congress recess

The bill passed. Here’s what happens next: 

- Congress leaves for recess. If your Rep voted for the repeal, go to their district offices and GIVE THEM HELL. Go to their houses. Call their local offices. Show up at town halls. TELL THEM THEY JUST VOTED TO KILL PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT. 

- The Senate must also pass the bill, but in order to pass the bill, there needs to be a cost estimate by the CBO. This will probably lead to more bad press for the bill. 

-The Senate is more moderate than the House, and will revise the bill to make it passable on their end. 

- If the revisions are large, the bill may be kicked back to the House, or inconsistencies may be settled in a committee.

For the GOP, a Dangerous Gamble on the All-Important Town Hall
Some GOP lawmakers, worried about upset crowds, are reluctant to hold town hall meetings in their districts. Several have faced angry constituents.

Less than 3% of Republicans plan to hold town halls during their attacks on our health and rights.

Congress is in recess from May 27 to June 4. And almost none of the Senators are holding town halls. So you need to rally at public events, in front of GOP offices, make as much noise as possible. If they do schedule late to meet, ask your Reps or Senators: will people be priced out of coverage? Why aren’t more women working on amending the bill? The savings from repealing Obamacare, where/who does it go to? What if my conditions are not covered under the state regulated essential health benefits?

If we don’t hold the Senate’s feet to the fire, they will pass that dumpster fire of a health bill. Millions will lose coverage, people will die. That’s not hyperbole.

The week of July 4, congress is on recess. A lot of senators will be attending July 4 parades and events. Meet them there. Talk to them about healthcare there. On top of that, call your senators, send them emails and faxes, tell your friends to so the same. This week is Essential to killing the healthcare bill that will kill thousands and throw millions into financial ruin.

Congress delays usual August recess because Republicans haven’t been able to get things done
Congress won’t be taking all of August off anymore. As congressional Republicans remain in a stalemate over health care, Republican leadership has canceled the first two weeks of August recess, hoping the additional time in Washington will help them finish up some work. “In order to provide more time to complete action on important legislative items and process nominees that have been stalled by a lack of cooperation from our friends across the aisle, the Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of August,” McConnell said in a statement. Read more

Listen, Leo McGarry filled me in on the situation with your mother, I’m so very sorry. I hope you don’t mind but I took the liberty of calling Tom Connolly, the FBI Director. We had the computer spit out some quick information, your mother was killed by a Western .38 Revolver firing K.T.W.s, or what are known as ‘Cop Killer bullets’, now we have not had a whole lot of success banning that weapon and those bullets off the streets, but we’re planning on taking a big whack at it when Congress gets back from recess. So, what do you say, you wanna come help us out?
So yeah, Congress is done until the election, having just passed a spending bill to keep things running for the next six months. As per the ush with Congress, there was fighting:

The final vote on the spending bill, 62-30, was gaveled shut at 1:16 a.m., the comfortable tally belying the rancor that led up to it. The 112th Congress lurched to the exits the way it started — amid partisan acrimony and backbiting even within the parties.

House Democrats marched to the House steps Friday, chanted, “work, work, work,” and demanded lawmakers stay in town to finish unfinished business like a farm bill to take the place of agriculture laws that expire at the end of the month. They said no Congress since 1960 had recessed this early for the campaign season.

Then they headed home.

Congress still hasn’t dealt with an array of issues, including mandatory cuts in defense spending and the end of the Bush tax cuts. They’ll have to work on those in November, when a ton of the members — and potentially, the president — will be lame ducks.

