From August 1 to September 16, America’s Journey for Justice–an historic 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama, to Washington, D.C.–will mobilize activists and advance a focused national advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education.
Issue Focus by State:
Alabama – Economic Inequality
Georgia – Education Reform
South Carolina – Criminal Justice Reform
North Carolina – Voting Rights
Virginia – Youth Rally
Washington, D.C. – Full advocacy agenda
“You’ve often heard me stand at this podium and express some frustration about the tendency of House Republicans to wait until the last minute before doing something. We had these conversations when we were talking about funding for the Department of Homeland Security, when we talked about the need to confirm the President’s nominee to be Attorney General, or when it came to making sure our intelligence professionals have the tools they need to keep us safe. Time and again, Republicans have waited until the last minute, and in some cases, even past the last minute, before acting. Well the good news is that last night they finally agreed to do something ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, the thing that they decided to do is start their August recess. Now, setting aside that the so called August recess is poorly named – it starts at the end of July and ends in September. There you go – “District Work Period”. The real problem is that House Republicans have skipped town and started their vacation even though they have a lot of import work to do.
First, they left town without reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, this is actually work that they failed to do before their last vacation and it is the first time in history that the authorization for the bank has lapsed, even though it enjoys strong bi-partisan support. As a resort thousands of small and medium sized U.S. businesses will be spending the rest of the summer at a significant disadvantage as they try to do business overseas.
Second, House Republicans merely kicked the can down the road yet again on the Transportation Bill. These repeated short-term extensions, that they have used dozens of times, makes it very hard for officials to coordinate the planning for large, multi-year infrastructure projects when they are only being funded for one or two or three months at a time. That means that our economy and our workers are missing out.
Finally, despite having been in session since January, Republicans in congress will return in September without a path forward on a stalled budget process, even though the deadline to keep the government open will be a mere three weeks away. That’s right, Republican leaders who wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed [Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz] vowing to get congress moving again, and vowing to never shut down the government again, will be just a few weeks away from doing it for the second time in two years.
Meanwhile, Republican leaders steadfastly refuse to sit down to negotiate with Democrats who along with the President, have laid out a specific proposal and are ready to find common ground on these issues and most importantly make sure that we are focused on investing on our economy and national security. So I do hope that Republicans will do more than just relax during their 39-day vacation, because when they finally do show up again in September, there won’t be a whole lot of patience or sympathy for the claim that they don’t have time to do their job. “
The Social Security Amendments of 1965, Pub.L. 89–97, 79 Stat.286, enacted July 30, 1965, was legislation in the United States whose most important provisions resulted in creation of two programs: Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation initially provided federal health insurance for the elderly (over 65) and for poor families.
History Many politicians were involved in drafting the final bill that was introduced to the United States Congress in March 1965. On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) signed the bill into law.
The concept of national health insurance began in the early 20th century in the United States and then came to prominence during the Truman administration. Between 1958 and 1964, controversy grew and a bill was drafted. The signing of the act, as part of Johnson’s Great Society, began an era with a greater emphasis on public health issues. Medicare and Medicaid became the United States’ first public health insurance programs. The legislation was vigorously opposed by the American Medical Association until it had been enacted, following which the AMA cooperated in its implementation.
In 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) signed the Social Security Act, medical benefits were left out of the bill. The committee that Roosevelt appointed to study issues related to Social Security wanted to include health insurance in the bill. However, the committee was concerned that amending the bill to include health insurance would kill the entire bill.Harry Truman took on the idea of national medical care and tried to integrate it into his Fair Deal program. Truman’s attempts were also unsuccessful, though during his presidency the fight for national medical care became specific to the aged population.
As part of the 50th anniversary celebration for these programs, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is collecting stories of how Medicare and Medicaid have made a difference for everyday Americans.
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The White House held the Conference on Aging to discuss key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade. In the past, conference processes were determined by statute with the form and structure directed by Congress through legislation authorizing the Older Americans Act. To date, Congress has not reauthorized the Older Americans Act, and the pending bill does not include a statutory requirement or framework for the 2015 conference.
The face of America is growing older and more diverse as the first baby boomers reached retirement age in 2011, accelerating a population surge in the number of Americans over the age of 65. Each day for the next 15 years, thousands more will reach retirement age, creating new opportunities for how we define what it means to be an older American. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging provided an opportunity to listen to older Americans and engage with the American public about strategies to continue to maximize the contributions of older Americans to our country.
