Showing posts with label Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Congress. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Congressman Jake Auchincloss: An Update covering the 2 week period July 4 - July 15


JULY 4 - JULY 15

I'm your representative in Congress, and I write to keep you informed.

On the Hill


Trip to Israel: I recently visited Israel with a bipartisan group of my colleagues, which I documented with Jewish Insider upon my return. While we were visiting, I saw firsthand the positive impacts of the Abraham Accords, which I have strongly supported since taking office, as well as the Biden Administration's efforts to expand and strengthen them.

When I met with Israeli political and military leaders last month, they emphasized the importance of regional defense and deterrence against Iran's malign activities. That is why President Biden's reaffirmation of the United States' commitment to Israel's security during his recent trip to the region is so important. Saudi Arabia's decision to open its airspace to civilian flights to and from Israel is a significant step toward regional integration and diplomatic normalization. This important step, thanks to President Biden's diplomatic efforts, lays the groundwork for additional economic, cultural, and security ties between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

While I was in Israel, I also witnessed the peaceful – even good-natured – transition of leadership between outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and incoming Prime Minister Yair Lapid. These two leaders, from different parties, embraced one another and committed to continuing to work for the good of all Israelis. It was yet another testament, to me, of what's at stake with the January 6 Commission here at home.

Immigration: I spoke on the House Floor about the concerning drop in legal immigration from pre-pandemic trends, which has caused further employment shortages across the country. During my conversations with local business owners, I have heard time and time again how difficult it has been for businesses to get back on their feet after the pandemic, primarily due to a lack of workers available to fill open positions. I strongly support any and all measures to make up for the shortfall of 2M legal immigrants, from clearing the visa backlog, to documenting immigrants and Dreamers already in the US, and increasing caps for both immigration and refugee resettlement. This isn't just an economic issue - it's a moral and American issue.

Protecting the Right to an Abortion: On Friday, I voted for the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA) when it passed in the House. This bill is intended to guarantee equal access to safe and legal abortion for all women following the Supreme Court's decision to repeal a fundamental right and restrict access to abortion. The WHPA guarantees a woman's right to abortion, as well as the freedom of abortion providers to deliver abortion services. Further, the bill prohibits medically unnecessary restrictions that are designed to take the right to abortion away.

I also joined my colleagues in passing the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act in the House. This bill would protect a woman's right to travel to access the reproductive care they need. Specifically, the bill prohibits any person acting under state law from impeding or retaliating against health care providers who provide services to out-of-state residents, any person who travels for such services, and the person who helps them travel. Americans have a constitutional right to travel, including for health services, and this bill will help protect that right.

The Senate should eliminate the filibuster and pass these critical bills to ensure access to abortions for all Americans.

Voting Against the Defense Spending Bill: I am a supporter of a strong United States military. We need to be able to uphold the post-war international order and stamp out humanitarian catastrophes wherever they exist. I also appreciate that this defense budget continues to orient the United States' strategy towards the Indo-Pacific and away from our failed forever wars in the Middle East; however, I opposed this bill for two reasons.

First, the topline funding level is just too high. The Pentagon, like any massive bureaucracy, can do 10 percent more with 10 percent less. I inserted an amendment to force the Pentagon to procure more efficiently and to take a hard look at its personnel and overhead, so that in future years, we can save taxpayer money while maintaining military readiness. We are spending too much money on defense procurement and not getting enough in return.

Secondly, the bill contains a provision that would harm the U.S. offshore wind industry. The southern part of our district has a growing offshore wind cluster and I am fiercely protective of the clean energy, jobs, and economic development that will follow offshore wind development. In addition to voting against the bill, I led 30 of my colleagues in calling on the Senate to remove the provision restricting offshore wind development.

Clean energy is the future. Regardless of what other voices in Washington have to say, I will oppose any bill that pulls us back instead of pushing us forward.

