Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Graham Backs Trump Birthright Citizenship Effort

Source: Senator Lindsey Graham (R - SC)

Washington, D.C. - October 30, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on reports that President Trump plans to issue an executive order eliminating birthright citizenship for children born to illegal immigrants on American soil.

“Finally, a president willing to take on this absurd policy of birthright citizenship.

“I’ve always supported comprehensive immigration reform – and at the same time – the elimination of birthright citizenship.

“The United States is one of two developed countries in the world who grant citizenship based on location of birth. This policy is a magnet for illegal immigration, out of the mainstream of the developed world, and needs to come to an end.

“In addition, I plan to introduce legislation along the same lines as the proposed executive order from President Trump.”

Friday, October 26, 2018

Economy, Bomb Suspect, Banking and MORE

Today's News from the Lawmakers


Latta Statement On 3rd Quarter Economic Growth

Suspicious Explosive Devices

All House Oversight Committee Members Unite To Issue Joint Statement on Terrorist Attacks

Rep. Loudermilk Praises Law Enforcement, Emphasizes Civility

Rep. Lujan Grisham Reaction to Acts of Political Violence


MacArthur Statement on Arrest Made in Connection to Suspicious Packages


The Banking Transparency for Sanctioned Persons Act of 2018, H.R. 6751

Luetkemeyer Doubles Down on Calls to Investigate Operation Choke Point

What is Operation Choke Point?

Rep. Meeks Sends Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter Urging Banking Regulator to Continue Work on Economic Inclusion.

In Other News...

Congressman McCarthy on Congress' Action to Counter Foreign Aggression

MacArthur, SBA Announce Disaster Assistance for Brick Flood Victims


In Case You Missed It...

Mast’s EAA Southern Storage Reservoir Legislation Signed Into Law By President

ICYMI: NYC Members Introduce Legislation for Commemorative Stamp Honoring 150th Anniversary of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Lynch Sends Letter to President Trump in Opposition to Privatization of War in Afghanistan

The Ponder happens to agree with Lynch. Do we really want mercenaries who will work for who pays them the most to do our dirty work? American wars should be fought by Americans who are willing to sacrifice everything for their country, regardless of the pay scale. Freedom is priceless. The pay is a bonus. This is why I salute our brothers and sisters in arms. They don't do it for the pay, although they deserve the highest pay for what they do. They don't do it to glorify themselves or to become the best, because they are ALREADY the best! Real heroes don't do it for the pay. They do it because it is the right thing to do.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Mail Bombs, Opiods, Healthcare and More News...

There are too many headlines for me to individually post, but here are the latest:

Suspicious Explosive Devices

Faso Statement on Discovery of Explosive Devices

Congressman Al Green's Statement on Bomb Threats

Griffith Statement on Political Violence


Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Condemns Attempts to send Potential Explosive Devices to the Homes of Former Presidents Clinton and Obama, and to CNN

Rep. Jeffries Statement on Acts of Domestic Terror Targeted At Perceived Adversaries of the Current Administration

Statement from Congressman John Katko on Threats Made Today

Congressman Krishnamoorthi On Mail Bombs To CNN And Public Figures: “Our Opposition To Political Violence Is A Fundamental Tenet Of Our Democracy”

Isn't it funny how this happened JUST before the election?


Kelly-Backed Opioid Package Signed into Law

Fitzpatrick Opioid Legislation Signed into Law


Hill: ‘Today Marks Successful Progress in Our Fight Against Opioid Epidemic’



Kuster Statement on Signing of Comprehensive Opioid Legislation

Isn't it funny how everyone wants to take credit?


Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act Signed into Law

Harris Commends President Trump for Signing the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act Into Law

Other News

Congressman Frelinghuysen statement on viral outbreak in Haskell, NJ

Congressman Matt Gaetz Issues Statement in Response to Deputy AG Rosenstein Suggesting to Secretly Record President Trump, Invoke 25th Amendment


Hollingsworth Highlights National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

National Capital Region Democrats To Zinke: Extend Comment Period For Rule Limiting Free Speech On The National Mal

Congresswoman Johnson Receives Top Voter Score From The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights


Rep. Ron Kind Announces Nearly $79,000 Grant to Stevens Point Fire Department

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Russian Indicted for Election Interference

Related News: Read the criminal complaint against Russian charged with election interference

Washington, D.C. - October 23, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY, 16th), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, on Friday, made the following statement regarding the indictment of a Russian woman, Elena A. Khusyaynova, for attempting to interfere in the upcoming election:

“Today’s (Friday's) announcement is an important reminder that Russia is continuing its efforts to undermine the sanctity of our democracy and must face consequences for these actions.

“We must also shore up the security of our electoral system. The only people who should get a say in our elections are Americans. At the start of the next Congress, I intend to reintroduce the SECURE Our Democracy Act which would punish any foreign interference in our elections.”

The Ponder wants to know: Does this "security" include photo IDs of voters? Not saying you are wrong for wanting better election security, and I agree that only U.S. Citizens should be involved in the U.S. election process, but it is hypocritical to address one problem without also addressing the other.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


New York, NY - October 18, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Rep. Adrianno Espaillat (D-NY, 13th) released the following statement in response to President Trump’s tweet, this morning, threatening to end USAID support for Honduras.

“President Trump is the epitome of ‘man's inhumanity to man’ as he threatens, yet again, another policy that would devastate individuals fleeing poverty and violence in Honduras, their home country, in search of a better life here in the United States,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13).

“First, the President separated children from their families, in some cases only months old, orphaned, and now this. The Trump Administration has continuously put forth policies aimed against immigrant communities and against vulnerable women, men, and children seeking asylum in the United States. Our nation is the land of hope, freedom and opportunity.

“I vow to continue to fight the hate-based rhetoric and anti-immigrant policies from this administration and will champion our efforts to protect the rights of people seeking protection from persecution and asylum here in the United States,” he concluded.

