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. Thank you to the Demcast and Pennsylvania Indivisible organizations who host our report and help us share it with Commonwealth residents!
The Indivisible movement is focused on four key principles – equality, justice, compassion and inclusion. Accordingly, we score legislation that reflects those values:
- Ballot access, voting rights, campaign finance and ethics
- Civil rights, equality under the law and addressing systemic inequities
- Reinforcing and strengthening democratic norms, processes, and oversight
- Addressing economic inequality
There were no votes scored this week, as the only voting was on routine Senate confirmations.
|Lawmaker||Score||Change from last score|
|🔵 Senator Bob Casey||100.0%||No change|
|🔴 Senator Pat Toomey||35.7%||No change|
|🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick||54.9%||No change|
|🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle||100.0%||No change|
|🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans||100.0%||No change|
|🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean||100.0%||No change|
|🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon||100.0%||No change|
|🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan||100.0%||No change|
|🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild||100.0%||No change|
|🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright||100.0%||No change|
|🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser||4.1%||No change|
|🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry||0.0%||No change|
|🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker||9.8%||No change|
|🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller||3.9%||No change|
|🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce||3.9%||No change|
|🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler||3.9%||No change|
|🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson||10.2%||No change|
|🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly||3.9%||No change|
|🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb||100.0%||No change|
|🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle||100.0%||No change|
Votes of Interest
Yet Another Senate Motion to Discharge a Stalled Confirmation
Senate Vote on the Motion to Discharge Jennifer Ann Abruzzo to be General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board for a term of four years
A few months back in an explainer segment, MoCTrack discussed how rare it was to have a full Senate vote on a motion to discharge to get a stalled nomination out of committee. But this 50-50 Senate is not a normal place, and we once again saw a full vote on a motion to discharge a nomination to a bureaucratic position.
The National Labor Relations Board is a five member independent board, tasked with protecting the rights of employees and their freedom to create unions. Members serve five year terms, and the custom has been to have three positions go to the party of the president and two positions go to the minority party. During the Trump Administration some positions were left vacant for stretches of time, and it was only well into 2020 that Trump nominated someone to fill one of the vacant Democratic seats.
We expect the now discharged nomination of Jennifer Abruzzo to get a full vote before the August recess.
Vote date: Tuesday, July 13, 2021 Vote Tally: 50-48
Party Breakdown: This was a pure party line vote. All Republicans present voted NO. All democrats and Independents voted YES.
Senator Bob Casey voted YES
Senator Pat Toomey voted NO
- “Senate OKs Biden’s NLRB GC Pick For Full Confirmation Vote,” from Law 360
- “Roll call vote: Motion to discharge the Abruzzo nomination from the HELP Committee,” from Politician’s Post
- “Trio of Biden Labor Agency Nominees Advance to Full Senate,” from Bloomberg Law
Biden Bureaucratic Confirmation – State Department
Senate Confirmation Vote on Uzra Zeya to be an Under Secretary of State (Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights)
The Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP), a nonpartisan global network of over a hundred organizations working to end violent conflict and build sustainable peace, provided the following bio for the newly confirmed Under Secretary of State, Uzra Zeya:
Uzra served as AfP’s President and CEO for two years, starting in early 2019. Her distinguished 25+ year foreign service career in conflict affected and fragile states made her an excellent choice to lead AfP. During her tenure, Uzra worked tirelessly to build partnerships and bipartisan support for laws and policies that prevent and reduce violent conflict, violence, and violent extremism and build sustainable peace. Uzra’s dynamic and innovative leadership was instrumental in the adoption of the bipartisan Global Fragility Act (GFA) in December 2019. The GFA was a critical victory for the entire peacebuilding community, which long advocated for a comprehensive U.S. government strategy on conflict prevention. The GFA puts conflict prevention at the center of U.S. foreign policy, potentially reducing the need for costlier security interventions and humanitarian responses and advancing U.S. national security. Implementation of the GFA is vital at a time the world is experiencing a 30-year high of violent conflict, and Uzra is just the person to ensure its success.
Vote date: Tuesday, July 13, 2021 Vote Tally: 73-24
Party Breakdown: All Democrats and Independents present voted YES. The Republicans split, with 23 voting YES and 24 voting NO, and 3 not present for the vote.
Senator Bob Casey voted YES
Senator Pat Toomey voted YES
Editor’s note – as we get deeper into the weeds of bureaucratic nominations, the media coverage is getting lighter. Our additional reading links, therefore, have moved out from major news websites and into more obscure or partisan content.
- “Statement of Uzra Zeya, Nominee for Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights,” from Senate Foreign Relations Committee website
- “US Senate Confirms Uzra Zeya for the State Department’s Under Secretary of State Bureau of Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights,” from Tibet.net
- “AfP Calls For The Immediate Confirmation Of Uzra Zeya For Under Secretary For Civilian Security, Democracy, And Human Rights In The U.S. Department Of State,” from the Alliance for Peacebuilding
Biden Bureaucratic Confirmation – Labor Department 1
Senate Confirmation Vote on Julie A. Su to be Deputy Secretary of Labor
Julie Su is an attorney who has devoted her career to labor law advocacy. She is a co-founder of Sweatshop Watch, and spent years in academia as a law professor at the UCLA and Northeastern University Schools of Law. For the last several years she has worked in California, first as the state’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and then as Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.
Upon her confirmation, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement:
On behalf of all Californians, Jen and I want to thank Julie Su for her service to this state and congratulate her on her confirmation to serve as our nation’s Deputy Secretary of Labor.
Julie joined my Administration in the very beginning with a shared vision to create a California For All. She represents the best California has to offer – a champion for our state’s workers who tirelessly fights for equity, inclusiveness and social justice.
Julie has been fighting for workers’ rights from California for nearly three decades. And now, as Deputy Secretary of Labor, she will help our country build a more inclusive economy that works for all Americans as we recover from a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.
Vote date: Tuesday, July 13, 2021 Vote Tally: 50-47
Party Breakdown: This was a pure party line vote. All republicans present voted NO. All democrats and Independents voted YES.
