This Was the Week That Was…12/16/17

New Saturday feature of collected news by Barb Miller of Indivisible Ventura  
(Photo from Vox article 2/2/17, as nothing has essentially changed and these are the people we’re losing.)

  • Social Media

  • Facebook wants your face data — in the name of privacy, it says  The features demonstrate how Facebook is using a trove of facial recognition data, a type of data that has become a key focus for tech titans. Apple replaced its fingerprint reader with a facial recognition camera to unlock its latest iPhone, and also uses facial recognition to sort photos. Google has upped its interest in facial recognition as well, and also introduced features into its photo service that group photos by person.  Facebook’s database of facial recognition has an impression of users’ faces, which it calls a template. “Our technology analyzes the pixels in photos you’re already tagged in and generates a string of numbers we call a template,” said Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, Facebook’s director of Applied Machine Learning, in the blog post. “When photos and videos are uploaded to our systems, we compare those images to the template.”  The newest features start rolling out Tuesday, in all markets where facial recognition features are currently allowed on Facebook. That includes the United States but not Canada and Europe, where regulators have raised concerns about Facebook’s existing facial recognition features and how the company complies with privacy laws.  The latest features will apply only to new photos being uploaded to the site and will not scan through older photos. Facebook users should be notified through the news feeds about the new feature, and the company will encourage everyone to check their own settings.

  • Twitter Has Started Its Messy ‘Purge’ Of Neo-Nazi And ‘Alt-Right’ Accounts  New rules implemented on Twitter Monday have led to the suspensions of accounts belonging to prominent neo-Nazis, white nationalists and other far-right extremists.   Jayda Fransen, a leader of Britain First, a virulently anti-Muslim extremist group in the United Kingdom, got booted off the social media network Monday. Fransen gained notoriety in the United States late last month when President Donald Trump retweeted her three times.  Other accounts kicked off Twitter include those belonging to Jared Taylor, editor of the white supremacist magazine American Renaissance (which also had its verified account closed); Brad Griffin, aka Hunter Wallace, of League of The South, who helped organize a recent White Lives Matter rally in Tennessee; Jeff Schoep, head of the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group; Vanguard America, the white nationalist group to which James Alex Fields Jr., who drove his car through protesters in Charlottesville, belonged; Michael Hill, another leader in League of the South; the Traditionalist Worker Party, a white nationalist group whose co-founder was the recent subject of a sympathetic New York Times profile; Generation Identify, a European white “identitarian” group; the American Nazi Party; the English Defense League, an anti-Muslim group; and the Canadian chapter of the Jewish Defense League, a violent far-right and pro-Israel group.   Twitter announced in mid-November that beginning Dec. 18, it would consider account user behavior “on and off the platform” when deciding whether to close down an account, as part of an effort to “reduce hateful and abusive content.”
  • Facebook cited in bias lawsuit    Three workers and a large union sued Facebook, T-Mobile, Amazon, Cox Communications and other companies this week, accusing them of using Facebook’s ad-targeting tools to exclude older Americans from job opportunities.  In the age discrimination suit, the plaintiffs cited a T-Mobile job ad, which was targeted to Facebook users ages 18 to 38. Facebook targeted job ads to people ages 21 to 55, according to a screen shot in the legal filing.  The class-action lawsuit against 13 companies was filed Wednesday. It was brought by the Communication Workers of America, along with three American workers — Linda Bradley, Maurice Anscombe and Lura Callahan — who range in age from 45 to 67.  Under U.S. law, companies are prohibited from discriminating based on age in employment advertising, recruiting and hiring, and it is also unlawful to publish a job ad that indicates a preference related to age.
  • Legislation