President Signs Peters, Risch, Evans Bill Helping Small Businesses Access Patent Protection

Washington, D.C. - October 18, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- President Donald J. Trump has signed into law legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and James Risch (R-ID), Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee and Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-02) aimed at helping small businesses safeguard their intellectual property with expanded education on obtaining and protecting patents. The Small Business Innovation Protection Act will build upon existing outreach programs run by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), to better inform small businesses on domestic and international intellectual property protections.

“Michigan’s small businesses are creating some of the most innovative goods and services in the world, but many have difficulty navigating the domestic and international patent system with limited resources and expertise,” said Senator Peters. “Under this new law, entrepreneurs who can’t afford a team of patent lawyers will have more assistance in protecting their intellectual property so they can continue to grow their businesses here at home.”

“Idaho has become a hot-spot for tech start-ups, filled with new ideas to grow their small businesses,” said Chairman Risch. “Now these innovative entrepreneurs will have easier access to information on protecting their intellectual property as they navigate the market and manage their businesses, earning back the money they spent on their inventions and creating more jobs. This was truly a bipartisan, bicameral effort and I’m glad the President has made it law.”

Congressman Dwight Evans, D-PA, who introduced the legislation in the House as H.R. 2655, thanked Sens. Peters and Risch for their collaboration and said, “We know that small businesses are critical to job creation and the overall economic strength of our country, both in the middle neighborhoods in cities like Philadelphia, and in the new and growing tech-based economy. Creating and supporting their growth is essential to helping entrepreneurs prosper.”

“Small businesses drive American innovation and job creation, and intellectual property is often the ‘secret sauce’ that give them an edge when they’re fledgling companies,” said Frank Cullen, Vice President of U.S. Policy, U.S. Chamber Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC). “This legislation will help small business owners better understand the important role IP plays in their company’s success, and in turn, help them better leverage and protect those key assets. We commend Sen. Gary Peters and Sen. Risch, as well as all those who supported this measure, for helping make our nation’s small businesses more competitive by increasing IP educational programs and resources at the Small Business Administration and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.”

U.S. intellectual property is estimated to be worth over $5 trillion, and sixty percent of all U.S. exports are driven through intellectual property-intensive industries. Patent protection helps innovators recoup the cost of research and development, profit off their inventions, hire new employees, and bolster their local economy.

Small businesses that do not register in foreign markets, such as China, receive no intellectual property protections. The Small Business Innovation Protection Act will help educate small businesses on the need and resources available to best secure an international patent.

The Small Business Innovation Protection Act directs the SBA and USPTO to maximize current intellectual property education and training programs in order to reach more small businesses. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Require the SBA and USPTO to develop partnerships in order to develop high quality training relating to domestic and international intellectual property protection by leveraging existing training materials developed for small business and inventor education, which may be conducted in person or online; and
  • Require the SBA and USPTO to enter partnerships in order to increase the effectiveness of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) by providing training that addresses small business concerns related to domestic and international intellectual property protections which may be conducted in person or online.


    Washington, D.C. - October 18, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chair Emeritus of the Committee, called on Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno to ensure that Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange is removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and handed over to the proper authorities. The bipartisan letter to President Moreno follows the recent news that Mr. Assange’s Internet access at the embassy has been restored.

    “Many of us in the United States Congress are eager to move forward in collaborating with your government on a wide array of issues, from economic cooperation to counternarcotics assistance to the possible return of a United States Agency for International Development mission to Ecuador. However, in order to advance on these crucial matters, we must first resolve a significant challenge created by your predecessor, Rafael Correa – the status of Julian Assange,” the members wrote in their letter.

    Read the letter by clicking HERE

    Diaz-Balart Cosponsors Legislation Supporting Specialty Crop Growers

    Washington, D.C. - October 18, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL, 25th) joined Congressmen Carlos Curbelo (R-FL, 26th) and Al Lawson, Jr.(D-FL, 5th) as an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Trade Agriculture Improvement Act. The bill would make it easier for our Florida agriculture industry to combat unfair trade practices internationally. Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio have introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

    “This bipartisan bill will help Florida's farmers, ranchers, and growers remain competitive. Agriculture is one of Florida's leading industries, employing thousands of people and contributing $12.2 billion to our state economy. I am grateful to be working with Reps. Curbelo and Lawson on this legislation that protects our specialty crop growers, and the jobs and economic impact they create in Florida. Our state is home to some of the best produce and livestock, and I am proud to represent and advocate on behalf of these thriving farms, groves, and ranches,” said Diaz-Balart.

    “Congress and the Administration are well aware that our growers have suffered more than most under the original NAFTA. Years of harm from unfair trading practices such as dumping and subsidies have caused family farms that have operated for generations to close their doors. Without relief, Florida’s specialty crop industry will continue to suffer and shrink. We appreciate the efforts of Congressman Diaz-Balart in joining Reps. Curbelo and Lawson in their strong support of Florida specialty crop growers,” said Mike Stuart, President of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association.

    DeLauro Statement on Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Raw Chicken

    Washington, D.C. - October 18, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT, 3rd) released the following statement after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that a strain of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella has been found in contaminated raw chicken products, causing 92 people illnesses across 29 states, including Connecticut.

    “Five years ago to the day, I wrote a letter with my former colleague, the late Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, to CDC and USDA regarding their mismanaged investigation and lack of action in response to an antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella that contaminated chicken products across the country. 634 were infected across 29 states. Now, five years later, CDC has informed the public of another outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in chicken that has been going on since January. It has already affected 92 people, 21 of which have been hospitalized. That is completely unacceptable.”

    “The federal government and the poultry industry need to take this problem seriously. Déjà vu is not an acceptable policy for dealing with food safety. We need to be proactive. People’s lives are on the line. That is why Congress needs to act on the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which would ban the use of medically important antibiotics in food animal production unless they needed to treat livestock illness. The overuse of antibiotics in the livestock sector only makes this problem worse, and it is long past time we deal with the problem head-on, instead of going through the same issues over and over again.”

