Pennsylvania Member of Congress Tracking Report – 06.07.20

88 mins read
Graphic by Kelly Pollock.

Pennsylvania Member of Congress Tracking Report – 06.07.20

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 and Pennsylvania Statewide Indivisible 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)29.8%0.0%
Senator Pat Toomey (R)87.9%0.0%
PA-01 Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R)64.7%0.0%
PA-02 Rep. Brendan Boyle (D)13.2%0.0%
PA-03 Rep. Dwight Evans (D)12.1%0.0%
PA-04 Rep. Madeleine Dean (D)4.1%0.0%
PA-05 Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D)6.6%0.0%
PA-06 Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D)5.5%0.0%
PA-07 Rep. Susan Wild (D)9.2%0.0%
PA-08 Rep. Matt Cartwright (D)20.2%0.0%
PA-09 Rep. Dan Meuser (R)98.6%0.0%
PA-10 Rep. Scott Perry (R)89.8%0.0%
PA-11 Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R)95.7%0.0%
PA-12 Rep. Fred Keller (R)95.3%0.0%
PA-13 Rep. John Joyce (R)98.6%0.0%
PA-14 Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R)95.8%0.0%
PA-15 Rep. Glenn W. Thompson (R)98.2%0.0%
PA-16 Rep. Mike Kelly (R)96.4%0.0%
PA-17 Rep. Conor Lamb (D)24.5%0.0%
PA-18 Rep. Mike Doyle (D)15.1%0.0%

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website assesses the voting records of our MoCs to provide this index, by comparing any bills where President Trump has stated a position, and comparing the vote of the legislator to that opinion. There were only Senate votes this week, and none of them were scored.

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.

Votes of Interest – another McConnell Confirmation extravaganza week

Bureaucratic Confirmation #1 – Inspector General, Pandemic Response

Senate Confirmation Vote on Brian Miller to be Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery

This position will oversee the dispersal of nearly a half a trillion dollars in pandemic relief funds from the coronavirus response bills. Concerns about the confirmation of Mr. Miller stem mostly from the fact that he served on the president’s legal team during the impeachment process.  Prior to his role as the president’s attorney, Mr. Miller was a former inspector general at the General Services Administration. 

Vote date: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 Vote Tally: 51-40

Party Breakdown: Nearly everyone voted along party lines (with Republicans voting YES; Independent and Democrats voting NO) except Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, who voted YES with the Republicans.

Additional Reading:

Bob Casey voted NO and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Bureaucratic Confirmation #2 –  Defense Department

Senate Confirmation Vote on Victor G. Mercado to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense

Vote date: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 Vote Tally: 75-15

Party Breakdown: All Republicans present voted YES, and they were joined by 24 Democrats and the one Independent present (Sen. Angus King of Maine). Fifteen Democrats voted NO.

Bob Casey voted YES and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Bureaucratic Confirmation #3 –  Defense Department

Senate Confirmation Vote on James H. Anderson to be a Deputy Under Secretary of Defense

Vote date: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 Vote Tally: 78-17

Party Breakdown: As with the Defense Department vote from the previous day, all Republicans present voted YES, and they were joined by 24 Democrats and the one Independent present (Sen. Angus King of Maine). But there were more senators in Washington, so there were three additional Republicans voting ES.  And two more Democrats were also present for voting, putting the NO total at seventeen.

Bob Casey voted YES and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Editor’s note – there was very little in the news about these two defense department picks. The only article that had any content of note was this Defense News piece from March, when the pair was nominated.

Bureaucratic Confirmation #4 – US Agency for Global Media

Senate Confirmation Vote on Michael Pack to be Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcasting Board of Governors for the term of three years

The New York Times covers the key issues for this nomination succinctly, so we’ll leave it to them:

Senate Republican leaders, under pressure from President Trump to install an ally who would dictate more favorable news coverage of his administration, are moving to swiftly confirm a conservative filmmaker to lead the independent agency in charge of state-funded media outlets… Mr. Trump’s personal intervention to push through his favored nominee illustrates his determination to install a sympathetic figure at the parent agency of broadcasters, which includes the Voice of America, the largest American international broadcaster and one that has recently provoked his ire.

The position of Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, also referred to as the US Agency for Global Media, puts a Steve Bannon ally in charge of the Voice of America broadcast system.

Also of note is that Mr. Pack is under investigation by the Washington DC’s attorney general over whether he unlawfully used funds from his nonprofit, Public Media Lab, to benefit himself.

Vote date: Thursday, June 4, 2020 Vote Tally: 53-38

Party Breakdown: All Republicans present voted YES, along with Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.  The remaining Democrats and Independent Angus King of Maine voted NO.

Additional Reading:

Bob Casey voted NO and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Judicial Confirmation #1 – Florida

Senate Confirmation Vote on John Leonard Badalament to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida

This nominee was a clerk for two judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit before joining a federal public defender’s office. He was appointed to a judicial seat in the Florida state court system five years ago.

As The Vetting Room notes, “Badalamenti has most of his pre-bench career as a federal public defender, an unusual background for a judicial nominee, particularly one in a Republican administration.” It is rare enough to have defenders as judicial nominees in any administration, so it is a welcome and rare perspective in the federal court system.

Vote date: Monday, June 1, 2020 Vote Tally: 55-22

Party Breakdown: McConnell brought up this nomination on a day when 23 senators had not yet made it back to Washington. The 43 Republicans present all voted yes and they were joined by 11 Democrats and  Independent Angus King of Maine. The 22 NO votes were all from Democrats.

Additional Reading:

Bob Casey voted NO and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Judicial Confirmation #2 – Texas

Senate Confirmation Vote on Drew B. Tipton, of Texas, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas

Drew Tipton is an attorney who has spent the entirety of his career in private practice.  He worked for over 20 years at the firm Baker Hostettler, where he is a partner.  He specializes in employment law, and he has represented both employees and employers.  Tipton is a member of both the  Republican National Lawyers Association and of the Federalist Society. He has given thousands of dollars i donations to Republicans Senate candidates.

