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Posts Tagged ‘Boxer’

Senator Boxer issued a press release on the defeat of the Blunt Bomb to day:

[Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
March 1, 2012
Contact:
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553
Boxer Statement on Senate Defeat of Blunt Amendment
Republican Measure Threatened Vital Health Services for Millions of American Women and Families
Washington, D.C. ­ U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today issued the following statement after the Senate defeated an amendment by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) that would have allowed any employer or health insurance company to deny critical health care services to anyone:

³Today¹s vote is a victory for the millions of American women and families who were in danger of losing access to vital health services. It is clear that the Republican attacks on women¹s health are having ripple effects all across this country, and the fact that nearly every Republican voted for this amendment will not soon be forgotten.²

http://boxer.senate.gov/en/press/releases/030112.cfm%5D

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for your efforts. Yea, a lot of reds and a few blues voted for this mess. Maine’s Senator Snowe was the only Republican Senator to vote against it. I don’t wonder she wants to retire. As an actual Republican, it can’t have been easy for her the last four years either.

Sure enough, she just put out a statement to that effect:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/olympia-snowe-why-im-leaving-the-sena te/2012/03/01/gIQApGYZlR_story.html

There are currently 17 women in the Senate-obviously nowhere near 51% of the possible 50 seats. Snowe’s seat MUST go to a woman if only to retain the status quo. I know it’s Maine, but a little diversity wouldn’t hurt either.

Snowe herself has inferred that there is little room for a moderate in the current Senate. To break the deadlock in the Senate a Democrat or a Green in her seat would make the difference.

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From a feminist’s viewpoint, it makes no sense to consider a woman, (or even a man) for senatorial candidacy who expresses contempt over it’s appellation. That’s what Carly Fiorina is doing when she attempts to belittle Barbara Boxer’s senatorial exchange in the recent September ad.

Must we again remind ourselves that job titles reflect our experience, value, and job worth? One of the very things that keep us on the low end of the job scale monetarily is our inability to properly identify ourselves. Fiorina knows this. She has had no trouble identifying herself as former CEO of Hewlett Packard.

In this botched ad, it appears that Fiorina was attempting to spotlight Boxer’s 28 years as a public servant as being too long, and Boxer’s correction of General Michael Walsh, who’s use of “Ma’am” was inappropriate, even if allowed by protocol. The problem is, the way in which Boxer’s 28 years experience is addressed induces thought. It makes you think of what she has accomplished, rather than her being out of touch. And, does anyone really think that the military should be above correction?

Republican feminists have to be cringing over this ad. Taken along with the earlier hair remarks, Fiorina couldn’t have skewered herself better if she tried. Who even cares what her platform is, when she takes her campaign strategy cues from rabid bat misogynist trolls?

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I don’t know how you feel about the US/Afghani war, but I want you to ponder this. Today, Dennis Kucinich presented his bill in the House to end the war in 30 days, or, by no later the December 31st, 2010, if conditions on the ground warrant it.  Another 33 billion dollars is about to be budgeted for the military and war effort. That does not include the money being spent from other venues, like the Small Business Administration grant monies to fund mercenaries.

The Bill is labeled: H.Con. Res.248, Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan., HERE.

Against this backdrop, Republicans have held up small bills, like the 45 million dollar one that would have been allocated money to support Afghani women, in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since 2007.

Enter the new administration.

An Afghanistan and Pakistan Regional Stabilization Strategy was issued on January 1st of this year. Senator Boxer wrote President Obama, over her concerns that women were only mentioned once. In February, a revised strategy was issued. Boxer purports that it includes women throughout the strategy. The full strategy can be found HERE. I Found 115 instances of the word “women” on 23 of the 50 pages in the pdf document. Surely, this alone is an improvement, and though women are not specially mentioned in the list of proposed milestones for either country, they are in the Afghani Key Initiatives for agriculture.

Yet, It’s not clear to me at this point exactly how women are to be counted in this document, because I couldn’t find any line items in the report that elucidated direct expenditures to women or women’s groups. It is clear, however, that the State Dept. administration considers women vulnerable; so, some portion of that line item will assuredly go to them. The question is how much, or, is this a sop, designed to placate women?  What kind of movement toward adjudication of half the population of two countries is satisfactory?

In February, Senator Boxer and Senator Casey convened a joint hearing of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women’s Issues and on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs. The hearing was entitled “Afghan Women and Girls: Building the Future of Afghanistan.” Four people were invited to testify.