Today at the White House, I was delighted to host a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the aging community who came together to discuss the White House Conference on Aging, which will take place in 2015 – the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.
Just yesterday, the Medicare Trustees released their annual report finding that, since their report last year, the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by four additional years to 2030. When this Administration first took office, the Trust Fund was projected to go bankrupt more than a dozen years sooner, in 2017. The Trustees also project that – for the second year in a row – Part B premiums will not increase, allowing seniors to keep more of their Social Security cost-of-living increase.
Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, we have improved the affordability of the program, while at the same time helping Medicare work better for seniors. For example, we are closing the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole” to make medications more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. Just today, we learned that 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $11.5 billion since 2010 – over $1,000 on average for people hitting the donut hole. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage without cost-sharing for many preventive benefits to help keep older Americans healthy. The Affordable Care Act also responds to older Americans’ desire to remain independent in their communities by creating incentives for states to provide the services and supports that help people remain at home as they age.
The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 is a law, signed into effect by President Obama, that expands the punitive abilities of tribal courts across the nation. The law allows tribal courts operating in Indian country to increase jail sentences handed down in criminal cases. This was a major step toward improving enforcement and justice in Indian country.
Before this law, tribal courts were limited in the scope of punishment they could hand down in criminal cases, giving them the impression of a lower, less serious court. They now possess the power under the Tribal Law and Order Act to pass increased sentences in order to incarcerate defendants longer.
The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010: A Step Forward for Native Women
July 29, 2010 by Lynn Rosenthal, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women
The President just signed the Tribal Law and Order Act — an important step to help the Federal Government better address the unique public safety challenges that confront tribal communities.
According to a Department of Justice report, Native American women suffer from violent crime at a rate three and a half times greater than the national average. Astoundingly, one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes. At the White House Tribal Nations Conference in November 2009, President Obama stated that this shocking figure “is an assault on our national conscience that we can no longer ignore.”
Last week, Congress took another important step to improve the lives of Native American women by passing the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. The Act includes a strong emphasis on decreasing violence against women in Native communities, and is one of many steps this Administration strongly supports to address the challenges faced by Native women.
The stipulations in the Act that will benefit Native women reflect several Administration priorities. The Act will strengthen tribal law enforcement and the ability to prosecute and fight crime more effectively. The Indian Health Care Improvement Act will require that a standardized set of practices be put in place for victims of sexual assault in health facilities. Now, more women will get the care they need, both for healing and to aid in the prosecution of their perpetrators.
Remarks by the President Before Signing the Tribal Law and Order Act
4:58 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Please have a seat.
I want to start, obviously, by thanking Lisa for her introduction and having the courage to share her story with all of us today. It’s for every survivor like Lisa who has never gotten their day in court, and for every family that feels like justice is beyond reach, and for every tribal community struggling to keep its people safe, that I’ll be signing the Tribal Law and Order Act into law today.
And in doing so, I intend to send a clear message that all of our people — whether they live in our biggest cities or our most remote reservations — have the right to feel safe in their own communities, and to raise their children in peace, and enjoy the fullest protection of our laws.
As many of you know, I campaigned on this issue. And during our last — during our tribal conference last year, I pledged my administration’s fullest support for this bill. And I told Senator Dorgan last week that I intended to sign it in a ceremony here at the White House with all of you. So today, I am proud to make good on my word.
Now, I’m told there’s a Seneca proverb that says “He who would do great things should not attempt them all alone.” (Laughter.) And that’s particularly true of this legislation, which is the product of tireless efforts by countless individuals across this country. Congressional leaders like Senator Dorgan, Representative Herseth Sandlin, and others who are here today, and tribal leaders like Chairman Marcus Levings, President Theresa Two Bulls, President Diane Enos, Chief Chad Smith, Vice Chairman Jonathan Windy Boy — we are grateful to all of them for their extraordinary support. And then we’ve got leaders in our administration like Attorney General Holder and Secretary Salazar, Kimberly Teehee, Jodi Gillette here at the White House who work tirelessly on this legislation.