Vote date: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 Vote Tally: 52-41

Party Breakdown: This was a party line vote, with all Republicans present voting YES, and the Democrats and Independent voting NO.

Additional Reading:

Bob Casey voted NO and Pat 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.886 – Indian Water Rights Settlement Extension Act
  • H.R.7010 – Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act
  • S.3846 – COVID-19 Pandemic Moment of Silence Act

This week’s official statements from our MoCs on the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, from his official website, 06/03/20:

Casey, Brown, Blumenthal, Baldwin and Bennet Lead 16 Senators in Urging Defense Department to Refrain from Using U.S. Military to Suppress Nationwide Protests – Senators Express Strong Opposition to Use of Military to Impede the First Amendment Rights of Americans

“President Trump’s behavior over the last three years has repeatedly politicized our Armed Forces and portrayed their mission not as one to protect and defend the Constitution, but rather to protect and defend his political interests. The military should never be weaponized by the President to limit these expressions for liberty and justice. We believe it is antithetical to what those in uniform have sworn to protect and defend, and a serious threat to our democratic system.”

“This is a critical moment for our Nation. How our institutions respond will determine whether the coming weeks and months lead to healing and unity, or continued derision, discord and injustice. We urge you to refrain from using the United States military to diminish or suppress the peaceful, free expression of Americans who are exercising their civil liberties in a call to hold government institutions to a higher standard in the fight for racial justice.”

The full letter can be read here.

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, from his official website, 06/02/20:

Toomey Decries Violent Riots, Stands with Peaceful Protesters and Law Enforcement – esterday, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) visited Philadelphia to reaffirm his support for peaceful protesters and police officers while condemning the violent acts of rioters.

In remarks delivered from the U.S. Custom House in Philadelphia, Senator Toomey expressed his deepest sympathies to the family of George Floyd while expressing his anger at the actions that led to his death. Senator Toomey then expressed support for peaceful protesters and police officers while decrying the rioting that has engulfed cities across the country, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg.

“Good afternoon, we’re here today to talk about the tragic death of George Floyd, but even more, frankly, about the response to it.

“I want to start by offering my deepest sympathies to Mr. Floyd’s family for their loss. I will tell you the video of his death is sickening to watch. It was very, very deeply disturbing. But it’s worth noting that the officer responsible was promptly fired, arrested, and charged with Mr. Floyd’s murder. In the coming months that officer will stand trial for his actions, and I am hopeful and confident that there will be justice.

“I think it’s really important to underscore the fact that the vast majority of police officers, men and women in, across Pennsylvania, and across the country are hardworking, honorable people who do the right thing. But like any other profession, any other walk of life, or any other group of organizations, there will be bad apples and they need to be held accountable when they commit misconduct.

“As Attorney General Bill Barr has said, and I quote: ‘Accountability for Mr. Floyd’s death must be addressed, and is being addressed through the regular process of our criminal justice system.’

“In addition, I think policy makers at all levels of government ought to make sure we’re doing what we can to minimize the risk of future such events. I’m pleased that the Senate Judiciary Committee has announced that they’ll hold a bipartisan hearing on the police use of force with the goal of finding a better way forward for our nation.

“Also I want to be very clear, I fully understand the anger that so many people feel. I felt that anger when I watched that video, I still feel that anger. And I fully support the right of people to peacefully protest and register their concerns. Peaceful protest goes back to the beginning of this great republic, the right to do so is enshrined in the very first amendment of our Constitution. Law-abiding Americans, and Pennsylvanians, and Philadelphians, they have come together to exercise that right peacefully in an effort to effect change. But unfortunately, these peaceful protests have been marred by some who have chosen violence, and lawlessness, and rioting, and who have chosen to leave a wake of destruction in their path.

“Violent rioters have wrecked entire city blocks, shot two federal contract security officers in Oakland, killing one of them. Assaulted injured police officers, burned police cars, looted stores, in some cases stores that have been closed for months, and even destroyed the property of organizations that serve under-served populations.

“For instance, rioters in Philadelphia set fire to a supply trailer for Broad Street Ministries. While Americans have the right to peacefully protest, no one has a right to violently riot. These acts must stop, and we need to support the law enforcement folks who are doing all that they can to bring an end to this violence. Those who are committing these acts of violence, they’re doing a lot of harm to our Commonwealth and to our country. Especially damaging to minority neighborhoods, lawlessness and violence are most dangerous to the most vulnerable.

“As Robert Woodson wrote in today’s Wall Street Journal, and I quote: ‘Violent protest are devastating the people in whose name they demand justice.’

“They’re also undermining the peaceful efforts to honor George Floyd’s memory, and to spark dialogue and constructive action. George Floyd’s brother said, and I quote: ‘My brother wasn’t about that,’ referring to the riots.

“And let’s be honest, looting businesses has nothing to do with peaceful protest. And assaulting police officers is never acceptable. I personally am very grateful for the brave police officers in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania who have gone into harm’s way to quell the lawless rioting and looting.

“I am grateful for the good Samaritans that have helped clean up the damage and try to dissuade rioters from engaging in destructive acts. And I’m really pleased that we have a number of leaders from various walks of life to speak about the events we’ve seen the last few days.”

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick has no releases on his website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform as of 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020. 

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle has no releases on his website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform since his initial statement on the murder of George Floy from May 28, 2020. In that statement he said, “we must also, at long last, once and for all, eradicate all forms of racial prejudice and discrimination.”

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, from his official website, 05/30/20:

Evans: What Philly Needs is Peace, Not More Violence

“For most of the day, the protest was peaceful – people who are rightly upset by injustice using their First Amendment rights to speak out about that injustice. The vast majority of protesters today came out to be heard, not to harm anyone,” Evans said. “I know this not only from media reports but also because a member of my staff observed much of the protest.”

“Philly already has a gun violence problem. We need to reduce that – not have more violence on top of it!

“Philadelphians can step up to do what the president isn’t doing – increase the peace. Americans need a leader in the White House – not someone stoking division or encouraging violence as we have seen in some of the current president’s recent tweets.

“If the president can’t be part of the solution, he should just be quiet.