Make your voice heard → Our military spending eclipses that of the ten next-largest militaries combined, and still would if it were slimmed down by ten percent. The Pentagon is the world's largest bureaucracy and – like most big bureaucracies – could tighten its belt and find itself more efficient and effective as a result. The Pentagon, however, is also the most effective lobbyist on the Hill, and therefore too few Members of Congress are willing to cut its budget. Let me know below if you support reducing the defense budget.

Do you support reducing the defense budget?

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Around the Fourth


A Visit to Sharon: Last week, I toured around Sharon, visiting a local dairy farm, water infrastructure, and speaking to firefighters and police officers.

Our first stop brought us to Crescent Ridge Dairy Farm to celebrate their 90th anniversary and enjoy some locally made ice cream. I spoke to the third-generation owners about their challenges finding skilled workers due to a lack of immigration, which I also spoke about on the House floor. I was also able to tour the production line and discuss the ways local businesses are working to support each other during these difficult times.

I also thanked Sharon police officers and firefighters for their service during the pandemic, as well as their ongoing efforts to keep Sharon safe. We discussed the urgent need to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of citizens and how the police force is working to ensure they are able to address emergency situations as they arise.

Gardner Terrace: I visited and spoke at Gardner Terrace, a senior facility in Attleboro. Gardner Terrace will undergo a $23 million renovation, which will ensure that low-income Attleboro seniors have access to high-quality, affordable housing.

As the Vice Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, I will continue to be a committed partner for affordable housing development in our district, our state, and across the country.





15 Independence Avenue SE
1524 Longworth HOB

Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5931

29 Crafts Street
Suite 375
Newton, MA 02458
Phone: (617) 332-3333

8 North Main Steet
Suite 200

Attleboro, MA 02703
Phone: (508) 431-1110

Friday, June 3, 2022

President Biden's Address advocating "Let us finally do something!" (video)

The full video can be found ->

Boston Globe coverage of the address -> 

New York Times coverage of the address ->

"Total cost began to be higher than total income in 2021"

Social Security 2022 Trustees Report
Social Security 2022 Trustees Report
The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASI and DI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2035, one year later than projected last year, with 80 percent of benefits payable at that time.

The OASI Trust Fund is projected to become depleted in 2034, one year later than last year’s estimate, with 77 percent of benefits payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund asset reserves are not projected to become depleted during the 75-year projection period.

In the 2022 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:

  • The asset reserves of the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds declined by $56 billion in 2021 to a total of $2.852 trillion.
  • The total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed total annual income in 2022 and remain higher throughout the 75-year projection period. Total cost began to be higher than total income in 2021. Social Security’s cost has exceeded its non-interest income since 2010.
  • The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2035 – one year later than last year’s projection. At that time, there would be sufficient income coming in to pay 80 percent of scheduled benefits.

“It is important to strengthen Social Security for future generations. The Trustees recommend that lawmakers address the projected trust fund shortfalls in a timely way in order to phase in necessary changes gradually,” said Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “Social Security will continue to be a vital part of the lives of 66 million beneficiaries and 182 million workers and their families during 2022.”

Continue reading the full press release ->

Saturday, April 9, 2022

On the Climate Front: more heat pumps; legislation in Congress; MA Senate acts to drive climate action forward

A Cold War law could be used to boost heat pump production 

"Democrats and climate advocates are demanding the White House invoke a Cold War-era law to boost domestic manufacturing of heat pumps and other clean energy technologies, arguing it could simultaneously counter Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and fend off climate change.

The Defense Production Act enables the president to force manufacturers to expand the production of crucial goods in times of crisis. President Harry S. Truman wielded the law in 1950 to bolster steel production for the Korean War. Former president Donald Trump and President Biden used it to boost the manufacturing of ventilators and medical masks respectively."

Continue reading the article (subscription may be required)

Is the world’s most important climate legislation about to die in US Congress?

