“Title IX was a historic provision championed by Hawai‘i’s own Congresswoman Patsy Mink in order to provide equal opportunity for women and girls in high school and college sports. It led to a generational shift that impacted countless women, creating life-changing opportunities for girls and women that never existed before. However, Title IX is being weakened by some states who are misinterpreting Title IX, creating uncertainty, undue hardship and lost opportunities for female athletes. Our legislation protects Title IX’s original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men and women athletes based on sex,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “It is critical that the legacy of Title IX continues to ensure women and girls in sports have the opportunity to compete and excel on a level playing field.”
“Title IX was designed to give women and girls an equal chance to succeed, including in sports. Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports diminishes that equality and takes away from the original intent of Title IX. As the father of three girls involved in athletics, I want them to be able to compete on a level playing field. I am proud to lead this bill that will safeguard the integrity of women’s sports and ensure female athletes can compete fairly,” said Rep. Markwayne Mullin.
U.S Representative Angie Craig (D-MN, 2nd) responded in a statement saying:
One wonders how this bill is harmful to women in any way. Protecting them from having to play with or against bigger stronger men is not harmful or hateful in any way.
On Twitter today, he wrote:
Washington, D.C. - December 7, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- Representative Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14) joined with Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), and Gwen Moore (WI-04) to introduce the Driving for Opportunity Act of 2020, the House companion to a bill introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Roger Wicker (R-MI), to encourage states to stop debt-based driver’s license suspensions.
Every year, millions of Americans have their licenses suspended for unpaid court fines and fees, not based on conduct related to driving. This makes it harder to get to work and pay off the fines while also placing an unnecessary burden on our courts, jails, and law enforcement agencies.
“In 2018, Pennsylvania passed legislation eliminating driver’s license suspensions for non-driving infractions, an effort I was honored to be a part of,” said Rep. Reschenthaler. “The Driving for Opportunity Act will incentivize other states to follow Pennsylvania’s lead and eliminate debt-based driver’s license suspensions. By ending this counterproductive practice, we can make it easier for struggling Americans to hold down a job and pay off their debts while also ensuring police departments can target their resources where they are needed most.”
“Punishing people for failing to pay debts in a way that limits their ability to obtain gainful employment only sets up a cruel cycle of failure and results in the criminalization of poverty,” said Rep. Scanlon. “Particularly during the ongoing global pandemic, we need to work to eliminate barriers to employment and find legislative solutions to break the cycle of poverty. I’m proud to be joined by Rep. Fitzpatrick in introducing this common sense bipartisan legislation.”
“For too long, many Americans have had their driver’s licenses suspended for non-public safety reasons and have suffered the economic setback of debt-based driver’s license suspensions,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “Incentivizing states to end the suspension of driver’s licenses for unpaid fines is a commonsense reform that will improve livelihoods across this country and has widespread support from law enforcement, civil rights, and criminal justice reform organizations. I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce the bipartisan Driving for Opportunity Act.”
“Suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid fines and fees makes it harder for Americans to hold down a job and care for their families, and places an undue burden on our police officers,” said Senator Coons. “Today’s introduction of the Driving for Opportunity Act in the House moves us one step closer to ending this counterproductive practice and the harm it causes in communities across the country. The broad, bipartisan coalition backing this bill underscores the strong support for swiftly passing it into law.”
“Besides not being an effective debt collection tool, these “too poor to drive” suspensions can hinder an individual’s ability to keep working or get work and can lead to interactions with the criminal justice system, both of which have far reaching impacts on our communities,” said Rep. Moore. “In Milwaukee and around the country, these policies disproportionately impact minorities and the most financially vulnerable. The Driving for Opportunity Act would encourage states to end the suspension of driver’s licenses for unpaid fees to lift the burden off of drivers and to reinstate such licenses and ensure resources are better allocated towards promoting public safety.”
Washington, D.C. - December 7, 2020 - (The Ponder News) U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, last week reintroduced the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act, a bill that urges the U.S. State Department to use its statutory authority to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). This measure requires the State Department to report to Congress about whether the Muslim Brotherhood meets the legal criteria for designation. U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) cosponsored the bill.
Upon introduction, Sen. Cruz said:
“I am proud to reintroduce this bill and to advance America’s fight against radical Islamic terrorism. I commend the current administration’s work calling terrorism by its name and combatting the spread of this potent threat, and I look forward to receiving the additional information this new bill requests from the Department of State. Many of our closest allies in the Arab world have long ago concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group that seeks to sow chaos across the Middle East, and I will continue working with my colleagues to take action against groups that finance terrorism.”
Sen. Inhofe added:
“Since the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Brotherhood affiliated groups have consistently preached and incited hatred against Christians, Jews, and other Muslims while supporting designated radical terrorists. I am proud that under the Trump administration we continue to call out and combat radical terrorism and I am glad to join my colleagues today in reintroducing this legislation. We must continue to condemn Foreign Terrorist Organizations and hold them accountable for the evil they perpetrate.”
The full text of Sen. Cruz’s bill may be viewed here. Sen. Cruz has long called to designate the Muslim Brotherhood, among other organizations promoting terrorism, as FTOs. Sen. Cruz first introduced the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act in 2015 and previously reintroduced the bill in 2017.
Washington, D.C. - December 7, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rick Scott, (R-Fla.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) today submitted a joint amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in support of the petitioners in the case of Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee and in defense of laws that combat election fraud.
