Pennsylvania Member of Congress Tracking Report – 11/24/19

45 mins read
Graphic by Kelly Pollock.

This is a 100% volunteer effort brought to you by a handful of progressive Democrats and Independents who share a vision of an informed electorate.  We want to offer a big thank you to the Pennsylvania Together, Pennsylvania Statewide Indivisible and Demcast organizations who host our report and help us share it out to the residents of our Commonwealth!

Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump

The lower the number, the more the legislator votes in opposition to the Trump agenda.

Member of CongressThis week’s scoreChange from last report
Senator Bob Casey (D)27.7% 0.0%
Senator Pat Toomey (R)88.0% 0.0%
PA-01 Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R)66.9%-0.4%
PA-02 Rep. Brendan Boyle (D)13.4%-0.1%
PA-03 Rep. Dwight Evans (D)12.2% 0.0%
PA-04 Rep. Madeleine Dean (D)1.8%-0.1%
PA-05 Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D)5.2%-0.1%
PA-06 Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D)3.6%-0.1%
PA-07 Rep. Susan Wild (D)6.9%-0.1%
PA-08 Rep. Matt Cartwright (D)21.2%-0.2%
PA-09 Rep. Dan Meuser (R)98.1% 0.0%
PA-10 Rep. Scott Perry (R)88.6%+0.1%
PA-11 Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R)95.2% 0.0%
PA-12 Rep. Fred Keller (R)92.0%+0.3%
PA-13 Rep. John Joyce (R)98.1% 0.0%
PA-14 Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R)94.3% 0.0%
PA-15 Rep. Glenn W. Thompson (R)98.0% 0.0%
PA-16 Rep. Mike Kelly (R)96.0%+0.1%
PA-17 Rep. Conor Lamb (D)25.0%-0.3%
PA-18 Rep. Mike Doyle (D)15.5%-0.1%

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website assesses the voting records of our MoCs to provide this index, by comparing any legislation where President Trump has stated a position, and comparing the vote of each MoC to the President’s opinion. The only vote scored this week was a House bill requiring health service providers to have plans for preventing workplace violence.

Want to see exactly what votes went into giving your MoC the numbers above?  Click on the name of any legislator and you will be brought to their 538 webpage, where all of the positions that went into the index are listed in an easy-to-read format.

Words From Our Founders

— from his Farewell Address

Votes of Interest  

Shutdown Averted, or Yet Another Continuing Resolution, or Stealth Patriot Act Renewal

House Vote AND Senate Vote on H.R. 3055: Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020

Earlier this year Congress passed several of the funding bills needed to keep the government in business for 2020, but negotiations got stuck in late September, necessitating the passage of a continuing resolution to fund the government for a few more weeks while the details were ironed out.  That funding was set to run out this week. And so Congress drafted this bill, which would kick the can down the road until right before the holiday recess.

In addition to the continuing resolution itself, the Congress tucked into this measure a number of odds and ends.  The Washington Post explains that “in addition to the funding extension, the spending legislation includes a grab-bag of other provisions, including a 3.1 percent military pay raise and money to conduct the Census. It also extends some expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act.”

The House voted first, on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. The continuing resolution passed, 231-192. Most Democrats voted YES and Republicans voted NO, but this was not a pure party line exercise.  Ten Democrats and twelve Republicans cross party lines. This is how our PA MoCs voted:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
NoRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
NoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
NoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
NoRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
NoRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

Then the bill went to the Senate for a vote on Thursday, November 21,2019 – the very day that funding ran out.  The continuing resolution passed, 74-20, with all of the NO votes coming from Republicans. Casey voted YES and Toomey voted NO (as is his habit).  If you need a reminder of Sen. Toomey’s general feelings about these appropriations bills and why he votes NO, here is a statement from earlier this year that lays out his contrarian position.

The House addresses the turmoil in Hong Kong

House Vote on S. 1838: Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019

House Vote on S. 2710: A bill to prohibit the commercial export of covered munitions items to the Hong Kong Police Force

The protests in Hong Kong started in April, when a bill to allow extradition to China of people arrested in Hong Kong was introduced.  Since then these pro-Democracy protests, and the violence surrounding them, have escalated. It is in that environment that this legislation, which passed the Senate unanimously, moved to the House.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would, according to Reuters, “…put the special treatment the former British colony enjoys under U.S. law under tighter scrutiny linked to the extent of Hong Kong’s autonomy from Beijing.”  The other bill, S. 2710, has a more self-explanatory title. The covered munitions items mentioned in that title refer to “tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, foam rounds, bean bag rounds, pepper balls, water cannons, handcuffs, shackles, stun guns, and tasers,” according to Section 1(2) of the legislation. 