"On April 23, the day after Earth Day, a big tent coalition—climate activists, union workers, civil rights leaders, and increasingly desperate young people—will be gathering outside the White House. If you live on the eastern seaboard and are free that Saturday, you should sign up and join them. Here’s why:

Tucked beneath the headlines on COVID and Ukraine, the most important climate legislation in US history – and thus, arguably, in world history – is still stuck in Congressional purgatory. You’d be forgiven if you weren’t fully aware. It is not trending on Twitter. President Biden has mostly stopped talking about it. The enormous moral stakes have been brutally ablated by a broken, farcical, and, above all, extremely boring legislative kludge known as budget reconciliation. The months-long saga has turned Biden’s original “Build Back Better” plan into the juridical equivalent of a Warhol soup can – a ubiquitous token evacuated of any original meaning."

Continue reading the article (subscription may be required)

An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward

The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday introduced An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward, its second major climate proposal this legislative session, and the latest effort to continue the Commonwealth on its path towards reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The bill, also known as the Drive Act, increases investments in the state’s clean energy infrastructure, builds and improves upon existing incentives for homeowners, renters, and consumers to reduce their carbon footprints, and reduces emissions from the building and transportation sectors.

“With the Drive Act, we are taking an all-hands-on deck approach to saving the planet, with a particular focus on three area that will need significant attention if we are to meet our ambitious goal of having net zero emissions by 2050: the transportation, clean energy, and building sectors,” stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “With gas prices fluctuating and our reliance on foreign oil being brought into question once again by world events, it is in everyone’s best interest to get more Massachusetts drivers into electric vehicles, and this bill will help do that through investing in renewed EV incentives for consumers and expanded EV infrastructure. I’m proud that the Senate continues to lead on facing the existential challenge of climate change, and I am particularly grateful to Senate Majority Leader Cream and Chairs Barrett and Rodrigues on their dedicated work to aggressively move this important legislation forward.”

“Building off last year’s landmark Next Gen Climate law, An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward is a comprehensive climate bill focused on boldly confronting our climate challenges and achieving our ambitious 2050 net zero carbon emission goals as quickly and as equitably as possible,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “I applaud Senate President Spilka and her team for their incredible leadership, ensuring the Senate is committed to prioritizing an all-hands-on deck approach on the issue of climate change, and I applaud Senator Barrett, Senator Creem, their staffs and the Senate Ways and Means team for their collaboration, dedication and focus to put forward this comprehensive package to meet this most urgent moment. I look forward to a robust and energetic debate next week on the Senate floor.”
“We know climate change is relentless, so we think Massachusetts needs to be relentless, too,” stated Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington), Senate Chair of the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee. “No one's around to give out ‘A’s’ for effort. What matters are results. An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward pushes back against global warming on multiple fronts, and with an emphasis on innovation and smart experimentation. It's about thinking long-range but executing now, in the short term. It's about problem-solving, confidence, and even optimism.”

“It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating the passage of another landmark climate bill, but the climate crisis requires of us to constantly drive Massachusetts’ climate policy forward,” said Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem (D-Newton), Chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. “I’m grateful to President Spilka, Chair Rodrigues, and Senator Barrett for prioritizing climate action, and I’m incredibly proud of the bold steps that the Senate is proposing today to reduce emissions from transportation and buildings and invest in clean energy technology.”

An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward bolsters cutting edge clean energy technologies, updates the offshore wind procurement process and supports the advancement of solar power. It also incentivizes consumer adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), electrifies the MBTA bus fleet and builds up the EV charging infrastructure across the state. Finally, it addresses issues regarding building emissions, biomass facilities and the future of gas in the Commonwealth, among other things.

A detailed description of the bill’s provisions can be found in the accompanying fact sheet. The Senate plans to debate S.2819, An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward on Thursday, April 14, 2022, in advance of the annual celebration of Earth Day. In coordination with the Drive Act, the Senate will take up H.851, An Act preserving open space in the Commonwealth, and S.676, An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releases. The former bill codifies into law protections for open space covered by Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, while the latter bill takes action to ensure that homeowner insurers provide crucial insurance coverage to families who are at risk of costly home heating oil spills.

