Congress Moves Forward In Clarifying Electoral Count Act

Congress works to clarify the Electoral Count Act
(image: Element5 Digital/Pexels)

While all sane people agree that vice presidents do NOT have the power to change the results of a presidential election during the counting of electoral votes by Congress, both chambers of Congress are currently on track to clarify any “vagueness” there might be in the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Continue reading “Congress Moves Forward In Clarifying Electoral Count Act”

Biden’s Joint Address To Congress Will Have Several Firsts

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden (image via White House/public domain)

President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress this evening will be noteworthy on several fronts.

Biden is reportedly going to present his $1.8 trillion package to Congress since taking office asking for new spending to expand the American education system, provide more help for childcare and create millions more jobs.

First, the joint address is not a State of the Union speech, although at first glance it will appear very similar. The president will be announced, he’ll walk down the aisle of the House chamber to applause, all that.

But due to COVID restraints, the number of attendees – usually all members of Congress plus guests – will be limited to 200. Many House representatives won’t be there anyway because the annual GOP retreat is taking place this week.

Still, some GOP House members aren’t happy about being left off the invitation list.  Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) says she plans on attending anyway. “I’ve requested an invitation and I haven’t heard back,” Boebert said last week. “I’m showing up.”

While the Senate is in session, only 58 invitations were made available to senators equally divided by party.

Easily the biggest difference for those watching will be visual as for the first time two women – Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – will be seated in the two chairs behind him.

It’s the first time the top two officials in the line of presidential succession are both women.

Another first – the livestream of Biden’s address will feature American Sign Language interpretation for accessibility.

 

President Biden Urges Swift Passage Of Equality Act

President Joe Biden issues a statement of full support to LGBTQ+ people on National Coming Out Day
President Joe Biden

In an official statement from the White House, President Biden calls on Congress to “swiftly pass” the Equality Act:

I applaud Congressman David Cicilline and the entire Congressional Equality Caucus for introducing the Equality Act in the House of Representatives yesterday, and I urge Congress to swiftly pass this historic legislation.

Every person should be treated with dignity and respect, and this bill represents a critical step toward ensuring that America lives up to our foundational values of equality and freedom for all.

Full equality has been denied to LGBTQ+ Americans and their families for far too long. Despite the extraordinary progress the LGBTQ+ community has made to secure their basic civil rights, discrimination is still rampant in many areas of our society.

The Equality Act provides long overdue federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, locking in critical safeguards in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems — and codifying the courage and resilience of the LGBTQ+ movement into enduring law.

On my first day in office, I was proud to sign an Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. I directed agencies to implement the Supreme Court’s Bostock ruling, and fully enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Now, it’s time for Congress to secure these protections once and for all by passing the Equality Act — because no one should ever face discrimination or live in fear because of who they are or whom they love.

The Equality Act, formally reintroduced in the House on Thursday, would ban anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination throughout the nation. The act would amend existing civil rights laws to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The legislation passed in the House in 2019 with a bipartisan 236-173 vote but was never given a vote in the Senate.

(via WhiteHouse.gov)