In her testimony, the Honorable Melanne Verveer, discussed the various ways in which the US is helping to women to change their lives. Then she mentioned that the State Dept was currently supporting four programs, for a total of 2 million dollars, which: “support women’s rights at the local level by engaging religious leaders and local officials to engage in the electoral process and develop women’s participation in local governance.” Another 26.3 million was engaged for small flexible grants to empower Afghan led NGO’s. No other monetary figures are mentioned.

In his testimony, James A. Bever, Director of the USAID Afghani-Pakistan task force, states that they have spent, in Afghanistan, an assistance estimate of 500 million on women and children since 2004, or 50 million a year.

Dr. Sima Samar had much to say on the distance yet to go in order to stabilize Afghanistan, citing lack of health care for women, lack of fundamental rights, and institutions that will train women on human rights democracy and advocacy. However, funding was not mentioned.

Finally, MS, Rachel Reid, for Human right Watch in Afghanistan recognized that 150 million was allocated this year, by the US. At the same time, her statement was the most disturbing, in regards to her views on the Taliban, and President Karzai’s recent moves to reduce women’s rights. While all the testimony was interesting, Reid’s made riveting reading. She also, however, failed to mention funding.

There may be other funding directed to women and children in the State Department’s budget for Afghanistan and Pakistan, but if it really so much more than the 78.3 million this year, mentioned in all that reporting and talking, that I found, you would have thought they would have crowed a heck of a lot louder. The sum of monies in the State Dept spread sheets in their report add up to 22,849.2 million or 22 billion for the years of 2009, 2010 and 2011, of which 3,252.5 million or 3.3 billion is defense related expenditures not counted by the Defense Dept. it’s really a hefty sum, that spreads out pretty equitably over the three years, averaging 8.43 billion.

Of course it’s true that the money is intended for the good of all the Afghani and Pakistani people. Energy projects are a prime example. Still, even though this is an improvement over what came before, it looks like a line item mentality to me, rather than real 51% participation for women.

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Update. Fixed link.

I think the way everyone has been flooding her email the last few days, Barbara Boxer wanted the chance to speak about the health reform bill we may be about to embark upon. As many of you know, I remain on dial-up, and try to keep my formating for others using the same method. In dial-up format, watching uTube is a lot like watching paint dry. However, For those of you with something faster:

Boxer Speaks on Historic Health Care Bill

If she does a text print of it I’ll send it around later. Otherwise, for those of you with something faster, let me know what she says.

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The continuing saga of H.R. 3590.

Members of the Senate have now submitted 150 amendments to H.R. 3590, including approved S.AMDT.2786, which changed the name of the bill to the PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL AMERICANS, and substituted the health care text for that of the original bill involving homeownership. As you may recall that amendment was approved on November 21st when the motion for cloture was agreed to.

Since that time the following additional five amendments have been approved, one amended amendment has been approved and one has been tabled:

S.AMDT.2791 – Mikulski Amdt. 2791 As Amended (by AMDT.2808.); To clarify provisions relating to first dollar coverage for preventive services for women.

S.AMDT.2826 – Bennet Amdt. No. 2826; To protect and improve guaranteed Medicare benefits.

S.AMDT.2870 – Whitehouse Amdt. No. 2870; To promote fiscal responsibility by protecting the Social Security surplus and CLASS program savings in this Act.

S.AMDT. 2899 – Stabenow Amdt. No. 2899; To ensure that there is no reduction or elimination of any benefits guaranteed by law to participants in Medicare Advantage plans.

S.AMDT.2926  – Kerry Amdt No. 2926; To protect home health benefits.

S.AMDT.2939 – Pryor Amdt. No. 2939; To require the Secretary to provide information regarding enrollee satisfaction with qualified health plans offered through an Exchange through the Internet portal.

And one motion to successful tabling of an amendment S.AMDT.2963 – Motion to Table Nelson Amdt. No. 2962; to prohibit the use of Federal funds for abortions.

On the other side, the following five amendments have been rejected and 4 motions have been rejected:

S.AMDT.2836 – Murkowski Amdt. No. 2836; To ensure patients receive doctor recommendations for preventive health services, including mammograms and cervical cancer screening, without interference from government or insurance company bureaucrats.

S.AMDT.2901 – Thune Amdt. No. 2901; To eliminate new entitlement programs and limit the government control over the health care of American families.

S.AMDT.2905 – Lincoln Amdt. No. 2905; To modify the limit on excessive remuneration paid by certain health insurance providers to set the limit at the same levels as the salary of the President of the United States.