    Earlier this year, DeLauro assumed sponsorship of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which Congresswoman Louise Slaughter championed during her time in Congress. DeLauro is the lead Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for funding the CDC and a senior Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittees responsible for funding USDA and FDA.

    Monday, October 15, 2018

    Congressman Cleaver Applauds Passage of Water Infrastructure Bill

    Washington, D.C. - October 15, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO, 5th) applauds the congressional passage of S.3021, America’s Water Infrastructure Act, commonly referred to as WRDA. This bill would give the Army Corps of Engineers the authorization to begin navigation, flood control, storm damage and other water infrastructure projects across the country. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the bill, H.R. 8, by a vote of 408-2 on June 6, 2018. House and Senate committee leaders negotiated a compromise bill, which became S. 3021. Now the bill will go to the President for his signature.

    “This is an effort that spans several years in the making. I’ve worked with my Republican colleagues to make sure that language was included to ensure smooth coordination of the two major parts of our local Kansas City Levees project. I’m glad we could work together to support this project and make sure several Kansas City areas are protected from flooding ,” said Congressman Cleaver.

    The bi-partisan bill would include several important elements:

    • Extend annual authorizations for dam and levee safety activities through fiscal 2023.

    • Authorizes $110 million a year for watercraft inspections in the Columbia, Missouri, Colorado, South Platte, and Arizona river basins to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species into those watersheds.

    • Authorize $75 million to the Corps to conduct a 10-year pilot program to award single contracts for multiple hurricane and storm damage reduction projects in an area.

    • Authorize $125 million to be used in each of fiscal 2020 and 2021 for state public water system supervision programs.

    • Establishes a task force on stormwater infrastructure funding.

    • Authorizes $225 million in Fiscal Year 2019 and in 2020 for grants to states for projects to prevent combined sewer overflows and address stormwater.

    Congressman Cleaver has been an advocate for improving flood control projects in the Kansas City area under WRDA for many years. With recent appropriations and the WRDA bill, several flood control projects in the Kansas City area will have enough funding to be completed.

    • Turkey Creek Basin is fully funded and expected completion is in 2020.

    • Dodson Industrial District (Blue River Basin) is fully funded and will be completed in summer of 2020. This project will provide 500-year flood protection for 1,500 people and $380 Million in property for local businesses.

    • Swope Park Industrial Area was fully funded this year and will be completed in 2022. The new bridge over the levee will provide safe passage for over 400 people who work in the area.

    • Kansas City Levees was fully funded with the supplemental appropriations package earlier this year. This legislation would be the second WRDA measure to be enacted under the process established by the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act.

    Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act Introduced in The House

    Washington, D.C. - October 15, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Congressmen Steve Cohen (D-TN, 9th) and Lamar Smith (R-TX, 21st) has introduced legislation to protect consumers from unfair taxes on digital goods and services like those purchased over the internet or on smartphones. The Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act ensures that digital goods and services are not taxed at a higher rate than their tangible counterparts.

    “Digital goods and services have become a driving force in our national economy,” said Congressman Cohen. “We should make sure consumers are treated fairly and not double-taxed.”

    Congressman Smith said: “In our modern economy, more and more consumers are buying digital goods and services rather than tangible items. But as technology advances, it is important that tax policies do not unfairly penalize consumers who choose to download digital goods rather than purchase their tangible counterparts. This legislation promotes tax fairness and ensures that consumers are not discouraged from purchasing digital goods.”

    This legislation would prevent the taxation of MP3 and software downloads, for example, at a higher rate than the tax on music and software CDs. The bill would prevent tax discrimination for consumers who chose to purchase a good or service in digital rather than tangible form.

    A Senate version of the measure was introduced Thursday by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ron Widen (D-OR).

    Rep. Chu Bill Will Block Implementation of Proposed Public Charge Rule

    Washington, D.C. - October 15, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA, 27th) introduced H.R. 7052, a bill to prevent any federal funds from being used to implement President Trump’s proposed “public charge” rule. The rule, announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on September 22, 2018, greatly expands the list of programs that could be considered when an immigrant is applying for a green card. The rule change could cause individuals to disenroll from public benefits like nutrition assistance and healthcare out of fear it could make it more difficult to be reunited with loved ones, even though Chu says many of these immigrants have a legal right to these services to which they contribute through their taxes. Rep. Chu, who introduced the bill along with 49 other members of the House, released the following statement:

    “In one of the more outrageous, callous, and openly xenophobic proposals of this administration, President Trump and Stephen Miller devised an immigration policy that would leave hungry children behind while doing nothing to address our country’s real immigration challenges at all. As always, their approach to immigration starts and ends at attacking and isolating immigrants.

    “The so-called ‘public charge’ rule is a blight. It creates two distinct classes of tax payers, creating an unfair “pay-to-play” system. Benefits like SNAP are proven at reducing poverty and improving future achievement, but now, Trump is trying to stigmatize the program – and others like it –so that immigrants will be afraid to use it. Immigrants are our neighbors and co-workers, and play a vital role in our communities. This proposed rule only makes their lives more difficult solely based on where they were born. It is a hateful policy devoid of merit or morality and not one dollar of federal money should be used to implement it, should it become finalized. I’m proud that so many of my colleagues have joined me to stop Trump’s attempt to weaponize federal policy in his hateful war on immigrants.”

    Brooks, Frankel Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Keep Girls in School Worldwide

    Washington, D.C. - October 15, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- On International Day of the Girl (October 11), Congresswomen Susan W. Brooks (R-IN, 5th) and Lois Frankel (D-FL, 22nd), co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, announce the introduction of the Keeping Girls in School Act to support the economic and educational empowerment of girls globally.