Both votes were taken on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, under suspension of the rules, which means that a ⅔ super majority was needed to pass. The ban on exporting munitions passed unanimously (417-0).  The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed 417-1, with the single NO vote coming from Kentucky Freedom Caucus member Rep. Thomas Massie. All Pennsylvanian MoCs voted YES on both bills.

On Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio said that he believed President Trump would sign the pair of bills. However, President Trump made motions on Friday that he might veto the measures because of the impact they might have on a trade deal with China.  The Washington Post quoted the President, who made this statement on Fox and Friends:

We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi [Jinping]. He’s a friend of mine. He’s an incredible guy. … But I’d like to see them work it out. Okay? We have to see and work it out. But I stand with Hong Kong. I stand with freedom. I stand with all of the things that we want to do, but we also are in the process of making the largest trade deal in history. And if we could do that, that would be great.”

But after the President threatened a veto, Sen. Ted Cruz issued a statement that, while addressing the leader of China, was clearly intended as a message to President Trump.  It said, in part, “President Xi and the Chinese Communist Party cannot silence the United States Congress. In case they aren’t familiar with how our Constitution works, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed the House and Senate by overwhelming veto-proof majorities and it will become law.”

We will have more on this standoff in our next MoCTrack Report

The House takes on Workplace Violence in Healthcare settings

House Vote on H.R. 1309: Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care & Social Service Workers Act

Social workers, nurses and other health care service workers are facing increasing levels of violence in the workplace. National Public Radio reported that “according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s been a 70% increase in intentional injuries to nurses by their patients between 2012 and 2018.”   This bill serves to address this situation by directing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to mandate new standards.

Newsweek  provided a recap of the legislation’s contents:

If signed into the law, the bill would provide employers one year to develop a provisional plan for protecting health care workers, and 42 months to develop and implement a final plan for investigating incidents of violence, educating staff on risk management, meeting specific recording requirements, and creating a safe space for health care workers to report acts of violence or threats.

This measure is backed by National Nurses United, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the AFL-CIO, the Steelworkers, the Machinists and other unions, according to People’s World. They have attempted to pass this legislation in the previous three Congresses. 

The vote on H.R. 1309 was taken on Thursday, November 21, 2019. It passed, 251-158.  All Democrats voted YES, and they were joined by 32 Republicans. Our PA delegation voted as follows:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
no voteDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
NoRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
NoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
no voteRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
NoRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
NoRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

Reporting on Corporate Diversity

House Vote on H.R. 5084: Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act of 2019

The House considered a pair of bills that would enable the Securities and Exchange Commission to take new steps to improve corporate governance. This first bill would mandate that corporations make public information about diversity in their leadership ranks.  Compliance Week explains further:

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved H.R. 5084, which would amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require publicly traded corporations to disclose diversity information about their boards of directors, nominees for the boards, and executive officers of the corporation… [It] would also require the Securities and Exchange Commission to report annually to Congress an analysis of diversity trends. The SEC would also have to establish a Diversity Advisory Group to work on initiatives to increase gender, racial, and ethnic diversity on corporate boards. If the bill does become law, the SEC Office of Minority and Women Inclusion would also be tasked with publishing best practices for compliance with disclosure requirements on diversity.

The measure was sponsored by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), who said that this bill “…is the culmination of years of work dedicated to increasing transparency so that the highest levels of corporate America can begin to reflect the diversity of America.”

H.R. 5084 came to the floor of the House for a vote on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.  It passed, 281-135, with 55 Republicans joining all of the Democrats in voting YES. Here’s how the PA delegation voted:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
NoRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
NoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
NoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
NoRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
NoRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

Financial Accountability for Corporate Fraud

House Vote on H.R. 4344: Investor Protection and Capital Markets Fairness Act

The second of the corporate regulatory bills creates accountability for corporate fraud, and gives teeth to the Securities and Exchange Commissions when it comes to pursuing corporate wrongdoing.  According to Investment News, the new bill:

…would give the Securities and Exchange Commission more power to claw back investor money lost in securities fraud. A recent Supreme Court decision, Kokesh v. SEC, capped the SEC’s look back at five years. The bipartisan bill, the Investor Protection and Capital Markets Fairness Act, would apply a 14-year statute of limitations for the SEC to seek so-called disgorgement, or the return of ill-gotten gains.