S.AMDT.2927 – Ensign Amdt. No. 2927; Relative to limitation on amount of attorneys contingency fees.

S.AMDT.2942 – Gregg Amdt. No. 2942; To prevent Medicare from being raided for new entitlements and to use Medicare savings to save Medicare.

McCain Motion to Commit H.R. 3590 to the Committee on Finance; Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009.

Hatch Motion to Commit H.R. 3590 to the Committee on Finance; Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009

Johanns Motion to Commit to the Committee on Finance; Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009

McCain Motion to Commit H.R. 3590 to the Committee on Finance; Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009.

As you can see, with only twelve amendments dispensed out of one hundred and fifty, the battle and debate for our national health care is not done. It seems a little unrealistic for Reid to say they will be done by the Holiday Break- but hey, he’s the expert.

Senator Boxer’s successful push to get the “Nelson Abortion” abortion tabled , was tremendous. It might take some of the pressure off. HERE is the vote:

Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs —54
Akaka (D-HI)Baucus (D-MT)

Begich (D-AK)

Bennet (D-CO)

Bingaman (D-NM)

Boxer (D-CA)

Brown (D-OH)

Burris (D-IL)

Cantwell (D-WA)

Cardin (D-MD)

Carper (D-DE)

Collins (R-ME)

Dodd (D-CT)

Durbin (D-IL)

Feingold (D-WI)

Feinstein (D-CA)

Franken (D-MN)

Gillibrand (D-NY)

Hagan (D-NC)Harkin (D-IA)

Inouye (D-HI)

Johnson (D-SD)

Kerry (D-MA)

Kirk (D-MA)

Klobuchar (D-MN)

Kohl (D-WI)

Landrieu (D-LA)

Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Leahy (D-VT)

Levin (D-MI)

Lieberman (ID-CT)

Lincoln (D-AR)

McCaskill (D-MO)

Menendez (D-NJ)

Merkley (D-OR)

Mikulski (D-MD)

Murray (D-WA)Nelson (D-FL)

Reed (D-RI)

Reid (D-NV)

Rockefeller (D-WV)

Sanders (I-VT)

Schumer (D-NY)

Shaheen (D-NH)

Snowe (R-ME)

Specter (D-PA)

Stabenow (D-MI)

Tester (D-MT)

Udall (D-CO)

Udall (D-NM)

Warner (D-VA)

Webb (D-VA)

Whitehouse (D-RI)

Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs —45
Alexander (R-TN)Barrasso (R-WY)

Bayh (D-IN)

Bennett (R-UT)

Bond (R-MO)

Brownback (R-KS)

Bunning (R-KY)

Burr (R-NC)

Casey (D-PA)

Chambliss (R-GA)

Coburn (R-OK)

Cochran (R-MS)

Conrad (D-ND)

Corker (R-TN)

Cornyn (R-TX)

Crapo (R-ID)DeMint (R-SC)

Dorgan (D-ND)

Ensign (R-NV)

Enzi (R-WY)

Graham (R-SC)

Grassley (R-IA)

Gregg (R-NH)

Hatch (R-UT)

Hutchison (R-TX)

Inhofe (R-OK)

Isakson (R-GA)

Johanns (R-NE)

Kaufman (D-DE)

Kyl (R-AZ)

LeMieux (R-FL)Lugar (R-IN)

McCain (R-AZ)

McConnell (R-KY)

Murkowski (R-AK)

Nelson (D-NE)

Pryor (D-AR)

Risch (R-ID)

Roberts (R-KS)

Sessions (R-AL)

Shelby (R-AL)

Thune (R-SD)

Vitter (R-LA)

Voinovich (R-OH)

Wicker (R-MS)

Not Voting – 1
Byrd (D-WV)

If you want to know more go HERE.

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What the USA is NOT doing to eliminate Violence against Women in Afghanistan.

Not to be blasé about it, but there was never any doubt we were going to be in Afghanistan and Pakistan and maybe even Somalia for quite a while. All three of the remaining presidential contenders supported last year the possibility of increased action.

In front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, SOS Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) laid the groundwork for the civilian, NGO and diplomatic core that will follow the military to Afghanistan and Pakistan this year. I saw grousing on the Internet about lack of Alliance support. In fact, the SOS was, after her meeting, to fly to Belgium to attempt just that. I saw grumbling about why we were in the war, and whether Obama had let the Obats down. I read about people like Moore and Hayden tearing off the blinders and refusing to drink the Kool-aid. I continue to be stunned that some of us were so much smarter then they. Then, I heard one soul, over at KDIC, decry this statement, where remarkably, SOS HRC said:

“We are on track to triple the number of civilian positions in Afghanistan to 974 by early next year”.

