SHEILA JACKSON LEE
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.
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.