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The DC: 🗽 Origins of Memorial Day, and... Should Congress investigate Purdue Pharma's efforts to influence the WHO?

by Countable | 5.26.19

Welcome to Monday, May 27, Memorial Dayers...

Do you know the origins of Memorial Day?

For many, the Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer, a time for corporate America to markdown its wares, a time to enjoy the improving(ish) weather with beers, BBQs, and a three-day weekend.

You could argue that the freedom to pound Budweiser and scream “’Merica!” into the sky on a Monday night is secured by the brave troops in our armed forces. But the holiday’s true purpose is to honor the memories of American military members who lost their lives in the line of duty and those who know the cost of war will tell you that saying “Happy Memorial Day” is a no-no.

The first observances of what would eventually become known as Memorial Day began the year after the Civil War ended in 1866, when a number of communities gathered together to decorate the graves of local soldiers who were killed in the conflict.

Do 'Merica proud and read the full history of Memorial Day here.

On the Radar

Heartbeat Bill Blocked

A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against Mississippi's so-called "heartbeat abortion" law, which would have taken effect this summer.

The law would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is typically around six weeks of pregnancy. It mirrors similar proposals passed in other states this year.

Mississippi Republican Governor Phil Bryant will likely appeal the ruling, and it’s worth noting that a 15-week abortion ban he signed into law that was also subjected to an injunction from Judge Reeves is currently under appeal.

Do you support banning abortion once a heartbeat is detected (with exceptions)?

25 years ago, Bill Clinton signed a bill restricting protests outside abortion clinics. Read about the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act here.

Delayed Disaster Relief

An attempt by the House to pass a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill by unanimous consent and send it to President Donald Trump’s desk to be signed into law was blocked on Friday, delaying its enactment for more than a week.

Most House lawmakers left the Capitol on Thursday to begin their Memorial Day recess after Democratic leadership indicated that no more votes would be held following the passage of a bipartisan retirement bill, as negotiations over disaster relief were ongoing.

With a skeleton crew manning the House during the pro forma session, Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) made the unanimous consent request which Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) objected to, explaining:

“I’m here today primarily because if I do not object, Congress will have passed into law a bill that spends $19 billion of taxpayer money without members of Congress being present here in our nation’s Capitol to vote on it.”

Should the House come back early to pass the bill?

Under the Radar

No Pets For Animal Abusers

Colorado has banned animal abusers in the Centennial State from owning pets for up to five years after their conviction.

The Animal Ban For Cruelty To Animals Conviction allows a court to enter an “order prohibiting a person convicted of felony animal cruelty from owning a pet animal for a period of 3 to 5 years.”

“I think the real important piece of this legislation is the component that deals with judges being able to sentence folks to anger management or mental health treatment,” state Rep. Alex Valdez (D-Denver), who introduced the legislation, told The Denver Post.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said the law will “increase restrictions of people convicted of felony pet animal cruelty, and facilitate mental health and treatments to address the underlying factors that drive tragic animal cruelty.”

Should states ban animal abusers from owning pets?

Sue Purdue?

A bipartisan pair of lawmakers released a report last week alleging the World Health Organization (WHO) has been enabling Purdue Pharmaceutical in a “propaganda campaign” aimed at promoting opioid sales around the world that was similar to the drug company’s actions in the U.S. The WHO is a United Nations agency tasked with leading global public health efforts.

The opioid addiction crisis in the U.S. has continued in recent years despite efforts to reduce the rate of opioid prescription and advance alternatives for pain management. These charts from USAFacts show recent trends in the opioid prescription rate and fatal overdoses from opioids versus non-opioids.

Should Congress investigate Purdue Pharma's efforts to expand globally & influence the WHO?

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in Japan

  • TBA

The House of Representatives: Out

  • The House will return Monday, June 3rd.

The Senate: Out

  • The Senate will return Monday, June 3rd.

What You're Saying

Here's how you're answering Should the U.S. Intelligence Community Provide Congress a Report on Iranian Corruption?

(Follow Mikael's comment here.)

(Follow JamieD's comment here.)

But wait, there's more!

And, in the End…

Before it was known as Memorial Day, it was known as...

Illustration advertising White Smith & Co. sheet music, c. 1870s.

However you're honoring those who've died in service to our country, we hope you have a memorable Memorial Day,

—Josh Herman

Talk to us via email at contact [at] countable.us. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

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