    Today, over 130 million girls worldwide are not in school. While the U.S. has been the global leader in efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities, particularly for girls, there is still more work to be done because every child deserves an equal opportunity to access quality education. This legislation brings attention to the systemic barriers preventing girls from accessing secondary education; barriers such as child marriage, religious or ethnic discrimination, female genital mutilation and poor safety traveling to schools. Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY17) and Dan Donovan (R-NY11) are original cosponsors of the legislation.

    “We must break down the barriers that keep girls out of the classroom,” said Brooks. “When girls stay in school their communities are healthier, wealthier and safer. In order to cultivate a thriving future for our world, girl’s education and development must be a top priority. When we stand up for women and girls, we help empower them to raise their voices, grasp opportunities and reach new heights.”

    “When girls are educated and given the skills to support their families, we uplift communities, reduce poverty, and create a more peaceful and prosperous world,” said Frankel. “This bill puts empowering adolescent girls front and center by addressing obstacles keeping them out of school, like gender-based violence and child marriage.”

    “If you limit a girl's access to education, you limit her in every area of her life,” said Jaha Dukureh, founder of Safe Hands for Girls and Africa's Regional Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. “We have a collective responsibility to break down every barrier girls face, so that they can enjoy their right to an education and realize their full potential.”

    “Failing to educate a child is a grave injustice – she is not only robbed of economic opportunities, she is deprived of her voice and her future place in the world,” said Lowey. “If we want to make sustained progress on international development and make the world a more stable place, we must prioritize education, especially for girls and young women.”

    “The Keeping Girls in School Act will help empower girls by increasing their access to educational opportunities and economic security,” said Donovan. “While helping girls reach their full potential and tackling poverty, this bill also advances America’s national security interests by promoting opportunities that could lead to more stability abroad. I am proud to join Reps. Frankel, Brooks, and Lowey on this bipartisan effort and will keep on pushing for initiatives to protect and educate vulnerable women across the globe.”


    The Keeping Girls in School Act focuses on closing the gender gap for adolescent girls and keeping them in school at the secondary level, a time when girls are most at risk of dropping out of school due to forced marriage, pregnancy, and other family pressures. The economic benefits of girls’ education are substantial and can help lift households, communities and nations out of poverty. Keeping girls in secondary school could*:

  • Add $92 billion to the economies of low and middle-income nations;
  • Cut child deaths by 50%;
  • Reduce child marriage by 66%;
  • Decrease violent conflict by 37%; and
  • Increase girls’ future wages by up to 20% for every year enrolled.

  • Specifically, the Keeping Girls in School Act:

  • Outlines and highlights a non-exhaustive list of 14 barriers that girls face in entering and remaining in secondary education institutions.
  • Authorizes a budget neutral funding mechanism where USAID is directed to enter into results-based financing and/or traditional grant project proposals to reduce these barriers adolescent girls face. These proposals will utilize public-private partnerships, development impact bonds, and other innovative financing mechanisms to leverage real results with measurable outcomes.
  • Requires that the U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls be reviewed and updated every 5 years.

  • Full text of the legislation can be found here.

    Additionally, dozens of civil, human and women’s rights organizations have endorsed the Keeping Girls in School Act. List can be found here.

    *Statistics are according to UNESCO, the Education Policy and Data Center, CARE, the Global Partnership for Education, and the World Bank.

    Protecting Election Integrity

    Washington, D.C. - October 15, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Last Tuesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL, 5th), joined by 22 other Congressmen, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging him to devote more resources to protect American election integrity from foreigners who illegally interfere in American elections by illegally voting in them.

    Congressman Brooks said, “Every single illegal vote by a foreigner in American elections dilutes and cancels the votes of American citizens and rightful voters! All Americans, whether Democrat or Republican, should agree that foreigners should not be influencing U.S. elections. Unfortunately, too many partisans single out Russian involvement in America’s 2016 election (even though there is no evidence the Russians successfully tricked a single voter into casting a bad vote) while turning a blind eye to the greatest provable foreign influence on American elections: illegal foreigner voting.”

    Brooks continued, “Foreigners illegally voting in and influencing American elections threatens our Republic. According to research by the Public Interest Legal Foundation, 3,120 foreigners were registered to vote and/or removed between 2006 and 2018 in just 13 sanctuary jurisdictions (out of thousands of voting jurisdictions in America).”

    Brooks continued, “My colleagues and I strongly urge Attorney General Sessions to devote the necessary resources to investigate and prosecute voting fraud by foreigners. After all, we are the United States, not the United Nations.”

    Brooks continued, “So-called ‘sanctuary cities’ aggravate illegal foreign influence in American elections. By shielding illegal aliens, sanctuary cities encourage widespread foreigner voting fraud. Making matters worse, sanctuary cities recklessly encourage noncitizen voting by registering them to vote through public assistance agency transactions (a/k/a Motor Voter), registration/petition drives, and registration assistors. The Justice Department should focus investigative resources on these jurisdictions to stop voter fraud.”

    Brooks concluded, “One Justice Department prosecutor has already done a fantastic job addressing this important issue. Robert J. Higdon, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announced indictments against 19 foreign nationals for illegally voting in the November 2016 elections. Mr. Higdon’s work is exactly what other Justice Department prosecutors should replicate across the nation— maintaining the Rule of Law demands it, maintaining our Republican requires it.”

    Click HERE for a PDF of the letter.

    Letter signers are:

    Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05)

    Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01)

    Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04)

    Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36)

    Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11)

    Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05)

    Congressman Dave Brat (VA-07)

    Congressman Paul Cook (CA-08)

    Congressman Warren Davidson (OH-08)

    Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03)

    Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01)

    Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01)

    Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-04)

    Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10)

    Congressman Walter Jones (NC-03)

    Congressman Tom McClintock (CA-04)

    Congressman Ralph Norman (SC-05)

    Congressman Scott Perry (PA-04)

    Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21)

    Congressman Daniel Webster (FL-11)

    Congressman Ted Yoho (FL-03)

    Save Our Seas Act Signed Into Law

    Washington, D.C. - October 15, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- The Save Our Seas Act, which will assist local communities and states in removing garbage and debris from our oceans and shores, was signed into law. House Oceans Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Congressman Don Young (R-AK) introduced the House companion bill, H.R. 2748, last year.

