The DC: Resuming the federal death penalty, and... 🍎 Should the U.S. tighten access to food stamps?
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by Countable | 7.26.19
Welcome to Friday, July 26th, worriers and relaxers...
Attorney General William Barr has ordered the first federal executions in nearly two decades.
Barr directed the Bureau of Prisons to schedule the executions of "five death-row inmates convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society—children and the elderly.”
The last federal execution was carried out in 2003.
“The Justice Department upholds the rule of law—and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system,” Barr said.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who’s running for president in 2020, tweeted that “capital punishment is immoral and deeply flawed. Too many innocent people have been put to death. We need a national moratorium on the death penalty, not a resurrection.”
On the Radar
Tightening Access to Food Stamps
The Trump administration has proposed changing the way states determine who qualifies for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, also known as food stamps.
The Agriculture Department estimates that more than three million people would lose their food stamps under the new rule. It would save the government $2.5 billion a year.
"This proposal will not only save money, but more importantly it preserves the integrity of the program while ensuring nutrition assistance programs serve those most in need," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in announcing the proposed rule.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, told the Washington Post that the proposed change was an attempt by the Trump administration to bypass Congress, which has blocked earlier attempts to cut food benefits.
“This rule would take food away from families, prevent children from getting school meals, and make it harder for states to administer food assistance," Stabenow added.
Trump Uses Veto to Allow Arms Sales
President Trump has vetoed three bills which sought to block Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from buying or manufacturing certain precision-guided bombs because of civilian casualties inflicted by their coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Trump wrote that the bills would undermine his administration’s efforts to “protect the safety of the more than 80,000 U.S. citizens who reside in Saudi Arabia and are imperiled by Houthis attacking from Yemen using missiles, armed drones, and explosive boats."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated that his chamber would hold votes attempting to override the vetoes before it adjourns for August recess at the end of next week.
The bills would use Congress’s powers under the Arms Export Control Act to bar specific arms sales to Saudi Arabia & the United Arab Emirates (along with other allied nations involved in the sale).
Read about the bills here, then tell your reps:
Under the Radar
Asylum Restrictions Blocked
A federal judge in California has blocked the Trump administration from denying asylum to migrants at the southern border who do not first apply for protection in at least one other country they've travelled through.
Judge Jon Tigar's ruling came hours after another federal judge in Washington, DC, had declined to block the rule.
The American Civil Liberties Union praised Tigar's decision.
"The court recognized, as it did with the first asylum ban, that the Trump administration was attempting an unlawful end run around asylum protections enacted by Congress," said Lee Gelernt, the attorney for the ACLU.
On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law, which extended civil rights protections to people with disabilities and looked to prevent discrimination against the disabled in the workplace and in public places.
The ADA covers both mental and physical disabilities, and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees.
While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origin — it didn’t establish similar protections for people with disabilities. As a result, disabled people faced discrimination in the workforce without having recourse, and many public places lacked modifications that would’ve made them more accessible for disabled Americans.
Read more about the ADA's history here, then tell your reps:
Your Gov at a Glance 👀
The White House: President Trump in D.C.
- At 12:00pm EDT, the president will receive his intelligence briefing.
- At 2:00pm EDT, the president will meet with the secretary of state and the acting secretary of homeland security.
The House of Representatives: Out
- The House will return Monday, September 9th.
The Senate: Out
- The Senate will return Monday, July 29th.
What You're Saying
Here's how you're answering Should Migrants Apprehended at the Southern Border Receive Standardized Medical Screenings?
(Follow Robin's comment here.)
(Follow Debbie's comment here.)
But wait, there's more!
- Should CBP be Required to Provide Migrants in its Care with Bathroom & Shower Facilities, Nutrition & Personal Grooming items?
- Should Punishments for ‘Soring’ Horses to Exaggerate Their Gait Be Increased?
And, in the End…
Countable salutes National Bagelfest Day.
My favorite's poppy, what's yours?
Talk to us via email at contact [at] countable.us. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.
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