Dems renew push to protect access to birth control as WH convenes state leaders on abortion rights
Plus: Six Senate Dems unveil bill to expand the Child Tax Credit and two contentious Biden nominees finally get confirmed.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
We’re a little more than a week away from the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision that overturned the constitutional right to abortion care.
And in 2023, every state in the country has taken action on abortion in some way, with many severely restricting abortion access, according to an analysis of state legislative activity by Planned Parenthood Action Fund. In contrast, some states have moved to codify reproductive rights, shield abortion providers from out-of-state attacks and repeal abortion restrictions.
The White House today will host 32 legislators from 16 states where access to abortion remains protected to discuss their efforts to further safeguard and support access to reproductive health care.
The discussion follows a separate convening on Wednesday with 49 state legislators from states that have taken steps to roll back reproductive rights and share the strategies they’ve implemented to oppose efforts by Republican state elected officials to ban abortion and the policy agenda ahead.
A White House official said the administration would also highlight the importance of state partners in the fight to restore, protect and expand reproductive rights.
And although President Joe Biden has taken executive actions since Roe v. Wade was overturned — including directing the Department of Health and Human services to protect family planning care, including emergency contraceptives, and long-acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs, and publicly supported a procedural carveout that would enable the Senate to bypass the 60-vote threshold to approve abortion rights legislation — these partnerships are critical because his power is limited to the confines of existing federal law.
Congressional Democrats have worked to keep the issue in the news cycle and force Republicans to defend their various unpopular anti-abortion proposals.
On Wednesday, several reintroduced the Right to Contraception Act, a bill that would create a statutory right for people to use and doctors to prescribe birth control. The legislation, led by Reps. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.), Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.), Nikema Williams (D-Ga.), and Angie Craig (D-Minn.) alongside Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) would also authorize the US attorney general and impacted individuals to enforce this right.
The bill passed the Democratic-controlled House by a 228-195 vote last Congress, but Senate Republicans on several occasions blocked the bill from being passed by unanimous consent. This time around, it’s unlikely the bill will even make it to the other side of the Capitol given the House is currently under Republican control.
Meanwhile, as I wrote less than a week after the Dobbs ruling last year, it isn’t just cisgender women who seek and receive abortion care. And new research from the Guttmacher Institute, an organization that publishes research and policy sexual health and reproductive rights, found that as many as 16 percent of abortion patients identify as something other than heterosexual — nearly 150,000 when applied to 2020 data.
As we celebrate Pride Month, Guttmacher researchers say the data is a reminder that LGBTQ people want, need, and have abortions — and that reproductive health care providers must focus on the needs and rights of LGBTQ+ individuals by offering inclusive, patient-centered care.
👋🏾 Hi, hey, hello! It’s Thursday, June 15, 2023. You’re reading Supercreator Daily, your morning guide to the politicians, power brokers, and policies shaping the American creator experience.
Senate Dems reintroduce bill to reinstate CTC, EITC
Days after House Republicans passed a tax bill out of the Ways & Means Committee that would give the richest fifth of Americans a $60-billion windfall, a group of Senate Democrats is leading the effort to expand what they describe as two of the most effective tools we have to put money in the pockets of working people.
The Working Families Tax Relief Act, a bill Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) reintroduced with 35 senators on Wednesday, would permanently expand the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, which they say would boost the incomes of 40 million households, including 65 million children.
The legislation would increase the CTC to $3,000 for kids 6-17 and to $3,600 for kids 0-5, deliver the credit monthly, and make it fully refundable — all provisions passed in the 2021 American Rescue Plan.
It would also nearly triple the EITC for workers without children and eliminate the minimum age for the credit to reduce the risk of workers without children being taxed into poverty.
Under the House GOP tax plan, the poorest fifth of Americans would receive just $40 in tax relief next year, according to an analysis by TK. The wealthiest one percent, on the other hand, would receive a $16,550 tax break per person. Foreign investors, who own much of the stock in US companies, would receive $23.8 billion in corporate tax cuts next year.
“It’s exactly as progressives have been saying: Republicans only care about keeping the cash flowing to billionaires and their corporate donors, and will stick working people with the bill to make it happen,” Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said in a statement. “It couldn't be clearer where Republicans’ priorities are. Their hypocrisy is blatant and their disdain for poor and working-class families is outrageous.”
In yesterday’s newsletter, Supercreator reported on Sens. Bennet and Wyden’s vocal opposition to the House GOP due to the wide gap between tax relief for wealthy people and big corporations and everyone else.
But the day before, you may remember reading that House Republicans wrote their bill so the cost looks smaller than it is and would likely characterize the price tag of expanding the CTC and EITC as too steep. Plus, as you’ll see below, the full Senate Democratic Caucus isn’t necessarily united around the idea itself.
10 Senate Democrats or independents who caucus with Democrats and did not sponsor the bill are Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).
Biden nominees squeak by thanks to GOP absences
Two of President Biden’s most contentious nominees were confirmed in the Senate this week. Ahead of the votes, it appeared Vice President Kamala Harris would need to be on standby to reprise her role as Senate tiebreaker, which she’s done 29 times so far, her vote was unnecessary due to absences by Republican senators.