This measure was sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), who told the Ripon Advance that “the latest report from the SEC found that more than $1.1 billion swindled from investors through fraudulent activity is unable to be recovered because of a 2017 Supreme Court decision.”  The Congressman added that he authored this bill so that “…the SEC has the necessary tools to go after bad actors and prevent these sophisticated fraudsters from keeping the money they have stolen from our teachers, military service personnel, seniors, and religious-affiliated groups.”

This measure passed on Monday, November 18, 2019, in a 314-95 vote, under suspension of the rules. All of the NO votes came from the GOP and the lone Independent.  Here’s how our PA MoCs voted:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
AyeRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
NoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
NoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
AyeRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
NoRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
NoRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

The House Streamlines Disaster Recovery

House Vote on H.R. 3702: Reforming Disaster Recovery Act of 2019

With climate change increasing disastrous weather events, the time is ripe for a government plan to streamline the manner in which funds are approved to help hard-hit communities.  The sponsor of this legislation, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), shared that “…the system currently in place has never been codified into federal law and requires a new process after every disaster that occurs, delaying and complicating the distribution of funds to impacted communities.”

Iowa’s KMALand provided a brief rundown of the contents of Rep. Green’s bill:

Among other things, the bill would create a standardized grant application for disaster funds, put time requirements on agency response time and increase measures to eliminate fraud and abuse with disaster aid. [Rep. Cindy] Axne says the money to help flood victims recover has been approved, but the ability of victims to receive money has been hampered.

A Louisiana news outlet, The Advocate provided additional information, noting it would “set out specific guidelines for how HUD distributes Community Development Block Grant disaster funds, which are the major source for long-term recovery dollars for states.”

The disaster recovery bill had its vote on Monday, November 18, 2019, under suspension of the rules, meaning it needed a ⅔ super majority was needed to pass. The final vote was 290-118. All Democrats present votes YES, along with 71 of their Republican colleagues.  Our Pennsylvania MoCs were divided along unusual lines:

AyeRFitzpatrick, BrianPA 1st
NoRPerry, ScottPA 10th
AyeDBoyle, BrendanPA 2nd
NoRSmucker, LloydPA 11th
AyeDEvans, DwightPA 3rd
AyeRKeller, FredPA 12th
AyeDDean, MadeleinePA 4th
NoRJoyce, JohnPA 13th
AyeDScanlon, MaryPA 5th
NoRReschenthaler, GuyPA 14th
AyeDHoulahan, ChrissyPA 6th
AyeRThompson, GlennPA 15th
AyeDWild, SusanPA 7th
AyeRKelly, MikePA 16th
AyeDCartwright, MatthewPA 8th
AyeDLamb, ConorPA 17th
AyeRMeuser, DanielPA 9th
AyeDDoyle, MikePA 18th

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Flips Conservative

Senate Confirmation Vote on Barbara Lagoa to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit

Senate Confirmation Vote on Robert J. Luck to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit

The Senate confirmed two new judges this week in a move that flipped one of our thirteen courts of appeals. More on that change from Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern:

As the House of Representatives held impeachment hearings on Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Barbara Lagoa to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. With this confirmation, President Donald Trump has flipped the 11th Circuit, meaning a majority of its judges were appointed by Republican presidents. Five of the court’s 12 judges were appointed by Trump himself, and another was appointed by George W. Bush. George H.W. Bush appointed the court’s chief judge. Conservatives now hold a 7–5 edge.

The 11th Circuit is the third court that Trump has flipped, following the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd and 3rd Circuits. Seven of the nation’s federal courts of appeals are now controlled by Republican appointees, six by Democratic appointees. Trump has appointed 48 judges to the courts of appeals in less than three years; by contrast, President Barack Obama appointed 48 judges to these courts total during his eight years in office. (That excludes the Federal Circuit, which can only hear a narrow range of claims, most notably patent law.) A quarter of all active appellate judges on the federal bench today were nominated by Trump.