    “The ocean is resilient and we can help it heal, but we cannot continue to ignore the garbage polluting our oceans and shores,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “More than eight million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans each year, harming our coastal economies, endangering marine life, destroying important marine habitat, propagating invasive species, and creating hazardous conditions for the maritime industry. I was proud to work with my fellow House Oceans Caucus Co-Chair Don Young on this bipartisan bill to assist local communities and states in preventing and responding to marine debris events. Marine debris is entirely preventable and establishing this law is an important step in protecting the health of our oceans.”

    “Alaskans know, better than most, how marine debris can impact our oceans and coastlines,” said Congressman Don Young. “I was proud to work with my Oceans Caucus colleagues, particularly my co-chair Suzanne Bonamici, to pass this critical legislation out of the House. This bill will allow NOAA and the Coast Guard to address the creation and cleanup of marine debris, and will give the U.S. tools to work with foreign allies to ensure they have the necessary tools to end this crisis. I am very pleased to see this legislation signed into law, and I appreciate my colleagues in the House who passed this bill with unanimous consent.”

    The Save Our Seas Act reauthorizes the NOAA Marine Debris Program through Fiscal Year 2022 and provides resources to help states respond to severe marine debris events. The bill allows the NOAA Administrator, in coordination with relevant Governors, to declare severe marine debris events, authorize funding to assist with cleanup and response, and encourage international engagement to address the growing effects of marine debris.

    Bonamici and Young spoke on the House floor to encourage their colleagues to support final passage. You can download video footage of Bonamici speaking here, and Young speaking here.

    Healthy beaches and waterways are critical to the marine ecosystems that drive the economy in coastal communities. More than 3 million jobs in the U.S. rely on our oceans, contributing at least $352 billion in economic activity annually.

    The House Oceans Caucus is a bipartisan group of House members committed to taking action to protect the health and future of our oceans. In addition to marine debris, the Caucus focuses on efforts to address ocean acidification, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and weather and natural disaster hazards that threaten coastal communities and wildlife.

    Rep. Blum Cosponsors Bill to Protect Social Security and Medicare

    Washington, D.C. - October 15, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Rod Blum (R-IA, 1st) recently cosponsored H.Res.1026 to express the sense of the House that Medicare and Social Security must be protected for current enrollees and preserved for future generations.

    Rep. Blum commented, "Growing up, my mother was dependent on Social Security survivor benefits to put food on the table after my father passed— I personally understand the importance and necessity of these benefits. Iowans have worked hard and paid into the Social Security system with the expectation that these funds will be available upon retirement. Both parties in Congress must work together to enact responsible long-term reforms that will protect both current and future retirees- and this bill confirms my commitment to do so."

    Saturday, October 13, 2018

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    Baltimore, MD - October 12, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD, 7th), released the following statement to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

    “We have all been touched in some way by breast cancer. This month is a time for us to remember the loved ones we’ve lost in the battle against the disease and to honor the brave women and men who have prevailed in their struggle.

    “Breast cancer remains the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women, with one in every eight women developing breast cancer in her lifetime. As of January 2018, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. But despite the many strides we have made, more than 40,000 women will lose their battle with breast cancer this year.

    “These statistics are sobering, but there is hope. Federal funding for breast cancer research has helped propel advances in detection and treatment. And the Affordable Care Act has provided life-saving access to preventive services, including screening, and treatment for millions of women who previously lacked health insurance coverage while ensuring that women who have had breast cancer could no longer be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition.

    “We must fight against any threat to these protections to ensure women continue to have access to the care they need. Breast cancer awareness must be about more than sporting pink ribbons. It must be about making sure all women have access to the health coverage and care they need and ensuring resources are directed toward identifying and developing treatments that will save lives and finally cure this terrible disease.”

    Texas Governor Acts to Further Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

    Washington, D.C. - October 12, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- On October 5, 2018, President Trump signed H.R. 302, the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 2018 & the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, into law. This legislation allows the Governor of a disaster-impacted state to request a waiver of the general prohibition on duplication of benefits in the Stafford Act that prohibits individuals from receiving Housing and Urban Development grant funding if they accepted a Small Business Administration loan.

    The Disaster Recovery Reform Act includes a legislative fix that Congressman Culberson spearheaded in the House-passed version of the disaster relief bill. This provision allowed Governor Greg Abbott to request a waiver so that Harvey survivors who took out Small Business Administration loans to repair their homes will no longer be prohibited from using Housing and Urban Development grant funding to repay these loans later.

    On October 5, 2018, Congressman John Culberson (R-TX, 7th) sent a letter to Governor Abbott urging him to immediately request the Duplication of Benefits waiver.

    Congressman Culberson, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS), released the following statement after Governor Abbott submitted a request to waive the current ban on duplication of benefits that prevents those who accepted a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan from receiving Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant funding later.

    “I thank Governor Abbott for swiftly acting on my request to submit this waiver to help the many Harvey survivors that are still recovering from last year’s storm. We’ve worked closely together to bring relief dollars back to Texas, and today’s waiver request brings us one step closer to resolving the ban that unfairly prevents homeowners who accepted an SBA loan to rebuild their homes from receiving HUD grant funding later.

    “I urge the President to grant this waiver as soon as possible so that homeowners have access to funds that allow them to rebuild.”

    Friday, October 12, 2018

    Metro Employee Reinstated after being Fired for Falsifying Track Inspection Reports

    Washington, D.C. - October 12, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) released the following statement after an ATU Local 689 worker was reinstated as an employee after being fired for falsified track inspection reports:

    “Reinstating a track inspection supervisor who approved falsified inspection reports is an unconscionable decision that puts the lives of Metro riders at risk. Employees who falsify safety reports have no place in a major transit system such as WMATA, especially in the wake of recent passenger deaths and train derailments that have plagued the system. Anyone complicit in falsifying safety reports, from track workers to management, must go.

