- - -  THIS WEEK: OCTOBER 6, 2017  - - -

Hill Headlines

Republican Budget Proposal Advances: On Thursday the House debated a resolution on the Republicans’ proposed annual budget and passed the measure 219-206, with all Democrats and 18 Republicans voting against it. The Senate Finance Committee approved a similar measure with the vote split along party lines. Approving the resolution using budget reconciliation rules allows Republicans to pass the plan without any Democratic votes and shields the legislation from a filibuster in the Senate. The plan includes $1.5 trillion in tax cuts and a $2.9 trillion cut in funds for government assistance programs over the next ten years. It also increases defense spending to approximately $700 billion for the next year, and would end federal tax deductions for state and local income taxes paid.

Legislative Updates

Gun Regulation: In the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, Rep. Curbelo (R-FL-26) has announced plans to file a bill that would would ban the sale of bump fire stocks, which the shooter used to significantly increase the firing rate of his weapons. The bipartisan effort to pass this bill is also being led by Rep. Moulton (D-MA-6). Rep. Cicilline (D-RI-1) has filed a similar bill, H.R. 3947, which has received over 150 Democratic co-sponsors.
02.pngCHIP Funding Expires: On Saturday the deadline for Congressional reauthorization of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for the new fiscal year passed without action from Congress. The KIDS Act (S. 1827), which would reauthorize CHIP funding for the next five years, passed out of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday. If funding for CHIP is not renewed, 11 states could run out of existing funds by the end of 2017.
03.pngBorder Security and Deferred Action Recipient Relief Act: On Thursday Sen. Flake (R-AZ) announced legislation that would provide $1.6 billion in funding for strengthening border security, and create a 15-year pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and other undocumented people who were brought to the U.S. as children before 2012. The plan is seen as a compromise between the DREAM Act, which is preferred by Democrats, and the Republican-backed SUCCEED Act.
04.pngDignity for Detained Immigrants Act: Rep. Jayapal (D-WA-7) and Rep. Smith (D-WA-9) announced they would introduce the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, which establishes federal standards for privately-run detention facilities for immigrants. The bill would also end the mandatory detention of undocumented immigrants while they go through civil proceedings, and seeks to phase out the use of private immigrant detention facilities over time.

Hill Events

Hill Briefing: Republican Budget Impact on Families

On Tuesday Democratic members of the House Budget Committee, Ranking Member Rep. Yarmuth (D-KY-3), Rep. Lee (D-CA-13), and Rep. Jayapal (D-WA-7) held a discussion on the Republican tax plan, outlining their critiques of the plan and presenting alternative proposals that would expand funding for existing government programs. They encouraged the public to tell members of Congress how the plan would affect their everyday lives, as they had regarding previous proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Not One Penny Rally

On Wednesday members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and allied advocacy organizations held a rally against the Republican tax plan. Rep. Doggett (D-TX-35) criticized the plan for failing to match its claims to benefit the middle class, calling it a “blueprint for red ink.” Speakers at the rally asserted that “not one penny” of the budget should go to tax cuts for corporations and those in the top one percent of earners.

Further Reading

Hill Buzz

On the Republican Budget:

“Our nation needs a simpler, fairer, and more transparent tax system that will leave more dollars in the pockets of working families.” - Sen. Enzi (R-WY)

“This budget is about one thing - using budget reconciliation to ram through giant tax giveaways to the wealthy and big corporations.” - Rep. Yarmuth (D-KY-3)

On the Las Vegas Shooting:
"Our communities are all in mourning as we try to understand this senseless massacre on the Strip." - Sen. Heller (R-NV)

"It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren't public policy responses to this epidemic. There are.” - Sen. Murphy (D-CT)

On Gun Regulation:

“By banning devices that blatantly circumvent already existing law, we can show that Congress is capable of working constructively to make Americans safer.” - Rep. Curbelo (R-FL-26)

“It’s time for Members of Congress to find the courage to come together and finally do something to help stop the epidemic of mass shootings.” - Rep. Moulton (D-MA-6)

On the Expiration of CHIP Funding:

“Health care for [nine] million children is now threatened by the lapse in the Children's Health Insurance Program. We MUST extend CHIP!” - Sen. Feinstein (D-CA)

“It is...paramount that we act quickly both here in committee and through the next steps in the process to ensure eligible children do not go uninsured once federal funding is exhausted.” - Sen. Hatch (R-UT)

On the Border Security and Deferred Action Recipient Relief Act:

“President Trump, both parties in Congress, and a majority of the nation all agree on the need for a stronger, more secure border; fair and permanent protections for DACA recipients; and the swift deportation of gang and cartel members who threaten our safety.” - Sen. Flake (R-AZ)

On the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act:

“We need to ensure fair treatment and due process for immigrants and refugees faced with detention.” - Rep. Smith (D-WA-09)

Poligon Education Fund is working tirelessly to 1) monitor and hold accountable all Congressional action taken on issues that deeply impact the lives of everyday American Muslims and 2) educate American Muslims on effective advocacy and Congressional engagement. Only a few months since our launch, we have jumped headfirst into this crucial work, which we can only hope to continue with your generous support. Please take time to make a contribution.

Poligon Education Fund is a 501c3 non-profit charitable organization dedicated to amplifying the Muslim American voice in Congress.
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