On the Hill Updates

On the Hill Updates: Friday, July 16, 2021

Federal Courts

Senate Judiciary holds hearing on Pérez nomination

On July 14, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on a number of judicial nominees, including Myrna Pérez for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Pérez has argued cutting-edge and complex cases in federal and state courthouses across the country, taught at both Columbia and New York University law schools, testified before Congress and several state legislatures on a variety of voting rights-related issues, and speaks frequently on academic and bar association panels. If confirmed, Pérez would be the only Latina on the court and the first since Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. NCJW strongly supports the nomination of Myrna Pérez for a lifetime appointment on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

  • Take Action! Tell your senators to support Myrna Pérez and other qualified, fair, and independent nominees to the federal bench.

Cunningham’s nomination to Federal Circuit advances in Senate

On July 15, the Senate passed a cloture motion (63-34) on Tiffany Cunningham’s nomination to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Cunningham is a registered patent attorney before the US Patent and Trademark office with over 20 years of experience in patent and intellectual property law. Her confirmation would make her the first and only Black woman on the Federal Circuit. NCJW supports the nomination of Tiffany Cunningham for a lifetime seat on the federal bench.

Two public defenders move closer to confirmation to the federal bench

On July 15, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to refer the nominations of Eunice Lee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (11-10) and Veronica Rossman to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (12-10) out of committee for consideration by the full Senate. Both Lee and Rossman have spent their careers as public defenders, with Lee representing more than 380 clients over the past 20 years and Rossman representing over 250 clients in the last 12 years. NCJW supports the confirmations of Eunice Lee and Veronica Rossman for lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary.

  • Take Action! Contact your senators in support of fair, independent, and qualified nominees supported by NCJW.

Voting Rights

Good Trouble: Vigils for Democracy

On July 17, a year after John Lewis’ passing, the Leadership Conference, Transformative Justice Coalition, National Council of Jewish Women, and many more partners are organizing nationwide candlelight vigils for democracy. The Good Trouble: Vigils for Democracy will see people across the country make their voices heard to demand the passage of the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and DC Statehood and to not let the Jim Crow filibuster stand in the way. A flagship vigil is being organized in Washington, DC with echo vigils across the country. Check here to see if there’s a vigil in your area and, if not, consider planning your own!

March On for Voting Rights

On Saturday, August 28, March On, SEIU, National Action Network, and the Drum Major Institute are organizing a “March On for Voting Rights” to demand that legislatures across the country end their push for restrictive voting laws and that Congress pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Restoration Act. These critical bills will ensure free, fair access to the ballot for every American voter. Marches will be held in Atlanta, Houston, Miami, and Phoenix, where voting rights are under attack, and in Washington, D.C., where Congress is debating voting rights legislation. To learn more about the March On for Voting Rights, visit www.marchonforvotingrights.org.

Additional Updates

Senate Dems announce recovery package toplines

This week, Senate Democrats appeared to reach consensus on the topline priorities of the next COVID-19 recovery package, which includes many elements of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. The recovery package will take the form of a budget resolution so it can be passed under special rules requiring only a simple majority (51 votes). The proposed framework includes $3.5 trillion in total investments to be paid for by health care savings, raising taxes for corporations and the wealthy, and projected long-term economic growth. Priorities in the framework include:

  • Investments in clean energy to combat climate change;
  • Funding for the caregiving economy, including universal pre-K for three and four-year-old children, childcare, paid family and medical leave;
  • Investments in anti-poverty measures such as housing assistance, extending the expanded child tax credit, and nutrition programs;
  • Expanding Medicare benefits and closing the Medicaid coverage gap in states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act; and
  • Providing a path to citizenship for Dreamers (young immigrants brought to the US as children), essential workers, and possibly other immigrant populations.

There are still many obstacles before these toplines become law. Next, Senate Democrats need to actually pass the budget resolution (Majority Leader Schumer has called for a vote next Wednesday, July 21), which will then go to the House of Representatives (where advocates believe the resolution can pass, narrowly). That kicks off the formal reconciliation process, in which Congressional committees are instructed to turn these priorities into legislative text. Voting on the actual reconciliation bills itself is not expected until late in the calendar year.

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