    “The fact that the leadership of the Metro union challenges decisions to fire negligent employees is just another example of poor judgment at the expense of Metro riders. Current policies that allow for this must be changed to protect the riding public.

    “I have fought for Metro funding and safety reforms so our region can have a safe transportation system on which residents can rely as they go to work every day. With this federal investment comes a responsibility to support policies that ensure a safer system, and that begins with rooting out the bad apples that exploit union protections and ignore basic safety foundations in a transit system that can and should be a nationwide example for excellence.”

    Trump Denies Visa to Same-Sex Unmarried Partners of Diplomats

    Washington, D.C. - October 12, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Susan Davis (D-CA, 53rd) joined 118 of her colleagues in calling on him to reverse the discriminatory policy of denying visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats.

    On October 1, 2018, the State Department began implementing its policy to no longer issue diplomatic visas to the same-sex unmarried partners of foreign diplomats, and officials and employees of international organizations like the United Nations and World Bank. All current same-sex unmarried partners must now present proof of marriage by December 31 or risk potential deportation.

    “This cynical decision not only runs contrary to our values as Americans, but it also puts foreign diplomats - who are committed public servants - at risk,” said Rep. Davis, a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. “With international relations already frayed from this President’s behavior and actions, this decision will only make things worse.”

    A signed version of the letter

    The Ponder wants to know: Is the unmarried partner of heterosexual diplomats allowed? If not, then there is no discrimination involved. If so, then the rule needs to apply to them as well in order to be fair.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2018

    Veterans, Authoritarianism, Offshore Wind, Melania, Aviation, Nikki's Resignation

    Today's News from the Lawmakers

    Senators Ernst and Scott to Headline South Carolina Women Veterans Event in Columbia
    Senator Tim Scott - (R - SC)
    October 9, 2018
    “Senator Ernst is a force to be reckoned with. Not only does she hold the title of United States Senator, but she also holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. A dear friend of mine in the Senate, a combat veteran herself, and a powerful voice for women, I am so excited to welcome her back to the Palmetto State. I have no doubt that her passion, story, and mission will resonate with South Carolina’s 43,000 women veterans,” said Senator Scott.


    Sanders Speech at SAIS: Building A Global Democratic Movement to Counter Authoritarianism
    Senator Bernard Sanders (I - VT)
    October 9, 2018
    “It should be clear by now that Donald Trump and the right-wing movement that supports him is not a phenomenon unique to the United States. All around the world, in Europe, in Russia, in the Middle East, in Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere we are seeing movements led by demagogues who exploit people’s fears, prejudices and grievances to gain and hold on to power.”


    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
    October 9, 2018
    “Rhode Island’s ocean planning and offshore wind leadership is paying off big,” said Whitehouse. “Deepwater’s first-in-the-nation offshore wind farm created jobs and powers Rhode Island homes and businesses. It’s a model for renewable energy, and for how to bring together everyone – from fishermen to financiers – with a stake in a promising renewable energy project to ensure the process is inclusive and fair. Now, Deepwater’s expertise and experience will combine with the resources of a global energy leader that knows how to grow offshore wind. It is very good news for Rhode Island, American energy leadership, and our climate.”


    Rep. Bass Statement on First Lady Melania Trump’s Return From Africa
    Karen Bass (D-CA, 37th)
    October 9, 2018
    “Rhode Island’s ocean planning and offshore wind leadership is paying off big,” said Whitehouse. “I am encouraged by the First Lady’s trip to the continent,” said Rep. Bass. “I hope that during her trip she was able to see the critical work of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the benefits of the contributions that our country makes every day across Africa. Successful U.S-Africa policy hinges on mutual interests on issues such as maternal and newborn health as well as education, so I was glad to see that these topics were highlighted during her time there. I hope that this visit is parlayed into continuing collaboration and cooperation with the continent.”


    Bonamici Plan to Create Aviation Consumer Advocate Signed into Law
    Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR, 1st)
    October 9, 2018
    An amendment to create the Advocate position was offered by Bonamici and included in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which was signed into law Friday to update and modernize the FAA. The Advocate will be a dedicated person at the FAA who resolves consumer problems that arise with airlines, enhancing the FAA’s existing Aviation Consumer Protection Division.


    Brendan Boyle (D-PA, 13th)
    October 9, 2018
    “I’d like to thank Nikki Haley for her service as U.N. Ambassador over the past two years. Whenever she came in front of our committee and answered my questions I was always impressed with her grasp of the myriad challenges facing the United States around the globe. However, the fact remains she was just an instrument to carry out a failed foreign policy of a failed presidency. No matter who the President next appoints to the position, if he continues to cobble together his foreign policy from “Fox and Friends” then we will continue to fail at promoting American interests and values abroad. President Trump has jeopardized our standing around the globe, as evidenced by the chorus of laughter he received during his speech to the United Nations last month.”


    OH NO! Nikki was an OUTSTANDING Ambassador! We have truly lost a great one! I pray the next ambassador can come close to her effectiveness! And Congressman Boyle has given a typical Democrat response.

    Thursday, October 4, 2018

    Opioids, FAA, Nomination, EPA, School Safety, Syria

    Opioid Crisis Response Act

    Opioid Bill Containing Dr. Rand Paul’s Provisions to Expand Access to Treatment Passes Senate
    Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
    October 3, 2018
    “The opioid epidemic has devastated individuals and families throughout Kentucky and all across America, which is why I’ve led the fight to expand access to treatment by removing artificial roadblocks so more people are able to get the help they need. I applaud Congress for building on the progress we have made in the last few years by permanently extending the increased patient cap for Suboxone and ensuring more health care providers can administer treatment, and I look forward to the President signing this important bipartisan legislation into law,” said Dr. Paul.


