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Who Congress Choses To Protect-- And Who It Choses To NOT Protect


"Real, Meaningful Progress" by Nancy Ohanian

Tuesday afternoon, the House passed the Senate's version of a Supreme Court protection proposal, which pointedly leaves out the families of the Court's employees and only gives protection to the families of the justices, even though there have been threats against employees as well. It passed 396-27, the 27 being a wide variety of Democrats, from Josh Gottheimer on the far right fringe of the party to solid progressives like AOC, Pramila Jayapal, Cory Bush, Barbara Lee, Marie Newman and Jamaal Bowman.


Why did almost all the Democrats get bamboozled into voting for this terrible GOP messaging bill that gives credence to the idea that the right-wing Supreme Court justices needs protection from crazy far left radicals? No one seems to know why this terribly flawed legislation was rushed to the floor and who was behind it. Bonnie Watson Coleman, New Jersey's only progressive in the House, told me that the Democrats never even had an opportunity to discuss it as a caucus and what made her vote against it was that it doesn't go far enough, didn't include other federal judges or SCOTUS employees.


Chicagoland's most progressive member of Congress, Marie Newman, told me that of course she wants everyone to be safe and noted that "if we are going to be spending money to keep folks safe, I think we should prioritize our children. So I’m glad to keep everyone safe, including kids, but don’t ask me to prioritize a handful of folks who already have some security, when we won’t keep our kids safe." I heard similar sentiments both from members who voted against the bill and members who voted for it.


I also heard that behind the scenes there were members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus working to get leadership to not bring the bill to the floor at all. That didn't work and it may be because Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) supposedly said unless the House passed it, he would pull the plug on the pathetic excuse for a gun control bill he's been working on with Chris Murphy. It's always such a great look for Democrats to give in to this kind of blackmail, especially when they control the White House and both houses of Congress. It's why people have such faith in them.


I believe that Veronica Escobar and some of the other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were frustrated that Planned Parenthood clinics don’t get protection while being a constant target of right wing extremists. And a different member, not from that caucus, told me that "many of us also felt that until we pass a gun reform bill to protect people across the country and also protect Black people who are murdered by police, this bill didn’t make sense."


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