  • H.R.  4077 Honest Ads Act  Kilmer 11/17/2017 5%  To enhance transparency and accountability for online political advertisements by requiring those who purchase and publish such ads to disclose information about the advertisements to the public, and for other purposes. 10/19/2017 Referred to the House Committee on House Administration.
  • H.R.3989 UDA Liberty Act.  Goodlatte   11/24  48% to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to clarify and improve the procedures and accountability for authorizing certain acquisitions of foreign intelligence, to extend title VII of such Act, to ensure that the barriers to sharing critical foreign intelligence among the intelligence community that existed before September 11, 2001, are not reimposed, and for other purposes. 10/06/2017  referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. 10/20/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency. 11/08/2017 Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by the Yeas and Nays: 27 – 8
  • HR 4124 USA Rights Act Amends foreign intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to protect privacy   Lofgren  11/17 22%
  • 10/25/2017  Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Intelligence (Permanent Select), Oversight and Government Reform, and Homeland Security, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of. 11/01/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency.  11/14/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
  • Immigration

  • Judge Temporarily Blocks Deportation Of Cambodian Refugees After ICE Raids  A district judge in California blocked the federal government from deporting a group of Cambodians who were detained after a series of Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids within the past few months.   On Thursday, Judge Cormac J. Carney granted a temporary restraining order against the removal of the individuals, most of whom are refugees. The decision comes after the Cambodian government issued 78 travel documents for their deportation.   The restraining order was granted just before a group of 50 detainees was set to fly to Cambodia, according to Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, a civil rights nonprofit that joined other groups to file for the order.
  • To curb illegal border crossings, Trump administration weighs new measures targeting families  The Trump administration is considering measures to halt a surge of Central American families and unaccompanied minors coming across the Mexican border, including a proposal to separate parents from their children, according to officials with knowledge of the plans.  These measures, described on condition of anonymity because they have not been publicly disclosed, would also crack down on migrants living in the United States illegally who send for their children. That aspect of the effort would use data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to target parents for deportation after they attempt to regain custody of their children from government shelters.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has previously considered some of these proposals, but there is renewed urgency within the administration to address an abrupt reversal of what had been a sharp decline in illegal immigration since Trump took office in January .  In November, U.S. agents took into custody 7,018 families, or “family units,” along the border with Mexico, a 45 percent increase over the previous month, the latest DHS statistics show. The number of Unaccompanied Alien Children, or UAC, was up 26 percent.  Children’s shelters operated by HHS are at maximum capacity or “dangerously close to it,” an official from the agency said. Overall, the number of migrants detained last month along the Mexico border, 39,006, was the highest monthly total since Trump became president, according to DHS figures.
  • Trump Administration Considers Tearing Families Apart In New Immigration Crackdown  In a renewed push to clamp down on the influx of illegal crossings along the southern U.S. border, the Trump administration is reportedly weighing a policy that would separate parents from their children in detention centers.  The measure could also penalize migrants who live in the U.S. illegally and try to bring their children into the country, The Washington Post first reported Thursday.  Families apprehended at the border have historically been detained together. This new policy, according to The New York Times, would place parents in adult detention centers and children either in separate shelters or in the care of “sponsors.”  The new Department of Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen hasn’t yet given her official approval, the Times reported. But the White House is on board, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement has approved the policy.  A DHS official said the agency has spent the year reviewing “procedural, policy, regulatory and legislative” changes to address illegal immigration. “The administration is committed to using all legal tools at its disposal to secure our nation’s borders and as a result we are continuing to review additional policy options.”
  • State Department tells refugee agencies to downsize U.S. operations.  The U.S. State Department has told refugee agencies it will sharply pare back the number of offices across the country authorized to resettle people in 2018 as President Donald Trump cuts the number of refugees allowed into the United States.  Advocates said the decision is likely to lead to the closure of dozens of resettlement offices around the country, potentially leaving some refugees without access to services that help them integrate into American life. Several state refugee coordinators said they had also been made aware of the closures.      Refugee resettlement in the United States is handled by nine non-profit agencies that receive funding from the federal government for some of their refugee work. They partner with, or oversee, hundreds of local offices in nearly every state that help new arrivals with basic tasks like enrolling children in school, arranging doctors’ visits and applying for Social Security cards and other documents.  Though the agencies are independent, they must get government approval for where they will resettle new refugees.

