

A better solution

Solving the challenging issues presented by these child refugees will require significantly more resources. The administration has requested emergency funds, and the Senate has introduced a $2.7 billion supplemental funding bill to tackle the problem. This is a good start. The money should be used to increase protections and legal representation for children, to provide more immigration judges and asylum officers to hear their claims, to ensure that ORR has the resources and facilities it needs to care for the children, and to set up in-country processing facilities to give children the ability to make a claim for refugee protections before they leave home.

In creating a policy to deal appropriately with child refugees, the United States should adopt the recommendations discussed below.

Maintain ORR custody. All children who arrive at the border should be turned over to ORR custody as soon as possible. Once in custody, these children should be screened by child welfare specialists, and receive know-your-rights trainings that explain the legal requirements for making a case for protection. These children should remain in ORR custody while awaiting their hearing. If they are still in custody beyond 90 days, ORR should conduct a best-interest determination to see if they should be released to family members or sponsors who reside in the United States; this determination should be repeated every month thereafter.

Provide court-appointed counsel. Children as young as toddlers cannot be expected to represent themselves in a formal immigration court proceeding without the benefit of legal counsel. The effect of having a lawyer is clear: Children with attorneys are more than four times as likely to win their cases, while only 1 in 10 children without an attorney currently win. Congress should provide the resources to enable the administration to appoint counsel to represent all children.

Increase staff in the immigration courts, and speed up the process. To move children’s cases through the immigration court system quickly, avoiding the multiyear backlogs, the courts must be adequately staffed and trained. Children should have their claims heard by an immigration judge no later than 60 days after arrival, and the courts should proceed on a “last in, first out” principle, hearing the cases of the most recent arrivals first. With additional resources and more immigration judges, such a change should not affect the existing immigration court caseload. This system would allow those with valid protection claims to be put on a quick path toward legal status and eventual permanent residency, rather than languishing in legal limbo. Simultaneously, this would address concerns that the current system allows children to stay in the country indefinitely.

Focus on smugglers and traffickers. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement should focus their resources on cracking down on the smugglers exploiting these children and bringing them to the United States, rather than on low-priority, noncriminal immigrants. Going after these organized criminal elements will also require cooperation from Mexico and other Central American countries.

Develop in-country processing programs. The United States should devise a program that allows children and others with refugee claims to have their cases heard by trained officers while still living in their home countries. This process was used for refugees in East Asia during and after the Vietnam War and for Haitian refugees in the 1990s. A similar process could be set up for Central American refugees that would not preclude them from also seeking asylum if they were to make it to the United States. Such a process would help the county fulfill its international and moral obligation to protect people from being persecuted, while also helping ensure that these children do not have to make a treacherous journey to find relief.

These recommendations are not meant to be exhaustive. Instead, they sketch out the broad outline of a way forward. In the long term, more investments are needed to rebuild civil society and stop the violence in Central America. Likewise, the United States should explore the possibility of accepting the persecution of children as meeting the threshold for asylum status; currently, children are unlikely to be viewed as being targeted as a member of a “particular social group,” a necessary legal determination and prerequisite for gaining refugee status. In the meantime, the president has the authority to accelerate the process for children fleeing violence, without sacrificing fairness or due process and without changing existing law.

Marshall Fitz is the Director of Immigration Policy, Philip E. Wolgin is a Senior Policy Analyst for Immigration, and Angela Maria Kelley is the Vice President for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

Consumers Have Saved a Total of $9B on Medical Premiums

Health care law will return to families an average refund of $80 each this year

Medical CostsHealth and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today that consumers have saved a total of $9 billion on their health insurance premiums since 2011 as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Created through the law, the 80/20 rule, also known as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule, requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on patient care and quality improvement activities.  If insurers spend an excessive amount on profits and red tape, they owe a refund back to consumers.

“We are pleased that the Affordable Care Act continues to provide Americans better value for their premium dollars,” said Secretary Burwell.  “We are continuing our work on building a sustainable long-term system, and provisions such as the 80/20 rule are providing Americans with immediate savings and helping to bring transparency and accountability to the insurance market over the long term.”

