DC Statehood would give full rights of citizenship to 712,000 Americans

DC is a historically Black city and Black people still make 47% of the population. And although DC’s 712,000 residents pay taxes, vote in elections, serve in the military and carry out all the responsibilities of American citizenship, they have little say in the regulation of their city; the Federal Government solely holds that power, including affecting local laws, city funding and its operations. 

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Two important gun safety bills pass in the House

the U.S. House of Representatives approved two gun safety bills that will substantially expand and strengthen background checks conducted on individuals who seek to purchase firearms. H.R. 8, otherwise known as the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, requires background checks for individuals who purchase firearms from private sellers online or at gun shows. H.R. 1446 will extend the amount of time the FBI may take to complete a background check from three days to ten days.

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Presidential Actions since February 4, 2021

This has been an ongoing series where Presidential Actions have been parsed out in an effort to acquire some transparency into the intentions President Biden has implemented in the opening days of his administration. For a full breakdown of the difference in the kinds of  Actions available, please visit PEG’s article “Presidential Actions: What’s the Difference?”. It must be noted that it is easy to revoke the executive orders of previous administrations without the proper legislation to codify policy. It is imperative to understand that without urging congress to pass bills that support Executive Orders, they are vulnerable once a president leaves office.

The subjects of the following actions range from policy revocations, civil rights, and foreign policy. There are links directly to the officially published documents in the Federal Register. As of the date of this article, fifty days into his administration, President Biden has issued 35 Executive Orders, 16 Proclamations, and 11 Memoranda. Notices have not been presented, but can be found in the Federal Register.

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CIVICS DECK – What is a Filibuster?

The Guardian sees the filibuster as a way for a relatively small group of senators to block some action by the majority. The filibuster rule allows a minority of 41 senators (out of 100 total) to prevent a vote on most species of legislation. This political strategy takes advantage of a U.S. Senate rule that says a senator, once recognized on the floor, may speak on an issue without being impeded by anyone, thus allowing senators to speak for hours to delay efforts to vote for a bill.

There is no filibuster in the House of Representatives because rules adopted in that larger legislative body strictly limit the amount of time each representative may speak on the House floor.

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CENSUS – the ongoing saga of delayed results and the impact on the 2022 election

date changes have created angst for the political parties and its’ constituencies and placed states in difficult positions to legally and accurately complete their responsibilities.  Some states have constitutional deadlines for redistricting and/or statutory filing deadlines for primaries.

Michigan’s redistricting commission will hold an open meeting at 1 PM on March 5th to discuss the conflict between when Census data will be available and constitutional deadlines. Complicating matters, voting rights advocates have said, is that this will be the first redistricting cycle since the Supreme Court eliminated the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act that required states with a history of racial discrimination to prove to the Department of Justice that their electoral maps weren’t drawn to dilute the power of voters of color. The shortened redistricting window leaves less time to challenge maps in the courts as discriminatory.

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