This is a pitiful number. Truly, the speaker at KDIC is right to be upset that an additional 600 or fewer civilians will be called upon to help the Afghani effort next year. However, the remarkable part of the sentence is that the figure will TRIPLE what is already there.

Our nation has additional responsibilities beyond that of guns and planes. So far in eight years, we have done very little economically and diplomatically to facilitate the emergence of a vital and stable Afghanistan. Beyond that, in light of the 16 days International Campaign Toward the Elimination of Violence against Women, we have failed on another front-Congress.

Let’s not forget the “Afghan Women Empowerment Act of 2007” introduced by Representative Maloney and it’s twin by Senator Boxer, sent to rigor mortis at the respective foreign committees. Oh sure, the Feminist Majority and others have pushed. However, most of the members of Congress haven’t done their part to provide the tiniest measure of help to women in Afghanistan. The bill was reintroduced in April of this year to the house as HR 2214Afghan Women Empowerment Act of 2009, and in January as S.229 under the same name. Again it was referred to the relative foreign relations committees. Again it sits.

I linked the house and senate text versions to their numbers above. However, to give you an idea of the bill, the CRS Index terms, which are used to identify key themes in a bill, is the following:

International affairs

Afghanistan

Asia

Foreign aid and international relief

Human rights

International organizations and cooperation

Sex, gender, sexual orientation discrimination

Women’s rights

Here is a list of the Senate cosponsors:

Sen Begich, Mark [AK] – 6/1/2009

Sen Burris, Roland [IL] – 9/14/2009

Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] – 10/26/2009

Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] – 8/6/2009

Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] – 7/15/2009

Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] – 7/28/2009

Sen Franken, Al [MN] – 11/4/2009

Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] – 4/29/2009

Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] – 7/13/2009

Sen Kaufman, Edward E. [DE] – 6/23/2009

Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] – 5/4/2009

Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] – 7/31/2009

Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] – 4/27/2009

Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] – 10/14/2009

Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] – 7/28/2009

Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] – 12/1/2009

Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] – 7/28/2009

Here is a list of the House cosponsors:

Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] – 9/15/2009

Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] – 4/30/2009

Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] – 7/24/2009

Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] – 9/16/2009

Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-25] – 9/15/2009

Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] – 9/8/2009

Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] – 9/8/2009

Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] – 9/8/2009

Rep Hodes, Paul W. [NH-2] – 9/8/2009

Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] – 7/29/2009

Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] – 7/28/2009

Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] – 10/14/2009

Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] – 10/20/2009

Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] – 7/28/2009

Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] – 9/8/2009

Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1] – 6/3/2009

Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] – 7/28/2009

Rep Tsongas, Niki [MA-5] – 10/22/2009

Rep Waxman, Henry A. [CA-30] – 9/22/2009

Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] – 5/12/2009

Rep Wu, David [OR-1] – 9/8/2009

The allocation of money provided in this bill is a tiny sum compared to the vast amounts we have allocated for the war. The House bill asks for 150 million for each year between 2010 and 2112. The Senate bill asks for a paltry 45 million for the same period. (I know the word paltry is hard to swallow for some of us, but try to keep in mind what we have spent elsewhere this year.)

One cannot have a war without allocating funds to it. Concomitantly, one cannot have a war without provision for the effects upon civilians. Above and beyond that however, is the general question of what we as a country are willing to toward the progress of women as equal partners in the world. Whether or not we leave Afghanistan today, the OTHER war is waging. So, when a bill like this, designed to facilitate civilian impact of the guns and planes, can’t get out of committee, you have to look to other reasons why. Some of the following people are also on the above lists. Many of the following people have inserted viewpoints regarding the Afghan War on their Congressional web pages. Contact them and find out why the bill isn’t part of their statement. Or hey, contact them anyway and tell them YOUR viewpoint. Or not. Maybe, like Greenwald, you have some inane idea that helping women is the equivalent of nation building. It isn’t. It’s nation changing. And we all have to do it.

Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

John Kerry, Chair

Christopher J. Dodd

Russell D. Feingold

Barbara Boxer

Robert Menendez

Benjamin L. Cardin

Robert P. Casey Jr.