  • If Congress Doesn’t Act Soon To Save Dreamers, It Might Not Save Them At All   Unless Congress acts, nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, and were granted work permits and protections under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, will soon lose their jobs and be at risk of deportation.  Immigration activists want Congress to attach a measure helping DACA recipients stay in the country to a government spending bill that must pass by Dec. 22. There’s one big problem, though: Even though Republican leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) say they want to help these immigrants, known as Dreamers, they say they don’t want to attach a fix to the spending bill. They’ll take care of the problem later ― they promise.  But when it comes to immigration reform in Congress, “later” often means “never,” immigration advocates say. They would know: This has all happened before.  For Dreamers, their allies say, it’s now ― or, most likely, never.  Dreamers wouldn’t be in this pickle without President Donald Trump, who rescinded the DACA program in September, a move that could eventually put nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children at risk of deportation. Dreamers are already feeling the effects of Trump’s decision to rescind DACA: Since the September announcement, an estimated 11,000 young people have lost their deportation protections. Without legislative action before March 5, the number of people losing protections is expected to go up to nearly 1,000 a day.  Immigration reform activists believe the massive year-end bill on government spending is the best bet for getting help for DACA recipients, because Republicans will need Democratic votes to get a deal through. “Delay means deportation,” warned Cristina Jiménez, executive director of the Dreamer advocacy group United We Dream.  McConnell and Ryan, however, say they want to pass separate legislation to grant legal status to undocumented young people and ramp up border security and other enforcement, most likely next year.  Immigration advocates see the writing on the wall. Even though there’s support from voters, the White House and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to help Dreamers, and a clear March “deadline” to act, they fear a standalone bill could fall victim to the same things that brought down comprehensive immigration reform efforts four years ago ― a House speaker held hostage by hard-liners in the Republican Party, and a president and GOP members who want drastic immigration measures in return for a deal.
  • Dem AGs press Congress for DACA fix before holiday break  A group of 20 Democratic attorneys general are urging Congress to agree to a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program before going on break for the holidays.  “As fellow leaders entrusted by the voters to protect the health, safety and well-being of our states’ residents, we ask members of Congress to address this critically important matter without further delay, as you have repeatedly committed to do, to ensure that Dreamers can continue to thrive without fear of deportation,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter Tuesday.   A group of 20 Democratic attorneys general are urging Congress to agree to a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program before going on break for the holidays.  “As fellow leaders entrusted by the voters to protect the health, safety and well-being of our states’ residents, we ask members of Congress to address this critically important matter without further delay, as you have repeatedly committed to do, to ensure that Dreamers can continue to thrive without fear of deportation,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter Tuesday.  The statement is signed by the top prosecutors in California, Connecticut, New York, New Mexico, Illinois, and Hawaii among other states.
  • Democrats Split Over Opposing Government Funding Bill That Doesn’t Protect Dreamers  Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Tuesday that he will vote against a government spending bill this week if it doesn’t include protections for young undocumented immigrants, and that he believes “most” of his colleagues are with him.  But Democrats aren’t united on whether they are willing to risk a government shutdown over those immigrants, who are known as Dreamers. Republicans, who control the White House and both chambers of Congress, only need a few Democrats to break with Durbin in order to pass a government spending bill without Dreamer protections, and several have said they would. And Durbin wouldn’t commit to whipping — D.C.-speak for formally urging — fellow Democrats to join him in opposing a spending bill that doesn’t protect Dreamers.  “Don’t have to,” Durbin told HuffPost when asked if he’d whip against a spending bill without Dreamer protections. “Believe me. Everybody has pretty intense personal feelings about this.”  Congress has until Friday to pass a funding bill and avoid a government shutdown.  If Democrats can’t unite, Dreamers could be left without good options.
  • Senators eye DACA deal in January Top senators and White House officials are laying the groundwork for a major immigration deal in January to resolve the fate of young undocumented immigrants whose  legal protections were put in limbo by President Donald Trump,  “At a Tuesday afternoon meeting with nearly a dozen senators deeply involved in immigration policy, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly pledged that the administration will soon present a list of border security and other policy changes it wants as part of a broader deal on so-called Dreamers, according to people who attended the meeting,” POLITICO reports. “The plan could come in a matter of days, senators said.”  “About a half-dozen senators have been negotiating a bipartisan package prompted by Trump’s decision to kill the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era executive action that granted work permits to nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came here as minors,” the trio report. “Yet the senators could not fully flesh out a deal before they knew what Trump was willing to sign.”
  • No deal for ‘Dreamers’ expected by year’s end  Congressional Republicans struggle over the next steps on immigration and other key   A promised year-end deal to protect the young immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation collapsed Wednesday as Republicans in Congress — fresh off passage of their tax plan — prepared to punt nearly all remaining must-do agenda items into the new year.  Congressional leaders still hope that before leaving town this week they can pass an $81-billion disaster-relief package with recovery funds for California wildfires and Gulf Coast states hit during the devastating hurricane season. But passage even of that relatively popular measure remained in doubt as conservatives balked at the price tag.  Rather than finish the year wrapping up the legislative agenda, the GOP majorities in the House and Senate struggled over their next steps.  For Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, many of whom have been protesting for weeks at the Capitol, Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s second-ranking Democrat, had a simple message: “I’m sorry.”  “We have a long way to go,” said Durbin, who has led efforts to pass legislation known as the Dream Act in the Senate. “I’m sorry that what we thought would be a moment and an opportunity did not happen.  “At this point it looks unlikely.”
  • Hispanic Dems make last-minute DACA appeal to Schumer   Hispanic Democrats in the House scrambled Thursday to convince senators to vote against a year-end spending bill that would delay a fix for young immigrants until at least January.    A group of 15 members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) walked across the Capitol to lobby Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for support on a fix for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The contingent from the lower chamber, led by CHC Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), asked Schumer to push Senate Democrats to vote against a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government unless it includes protections for so-called Dreamers, immigrants in the country illegally who came here as children.
  • Gutiérrez, Dems worry leaders may cave in ‘Dreamer’ talks   Democrats pressing their leaders to take a stand in a year-end spending fight say they’re worried the party is going to cave and allow a stopgap measure to be approved even if it doesn’t help young immigrants who could face deportation early next year.  Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), the party’s most vocal advocate for immigrants, said he’s frustrated that Democrats aren’t taking a harder line on adding language protecting those covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to the stopgap.  “Not optimistic. I think Democrats have really not stood up for the Dreamers as they can,” he said, referring to young immigrants brought to the country illegally who are allowed to work and go to school in the United States under DACA.
  • Senate Democrats Prepare To Kick Dreamer Fix To Next Year, As House Promises A Fight  The chances of passing protections for undocumented young people this year are all but dead in the Senate, but House Democrats insisted on Wednesday that they aren’t giving up, raising the specter of a government shutdown if they hold the line.  It’s a big if.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged Democratic members in a letter on Wednesday to vote against a yet-to-be-released government spending bill ”[u]nless we see a respect for our values and priorities” ― one of them being support for legal status for so-called Dreamers, the young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.  Immigration reform advocates believe the government funding bill, which must pass by Friday to avoid a shutdown, is the best hope for passing protections for Dreamers who are at risk of losing work permits and deportation protections they received under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Donald Trump rescinded in September. Some are already at risk, and if Congress does nothing, nearly 700,000 of them will eventually be in danger of being deported as their two-year permits expire, at a rate of close to 1,000 per day beginning in March.   Multiple Democrats and a small number of Republicans have said they won’t vote for a spending bill without those protections. But the gambit is almost certainly doomed in the Senate, where several Democrats have said they are willing to vote with Republicans to avoid a shutdown, even if it means Dreamers have to wait for protections.
  • Legislation-Immigration