And that’s nothing to say of all the dedicated judges and prosecutors and tribal and BIA law enforcement officers — some of whom are here today — who’ve supported these efforts. And the determined survivors most of all, like Lisa, who even when it’s too late to undo what happened to them, still speak out to seek justice for others.
All of you come at this from different angles, but you’re united in support of this bill because you believe, like I do, that it is unconscionable that crime rates in Indian Country are more than twice the national average and up to 20 times the national average on some reservations. And all of you believe, like I do, that when one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes, that is an assault on our national conscience; it is an affront to our shared humanity; it is something that we cannot allow to continue.
Cherokee recently passed legislation during the August Session of Tribal Council which updated the Cherokee Criminal Code and finalized the full implementation of the enhanced sentencing authority granted by the federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. Cherokee Ordinance Number 182 was passed by Tribal Council on Aug. 2 and ratified by Principal Chief Michell Hicks on Aug. 16. The Ordinance increased the maximum possible punishment of all felony-equivalent tribal crimes from one year to three years imprisonment and from a $5,000 to a $15,000 fine.
The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 granted enhanced, felony-level sentencing authority to tribal courts by increasing the maximum possible punishment that a tribal court may hand down from one year of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine per offense to three years of imprisonment and a $15,000 fine per offense, with a provision for stacking up to three offenses in certain criminal cases which could result in a maximum possible punishment of nine years of imprisonment (25 U.S.C. § 1302). Before tribes can enact legislation to implement this enhanced punishment, the federal law requires that the tribal courts have law-trained judges, provide defendants with the right to effective assistance of counsel and indigent defendants with court appointed counsel, and make the tribal laws publically available, among other things. The Cherokee Court has met all of these requirements, even for many years prior to the enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act.
Human Trafficking It’s sad but true: here in this country, people are being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves. They are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. We’re working hard to stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal and psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a ready source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists. Learn more: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/human_trafficking.
Trafficking in Persons Report
The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue. It represents an updated, global look at the nature and scope of trafficking in persons and the broad range of government actions to confront and eliminate it. The U.S. Government uses the TIP Report to engage foreign governments in dialogues to advance anti-trafficking reforms and to combat trafficking and to target resources on prevention, protection and prosecution programs. Worldwide, the report is used by international organizations, foreign governments, and nongovernmental organizations alike as a tool to examine where resources are most needed. Freeing victims, preventing trafficking, and bringing traffickers to justice are the ultimate goals of the report and of the U.S Government’s anti-human trafficking policy.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline: 1.888.3737.888 The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. It is operated by Polaris Project, a non-government organization working to combat human trafficking. Callers can report tips and receive information on human trafficking by calling the hotline at 1.888.3737.888 The hotline provides data on where cases of suspected human trafficking are occurring within the United States. A national map of calls is updated daily to reflect the sources of calls to the hotline. To learn more: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/hotline/index.html.
“It [Human Trafficking at home and abroad] ought to concern every person, because it’s a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at the social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name—modern slavery.” “Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it…”
There’s some disagreement about how many times House Republicans have voted to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act. I’ve seen some estimates of 56 separate votes, though some put the total a little higher.
But let’s not forget their friends on the other side of the Capitol. As National Journalreports, Senate Republicans are at least going through the motions to keep their repeal crusade alive, too.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has proposed repealing Obamacare as part of the long-term highway bill currently being considered in the upper chamber.
McConnell’s office said Friday that the Senate would vote Sunday on an amendment to the highway legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act. The initial vote, which would cap debate on the repeal amendment, would need 60 votes.
Obviously, this is a ridiculous endeavor. The very idea of repealing an effective health care law is increasingly bizarre, and as Senate GOP leaders realize, there’s zero chance of the repeal measure passing. The fact that Mitch McConnell sees this as a necessary part of the debate over highway spending is itself quite sad.
So why in the world is the Republican leader doing this, announcing an ACA repeal vote out of the blue? Apparently because McConnell is looking for an adequate pacifier for his far-right flank and this is the best he could come up with.
7/26/15 House Republicans Vote to Repeal Obamacare for 57th Time – Is this good use of YOUR taxpayer dollars??