Senator Bob Casey voted YES
Senator Pat Toomey voted NO
- “California labor secretary overcomes unemployment complaints, will join Biden administration,” from the Sacramento Bee
- “Tensions Await Julie Su in Shaping Role as Labor’s Deputy,” from Bloomberg Law
- “Governor Newsom Statement on Julie Su’s Confirmation as Deputy Secretary of Labor at the U.S. Department of Labor,” from Governor Newsome’s website
Biden Bureaucratic Confirmation – Labor Department 2
Senate Confirmation Vote on Seema Nanda to be Solicitor for the Department of Labor
Reuters provided this recap of the new Labor Solicitor’s career experience:
Before joining the Obama-era DOL, Nanda led the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Immigrant and Employee Rights Section, served as a supervisor attorney at the National Labor Relations Board and worked as an associate in private practice in Seattle. She also was a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program… [She] was also the chief executive officer of the Democratic National Committee during the Trump administration.
The same article also noted that, “Biden’s choice of Nanda has been praised by Democrats who have pointed to her ample government experience and track record of advocating for workers’ rights… The solicitor of labor is DOL’s chief legal officer and oversees a staff of about 500 lawyers across the country. The solicitor’s office files lawsuits against employers for violating various federal laws, represents DOL in appeals courts, and provides advice on policymaking.”
Vote date: Wednesday, July 14, 2021 Vote Tally: 53-46
Party Breakdown: All the Independents and Democrats voted YES, alongside three Republicans – Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah. The other 46 Republicans present voted NO.
Senator Bob Casey voted YES
Senator Pat Toomey voted NO
- “Seema Nanda: Solicitor, Department of Labor,” from American Bazaar
- “Expanded Mission Under Biden Challenges DOL’s New Top Lawyer,” from Bloomberg Law
- “Senate confirms solicitor of labor, approves EEOC member for new term,” from Reuters
Biden Bureaucratic Confirmation – EEOC
Senate Confirmation Vote on Jocelyn Samuels to be a Member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for a term expiring July 1, 2026
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provided this bio for their new member, Jocelyn Samuels, as well as her statement upon being confirmed:
Prior to joining the EEOC, Samuels was executive director of the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. During the Obama Administration, Samuels served as director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and served as acting assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. Earlier in her career, she worked as a senior policy attorney at the EEOC, as labor counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and as vice president for Education and Employment at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of Middlebury College and Columbia University Law School.
Samuels said, “I’m honored and grateful to be able to continue to serve at the EEOC. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in both parties to advance the mission of the agency. It is more important now than ever for our country to work to eradicate employment discrimination, and the EEOC must use all the tools at its disposal to enforce and realize the promise of our civil rights laws.”
Vote date: Wednesday, July 14, 2021 Vote Tally: 52-47
Party Breakdown: All the Independents and Democrats voted YES, alongside two Republicans – Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. The other 47 Republicans present voted NO.
Senator Bob Casey voted YES
Senator Pat Toomey voted NO
- “Democrat Jocelyn Samuels Confirmed to Second EEOC Term,” from Bloomberg Law
- “LGBT law expert Jocelyn Samuels set for a second term at EEOC,” from Reuters
- “Senate Votes to Confirm Jocelyn Samuels as EEOC Commissioner,” from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website
Biden Bureaucratic Confirmation – Treasury Department
Senate Confirmation Vote on Nellie Liang to be an Under Secretary of the Treasury
Nellie Liang, a former Federal Reserve economist, was confirmed to a position at the Treasury Department that will put her in charge of that department’s domestic finance operations.
Liang’s early career included time in both academia and the private sector before spending nearly 3 decades at the Federal Reserve Board. She worked her way up the ranks at that institution, eventually becoming the Founding Director of the Division of Financial Stability in 2010. She left the federal government after the inauguration of Donald Trump, and took a position at the Brookings Institution as the Miriam K. Carliner Senior Fellow in Economic Studies. Then-President Trump nominated her for a position on the Federal Reserve Board, but she withdrew herself as a nominee.
Vote date: Thursday, July 15, 2021 Vote Tally: 72-27
Party Breakdown: All but one of the Independents and Democrats voted YES, with New Jersey’s Bob Menendez as the lone NO vote. The GOP split, with 23 voting YES and 26 voting NO.
Senator Bob Casey voted YES
Senator Pat Toomey voted YES
- “U.S. Senate confirms ex-Fed economist as Treasury debt boss,” from Reuters
- “Treasury Domestic-Finance Nominee Liang Wins Senate Confirmation,” from Bloomberg Law
- “Senate confirms Nellie Liang as Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance,” from Pensions and Investments Online
Biden Bureaucratic Confirmation – Veterans’ Affairs
Senate Confirmation Vote on Donald Michael Remy to be Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Military.com provided the following recap of the background and career of the new second in command at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Donald Remy:
The NCAA’s chief operating officer, a former member of the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps, has been confirmed as the second-highest official at the Department of Veterans Affairs…The department has not had a Senate-confirmed deputy since James Byrne, who was fired in February 2020 by then Secretary Robert Wilkie…
…Remy, a graduate of Louisiana State University and Howard University School of Law, served as assistant to the General Counsel of the Army from 1991 to 1995, achieving the rank of captain. He later clerked for a judge on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and served as deputy assistant general for the Justice Department.
Following his stint at Justice, he worked as general counsel for the Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae. His job at Fannie Mae later derailed his nomination to General Counsel of the Army in 2009 by then-President Barack Obama when he failed to identify the corporation by name on nomination forms.
That same article quoted the new Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, from his confirmation hearing:
“I think it’s important to communicate to all of our workforce that whistleblowers will be protected in our environment, that the culture of the environment is such that we need to make people feel comfortable.
I’ve been given a clear mission by Secretary McDonough, to use all my experience, skills, and leadership capabilities as the department’s chief operating and management officer to help nurture a culture of excellence and motivate those around me to deliver on our shared values.”