PDF of the press release

PDF of the Fact Sheet 

An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward
An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward

Saturday, March 26, 2022

An Update from Your Congressman Jake Auchincloss - 3/25/22


Hello, I'm your representative in Congress, and I write to keep you informed.

I want to share with you significant developments since I last wrote, as well as three town halls I'll be hosting this weekend around the District.

Investments in Our District
The annual appropriations package, which President Biden recently signed into law, included $16.2 million for ten community projects across our Congressional District. These investments will improve public health and foster economic development across the Massachusetts Fourth. From a cleaner water supply to support for domestic violence survivors, this funding makes an immediate and monumental impact on our communities. The details of the 10 projects can be found here. You can watch my floor speech about securing funding for these projects here.

We are now beginning the next year's (fiscal year 2023) budget cycle, and I will have the opportunity to advocate for direct funding for 15 community projects across the district. I am engaging a diversity of stakeholders in selecting these projects to solicit a wide array of ideas. If you would like to participate in our process of selecting governmental or non-profit entities for direct funding, please complete this form by Monday, April 11, at 11:59pm. My office will review all submissions, though we cannot guarantee the inclusion of requests. I look forward to working with constituents of MA-04 to determine how I can best advocate for our district. 

Supporting the Ukrainian People
As Russia continues to wage its unjustified and unconscionable war, I am working with my colleagues to support the people of Ukraine. I, along with Representatives Seth Moulton, Mike Gallagher, and Peter Meijer, introduced the Yachts for Ukraine Act. This bill would allow Russian-seized assets to be repurposed to rebuild Ukraine following Russian attacks. The value of the Russian oligarchs' assets that could be seized as a result of this legislation is in the billions of dollars. The Yachts for Ukraine Act would ensure these assets are permanently reallocated to humanitarian assistance and reconstruction efforts in Ukraine.

With this legislation, our message is simple: if you're an oligarch, we're coming for your assets, wherever you have them hidden. If you're in Ukraine fighting on the frontlines of democracy, more help is on the way. As your Representative, I will continue to work to support our allies in Ukraine and hold the Russian aggressors to account.


Visiting Local Businesses & Non-profits
Recently, I toured the Amazon Fulfillment Center. This is the largest fulfillment center in Massachusetts — employing about 1,200 people in the region. I loved meeting with the staff and seeing how our Amazon orders go from a "click" to a delivery.

I also visited the Children's Museum of Greater Fall River with Representative Carole Fiola and Jo-Anne Sbrega, the museum's executive director. This museum brings joy to kids across the Fourth District, as it successfully combines educational opportunities with engaging playtime.

Closing out this week I visited the Manet Community Health Center Satellite Clinic in Attleboro and the Attleboro New Hope New Domestic Violence Shelter to discuss recently secured funding and the crucial care they are providing in our district. 

Town Halls
This weekend, I'll be hosting a series of three in-person town halls. This is an opportunity for you to come meet me, ask about issues important to you, and get updates on what I'm doing to serve our community. Members of my team will also be on hand to connect you with casework services in our office. Details about the town halls are below, I hope you'll be able to join me. If you're able to attend, please RSVP with the relevant link below.

Mansfield, Foxborough, Norton Town Hall Meeting: Saturday, March 26th at 12:00 PM

Mansfield Town Hall
6 Park Row, Mansfield, 02048

Taunton Town Hall Meeting: Saturday, March 26th at 2:00 PM

Taunton City Hall
15 Summer Street, Taunton, 02780
City Council Chambers

Needham Town Hall Meeting: Sunday, March 27th at 4:00 PM

Needham Town Hall
1471 Highland Ave, Needham, 02492
Powers Hall

To stay up to date on the state of play in Congress, please make sure to like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram.




