The senators are in State Work Period from Mar 26 – Apr 6, which means that they are in the state: Senate.gov.
We are asking our senators for a town hall on April 7 with the student March for Our Lives organizers. About the organizers: SeattleTimes.com. More about the tweet calling for town halls by David Hogg: DailyKos.com. Seattle town halls coming up: TownHallProject.com.
There is a strong rumor that Sen. Cantwell is planning to have a town hall: but Tommy or another of her staffers were not there to ask. We don’t know whether Sen. Murray will.
The rally vid: 29.45.
There were no other votes or committee action last week – all work was on the omnibus bill. The bill: CNN.com.
“The $380 million would be on par with the $396 million state election officials have requested from Congress for cybersecurity.”: TheHill.com.
The Senate can’t mandate a paper trail. The funding is specific to electronic security.
States Short of Funds Won’t Get Enough
“the money will be doled out according to a formula laid out in the 2002 Help America Vote Act. That means some states will receive sufficient funds to replace everything, while others will only have enough for partial replacement.” BrennanCenter.org.
“Senator Cantwell helped establish a contingency account for fighting wildfires in bad years, and helped secure over $2 billion in yearly funding for the account for the next 10 years”: Cantwell.Senate.gov.
“Senator Cantwell helped secure $2.422 billion for Hanford cleanup,”: Cantwell.Senate.gov.
The Lynnwood Light Rail
“$1.5 billion for the National Infrastructure Investments program (TIGER), a $1 billion increase over last year.” Cantwell.Senate.gov.
“includes a $2.37 billion increase to the Child Care Development Block Grant, totaling $5.226 billion, and increased Head Start funding by $610 million, to total $9.863 billion.”: Murray.Senate.gov.
The funding is a down payment on Sen. Murray’s robust working wraparound families plan: Murray.Senate.gov.
No Healthcare Market Stabilization Funding
The Murray-Alexander bill that they negotiated starting last summer included Cost Share Reduction Payments. They were not in the bill because Republicans wanted to also have anti-abortion legislation and they couldn’t agree: Vox.com.
More about other health care funding that was included: NPR.org.
“$3.3 billion in increased funding to combat the opioid and mental health epidemics”: Cantwell.Senate.gov.
Sen. Murray’s Initiative on Nurses Trained in Using Rape Kits
Sen. Murray’s legislation to ensure that funding for nurses to use rape kits is more available got support in the bill. The funding is for the Survivors Access to Supportive Care Act, and she got $8m for it: King5.com. Leah Griffin brought awareness of this issue to the senator. They went to the state of the union together: Murray.Senate.gov.
“EPA gets $8.1B: The spending bill rejects President Trump’s proposal to slash the EPA budget by 31 percent.”: TheHill.com.
Immigration / the ‘Wall’
‘funding for only an additional 328 Customs and Border Protection officers, and ICE will actually have to reduce the number of detention beds…It does include some border wall funding — $1.6 billion worth — which is much less than the $25 billion the White House asked for.’: Vox.com.
Sen. Murray was pleased to see so many young people at the March For Our Lives on Saturday.
She always votes for gun safety measures. Her voting record on guns: VoteSmart.org.
Sen. Cantwell’s voting record on guns: VoteSmart.org.
Feinstein’s Assault Weapon Ban
S. 2095: Assault Weapons Ban of 2017. More about the bill, introduced in November: Feinstein.Senate.gov.
As of 3/28/18, the bill has 28 Dem. cosponsors and Bernie Sanders. Sen. Murray is an original cosponsor. Sen. Cantwell is not a cosponsor.
HR. 1865: Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017
This bill has morphed from S. 1693, SESTA: Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017. It has been voted out of the House: roll call.
It is “to amend Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects websites from lawsuits over user-generated posts.”: EnGadget.com.
The concern about the bill is that in protecting victims of sexual crimes, it will affect the rights of social media sites such as Facebook: and restrict commenting.
It passed 97-2 on 3/21. Both of our senators voted for it: Senate.gov.
Craigslist and Reddit Closed Personal Ads Sections
“Craigslist shuttered its personal ads section after the U.S. Senate passed Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) on Wednesday. Reddit also removed some of its subreddits, or forums”: HuffPost.com.
