Week of August 20-24, 2018


  • Senators Call for Delay of the Kavanaugh Nomination
  • Senate Approves Third Package of Funding Bills
  • New Report Confirms Trump Administration Sabotage of ACA Raising Health Care Premiums

Senators Call For Delay To Kavanaugh Nomination 

This week, a number of Democratic senators spoke out about the need to delay the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Several new members announced their opposition and cancelled scheduled meetings with the nominee. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and others cited as reasons the conviction of the president’s campaign chairman and the guilty plea made by his personal lawyer to crimes designed to influence the 2016 election. Democrats also repeatedly cited the millions of documents from Kavanaugh’s records that have yet to be released. Schumer said, “We should delay the hearing of Judge Kavanaugh at a very minimum until after the full record on everything he has said and done on executive authority is made public.”

AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride joined a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court where working women from across the country spoke out against the Kavanaugh nomination. McBride said that working people provide  invaluable community services for the public and Kavanaugh’s confirmation will ensure a pro-corporate court that is even more hostile to workers.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing will proceed as planned from September 4-6 despite calls from Democrats to delay it. Senate GOP leaders insist a vote will occur before early October.

What You Need to Know: A great deal is at stake in the approval of the next justice of the Supreme Court – the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Americans. Not just workers’ rights, but access to health care, civil rights, voting rights and much more are in the balance.

AFSCME strongly opposes the Kavanaugh nomination. Working people deserve a fair-mined justice. Kavanaugh has a record that supports the rich and powerful over the rights of working people.

Call your Senators at 1-855-712-8430 and urge them to oppose the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh!

Working families must STOP President Trump from further rigging the Supreme Court with proven anti-worker justices.


Senate Approves Third Package of Funding Bills

The Senate passed its third package of funding bills, pairing the important Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding bill (Labor-HHS) with the Defense funding bill. The package, H.R. 6157, was approved in a bipartisan 85 to 7 vote. The Labor-HHS bill provides funding for many programs critical for AFSCME members – including job training, employment services, health care, child welfare, services for the elderly, education and other important public services. While the Senate bill provides $2 billion more overall than the House bill, critical programs remain underfunded – with funding levels below those provided in 2010. With the passage of H.R. 6157, the Senate has now approved nine of the 12 annual funding bills, while the House of Representatives has approved six. However, the House and the Senate have yet to resolve their differences on any of these funding bills, which must be done before lawmakers can send the measures to the president to be signed into law.

What You Need to Know: The House and Senate will need to work out the differences between their versions of the Labor-HHS bill before it can be enacted into law. AFSCME is urging members of Congress to support the highest possible funding levels for the Labor-HHS bill to invest in essential public services. Since Congress is unlikely to finalize all 12 funding bills before September 30, when current funding runs out, it will likely need to pass a short-term funding bill to avoid a government shutdown.

New Report Confirms Trump Administration Sabotage of ACA Raising Health Care Premiums

A new report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals how the Trump administration’s tactics to undermine and disrupt the Affordable Care Act (ACA) drove up health care premiums and left more Americans without health insurance. As the congressional attempt to repeal the Affordable care Act failed, the administration pursued other attacks on the ACA and its protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. The GAO found that the increase in the number of uninsured people was attributable to the premium increases that were caused by the Trump administration’s decision to halt the payments to insurance companies that reduce out-of-pocket costs for consumers. 

The administration also worked to confuse consumers, create obstacles for individuals seeking to enroll in health care, stop payments that reduce the cost of premiums, and poorly managed outreach efforts to provide Americans with accurate and unbiased information on their health insurance options.

What You Need to Know:  Even though the public overwhelmingly does not want the repeal of the ACA and a congressional effort to repeal the health care law failed, Trump is still working to undermine and unravel the health care law through administrative actions. The GAO report shows that these efforts have increased the number of uninsured Americans and raised health insurance premiums for those seeking coverage on the individual market. Congress needs to put a stop to these efforts to thwart the law. Congress must stop pretending that the administration is not causing harm to Americans’ health and financial security.

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