    Senator David Perdue: It’s Time To Tackle The Opioid Epidemic Head On
    Senator David Perdue (R-GA)
    October 3, 2018
    “Last year, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national Public Health Emergency. Since then, the Trump Administration has worked closely with Congress to ensure that local, state, and federal law enforcement have the tools they need to stop illegal drugs from flooding across our southern border. This bill will also prevent the escalation of opioid prescription fraud within Medicare. We’ve got to stop the spread of opioids through our communities in Georgia and across the country. It’s time to tackle this epidemic head on, and this bill gives states the necessary tools to see that mission through.”


    On Senate Floor, Portman Says Bipartisan Opioids Legislation is a “Turning Point”
    Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
    October 3, 2018
    “To those I represent who are struggling with addiction, to those who have friends or loved ones who struggle or continue to struggle with addiction and to the millions of people in communities across this country who have been crippled by this crisis, this legislation is the turning point. It is a glimmer of hope. It’s a glimmer of hope at the end of a dark tunnel.”


    Reed Votes to Advance Opioid Legislation
    Senator Jack Reed (D - RI)
    October 3, 2018
    “This is an important step forward to help save lives, improve treatment, and address the opioid health problem in Rhode Island and nationwide. We still have a long way to go, but this will help target more resources to effective, community-based solutions and expand access to treatment. I am pleased we got bipartisan support to establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers, and I will continue working with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to direct more assistance to communities in need,” said Reed, who noted that the House and Senate have appropriated $8.5 billion in this calendar year to help fight the opioid crisis.


    Bipartisan, Bicameral Effort Will Help Combat Opioid Epidemic
    Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD)
    October 3, 2018
    “Opioid addiction is a devastating epidemic that has spread to all corners of our society. Nobody is immune from opioid addiction, and many of us may know someone who is struggling right now. The bill we passed today will help put a stop to the heartbreaking issue of opioid abuse in our country. It can help save lives and keep our communities safe and secure. I am glad that members of the Senate and House from both parties could come together to pass this important legislation that will make a difference in the lives of South Dakotans.”


    Senate Passes Opioids Package with Rubio Provision to Eliminate Patient Brokering
    Senator Marco Rubio (R - FL)
    October 3, 2018
    “After touring a sober homes neighborhood in Pompano Beach earlier this year, I saw firsthand the challenges South Florida is facing in combatting its opioid crisis,” Rubio said. “That’s why I’ve been working hard in Washington to ensure we are doing everything possible for Americans to receive life-saving care and to ensure patients are protected from those seeking to exploit victims of addiction. This bill will help the many Americans struggling with addiction, and I’m proud of the provisions I secured, including measures to ensure necessary care for newborn babies suffering from opioid withdrawal, prevent unused drugs from ending up in the wrong hands, and target disreputable clinics and sober homes to ensure wrongdoers are punished. I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for their help in securing these important provisions, and I look forward to seeing this bill signed into law.”


    FAA Reauthorization

    Peters Provision Allowing Airports to Discontinue PFAS To Be Signed Into Law
    Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)
    October 3, 2018
    The legislation aims to address the high volume of requests from airports battling current and potential future environmental hazards and remediation costs due to PFAS-related contamination. The Peters language will open pathways for state, commercial and private airports to adhere to the National Fire Protection Association’s widely used performance standard the Aircraft Rescue and Fire-fighting Services at Airports, into their daily operations. The legislation will not prevent airports from using fluorinated compounds if they still wish to use them, but airports will no longer be required to do so. It is supported by the Airports Council International, the American Association of Airport Executives, and the International Association of Fire Fighters.


    Sen. Pat Roberts’ Statement on FAA Reauthorization
    Senator Pat Roberts (R - KS)
    October 3, 2018
    “The aviation industry is one of Kansas’ most important economic sectors,” said Sen. Roberts. “This legislation not only benefits the aviation industry, but will also make air travel safer and more efficient. I’m glad the Senate and House were able to work together to pass this bipartisan bill.”


    Rounds Statement on Five-Year FAA Reauthorization Act
    Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD)
    October 3, 2018
    “Making sure the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the tools in place to modernize and improve U.S. aviation will benefit all air travelers,” said Rounds. “I’m pleased that the five-year FAA reauthorization bill passed by the Senate includes provisions I cosponsored to improve protections for volunteer pilots, recruit more airline maintenance workers and protect sports medical professionals traveling across state lines with their teams. It also includes reauthorization of the Essential Air Service Program, which is so important to a number of our rural communities in South Dakota. I thank Sen. Thune for his work on this important legislation and I look forward to President Trump signing this bill into law.”


    Senate Passes FAA Reauthorization Package with Key Rubio Provisions
    Senator Marco Rubio (R - FL)
    October 3, 2018
    “I was proud to work with my colleagues to secure several important provisions for Florida that will help communities throughout the state, and Puerto Rico, to recover from disasters, enhance aviation security, and modernize the nation’s current aviation and aerospace systems to meet future needs,” Rubio said. “Notably, this package includes an overdue fix that I have long advocated for which limits FEMA’s ability to claw-back funds several years, and sometimes decades, after communities use these needed dollars to recover from devastating natural events. I look forward to the President signing this bill into law to improve FEMA’s deobligation process, giving our cities and counties the much-needed clarity they deserve.”


    Other News

    Risch Applauds President's Nomination of Dr. Rita Baranwal to Serve as Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at DOE
    Senator James E. Risch (R - ID)
    October 3, 2018
    “The President made an excellent choice for Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at DOE. As the director of DOE’s Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at INL, the nation’s flagship nuclear energy facility, and previous service as Director of Technology Development and Application at Westinghouse, Dr. Rita Baranwal is uniquely qualified for this position and has a thorough understanding of DOE’s assets, specifically the national labs, and nuclear programs. The men and women who work at INL are exceptionally talented, and I know Dr. Baranwal will make Idaho proud.”