“shuttering these kinds of ads is dangerous for the sex workers it purportedly protects. Sex workers advertising online are not soliciting work on the streets, where they are more likely to encounter dangerous situations.”: HuffPost.com.
Wyden Offered an Amendment
SA 2212: Congress.gov. It failed. Sen. Murray voted for it.
“Under FOSTA, any attempts by a website or app to filter out bad content could lead to more legal liability. The only way for companies to stay safe will be to completely give up on content moderation and trying to stop illegal ads from getting through. An amendment to FOSTA, offered by Sen. Wyden, would have closed this loophole, but it was shot down by a large majority.”: Reason.com
Citizenship Question on Census
“The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a briefing that the decision to gather citizenship data through the decennial census was ‘necessary for the Department of Justice to protect voters.'”
Twelve states are suing so far, including WA: NYTimes.com.
Caroline O’s tweet about Huckabee’s propaganda
The American Community Survey: Census.gov.
John Bolton as Security Advisor
45 is naming Bolton, a Fox news commentator as his security advisor: WaPo.com.
“‘He is maybe the most hawkish man in America,’ explains Vox’s Zack Beauchamp. ‘He LOVES war. Whenever there’s a problem, you can count on John Bolton proposing war as a solution for it.'” Vox.com.
John Bolton doesn’t have to be confirmed by the Senate because he is an advisor.
Protect Mueller’s Investigation!
There are 2 Bipartisan Efforts to Stop Mueller Being Fired
Our senators say that they can’t cosponsor legislation in the Judiciary committee. These bills are in it.
Senators Tillis & Coons have introduced bipartisan legislation to stop Trump being able to directly fire Mueller: S.1741.
Senators Graham & Booker’s legislation “would require the judges panel to review any attorney general’s decision to fire a special counsel before that firing could take effect”: More about both here.
Please ask Rep. Grassley to take a vote on S. 1741 to get it out of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary onto the floor. No zip authentication required to email.
email Rep. Grassley Phone: 202-224-3744 Fax: 202-224-6020
To thank them:
email Tillis: Phone: (202) 224-6342 Fax: (202) 228-2563
email Coons: Phone: (202) 224-5042
email Graham: Phone: (202) 224-5972 Fax: (202) 224-3808
email Booker: Phone: (202) 224-3224 Fax: (202) 224-8378
Our Response if Mueller is Fired or Key Witnesses are Excused
There are around 800 groups who will rally if Mueller’s investigation is threatened. Please join us: Act.MoveOn.org.
The Nuclear Issue
Can our senators please protect us from the nuclear threat (especially with Bolton as security advisor)? We have no protection from North Korea: and our president is threatening its president. There is a bill to stop the president making a first nuclear strike: S.200. Our senators are not cosponsors. It has 12 Dem. cosponsors and Sen Sanders.
Illegally Handing Over Personal Info to ICE
“Washington state regularly gives drivers’ info to immigration authorities; Inslee orders temporary halt”: SeattleTimes.com.
Gov. Inslee had already issued an executive order to stop State authorities handing over personal data. The Department of Licensing were breaking WA law. The EO: SeattlePI.com.
We want our senators to encourage Gov. Inslee to fire the head of the DOL. It is a state issue. They will look into it. The Latino Civic Alliance is working on this. The Latino Civic Alliance: LatinoCivicAlliance.com. Their statement about this: State & community leaders demand for Department of Licensing director, Pat Kohler to resign: Word doc: Nebula.WSIMG.com.
The Russian consulate in Seattle is being closed. Sen. Murray will speak about this soon. We do not know if the consulate has got info from Boeing and the Kitsap military base. The proximity to them is why they had to close the consulate.
The DACA Program
The program appears to be open to people who want renewals: but not new applicants. The real information is at: USCIS.gov.
February’s Federal judge ruling that the program will continue: CNN.com.
The ICE Detention Center in Tacoma
They Want to Expand
Northwest Detention Center sues Tacoma over council’s move to restrict expansion: TheNewsTribune.com. This is a local issue: and therefore out of our senators’ jurisdiction. We are just letting them know.