Jim Webb

Jeanne Shaheen

Edward E. Kaufman

Kirsten E. Gillibrand

Richard G Lugar, Ranking Member

Bob Corker

Johnny Isakson

James E. Risch

Jim DeMint

John Barrasso

Roger F. Wicker

James M. Inhofe

House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Howard L. Berman, CHAIRMAN, D-CA, 28th District

Gary L. Ackerman, VICE CHAIR, D-NY, 5th District

Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa

Donald M. Payne, D-NJ, 10th District

Brad Sherman, D-CA, 27th District

Eliot L. Engel, D-NY, 17th District

Bill Delahunt, D-MA, 10th District

Gregory W. Meeks, D-NY, 6th District

Diane E. Watson, D-CA, 33rd District

Russ Carnahan, D-MO, 3rd District

Albio Sires, D-NJ, 13th District

Gerald E. Connolly, D-VA, 11th District

Michael E. McMahon, D-NY, 13th District

John S. Tanner, D-TN, 8th District

Gene Green, D-TX, 29th District

Lynn Woolsey, D-CA, 6th District

Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX, 18th District

Barbara Lee, D-CA, 9th District

Shelley Berkley, D-NV, 1st District

Joseph Crowley, D-NY, 7th District

Mike Ross, D-AR, 4th District

Brad Miller, D-NC, 13th District

David Scott, D-GA, 13th District

Jim Costa, D-CA, 20th District

Keith Ellison, D-MN, 5th District

Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ, 8th District

Ron Klein, D-FL, 22nd District

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, RANKING MEMBER, R-FL, 18th District

Christopher H. Smith, R-NJ, 4th District

Dan Burton, R-IN, 5th District

Elton Gallegly, R-CA, 24th District

Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, 46th District

Donald A. Manzullo, R-IL, 16th District

Edward R. Royce, R-CA, 40th District

Ron Paul, R-TX, 14th District

Jeff Flake, R-AZ, 6th District

Mike Pence, R-IN, 6th District

Joe Wilson, R-SC, 2nd District

John Boozman, R-AR, 3rd District

J. Gresham Barrett, R-SC, 3rd District

Connie Mack, R-FL, 14th District

Jeff Fortenberry, R-NE, 1st District

Michael T. McCaul, R-TX, 10th District

Ted Poe, R-TX, 2nd District

Bob Inglis, R-SC, 4th District

Gus Bilirakis, R-FL, 9th District

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Update 091119 5:06 PST

For more on the the number of bills and the amendment combined with H.R. 3962 go HERE.

There seems to be some confusion in bloggerland about the health care bill. Perhaps ABC gives the best general information about the status of the bill, HERE.

To synopsize:

A House bill entitled “Affordable Health Care for America Act”, H.R 3692, was passed by the House and sent to the Senate . The download pdf is 1948 appears to have been 1990 pages( I originally got it from Speaker Pelosi’s website). The Stupak amendment was passed as part of H.R. 3692. Representative Stupak’s comments are HERE.

I have been having problems, downloading some, but not all of the documents at the Senate Site. However, if you go HERE, you will see the currently active list including H.R. 3692, and the attendant Senate bills of: “Affordable Health Choices Act”, S. 1679, from the Health, Education, and Labor Committee, in 283 pages, and “America’s Healthy Future Act, 2009”, S. 1796, from the Senate Finance Committee in 346 pages.

If you go to the section entitled “Popular Documents”  in the above Senate link, you will see a selection of many health related materials. Majority Leader Reid’s amendment would not download for me at this time. I am wondering if some documents are being withheld until the Senate has a cloture vote on whether to debate the bill(s).

I want to empathize that, I think like many of us, I am struggling through the effort to understand. There may be other bills involved that have been, or will be attached to the health care bill.  ABC has reported that the bills from the two entities combined are more than 4000 pages. As I find them I will include them as updates. Or perhaps the missing pages are the supporting documents in the Senate Popular Documents section.

Senator Boxer has released a statement today, 11/19/09, HERE. In part, she says:

[…Senator Reid also has crafted language that will keep women from being discriminated against when it comes to their reproductive health care.   The Senate bill maintains the compromise that has been in place for decades that prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion, but allows a woman to use her own private funds.



There are many issues that I am still working on, including ensuring that California is not hurt by cuts to the Disproportionate Share Hospital Program, which helps our hospitals that serve the neediest among us.
 


I am also working to ensure that the bill includes better preventative health care coverage for women…. ]

Senator Feinstein has not yet released a new comment on her site, but had done one on Oct 23, HERE, expressing her thoughts and reservations about it.

For your Info,

Representative Speier’s Statement has two statements, one against the Stupak Amendment, HERE, and one here on the passage of the House bill, HERE.

Representative Kucinich’s statement on the House Bill is HERE.

Ralph Nader’s comment is HERE.

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