Partisan tensions flare among Texans in congressional gun hearing
House Democrats are combining several gun policy bills into one large package known as the Protecting our Kids Act. Among the measures in the bill: raising the age to purchase semi-automatic weapons to 21; outlawing the sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of a large-capacity magazine; and creating tax breaks for purchasing proper gun storage equipment.
California reparations plan advances movement, advocates say
California took a big step this week toward becoming the first U.S. state to make some form of restitution a reality by tackling the divisive issue of which Black residents should be eligible to receive reparations for the atrocity and injustices of slavery and racism.
Ted Cruz and John Cornyn question Ketanji Brown Jackson about anti-racism books, Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the other Republican senator from Texas, asked the nominee about the court case legalizing gay marriage and questioned her defense of Guantánamo Bay detainees who allegedly faced mistreatment.
After decades of lobbying, supporters say they have the votes in the House to pass a reparations bill
H.R. 40 would create a commission on reparations for Black Americans modeled on the process Japanese Americans went through to receive reparations for being imprisoned in internment camps during World War II.washingtonpost.com
House passes domestic violence bill, pushes issue to Senate
The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act passed 244-172 with 29 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting the legislation. The White House announced its support earlier Wednesday for reauthorizing VAWA, which aims to reduce domestic and sexual violence and improve the response to it through a variety of grant programs. AdPresident Joe Biden introduced the original Violence Against Women Act in June 1990 when serving as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. A subsequent version was eventually included in a sweeping crime bill that President Bill Clinton would sign into law four years later. Congress has reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act three times since.
Movement for Black Lives opposes George Floyd Justice Act
A coalition of 150 organizations nationwide is opposing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The Movement for Black Lives argues the bill is entrenched in strategies that have historically failed to address police violence across the country and fails to meet the moment." The bill, designed by the Movement for Black Lives’ Electoral Justice Project, would also redirect funding toward communities to address the nation’s systemic racial injustices. “It’s not just about after the fact accountability,” said Gina Clayton-Johnson, the lead BREATHE Act architect and leadership team member of the Movement for Black Lives’ Policy Table. AdBut the movement faces a significant uphill battle in securing needed political support from lawmakers who will be key in pushing forward the BREATHE Act or revamping the Justice in Policing Act.
Some electricity restored in Texas, but water woes grow
Houston and several surrounding cities are under a boil water notice as many residents are still without running water in their homes. But the crisis was far from over in parts of the South, where many people still lacked safe drinking water. The next phase of the state’s disaster response will be to test drinking water from systems knocked offline by the cold. Power was cut to a New Orleans facility that pumps drinking water from the Mississippi River and generators were used until electricity was restored. Drinking water was made available at fire stations throughout Jackson and officials also planned to set up bottled water pickup sites.
Biden backs studying reparations as Congress considers bill
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with labor leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Washington. Biden backs the idea of studying the issue, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday, though she stopped short of saying he would sign the bill if it clears Congress. Even with Democrats controlling both chambers of Congress and the White House, passing a reparations bill could prove difficult. Most Black Americans favored reparations, 74%, compared with 15% of white Americans. AdRep. Burgess Owens, a first-term Republican from Utah, argued against a reparations commission.
Texas congresswoman introduces Articles of Impeachment against President Trump
HOUSTON – Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), a senior member of the House committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security and the Budget, has introduced Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump just one day after pro-Trump extremists rioted in the U.S. Capitol. Jackson Lee states that the Constitution serves to protect against tyranny and against enemies who intend to harm the United States. “Publicly conveying his interest and willingness to accept the assistance of foreign powers in his attempt win reelection as President of the United States. “Instituting frivolous lawsuits to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election, falsely alleging wide-spread voting fraud but producing no evidence in support of his spurious allegations. See the documents in the tweet below:Articles of Impeachment for introduction, so proud of everyone co-leading this effort with us.
This year, Juneteenth takes on new meaning for black Texans, as push to make holiday with Texas roots goes national
For the past three months, the coronavirus has disproportionately sickened and killed black Texans, and for the last month protesters have filled the streets marching for racial justice. Juneteenth is a celebration that honors the day black Texans learned of their emancipation from Union soldiers in Galveston on June 19, 1865. Bob Daemmrich/The Image WorksCrystal Aitaegbebhunu and her studio partners run through their choreography for a Juneteenth black empowerment video at Emancipation Park on June 15, 2020. Last: Crystal Aitaegbebhunu and her studio partners run through their choreography for a Juneteenth black empowerment video at Emancipation Park on June 15, 2020. For her five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, shell do an oral retelling of moments in black history, their family lineage and the meaning of Juneteenth.
More U.S. workers getting Juneteenth off as awareness grows
The date - June 19th - is not a federal holiday, and many non-black Americans have only recently become of aware of the day. Several of her employees are spending the day volunteering for the Juneteenth Freedom Phonebank, an initiative encouraging Census participation. Declaring the date a federal holiday would add considerable momentum, and there is growing support for the idea. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, introduced legislation Thursday to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. In contrast, 93% of employers close on Independence day, with similar rates for Labor Day, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.
Live coverage: Celebrities, leaders join thousands in Houston for George Floyd memorial
HOUSTON 7 a.m. -- Houston is preparing for hundreds of mourners with a six-hour viewing of George Floyds casket on Monday. The viewing, which is open to the public, will be held at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Floyds hometown. Al Sharpton, Attorney Benjamin Crump, Slim Thug, Leela James, Paul Wall, Floyd Mayweather, Congressman Al Green, Bishop James Dixon, and more. It is the final public memorial before Floyd will be buried Tuesday at the Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery. Floyd, 46, died after a white Minneapolis officer pressed a knee on his neck for several minutes exactly two weeks ago.
Texans in Congress divided over President Donald Trumps protest response
Nearly every member of Congress from Texas has publicly condemned the police actions captured in the video. Thanks to the pandemic, House members are not engaging with each other face-to-face, which is typically vital to moving legislation into law. Despite the turmoil in Washington, U.S. House members were mostly in their own districts on Tuesday. "We can be united for change in our society and we can be thankful that law enforcement is enabling our First Amendment rights. Like the president, Texas Republicans have almost uniformly called for law and order in the same press releases where they express despair over Floyd's death.
Reparations are a Hot Topic AgainReparations are once again a hot topic for the African American community in the United States. For much of the 150 years since the official end of slavery in the United States, talk of the need for reparations has existed. This legislation calls for a formal study of reparations for African Americans. While the idea of reparations for Americas original sin is indeed admirable, does it satisfy the true pain that is still being inflicted on African Americans everyday in America? Why are we talking about reparations when lawmakers have an opportunity everyday to enact laws and policies that would make us equal and level the playing field?saobserver.com