  • HR 3003 No Sanctuary for Criminals Act  11/17 35% – H.R. 3003 strengthens current law to combat dangerous sanctuary policies that shield unlawful and criminal immigrants from federal immigration enforcement. Specifically, the bill clarifies U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer authority – the tool used by federal immigration enforcement officers to pick up criminal aliens from local jails – by established statutory probable cause standards to issue detainers for the first time. In addition, the bill withholds certain federal grants from jurisdictions that violate federal law by prohibiting their officers from cooperating with ICE. Jurisdictions that comply with detainers are protected from being sued and victims of certain crimes are allowed to sue jurisdictions that refuse to comply and subsequently release criminal aliens onto the streets. Finally, the underlying bill includes Sarah and Grant’s Law, which ensures unlawful immigrants convicted of drunk driving or are arrested for other dangerous crimes are detained during their removal proceedings Passed house 6/29  motion to reconsider tabled. 7/10/2017 Received in Senate. 8/1/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Labor Standards.
  • HR 3004   Kate’s Law  Passed House  6/29/2017    11/17 35% The bill provides that an alien who has been excluded, deported, removed, or denied admission, or who has departed the United States while under an outstanding order of exclusion, deportation, or removal, and who subsequently crosses or attempts to cross the border into the United States, shall be fined, imprisoned not more than two years, or both. Passed house 6/29 Motion to reconsider tabled. 7/10/2017 received in the Senate. 1/22/1992 Unfavorable Executive Comment Received from Treasury.
  • S1615   Dream Act of 2017  Graham/Durbin  7/19 21% A bill to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain individuals who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States as children, and for other purposes.  7/20/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  • H.R. 3548  McCaul Border Security for America Act.  11/17 16% To make certain improvements to the security of the international borders of the United States, and for other purposes. 10/04/2017 Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by the Yeas and Nays: 18 – 12.
  • Elections