An HHS report released today shows that last year alone, consumers nationwide saved $3.8 billion up front on their premiums as insurance companies operated more efficiently.  Additionally, consumers nationwide will save $330 million in refunds, with 6.8 million consumers due to receive an average refund benefit of $80 per family.  This standard and other Affordable Care Act standards contributed to consumers saving approximately $4.1 billion on premiums in 2013, for a total of $9 billion in savings since the MLR program’s inception.

The report shows that since the rule took effect, more insurers year over year are meeting the 80/20 standard by spending more of the premium dollars they collect on patient care and quality, and not red tape and bonuses.
If an insurer did not spend enough premium dollars on patient care and quality improvement, they must pay refunds to consumers in one of the following ways:

  • a refund check in the mail;
  • a lump-sum reimbursement to the same account that was used to pay the premium;
  • a reduction in their future premiums; or
  • if the consumer bought insurance through their employer, their employer must provide one of the above options, or apply the refund in another manner that benefits its employees, such as more generous benefits.

The 80/20 rule, along with other standards such as the required review of proposed premium increases, is one of many reforms created under the health law helping to slow premium growth and moderate premium rates.  Combined with the savings consumers are receiving from tax credits on the Marketplace and the new market reforms, including the prohibition of pre-existing condition exclusions and charging women more for insurance than men, the 80/20 rule helps ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health insurance.

To access the report released today, visit: http://www.cms.gov/cciio/Resources/Forms-Reports-and-Other-Resources/index.html#Medical Loss Ratio

For more information on MLR, visit: http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Progra
ms-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Market-Reforms/Medical-Loss-Ratio.html

 

Sen Heller Betrays NV’s Women; Votes to Filibuster Hobby Lobby Fix

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) Betrays NV's Women

Sen. Dean Heller
Betrays NV’s Women

When the Supreme Court made the terrible decision to allow corporations like Hobby Lobby to discriminate against women, members of Congress were ready to fight back to defend women’s access to birth control.

Senators Murray, Udall and Boxer quickly introduced a bill to make sure that corporations can’t interfere with employees’ access to health care, including birth control, as provided for by the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) under federal law. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fast-tracked the bill, bringing it for a full vote in the Senate today.

Not surprisingly, Republicans, including Nevada’s own Senator Dean Heller,  used the filibuster to block an up-or-down vote on the bill, meaning it will now take 60 votes to pass this bill. Only two Republicans broke from their caucus’s en bloc action — Senators Kirk and Murkowski.

Republicans continue to use the filibuster to shut down sensible legislation, and provide cover for their members who don’t want to go on the record in opposition to things like birth control access for women, common sense gun law reform, or relief for crushing student loan debt.

This week, they used the filibuster to block a legislative remedy for the disastrous Hobby Lobby v. Burwell decision. Outrageously, the five male justices on the Supreme Court ruled that the contraception mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In oral arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts suggested that Congress could exempt the Affordable Care Act from the RFRA as a way of protecting the inclusion of contraception as preventative care in the ACA. The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act does exactly that, and would have protected not only women’s access to contraception from employer discrimination, but any employees’ access to any health care provided through the Affordable Care Act.

Tell Senate Republicans to end their filibuster and allow a vote on women’s access to birth control. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:

Take-Action

Vote #228 held on July 16, 2014, 02:09 PM EDT  on the Motion to Proceed (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S.2578 )

YEAs —56
Baldwin (D-WI)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Walsh (D-MT)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs —43
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lee (R-UT)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Reid (D-NV)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

 

Not Voting – 1
Schatz (D-HI)

#ItsNotUpToThem Week

— Roberta Lange, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair

A few weeks ago, the United States Supreme Court issued a backwards ruling that allows for-profit corporate CEOs to make medical decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor.  That’s right – in the year 2014, the Supreme Court thinks female employees’ healthcare decisions should be made in a corporate boardroom, not a doctor’s office.