“I want to thank the many Philadelphians who have been protesting peacefully. And I want to call attention to this: We all have a powerful opportunity to be heard on Tuesday – a primary election where the nation will be watching to see if we turn out by mail or in person to vote.

“Your vote is a powerful voice for change – when you use it!”

“What we need from our elected officials and police officers is constructive solutions to de-escalate these situations and save lives. For example, I am an original co-sponsor of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries’ bill that would forbid the use of chokeholds, the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act, H.R. 4408. I urge the House Judiciary Committee to take up that bill as soon as possible.”

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean has no releases on her website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform as of 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020. She did, however, do an interview on the topic, available here.

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, from her official website, 06/05/20:

Fighting For Justice: Legislative Steps We’re Taking to Change The System

“We are a country in crisis — we have been for quite some time. For Ahmaud, Breonna, George, their families, and our communities all too familiar with their pain — we must demand justice.

I wanted to share with you the legislative action I am working on as we fight to dismantle systems of hate, hold law enforcement officers accountable, and push for the adoption — and use — of unbiased policing practices.

At this moment in time we are witnessing a moral reckoning in our community and across the country, a response to the injustice and inaction that black and brown Americans have experienced for centuries. Enough is enough.

Changing the system will take all of us — here’s what we are working on.” Rep. Scanlon then goes on to detail a list of sixteen pieces of legislation, hearings and formal committee and caucus letters aimed at creating change. That list can be found here.

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, from her official website, 06/01/20:

Listen, Learn, Lead

“It’s hard to breathe and feel safe now. There is a virus in the air, a pandemic. Do you feel it? Do you see it? Maybe you think it is not exactly where you are. But you know that there are hotspots in some areas most assuredly — in Minneapolis, NYC, and Atlanta. But the disease is everywhere really. We know it.

But to be clear, we are not talking about COVID-19. We are speaking of racism.

And it is our shared responsibility to name it, to address it head on. We cannot simply ignore it, choose to not track it, or not to test for it and just hope it will go away. We cannot ask that others do the work for us in confronting this scourge — do that work “somewhere else” — so that we can go on with our lives. All the while, the plague persists month after month, year after year, decade after decade, and century after century. We must all do what we know is right now, what is uncomfortable, but what we know to be the right thing to do on behalf of all of us. We must confront the virus head on. All do the work. Spend the time. Provide the resources. Stop it once and for all.

This is our shared reality and for too long, too many of us have shirked our responsibility to stand up and speak out about the stain of racism in our country. In order for real reform to take place, we must address the very system that enables bias to occur. It is there, day in and day out. For some of us, it bears no ill effect. But for others in our community, Commonwealth, and country the effect is staggering. The same institutions that are the very foundations of our country and our lives are where the greatest disparities exist — education, healthcare, housing, and yes, our systems of justice. These are undeniable truths.

Systemic racism is also the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on black and brown communities. Black and brown people are being diagnosed with this deadly virus and are dying at much higher rates. They are also more likely to be in front line jobs that offer no ability to “stay home and stay safe” from the virus.

I am a freshman in Congress. As a newly elected Representative, I raised my hand to serve on the committees that most closely matched my background: Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Small Business. And we got to work.

During this first term, we assembled a very talented and diverse team that I am enormously proud of — we look like our nation. In this 116th Congress, we have established a legislative record that supports increasing the minimum wage, the protection of unions, paid family leave, equal pay for equal work, and for childcare and earned income tax credits. I am pleased that we have been able to support public school repair, teachers, and more Pell grants. We have fought with our votes to protect the Affordable Care Act, and to protect Medicaid and Medicare benefits. We have supported legislation that combats homelessness, and expands safe and affordable housing. And we have worked to enhance and protect access to the ballot.

In this Congress, I have led efforts to improve the recruitment and retention of more diverse teachers, with the hope that more black and brown students will be able to see themselves in their educators. I have led efforts to provide parental leave for 2.1 million public servants. I have led efforts to encourage and incentivize national service so that we see and serve each other more in the real world, and better understand one another as a consequence.

At home and in DC, I have met with community leaders and advocates on these issues many times. I have organized and convened events focused on these issues.

But it is not enough.

None of this is enough. Because black and brown people still do not have consistent and reliable access to equitable healthcare or education. They still face significant obstacles to casting a ballot — a right many of us just take for granted. They are still underrepresented in every aspect of our society. Underpaid consistently. Imprisoned disproportionately. Most alarmingly, black and brown people are still being killed and dying every single day — due to both individual and structural racism. And sometimes while in the care and at the hands of our law enforcement.

The force that binds us — our humanity — calls on us to mourn the deaths of Chester County’s own Bianca Roberson, and George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so, so many others. Those responsible must be held accountable, and I recognize the unique privilege of my position in Congress to be part of that solution and necessary reform.

So, I must recommit myself to using the tools of my office to make real progress on the policies that underpin structural racism: housing and employment discrimination, educational inequity, criminal justice reform, for example. I must listen more. I must learn more. I must lead more. I must devote and dedicate my team specifically to these issues more. I must create more space to have hard conversations, publicly, more. To this I personally commit.

In a pandemic, silence is deadly. Denial is deadly. Our communities aren’t safe when people’s lives are at risk due to the color of their skin. We have the capacity and responsibility to do better as a country. We are leaders, all of us, and as a community we are strong, resilient, innovative, and caring. Let’s begin to heal by going beyond the surface and approach each other with trust. Let’s talk with one another, listen to one another, and look clearly at the history we know in order to build a future together. Let’s share our stories and find our common ground. Our collective humanity depends upon the change we create together.”

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild has no releases on her website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform as of 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020. 

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, from his official website, 06/01/20:

Cartwright Statement in Response to George Floyd Murder

“The nationwide protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd is undoubtedly the result of persistent gridlock over addressing racism in America. Few things are more sacred than our First Amendment rights, but we should remember that violence or fanning the flames of division by anyone will not lead to progress. I echo my House colleague John Lewis, a civil rights icon, who said over the weekend: ‘Be constructive, not destructive. History has proven time and again that non-violent, peaceful protest is the way to achieve the justice and equality that we all deserve.’ On that note, I have been so proud to see that among the demonstrations in northeastern Pennsylvania, not one was marred by violence.