The Senate's skipping its upcoming recess, working straight through

All because of that pesky debt ceiling thing: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the only fireworks members of the Senate would see next week would be strictly of the political kind — all in an effort to solve the pesky debt ceiling issue that’s been dogging Congress for a couple of months. If they can’t figure it out by August, it could have a dire effect on the overall economy, but Republicans want cuts to coincide with any sort of debt ceiling deal. Not every Senator is on board with this recess idea, by the way. We’re feeling less confident about their ability to fix this mess by the day. source

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Here’s What “Legitimate Health Care” Looks Like

Yesterday’s Senate vote against defunding Planned Parenthood was a victory for women’s health and rights thanks to all those who #StandWithPP — but the fight is far from over. Anti-women’s health politicians have made it clear defunding Planned Parenthood health centers will be a top priority for the House when Congress returns from recess. The politicians behind it keep saying what Republican Whip John Cornyn said last week: that if Congress defunds Planned Parenthood, other providers “can absorb the legitimate health care needs of women.” LET’S GET A FEW THINGS STRAIGHT. Three things, in fact.

FIRST OF ALL: The leaders of the defunding efforts have a long history of restricting women’s health.  

Politicians like Sen. Cornyn do NOT get to decide what is legitimate when it comes to women’s health. Sen. Cornyn is the same guy who inserted an extreme anti-abortion restriction in a bill intended to give justice to the people forced into modern-day slavery. And the records of fellow politicians pushing for a Planned Parenthood defund? They’re just as bad if not worse.

Take, for instance, Sen. Joni Ernst. She’s the one who proposed the bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood. She’s ALSO the same person who:

  • Voted to defund Planned Parenthood in Iowa
  • Co-sponsored a “personhood” amendment
  • Applauded the Hobby Lobby ruling, and
  • Walked away mid-question when asked what Iowa women would do if Planned Parenthood got defunded

So, let’s all agree that they are not the authority on women’s health care.

SECONDLY: Sens. Ernst and Cornyn are consistently conflating abortion services with federal funding.

Yes, abortion represents three percent of the services Planned Parenthood health centers provide. But federal tax dollars don’t fund abortion, except under very rare circumstances. The vast majority of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding comes from reimbursement for visits to get preventive health care — like birth control, well-woman exams, and lifesaving STI and cancer screenings. Here’s just a snapshot of what Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses do with the help of government funding:

The bill Congress is voting on today would block patients who rely on public programs from this type of care, and have a devastating effect on ALL types of Planned Parenthood services.

THE THIRD THING YOU NEED TO KNOW: Other providers cannot “absorb” Planned Parenthood’s 2.7 million yearly patients like these politicians claim.

It’s a myth that other providers can fill the gap that defunding Planned Parenthood would leave. It’s simply not feasible to hand off the 2.7 million patients Planned Parenthood sees annually. No wonder American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin called the defunding “ludicrous.”

Why is it so difficult to transfer millions patients and government dollars? Because Planned Parenthood health centers serve an outsized role in meeting the family planning needs for those who rely on federally funded health programs. Planned Parenthood is the only source of family planning services in some areas — more than half of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas. From ending up in the emergency room to going without care altogether, people would seriously struggle to access quality reproductive health care without Planned Parenthood. So while Planned Parenthood health centers represent 10 percent of all publicly funded family planning centers, they serve 36 percent of all clients who obtain care from that network. And while Planned Parenthood comprises 13 percent of Title X clinics, they serve 37 percent of clients. 

What’s more, America has a reproductive health care provider shortage: Planned Parenthood provides high-quality reproductive health care to Medicaid patients at a time when a majority of Medicaid programs don’t have enough providers, including specialty providers like ob/gyns. Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid patients can’t simply see someone else because in many places there likely isn’t someone else.

Sen. Cornyn, of all people should know better… Here’s what happened when states prevented Planned Parenthood health centers from serving those who rely on publicly funded health programs:

  • In Texas, after the state cut Planned Parenthood health centers out of its family planning program for low-income women, the program served far fewer women. In fact, 54 percent fewer patients received care.
  • In Indiana, blocking Planned Parenthood from providing health care led to an unprecedented HIV outbreak.
  • In Tennessee, similar legislation passed affecting the distribution of funding for Title X, the nation’s family planning program. That move resulted in decreasing the number of Title X patients seen from 700-800 at Planned Parenthood to about 50 per month at a faith-based provider.