Vote date: Thursday, July 15, 2021 Vote Tally: 91-8
Party Breakdown: The eight lawmakers who voted NO were all Republicans – Richard Shelby of Alabama, Rick Scott of Florida, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Roger Wicker of Kansas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, James Lankford of Oklahoma, and both Marsha Blackburn and Bill Haggerty of Tennessee.
Senator Bob Casey voted YES
Senator Pat Toomey voted YES
- “Senate Approves Army Veteran as VA’s Deputy Secretary,” from Military.com
- “Former NCAA executive confirmed as VA’s second in command,” from Military Times
- “Senate confirms Veterans Affairs deputy charged with fixing flawed health record system at Spokane VA, ending attempt by Tennessee senator to block appointment,” from Spokane, Washington’s Spokesman Review
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.26 – Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act of 2021
- S.169 – Artistic Recognition for Talented Students Act
- S.534 – Tribal Child Support Enforcement Act
- S.65 – Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
- S.658 – National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act
Quotes of Interest
Many MoCs discuss President Biden’s Voting Rights Speech In Philadelphia
🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 07/13/21:
“Today in Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy, @POTUS issued a clarion call: The Senate MUST pass the #ForThePeopleAct and #JohnLewisVotingRightsAct.
If that means changing an arcane Senate rule, so be it.
Our democracy is on the line.”
🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, via his official website, 07/13/21:
“Suggesting that election integrity measures such as voter ID and prohibitions on ballot harvesting are reminiscent of Jim Crow is false, offensive, and trivializes a dark period of actual systemic racism in parts of America. President Biden knows that the state laws he has attacked are in many cases less restrictive than that of his own home state of Delaware.”
🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBrendanBoyle, 07/13/21:
The MoC retweeted content from NBC journalist Andrea Mitchell, who quoted him,
On @POTUS today in Philadelphia on voting rights, @RepBrendanBoyle: “I think the President has been forceful. It’s up to those of us in Congress to do our job–in my view, voting rights are a lot more important than preserving some arcane procedure that the founding fathers would not create in the first place. I would urge my colleagues to do everything they can to protect the right to vote before it’s too late.”
🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, via a statement he provided to Indivisible, 07/13/21:
“I just finished watching President Joe Biden address the nation in Philadelphia at the Constitution Center, and I want to talk about what he said with you.
President Biden chose to speak in Philly because our city is the birthplace of American democracy — a city I’m proud to be fighting for every day in Congress. It’s no exaggeration to say that we are living in the middle of a national assault on our civil rights, fueled by Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
The right to vote is the foundation of all our other legal rights in America. President Biden is using all powers of the executive branch to protect and advance the sacred, constitutional right to vote. And for the future health of our democracy, the American people need to join him.
I’m standing in solidarity with President Biden against the recent outrageous attacks on American democracy, including calling on Congress to restore the original protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with the passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
Since November, state lawmakers have enacted 28 laws in 17 states that restrict the right to vote. The Supreme Court just upheld an outrageous voter suppression law in Arizona. And right now, Democrats inTexas’ state legislature are fleeing the state to stop Republican lawmakers from passing yet another law that restricts access to the ballot box.
Republican lawmakers are proving again that their loyalty is to Donald Trump. They are using their own political power to chip away at our civil rights in ways America hasn’t seen since the Civil Rights era. It’s despicable and unAmerican — but we the people, have the power to stop them.
I am adding my name next to President Biden’s and Vice President Kamala Harris’s to demand a stop to this assault on our democracy. I will be working in Congress to take aggressive action to defend our right to vote.”
🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 07/13/21:
“We will not give in. We will overcome.”
Very fitting to welcome @POTUS back to Philadelphia — the birthplace of our nation — as we recommit to the fight for voting rights.
🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 07/13/21:
“From the birthplace of American democracy, @POTUS addresses the urgent need to protect voting rights.
We should be working to make it easier for Americans to vote, not harder. We need the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. NOW. #HR1 #HR4”
🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, via her official website, 07/13/21:
“The right to vote is sacrosanct. I served this country in the Air Force and now in Congress because I believe in the majesty of our Constitution, in the fundamental tenet of our democracy – every eligible American has the right to make their voice heard at the ballot box. President Biden did not mince words yesterday. He and I both understand that the right to vote is under assault. I want to be clear with the people of Pennsylvania – politicization of voting rights is antithetical and dangerous to our democracy. Anyone who has served this country knows that the right to vote cannot be taken for granted – and I will stand on the frontlines defending every American’s right to the ballot box. To do anything less would be a betrayal of my oath of office.”
🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 07/13/21:
“The American people overwhelmingly support voter ID.
It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress to start working on real election reforms instead of partisan bills that only centralize power in Washington, D.C.
HR 1 is not “for the people.” It’s for the politicians.”
🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 07/14/21:
“I stand with the @texasdemocrats fighting #VoterSuppression. The proposed bill in Texas & laws already passed in states like Georgia are huge threats to fair elections & our democracy. The #Senate should pass #ForthePeopleAct & #JohnLewisVotingRightsAct.”
🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 07/14/21:
“No one makes the case that #CareIsEssential better than @AdyBarkan. We spoke recently about the critical funding needed for home and community-based services and how the Senate can advance disability justice.”
The senator was retweeting this content from Ady Barkan, who you may remember from his 2017 video confronting then-Senator Jeff Flake on an airplane about the Affordable Care Act.
🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 07/13/21:
This content was from the Senate GOP Banking Committee account, but Senator Toomey is the ranking member there, so he retweeted a video of himself with his own quote from another account.
.@SenToomey on today’s CPI release: “We need to acknowledge that inflation is with us and it’s more severe than expected. The Fed has assured us that it’s all transitory . . . I remain concerned that they put themselves in a position of being behind the curve if they’re wrong.”
🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 07/13/21:
“We believe in two-party solutions, period. A bipartisan, bicameral majority, along with the White House, have jointly spoken with one voice: Let us vote on this package now — no strings attached. Let this bill be considered up-or-down on its own merits.”
🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @CongBoyle, 07/17/21:
“Thinking of my friend John Lewis on this day that marks one year since John left us.
He worked tirelessly to correct injustices in our country wherever he found them. John was a true compass that guided me quite often during my time in the U.S. House and he is dearly missed.”
🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @RepDwightEvans, 07/15/21:
“DID YOU KNOW: the #ChildTaxCredit has expanded to $3,000 per child ages 6-17 and $3,600 per child under the age of 6?
Learn more at http://childtaxcredit.gov. Retweet to help spread the word in #Philly!
🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 07/15/21:
I know a lot of you have concerns about inflation.
I had the chance to ask Federal Reserve Chairman Powell about it yesterday in @FSCDems.
His answer was simple: “We should look at this as temporary.”
🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 07/14/21:
“In the aftermath of January 6, @witfnews took a stand — vowing to hold those who pushed election lies accountable by consistently tying them to their actions. Now the GOP-led PA legislature has cut state funding for them and other public radio stations.”
🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 07/13/21:
“Not everyone in Washington gives their honest opinion.
I’m worried about Afghanistan.
We need a clear and deliberate plan to protect women and girls. In doing so, we are giving civil society in Afghanistan its best chance at survival and beating back a Taliban takeover.”
🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 07/15/21:
“Today, millions of families will have payments from the #ChildTaxCredit land in their bank accounts.
Why is this huge?
Because this middle-class tax cut has the potential to cut American child poverty in half. We meant it when we said it: help is here.”
🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 07/13/21:
“As chairman of the @AppropsDems subcommittee that funds law enforcement, I’m proud to advocate for new resources for NEPA police to better serve & protect our communities. Our bill includes $2.1 million for Wilkes-Barre’s Community Policing Technology & Equipment Initiative.
I’ll keep working to get this funding for the Wilkes-Barre PD through the House, the Senate, and signed into law.”
🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 07/15/21:
“The American people must know that the far-left Democrats are holding an extremely important T&I bill hostage with an outrageous government expansion, part of their agenda to grow government and the people’s dependence on it. @dcexaminer”
🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 07/12/21:
“Cuban liberty must not be further delayed – @POTUS should strengthen sanctions on the oppressors of the Cuban people. Decades of failed socialist policies and communist tyranny must end now. #SOSCuba #PatriaYVida”
🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 07/15/21:
“President Biden’s tax hikes will spare no one. Studies show middle class American families and small businesses will bear the brunt of Biden’s disastrous tax proposals.”
🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 07/15/21:
“Wouldn’t it be refreshing if Washington Democrats talked about how to save your tax dollars rather than how to spend them?”
🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 07/14/21:
“Nuclear power is a proven, affordable, and reliable source of low-carbon energy for American families. If my colleagues are serious about reducing carbon emissions, nuclear power must be part of America’s future energy equation.”
🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 07/17/21:
“Dems want to use your hard-earned money to fund abortions whether you like it or not.
In the FY2022 budget, Biden & Dems eliminated the Hyde Amendment – which prevents taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.
For the first time in almost 45 years, Hyde is not in the budget.”
🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 07/13/21:
🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 07/13/21:
“Consumer prices just reached a 13-year high. Inflation is now outpacing wage growth and making it harder for Americans to make ends meet.
This is a direct result of the Democrats’ reckless spending and their war on America’s energy industry.”
🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, 07/14/21:
“Today @PITairport becomes the first airport in the world to be completely powered by a solar energy & natural gas microgrid, further evidence that W. PA is a leader in building the clean economy of the future. #PA17”
🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 07/15/21:
“If the world is to fully recover from the #pandemic, everyone must #GetVaccinated. With vaccinations slowing in the US, #COVID cases are rising again. If #unvaccinated people continue to get sick, this will put our economy at risk once again.”
MoC Weekly Round-ups
The following lawmakers offer short video, audio or graphics round-ups of their week’s activities. Take this content with a grain of salt, as they are produced as self-marketing materials. But they do give us insight into what actions our MoCs feel are the most important to their constituents, and definitely make for worthwhile reviewing! I would not be surprised if we see more lawmakers join this trend.
🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick – Twitter Link with video
🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan – Twitter Link with video
🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild – Twitter link with meme
Casey Quote of the Week
Courtesy of contributor Linda Houk
On the Biden Child Tax Credits
“This is a unique moment in time – we’re finally at a point, after saying we should invest in families, we’re finally doing it. We said to the powerful, the [American] Rescue Plan is not for you … we’re going focus on children and families with children … That’s the way it should be.”
—from an article in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, titled “As child tax credit checks hit mailboxes, ‘I’m looking forward to having the safety net,’ Pa. mom says | Thursday Morning Coffee”
Toomey Quote of the Week
Courtesy of contributor Linda Houk
“The warning siren for problematic inflation is getting louder… And since the Fed has proven unable to forecast the level of inflation, why should we be confident that the Fed can forecast the duration of inflation?”
—from an article on WKRN.COM, titled “Inflation worries rise in Congress as economy continues to bounce back”
Fitzpatrick in the News
Research courtesy of contributor CC
“I strongly support the commissioners’ bipartisan resolution to keep Bucks County together in one congressional district. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents agree. Bucks County is our home and our One Community and splitting Bucks County into two separate congressional districts would clearly violate fair redistricting principles of keeping communities undivided and contiguous.”
— from a Doylestown Patch article titled “Bucks County Pols On Both Sides Agree: ‘Keep Our County Whole’”
“This important bipartisan amendment stops equines from being slaughtered for human consumption. Horses deserve better and we must lend a voice to the voiceless to help end the practice of American horses being needlessly slaughtered.”
— from a Sierra Sun-Times article titled “Animal Welfare Groups Commend U.S. House Of Representatives for Passing Critical Amendment to Ban Horse Slaughter, The Humane Society of the United States Announces”
“We believe in two-party solutions, period. There is zero reason why this proposal should not receive an up-or-down vote in both chambers. A bipartisan, bicameral majority, along with the White House, have jointly spoken with one voice: Let us vote on this package now — no strings attached. Let this bill be considered up-or-down on its own merits.”
