Policy Updates

On the Hill Updates: February 7, 2020

Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice

Key House committee to hold WHPA hearing

On February 12, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing to discuss the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA, HR 2975/S 1645). The first proactive hearing on domestic abortion access legislation in almost 30 years also marks a key procedural step to advancing the bill and securing a vote for passage on the House floor. WHPA would eliminate medically unnecessary abortion bans and restrictions by guaranteeing providers an affirmative statutory right to care for their patients free from political interference. NCJW is a proud member of the Act for Women campaign and supports WHPA as a means to protect the constitutional right to abortion, ensuring that every single person has equal access to the full range of reproductive health services without delay, judgment, or misinformation.

Federal Courts

Senate to vote on anti-voting rights nominee

On February 5, immediately following the impeachment vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed cloture on five judicial nominations, including the nomination of Andrew Brasher to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and four district court nominees. The Senate will vote on the motion to invoke cloture on Brasher’s nomination on Monday, February 10, and will likely hold a final confirmation vote on either Tuesday, February 11 in the afternoon or Wednesday, February 12 in the morning. Throughout his career, Brasher has advocated for racist gerrymandering and defended laws that disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color, including voter ID laws, proof of citizenship requirements, and a ban on former felons voting. He has also argued against LGBTQ equality and defended TRAP laws that target abortion providers. NCJW strongly opposes Brasher’s nomination and sent this letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • Take Action! Click here to urge your senators to oppose Brasher.

Economic Justice

Landmark law turns 27

On February 5, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) celebrated its 27th birthday. This landmark law guarantees workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for themselves or a close family member. NCJW helped pass the FMLA in 1993, but it’s time for Congress to implement a national paid leave program to ensure that workers do not need to choose between caring for their families and their paychecks.

  • Take Action! Tell your lawmakers to support the FAMILY Act (HR 1185/S 463), which would give millions of workers access to 12 weeks of paid leave to take care of their families or themselves.

Immigration and Refugees

Expanded Muslim Ban announced

On January 31, President Trump expanded the Muslim Ban by barring immigrant visas from Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, and Kyrgyzstan. The expanded ban — which also blocks people from Sudan and Tanzania from the diversity visa program that grants green cards to immigrants — continues to target Muslims and people of color under the guise of national security. NCJW condemned the expansion.

Public Charge goes into effect on February 24

Last week, the US Supreme Court allowed the public charge rule to be implemented while lawsuits against the rule to continue. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the rule would be effective beginning February 24 (except in Illinois, where the rule is blocked by a statewide injunction). The public charge, also known as a wealth test, radically expands the list of programs that will be considered as the government determines whether someone is likely to become a public charge (i.e. dependent on the government) to include food assistance, housing vouchers, and Medicaid. Under the rule, people can be prevented from entering the US, receiving a green card, or sponsoring family members. NCJW condemns this cruel, anti-immigrant wealth test, which disproportionately impacts immigrants of color, low-wage earners, and those with disabilities.

Sign on Letters

  • On February 4, NCJW joined 155 organizations on a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo opposing the State Department’s rule on racially profiling pregnant people.



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