Ed Markey Is the Right Leader for MA, Gabriel Gomez Failed His Final Test Before Election Day
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on the final Massachusetts Senate debate:
“Ed Markey proved once again tonight that he is the right leader for Massachusetts and will stand up for middle class families in the U.S. Senate. At the same time, tonight was Gabriel Gomez’s final test: Would he give Massachusetts voters honest answers to the serious questions they have about his out-of-touch policy positions and his business experience? He failed that test.
“Gabriel Gomez has put his business experience front and center but refuses to provide answers to the questions Massachusetts voters have about that experience. He refuses to release the list of clients he worked for at Advent International. He refuses to answer simple questions about the role he played in creating jobs overseas. Massachusetts voters can’t trust Gabriel Gomez because he refuses to answer these basic questions about the central premise of his candidacy.
“And try as he might, Gomez can’t run from the national Republican Party or the fact that he would be a rubber stamp for their extreme agenda in Washington. He prefers two sets of rules for Americans when it comes to taxes – one for the wealthiest and corporations and one for the middle class. He would vote for Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. And he opposes a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
“The choice is clear in this election. On the issues that are important to Massachusetts voters – tax fairness, women’s health and reducing gun violence – Ed Markey is a proven leader Bay Staters can trust. He will represent their values and best interests in the United States Senate.”
Statement on House Republicans’ Latest Effort to Limit A Woman’s Right To Choose
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 1797, the Republicans' latest effort to infringe on a woman's right to choose:
"The House GOP is once again attempting to force their extremist ideology on America's women. Today, House Republicans passed the most extreme abortion legislation that Congress has passed in the last decade.
“Forty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that women have the right to choose what is best for themselves and their bodies. In the long-term, Republicans are dead-set on overturning Roe v. Wade and for the time being are fixated on systematically chipping away at a woman's right to choose at the federal and state level. Democrats refuse to let that happen – from the halls of Congress to state legislatures, we will fight to protect a woman's right to make her own choices about her health care.
"Earlier this year, national Republicans pledged to be less extreme in order to expand their support among voters. Unfortunately for Republicans, actions speak louder than words, and today's extremist and out of touch vote will not go unnoticed by America's women."
From State Houses to Congress, GOP Renews Assault on Women’s Health
Yesterday, Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett took the unnecessary step of signing a bill into law that bans abortion coverage in the state’s health insurance marketplace. Corbett doesn’t seem to mind that, “there’s already language in the federal law that prevents the mingling of private and public funds for abortion services.” It’s clear that Corbett would rather spend his time passing unnecessary legislation attacking women’s health choices than working on the economic challenges his state faces. (Take a look at this new DGA memo chronicling GOP Governors’ recent attacks on women’s health.)
Not to be outdone, later today, the House of Representatives is set to vote on a ban on abortions after 22 weeks, which the New York Times characterized as, “the most restrictive abortion bill to come to a vote in either chamber in a decade.” The House GOP’s legislation is not only unnecessary and extreme; it has zero chance of becoming law. All the while, Republicans in the House haven’t passed one serious jobs bill.
Republicans from State Houses to Congress are working day and night in pursuit of a narrow-minded agenda to infringe on the rights of women to make the health care decisions that are best for them. While Republicans are perusing their far right agenda, President Obama and Democrats are focused on issues important to the economic security of women, like raising the minimum wage and passing paid sick leave and paycheck fairness legislation. As Republicans peruse their legislative agenda across the country, the choice for women and their families couldn’t be clearer.
DNC Statement on the Supreme Court Striking down Arizona’s Proposition 200
Please see below a statement from DNC Counsel and Voter Protection Director Will Crossley on this morning’s Supreme Court decision striking down Arizona’s Proposition 200:
"We are pleased that the Supreme Court rejected the State of Arizona's effort to disregard the Federal Form for voter registration and add its own additional and unnecessary proof of citizenship requirements. The Court strongly affirmed Congress’s power to establish federal standards to make registration in federal elections easy for all the nation’s citizens. Today’s decision is consistent with the Democratic National Committee’s goal of ensuring that the process for voting remains open and fair for all Americans.
