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Finding the Common Ground

I was raised in a casual sort of faith. My mom’s family are all believer’s but they don’t adhere to a certain denomination but my dad’s family are Mormon. In fact, my late Grandfather was a church elder and my Grandma – even though she’s 87 and can’t actually attend anymore – is still active in the church. But growing up, I can only recall a handful of months during my entire childhood that we actually attended a brick and mortar church with any kind of regularity. I was maybe nine or 10 and my grandparents had just relocated here to Missouri from Wisconsin and had asked us to start attending our local LDS church with them so my parents obliged. It didn’t last long, though. My parents were casual believers and sitting through hours of services every Sunday just didn’t fit their faith style.

So fast-forward to my teenage years. I’m a shy, quiet 16-year-old, the oldest of three girls, trying – and mostly failing – to deal with the repercussions of my parents nasty divorce on my own when I happen to meet a slightly older, much more charismatic young man who, inexplicably, takes an interest in shy, bookish me instead of the other hoards of young women who would have gladly taken my place. This young man eventually became my husband and through him I was introduced to a kind of religion that I knew existed but had never experienced myself – Fundamentalist Southern Baptist.

We were married when I was 17 and for 13 years I lived the life of a quiet country wife. The kind who was expected to attend church three times a week, know the Bible – and what it says her place in the world is – keep her husband well fed, satisfied in bed, and provide him with children and a clean house. I was strongly discouraged from having any strong opinions of my own, was not allowed to have friends that weren’t approved by him and was forbidden from socializing with anyone without his approval. I was taught that if you didn’t believe in God, you were going to Hell. If you were gay, you were going to a special part of Hell that was REALLY bad. I was taught that black people (especially black men) have a place and that it wasn’t with white women. For 13 years I got to see what fundamentalism is really all about.

Three years ago, I finally got the nerve to leave my ex husband and the fundamentalists with him. After I left, I had a crisis of faith. I knew that the things that I had been hearing the past decade and a half weren’t what I believed but was I wrong? Was the God I knew really just a lie I told myself? Was God really this hateful, vindictive, selfish God that the Baptists believed in? I found myself questioning everything I knew. Shortly thereafter I met the man who I am now engaged to. We had gone to the same high school so I knew that he was an agnostic and after the awful religious experience I had had his skepticism was like a dash of cold water on a fevered forehead. As our relationship progressed, we began having conversations and debates about religion and I found myself talking to him about my frustrations and discussing with him the questions and doubts I was having and, to my surprise, he sympathized with me and encouraged me to explore my faith from the angle of a skeptic, as he did and to see how my belief changed if I approached it with a rational mind. What came out of that exploration is something so much stronger than what it was before. My whole life I believed because I was told that I should. I held a specific set of ideals because these were the ideals that I was told I should have but once I was free of that, I was able to decide what I believed and what I did not.

And do you know what I came up with? I don’t believe that you have to believe in the Christian God to go to Heaven. In fact, I don’t believe you have to believe in God at all to go to Heaven. I believe that God is going to judge you more on the impact that you had on the world around you and on your fellow man than on what God or gods you worshiped when your time comes. I believe that all human beings, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation are entitled to the same rights as everyone else, including the right to be happy with the person they love. I believe that my job in this life is to serve others, to live my life to make others happy. I believe that the Bible is a group of stories written by men and women just like you and I thousands of years ago as those people were trying to explain a world that they didn’t understand and I believe that the importance that some Christians put on that Bible borders on idol worship. My faith is something that has evolved and something that has become distinctly different from the religion of my childhood and early adulthood.  I now believe because I choose to. Believing in God gives me a sense of peace – a sense of purpose. It helps to give me guidance in times of need and solace in times of heartache. When I pray, I do so as if I’m speaking to a friend and the contact soothes me.

Many other people have come to their faith the same way I have; through trial and error, through long years of exploration and many different experiences. And it is my own experience with coming to my faith that makes the next part of this blog post so hard to write. I have lived the last several years of my life trying to use my faith to be as inclusive as I possibly can. To take the hateful, perverted thing that modern Christianity has become and turn it into something better, more loving. Something that more people can understand and embrace. Yet there are those out there that simply refuse to see that some of us are trying to turn it all around.

I know that there are people who have been hurt by religion. I know that there are people in the world who look at religion and see nothing but the bad it has done. You see the war and the death, the hunger and the hate and the blood and the hypocrisy. Believe me, I see all those things too. I cannot go back and change the Crusades, or the Salem Witch Trials. I can’t go back and stop the airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center and I can’t bring back the millions of innocent people that have been killed in the name of God since then or in the time between. I’m sure there are people who are going to ask why God himself didn’t stop those atrocities if he’s so almighty and I can’t answer that question. I know that doesn’t satisfy you but maybe it’ll make you feel a little better to know it doesn’t satisfy me either.