— from a CBS News article titled “Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus backs Senate infrastructure deal, calling for House vote”
“My heart goes out to the many Lower Bucks residents who have been displaced or directly impacted due to the recent flooding. I have been out in the community surveying the horrible damage from this 100-year flood and met with several families who have lost everything; we must do everything we can to help our fellow community members.
To do that, I am actively working with representatives of all levels of government to ensure all impacted towns and families receive the relief and hope they deserve. As we move forward, I will be receiving regular briefings from both FEMA and PEMA and will continue to provide updates as we obtain more information.”
— from a Bucks County Courier Times article titled “Bucks County to declare disaster declaration as flood damage assessment continues”
“The US is a beacon of democracy across the world. Our foreign policy has to reflect that and continue to empower the Ukrainian people as you all seek your own reforms for prosperity, equality, and transparency.”
— from an article in the Kyiv Post titled “Defenders In DC: Meet Ukraine’s Best Friends On Capitol Hill”
Lastly, Brain Fitzpatrick and his Problem Solvers Caucus co-chair, John Gottheimer (D-NJ) co-authored an opinion piece in CNN Politics on July 14, 2021, titled “We are bipartisan ‘Problem Solvers’–let’s make a deal.” This is the full text of their writing:
These days, all Americans seem to hear is that Washington, D.C., is irreversibly broken. The two parties are at constant loggerheads, whether it be about voting rights, immigration, or any number of other issues. Leaders of both parties perpetually accuse their counterparts of overreach. Money, social media, and power incentivize members of Congress to reject compromise even when reaching across the aisle serves the greater good.
Many Americans are left wondering what needs to be done to fix our nation’s gridlocked politics. While some have chosen to tune out the debate, we would suggest that the majority of Americans want their elected officials to sit down and solve their problems.
Bipartisanship isn’t always possible — on some issues, the two parties are simply too at odds. But on issues of national concern such as Covid and infrastructure, there’s no reason thoughtful leaders should not be able to shape compromises that both parties can support.
The business of American democracy is aligning people who don’t agree on everything so they can make progress where they have common interests.
That’s why the Problem Solvers Caucus, along with a bipartisan group of US Senators, created a two-party solution focused on building a strong, successful 21st century infrastructure network for America. The plan is backed by the White House and more than 20 leading business and labor groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers.
The framework focuses on physical infrastructure, which many Republicans and Democrats agree on funding with no strings attached.
This $1.2 trillion infrastructure package was created with hard work, in good faith and with many late-night Zoom calls. After talks with the White House and Senate Republicans broke down in early June, the Problem Solvers Caucus released “Building Bridges: A Bipartisan Physical Infrastructure Framework” to help jumpstart negotiations. From there emerged the bipartisan Senate-White House infrastructure framework.
Let’s flashback to earlier this year: The White House introduced a plan that Republicans rejected out of hand, saying it went too far. Then, Senate Republicans offered an alternative that the President said did not go far enough. At that point, it was widely accepted that any bipartisan solution on the issue was dead. The left started rallying Democrats to go it alone, and the right called for abandoning attempts at bipartisanship altogether.
Meanwhile, a group of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate worked behind closed doors on a broad bipartisan approach to infrastructure. We believe it meets the priorities of our country and satisfies the concerns of leaders across the political spectrum who agree, first, that the nation’s infrastructure is in shambles, and second, that failure to invest cedes too much ground to our international competition, including China.
Our infrastructure deal will improve roads, bridges, highways, tunnels, public transit and rail networks to reduce traffic and delays. It will enhance our airports, waterways and ports to strengthen our competitive advantage in a global economy. It will provide greater access to high-speed broadband to make sure businesses can reach customers, students can learn online and Americans can connect to telehealth and job opportunities.
The framework also makes investments in clean energy, electric vehicles, and resiliency measures; a win-win for the economy and environment.
Both sides did not get everything they wanted, but the released infrastructure framework is a genuine showing of elected officials on both sides of the aisle coming together to help improve the lives of millions of Americans and make important investments to reshape the future of our nation.
The deal will not be as large as the White House originally suggested. It will be more robust than Senate Republicans proposed in their counteroffer. Individual members on both sides of the aisle, if they had a free hand to shape a bill exactly to their liking, might alter the details. But that’s how our democracy is designed to work. Absent finding common ground, nothing passes, and the American people lose.
This deal could not have been reached without our concerted efforts to foster dialogue, civility and respect over many years. A few years back, a small group of us formed the Problem Solvers Caucus, which we co-chair today. Split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, we meet weekly to talk through issues, see where we can agree and build up the trust and mutual understanding that’s the secret sauce to finding a bipartisan agreement. We do not think one party has a monopoly on good ideas.
This is not the first time our quiet bipartisan approach has worked. Late last year, when many presumed that Congress was too divided to pass a Covid-19 package, a similar group, also centered on the Problem Solvers in the House and our allies in the Senate, crafted the $908 billion Covid-19 package that brought much-needed relief.
Lo and behold, the impulse to work arm-in-arm — our collective determination to reject the temptation to vilify and castigate our colleagues across the aisle — resulted in something the nation so desperately wants: a bipartisan approach to big national problems. This is how democracy is supposed to work.
We cannot miss this historic opportunity to show the Americans that we can come together to deliver real results for the nation. It’s time to bring this infrastructure framework to the finish line.
Committee and Caucus Corner
This was a week where the House was in Washington, but no full floor votes were scheduled. They were solely focused on their committee and caucus work. Here is some of what our lawmakers were working on, as shown via hearing testimony, public statements and press releases.
🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, from a 07/14/21 statement about his Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force work:
Today, Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Annie Kuster (D-NH), David Trone (D-MD), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), founders and co-chairs of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, released the following statement on new data showing that a record number of Americans died of an overdose in 2020.