“Republicans have been focused on raising unnecessary obstacles to voting from pushing for unnecessary photo ID legislation to restricting early voting. The DNC will continue to oppose legislative and political efforts that erode the right to vote and will actively support efforts to protect and expand voting rights across the country.”
Growing Small Businesses
Today marks the start of Small Business Week — a time when we celebrate the thousands of small business owners across our country and recommit ourselves to giving them the support they need to grow and create jobs.
These men and women not only employ nearly half of all American private sector employees, they are the economic engines that drives our country forward.
That’s why from the moment President Obama stepped into the Oval Office, he made small businesses a top priority.
President Obama signed eighteen tax breaks for small businesses into law, including those for hiring unemployed workers and investing in new equipment.
For the first time, Americans can go online to BusinessUSA — a virtual one-stop shop for businesses to access the services and resources they need to grow and expand.
The Obama Administration created the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act which dramatically cut red tape so that small businesses and entrepreneurs can more efficiently raise capital and expand.
Under President Obama’s leadership, more than 166,000 small businesses have gained access to loans through community banks, state-run loan programs, and the Small Business Administration.
The President’s 2014 Budget supports more than $27 billion in loan guarantees to enable entrepreneurs to start up and expand small businesses and create jobs.
President Obama signed the America Invents Act. It is the most significant reform of the nation’s patent system in more than half a century. By helping companies and inventors avoid costly delays and unnecessary litigation, the law frees up small businesses to focus on innovation and job creation.
The Obama Administration created Startup America, a nationwide network of entrepreneurs dedicated to fueling innovation and supporting small businesses.
But all of this is just a small part of what the Obama Administration has done to help small business owners. The President plans on continuing to work for small business by cutting taxes further, permanently eliminating capital gains taxes to free up capital for small businesses, and reforming the New Markets Tax Credit to make it easier for startups in lower-income communities to find investors.
Small businesses play a vital role in our economy and as Democrats, we continue to work to make sure they have the resources and policies they need to grow, succeed, and create jobs.
Hope Institute: Why I’m a Democrat
Today we asked participants in the Hope Institute (a crash course in politics for 40 young adults from underrepresented communities) to share why they're a Democrat in 140 characters. Here's what they had to say:
I'm a democrat because I believe in my generation's power to impact and change this country for the better #hopeinstitute
— Yassamin Ansari (@yassaminansari) June 13, 2013
#hopeinstitute I'm a Democrat because I want to fight for all Americans. Every life deserves a voice. The Democrats are that voice.
— Steven Christopher (@domrepp) June 13, 2013
#hopeinstitute I'm a democrat because I believe in a smart, fair, andworkable immigration system
— Garry Jones (@GarryBJones) June 13, 2013
I am a Democrat because everyone deserves a seat at the table #hopeinstitute #dnc
— Colleen Kutney (@colleenkutney) June 13, 2013
I'm a Democrat because I believe in common sense immigration reform that will help improve the lives of 11 million Americans. #HopeInstitute
— Pedro A. Villalobos (@pedro_villa) June 13, 2013
I'm a Democrat because I support the progress in PROGRESSive @thedemocrats #HopeInstitute
— Max (@Max_Not_Mark) June 13, 2013
I'm a Democrat because I believe in equality for ALL. #HopeInstitute
— Erin Murphy (@ErinMurphy1) June 13, 2013
I believe my generation can change the world, but we must have access to affordable education in order to do so! #HopeInstitute
— Maria Carrasquillo (@MICarrasquillo) June 13, 2013
@thedemocratsbecause we believe in opportunities for all #hopeinstitute
— Lupe Arce (@Lupe_Arce) June 13, 2013
I believe in a fair economy and equal educational opportunities that enables all Americans to rise into the middle class. #HopeInstitute
— Joshua Mbanusi (@JoshuaMbanusi) June 13, 2013
I am a Dem because as a gay soldier in Iraq, it was Dems that supported DADT repeal. We care about ALL people! #HopeInstitute
— Eric Williams (@EricWilliams253) June 13, 2013
I'm a Democrat because I believe that everyone, regardless of their zip code, deserve a fair shot at life. #HopeInstitute @thedemocrats
— Joelle Gamble (@joelle_gamble) June 13, 2013
MEMO: New GOP Assault on Women’s Health Care is Akin-Like
To: Interested Parties
From: Simone Ward, National Women’s Outreach Director, Democratic National Committee
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Re: New GOP Assault on Women's Health Care is Akin-Like
Yesterday, Republicans from Washington, DC to Madison, WI and Austin, TX began waging a new war on women’s health by acting on additional unnecessary and insulting state and federal legislation that further restricts a woman's ability to make the health care choices that are right for her. This, just weeks after the GOP’s infamous “autopsy” report acknowledged the Republican Party’s problems with women and pledged to change.