While she is assuredly a conservtive, Barbara Lagoa has ample experience to back her confirmation. The Miami Herald reports that she served for nearly 13 years on Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal before being appointed to the Florida Supreme Court. And she worked in private practice as well as serving as an assistant U.S. attorney in South Florida.

Robert Luck, on the other hand, just turned forty, and according to The Vetting Room, he has had only served on the Florida State Supreme Court for barely half a year.  Now he’s not only being promoted into the federal judiciary, but he’s been jumped right over the district court level and into the Court of Appeals!

Mr. Luck was confirmed in a 64-31 vote on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. Elevent Democrats crossed party lines to approve this nominee. Casey voted NO and Toomey voted YES.   Ms. Lagoa’s vote took place the next day.  She was confirmed 80-15. Casey voted YES and Toomey voted YES

We have a New Ambassador to Romania

Senate Confirmation Vote on Adrian Zuckerman to be Ambassador to Romania

It is not a new thing for a president to appoint donors and cronies to ambassador positions.  But it is a distinctly Trumpian twist to appoint one who is facing sexual harassment claims. But that’s exactly what we are getting with our new Ambassador to Romania, who sexually harassed a legal secretary while he was a partner at a  large estate law firm, according to  Mr. Zuckerman has no previous State Department or diplomatic experience. But, according to Foreign Policy, he is a member of one of the president’s exclusive golf clubs. And FEC filings show he also is a donor to the president’s campaign fund.

The new ambassador was confirmed in a 65-30 vote on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. The NO votes were all placed by Democrats. Casey voted NO and Toomey voted YES.

We have a new Secretary of Energy

Senate Confirmation Vote on Dan Brouillette to be Secretary of Energy

With the departure of Rick Perry, President Trump now has a new Energy Secretary in Dan Brouillette. And it will be no surprise to anyone that he has deep ties to industries friendly to fossil fuel and extractive corporations.  Newsweek  reports that Mr. Brouillette was both a vice president of Ford Motor Company and the senior vice president and head of public policy for the United Services Automobile Association.

Politico provided information on Mr. Brouillette’s past work in government and his experience at working with the legislative branch:

Brouillette has a reputation around Washington as a pragmatist who can break through policy log jams. During the Bush administration, he was a key figure in laying the groundwork for what became the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The law, which expanded DOE’s research and development authority, first began to take shape while Brouillette was assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental affairs at DOE, a post he held from 2001 through 2003… Brouillette helped get the bill through a House-Senate conference, and resulting bill passed in the House. [That] version failed in the Senate by two votes, but a similar bill passed the next year after both Tauzin and Brouillette left Congress.

As one would expect from a Trump nominee, Mr. Brouillette has recently supported  an industry-friendly approach to giving corporations the right to exploit resources on government lands.  The Hill reports “Brouillette on Thursday morning endorsed the idea of mining the Arctic to dig up minerals for electric batteries and touted the American emission reductions.”

Dan Brouillette was confirmed  to be our new Secretary of Energy on Thursday, November 21, 2019 in a 74-18 vote. All 18 NO votes came from Democrats.  Casey voted YES and Toomey voted YES.

Unanimously passed legislation

The following bills were passed through unanimous consent or voice vote (which presumes unanimity, as any member can object to the voice vote and ask for a roll call). This list excludes bills related to post offices, stamps, memorials, awareness weeks and other ceremonial activities.

  • S.333 – National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act
  • S.1430 – Representative Payee Fraud Prevention Act
  • S.1846 – State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act
  • S.2193 – Charging Helps Agencies Realize General Efficiencies Act 
  • H.R.182 – Authorization for the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission
  • H.R.255 – Big Bear Land Exchange Act
  • H.R.925 – North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act
  • H.R.4258 – Reauthorizing Security for Supreme Court Justices Act
  • H.R.4029 – Tribal Access to Homeless Assistance Act
  • H.R.4300 – Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act 
  • S.2071 – Repealing Existing Substandard Provisions Encouraging Conciliation with Tribes Act

MoC Twitter Action

Courtesy of contributor @ElastigirlVotes

Twitter Action – Healthcare/ ACA

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 11/18/19:

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 11/20/19:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 11/21/19:

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 11/19/19:

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 11/20/19:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 11/20/19:

Twitter Action – Economy/ Environment

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 11/19/19:

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 11/19/19:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 11/20/19:

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 11/20/19:

