- Representative government, a staple of our democracy, is something we often learn about in school…and yet seldom engage in beyond voting. But for the last several years, through my interactions with the National Writing Project, I have had the opportunity to push myself to delve more deeply into the governing process as I visit the congressional representatives of our region to advocate for our organization by heading to Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
Scott’s Plan to Fix Congress Now
Make Congress Work: Institute 5-Day Congressional work weeks; require floor vote within 60 days on all bills passed in committee; enforce No Budget, No Pay; Reform the Debt Ceiling process to end government shutdowns and protect America’s credit
Improve our Elections: Require “dark money” SuperPACs disclose campaign contributions above $200; increase voter protections nationwide; make Vote-by-Mail available nationwide; Repeal Citizens United to limit the influence of money in politics
Removing Inefficiency and Government Waste: Enact biennial budgeting process; don’t duplicate but consolidate programs to save money; improve federal purchasing to Buy Smarter and Save
Ensure Ethical Standards: Annual Ethics and Sexual Harassment training for Members and staff; Ban lobbyists from the House Floor; No purchasing First-Class air travel on Taxpayer dime
Increase Transparency & Openness: Require Members to disclose personal crop insurance subsidies; Increase public disclosure of Congressional trips; Require Congress to increase awareness of services available to constituents and require outside vendors disclose when Congress can provide services for free
Make Government Green: Increase energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in federal buildings; Cut down on paper waste by requiring opt-in to receive government publications; Improve energy sustainability programs in the military.
More information on making congress work here
More information on improving our elections here
More information on removing inefficiency and government waste here
More information on ensuring ethical standards here
More information on increasing transparency and openness here
More information on making government green here
On March 18 and 19, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (Senate Commerce Committee) and the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s (House Commerce Committee’s) Subcommittee on Communications and Technology respectively held hearings concerning oversight of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) policy decisions and the process by which it reaches them. All five FCC Commissioners testified at the two hearings.
Washington, D.C. - On March 18, 2015, Congressman Michael M. Honda (CA-17th) introduced a resolution in honor of the Iranian New Year into the House of Representatives. The legislation recognizes the cultural and historical significance of Nowruz and wishes Iranian Americans, the people of Iran, and all those who celebrate the holiday a prosperous new year.
Rep. Scott Peters and a Texas colleague are leading an effort to clear up a backlog in “Green Card” applications from foreign high-tech workers educated in the United States.
Peters, Rep. Joaquin Castro and 71 other member of Congress sent a letter to President Obama on Monday urging him to take action to end the delay affecting some 200,000 applicants.
A few clicks of a mouse will show you that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has co-sponsored more of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s bills than any other senator’s over the past four years — 22, to be exact.
Jim Miller - This week a “right to work” bill that will gut the union movement in Wisconsin is likely to hit Governor Scott Walker’s desk and no doubt he will sign it.
While there is much discussion in Democratic circles of how Walker is doing this to position himself even more solidly on the right to please potential Republican primary voters, there is much less discussion about how this latest assault on workers’ rights helps speed the runaway train heading toward plutocracy that is the United States.
UT Editorial Board - Among the many flaws in the federal Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, this is among the worst: the medical device tax that unfairly penalizes companies such as the 240 medical device companies in the San Diego region that employ thousands of people in good-paying jobs.
This tax is an excise tax, which is usually imposed by the government on products it wants to discourage, such as alcohol and cigarettes. In the case of the medical device tax, it is intended simply as a money generator to help finance Obamacare.
On February 25, President Obama announced the White House would be “as aggressive as we can” in giving temporary resident status to 4 million undocumented people in the US. If you’ve been in the country for five years or more, have kids who are legal residents, and if you can pass a criminal background check, you are the kind of immigrant the President wants to keep around.
San Diego, CA – U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the chief United States official on international trade, came to San Diego Tuesday to highlight California as a national model for why President’ Obama’s historic trade agenda is central to his State of the Union theme of Middle Class Economics: because exports and trade unlock economic opportunity for Americans.
Days ahead of a partial Department of Homeland Security shutdown, U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, D-FL-2, has co-sponsored a bill that would tie the pay of Congress members to the fate of the DHS funding.
“In North Florida, you have to do your job to get a paycheck – the same rules should apply to Congress,” Rep. Graham said in a statement.
“With threats ranging from ISIL to border security, it’s reckless and irresponsible to let the Department of Homeland Security shut down.”