JAC members just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. We met with over 60 Representatives and Senators, both in their offices on Capitol Hill and at special events we hosted, while advocating for our issues. It was an empowering and motivating few days. We hosted six freshman JAC-supported House members for breakfast, such as Reps.
President Donald Trump's approval ratings are the lowest of any president since Gallup began presidential approval surveys in 1953. This strong anti-Trump sentiment has given Democrats hope to capture Health and Human Secretary Tom Price's open congressional seat in Georgia. Voter turnout exceeded expectations, pushing Democratic Jon Ossoff to a run-off on June 20th. Every vote counts.
There is still no good news in the revised Senate healthcare bill - despite GOP claims and any extra perks they have offered to wavering Senators for their support. The bill is an absolute nightmare that would cause a spectacular amount of suffering - and even deaths.* The Senate will stay in session, forgoing their August recess, until they can get this bill passed. They want a victory on this issue at any cost.
Today the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. This was accomplished by changing the rules of the Senate to permit a simple majority (51 votes) to decide.
JACPAC is deeply disappointed by this confirmation. We say "Elections Have Consequences." The impact of this confirmation will be felt for generations.
When the GOP wanted to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act and deny funding for Planned Parenthood, maternity care, prenatal care and newborn care, voters used their political muscle. We called and showed up at town hall meetings. Congress heard our voices and the repeal was tabled. Phone calls and pressure worked. We must remember that for the next big fight - the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch.
The Judiciary Committee will vote on Gorsuch on Monday to send the nomination to the Senate, with a full vote scheduled for next Friday.
There were no surprises nor illuminating moments during Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court hearing this week. But don't be fooled. President Donald Trump nominated Gorsuch to be a smooth-talking advocate on the bench for a far-right ideology. If Gorsuch is appointed, he will unravel the social, economic, and political progress our country has made over the past 100 years.
President Donald Trump's newly released budget is an affront to the Jewish values we support as a community. His budget ramps up military spending in a fashion previously seen only during wars and arms races. His attack on agencies delivers a serious blow to the protection of our water and air, education of our children, and the work conducted in medical research. A stable, functioning and compassionate society depends on these and other necessary programs.
As my internship at JAC comes to an end, I have been reflecting on my experiences over the last couple of months. My internship at JAC began right after Donald Trump was inaugurated. It was and extremely intense political climate, that has continued. Working in the research and communications department, it was a daily challenge for me to differentiate facts from bias, especially when information comes from countless sources and is shared on every platform. I hope to use this experience to remain better informed at college and share that knowledge with my friends.
When JAC began in 1980, there were only 18 women in Congress. Today 105 women serve in the House and Senate. Women have made significant strides in government. They have contributed to every aspect of society, as well. During Women's History month in March, we honor women for their achievements and impact in our lives. However, we must also remember the challenges that remain.
This week there were anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. and Europe. Jewish Community Centers received bomb threats for the fourth time in five weeks; a St. Louis Jewish cemetery was vandalized; and two kippah-wearing brothers in Paris were abducted and beaten. The Jewish community continues to react with disgust, sadness and fear. Yet President Donald Trump's responses have been delayed and weak. History has taught us what happens when elected leaders and community members remain silent.