“Our hearts go out to the families, friends, and loved ones of the more than 93,000 Americans who died of a drug overdose in 2020. Today’s heartbreaking news of the record number of overdose deaths that took place in the United States last year illustrates the critical importance of our work to implement solutions to prevent substance use disorder, expand access to treatment, and save lives.
“We are only beginning to learn the magnitude of our nation’s mental health and addiction crises in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s paramount that we continue to dedicate resources to fighting these epidemics. As co-chairs, we will continue to promote legislation that seeks to educate, boost investments, and address the lack of necessary medical resources for those suffering from opioid or substance use disorders. Today’s news reminds us that much more work remains to be done. Americans need help and they need it now.”
The Task Force thus far has worked to incorporate more funding into the budget through many bipartisan programs such as:
- State Opioid Response Grants – $2B, up from $1.5B in FY21
- Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grants – $2.9B, up from $1.9B
- Community Mental Health Services Block Grant – $1.6B, up from $758M
- Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women – $49M, up from $33M
“Today, Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Representative Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) led a bipartisan group of Representatives in reintroducing legislation to modernize the Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program to better support low-income workers as they seek training and education for in-demand health care careers. The HPOG program has a proven track record of successfully educating workers for in-demand jobs in the health care industry, while also providing career coaching and job placement, along with a mix of other support services.
H.R. 4303, Labor Market Response Act
Sponsor: Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
Summary: Requires all grant applicants to use publicly available labor market data to survey the local health care employment market, to ensure that they are training workers for in-demand jobs and those with a shortage of trained workers.”
🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, from a 07/16/21 video and tweet from the House Ways and Means Committee:
Tweet text: “Watch @RepDwightEvans talk about his #HPOG program legislation, the “Mentoring and Supporting Families Act,” which provides career coaching, mentoring, & peer support within the program. See all the Ways & Means HPOG proposals HERE”
Text from Rep. Evans’ video regarding his bill: “I’m Congressman Dwight Evans, representing Pennsylvania’s Third Congressional District. I’m proud to be an original co-sponsor of Pathway to healthcare Careers. This bill would improve health professional opportunity grant programs. It would provide for low-income Americans with education and training for well-paying long term careers.
This bill will include my bipartisan Mentoring and Supporting Families Act. This bill will ensure continuous funding for HPOGs (Health Profession Opportunity Grants). They include case management, and plans to develop workforce. It is also important that we have a diverse workforce, and especially to get those who are involved. Thank you!”
🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, from a 07/13/21 press release related to her work on the Congressional PFAS Task Force:
Yesterday the EPA announced Draft Contaminant Candidate List 5 (CCL 5), which provides an updated list of known drinking water contaminants.
This is the first step in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) which aims to protect public health by regulating drinking water contaminants. Rep. Dean has been advocating for better stricter drinking water regulation that accounts for sensitive populations and children since she entered office.
“I have been fighting alongside advocates for many years in hopes of seeing change like this,” Rep. Dean said. “Clean water is a right and I am incredibly glad and grateful that the EPA has made this decision – as we move forward we must be more mindful of what is flowing into our waterways.”
The Safe Drinking Water Act is intended to regulate and address drinking water contaminants found in public water systems without placing undue burden on state, local, or tribal governments.
🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, from the 07/12/21 hearing of the Committee on House Administration’s on “The Elections Clause: Constitutional Interpretation And Congressional Exercise”:
The MoC did use most of her 5 minutes to ask informative questions of those providing testimony at the hearing. This is a MoCTrack transcription of a short portion of Rep. Scnalon’s time where she expressed herself without asking a question. For those interested in watching her portion, it starts around 1:08;55 into the hearing.
“Coming from Pennsylvania, where over the past decade we have had a number of different voter ID laws, gerrymandering, etc… with a Republicans legislature where the House Majority Leader was recorded saying that many of these provisions were implemented in order for his party to retain power, that seems to me like the very type of conduct that the Framers were rightly skeptical of.”
🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, from a 07/14/21 meeting between members of the Women STEM Caucus (where she is a co-chair) and the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program:
“Today, Members of Congress spoke with our @GirlsWhoCode Summer Immersion program about careers for women in computer science and STEM. Thank you to @SenCapito, @RepHoulahan,
@RepDeborahRoss, and @RepWexton for joining us, as well as my wonderful co-moderator, @VictoriaEspinel
🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, from a 07/15/21 press release on her website about an effort she organized to get other Members of Congress to send a drug price negotiation letter to leadership in both houses of Congress and the Budgets Committee leadership as well:
Today, Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) led a letter to Democratic leadership urging them to include Medicare negotiation power in the upcoming reconciliation bill. She is joined in sending the letter by Reps. Colin Allred (TX-32), Cindy Axne (IA-03), Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Angie Craig (MN-02), Sharice Davids (KS-03), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Susie Lee (NV-03), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Katie Porter (CA-45), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Haley Stevens (MI-11), and Lauren Underwood (IL-14).
The representatives wrote, “We write today to urge that the next reconciliation bill brought before Congress include giving Medicare the authority and the tools to effectively negotiate prescription drug prices as President Biden called for in his address to Congress. Empowering Medicare in this way and making these negotiated prices available to the private sector will bring down the cost of prescription drugs not just for seniors, but also for individuals and families across America. This is all the more urgent given that drug prices were just raised this month as part of the tradition of pharmaceutical corporations hiking prices twice per year in both January and July. In January 2021, drug companies hiked the price of 783 drugs; 100% of these hikes were above the rate of inflation. The largest single drug price hike so far this month was a price increase of 9.5%.
“Each day, Americans families are forced into an impossible choice: to not take their medicine, to ration it, or to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. As you know, pharmaceutical corporations are charging Americans prices that are three, four, and even ten times higher than what they charge for the same drugs in other countries – even though they admit they still make a profit overseas. Finally giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices to ensure that Americans are no longer price-gouged for life-saving medications is critical. Further, we must ensure that we extend these savings beyond Medicare to those with private insurance as well.”