Obamacare Repeal Measure Blocked by Senate Democrats
Jul 26, 2015 12:37 PM PDT Billy House – bloomberg
The amendment to the U.S. highway funding bill that would have killed the Affordable Care Act was proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Senate Democrats blocked a proposal to repeal President Barack Obama’s health-care law that Republicans sought to add to a U.S. highway funding bill.
Senators voted 49-43, with 60 required to advance the amendment, during an unusual Sunday session. The federal Highway Trust Fund’s authorization is set after July 31, and the Senate’s highway funding measure, H.R. 22, is significantly different from the plan passed by the House.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, proposed the Obamacare repeal amendment as he also agreed to allow a vote on an amendment sought by Democrats to extend the charter of the Export-Import Bank.
The majority leader said Friday he offered the Obamacare repeal because Ex-Im “shouldn’t be the only vote” on a highway bill amendment. The Senate plans to vote on that amendment next.
McConnell said Sunday that Obamacare is “filled with higher costs, fewer choices and broken promises” and “continues to hammer hardworking middle-class families.”
The House has voted about 60 times to repeal or delay all or part of Obamacare. The Senate was under Democratic control until January.
Senate Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said a vote to repeal Obamacare would return to a time when health care was “for the healthy and the wealthy.”
“The moment you repeal the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans lose protections against pre-existing conditions,” Wyden said.
The 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, on July 25-26. It will be the sixth annual gathering of entrepreneurs at all stages of business development, business leaders, mentors, and high-level government officials. The established tradition demonstrates the U.S. Government’s continued commitment to fostering entrepreneurship around the world. For more: http://www.ges2015.org.
Reinforcing the U.S.-Africa Partnership
Grant Harris and Shannon Green March 30, 2015 10:30 AM EDT
Last summer, the United States paved new pathways for our relationship with Africa by hosting the historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Fifty-one African leaders joined President Obama in Washington for a discussion on “Investing in the Next Generation”, the theme of the Summit. This gathering resulted in $33 billion dollars in new commitments to support economic growth across Africa, as well as tangible U.S. and African efforts to improve security, promote human rights and good governance, and provide opportunities for Africa’s sizeable youth population.
As the White House announced earlier today, the United States is partnering with the Government of Kenya to host the sixth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). The President will travel to Kenya this summer – his fourth trip to sub-Saharan Africa and the most of any sitting U.S. president – where he will participate in bilateral meetings and attend this important event.
Launched by President Obama in 2009, GES will bring together more than 1,000 entrepreneurs and investors from across Africa and around the world to showcase innovative projects, exchange new ideas, and help spur economic opportunity. This year’s Summit in Kenya will have an overarching focus on generating new investments in entrepreneurs, particularly women and young entrepreneurs. Choosing Kenya as the destination for GES underscores the fact that Africa, and Kenya in particular, has become a center for innovation and entrepreneurship. Kenya is a world leader in mobile money systems like m-pesa and a driver of innovation, through creative spaces like “iHub.” These are just a few tangible demonstrations of the entrepreneurial spirit that is deeply rooted on the African continent.
https://youtu.be/tEHnW0CSL54. U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec – Remarks for Global Entrepreneurial Summit (GES)/POTUS Visit Press Conference July 23, 2015 Good afternoon, We are getting close to President Obama’s arrival in Kenya. His visit will be a truly historic moment for both Kenya and the United States, and underscores the fact that the United States’ partnership with the Kenyan Government and people has never been stronger. When the President arrives later this week, he will be the first sitting U.S. President to visit Kenya. By itself, this would be a momentous event. That the visit involves this President – a man with such deep personal and familial ties to Kenya – makes it even more meaningful. Let me take a moment to thank our partners in the Kenyan Government – and Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed in particular – for their exceptional assistance in ensuring that President Obama’s visit happens safely and efficiently. I have no doubt that, with our combined efforts, this visit will be a great success. For more: http://nairobi.usembassy.gov/sp072315.html.
June 19, 2015
Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Ethiopia
In late July, President Obama will travel to Ethiopia for bilateral meetings with the Government of Ethiopia and with the leadership of the African Union. This visit, which will follow the President’s travel to Kenya, will build on the success of the August 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit by strengthening ties with our African partners and highlighting America’s longstanding commitment to investing in Africa. This will be the first visit of a sitting U.S. President to Ethiopia and to the African Union headquarters, underscoring our efforts to work with the countries and citizens of sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve security.