Just yesterday, the GOP-led House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that if enacted would ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for cases of rape, incest or when the mother's health is at risk. Ahead of the vote, Rep. Trent Franks, a leading House conservative and sponsor of the amendment went as far as to say that pregnancies as a result of rape are 'very low,' echoing similar comments made last year by Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin. In Texas, Governor Rick Perry made a surprise announcement by adding sweeping anti-abortion bills onto the agenda for a special legislative session, including one piece of legislation that could shut down 80% of Texas's abortion clinics. And in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker pledged to sign legislation into law that would force women to get a medically unnecessary ultrasound when considering an abortion. That's a summary of one day's efforts in today's Republican Party.
Unfortunately for women and their families, the news out of DC, Texas and Wisconsin yesterday didn't happen in isolation – it's a key part of the GOP's legislative agenda which, in the spirit of Mitt Romney and his failed Presidential bid, still includes these and efforts such as defunding Planned Parenthood and repealing Obamacare.
After their 2012 losses, Republicans promised in numerous reports to modify their strategy, tone down their rhetoric and reach out to voters like women that they lost in 2012 as a direct result of their offensive rhetoric and extreme policies. But when it comes to women’s health, the Grand Old Party is the just the same old extreme party it’s always been.
SINCE 2012, MULTIPLE STATES HAVE ENACTED NEW RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTIONS
North Dakota Enacted The Strictest Ban On Abortions In The Country. “North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has signed legislation that would ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The Republican governor also signed into law another measure that would makes North Dakota the first to ban abortions based on genetic defects such as Down syndrome. Abortion-rights advocates say the measures signed Tuesday are an attempt to close the state's sole abortion clinic in Fargo. Supporters of the so-called fetal heartbeat measure say it's a challenge the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until a fetus is considered viable, usually at 22 to 24 weeks. Abortion-rights advocates say the state will have to defend the legislation in a costly legal fight.” [AP, 3/26/13]
Arkansas Passed A Law Over The Governor’s Veto Banning Abortion After 12 Weeks. “The Arkansas House of Representatives voted 56-33 on Wednesday to override Gov. Mike Beebe's (D) veto of a ban on abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, ensuring that the most restrictive abortion law in the country will now go into effect. Under the new law, proposed by state Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway), doctors who perform abortions on a woman who is more than 12 weeks pregnant will lose their medical licenses unless the woman is a victim of rape or incest, her life is in danger or the fetus has a highly lethal abnormality. Republican supporters of the bill argue that abortion should be banned that early in a pregnancy because the fetal heartbeat can be detected at that point. Several states, including Arkansas, have passed bans on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on the medically unsubstantiated theory that fetuses can feel pain at that point. But Arkansas is the first state to pass a 12-week ban.” [Huffington Post, 3/6/13]
Kansas Enacted A Law Defining Life As Beginning “At Fertilization.” “Kansas is set to enact one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation which defines life as beginning "at fertilization" and imposes a host of new regulations. The Kansas House of Representatives passed the bill 90-30 on Friday night, a few hours after the Senate backed it on a 28-10 vote. Strongly anti-abortion Republican Governor Sam Brownback is expected to sign it into law. Republicans hold strong majorities in both houses. In addition to the provision specifying when life begins, the bill prevents employees of abortion clinics from providing sex education in schools, bans tax credits for abortion services and requires clinics to give details to women about fetal development and abortion health risks. It also bans abortions based solely on the gender of the fetus.” [Reuters, 4/6/13]
Pennsylvania Banned Abortion Coverage In The Obamacare Exchanges. “Women in Pennsylvania will have the right to choose insurance through the state health exchange, but it won’t extend to abortion. The state Senate on Wednesday voted 31-19 to approve House Bill 818, which prohibits insurance policies offered through Pennsylvania’s upcoming health-care insurance exchanges from offering abortion coverage. The bill, which already passed in the House, goes to Gov.Corbett. Christine Cronkright, a spokeswoman for Corbett, said the governor will sign the bill. In an email, Cronkright said the bill would not ‘place any greater restrictions’ on access-to-care for abortion. Abortions will still be allowed in cases of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is at risk. However, the ban also extends to plans sold by private insurers issued without federal subsidy.” [Philadelphia Independent, 6/6/13]