“As I have said from the start of the coronavirus pandemic, our nation is at its strongest when we put our differences aside, build bridges and come together to confront our challenges. That also rings true as we face this test. The many peaceful demonstrations and displays of solidarity between law enforcement and protesters are important steps toward addressing racial injustice. It’s important that we build on them by listening and taking action.”

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser has no releases on his website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform as of 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020.

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry has no releases on his website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform as of 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020.

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker has no releases on his website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform as of 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020.

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller has no releases on his website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform as of 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020.

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce has no releases on his website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform as of 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020.

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler has no releases on his website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform as of 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020.

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson has no releases on his website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform as of 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020.

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, from his official website, 06/06/20:

Kelly Participates in Erie Silent March

“I was proud to join our friends and neighbors in the Silent March through downtown Erie today with others who envision America as a beacon of hope and a shining city on a hill. Americans of good will from every background have united at various periods in our history to bring us closer to that goal, and recent tragedies reveal that there is much more work to be done. I encourage western Pennsylvanians to talk about our progress in racial equality and what else we can do, to listen to each other, and above all, remember the Golden Rule. If we treat each other as we would like to be treated, we can avoid new wounds, heal old ones, and live up to America’s promise of one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. Let’s do that together.”

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb has no releases on his website about the protests, the federal response, and criminal justice reform as of 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020.

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, from his official website, 06/04/20:

Doyle Calls for Legislation to End Police Brutality

“I was outraged by George Floyd’s murder. I joined millions of Americans last week in calling for justice.

“We have a lot of work ahead to end police brutality and eliminate structural racism. This work starts with enacting legislation that reforms police departments – and it continues far beyond those bills. Our work to listen, learn, amplify, and call for change does not end.

“That’s why I’m pushing to pass legislation which would condemn police brutality, prohibit police officers from using deadly chokeholds and other dangerous tactics, require police officers to undergo training in de-escalation tactics and use them, prohibit racial profiling, and stop police departments from using military equipment. We need to stop preparing our police for war on our streets – and start training them to keep peace in our communities.

“That’s why I’m committed to supporting additional legislation to end structural racism – and that’s why I’m continuing this work every day.”   Representative Doyle follows this statement with a list and explanation of five bills that he has sponsored or co-sponsored. Also, it is worth noting that the Congressman has a large Black Lives Matter graphic on the main page of his website.

MoC Twitter Action

Created with the research assistance of Susan Vogel

Twitter Action – Black Lives Matter protests and federal reaction

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 06/06/20:

“Yesterday, I attended a listening session in Philadelphia with Reverend Dr. Waller & young Black leaders. We must reform our systems & try to right injustice wherever we see it.  I’m committed to being the best ally I can be in this fight. I see you. I hear you. I am listening.”

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 06/01/20:

The Senator has tweeted nothing directly about this topic, but he did retweet Philadelphia journalist Jonathan Tamari.  “PA @SenToomey speaking on Floyd in Philly now:

“The video of his death is sickening to watch – very very deeply disturbing” – says he is “confident” there will be justice through the justice system. Adds that most police are honorable/do the right thing”

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 06/01/20:

“Our nation ought to be 100% focused on achieving complete justice for George Floyd and his family and honoring his memory.  Instead these rioters and arsonists are focused on themselves and destroying our nation. We must unite as a nation behind peaceful protesters and against these rioters and arsonists who are dishonoring George’s memory and destroying our country.

Governors and Mayors must completely utilize the National Guard immediately to assist law enforcement and regain control of our cities, so that our nation can join together in peaceful protest and calls to action to achieve justice for George.”

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @CongBoyle, 06/05/20:

“America is experiencing a time of incredible sadness – both as we fight COVID-19 and in the wake of the murder of #GeorgeFloyd.

Instead of uniting us, President Trump is pouring salt on the wounds. America deserves better.”

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 06/04/20:

“On this #NationalDayofMourning, I will be joining Americans across the country in honoring the memory of #GeorgeFloyd with a moment of silence lasting 8 minutes and 46 seconds. I hope you will join me. #WeAreDoneDying”

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 06/02/20:

“I spoke with @EdwardTHardy about racial injustice in America.

Police officers need to be held accountable — every single time. And, we must take bold action to remove racial inequality and white supremacy.

We are long overdue to live in a nation of true justice and equality.”

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 06/05/20:

“For Ahmaud, Breonna, George, their families, and our communities all too familiar with their pain — we must demand justice. Here’s the legislative action I am working on to change the system and hold law enforcement accountable. #BlackLivesMatter” tweeted with a link to her Medium piece titled “Fighting For Justice: Legislative Steps We’re Taking to Change The System

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 06/05/20:

“Last night, I joined community leaders Rev. Kyle Boyer, Michelle Roberson, Lillian DeBaptiste, Mayor Dianne Herrin, Chief James Morehead, and Sheriff Fredda L. Maddox in speaking out and marching for an end to police brutality against Black Americans. Together, we must forge a more just path. The pursuit of justice for Black men and women, for equality under the law is the America we all must keep striving to build.” this was tweeted with images from the event, as well as a link to the Daily Local piece titled “Struggle for human rights unites West Chester and Coatesville

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 06/04/20:

“This afternoon, as America mourns the loss of #GeorgeFloyd, I am in Bethlehem standing in solidarity with our #PA07 community –– this is a demonstration focused on justice, action, and reform.

We have enormous work to do. #BlackLivesMatter”

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 06/02/20:

“Using rubber bullets & tear gas against US citizens demonstrating peacefully is just as unacceptable as violent and destructive rioting. Such a use of force not only does nothing to deescalate tensions, it also threatens the bedrock American right to protest.

I stand firmly with those in NEPA and across the U.S. protesting in a non-violent way, as our entire federal government should. The opportunists that have turned to violence must stop. It only detracts from the legitimate and peaceful protests.