  • Gerrymandering Reform Hits An Unfamiliar Obstacle In Maryland: Democrats  A party with firm control of the state legislature strengthens its grip on power by drawing electoral boundaries that makes it extremely difficult for members of the opposition party to win.  Since 2010, that’s largely been the story of Republicans, who had overwhelming controlof the redistricting process in 2011 and ruthlessly drew district lines to make it hard for Democrats to win legislative and congressional races. It’s an approach that accounts for 16-17 Republican seats in Congress, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Facing that severe disadvantage, Democrats have led a strong push to fight partisan gerrymandering in the courts and through ballot measures that would make the map making process more fair.  But in Maryland, Democrats who want to rein in the unfair process face a dilemma. The party controls the state legislature and benefits from gerrymandering, holding seven of the state’s eight seats in Congress. Democrats have stymied efforts by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to pass legislation that would require a more neutral process for drawing maps, saying it is an effort to flip a Democratic seat in Congress to Republicans. Hogan said on Wednesday he would push for legislation to implement an independent commission to oversee redistricting for the fourth year in a row.  The situation in Maryland underscores a difficult question facing Democrats and left-leaning groups who are pushing for reform ahead of the next round of redistricting in 2021. Will Democrats, disadvantaged by gerrymandering for so long, support reform in places where it means conceding some of their power?
  • Momentum on election security?   After months of debate but little action, there appears to be a modicum of momentum building on Capitol Hill to address some of the security shortcomings that voting integrity experts say threaten to undermine the upcoming midterm elections. Several lawmakers made public pleas for movement on Friday and a bipartisan group of senators are expected to drop an election security bill this week.  The upcoming legislation is aimed at greasing the information-sharing channels that connect the Homeland Security Department, the intelligence community and state election offices. Election officials said an inability to effectively swap data on hacker threats during the 2016 election left many in the dark about the digital invaders that were probing the country’s election networks. The proposed bill — backed by Republicans Sens. Lindsey Graham and James Lankford, as well as Democrats Sens. Kamala Harris Amy Klobuchar — would also earmark additional resources for states to bolster their digital defenses, according to an aide to one of the lawmakers. The group is eager to get the legislation passed before the 2018 midterm primaries, the aide said.  If the measure does pass — and is signed by President Trump — it would be the first election security-specific bill Congress has passed since the 2016 race. Lawmakers insist they can get something done before Election Day 2018, but security specialists warn that the window is rapidly closing with primary season only months away. Members on both sides of the aisle have proposed a raft of stillborn legislative solutions, including Klobuchar and Graham, who previously pushed a measure that would allow states to apply for federal grants to update their election technology in line with government cybersecurity standards.
  • S 1419    Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2017 11/19 11% Leahy 6/22/017 referred to  the committee on Judiciary
  • S 2035   The Securing America’s Voting Equipment, or SAVE, Act  11/17 4%  Collins/Heinrich  seeks to boost the cyber defenses of state election systems, after warnings from senior U.S. officials that future elections may be vulnerable to foreign interference.  The seeks to boost the cyber defenses of state election systems, after warnings from senior U.S. officials that future elections may be vulnerable to foreign interference.  10/31/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration.
  • Legislation Watch