Jake Auchincloss
Member of Congress


WASHINGTON DC OFFICE • 1524 Longworth House Office Building • Washington, DC 20515 • Phone: (202) 255-5931

NEWTON DISTRICT OFFICE • 29 Crafts Street Suite 375 • Newton, MA 02458 • Phone : (617) 332-3333

ATTLEBORO DISTRICT OFFICE • 8 N. Main St. Suite 200 • Attleboro, MA 02703 • Phone : (508) 431-1110
Click Here to view this email in your browser

Friday, March 11, 2022

An Update from Your Congressman Jake Auchincloss on "three significant developments"



Hello, I'm your representative in Congress, and I write to keep you informed.

I want to share with you three significant developments since I last wrote. 

State of the Union Address 
Last week, I attended President Biden's State of the Union address. President Biden laid out a hopeful message about putting the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, building a stronger economy, and protecting democracy at home and abroad. This speech was a clarion call that the free world is going to rally behind the Ukrainian people. Ukraine is not alone in their fight against totalitarianism and unprovoked aggression. 

If you are interested in learning what a day in the life of a congressman looks like during the State of the Union, you can watch my recent video.

Recent Developments Regarding Ukraine 
As we watch tragedy unfold in Ukraine, I am in awe of the resilience of the Ukrainian people. Despite the overwhelming size of the Russian military, the Ukrainians are fighters, courageously defending their homeland. I joined many of you in Attleboro to stand in solidarity with Ukraine

I voted to support legislation to deliver military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but our assistance must go further. We had a saying in the Marine Corps, "everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face." Putin has taken body blows through sanctions, but he hasn't yet been punched in the face. An internationally coordinated ban on Russian oil, with greater lethal & civil support for Ukraine, packs the punch that President Putin deserves. I urge our allies to join us.

While backfilling Russian oil in the short term, we must use the oil embargo as an opportunity to further invest in the clean energy sector. Not only is clean energy the fastest growing job sector in the United States and good for our planet, it can provide us with energy independence. We recently passed the America COMPETES Act in the House of Representatives. This bill would help build a resilient and efficient electrical grid, and provide funding for clean energy research. Additionally, the House just passed government funding legislation that includes over $14 billion of investments into clean energy and science to develop and implement clean, affordable, and reliable American energy. With energy independence, we can protect our economy, as well as our strategic interests.

Addressing the Youth Mental Health Crisis
I have only been a congressman for one year and a parent for two, but I am committed for the long haul to improving children's socioemotional wellbeing. It is a special responsibility I have as the youngest parent in the House Democratic caucus.

In a recent op-ed, I put forth suggestions for tackling the youth mental health crisis. We should keep our schools open and functioning normally, provide kids with richer context and more agency, and expand youth services.

This week, I hosted a Facebook Live with Bridge Over Troubled Waters' Elisabeth Jackson, CEO, and Peter Ducharme, Director of Clinical Services. Bridge Over Troubled Waters is a Boston-based agency providing needed services for homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth. The agency offers a variety of programs, from career development to emergency residence and street outreach. Ms. Jackson and Mr. Ducharme emphasized the importance of expanding youth services. Too often, there are not enough resources or providers to support youth in crisis. In Congress, I will work to increase these vital services.

To stay up to date on the state of play in Congress, please make sure to like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram.



Jake Auchincloss
Member of Congress


WASHINGTON DC OFFICE • 1524 Longworth House Office Building • Washington, DC 20515 • Phone: (202) 255-5931

NEWTON DISTRICT OFFICE • 29 Crafts Street Suite 375 • Newton, MA 02458 • Phone : (617) 332-3333

ATTLEBORO DISTRICT OFFICE • 8 N. Main St. Suite 200 • Attleboro, MA 02703 • Phone : (508) 431-1110


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

VIDEO: Auchincloss: BIF A Big Deal


VIDEO: Auchincloss: BIF A Big Deal


This morning (11/08/21), Jake joined "Way Too Early" on MSNBC to discuss passage of the historic bipartisan infrastructure package, what comes next for the Build Back Better Act, and how Democrats can sell a winning progressive agenda through the Midterms and beyond. Happy Infrastructure Week (for real this time)!  





On BIF: "A Big Deal":

"It is a big win for Democrats. More importantly, it's a big win for the United States. We have just made long overdue investments in this country's infrastructure and our economic competitiveness. We are upgrading our roads and our bridges and our public transportation system; we are ensuring that every family has access to clean water; and we are providing high-speed internet to rural, suburban, and urban cities and counties throughout the country – the 21st Century version of electricity. And, by the way, we're also upgrading the electoral grid as well. This is about core, physical infrastructure. This is about allowing the United States to compete on the world stage against China, and it's also about boosting the earning potential of working and middle class families. It's a big deal.  


On Next Steps to Passing Build Back Better:  

"I'm confident we'll pass [the Build Back Better Act] and as you said, there's going to be twists and turns along the way. We're trying to do big things with small margins, so that's going to require intense negotiations. That's important, better policy comes out the other end of a good, vigorous back-and-forth of ideas. It's the exact opposite of what we see from the Republican Party under Donald Trump where they are really a cult of personality in lock-step with whatever their leader Tweets. Here in the Democratic Party, we want to debate ideas. And we have fashioned a Build Back Better agenda that really meets the moment. 

"It is going to provide Social Security for kids. That means expanded tax allowance for working and middle class families with kids, so they have more disposable income to spend on high-quality nutrition and other needs. That means guaranteed three and four year old early education for every kid in the country, and that means more affordable childcare for families in all fifty states. This is improving outcomes for kids across America and it's going to be historic. 

"We are also taking a big bite out of healthcare costs – what people pay at the counter for prescription drugs, what seniors pay for long term care, what Americans in states without access to Obamacare pay to get coverage. 

"And finally, we are finally going to take the big, bold action necessary to meet the climate emergency with clean energy tax credits and a host of other climate resiliency measures. The Build Back Better agenda is historic, it's necessary, and we are going to get it done."  

On Selling the Progressive Agenda: 

"[Passing this legislation is] critical. Americans need to feel, not just hear, about the legislation that Democrats are enacting. I'm from Massachusetts as you mentioned, right next to Boston. And we just saw on Election Night my friend Michelle Wu become the next Mayor of Boston. Michelle ran on a progressive platform, but with a 'get it done' attitude and agenda. And I think that is the balance that Democrats are going to want to strike nationally. We are going to be unapologetic, be big and bold about what we're trying to accomplish for this country, whether it is ensuring voting rights, whether it is investing in our infrastructure, whether it is improving outcomes for kids. But we're going to do it in a way that is concrete and really lets people feel the deliverables that we're enacting."

To learn more about  Jake Auchincloss, visit or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube 

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Representative Auchincloss on New Congressional Map for District 4


 Auchincloss on New Congressional Map

"Our district has always been a powerhouse of talent, work ethic, and civic engagement. That tradition continues."


The following statement can be attributed to Congressman Jake Auchincloss in response to the release of the newly proposed Massachusetts Congressional map:


"I applaud the work of the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting and the leadership of Co-Chairs Senator Brownsberger and Representative Moran. They made certain this process was transparent and collaborative. The committee listened closely to constituents, tracked the letter and spirit of the law, and made thoughtful decisions."

"Representing a District like ours – rich in economic, geographic, and ideological diversity – gives me a valuable perspective in Washington. The new map preserves that vital diversity. The voters of the Fourth will continue to come from urban, suburban, and farmland communities. They will continue to vote both blue and red. They will continue to commute to both Boston and Providence. And they will continue to have a strong voice advocating for them in the halls of Congress during my tenure.

"Though the basic contours of the Fourth District persist, there is one major change. I am thrilled that all of Fall River will now be in the district. Through my strong partnership with Mayor Paul Coogan, Senator Mike Rodrigues, Representative Carole Fiola, Representative Paul Schmid, and Representative Alan Silvia, I have been working to ensure Fall River builds back better from the pandemic. That work will continue with full force in this Congress and beyond.

"It has been an honor to share representation of Fall River with my friend, Congressman Bill Keating, and I know he'll continue to fight for the new cities and towns he's taking on next term.

"I am excited to hit the campaign trail in the newly drawn Massachusetts Fourth this coming election cycle and I look forward to a continued partnership with state and local leaders in all of the cities and towns I represent. Our district has always been a powerhouse of talent, work ethic, and civic engagement. That tradition continues." 

You can view a copy of the proposed 4th Congressional District map

New Congressional Map for District 4
New Congressional Map for District 4

CommonWealth Magazine coverage of the proposed map

Boston Globe coverage of the proposed map

Monday, August 16, 2021

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre also on "For The People Act"

The former guy lost the 2020 election. Sadly, his absurd lies about his loss have spawned an attack on voting rights across the country that threatens the integrity of our democracy. No matter what your personal political beliefs are, we citizens must act now to preserve the American experiment.

Trump is a diminished figure. Nevertheless, his multiple, fantastical lies about the election have been used to justify grotesque voter suppression bills in many state legislatures.  These bills do not address 'policy' questions or make good faith efforts to ensure election integrity. They are blatant attempts to intimidate the kind of voter Republicans don't like. For example, in Georgia and Florida, it is now illegal to give food or drink to people forced to stand in hours-long lines waiting to vote.  (This begs the question: Why are people forced to stand in line for hours?)

We are moving to "Jim Crow, Esq." in the sophistication and reach of these efforts. The intent is clear--make it harder for those who may oppose GOP policies to cast a ballot. They are intended to guaranty the dominance of a single political party in the currently red states, and weaken other voices in the rest of the country. But  this is not 'just' an issue for certain minorities. These laws will impact everyone in the country, and everyone should be alarmed.

The effects of these proposed new laws are far reaching. If these voter suppression bills had been in place in November of 2020, the GOP would have manipulated the results and the now former guy would still be president. If the new batch of bills is left unchallenged now, the integrity of the 2022 and 2024 elections will be compromised. Remember, the Members of Congress elected in 2022 will vote to certify the winner of the 2024 Presidential election. Based on the performance of the GOP in (not) certifying the 2020 election on the day of the Insurrection on January 6, 2021, we can expect a coup-like power play in 2024.

The good news is that a path back to sanity exists. The US House has passed a bill called the "For The People Act."  It set a nationwide floor for voting rights, and would reverse most of the egregious voter suppression bills in consideration in state legislatures. The bill is now before the Senate, but the filibuster rule is being used to prevent passage.

The filibuster rule was adopted early in our history and infrequently used-except to block civil rights legislation. It is anti-democratic, with a small "d."  The filibuster requires a supermajority of 60 votes in order to pass legislation. Unfortunately, in recent years it has been weaponized by the GOP to block all action in the Senate. The important word is 'rule.' The Senate sets its own rules of procedure and can change them. The filibuster is a self-imposed rule. It is not in the Constitution. The Senate can simply vote to change that rule and allow a vote on the For The People Act.

Time is of the essence. If the bill does not pass this summer, there will not be enough time to implement its protective measures before the 2022 election. What can be done to get the For the People Act through the Senate? There are many ways to help, but the simplest is to call your US Senator. Here in Massachusetts, both Senators Warren and Markey are outspoken in support of the bill.  They need to know that you support passing the bill and that you encourage them to do whatever it takes to get it passed. It is easy to reach the Senators. A brief phone call to 202-224-3121 will suffice. Simply leave a message saying "My name is ___ and I live in Franklin. Please do everything you can to abolish the filibuster and pass the For the People Act.  I think Joe Biden should speak forcefully. The Senate should cancel its August recess.  The Senate must pass these bills."

Time is short. The action is easy. Your democracy is at stake. Please act.