Let’s reject both the excessive use of force against peaceful American citizens and the destructive rioting. Instead, let’s recognize that there are real issues of discrimination and frustration in our communities and look toward solutions.

To that end, I joined a peaceful demonstration yesterday where police & protesters alike stood together to march for justice for George Floyd, and I had the opportunity to hear our communities’ concerns. We can make progress with peace.”

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 06/01/20:

“@realDonaldTrump’s speech tonight and walk to St. John’s was inspiring during such days of tragedy and outrage. A rogue, bad cop, acting horribly, took the life of George Floyd. This cop will receive justified and severe punishment, with investigations of all involved.

An out of control mob is destroying, looting, beating and severely injuring innocent people. Will those who lost property, livelihoods and been physically traumatized receive justice? The answer should be indisputable, decisive, swift and justified. Order must be restored.”

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 06/03/20:

“Senseless acts of violence do nothing to deliver justice for George Floyd and his family. The violent and senseless deaths of Dave Patrick Underwood, a Federal Protective Service officer, and David Dorn, a retired St. Louis Police Captain, are also reprehensible and a disgrace.

At a time when we need to come together as a Nation, violence only continues to pull us apart. We need to put an end to the violence plaguing our communities and overtaking the voices of those peacefully protesting.”  tweeted with a link to a CBS News article titled “Retired St. Louis police captain killed during unrest sparked by George Floyd death

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 06/03/20:

“Violence has no place in our community. If you see something, say something to local law enforcement.” tweeted with a WGAL article titled “Lancaster police find two improvised explosive devices, officials say

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 06/02/20:

“The brutal killing of George Floyd is a tragedy that should have never occurred. Those responsible need to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. But indiscriminate violence and destruction deprives lawful citizens of their right to really get the issues addressed.” tweeted with embedded news video of President Trump calling for Antifa to be named a terrorist organization

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 06/06/20:

“Defunding police departments is a huge slap in the face to our police officers & it poses serious safety risks for millions of Americans.” tweeted with an embedded Fox News video clip

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 06/01/20:

“The murder of George Floyd was a senseless and brutal action that will be answered with justice. While we have made great strides to correct the wrongs of the past, these few days have felt like a step backward. Communities throughout the country are grieving and before any healing can begin, the violence and destruction must end.

We are at a crossroads in this country and as a man of faith, I pray we choose a path to a more just and righteous America, where liberty is protected and citizens feel safe in their communities and homes.”

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 06/06/20:

“I was proud to join the Silent March in #EriePA today, where people from every background united to bring us closer to America’s promise of one nation, under God, w/ liberty & justice for all. Read my full statement: LINK

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, 06/06/20:

“In Coraopolis & communities across #PA17 people are coming together in the wake of the killing of George Floyd to peacefully stand up for justice & to strive to ensure that our nation lives up to the ideals upon which it was founded.”

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 06/05/20:

“I stand with those peacefully protesting – and I am deeply concerned that Attorney General Barr has deployed law enforcement personnel without identifying name tags, insignia, or agency markings to act against protesters in Washington, DC.

Americans must be able to discern whether individuals claiming the authority to oversee and use force against them actually have this authority. I joined a number of my colleagues in demanding the restoration of identifying information to these uniforms.”

Twitter Action – MoCs on Legislation

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 06/05/20:

“Today I #WearOrange in honor of those lost to gun violence. This year I’m thinking not only of the 2900 kids & teens lost every year, but of all the parents raising Black children who live in fear that their kids will be the next victim simply because of the color of their skin.

I am proud to cosponsor @SenBooker’s Breaking the Cycle of Violence Act to provide vital funding for life-saving & data-driven gun violence intervention programs—but I know this is just one of many steps we need to take. We need urgent action to combat this public health crisis.”

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 06/04/20:

“The Chinese Communist Party must know there are consequences to destroying the freedom of Hongkongers. My bipartisan Hong Kong Autonomy Act (S.3798) will deliver those consequences. See more

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 06/05/20:

“Gun violence is the leading cause of death for American children. As a supporter of HR 8, I know that we need to come together and continue to advocate for solutions to ending gun violence. #WearOrange #GunViolenceAwarenessDay #SafeStorageSavesLives”

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBrendanBoyle, 06/05/20:

“Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. I #WearOrange because too many lives have been lost due to gun violence. We must recommit to keeping our communities safe and ending this epidemic of violence. I’m proud to continue this fight, but there is more to do. It’s time the Senate also recognizes this urgency and pass HR 8, which passed the House 464 days ago.

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 06/05/20:

“I #WearOrange today in honor of the lives we have lost to gun violence, the communities forever changed and the families forever ripped apart. I #WearOrange as a reminder of the fight to help #EndGunViolence.The House passed 2 bills in February 2019 that would do a lot to reduce gun violence in America:

✅HR 8 – universal background checks

✅HR 1112 – closing the Charleston loophole 

What is @Senatemajldr McConnell waiting for?

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 06/04/20:

“The time for action is now and I am strongly supporting my colleagues @RepPressley and @Ilhan in condemning police bruatility and racial profiling.”

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 06/05/20:

“Today, I #WearOrange in honor of the lives lost and the lives forever changed by gun violence. It has been 464 days since the House passed common sense, bipartisan, gun safety legislation and it is past time for the Senate to act. #EnoughIsEnough!” tweeted with embedded video of the Representative in her orange gear

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 06/04/20:

“Last week I voted YES on the PPP Flexibility Act to make these funds more accessible and flexible – last night the Senate passed this bill and it is now on its way to the President’s desk. Proud of this bipartisan work to support our small businesses!” tweeted with a link to the Washington Post article titled “Senate passes bill to increase flexibility for small-business loan program, sending it to Trump’s desk

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 06/04/20:

“NEPA #SmallBiz: The Senate passed the #PPP Flexibility Act that I voted for in the House last week, sending it to the president. This bipartisan bill gives owners more time & flexibility to use the loans in a way that works best for them & their employees.”  tweeted with a link to a USA Today article titled “Senate passes fixes to Paycheck Protection Program designed to keep small business afloat during coronavirus

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 06/05/20:

“Today, @realdonaldtrump signed the PPP Flexibility Act, modifying this successful program with reforms drafted with input from small business owners. This is a win for hardworking families and small businesses driving the next Great American Comeback. Read more Downwards arrow

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 06/04/20:

“The Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, now on the way to @realDonaldTrump’s desk. Small Businesses owners now have more flexibility on how they use their PPP loans, and are better able to support their businesses and employees through this pandemic.”

