The Biden administration has nominated two NCJW partners for important positions in the Justice Department. NCJW supports Vanita Gupta for Associate Attorney General and Kristen Clarke to head the Civil Rights Division. On March 9, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Vanita Gupta’s nomination to serve as Associate Attorney General.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
- Call your senators and urge their support for Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke.
- Use our social media resources all month as both nominees go through the confirmation process.
Approved! Passed by The House, The Senate, and The House again, and signed into law by President Biden, this bill grants $1.9 trillion for much-needed coverage and benefits and is expected to reduce child poverty by half. Additional elements included are extended unemployment benefits and an additional $1400 stimulus check to individuals meeting specific requirements. NCJW was disappointed that a minimum wage increase did not make it into the final bill, but we will continue to pursue that via other avenues. Read our statement here.
- Voting Rights: On March 7, President Biden signed an executive order directing federal agencies to submit plans for promoting voter registration and participation. In his accompanying remarks, Biden urged the Senate to pass the For the People Act, a democracy reform bill passed by the House last week. Take Action! Tell the Senate to pass the For the People Act as soon as possible!
- Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization: Enacted in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was the first federal law responding to our nation’s crisis of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 (HR1620), supported by NCJW, would build on current law to address gaps identified by survivors and direct service providers. NCJW helped write and pass the landmark Violence Against Women Act as well as subsequent reauthorization bills. Contact your representatives to urge swift passage of the Violence Against Women Act.
- Immigration: Victory for immigrants and their families! The Supreme Court dismissed a case concerning a harmful, anti-immigrant Trump administration rule known as the Public Charge (i.e., dependent on the government). If deemed a public charge, immigrants could then be prevented from entering the US, receiving a green card, or sponsoring family members. The rule had radically expanded the list of programs considered to determine whether someone is likely to become a public charge, including food assistance, housing vouchers, Medicaid, and beyond. Last month the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, but this week the Biden administration announced it would no longer defend the rule, leaving it permanently blocked. You helped make this happen! NCJW advocates wrote hundreds of comments opposing the rule and joined an amicus brief asking the court to overturn the cruel attack on immigrants and their families. Thank you.
- Uplifting the Rights of Women and Girls: On International Women’s Day, President Biden issued two executive orders: one guaranteeing an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and sexual identity; and one formally establishing the creation of the White House Gender Policy Council — both supported by NCJW.
- Gun Violence Prevention: As of this newsletter’s writing, the House is expected to pass two background check bills that would address the deadly “Charleston” loophole that allows a gun sale to proceed if a background check has not been completed in three days. NCJW supports both bills.
- Rep. Marcia Fudge, Department of Housing and Urban Development: confirmed on March 10.
- Merrick Garland, Attorney General: confirmed on March 10.
- Xavier Becerra, Department of Health and Human Services: Senate began consideration of the nomination. As of March 11, no confirmation vote is scheduled.
- Rep. Deb Haaland, Interior Secretary: Senate began consideration of the nomination. A final confirmation vote on Haaland is expected next week.