Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN5)

This would be the first federal holiday to honor a woman.

Context

On December 1, 1955, a black woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her Montgomery, Alabama bus seat for a white passenger. Her conviction and fine led to the Montgomery bus boycott, one of the pivotal events of the 1950s-60s civil rights movement.

There had been plans for such a boycott for some time, but Parks — a civil rights activist — provided the spark which actually made it happen. The boycott proved successful when the Supreme Court upheld the 2–1 Alabama district court decision Browder v. …


Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL6)

Is this art sale a brush with corruption?

Context

Previously a lawyer, investor, and lobbyist, President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has just recently begun embarking on an art career. For rights reasons, we can’t include any embedded images of his artwork within this article, but click here for some images.

Hunter’s upcoming art sale this fall has proven controversial for its high prices, with paintings going for as high as $500,000. Most art critics currently consider the paintings to be decent at best, so the conventional wisdom is that the prices are almost entirely because of the artist responsible.

While the…


Rep. Luis Correa (D-CA46)

As the bill’s sponsor would probably say: Los partidarios dicen que la legislación ayudaría a más personas a acceder a la información.

Context

The White House voluntarily adopted a Spanish-language website under President George W. Bush, in 2001. That was continued under Barack Obama, but Donald Trump discontinued it on his first day in office. Joe Biden in turn reinstituted it on his first day in office. (The website can be found here.)

The U.S. is becoming a much more multicultural society. In 1980, more than 90 percent of Americans only spoke English at home, but by 2015 that had dropped…


Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ5)

If this initiative succeeds, Mayorkas would be only the second impeached Cabinet official in U.S. history.

Context

Under President Joe Biden, in July the monthly level of illegal border crossings reached their highest level since May 2000, while in April deportations reached the lowest monthly level on record.

Many Republicans blame Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who proved controversial even before taking the position. His Senate confirmation vote was 56–43, with Democrats approving him unanimously while Republicans largely opposed him 6–43. …


Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR4)

The bill’s supporters say the devices spew cyanide and unhappiness.

Context

14-year-old Canyon Mansfield and his golden lab Kasey were walking in his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho when they came across a strange-looking device on the ground. Canyon went to pick it up, when orange gas emerged and entered his left eye, giving him massive headaches for years to come. Kasey the dog didn’t survive.

M-44 devices are used by the federal government for predator control on public lands. Animals — most frequently coyotes and foxes — step, pull, or bite on the spring-activated device, which releases sodium cyanide and kills…


Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA)

To paraphrase MC Hammer, the bill’s sponsor says no website or app should be 2 Legit 2 Quit.

Context

Have you ever wanted to delete an account with a website or app but couldn’t figure out how? Here’s a list from PCMag with directions for how to delete an account on some of the most popular websites and apps, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google/Gmail, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Snapchat, Yahoo, Reddit, Pinterest, Netflix, Spotify, and Tinder.

GovTrack allows users to create an account, which allows you to track the voting records and bills introduced of any Congress members you choose, track the status…


Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC11)

Presumably the bill’s sponsors also dislike the Bruno Mars song ‘Leave the Door Open.’

Context

In a July speech at the White House, President Joe Biden caused controversy with a remark implying that the push for COVID-19 vaccinations would shift to more of a door to door approach.

“We are continuing to wind down the mass vaccination sites,” Biden said. “Now we need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus.”

Biden portrayed this as a way to…


Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

That single-use plastic bag might add to your grocery bill.

Context

Plastic speeds up the climate crisis and kills millions of animals a year, but only 8.7 percent of plastic is recycled in the U.S. According to projections from the World Economic Forum, the total weight of plastic in the ocean will exceed the total weight of fish in the ocean by 2050.

Among the worst offenders are so-called “single-use plastics,” such as beverage bottles and food containers.

What the bill does

The REDUCE (Rewarding Efforts to Decrease Unrecycled Contaminants in Ecosystems) Act would tax single-use plastics starting at 10 cents per pound in 2022…


Rep. Bob Good (R-VA5)

The bill’s supporters are in the tank for Trump — literally.

Context

Since 1997, the so-called 1033 Program allows the U.S. military to loan its surplus or extra equipment to law enforcement agencies around the country. Through the years, that has included items such as armored trucks, bayonets, and grenade launchers.

These are considered loans because the property still technically belongs to the Department of Defense, so in theory they could ask for it back, although in practice that rarely happens. …

GovTrack.us

A website for tracking bills in the U.S. Congress. See https://www.govtrack.us.

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