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 06/04/20:

“I joined a letter led by Congressman @JamesComer requesting the $600 supplemental unemployment payments in the CARES Act not be extended.

The best economic stimulus is a job. It’s time to get our economy going again and get people back to work!” tweeted with link to a PDF of the letter

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 06/03/20:

“The Senate has passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which now heads to President @realDonaldTrump’s desk to become the law of the land. This #PPP legislation will deliver much-needed flexibility to our small businesses and help them weather this storm.”

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 06/04/20:

“The #PaycheckProtectionProgram has helped millions of small biz successfully survive #COVID19 & it just got better. 

The PPP Flexibility Act passed the Senate, which will expand opportunities for biz to have loans forgiven. PPP is helping our economy bounce back from this virus.”

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 06/02/20:

“We must end police brutality and structural racism in this country. I’ve cosponsored legislation that would help to reform our police departments – and I will continue to push for legislation to ensure police officers are serving ALL those they are tasked to protect.”

Tweet of the Week

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 06/04/20:

“#OTD 31 years ago, pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square were brutally suppressed by the People’s Liberation Army. As we remember the lives lost, may we honor the resilience of human spirit and capacity of people to rise up and make their voices heard.

The anniversary of Tiananmen Square comes just days after the President deployed tear-gas, rubber bullets and armed personnel on peaceful protesters so that he could cross the street for a photo op—the same President who has praised China for their “strength” during Tiananmen.

Also, this—and FWIW, he’s defended his comments.”

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 06/05/20:

“As we reopen PA, we need to understand how businesses & workers have been affected by the crisis, & how they’re adapting for the future. Thanks to Tim from Bartram House Bakery & Sean from Sara’s for meeting with me, @MikeKellyPA, @GReschenthaler, & @senatorlaughlin on this.”

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 06/04/20:

“The #COVID19 pandemic has been a historic crisis in America. Congress’ response must be equally historic. @RepKendraHorn @ProbSolveCaucus” tweeted with a link to a USA Today article titled “Congressional leaders: Invest in broadband, domestic supply chains to restore economy

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @CongBoyle, 06/04/20:

“Every American should read former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ striking condemnation of President Trump’s failure to lead America at this sad time.” tweeted with a link to the referenced article from the Atlantic

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 06/05/20:

“Trump doesn’t begin to understand the problems facing African Americans – or most Americans.

He never has. In 2016 he asked “What the hell do you have to lose?”

Tweeted with video of President Trump envisioning George Floyd’s job numbers response: “Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody.”

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 06/04/20:

“Joined hundreds of organizers to call on Joe Gale to resign. His ignorance and prejudice does not belong on the Montgomery County  Board of Commissioners or any leadership position.”

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 06/04/20:

“The right to assemble and protest is foundational to our democracy. Intimidating protesters by deploying ICE/CBP officers is absolutely unacceptable. I joined @SenKamalaHarris, @RepJuanVargas and 75 of our Congressional colleagues to demand answers.” tweeted with a link to a Medium piece titled “Harris, Scanlon, Vargas Demand Answers on ICE & CBP Involvement in Policing Ongoing Protests

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 06/04/20:

“Yesterday, I joined @JoyAnnReid and responded to the Administration’s desire to improperly use our active duty troops and invoke the Insurrection Act. I am very appreciative that fmr Secretary of Defense, General Mattis, also spoke out in condemnation of the President’s actions.” tweeted with embedded video of the interview from MSNBC

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 06/05/20:

“Mr. President,

13.3% is the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. That’s tens of thousands of struggling Pennsylvanians — too many families still feeling the devastation of this pandemic.

Our work is far from done.



Tweeted with a CNN article titled “Trump declares victory as US unemployment drops to 13.3%

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 06/03/20:

“June is #PrideMonth, and as Americans around the nation demand racial justice, we remember that the Pride Movement also began as a protest to demand LGBTQ+ justice. We must continue to advocate for equality for all.”

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 06/05/20:

“The policies of @realDonaldTrump are clearly working, and the resilience of the American people shines through in this jobs report. Defying predictions of 8 million lost jobs in May, we have seen job growth of 2.5 million over the past month.” Tweeted to a Fox Business article titled “Unemployment rate drops to 13.3% in May, signaling return of US jobs

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 06/04/20:

“Over 4,600 constituents attended PA-10’s latest Tele-Town Hall. We had an important conversation on the challenges facing our community and our Nation, and discussed George Floyd, our Nation’s response to his murder, and the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.” tweeted with a link to the archived audio of the tele-town hall

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 06/07/20:

“If you are having a problem with a federal agency my office is here to help you. Click below.” tweeted with a link to his own website for Agency Help

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 06/06/20:

“Pennsylvanians are tired of Gov. Wolf’s ‘rules for thee, but not for me.’

His do as I say, not as I do leadership is continuing to hurt livelihoods in Pennsylvania.” tweeted with embedded video

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 06/06/20:

“Today we honor the bravery, dedication, and sacrifice of those who stormed the beaches of Normandy on #DDay, fighting for our freedom and for our values. We are indebted to them.”

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 06/03/20:

“Antifa, anarchists, and looters are stealing the narrative away from justice for George Floyd. 