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 11/19/19:

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 11/18/19:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 11/18/19:

Twitter Action – promoted legislation

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 11/21/19:

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 11/22/19:

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @CongBoyle, 11/21/19:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 11/22/19:

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 11/22/19:

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 11/21/19:

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 11/22/19:

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 11/21/19:

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 11/22/19:

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 11/17/19:

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 11/19/19:

Editor’s note – A major GOP talking point is that Democrats are getting nothing done because they are so focused on Impeachment. Rep. Perry tweeted/retweeted 138 times between 11/18 and 11/21.  Only two of those tweets had to do with anything other than impeachment. One is the retweet above. The other was a tweet complaining about all that he thinks the Democrats are not doing.

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 11/22/19:

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 11/22/19:

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 11/21/19:

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 11/18/19:

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 11/19/19:

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 11/19/19:

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, 11/20/19:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 11/22/19:

Tweet of the Week

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 11/21/19:

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 11/19/19:

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 11/20/19:

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBrendanBoyle, 11/21/19:

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 11/19/19:

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 11/20/19:

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 11/20/19:

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 11/19/19:

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 11/22/19:

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 11/20/19:

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 11/20/19:

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 11/21/19:

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 11/23/19:

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 11/21/19:

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 11/22/19:

Casey in the News 

Courtesy of contributor Linda Houk

For some people it’s really attractive… If you’re someone below the age of 40 maybe who’s looking for something really inexpensive you might enroll yourself in a plan that doesn’t have the protections you need.

from an article at titled “Beware ‘junk plans’ in 2020 health insurance open enrollment, senator says in Valley visit

It’s obviously an effort that needs a lot more work to meet the legitimate expectations of seniors… Especially when you launch something new, (it) can go awry. People steered in the wrong direction should get a measure of fairness.

from an article in the Star Tribune titled “Medicare drug plan finder can steer seniors to higher costs

Transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, are disproportionately affected by fatal violence… We must do more to stop hate crimes, enforce legislation to prosecute these crimes and prevent those convicted of hate crimes from purchasing guns.

from an article on ABC 7 Eyewitness News titled “Lawmakers mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, highlighting transphobia, grim stats

Toomey in the News 

Courtesy of contributor Elayne Baker

The president indicated a great deal of interest in doing something and of course, the something that I’ve been advocating for some time now is background checks at all commercial gun sales. It’s taken far, far longer than I certainly had hoped but I still think we have a chance of getting this across the finish line. 

from KYW Newsradio 1060’s article titled “Sen. Toomey, 2 Democratic colleagues believe time is still ripe for passage of common sense gun sales reforms

[The Automotive industry] loaded up what is supposed to be a free-trade agreement . . . with all kinds of restrictions on trade… [Congressional Democrats] got things they never dreamed of getting in a free-trade agreement.

from an article in the National Review titled “NAFTA Was Good, and the USMCA Is Okay.” The piece notes that Sen. Toomey is “the only declared Republican opponent of the agreement in the Senate”

As a recent US trade court opinion stated, the president’s authority to impose ‘national security’ tariffs or other import restrictions under Section 232 is not indefinite. With the 180-day deadline having passed, the window for new ‘national security’ taxes on imported automobiles has closed.

from a South China Morning Post  article titled “Donald Trump weighs new trade investigation to justify tariffs on EU
a full excerpt, with context, from an article in Politico titled “Trump’s Senate safety net holds firm as Republicans dismiss ‘quid pro quo’

I intend to sit through a trial. If the House pursues that, and, at that point, I’ll examine all the evidence they present.

from a article titled “Senator Toomey Focused On Gun Control Legislation During Impeachment Inquiry” 

Call to Action – Support this Bill! 

S. 1352/H.R. 2585 –  Resources for Victims of Gun Violence Act

We’re revisiting a bill we covered this past May, as it’s primary sponsors (both Pennsylvanians) are making a big push for it to be considered. Let’s help them out by making some calls!

These are a pair of identical bills that were introduced last week. The Senate version was introduced by our own Bob Casey. It is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it had two Democratic co-sponsors (Sen. Harris of California and Sen. Klobuchar of Minnesota). The House version of the bill was introduced by PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans.  It is pending in the House Judiciary Committee and it has 71 Democratic co-sponsors (up from 23 in May).