This week, the United States Senate will vote on legislation to address the Supreme Court’s ruling and ensure women who work at for-profit corporations have access to reproductive healthcare.  While Democrats like Senator Reid, Reps. Dina Titus and Steven Horsford, and Erin Bilbray support ensuring women have access to reproductive healthcare, Republicans like Dean Heller and Joe Heck have consistently voted to restrict women’s access to contraception.

In support of the Senate bill, Nevada Democrats are launching #ItsNotUpToThem week.  All week we will be highlighting how dangerous the Republican agenda is for the health of Nevada women.  Because whether it’s Mark Hutchison leading the charge to go back to a time where private insurance companies could treat being a woman as a pre-existing condition, or Joe Heck voting to weaken the Violence Against Women Act, it’s time we send a message to Nevada Republicans that women’s healthcare decisions aren’t up to them or corporate bosses.

Sign your name here to tell Republicans it’s 2014, not 1914.    


Please note that Roberta mentioned Candidate Erin Bilbray who is running agains Rep. Joe Heck, but failed to mention Kristen Spees who is running against Rep. Mark Amodei to represent those of us who are unfortunate enough to live in NV-Congressional District 2!

Corporate Rights Trump Women’s Health in Hobby Lobby Ruling

‘This ruling goes out of its way to declare that discrimination against women isn’t discrimination.’

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer at Common Dreams

SCOTUS5

Defenders of women’s health and reproductive freedom are reacting with anger to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Monday which ruled that an employer with religious objection can opt out of providing contraception coverage to their employees under the Affordable Care Act.

Writing for the majority side of the 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Justice Samuel Alito argued that the “the HHS mandate demands that they engage in conduct that seriously violates [employers'] religious beliefs.”

Rights advocates were quick to condemn the court’s decision.

“Today’s decision from five male justices is a direct attack on women and our fundamental rights. This ruling goes out of its way to declare that discrimination against women isn’t discrimination,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

“Allowing bosses this much control over the health-care decisions of their employees is a slippery slope with no end,” Hogue continued. “Every American could potentially be affected by this far-reaching and shocking decision that allows bosses to reach beyond the boardroom and into their employees’ bedrooms. The majority claims that its ruling is limited, but that logic doesn’t hold up. Today it’s birth control; tomorrow it could be any personal medical decision, from starting a family to getting life-saving vaccinations or blood transfusions.”

Ninety-nine percent of sexually active women in the U.S. use birth control for a variety of health reasons, according to research by women’s health organizations.

“The fact of the matter is that birth control is a wildly popular and medically necessary part of women’s health care,” said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet, a national women’s advocacy organization. Chaudhary adds that despite it’s clear necessity for the reproductive health of the majority of women, one in three women have struggled at some point to afford birth control.

Monday’s ruling focuses specifically on companies that are “closely-held,” which analysts report covers over 90 percent of businesses in the United States.

The dissenting opinion, penned by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and supported by Justice Sonia Sotomayor and mostly joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer, acknowledges that the decision was of “startling breadth” and said that it allows companies to “opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

In the Court’s view, RFRA demands accommodation of a for-profit corporation’s religious beliefs no matter the impact that accommodation may have on third parties who do not share the corporation owners’ religious faith—in these cases, thousands of women employed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga or dependents of persons those corporations employ. Persuaded that Congress enacted RFRA to serve a far less radical purpose, and mindful of the havoc the Court’s judgment can introduce, I dissent. —Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The opinion was based largely on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which provides that a law that burdens a person’s religious beliefs must be justified by a compelling government interest.

“There is an overriding interest, I believe, in keeping the courts ‘out of the business of evaluating the relative merits of differing religious claims,’” Ginsburg adds, concluding: “The Court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”

Echoing Ginsburg’s concern, Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State called the ruling “a double-edged disaster,” saying it “conjures up fake religious freedom rights for corporations while being blind to the importance of birth control to America’s working women.”

Similar reactions were expressed on Twitter following the news. Summarizing the crux of the decision, NBC producer Jamil Smith wrote:

The Hobby Lobby decision means that in terms of personhood, corporations > women. And Christianity > everyone else.

— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) June 30, 2014

Others, joining Ginsburg’s outrage that now “legions of women who do not hold their employers’ beliefs” would be denied essential health coverage, expressed their opinions under the banner “#jointhedissent.”

#jointhedissent Tweets

HobbyLobby02

The majority opinion leaves open the possibility that the federal government can cover the cost of contraceptives for women whose employers opt out, leaving many to look to the Obama administration for their next move.

_____________________

  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Related Posts:

If This is What it Means to be “Conservative” — I’m Proudly a Bleeding Heart Liberal

Clearly, members of the GOP in the House are all about looking for ways to handicap ANY organization tasked with performing regulatory actions that might impede their ideological plans for the future of the United States of Republica.  A case in point is this recent  press release from Representative Amodei’s office.  My comments are in blue italics at various points throughout his release.  Some original text has been highlight in RED for emphasis.

Amodei: Appropriations Financial Services bill reins in IRS, ACA and Dodd Frank

Wednesday June 18, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 Contact:    Brian Baluta, 202-225-6155

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee today passed its fiscal year 2015 bill, which would provide annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission and several other agencies.

The bill totals $21.3 billion in funding for these agencies, which is $566 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $2.3 billion below the president’s request for these programs.The legislation prioritizes programs critical to enforcing laws, maintaining an effective judiciary system and helping small businesses, while targeting lower-priority or poor-performing programs – such as the Internal Revenue Service – for reductions.

Well now, that makes just a ton of sense.  IRS is tasked with collecting revenue necessary for the operation of various government operations … so let’s under fund them so we can then make a scapegoat of them when they can no longer effectively perform their regulatory and tax-collecting functions.

“Every day, I am asked, ‘Why don’t you do something?’ This bill ‘does something’ by removing funding from executive agencies that have become political tools of the administration,” said Amodei.   

Bill highlights:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)– Included in the bill is $10.95 billion for the IRS – a cut of $341 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $1.5 billion below the President’s budget request. This will bring the agency’s budget below the sequester level and below the level that was in place in fiscal year 2008. This funding level is sufficient for the IRS to perform its core duties, including taxpayer services and the proper collection of funds, but will require the agency to streamline and make better use of its budget.

Interesting! They continually carp about the IRS not providing for an EMAIL BACKUP strategy as part of their business plan. Server BACKUPs are NOT FREE!  How much more will they stop BACKING UP because they no longer have sufficient funding to do their tax collection duties, let alone ancillary functions like BACKUPS, SYSTEM UPDATES, SOFTWARE IMPROVEMENTS, etc.?

In addition, due to the inappropriate actions by the IRS in targeting groups that hold certain political beliefs, as well as its previous improper use of taxpayer funds, the bill includes the following provisions:

Here we go again, perpetuating the falsehood that ONLY right-wing political groups were scrutinized, when it was actually liberal groups that were denied with some that had already been given tax-exempt status seeing that status revoked (e.g., EmergeAmerica affiliated groups).  NO politically-focused groups should be receiving TAX-EXEMPT 501(c)(4) status, PERIOD!

A prohibition on a proposed regulation related to political activities and the tax-exempt status of 501(c)(4) organizations. The proposed regulation could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of many non-profit organizations and inhibit citizens from exercising their right to freedom of speech, simply because they may be involved in political activity.

Sorry, but I don’t get to deduct my “freedom of speech” contributions to political endeavors.  Thus, NO politically-focused organizations should be able to have a free of tax right to free speech at the American Taxpayer’s expense!

A prohibition on funds for bonuses or awards unless employee conduct and tax compliance are given consideration.

A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs.

Congress passed a law that clearly states that to be considered 501(c)(4) organization, your activities must be EXCLUSIVELY-FOCUSED on “Social Welfare” activities.  Politically-focused activities are NOT social-welfare activities and thus, it IS the IRS’s responsibility to scrutinize and deny tax-exempt status to ANY organization (conservative, liberal or otherwise) not meeting that exclusivity provision.

A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights.

More BS related to the previous proviso — the IRS is NOT prohibiting ANYONE from exercising their free speech.  The IRS is merely and rightfully determining whether a group is a group exclusively devoted to providing SOCIAL-WELFARE opportunities/activities and thus, whether that group is entitled to TAX-EXEMPT status!