@realdonaldtrump is putting a stop to this lawlessness so the rioters won’t overshadow this powerful and important cause.” tweeted with embedded Newsmax video

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 06/05/20:

“Morgan, a high school junior from Cambria County, has been using her free time to make masks for her community. More than 500 masks in a week! Thank you for going above and beyond, Morgan! #PA15Cares”  tweeted with a link to a article titled “Penn Cambria student making masks during school shutdown

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 06/06/20:

“It’s crucial to listen to medical professionals when it comes to your health, not the media. The study that was used to criticize @POTUS and others like me who took Hydroxychloroquine on advice of our doctors has been retracted.” tweeted with a link to a Wall Street Journal article titled “Hydroxychloroquine Studies Tied to Data Firm Surgisphere Retracted

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, 05/29/20:

“The $99 million grant for @PGHtransit announced by @USDOT for the BRT connection between Downtown & Oakland is great news for our region. #PA17” tweeted with a link to a TribLIVE article titled “Pittsburgh rapid bus line project lands $100M from federal government

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 06/06/20:

“Trying to exploit the distractions caused by multiple crises, @realDonaldTrump today proposed eliminating protections for nearly 85% of marine protected areas around the continental U.S. #MonumentsForAll

I will continue to fight the rollback of hard-won protections for our public lands and waters – which are also crucial to our #ClimateActionNow efforts.”

Casey in the News 

Courtesy of contributor Linda Houk

“All those responsible must be held fully accountable. We cannot accept a system which disregards the value of black life.”

— from an article in the Daily Item, titled “Valley lawmakers, law enforcement, religious leaders ‘appalled,’ ‘disgraced’ by death of George Floyd

“The House bill answers so many of our challenges, including the obligation we have to frontline workers.”

—from an article on Erie News Now, titled “Second stimulus check? State & local aid? Senate Democrats increase pressure on GOP leaders for additional coronavirus relief

“Still to this day, we are trying to help those residents and workers in nursing homes with one hand tied behind our backs because the Administration… is not releasing any data on outbreaks in these facilities.” This is unconscionable.”

—from an article on ABC News, titled “In first federal count, over 25,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes

“The overwhelming majority of protests have been peaceful, courageous, responsible and inspiring. And they deserve our respect and support, not condemnation.”

“The arrest of ex-police officer Chauvin was a step towards justice for George Floyd and his family, but it is only the first of many steps we need to take to reform these systems and hold accountable those who abuse them.”

“The fact that George Floyd’s family had to go out and get an independent autopsy is clear evidence of the systemic injustice people are protesting against. As leaders, it is our moral imperative that we recognize the pain and injustice in our communities and take action to ensure our government, law enforcement and country live up to the promise of liberty and justice for all.”

—from an article in the Daily Item, titled “Pa. lawmakers agree Floyd’s death was tragedy, differ on president’s response” 

“As Israel enters a hopeful new chapter after over a year of political turmoil, I am concerned that stated plans to move forward with unilateral annexation of the West Bank will not only eliminate the possibility of a two-state solution, but may result in erosion of regional and international arrangements that guarantee Israel’s safety and security.”

 “I ask that you choose an alternate path that will avert further conflict and lay the groundwork for peace.”

“The United States and Israel enjoy an unbreakable bond that goes beyond a typical bilateral relationship between two allies. This relationship permits space for criticism and concern when necessary.”

—from an article in the Jewish Insider, titled “Sen. Bob Casey opposes unilateral West Bank annexation in solo letter to Israel leaders

“We’ve got to provide support for families and provide support to organizations that are combating child abuse.”

“About a billion dollars more for nonprofit organizations that are dealing with this problem … and secondly to provide $500 million for an increase in efforts to provide more technology and more Personal Protective Equipment.”

—from an article on WJHL News, titled “US lawmakers worry about child abuse during pandemic, push for more funding to help

“There’s no question our dairy farmers need more help.” 

“We’re going to continue to work on ideas for our dairy farmers and their families. This is an opportunity in the next couple of weeks where we may have a Senate bill, and this is a time to get ideas on the table.”

—from an article in Lancaster Farming, titled “FSA Head: More Commodities Could Get Aid

Toomey in the News 

Courtesy of contributor Elayne Baker

“We’ve got to make sure that the police know that we’ve got their backs. We are gonna allow them to do their job. I think there has been some progress. It seems to me that the worst of the violence wasn’t last night.  But there can’t be any tolerance for violence. 

Look, a peaceful protest is perfectly fine, it’s completely legitimate.  The killing of George Floyd, it was a sickening thing to look at that video, it’s terrible. But it is no excuse to have a riot! It’s no excuse to destroy private property, to attack police officers! It’s just terrible what’s been happening, and the idea of letting rioter vent is a ridiculous idea.  

I saw a police chief – not from Philadelphia but from another city – who was talking about how ‘well, buildings can be replaced, you know…’  What kind of message is that?! You can destroy property? It’s not ok.”  

— MoCTrack-transcribed excerpts from an interview that Senator Pat Toomey did with conservative talk radio host Dom Giordano of WPHT 1210, “Sen. Pat Toomey Says There Can Be No Tolerance for Lawlessnes,” this portion begins at the four minute mark.

“I fully understand the anger that so many people feel. I felt that anger when I watched that video. I still feel that anger, and I fully support the right of people to peacefully protest and register their concerns.” 

“Americans have the right to peacefully protest, no one has a right to violently riot… These acts must stop, and we need to support the law enforcement folks who are doing all that they can to help bring an end to this violence.”

— from an Allentown Morning Call article titled “Pat Toomey says George Floyd death ‘sickening to watch,’ defends most police officers as honorable”; the article goes on to note ‘he defended most police officers as “honorable” ‘

“They’re also undermining the peaceful efforts to honor George Floyd’s memory and to spark dialogue and constructive action. George Floyd’s brother said and I quote, my brother wasn’t about that and I end quote, referring to the riots.” 

— from an article in The Neighbor titled “Philadelphia again under curfew as National Guard called in amid protests” 

“[President Trump’s tweets] have not been helpful. And it would be helpful if he would change the tone of his message.” 

— from a WHYY article titled “Philly cleans up from protest as National Guard arrives ahead of more demonstrations

“What you need to do is nip that kind of violence in the bud. The fact is the police are the solution. They’ve got to be used and used properly so we can restore law and order. That is the government’s first obligation….