    Rounds Opening Statement at EPW Subcommittee Hearing on the EPA’s Use of Sound and Transparent Science
    Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD)
    October 3, 2018
    “The EPA has a long history of creating burdensome, unnecessary regulations without giving the public an opportunity to fully vet the reasoning behind their decisions,” said Rounds. “Sound, reliable science is vital to helping us make important policy decisions that impact not just the health of American families but their livelihoods. We should welcome vigorous debate on the science the EPA relies upon. Doing so will result in regulations that have the greatest benefit to human health and the environment while doing the least harm to the economy. It will also result in regulations that can withstand legal challenges, providing industry with a level of certainty that allows them to make long-term investment decisions.”


    Rubio Leads Colleagues in Urging Federal Commission to Create Central Authority for School Safety
    Senator Marco Rubio (R - FL)
    October 3, 2018
    U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) led his Senate and House colleagues in urging Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and members of the Federal Commission on School Safety, to include in their final recommendation the creation of a central authority to help school districts seeking to improve safety features within new and existing schools. The letter urges DeVos “to ensure tight coordination and collaboration of effort among all federal agencies that are working on different aspects of school safety in order to eliminate duplication, redundancy, and waste of valuable resources.” The Commission, led by Secretary DeVos, also includes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.


    Rubio, Cardin to Pompeo: U.S. Must Lead on Syria Accountability
    Senator Marco Rubio (R - FL)
    October 3, 2018
    U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the implementation of legislation they wrote to help America lead in seeking accountability from Bashar al-Assad and other perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria. The senators also expressed concern about the administration’s decision to reprogram $230 million in FY17 foreign assistance funds planned for Syria stabilization activities.


    Tuesday, October 2, 2018

    Spending Bill, NAFTA, Kavanaugh, Bank of America, Scams, E-cigarettes

    News from the Lawmakers

    In Case You Missed It: President Signed into Law Spending Bill with Three Heller Provisions
    Senator Dean Heller (R - NV)
    October 2, 2018
    In case you missed it, President Trump last week signed into law the bipartisan, bicameral Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill (H.R. 6157), which includes three provisions authored by U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). Specifically, Heller’s provisions will help Nevada’s veterans find jobs in the private sector, promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Nevada’s schools, and provide support to pregnant women and their infants. This package also funds the government through December 7, 2018, providing much needed funding certainty.


    Senator John Hoeven (R - ND)
    October 2, 2018
    Specifically, Hoeven worked to ensure that the agreement:

    Eliminates Canada’s automatic downgrade of imported U.S. wheat to feed grade and ensures grading standards and services are non-discriminatory.

    Additionally, the agreement:

    Expands access to the Canadian market for U.S. poultry, eggs and dairy and eliminates Canada’s Class 6 and 7 dairy program.

    Requires 75 percent of auto content to be produced in North America in order to be exempt from tariffs, up from 62.5 percent.

    Makes needed modernizations on intellectual property, digital trade and financial services.


    Senator Lankford Statement on US, Mexico, and Canada Trade Agreement
    Senator James Lankford (R-OK)
    October 1, 2018
    Oklahoma and the entire country will benefit from the Trump Administration’s agreement with Mexico and Canada. The decades-old NAFTA agreement needed re-negotiation to provide more markets for our farmers, businesses, and manufacturers. Since Canada and Mexico are the top-two countries for Oklahoma trade, it was especially important to get this deal done quickly and get it done right. This day will have lasting impacts on the economy and families across all of North America.


    Democratic Senators (Including Leahy): FBI Must Investigate All 3 Credible Allegations Of Sexual Assault Against Judge Brett Kavanaugh
    Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D - VT)
    October 1, 2018
    Following reports that the White House is limiting the scope of the investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) wrote White House Counsel Don McGahn and FBI Director Christopher Wray Monday demanding that the investigation include all three allegations received by the Senate Judiciary Committee, including claims brought forward by Julie Swetnick. The senators provided a list of individuals who must, at a minimum, be interviewed by the FBI based on facts that are already known.


    Senate Democrats Continue to Move Goalposts on Judge Kavanaugh’s Nomination
    Senator Mitch McConnell (R - KY)
    October 2, 2018
    "I said that if we stop and listen, we can practically hear the Democrats trying to move the goalposts on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Remember, before Judge Kavanaugh was even named, several Democrats on the Judiciary Committee indicated they’d oppose whomever the nominee might turn out to be."


    Menendez, Cortez Masto Slam Bank of America’s Policy of Questioning Customers’ Citizenship Status
    Senator Robert Menendez (D - NJ)
    October 2, 2018
    U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), members of the Senate Banking Committee, requested information from Bank of America on their newly implemented policy of asking their customers’ citizenship status. According to recent consumer reports, if customers fail to respond or if Bank of America determines the customer has not adequately responded to their inquiry, the customer’s account is then frozen, leaving them with only the cash they have on hand.


    Sens. Moran, Casey Introduce Legislation to Help Prevent Seniors from Losing Money to Scams
    Senator Jerry Moran- (R - KS)
    October 1, 2018
    U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection – and Bob Casey (D-Penn.) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging – introduced the Senior Scams Prevention Act, S. 3522, to ensure retailers, financial institutions and wire transfer companies have the resources necessary to train employees to help stop financial frauds and scams on seniors.


    Durbin, Murkowski Urge FDA To Immediately Ban Kid-Friendly E-Cigarette Flavors, Restrict Online Sales
    Senator Lisa Murkowski (R - AK)
    October 2, 2018
    U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), in a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), urged the agency to immediately ban kid-friendly e-cigarette flavorings and restrict online sales of the addictive nicotine products. Durbin and Murkowski’s letter comes on the heels of the FDA’s announcement last month that—due to a public health “epidemic” of youth e-cigarette use—it would issue new enforcement actions on e-cigarette companies’ use of kid-appealing flavors, in order to better protect children and teens from using addictive and dangerous e-cigarettes.