A prohibition on funding for the production of inappropriate videos and conferences.

Really?  Oh, please, pray tell, what “inappropriate videos” might it be that the IRS is producing?

A prohibition on funding for the White House to order the IRS to determine the tax-exempt status of an organization.

Again, if you want to allow any organization wanting to conduct EXCLUSIVELY politically focused activities to never have to pay taxes, well then, you need to REPEAL the law that PROHIBITS them from being tax exempt!  You cannot have a LAW on the books that says one thing and then prohibit the IRS, which is responsible for administering that section of the law, from enforcing it!

A requirement for extensive reporting on IRS spending.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) –The bill also includes provisions to stop the IRS from further implementing ObamaCare, including a prohibition on any transfers of funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to the IRS for ObamaCare uses, and a prohibition on funding for the IRS to implement an individual insurance mandate on the American people.

Well, let’s see.  We elected President Obama and a Democratic Congress to get health care reform. Then, the Republican propaganda machine bought a Republican House.  Despite their efforts to gerry-rig the system, we still re-elected President Obama. Health care reform is one of the hardest things we’ve ever worked on. But no matter, they just keep trying to either LIE ABOUT REPEAL or DEFUND access to healthcare for the American People despite its need or popularity.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)– Included in the bill is $1.4 billion for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is $50 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $300 million below the President’s budget request. The increase in funds is targeted specifically toward critical information technology initiatives. The legislation also includes a prohibition on the SEC spending any money out of its “reserve fund” – essentially a slush fund for the SEC to use without any congressional oversight.

In addition, the legislation contains requirements for the Administration to report to Congress on the cost and regulatory burdens of the Dodd-Frank Act, and a prohibition on funding to require political donation information in SEC filings.

My my, lookie here — looks like an increase in funding.  But wait, isn’t this the organization that’s supposed to regulate Wall Street?  It’s a shame that the increase in funding is just for a bit of information technology so they can determine how their GOP-Donor base is affected by any sort of regulation.  It’s also despicable that they’ve included a proviso that PROHIBITS any reporting of information as to Corporate political donations.  If you and I donate, our freedom of speech is broadcast for all to see … but the Republican Donor-base has a special privileged secreted freedom of speech.  Apparently the Republicans believe their Donors are free to speak with their Dollars, but the general American public is underserving of being able to speak with their dollars in response.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)– The bill includes a provision to change the funding source for the CFPB from the Federal Reserve to the congressional appropriations process, starting in fiscal year 2016. Currently, funding for this agency is provided by mandatory spending and is not subject to annual congressional review. This change will allow for increased accountability and transparency of the agency’s activities and use of tax dollars. The legislation also requires extensive reporting on CFPB activities.

The Republicans have done EVERYTHING conceivably possible to handicap, repeal, defund and decapitate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  This is yet their latest attempt to defund and cripple any and all Consumer financial protection at the behest of their Donor-base.

Upcoming Events

  • Wmca City Council Mtg August 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm 90 WEST 4TH ST., WINNEMUCCA, NV 89445 http://www.winnemuccacity.org/AgendaListings.cfm
  • HumboldtDems Mtg August 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm French Ford Middle School, 5495 Palisade Dr, Winnemucca, NV 894 4
  • HCNV: RPC Mtg August 14, 2014 at 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm County Courthouse, Winnemucca, NV Check out the agenda on http://rpctransparency.wordpress.com

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,410 other followers

NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION

We invite you to CLICK HERE to join our email list. Receive notifications about events and important/critical information for Humboldt Democrats.

While you're at it, sign up HERE to get weekly notifications about Democratic events happening across Nevada from the Blue Nevadan


Follow Rockblot on Twitter

Follow NVRDC on Twitter

Follow DesertBeacon on Twitter

Find Post by Category

Posts by Date

July 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jun    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

PopVox

PopVox

SafetyNet

SafetyNet

HealthCare

Medicare4All

WindEnergy

Tar Sands

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,410 other followers