The letter comes as Senate Democrats unveil their framework for budget reconciliation, including expansions to Medicare that include vision and dental coverage. The effort by Wild has the support of key drug cost advocacy groups, including Lower Drug Prices Now, Patients for Affordable Drugs Now, and the AARP.
🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, from a 07/16/21 tweet and video about the work he is doing on the House Appropriations Committee:
Tweet text: “The Commerce-Justice-Science bill @AppropsDems approved yesterday will help us build a more prosperous, safe & competitive USA. As CJS chair, I’m proud our bill makes strong investments in:
✅ Small business & manufacturing growth
✅ Local law enforcement
✅ American innovation
Speech text: “The Commerce-Justice-Science bill we have put forward for the fiscal year 2022 is going to help us build a more prosperous, safe and competitive United States of America. This bill helps preserve and create American jobs in distressed areas throughout this country by providing strong funding increases for a number of related programs and agencies.”
🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, from his 07/16/21 press release about a newly introduced bill that will likely be referred to the Small Business Committee where he serves:
oday, Congressman Dan Meuser (PA-09) introduced the Stop Inflationary Spending Act, a bill that would require the Congressional Budget Office to provide a 5-year inflation projection for all bills considered through budget reconciliation.
“Inflation occurs when there are too many dollars chasing too few goods and the price increases Americans are now experiencing is the predictable result of the excessive spending of the Biden Administration agenda. The American people deserve to know the true cost of government spending that increases the size of government and constrains growth in the real economy made up of private sector innovators, entrepreneurs, and hardworking people,” said Congressman Meuser. “Inflation is a hidden tax on everyone, and hardworking American families are now feeling squeezed of rising prices at the gas pump and grocery store. When inflation was a significant concern in the 1980s, CBO issued inflationary projections for individual bills. Restoring this practice for reconciliation bills that spend big is a commonsense reform that will curb Washington’s out of control spending and hold government accountable to the American people for spending taxpayer dollars and running up the national debt.”
Prior to passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, economist Larry Summers, who served as President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary and crafted President Obama’s stimulus package, warned that the bill was three times larger than the economic shortfall and pointed to serious inflationary risks in a Washington Post op-ed. Consumer prices increased 4.2% in April and 5% in May. Core PCE, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, increased 3.4% in May, the highest level since 1992.
The Stop Inflationary Spending Act:
- Requires the Congressional Budget Office to project the impact on inflation of any bill being considered under Budget Reconciliation.
- The Congressional Budget Office would provide an estimate of inflation for the first 5 years after enactment of reconciliation legislation.
- In the 1980’s, the Congressional Budget Office issued inflationary projections for individual bills, and the SIS Act will bring this practice back.
🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, from the MoC’s questions offered in the 07/14/21 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, “The Biden Administration’s Foreign Assistance Priorities and USAID’s FY22 Budget Request”:
The MoC’s time began at 1:16:08 in the hearing. He was questioning the head of USAID, the bureaucratic office that handles foreign aid, Samantha Powers.
“I just must ask, because past performance is indicative of what future action might be, can you kind of lead us into your judgment regarding the UN resolution 2334, which essentially said that occupied lands included the historically Jewis lands and historic sites, including the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, 2500 year old cemetery, the hospital there… I mean, to me it’s just outrageous.”
The congressman went on to talk about Obama and Netanyahu’s relationship, the BDS movement, and votes taken while Powers worked as the US Ambassador to the UN during the Obama Administration. At the end of the rambling, 2 minute long question from Rep. Perry, Administrator Powers paused before noting, “I’m here to talk about USAID and the responsibility I have to run THIS agency.”
🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker from the MoC’s questions offered in the 07/14/21 House Ways and Means Committee hearing, “Oversight Subcommittee Hearing on Expanding Housing Access to All Americans”:
The MoC’s time began at 2:11:53 in the hearing.
“Affordable housing has been a problem in my community for quite some time and we have taken advantage of many of the programs that have already been mentioned here – some of the tax credit programs, like the new market tax credits – and other programs to provide for affordable housing units in our community.”.
🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, from a 07/12/21 press release related to the MoC’s work on behalf of veterans.
Today, Congressman Fred Keller (PA-12) and House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (KY-01) led a letter to Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney calling for a hearing on the records request backlog at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) National Personnel Records Center (NRPC).
Congressman Keller has been leading the effort in Congress to pressure the NRPC, the federal agency responsible for processing veterans’ service records which are necessary for veterans to access benefits, to reopen to pre-pandemic staffing levels.
“While it appears that NARA will increase the number of employees onsite by July 19, 2021, it is troubling that the workforce is still not back to work at full capacity even though the backlog stands at nearly 500,000. As such, we urge you to hold a hearing to conduct oversight on why there was not a plan to address records request effectively during the pandemic, how the agency plans to resolve the backlog, and why the workforce has taken so long to return to pre-pandemic levels,” the Oversight Republicans said.
“The Committee should also examine legislative solutions to ensure that there is a sufficient number of employees working in-person to process records requests, including Committee Member Keller’s H.R. 3710, the RECORDS Act of 2021, a bill which would require a comprehensive plan to address adequate in-person staffing levels at the NPRC,” the letter continued.
On the letter to Chairwoman Maloney, Congressman Fred Keller made the following statement:
“It is completely unacceptable that America’s veterans and their families are waiting—in some cases over a year—to obtain service records for benefits they earned through their to service to our country. While the National Personnel Records Center was forced to reduce its on-site operations due to COVID-19 restrictions, it’s evident that there was no plan to ensure that records requests would continue to be fulfilled in a timely manner. That is why I joined Ranking Member Comer and the Committee on Oversight and Reform in calling for an immediate hearing to address the 500,000 records requests backlog and examine legislative solutions, like the RECORDS Act, so something like this never happens again.”
🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, from a 07/15/21 press release about an amendment to a bill offered in the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Markup:
Congressman John Joyce M.D. (PA-13) introduced an amendment in today’s Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Markup that would support community programs that are working to stop the spread of addiction and get patients on the road to recovery.