The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Jared Bernstein as chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, a role that elevates the longtime aide to Joe Biden to the president’s top economist.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) skipped town to attend former President Donald Trump’s speech in New Jersey after his arraignment on federal charges related to mishandling classified documents and obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them.
Manchin described Bernstein’s economic philosophy on energy policy and government funding priorities as too problematic to earn his support.
“I did not vote for Mr. Bernstein because we must protect America’s economic stability and energy security from radical policies such as the Green New Deal,” Manchin said.
President Biden said in a statement that he looked forward to Bernstein’s continued leadership as his administration.
“While there is more work to do, jobs are up, wages are up, and inflation is down, and Jared uniquely understands that a job is about far more than a paycheck, it’s about the dignity of work,” President Biden said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Dale Ho, a darling of the progressive movement and director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project where he supervises the ACLU’s voting rights litigation nationwide, to be a district judge for the Southern District of New York, a lifetime appointment.
And again, Manchin joined all Senate Democrats in opposition. But the vice president didn’t have to make a trip to Capitol Hill because Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), one of many candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, was campaigning in Iowa.
Ho was first nominated by President Biden in 2021 and renominated this year. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) scheduled a procedural vote to advance Ho’s nomination last week but pulled it because Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) was out sick with a sinus infection.
In a statement, Manchin pointed to previous comments Ho made about conservatives on social media as the basis of his opposition.
“Hateful words and partisanship should never be characteristics of someone on a federal bench and, for this reason, I have voted against Mr. Ho’s nomination,” he said.
Ho apologized for the tweets during his confirmation hearing.
Schumer, on the other hand, defended his nominee.
“I am confident Dale Ho will follow the facts and administer justice fairly,” Senate Majority Leader (D-N.Y.) Chuck Schumer said in a statement after the vote. “I am proud to have recommended Mr. Ho, and to have championed his nomination.”
Manchin is no stranger to zagging when the White House or the rest of his caucus zigs, as he’s showcased the past two years. The difference now is Senate Democrats picked up a seat last midterms, which gives the caucus a cushion in tight votes as without any additional Democratic defections.
Schumer has prioritized confirming judges to the federal bench since he became the top Senate Democrat two years ago. Confirmations are even more vital to his agenda now that Republicans control the House, grinding the president’s spree of legislative wins in the first half of his term to a halt.
Ho is the 133rd confirmed judicial nominee of the Biden administration. At this point of the Trump administration, the Senate, then led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), had confirmed 188 judges. There are currently 20 pending nominations Schumer can bring to the floor for confirmation votes.
TODAY IN POLITICS
All times Eastern
9 a.m. The House is in with first and last votes expected at 10:40 a.m. on a bill that would clarify the nature of judicial review agency interpretations of statutes and regulations.
9:30 a.m. President Biden will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
10 a.m. The Senate is in and will vote to confirm Nusrat Choudhury to be US District Judge for the Eastern District of New York at 11:15 a.m.
1:45 p.m. The president will speak about protecting consumers from junk fees. The Senate will also vote to advance the nomination of Julie Rikelman to be a US Circuit Judge for the 1st Circuit.
5 p.m. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will speak at a political event for the Biden Victory Fund in Washington, DC.
7:45 p.m. President Biden and Dr. Biden will host a screening of the film Flamin’ Hot.
Vice President Harris is in DC and has no public events scheduled.
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THEY DID THAT
The Federal Reserve paused its increases in interest rates for the first time since March 2022. The benchmark will hold at around 5.1 percent after 10 straight hikes to give Fed officials a chance to assess the impact of the higher borrowing rates on inflation.
The Human Rights Campaign called on the House to reject anti-LGBTQ language included in the veterans affairs funding bill the Appropriations Committee passed this week. HRC says the language attempts to ban gender-affirming care for veterans, allows for new forms of religious discrimination, and prohibits the display of LGBTQ+ pride flags. The amended language also limits access to abortion coverage and bans diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas) broke history during last night’s Congressional Baseball Game as the only female player on the Democratic Team and made history as the first-ever Black female Democrat to play in the game’s 114-year history. Republicans defeated Democrats 16-6, their third straight victory in the charity game.
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), who was indicted last month on 13 federal criminal charges, threw stones from a glass house at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) after Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) filed a resolution to censure Schiff for his role in the impeachments of former President Donald Trump. 20 House Republicans joined Democrats to kill the resolution, which would also called for Schiff to be fined $16 million. And the wildest part? Santos ended up voting present.
The Treasury Department released new guidance to expand the reach of the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy tax credits. The House GOP tax bill would repeal the credits and set back President Biden’s climate goals, including a 50-percent reduction in emissions by 2030.
Green New Deal Network and Seventh Generation launched a first-of-its-kind consumer education campaign to build awareness and increase public support for solutions to address the climate crisis. The campaign will run over the course of the year and include diverse voices across the climate movement to speak to the wide variety of ways the public can engage on the issue.
Researchers found that TikTok influencers and celebrities are increasingly taking over from journalists as the main source of news for young people. “While mainstream journalists often lead conversations around news in Twitter and Facebook, they struggle to get attention in newer networks like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok,” a new report said.
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