Week of September 3-7, 2018


  • Kavanaugh Hearings Spark Multiple Controversies
  • Senators and Representatives Meet to Negotiate on Farm Bill

Kavanaugh Hearings Spark Multiple Controversies 

The Senate Judiciary Committee began four days of hearings this week on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. Democrats on the committee made multiple requests to postpone the hearing to allow senators time to review the over 40,000 additional documents they received just the night before about Kavanaugh’s record. The Democrats’ call to delay the hearings was also coupled with their frustration about the lack of transparency in the entire process, since many other documents from Kavanaugh’s record as a senior official serving President George W. Bush have not been released at all. Not surprisingly, Republican leadership rejected efforts to delay the hearing.

At the hearings, serious questions were raised about Kavanaugh’s views on worker safety and rights, health care and the use of executive power. Democrats amplified recent 5-to-4 court decisions like the Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 case by highlighting that it was a political decision, funded by political actors and part of a far-right political plan. Members also held up Janus as an example of disregard for well-established legal precedent overturned for political purposes. It was pointed out that the Janus case is not an isolated incident but was bankrolled by the same “dark money” interest groups and corporate entities pressing for Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee also became increasingly frustrated by Kavanaugh’s unwillingness to share his views on key policy issues before Congress related to civil rights and protections, from the Fair Housing Laws to women’s health, to voting rights, to the Affordable Care Act and more. Kavanaugh also failed to demonstrate at the hearings that he is committed to protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Americans.   

What You Need to Know:  At the conclusion of the hearings, the Senate Judiciary Committee will move to vote on the nomination and, if approved, the nomination will come before the full Senate in coming weeks. There is still time to call your senators and ask them to oppose the Kavanaugh nomination.

Call 1-888-981-9704 to tell your senators to vote “NO” on Kavanaugh!

By making your voice heard, you’re helping to protect the rights of working people. 

Senators and Representatives Meet to Negotiate Farm Bill

Passed about once every five years, the Farm Bill is a package of legislation that addresses programs supporting farmers, promoting environmental conservation and addressing nutrition, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP provides food assistance to more than 40 million Americans, including many families with young children.

Unlike the House-passed Farm Bill, the Senate took a bipartisan approach that maintains nutritional benefits for families, expands job training pilot programs and helps SNAP beneficiaries get better jobs and earn more. Unfortunately, House Republicans went the partisan route, passing legislation that takes nutrition benefits from more than 2 million people, including many families with children. The House legislation would also allow states to outsource SNAP-related jobs currently done by public employees, putting thousands of public sector jobs at risk, including those of AFSCME members. The House and Senate held their first joint conference committee meeting this week to start work on resolving their differences. The House and the Senate conferees must pass a bill with identical language for it to become law.

What You Need to Know: The partisan Farm Bill passed by the House takes benefits from families and places the jobs of AFSCME members at risk. AFSCME is strongly urging members of Congress to stick with the bipartisan Senate version of the bill.

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