H.R. 654, the Drug Free Communities Pandemic Relief Act, would enhance the ability of community drug programs to receive grants to aid in their critical work. Dr. Joyce’s amendment would streamline administration of the program for grantees and accelerate the arrival of needed relief funding, helping our law enforcement and frontline workers better assist the unique communities they serve.
“It has recently been reported that deaths from drug overdoses rose to over 93,000 nationwide last year representing almost a 30% increase from the year before. We must take an all hands on deck approach to reverse this deadly trend,” said Dr. Joyce. “H.R. 654, the Drug Free Communities Pandemic Relief Act, would provide needed flexibility and relief for community coalitions participating in the Drug-Free Communities Support Program.”
During the markup, Dr. Joyce highlighted the essential work being done by the Blair County Drug and Alcohol Program, the Cambria County Drug Coalition, and the Healthy Communities Partnership of Greater Franklin County. Their efforts to strengthen our community, including work to combat the flow of illegal drugs, improve care for substance use disorders, and enhance drug prevention and education initiatives are invaluable.
🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, from the 07/16/21 House Appropriations Committee meeting, “Markup of FY2022 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies, and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bills”:
The MoC’s time in the hearing starts at 1:02:00.
“In 2012, the DOE (Department of Energy) partnered with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to accelerate nuclear development, particularly thorium reactors in China. Current level of collaboration between the DOE and China is frankly unclear. And it’s one part of the report information language seeks to discover. In these efforts, our discovery process is still ongoing. We are ceding our advantage to our geopolitical foe, the authoritarian Chinese Communist party, essentially handing the Communists the next century’s global nuclear power production.”
🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, from his 07/14/21 tweet announcing of the passage of a bill out of the House Agriculture Committee, where he is the ranking member:
“Today, @HouseAgGOP @HouseAgDems unanimously passed the Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act. This important bipartisan vote brings us one step closer to restoring a robust rural economy!”
🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly Serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, in the subcommittees on oversight and health. Neither of those bodies held hearing in this past week, nor did the MoC offer press releases or tweets about any of his committee or caucus work this week.
🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, from a 07/16/21 press release about hosting the Secretary of Energy in his district; the Congressman serves on the House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee on Energy:
Today, Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17) and Allegheny County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald hosted Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and senior officials from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a meeting with regional stakeholders to discuss the future of manufacturing and decarbonization.
“Western Pennsylvania is poised to be a leader in building the clean economy of the future,” said Lamb. “We have a combination of resources no one else has: steelmaking expertise, abundant natural gas, and world-class researchers at both NETL and the universities. With the right investment this team can lead the world in low-carbon steel.”
In Congress, as a member of the Energy Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Lamb has led efforts to address these issues. Lamb led multiple provisions that were included in the Energy Act of 2020, which was signed into law in December of 2020, to develop the technology necessary to reduce the effects of climate change from the power and manufacturing sectors, including:
- Advanced the Clean Industrial Technology Act of 2019 (CITA), which established a cross-cutting research, development, demonstration, and commercial application program focused on reducing emissions from iron, steel, aluminum, cement, and chemical production;
- Supported provisions to expand the scope of the Loan Program Office (LPO) at the Department of Energy to include industrial applications, such as steelmaking;
- Served as lead cosponsor of H.R 4091, the ARPA-E Reauthorization Act, which doubled the funding authorization to explore cutting-edge research in the energy sector; and
- Served as lead cosponsor of H.R. 3607, the Fossil Energy Research and Development Act of 2019, which expanded carbon capture utilization and sequestration research and demonstration programs at the Department of Energy, including for industrial sources.
🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, from a 07/14/21 tweet about his work on the House Energy and Commerce Committee:
“Achieving @Energy’s Long Duration Storage Shot will grow U.S.-based manufacturing, & build resilience for communities nationwide. I applaud this effort & look forward to working with DOE to bring down the cost of energy storage by passing my Energy Storage Tax Incentive bill.”
The following information is available on Rep. Doyle’s website, about the bill referenced in his tweet:
“The Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act would encourage the use of energy storage technologies, helping us reach our climate goals and create a more resilient and sustainable future” Congressman Doyle said today after introducing the bill. “Cost-effective energy storage is essential for adding more renewable energy to the grid and will increase the resiliency of our communities. This bill would promote greater investment and research into energy storage technologies, bolster the advanced energy economy, and create more clean energy jobs.”
Call to Action – Voting Rights and Voter Suppression
This weekend saw the first anniversary of the passing of civil rights legend and Congressman John Lewis. All around the country, people took to the streets on the night of July 17th to light candles in his name. In honor of his memory, please take some time this week and throughout the summer to advocate on behalf of voting rights. We need every allied voice to help combat state and federal GOP voter suppression efforts.
For the past weeks Indivisible has been pushing the “Deadline for Democracy” actions, to encourage people to contact lawmakers to push for an end to the filibuster and the passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. This week, the action escalated, with Texas Democrats fleeing their state to deny a quorum to state Republicans pushing voter suppression legislation, and with civil rights leaders and members of the Congressional Black Caucus getting arrested in the Senate office building as they advocated for voting rights. More actions like this are expected across the summer.
We need to keep up the pressure to succeed in this effort.
- Please continue your calls to Senator Toomey in support of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act
- Talk about this issue with family, friends and neighbors
- Write letters to your local newspapers about these efforts
- As civil disobedience efforts continue in support of voting rights, be sure to explain or defend these non-violent efforts to those who might misunderstand them.
Not all of us can have our own blood shed for voting rights as John Lewis did, nor can we all participate in non-violent civil disobedience efforts. But we can all take a moment out of each day to amplify the efforts of those who are taking action to ensure that all Americans have the same access to the ballot box, and that all elections are administered by non-partisan entities committed to (small d) democratic values. Please stay committed to that goal.
The view at Black Lives Matter plaza in Washington DC on the night of the John Lewis vigil.
Photo from @IndivisibleTeam
This report is brought to you by the Pennsylvania MoCTrack team…
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