The Philadelphia Inquirer lays out the stakes that this legislation is attempting to address in their article titled “Gun violence victims still feel forgotten. Sen. Bob Casey and Rep. Dwight Evans hope to change that”:

Four months into 2019, nearly 400 people have been shot in Philadelphia.

Most have survived, thanks in no small part to the frenzied work of the city’s trauma surgeons. But just because someone manages to cheat death in an operating room doesn’t mean he or she won’t face months or years of struggling to recover, to adapt to a new life full of physical and psychological disabilities that create significant needs.

This American problem affects more than 100,000 people every year, in rural areas and cities alike. But it’s also an issue that hasn’t been meaningfully studied. On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans cosponsored the Resources for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which promises to establish a federal advisory council to support victims of gun violence, and identify gaps in the myriad support systems.

This bill would establish an advisory committee made up of members of various bureaucratic agencies (like Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration and the Department of Justice among others), but more importantly, victims of gun violence who can bring their lived experiences, as well as social workers and medical professionals.  This new advisory group would assess a variety of needs of victims of gun violence; according to Representative Evans, that would include “medical, legal, financial, educational, workplace, housing, transportation, assistive technology and accessibility needs.”  From there, the new advisory group would have two mandates. First, they would make sure that information about currently available programs is more accessible to affected communities. Their second task is to provide to Congress a report on what additional programs need to be created to help victims of gun violence. 

Senator Casey issued this statement in conjunction with the release of this legislation:

We can’t stop pushing for the common-sense measures that will help prevent gun violence from happening. But we must also acknowledge the reality of our gun violence problem and make sure that survivors, families, friends and caregivers have the support they need to recover and manage their longer-term needs. That’s what this bill is aiming to do, and I hope that Congress will take it up. There are millions of Americans who have been affected by gun violence and could benefit from this legislation.

Representative Evans echoed the senator’s  sentiments in his own statement, adding, “this bill has nothing to do with gun rights and everything to do with helping victims of crime. This is something Americans across the political spectrum should be able to support. I thank Senator Casey for his leadership on this issue.”

As of this week, the following Pennsylvania MoCs are co-sponsoring H.R. 2585:

  • 🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle
  • 🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean
  • 🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon
  • 🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan
  • 🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild
  • 🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Michael Doyle

If you live in their districts, or that of 🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, please call them and 🔵Senator Bob Casey to thank them for their support of this legislation.

If you live in one of the other congressional districts, please call your representative to ask them to support H.R. 2585.  The scripting is the same, regardless of the MoC’s party:

There are hundreds of thousands of Americans who are dealing with the traumatic results of gun related injuries. Regardless of your position on common sense gun reform, we owe a duty to those who have been injured.  The reality of their lives is a day-to-day struggle to navigate a confusing maze of state, federal, and local government bureaucracy as they try to stitch together enough aid for basic necessities, like functional wheelchairs and handicapped-accessible housing.  By creating an advisory committee, more information about existing programs will be made available, and Congress will be advised of areas where there are additional needs. These are members of our community, and I would like you to step up and do what you can to help them by supporting this bill.

That same script can be used for calls to 🔴 Senator Pat Toomey.

Common sense gun reform centered organizations have lined up behind this bill.  The March for our Lives group released a tweet that reads, “MFOL proudly endorses The Resources For Victims of Gun Violence Act. Congress would be wise to do the same. This is not a conversation on rights, it’s on the responsibility to care for our fellow Americans in their time of need. #MarchForOurLives”  Moms Demand Action tweeted “As a nation of gun violence survivors, we must provide more support for those who endure the devastating effects that follow. Our gratitude to @SenBobCasey & @RepDwightEvans for introducing legislation that would provide resources to gun violence victims.”.

Congress is on recess for Thanksgiving week, and our MoCTrack team will be spending the next weekend with our families.  We will be back once Congress returns to DC, with a report on December 8, 2019. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, readers!

This report brought to you by the Pennsylvania MoCTrack team… 

  • Elayne Baker 
  • Gary Garb
  • Helen a.k.a. @ElastigirlVotes
  • Linda Houk
  • Kierstyn Piotrowski Zolfo

We can always use additional assistance. Our Congresspeople are always busy and there is always more for us to cover — tasks big and small to fit any level of time commitment or experience. Can you help us out?  Please email and put “MoCTrack Help” in the subject. Thanks!

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

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