…I’m not [President Trump’s] tweet editor. That’s not the problem here. The problem here are these bandits, criminals, who have seized an opportunity to wreak havoc. That can’t be tolerated…

…Maybe a month from now we’ll see that there are some serious needs that still are unmet but, boy, we’ve done an awful lot. We’ve replaced the vast majority of lost income for people, for low income workers we’ve actually more than replaced their lost income. Demand is going to be there. It’s a matter of being able to open up safely.”

— from a Newsmax article titled “Sen. Toomey: Acts of Violence During Protests ‘Cannot Be Tolerated’” 

“[Sanction would] be an unprecedented action toward the Chinese Communist officials and it is intended to create obstacles to that aggression — obstacles that the leadership in Beijing has not encountered before.” 

— from a Bloomberg article titled “Senators Push ‘Unprecedented’ Sanctions on China Over Hong Kong

“There’s bipartisan interest in getting legislation like this done as soon as possible.” 

— from a Yahoo Finance article titled “U.S. Senator sees strong bipartisan support for Hong Kong sanctions bill

“The governor is moving much, much too slowly. There is a price we are paying for every day that we don’t allow people to fully resume economic activity, fully resume the ordinary experience in their lives.” 

— from a article titled “U.S. Senator Pat Toomey discusses Erie’s economy and frustration with county remaining in yellow phase” 

“Folks, it’s been a long time now that it’s been abundantly clear that we aren’t going to overwhelm our hospital systems…

…the last thing we should do is have the federal government come in and dictate [to] local police. … If there’s a given community that needs to rethink their policies for their police force, fine, they should do that. But I don’t think we should try to federalize the local police force, diminish the accountability that they have to local elected officials.”

— from a WESA article titled “Toomey, Reschenthaler Hail Reopening, Say COVID Response And Police Reform Calls Have Gone Too Far

Learning about Legislation –

Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s resolution to condemn police brutality  

H. Res. 988: Condemning all acts of police brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive and militarized force throughout the country

In last week’s MoCTrack, we provided what little information we had about Rep Ayanna Pressley’s resolution, based on the recommendation of Indivisible National and the strength of the press release describing its contents.  Now that  the text is available, having been processed by the clerk’s office in the House of Representatives, we are even more excited about its contents.

All resolutions are constructed in the same manner, with a series of “whereas” statements, laying out pieces of evidence or detailing events; followed by conclusions of the House or actions recommended by the Congress.

There “whereas” section of Rep. Pressley’s resolution outlines:

  • That “police brutality and the use of excessive and militarized force are among the most serious ongoing human rights and civil liberties violations in the United States and have led to community destabilization, a decrease in public safety, and the exacerbation of structural inequities”
  • That “the system of policing in America, and its systemic targeting of and use of deadly and brutal force against people of color, particularly Black people, stems from the long legacy of slavery, lynching, Jim Crow laws, and the War on Drugs in the United States and has been perpetuated by violent and harmful law enforcement practices”
  • Connections between “increased militarization of a police department and corresponding levels of police brutality”
  • That “Black people, including Black women and girls, Native Americans, and Latinos are killed by police at disproportionately higher rates than their White peers” and “people with disabilities and other historically marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrants, and those experiencing homelessness are significantly more likely to be criminalized and targets of police violence”

The resolution then has three “whereas” statement that need to be quoted in full:

  • Whereas the House of Representatives finds that the conduct of police officers who engage in racial profiling and excessive force, which can include shootings, brutal beatings, fatal chokings, and any other excessive treatment is a violation of the Constitution of the United States;
  • Whereas the House of Representatives finds that the rule of law in the United States is undermined when police officers engage in conduct inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States; and
  • Whereas the House of Representatives has a moral and constitutional obligation to protect the civil rights and liberties of all people from police abuses

Then the resolution moves to the portion where the House of Representatives announces what steps they are resolved to address, if the measure is passed.  Those are:

  1.  The House “condemns all acts of brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers and calls for the end of militarized policing practices”
  2. The House supports strengthening laws, rules and procedures that would eliminate brutality, profiling and excessive force, including calling on the Department of Justice to “reinstate its role in investigating individual instances of police brutality, violence, and racial profiling, and police departments that violate civil rights;” and “iling briefs urging courts to reconsider decisions that permit unreasonable and excessive police practices and establish meaningful oversight of consent decrees”
  3. The House supports the establishment of all-civilian review boards “with the authority to effectively investigate incidents of police misconduct… and discipline of police officers”
  4. The House “calls for the adoption of sound and unbiased law enforcement policies at all levels of government that reduce the disparate impact of police brutality and use of force on Black and Brown people and other historically marginalized communities.”

Call to Action – Support this Bill!

Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s resolution to condemn police brutality  

H. Res. 988: Condemning all acts of police brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive and militarized force throughout the country

In the previous section you learned about the contents of Rep. Pressley’s resolution. Now it is time to take action to support the bill!  As of Sunday, June 7, 2020, the following Pennsylvania lawmakers are co-sponsors of H. Res. 988:

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle

If you live in their districts, please consider calling them to thank them for co-sponsoring H. Res. 988.  You could add, “I support the peaceful protests calling for the end to police brutality, racial profiling and excessive violence, and I support YOU in your legislative efforts to end these policing practices.”

These are the Representatives that are not yet listed as co-sponsors of H. Res. 988:

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick 🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan 🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild 🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright 🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser 🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry 🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker

If you live in their districts, please consider calling them to express your support for H. Res. 988, and ask them to join as a co-sponsor.  You could say “I support the peaceful protests calling for the end to police brutality, racial profiling and excessive violence, and I would like to see you support those issues as well.  One way you could express that is to co-sponsor Rep. Pressley’s H. Res. 988.”

This report was brought to you by the Pennsylvania  MoCTrack team… 

CC Linda Houk

Elayne Baker Kierstyn Piotrowski Zolfo

Gary Garb Susan Vogel

We are seeking 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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

It's Not Time To Be Complacent

Next Story

More police, doctors or teachers?

Latest from Pennsylvania

%d bloggers like this: