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!
A note on MoCTrack reports from now through the election:
Our MoCTrack volunteers want to give as much of their time as they can to phone banking, text banking and other activities to drive support for our preferred candidates. So you will notice that our reports are going to be leaner from now through Election Day. We hope you’ll understand, and will join us in volunteering for your favorite candidates in these last two months that will decide our future!
Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump
The lower the number, the more the legislator votes in opposition to the Trump agenda.
|Member of Congress||This week’s score||Change from last report|
|Senator Bob Casey (D)||29.3%||0.0%|
|Senator Pat Toomey (R)||88.1%||0.0%|
|PA-01 Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R)||63.3%||-0.3%|
|PA-02 Rep. Brendan Boyle (D)||13.0%||-0.1%|
|PA-03 Rep. Dwight Evans (D)||11.4%||-0.1%|
|PA-04 Rep. Madeleine Dean (D)||3.6%||-0.1%|
|PA-05 Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D)||5.8%||-0.1%|
|PA-06 Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D)||4.8%||-0.1%|
|PA-07 Rep. Susan Wild (D)||8.1%||-0.1%|
|PA-08 Rep. Matt Cartwright (D)||19.1%||-0.1%|
|PA-09 Rep. Dan Meuser (R)||97.5%||+0.1%|
|PA-10 Rep. Scott Perry (R)||90.3%||0.0%|
|PA-11 Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R)||95.4%||0.0%|
|PA-12 Rep. Fred Keller (R)||94.3%||+0.1%|
|PA-13 Rep. John Joyce (R)||97.6%||+0.1%|
|PA-14 Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R)||95.1%||+0.1%|
|PA-15 Rep. Glenn W. Thompson (R)||97.7%||0.0%|
|PA-16 Rep. Mike Kelly (R)||96.6%||0.0%|
|PA-17 Rep. Conor Lamb (D)||22.2%||-0.2%|
|PA-18 Rep. Mike Doyle (D)||14.8%||-0.1%|
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. One House vote was scored this week. And don’t forget – if you click on the name of any legislator, 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 Nation’s Sages
“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
— Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, May 29, 2015
upon receipt of the Radcliffe Medal at Harvard University
Votes of Interest
Equity and Inclusion Mandated in Educations Programs that Received Federal Funds
This is the Library of Congress summary of this bill – “This bill authorizes private civil causes of action for disparate impact violations (to the same extent as intentional violations) of federal regulations of general applicability that prohibit discrimination on the ground of race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.
Education programs that receive financial assistance authorized or extended by the Department of Education (ED) must designate at least one compliance coordinator to carry out these nondiscrimination responsibilities and investigate complaints.
The bill requires ED to appoint a Special Assistant for Equity and Inclusion to (1) promote, coordinate, and evaluate equity and inclusion programs; and (2) advise ED on matters relating to equity and inclusion.”
Vote date: September 16, 2020 Vote Tally: 232-188
Party Breakdown: All Democrats voted YES and they were joined by three Republicans. All other Republicans and Libertarian Justin Amasha voted NO.
- “House passes bill to allow private lawsuits against public schools for discriminatory practices,” from The Hill
- “Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act passes House of Representatives,” from The Augusta Free Press
- “The Leadership Conference Statement on the House Passage of Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act,” from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
- “House Passes Signature Bills on School Integration and Discrimination,” from Education Week
Pregnant Workers Protected from Discrimination
This is the Library of Congress summary of this bill – “This bill prohibits employment practices that discriminate against making reasonable accommodations for job applicants or employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Specifically, the bill declares that it is an unlawful employment practice to (1) fail to make reasonable accommodations to known limitations of such job applicants or employees, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on an entity’s business operation; (2) deny employment opportunities based on the need of the entity to make such reasonable accommodations to an applicant or employee; (3) require such job applicants or employees to accept an accommodation that they do not want, if such accommodation is unnecessary to perform the job; (4) require such employees to take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to their known limitations; or (5) take adverse action in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment against an employee requesting or using such reasonable accommodations.
The bill sets forth enforcement procedures and remedies under various statutes that cover different types of employees in relation to such unlawful employment practices.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must provide examples of reasonable accommodations that shall be provided to affected job applicants or employees unless the employer can demonstrate that doing so would impose an undue hardship.
The bill prohibits state immunity under the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution from an action for a violation of this bill.”
Vote date: Thursday, September 17, 2020 Vote Tally: 329-73
Party Breakdown: All Democrats present voted YES and they were joined by 103 Republicans. Seventy-two Republicans and the lone Libertarian voted NO.
- “Microsoft, Salesforce And Other U.S. Employers Urge Congress To Strengthen Laws For Pregnant Workers,” from Forbes
- “House passage of Pregnant Workers Fairness Act called ‘huge win for women’,” from The Record (content provided by Catholic News Service )
“The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Is Good News for Feds,” from Government Executive
A New Education Department Diversity Grant Program Passes the House
This is the Library of Congress summary of this bill – “This bill directs the Department of Education (ED) to award grants to specified educational agencies (e.g., local educational agencies) to develop or implement plans to improve diversity and reduce or eliminate racial or socioeconomic isolation in publicly funded early childhood education programs, public elementary schools, or public secondary schools.
Specifically, ED may award planning and implementation grants to specified educational agencies. A recipient of a planning grant must use the grant to support students through certain activities, such as developing options to improve diversity in schools (e.g., weighted lotteries or school boundary redesign).
Further, a recipient of an implementation grant must implement a high-quality plan to support students. This plan must, among other things, include a comprehensive set of strategies that are designed to improve academic outcomes for all students, particularly students of color and low-income students. A grant recipient may also use the grant for certain activities such as recruiting additional teachers and staff, investing in specialized academic programs, and developing innovative and equitable school assignment plans.
Additionally, ED may carry out national activities under the grant program, such as developing best practices for grant recipients and other experts in school diversity.
The bill also requires ED to establish performance measures for the program and its related activities.”
Vote date: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 Vote Tally: 248-167
Party Breakdown: All Democrats present voted YES and they were joined by 21 Republicans. Of the Republicans, 166 voted NO along with Libertarian Justin Amash.
Pandemic Funding and Safety Assistance for Child Care Facilities Passes
This is the Library of Congress summary of this bill – “This bill provides federal support to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) in child care provider settings during the period of community spread of the virus.
Specifically, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must (1) provide technical assistance to states, Indian tribes, and tribal organizations regarding the acquisition and use of protective equipment and training related to COVID-19 transmission prevention, among other things; and (2) publish specified information and facilitate the sharing of best practices related to the safe operation of child care providers. HHS may also make grants for the designated lead agency in a state to provide assistance and guidance to child care providers.”
Vote date: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 Vote Tally: 387-33
Party Breakdown: All Democrats present voted YES and they were joined by 160 Republicans. Of the Republicans, 32 voted NO along with Libertarian Justin Amash.
- “Guthrie childcare bill passes House,” from WNKY 40
The House takes on Covid-inspired anti-Asian sentiment
The following are the key phrases from the text of the bill:
“Whereas the use of anti-Asian terminology and rhetoric related to COVID–19, such as the Chinese Virus, Wuhan Virus, and Kung-flu have perpetuated anti-Asian stigma…
Whereas the increased use of anti-Asian rhetoric has resulted in Asian Americans being harassed, assaulted, and scapegoated for the COVID–19 pandemic…
Whereas, on February 27, 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services stated ethnicity is not what causes the novel coronavirus and that it is inappropriate and inaccurate to call COVID–19 the Chinese virus…
Whereas, on March 10, 2020, Dr. Robert Redfield, the Director of the CDC, testified that use of the term Chinese coronavirus is wrong and inappropriate…
…the House of Representatives calls on all public officials to condemn and denounce any and all anti-Asian sentiment in any form… condemns all manifestations of expressions of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, anti-Asian sentiment, scapegoating, and ethnic or religious intolerance… and calls on Federal law enforcement officials, working with State and local officials… to expeditiously investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes and incidents and threats against the Asian-American community in the United States… and to hold the perpetrators of those crimes, incidents, or threats accountable and bring such perpetrators to justice.”
Vote date: Thursday, September 17, 2020 Vote Tally: 243-164
Party Breakdown: All Democrats present voted YES and they were joined by 14 Republicans. The remaining 164 Republicans voted NO along with Libertarian Justin Amash.
- “House passes resolution condemning anti-Asian sentiment,” from CNN Politics
- “House condemns anti-Asian sentiment during pandemic,” from American Bazaar
- “House condemns racism against Asian Americans amid pandemic,” from KLTV 7
Widespread Approval of Budget Clarity and Transparency in the House
This is the Library of Congress summary of this bill – “This bill requires federal agencies to make budget justification materials available to the public. The bill also requires the Office of Management and Budget to make certain details regarding the materials available to the public, including a list of the agencies that submit budget justification materials to Congress, the dates that the materials are submitted to Congress and posted online, and links to the materials.”
Vote date: Monday, September 14, 2020 Vote Tally: 402-1
Party Breakdown: All present voted YES except lone dissenter Andy Biggs of Arizona.
- “House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Boost Agencies’ Spending Transparency,” from Government Executive
- “House passes Portman, Peters bill to improve transparency of federal spending,” from The Highland County Press
Credit Cards and Charging Stations allowed for Federal Electric Vehicles
This is the Library of Congress summary of this bill – “This bill requires the General Services Administration to issue (1) guidance to clarify that federal agencies may use a charge card to pay to charge federal electric motor vehicles at commercial charging stations, and (2) a charge card for such payments to each agency for each of the agency’s electric motor vehicles.”
Vote date: Monday, September 14, 2020 Vote Tally: 403-2
Party Breakdown: All present voted YES except Republicans Andy Biggs of Arizona and Louie Gohmert of Texas.
- “House Lawmakers to Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Advance Agencies’ Use of Electric Vehicles,” from NextGOV
“House Considers Electric Vehicles Legislation,” from Transport Topics
New Judge #1
Senate Confirmation Vote on Franklin Ulyses Valderrama to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois
Franklin Valderrama worked in the private sector before his thirteen year tenure as a judge on the Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois. Votes against him are likely due to some notable cases he presided over during that time. Those include a dismissal of a lawsuit filed against Chicago gun shops brough by gun control advocates; or perhaps the time he “dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Chicago Public School System challenging the state’s school funding formula as discriminatory,” a situation outlined by The Vetting Room.
Vote date: Thursday, September 17, 2020 Vote Tally: 68-26
Party Breakdown: All Democrats, one Independent and 24 Republicans voted YES. Twenty-six Republicans voted NO.
- “Judge Franklin Valderrama – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois,” from The Vetting Room
- “Illinois senators split on judge votes, exposing division,” from Roll Call
Casey voted YES and Toomey voted YES.
New Judge #2
Senate Confirmation Vote on Stephen P. McGlynn to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Illinois
Illinois judges are elected, which explains how this new federal court judge could have three separate stints as an Illinois judge (suffering two election losses). It is no surprise, then, that McGlynn has had a fairly active political history. This recap is from The Vetting Room::
McGlynn has an extensive political history, including having served as the GOP Chairman of St. Clair County and as the Vice Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. Notably, McGlynn was instrumental in recruiting Alan Keyes to challenge then-state senator Barack Obama in running for the U.S. Senate in 2004. Keyes, however, lost badly, getting only 30% of the vote after a series of controversial statements, including describing same-sex relationships as “selfish hedonism.” McGlynn was also active in the campaign of Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier, who would later promote McGlynn to judgeships three times.
Vote date: Thursday, September 16, 2020 Vote Tally: 55-41
Party Breakdown: All the Republicans voted YES and they were joined by three Democrats – Chris Murphy of Delaware, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Forty Democrats and one Independent voted NO.
- “Judge Stephen McGlynn – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois,” from The Vetting Room
- “Senate Confirms Nominations Of Four Illinois District Judges,” from River Bender
Casey voted NO and Toomey voted YES.
New Judge #3
Senate Confirmation Vote on David W. Dugan to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Illinois
Our allies at the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights were adamantly opposed to this nominee. They noted that “Mr. Dugan has a disturbing record of opposition to reproductive freedom, and to abortion in particular,” because Dugan himself filled out a 2017 survey from the anti-abortion organization Illinois Right to Life Action, wherein he wrote “I do believe that, for a number of reasons, the case of Roe v. Wade is sorely misplaced” and “my belief is that life begins at conception and that from that moment forward, taking that child’s life is the taking of a human life.”
The Leadership Conference also notes that David Dugan belonged to the far-right legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as a hate group, for three years. As an example to the extreme positions of the ADF, they have “defended state-sanctioned sterilization of transgender people.”
In the confirmation process, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Senator Dianne Feinstein asked Dugan about his membership in the National Rifle Association, and if the nominee would discontinue his membership if confirmed. Dugan responded, “it is my intention to remain a member of the NRA.”
Vote date: Thursday, September 16, 2020 Vote Tally: 55-41
Party Breakdown: All the Republicans voted YES and they were joined by three Democrats – Doug Jones of Alabama, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Forty Democrats and one Independent voted NO.
- “Judge David Dugan – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois,” from The Vetting Room
- “Senate confirms four to federal trial bench in Illinois,” from Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
- “Oppose the Confirmation of David Dugan to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois,” from the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
Casey voted NO and Toomey voted YES.
Five Uncontroversial Judicial Confirmations
All of these federal court judges were confirmed with the approval of more than 75 senators. If you click on their name, you will be brought to their profile on The Vetting Room, while the link on the vote tally will take you to the GovTrack details on the vote itself.
House/Senate Vote on xxxx
- Mark S. Scarsi was confirmed to be United States District Judge for the Central District of California on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 in a vote of 83-12. Casey voted YES and Toomey voted YES.
- Stanley Blumenfeld was confirmed to be United States District Judge for the Central District of California on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 in a vote of 92-4. Casey voted YES and Toomey voted YES.
- John Holcomb was confirmed to be United States District Judge for the Central District of California on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 in a vote of 83-12. Casey voted YES and Toomey voted YES. Interesting tidbit about this new judge – while at Harvard Law School, he was a research assistant to Senator Elizabeth Warren!
- Todd Wallace Robinson was confirmed to be United States District Judge for the Central District of California on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 in a vote of 86-10. Casey voted YES and Toomey voted YES.
- Iain Johnston was confirmed to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois on Thursday, September 17, 2020 in a vote of 77-14. 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.
- H.R.1668 – IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020
- H.R.2575 – AI in Government Act of 2020
- H.R.6021 – Northern Mariana Islands Small Business Development Act
- H.R.6078 – Microloan Transparency and Accountability Act of 2020
- H.R.6079 – Microloan Improvement Act of 2020
- H.R.6133 – STEP Improvement Act of 2020
- H.R.3659 – Danny’s Law
- H.R.4979 – Rural STEM Education Act
- H.R.4990 – Election Technology Research Act of 2020
- H.R.8162 – 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020
- S.881 – PROSWIFT “Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act” Act
- S.3051 – America’s Conservation Enhancement Act
- S.924 – Jenna Quinn Law
- S.1160 – Supporting Family Mental Health in CAPTA Act
Our Senators respond to the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 09/18/20:
“Tonight our Nation mourns the passing of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg was a pioneer for gender equality, a champion for human rights and a fierce defender of workers on an increasingly corporate Supreme Court.
Justice Ginsburg served our Nation honorably and with distinction for four decades. Her heroic battles with cancer inspired countless Americans. I extend condolences to her family and may her memory be a blessing to millions of Americans.
Consistent with the precedent set by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2016, Justice Ginsburg’s seat should not be filled until the presidential election concludes and the candidate chosen by voters is sworn into office.”
🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, via his official website, 09/19/20:
“Our nation mourns the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Renowned for her legal intellect and sharp opinions, Justice Ginsburg served on our nation’s highest court for nearly three decades with distinction and honor. As just the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer in the legal profession. While I usually disagreed with her legal and political views, she proved time and again that it is possible to disagree with someone without being disagreeable. Simply put, Justice Ginsburg left an indelible mark that will resonate for generations. I extend my prayers and deepest condolences to Justice Ginsburg’s family, friends, and colleagues.”
Bonus Flashback: Senator Toomey provides his position on filling Supreme Court vacancies during election years, from February 2016
MoC Tweets of the Week
🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 09/18/20:
The Morning Call is not only a source of high-quality, local news for the Lehigh Valley, but a pillar of the community. Vacating the downtown office building after 100 years represents a great loss for Allentown and for the Morning Call staff, who are steadfast in their commitment to the important work of keeping the community informed. I will continue to stand with the Morning Call Guild in their fight to preserve local journalism in the Lehigh Valley.”
🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 09/17/20:
“Once again, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided that laws have no meaning. The current state election statute, which was signed by Governor Wolf less than a year ago, is clear that mail-in ballots must be received by 8:00 PM on Election Day in order to be counted.
Today’s blatantly political decision to violate the law irresponsibly heightens the risk that our state will experience a lengthy, disputed, and controversial outcome in what is expected to be an extremely close presidential race.”
🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 09/15/20:
“Today is #InternationalDayOfDemocracy. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I am proud to be a staunch supporter of promoting democracy at home and around the world.”
🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBrendanBoyle, 09/17/20:
“It’s hard to wrap your head around the possibility of 410,000 Americans losing their life to this virus this year. We can and we must do all we can to keep that from happening and save lives already at risk. First step? The Senate must pass the #HeroesAct.” tweeted with a link to a CNBC article titled “Key coronavirus forecast predicts over 410,000 total U.S. deaths by Jan. 1: ‘The worst is yet to come’”
🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 09/18/20:
“If Trump forces a #Covid_19 vaccine out before independent scientists say it’s safe & reliable, he should volunteer to be FIRST to receive it. And he should receive it on live video run by independent media.
In the meantime, he should wear a mask!”
🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 09/16/20:
“I am deeply disturbed to learn about these allegations.
If true, vulnerable migrant women were subjected to human rights violations & perpetrators must be held accountable.
I urge the inspector general to investigate this immediately.” tweeted with a link to an NPR article titled “Whistleblower Alleges ‘Medical Neglect,’ Questionable Hysterectomies Of ICE Detainees”
🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 09/19/20:
“I know we are all struggling to make sense of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
We lost a giant.
But, we must honor her legacy by being committed to this fight. Here’s what’s at stake and what you can do
We must ask ourselves: What do you want America to look like for the rest of your life? For your children?
Do you want government once again to tell a woman what she can do with her body?
Do you want dark money to own our politics?
Do you want decisions on race, healthcare, and public education to be made by the most radically right-leaning court of our lifetimes?
Do you want gay marriage once again to be illegal?
Do you want our planet to survive?
We must press on.
Call your Senators: https://senate.gov/senators/How_to_correspond_senators.htm
Register to vote: https://iwillvote.com
Request your ballot: https://votespa.com/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Mail-and-Absentee-Ballot.aspx
Sign up to make calls for Democrats: https://turnpablue.org/take-action/
Make a plan to vote: https://votespa.com/readytovote/Pages/default.aspx
Justice Ginsburg’s light will continue to shine so long as we carry forth her work of relentlessly pursuing justice in the face of attacks against our democracy.
May we hold her memory with us in every fight ahead.”
🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 09/17/20:
“This is good news. It’s imperative that everyone be able to vote safely this election. Our democracy depends on it.” tweeted with a link to an article from Politico titled “Pennsylvania Supreme Court extends state’s mail ballot deadline”
🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 09/18/20:
“As a former lawyer who worked long hours while pregnant, it’s outrageous to me that in 2020—100 years after women secured the power to vote—current law does not explicitly guarantee every pregnant worker reasonable accommodations at work.
This week, we voted to change that.” tweeted with embedded video of the MoC’s floor speech
🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 09/18/20:
“.@HouseDemocrats are fighting for the testing and treatment needed to get businesses fully reopened and employees back in their jobs, while laying the groundwork for a stronger economy that really works for the working people that drive it forward. #ForThePeople”
🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 09/15/20:
“The @HouseGOP Commitment to America plan is our commitment to the American public, that we have clear objectives and will deliver results for the people. It is the framework to complete a Great American Comeback, and ensure a great future for our country.” tweeted with embedded video of the MoC’s floor speech
🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 09/17/20:
“Deeply sickened by the ambush of two Los Angeles police officers who were violently and senselessly attacked for simply showing up to work to protect our communities.
The lawless behavior of these violent mobs must end – we must restore law and order in our communities.”
🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 09/17/20:
“This morning’s @LancasterOnline (LNP) editorial continues their hypocrisy and takes their irresponsibility to new heights. My office was asked for a ‘statement on the Ricardo Muñoz shooting’; I was responsive and expressed sympathy for the deceased, his family, and the officer involved. I will again reaffirm my support for the officer who was forced to defend himself. The LNP chose once again to selectively quote my statement and entirely ignored the point that cooperation at all levels of government, despite political differences, made Lancaster a city which people want to visit and where they want to live and work. I again call on Mayor Sorace to pledge to work to rebuild the confidence in Lancaster that was disrupted by the destructive protests.
Thanks to local law enforcement, the rioters weren’t permitted to turn Lancaster City into another destroyed American city; I know they will continue to utilize the resources at their disposal to ensure public safety. The rioting, destroying property, lighting fires, and throwing objects at police officers — some of which was before the body camera footage was released — was the rush to judgment that the LNP must condemn. Given the information we have, including the body camera footage, supporting our brave law enforcement officers who are attacked while simply doing their job is the responsible response.
The LNP is blinded by their blatantly biased agenda and is too weak to criticize those with whom they usually agree.Today’s editorial, presented as fact, was appalling, shameful, and a disservice to our community. Perhaps they should join their co-worker who was arrested and stand in the street protesting our local police instead of pontificating from their ivory tower’s safety.”
🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 09/18/20:
“Proud to support the Holding Rioters Accountable Act of 2020, led by @RepDLesko and @Jim_Jordan, and hold Democratic-run cities accountable so they can no longer stand idly by as lawlessness and violent mobs take over our streets.”
🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 09/17/20:
“Proud to sign @Heritage_Action’s “Police Pledge,” a commitment to support our law enforcement officers & oppose any legislative efforts to defund the police.
These heroes show up every day & put their lives on the line to keep us safe. I will never turn my back on our police.”
🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 09/18/20:
“FBI Director Wray claims Antifa isn’t organized, but they’re:
– Funding widespread use of homemade explosives
– Bailing out violent rioters from jail
– Arranging transportation around the country
– Supplying uniforms
What fantasy land is he living in?” tweeted with a NY Post article titled “Republicans blast FBI director for claiming Antifa ‘not an organization’”
🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 09/15/20:
Let’s face it: people know what the Democrat agenda is—Defunding, Destroying, and Dismantling our country. But America is worth fighting for. And that’s exactly what Republicans are doing with our newly announced Commitment to America.”
🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 09/17/20:
“Great @PittsburghPG editorial on Gov. Wolf’s coronavirus orders being declared unconstitutional.
The Constitution is not a suggestion. Emergencies do not grant politicians unlimited authority to restrict rights even if the policies are well-intentioned.” tweeted with a link to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial titled “A blow against tyranny”
🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, 09/18/20:
“May the sounds of the shofar ring in a peaceful and healthy new year for all who celebrate. Happy Rosh Hashanah! #PA17”
🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 09/18/20:
“@Senatemajldr lost no time confirming what we all knew: he never gave a damn about the American people having a voice in the selection of a new Supreme Court Justice. All he cares about is confirming someone who will protect the interests of billionaires and corporations.”
Casey Quote of the Week
Courtesy of contributor Linda Houk
“Unfortunately [President Trump] does have a plan on healthcare, his plan is very clear, it’s to destroy the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, taking away protections for people with pre-existing conditions, eliminate Medicaid expansion, and cut Medicare. It’s clear that the Republican plan all along has been the destruction, dismantling, and the de-funding of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and Medicare.”