  • HR 2581 – the Verify First Act. –  11/17  16%  Passed House Barletta (Sec. 2) This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit advance payments of the premium assistance tax credit from being made to an individual unless the Department of the Treasury has received confirmation from the Department of Health and Human Services that the Social Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security has verified the individual’s status as a citizen or national of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States, – 6/13/2017 Passed house., 06/14/2017 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • HR 2093 Strengthening and Clarifying the 25th Amendment Act of 2017 –  11/17  10%  Blumenthal, 5/1/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice
  • S. 1916 Automatic Gun Prevention – Feinstein  12/06/2017 Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings held.
  • H.R. 3771 —     Special Counsel Integrity Act – Conyers  12/01 7%  bipartisan legislation which protects the Russia collusion investigation by taking away Donald Trumps ability to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. House -9 /14/2017 Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. (All Actions)
  • S. 2047 Preventing Preemptive War in  North Korea Act of 2017 – 12/1 6%  Murphy  NO WAR IN NORTH KOREA WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORIZATION  10/31/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
  • S 1989 Honest Ads Act – Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mark Warner (D-VA) and John McCain (R-AZ)  12/8/2017  3%   addresses the national security threat posed by foreign interference in U.S. elections. 10/19/2017 Referred to committee on rules and Regulations
  • H. R. 4077 – A companion to honest ads act, bipartisan bill 11/24 6%  has been introduced in the House by Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Mike Coffman (R-CO). 10/19/2017  Referred to the House Committee on House Administration.
  • S. 2145 A bill to prohibit the United States Government from barring refugees from entering the United States based on their country of origin –  Murphy 12/1 2% to hold the Trump administration accountable for its un-American attempts to ban refugees base. 11/16/2017  referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
  • S. 2016  No Unconstitutional Strike Against North Korea Act of 2017 –  Markey  11/24  11%   Deeming that insufficient protection against global catastrophe, Senator Ed Markey advocated for his bill, which points out that the Constitution forbids presidents from launching wars that have not been declared by Congress, and which includes a ban on using any funds to violate the law by nuking North Korea.  The hearing’s witnesses, and Senators from both major parties, made clear that they did not trust the president to obey laws. In fact, in launching a war, nuclear or otherwise, Trump would violate not only the Constitution but also the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the United Nations Charter. The latter also bans threatening war, which Trump does on a regular basis. Introduced 10/26/2017
  • Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2017 – Durbin  25%, 11/16/2017  referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
  • H. Res 184   Jeffries  150 Co Sponsors  Of inquiry requesting the President and directing the Attorney General to transmit, respectively, certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to communications with the government of Russia.  Jeffries  150 Co Sponsors. March 31, 2017  A committee has voted to issue a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.



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