The amicus brief argues that the Voting Rights Act does not prevent states from enacting neutral election integrity measures like Arizona’s ban on ballot-harvesting, or other measures such as in-precinct voting requirements, voter ID requirements, election observer zones, and straight-ticket voting.
The full text of the amicus brief may be viewed here. Excerpts are below.
“‘The risk of voter fraud [is] real.’ As this Court has repeatedly confirmed, States have the authority and responsibility to ensure the integrity of their elections. These measures do not deny anyone the equal ‘opportunity’ to vote ‘on account of race or color.’ […]
“In the past decade, plaintiffs have pushed an aggressive Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act theory seeking to invalidate voting laws regulating absentee voting, precinct voting, early voting, voter identification, election observer zones, voter registration, durational residency, and straight-ticket voting. […]
“In the past few years, many recommended election-integrity regulations–which impose no
more than ‘the usual burdens of voting,’–have been challenged in a wave of novel Voting Rights Act litigation. […] “Were this Court to adopt the sweeping interpretation […] advocated by Respondents, these recommended laws and other neutral time, place, and manner voting laws would be put in grave danger across the country.”
Washington, D.C. - December 2, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- The Trump Legal Team has disputed AG Barr's claim of no evidence of voter fraud with this:
“With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation. We have gathered ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined. We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth.
“Nonetheless, we will continue our pursuit of the truth through the judicial system and state legislatures, and continue toward the Constitution’s mandate and ensuring that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is not. Again, with the greatest respect to the Attorney General, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud.”
- Rudy Giuliani, Attorney for President Trump, and Jenna Ellis, Trump Campaign Senior Legal Adviser and Attorney for President Trump
Washington, D.C. - December 2, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- A pilot program launched by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation (CSKT) is developing a collaborative community response plan to quickly address emergent Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) cases in Indian Country, thanks to directives outlined through the recent enactment of Savanna’s Act.
“Savanna’s Act gives us the tools to help address the MMIP crisis, and now those tools are being put to use,” said Senator Jon Tester (D-MT). “The implementation of this program is a step forward for Montana Tribes, MMIP advocates, and the survivors of violence that worked tirelessly to see Savanna’s Act over the finish line. I’ll keep pushing to ensure Indian Country has the resources necessary to continue to combat this crisis head-on and ensure our Native communities are safe.”
In accordance with Savanna’s Act, the CSKT’s pilot project will develop a Tribal Community Response Plan (TCRP) to improve the collaborative response to missing Indigenous person cases by Tribal governments, law enforcement, and other partners through regionally appropriate guidelines. CSKT’s TCRP pilot project is the first of its kind in the nation, and its results will serve as a guide to establish similar regional programs across the U.S.
Indigenous women and girls in Montana face murder rates that are ten times higher than the national average, and according to the National Institute of Justice, more than 80 percent of Native American women have experienced violence, and half have experienced it within the last year.
Savanna's Act, signed into law earlier this year, is named in honor of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, who was murdered in North Dakota in August of 2017.
Savanna’s Act works to improve information sharing between Tribal and federal law enforcement agencies and increase data collection on cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous people. It requires:
Washington, D.C. - December 2, 2020 - (The Ponder News) -- U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) are applauding final Senate passage of the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act this evening. The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act was introduced in June 2019 to address the plastic debris crisis threatening coastal economies and harming marine life.
The legislation seeks to help reduce the creation of plastic waste, find uses for the plastic waste that already exists to keep it from entering the oceans, spur innovation, and tackle the problem on a global scale. It builds on the initial progress secured by the Save Our Seas Act, which was sponsored by Sullivan and Whitehouse and signed into law by President Trump in 2018.
“Save Our Seas 2.0 is the most comprehensive marine debris legislation ever to pass Congress,” said Senator Sullivan. “This proves that major bipartisan achievements on some of the biggest environmental challenges are possible. The progress we have made over the past few years on the marine debris crisis, beginning with the original Save Our Seas Act, is historic and constitutes a whole-of-government approach to helping protect our pristine environment across the globe and, particularly, in Alaska, which has more coastline than the rest of the Lower 48 combined. I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for coming together to clean up our oceans, spark innovation on managing plastic waste, and protect our fisheries and coastal communities.”
“While marine debris presents a massive international challenge, it’s a manmade problem that we can solve by finding creative solutions at home and abroad,” said Senator Whitehouse, who co-founded the bipartisan Senate Oceans Caucus to find common ground in responding to issues facing the oceans and coasts. “Save Our Seas 2.0 is a wide-reaching, bipartisan bill that builds on progress we’ve already made addressing ocean pollution. There’s much more that needs to be done to tackle the scourge of plastic waste washing up on our shores—Save Our Seas 3.0 is already in the pipeline.”
“Today is a great day for New Jerseyans and all Americans in the fight to protect our beautiful coastlines and beach communities from the growing scourge of plastic waste washing up on our shores. Save Our Seas 2.0 provides the most comprehensive set of tools to help bolster the United States’ leadership and response to this growing global environmental and economic challenge and I’m so pleased to see it become law,” said Senator Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Roughly eight million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste from land enters the oceans each year. Ninety percent of this plastic enters the oceans from ten rivers, eight of which are in Asia. The plastic breaks down into tiny pieces that can enter the marine food chain and harm fish and wildlife, and wash ashore on even the most remote stretches of coastline. Plastic has been found in areas as remote as the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point in the ocean.
The Senate first passed Save Our Seas 2.0 in January and today approved technical changes made in the House. The House version of the bill was sponsored by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) and Don Young (R-Alaska).