Communications & Advocacy

On the Hill Updates: January 4, 2019

Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice

Proposed rule jeopardizes insurance coverage for abortion

Last November, the Trump Administration proposed a burdensome and confusing rule that would ultimately force insurance companies to deny abortion coverage. The rule would require separate bills and payments for insurance premiums and abortion coverage. If adopted, the rule will make it so difficult for insurance companies to cover abortion care that they would likely be forced to stop covering it altogether. NCJW opposes this rule and believes that the elimination of abortion coverage would threaten women’s health, well-being, and economic security.

  • Take action! The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is accepting comments on the proposed rule until January 8. Speak out today to protect reproductive health care and tell the Trump Administration to stop oppressing women who have abortions!

Federal Courts

SCOTUS turns back the administration’s plea to immediately impose new asylum policy

The Supreme Court on December 21 rejected the Trump administration’s plea to immediately enforce its new policy of denying asylum to those who illegally cross the US-Mexico border.
In the 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court’s Democratic appointees to reject the administration’s request to set aside a San Francisco federal judge’s ruling blocking Trump’s order from taking effect.

DC Circuit Court upholds the hateful transgender military ban

On January 4, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled that restrictions on transgender men and women serving in the military can continue. This ruling reversed the lower court’s decision that had blocked the Trump Administration’s policy. NCJW strongly opposes the ban.

Sex Trafficking

Trafficking bill moves in waning days of Congress

Before the 115th Congress ended, the Senate passed by voice vote the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (HR 2200) on December 17. A similar version passed the House on July 12, 2017, and on December 21 the House passed the Senate version, 368-7. The measure would preserve and expand essential services and protections for survivors of trafficking including: training and education efforts so that employees of the travel and hospitality industries can better recognize children and adults who may be trafficked, reintegration programs for trafficking survivors, and a new grant program to help bring anti-trafficking educational outreach to America’s schools. Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Karen Bass (D-CA), championed the effort in the House, and Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bob Corker (R-TN) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) crafted the Senate version. The measure, supported by NCJW, awaited the president’s signature as the 115th Congress came to a close.

Human Needs

Making history: most diverse Congress sworn in as the government remains shut down

As the new 116th Congress was sworn in and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was elected Speaker of the House for the second time (with 220 votes), they immediately got to work on passing legislation to reopen the government (241-190) —  six appropriations bills to fund most of the government and a continuing resolution to fund the Department of Homeland Security until February 8. This is the first time a new Congress was sworn in during a government shutdown. The proposals do not include additional wall funding making it unlikely they’ll move forward in the Senate or be supported by the president. The partial government shutdown is expected to continue indefinitely.


Sign On Letters

  • On December 26, NCJW submitted a comment for the record to the Department of Labor opposing expanding drug testing requirements for unemployment insurance.
  • On January 4, NCJW submitted a comment for the record to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services opposing separate bills and payments for insurance premiums and abortion coverage.

Amicus Briefs

  • NCJW signed on as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to a brief in Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix, a case before the Arizona State Supreme Court regarding a business that refuses to sell artwork for same-gender weddings, based on the religious objections of its owners.

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