The North Carolina House Voted to Exclude Abortion Coverage From The Obamacare Exchanges. “Abortions will not be covered in North Carolina’s online health insurance exchange, which is coming as part of the federal Affordable Care Act, nor through the plans cities and counties offer their workers, under a bill tentatively approved 67-38 in the House late Wednesday night. The bill would also allow any health care provider to refuse to participate in abortions; current law protects doctors and nurses.” [Raleigh News and Observer, 5/15/13]
GOVERNORS HAVE FORCED THEIR EXTREME IDEOLOGY AND UNNECCESSARY MEDICAL PROCEDURES ON WOMEN
Scott Walker Said He Would Sign Controversial Ultrasound Bill. “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday he will sign a measure that's quickly working its way through the Republican-controlled Legislature that would require women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound […] ’I don't have any problem with ultrasound,’ Walker told reporters after a school choice meeting in Milwaukee. ‘I think most people think ultrasounds are just fine.’” [Associated Press, 6/11/13]
Rick Perry Added A Ban On Abortions After 20 Weeks To The Agenda For The Special Legislative Session In Texas. “Gov. Rick Perry set off an immediate firestorm Tuesday by adding sweeping anti-abortion bills to the special session agenda, including one that opponents believe could shut down 80 percent of the state’s abortion clinics. ‘We have an obligation to protect unborn children, and to hold those who peddle these abortions to standards that would minimize the death, disease and pain they cause,’ Perry said. The governor opened the door for debate on bills to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, mandate that clinics meet the expensive standards of surgical centers and require doctors who perform abortions to maintain surgical privileges at a nearby hospital.” [Dallas Morning News, 6/11/13]
HOUSE REPUBLICANS PLAN A VOTE ON A NATIONAL BAN ON ABORTIONS AFTER 20 WEEKS
House Republicans Planned A Vote On A National Ban On Abortions After 20 Weeks. “The House will vote next week on a bill banning abortions across the country after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Doug Heye, deputy chief of staff to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., confirmed to CQ Roll Call that the chamber is on track to consider legislation next week that would ban all abortions after the 20-week threshold — the point at which some medical professionals believe a fetus can begin to feel pain. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., is being marked up by the full House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and has the strong backing of the National Right to Life Committee. Heye also confirmed that the bill would be brought to the floor under a rule, designed to allow for passage via a simple majority. Franks had a previous incarnation of the bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks only in the District of Columbia, and it came up for a vote in 2012 under suspension of the rules, an expedited procedure for allowing bills to come to the floor. But such suspension measures require a two-thirds majority vote for passage, and the bill failed to pass that goal post.” [Roll Call, 6/10/13]
REPUBLICAN LEADERS ACCUSE PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF INFANTICIDE AND STILL INSIST THAT RAPE DOESN’T LEAD TO PREGNANCY
Reince Priebus Said Supporters Of Planned Parenthood Endorsed Infanticide. “Planned Parenthood is an organization that receives taxpayer funding, including millions from the federal government. They also enjoy the unwavering support of almost all elected Democrats. The President, the Senate Majority Leader, the House Democratic Leader, and the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (in whose home state this hearing occurred) made funding Planned Parenthood an issue in the 2012 campaign. They should now all be held to account for that outspoken support. If the media won’t, then voters must ask the pressing questions: Do these Democrats also believe a newborn has no rights? Do they also endorse infanticide?” [Reince Preibus Op-Ed, Red State, 4/3/13]
Trent Franks Said The Rate Of Pregnancies From Rape Is “Very Low.” “Another Republican congressman ventured into the realm of rape and pregnancy Wednesday, saying at a committee hearing that incidences of pregnancy from rape are ‘very low.’ Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), whose measure banning abortions after 20 weeks was being considered in the House Judiciary Committee, argued against a Democratic amendment to make exceptions for rape and incest by suggesting that pregnancy from rape is rare. ‘The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,’ Franks said. Franks continued: ‘But when you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours. And in this case that’s impossible because this is in the sixth month of gestation. And that’s what completely negates and vitiates the purpose of such an amendment.’” [Washington Post, 6/12/13]
Sneak Peek: The Hope Institute
I can't believe it's finally here! For months, our team's been working around the clock reviewing resumes, arranging flights, coordinating logistics, and securing some of the best and brightest public servants, elected officials and political professionals to serve as mentors and guest speakers.
