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- - -  THIS WEEK: MARCH 23, 2018  - - -

Hill Headlines
 

 
Congress Passes Omnibus: Less than 24 hours before a shutdown deadline, the Senate voted 65-32 to approve a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, following a 256-167 vote in the House. The bill funds the government through September 30, and increases spending for the military, border security, community development, and the National Institutes of Health. Two bills addressing gun violence (Fix NICS and STOP School Violence Acts) are also included as amendments. The omnibus does not include funding for Affordable Care Act health insurance plans, which President Trump targeted for termination last year.

 

Legislative Updates

 
Safe Schools Improvement Act: Sen. Casey (D-PA) filed S. 2572, which requires schools to have clear policies against bullying, including bullying based on religion. It also requires schools to report data on bullying and gives them support for bullying prevention initiatives. A House version of the bill (H.R. 1957) was filed in April of 2017.
 
Student Non-Discrimination Act: Sen. Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Polis (D-CO-2) introduced S. 2584 / H.R. 5374, which would include LGBT students in federal anti-bullying discrimination protections.
 
Tip Income Protection Act: Rep. DeLauro (D-CT-3) filed H.R. 5180, which would prevent employers from collecting tips earned by service workers if they pay them less than the minimum wage.

Lowering Handgun Purchase Age: Rep. Massie (R-KY-4) introduced H.R. 5112, which would lower the minimum age for purchasing a handgun from 21 to 18.

Hill Events

Briefing: Communities on Fire

We attended a panel discussion hosted by SAALT on its annual report on hate crimes against Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Americans. Panelists discussed the need for better hate crimes data and different ways local communities are mobilizing against hate. In opening remarks, Sen. Cardin (D-MD) identified hate violence as the by-product of a political agenda driven by rhetoric from government leaders, and Rep. Meng (D-NY-6) said that politicians who do not speak out against hate should be held accountable by their constituents.

Hearing on “Black Identity Extremism” Report

The Congressional Black Caucus held a hearing-style briefing on their investigation of an FBI report leaked last year labeling some Black activists as “Black Identity Extremists”. Rep. Bass (D-CA-37) and the panelists condemned the report and warned of its potential to lead to surveillance of activists and tensions between law enforcement and local communities.

Further Reading

This is the face of a terrorist | NY Daily News | March 21, 2018

White House backs omnibus spending bill | The Hill | March 21, 2018

When ICE Tries to Deport Americans, Who Defends Them? | The New Yorker | March 21, 2018

House farm bill talks at standstill | Politico | March 21, 2018

Hill Buzz

On the Omnibus Spending Bill:

“What this bill is ultimately about...is finally giving our military the tools and the resources it needs to do the job.” - Rep. Ryan (R-WI-1)

“While we address so many issues, so many provisions in this bill...why can’t [DACA-supporting Republicans] convince the Speaker to bring what he said, ‘we will bring a DACA solution to the Floor’?” - Rep. Pelosi (D-CA-12)

On Rising Hate Violence:

"When you have leaders who talk about imposing a ban based upon being Muslim...that's a clear message to the community that it's okay to discriminate against Muslims." - Sen. Cardin (D-MD)

"This is the day and age where each community has no choice but to stand up and speak out for each other."  - Rep. Meng (D-NY-6)

Upcoming Events

Join Poligon as we stand up to gun violence and the government inaction that enables it at the March for Our Lives, this Saturday at noon in Washington, DC.

For the next two weeks your members of Congress will be back in your home state, and it's a great opportunity to directly tell them about the issues that are most important to you! Click here to learn how you can plan meetings with your elected officials today!

We're Hiring!
Poligon is looking for some dynamic individuals passionate about Muslim Congressional advocacy to join our team! Visit bit.ly/PoligonNational to learn more about these positions and how to apply:
  • Legislative Fellow (full-time, paid, Washington, DC, March 31st deadline)
  • Marketing & Social Media Intern (part-time, volunteer, remote, immediate start)

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 Muslim Americans and 2) educate Muslim Americans on effective advocacy and Congressional engagement. We can continue this important work with your generous support. Please take time to make a contribution.

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