Ted McIntyre Ph.D.
Franklin MA 

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on "For The People Act"
Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre also on "For The People Act"

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on "For The People Act"

The Insurrection of January 6th was an attempted coup, a brazen assault intended to interrupt the functioning of the American democracy. But the coup attempt did not end on January 6th. In fact it is ongoing. The GOP is even now laying the legal foundation for a second coup attempt, this one conducted under a pretense of respectability.
Voter suppression laws are being passed in states across the country. Those laws not only selectively suppress voting by people the GOP dislikes, but they also provide means to reject the result of an election in favor of one the GOP legislatures like better. For example, the state of Georgia is attempting to take responsibility for the certification of election results in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta's largely black population.
If these state level  laws are not preempted by Federal legislation, the GOP will have two different paths for a new coup attempt, this time under the cover of law. The first path is through the impeachment of Joe Biden. If the GOP retakes the House and Senate in 2022, they could elect Donald Trump Speaker of the House. While according to tradition, the Speaker is always a Member of Congress, the Constitution does not forbid Trump's selection. Given the cult like devotion already accorded the former guy, it is not implausible to think the GOP would make this choice. Once Trump is Speaker, he is third in line to the Presidency. The House could impeach both Biden and Harris- truth and evidence be damned- and make Trump President.
The second pathway for the GOP's 'legal' coup is through the Electoral College. The Supreme Court, in the infamous 'Bush v Gore' decision of 2000, said that- unless there is a Federal law preventing it- the state legislatures hold the power to determine the Electoral College members. This is a nightmare scenario, since legislators are right now giving themselves the authority to challenge election results on flimsy grounds and then override the voter’s choice by installing electors they prefer. Does anyone think, if given the opportunity in 2020, that the legislatures of GA, PA, WI and AZ would not have chosen Trump electors for  the Electoral College? In 2024, those state legislatures will have granted themselves that opportunity.
We should not think that the GOP is too high minded or patriotic to do these things. Five years ago, who would have thought that Trump's  contempt of norms  and open corruption would be accepted? The recent testimony of Trump’s complicit DOJ employees is chilling. Who would have thought the GOP could install a Supreme Court Justice just before an election? Who would have thought Members of Congress would support a violent assault on the Capitol? The scenarios outlined above are shocking and nearly unthinkable. But the time had come to think about the unthinkable. The GOP has forfeited its status as a legitimate participant in a democratic process, and now represents an authoritarian power grab threatening our very democracy. There is no bottom, no ‘bridge too far’ for them in pursuit of power.
It is essential that the Senate, now under Democratic control, passes the For The People Act to protect the election process from the GOP plans. Time is of the essence. If the bill does not pass this summer, there will not be enough time to implement its protective measures before the 2022 election. What can be done to get the For the People Act through the Senate? There are many ways to help, but the simplest is to call your US Senator. Here in Massachusetts, both Senators Warren and Markey are outspoken in support of the bill.  They need to know that you support passing the bill and that you encourage them to do whatever it takes to get it passed. It is easy to reach the Senators. A brief phone call to 202-224-3121 will suffice. Simply leave a message saying "My name is ___ and I live in Franklin. Please do everything you can to abolish the filibuster and pass the For the People Act.  I think Joe Biden should speak forcefully. The Senate should cancel its August recess.  The Senate must pass these bills.”

The time to act is now.

Ted McIntyre
Franklin resident

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on "For The People Act"
Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on "For The People Act"

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Special Joint Committee on Redistricting - Congressional District 4 Hearing - July 19

Senator Becca Rausch (@BeccaRauschMA) tweeted on Tue, Jul 13, 2021:

Attention #CD4 residents! The district lines for Congress, State Senate, State Rep, and Governor's Council are about to be redrawn. 
The #redistricting committee wants to hear from you on Monday 7/19, 12-5 PM
More info and testimony sign-up:
#MApoli #democracy
#CD4 is Congressional District 4 which includes Franklin

Special Joint Committee on Redistricting - Congressional District 4 Hearing - July 19
Special Joint Committee on Redistricting - Congressional District 4 Hearing - July 19