Tonight, we're officially kicking off the Hope Institute — a throw back to then-Senator Barack Obama's "Yes We Can" campaign school and the latest effort by Democrats to invest in the next generation of leaders.
I remember the "Yes We Can" program very well. Launched in 2005, this campaign school trained participants from underrepresented communities on how to break into politics. And it was a huge success.
When I came to the DNC as the new Finance Director, I thought it was important to do some of the things we did well back in the day. That's why we launched the Hope Institute — a crash course in politics for 40 young adults from underrepresented communities.
These next two days are going to be intense. We've put together a packed schedule with speakers, networking opportunities, and real life campaign scenarios. And we've got some surprises too.
I can't wait to meet everyone tonight and look forward to sharing stories from the events. As Democrats, we believe in change that matters. That's why we invest in young people who care.
If you'd like to invest in the next generation of Democratic leaders:
chip in now
P.S. Fun fact: I met my beautiful wife while we were working together on the "Yes We Can" campaign. And that's just one of the many great things to come out of it. Excited to get started!
Statement on All-Male Group of House Republicans Trying to Limit Women’s Right To Choose
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on Republicans’ latest efforts to limit a woman’s right to choose:
“Republicans are at it again proving that they are out of touch and extreme. Today, an all-male group of House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee approved a bill which will ban abortions nation-wide after 20 weeks of pregnancy and makes no exception for cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s health is at risk. This is yet another attempt by the Republican Party to overturn Roe v. Wade. Republicans passed the bill along a party-line vote, and they are expected to send the bill to the full House for a vote next week.
“But that’s not all. It seems like each time the GOP offends America’s women they manage to shock us all by taking it one step further and today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing was no exception. During final debate on the measure, its sponsor, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said that ‘instances of pregnancy from rape are very low.’ Sadly, this is not the first time we've heard something like this from a Republican. It flies in the face of science and the facts and it is insensitive to women.
“This comes as a shock to many, but is just the latest attempt by Republicans in Congress to force their extremist ideology on women and it won’t go unnoticed.”
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Ed Markey Is the Right Choice for Massachusetts
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on Ed Markey’s clear victory in tonight’s debate in Massachusetts:
“Ed Markey demonstrated tonight why he’s the right choice for Massachusetts. He’s a proven leader who shares the values of Massachusetts voters and will join President Obama and Democrats in the Senate to fight for investments in the middle class and ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. And the women of Massachusetts know they can count on Ed Markey to support their right to make their own health care decisions.
“Gabriel Gomez tried and failed to distance himself from the national Republican Party. He told voters tonight he would be willing to end a tax break that 36 million people have relied on to help pay for their homes. He just can’t hide the fact that he will be another vote for Mitch McConnell and an economic agenda that favors tax breaks and loopholes for corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Or that he would end a woman’s right to choose and block commonsense efforts to reduce gun violence. Quite simply, Gabriel Gomez is out of step with the people of Massachusetts.
“Massachusetts deserves a Senator who stands with them on the issues they care most about and Ed Markey proved once again tonight that he is that leader.”