—from an article in the Times Leader, titled “Casey, Cartwright highlight what’s at stake for health care in election”
Toomey Quote of the Week
Courtesy of contributor Elayne Baker
“A full-grown man, wielding a large carving knife over his head while charging an officer, obviously poses a mortal threat to that officer. In general, police officers in this type of situation are well within their rights to use deadly force to protect themselves and the public. The body camera footage released by the Lancaster City Bureau of Police seems to detail this exact scenario. It’s not clear why anyone would protest a police officer defending his own life. However, those who wish to protest should do so peacefully. Destroying property and blocking roadways without a permit, as occurred last night in Lancaster, is not peaceful protesting.”
— from a WKOK article titled “U.S. Senator Toomey statement on police shooting in Lancaster”
Call to Action – Blocking the confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice
This Call to Action comes directly from Meagan Hatcher-Mays, the Director of Democracy Policy for
Indivisible. She writes:
I wanted to give you an update on developments happening around Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and the impending fight around a Trump’s nominee to replace her a mere 45 days before the election.
This is a hard one for all of us, and for me personally. My coworkers here in D.C. will tell you that I keep a signed picture of Justice Ginsburg on my desk. She was a brilliant lawyer who became a great Supreme Court justice, and she was an inspiration for generations of lawyers and non-lawyers alike.
As a progressive, and as a lawyer, who was deeply inspired by Justice Ginsburg, it is physically painful for me to think about Donald Trump choosing her replacement. So we have to fight our buns off.
This is a winnable fight — but we need to be loud. Yes, this will be an uphill battle. So our immediate focus must be to peel off enough Republicans who are willing to follow Mitch McConnell’s own rule from 2016 (see: this great video Pablo from our team made) that the Senate cannot confirm a Supreme Court justice in an election year. But you’re not off the hook if you have Democratic Senators: For Democrats, we want to shore up their unified opposition to a nominee even before he/she is announced by Trump (which we’re hearing could happen as early as Wednesday).
What does that mean for us? It means we need to drive thousands of calls to all Senate offices over the next few days. You can find all our asks here and we’ll continue updating that page as things develop, but here’s the details as of right now…
The remainder of her message is designed to be applicable for the entire nation, so MoCTrack took her list of actions and personalized it for Pennsylvania.
- Contact Senator Bob Casey to tell him you fully support his position of waiting until after the voters of our country has chosen a new President to fill the vacancy on the court. Do this at least once a week.
- Contact Senator Pat Toomey and remind him of his 2016 position on filling Supreme Court vacancies in presidential election years, and advise him that you expect him to keep that position. CONTACT HIM DAILY.
Here is some template text you might use in your contact with Senator Toomey, from Indivisible (with slight Pennsylvania specific modifications):
Senator Toomey, I am a concerned Pennsylvanian, residing at: [your location].
I am emailing you today about the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who held open a Supreme Court seat for over a year in 2016 to prevent Barack Obama from filling it, has already declared he will bring Trump’s nomination to the floor for the vote. You cannot let this happen.
I am demanding you REFUSE to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice until the new president is inaugurated. The American people deserve to have their voice heard in what could shift the courts irreparably for our lifetimes.
Mitch McConnell even said so himself four years ago: https://twitter.com/IndivisibleTeam/status/1307168901898395648
And you yourself said, “The next Court appointment should be made by the newly-elected president. If that new president is not a member of my party, I will take the same objective non-partisan approach to that nominee as I have always done.”
Now, in September 2020, I expect you to live up to the statement you made in February 2016.
Folks, we have had calls to action before this, but there have been non that have been nearly as important as this one. When we say that Senator Toomey needs to hear from us DAILY, it is no joke. GET ON IT, TEAM!
This report is brought to you by the Pennsylvania MoCTrack team…
CC Linda Houk
Elayne Baker Susan Vogel
Gary Garb Kierstyn Piotrowski Zolfo
We can always use extra help. 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. Would you be willing to listen to a committee hearing and transcribe a few quotes from Pennsylvania lawmakers? Or are you a topic specialist on an issue of concern to activists, and would you like to contribute an occasional column? Please email KierstynPZ@gmail.com and put “MoCTrack Help” in the subject. Thanks!
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