Religion has done some horrible things, has contributed some unspeakable atrocities to the history of the world, but there are those of use who are devoting our lives to changing things. There are those of us who want nothing more than to see peace and love reign supreme on this earth. To say that all religion is evil is to invalidate all that we’re trying to accomplish. Can we not put aside our differences and work together for a common good? Can we not recognize that, though our methods might be different, our goals are the same? Extremism and fundamentalism are the problem here, and that is to be found on both sides of the argument.

So, please, stop looking at the world and seeing religion as a whole as the enemy because we’re not all out to see the world burn. Let’s take our strengths – your thirst for knowledge, your rationality and critical thinking skills, our desire for change and contacts in the religious world – and use those to our advantage. Work with us to identify a common goal – a goal of making the world a more peaceful place by stamping out those who promote hate and bigotry and hypocrisy – and let’s see how far we can take this. Let’s stop fighting each other and be the change we want to see in the world.

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The Race For the White House 2016: Who is Bernie Sanders?

download (1)

This week we’re going to be looking at Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders but since Mr. Sanders’ voting history goes back 24 years, we’re going to be doing his a little differently. Instead of covering the entire history like I’ve done with previous candidates, I’m just going to be covering the last 6 years or so. I’ll still be focusing on his personal background and his voting history on six topics: Healthcare, Education, Job Creation (including minimum wage), Social Programs (medicare/medicaid, SSI, EBT, etc), Gun Control and Human Rights (including LGBT rights and women’s rights). I get all my information on voting history from the website Project Vote Smart and there are many, many more topics than these six so I would encourage you to look up the voting histories for this and all the candidates on other subjects that interest you.

Bernie Sanders: Personal Information

Bernard “Bernie” Sanders was born September 8, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York to Eli and Dorothy Sanders, his mother being born in New York and his father being a naturalized Polish immigrant. After graduating from James Madison High School, Sanders spent his freshman year at Brooklyn College, where he studied psychology before transferring to the University of Chicago. While there, he was active in the Civil Rights Movement and an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Sanders was also one of thousands of students who traveled to Washington D.C. in 1963 to take part in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. After graduation, Sanders spent several months in a farming commune in Israel before returning to the US and moving to Vermont. (1)

In 1971, Bernie Sanders began his political career when he joined the anti-Vietnam War Liberty Union Party in Vermont. After that, he ran in and lost several elections, including two bids for the US Senate in 1972 and 1974 and for governor of Vermont in 1972 and 1976. In 1979, Sanders left the Liberty Union Party to work as a writer for the nonprofit American People’s Historical Society. In 1981, Sanders ran for Mayor of Burlington and won, going on to serve three more terms, choosing not to seek reelection in 1989 so he could briefly teach political science at  Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. (1)

In 1990, Sanders ran as an Independent for the Vermont seat in the US. House of Representatives and won, becoming the first Independent elected to the office in 40 years. This was a post that Sanders held until 2005, when he ran for and won a seat in the US Senate. On April 30, 2015, Bernie Sanders announced that he was running for President in 2016.

Bernie Sanders: The Issues

Healthcare:

*On December 3, 2009: Yea on S Amdt 2791 – Preventative Services Coverage Requirements (1.1)

*On December 22, 2009: Yea on S Amdt 3276 – Senate Health Care Bill Amendments (1.2)

*On December 22, 2009: Yea on S Amdt 2786 – Health Care and Insurance Law Amendments (1.3)

*On December 23, 2009: Yea on HR 3590 – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (1.4)

*On March 25, 2010: Yea on HR 4872 – Health Care Reconciliation Act (1.5)

*On December 9, 2010: Yea on HR 847 – 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (1.6)

*On February 2, 2011: Nay on S Amdt 9 – Repealing the IRS 1099 Provision From the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (1.7)

*On February 2, 2011: Nay on S Amdt 28 – Repealing the IRS 1099 Provision from the Health Care Bill (1.8)

*On February 2, 2011: Nay on S Amdt 13 – Repealing the Federal Health Care Law (1.9)

*On April 5, 2011: Nay on HR 4 – Repealing the IRS 1099 Provision From the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2.0)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 3058 – Expands TRICARE Coverage of Autism (2.1)

*On March 13, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 30 – To Prohibit the Use of Funds to Carry Out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2.2)

*On March 31, 2014: Yea on HR 4302 – Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (2.3)

Education:

*On August 5, 2010: Yea on HR 1586 – Aid to States for Medicaid, Teacher Employment and Other Purposes (2.4)

*Co-Sponsor: S 2343 – Extends Student Loan Interest Rates (Reid Bill) (2.5)

*On May 24, 2012: Nay on S Amdt 2153 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Lamar Bill) (2.6)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 2156 – Increases Funding for the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program (2.7)

*On June 6, 2013: Yea on S 953 – Student Loan Affordability Act (2.8)

*On June 6, 2013: Nay on S 1003 – Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act (2.9)

*On July 24, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 1778 – Limits Interest Rates for Certain Federal Student Loans (3.0)

*On July 24, 2013: Nay on HR 1911 – Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 (3.1)

*Co-Sponsor: S 2432 – Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (3.2)

Job Creation:

*On June 21, 2011: Yea on S 782 – Economic Development Revitalization Act (3.3)

*On October 11, 2011: Yea on S 1660 – American Jobs Act of 2011 (3.4)

*On November 10, 2011: Nay on S Amdt 928 – American Jobs and Economic Growth (3.5)

*On July 19, 2012: Yea on S 3364 – Bring Home Jobs Act (3.6)

*Co-Sponsor: S 2223 – Minimum Wage Fairness Act (3.7)

*On July 30, 2014: Yea on S 2569 – Bring Home Jobs Act (3.8)

Social Programs: 

*On October 27, 2009: Yea on HR 3548 – Extending Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits (3.9)

*On March 10, 2010: Yea on HR 4213 – Extending Unemployment Benefits and Certain Tax Credits (4.0)

*On April 16, 2010: Yea on HR 4851 – Unemployment Benefits Extension (4.1)

*On July 20, 2010: Yea on HR 4213 – Unemployment Benefits Extension (4.2)

*Sponsor: S 3985 – Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act (4.3)

*On October 21, 2011: Yea on S Amdt 791 – Limits Farm Subsidies to Individuals with Incomes Under $1 Million (4.4)

*On June 13, 2012: Yea on S Amdt 2392 – Reduces Funding for Food Stamps (4.5)

*On June 19, 2012: Nay on S Amdt 2181 – Limits Farm Subsidies to Farmers with Incomes Under $250,000 (4.6)

*On June 19, 2012: Nay on S Amdt 2174 – Limits Eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (4.7)

*On June 19, 2012: Nay on S Amdt 2172 – Rescinds Bonuses to States for Administering Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (4.8)

*On May 23, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 953 – Limits Subsidy Payments for Individuals with Incomes More Than $750,000 (4.9)

*Co-Sponsor: S 1845 – Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (5.0)

Gun Control:

*On April 17, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 719 – Authorizes Reciprocity For the Carrying of Certain Concealed Firearms (5.1)

*On April 17, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 715 – Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act (5.2)

*On April 17, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 714 – Limits Firearm Magazine Capacity (5.3)

*On April 17, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 713 – Prohibits the Sale of Assault Weapons (5.4)

Human Rights:

*On December 8, 2009: Yea on S Amdt 2962 – Prohibiting Federally Funded Abortion Services (5.5)

*On November 17, 2010: Yea on S 3772 – Paycheck Fairness Act (5.6)

*On December 18, 2010: Yea on HR 2965 – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act (5.7)

*Co-Sponsor: S 1925 – Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (5.8)

*On March 1, 2012: Yea on S Amdt 1520 – Authorizes Moral and Religious Objections to Certain Healthcare Items and Services (5.9)

*On April 26, 2012: Yea on S 1925 – Reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act (6.0)

*Co-Sponsor: S 3220 – Paycheck Fairness Act (6.1)

*On December 4, 2012: Yea on Treaty Doc 112-7 – The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (6.2)

*Co-Sponsor: S 47 – Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (6.3)

*Co-Sponsor: S 815 – Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (6.4)

*On November 7, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 2013 – Exempts Religiously Affiliated Employers from the Prohibition on Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (6.5)

*Co-Sponsor: S 2199 – Paycheck Fairness Act (6.6)

*Co-Sponsor: S 2578 – Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014 (6.7)

Sources:

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders

(1.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/10638/28284/27110/preventive-services-coverage-requirements

(1.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/10666/28358/27110/senate-health-care-bill-amendments

(1.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/10639/28360/27110/health-care-and-insurance-law-amendments

(1.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/10637/28361/27110/patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act

(1.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/10896/29270/27110/health-care-reconciliation-act

(1.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/12446/32964/27110/911-health-and-compensation-act

(1.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/12608/33256/27110/repealing-the-irs-1099-provision-from-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act

(1.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/12610/33258/27110/repealing-the-irs-1099-provision-from-the-health-care-bill

(1.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/12607/33253/27110/repealing-the-federal-health-care-law

(2.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/12858/34385/27110/repeals-the-form-1099-provision-in-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act

(2.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/15950/41999/27110/expands-tricare-coverage-of-autism

(2.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/16352/43144/27110/to-prohibit-the-use-of-funds-to-carry-out-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act

(2.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/17705/47279/27110/protecting-access-to-medicare-act-of-2014

(2.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/8954/31718/27110/aid-to-states-for-medicaid-teacher-employment-and-other-purposes

(2.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/15158/39847/27110/extends-student-loan-interest-rates-reid-bill

(2.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/15224/40028/27110/prohibits-increase-in-interest-rates-for-student-loans-lamar-bill

(2.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/15467/40615/27110/increases-funding-for-the-fresh-fruit-and-vegetable-program

(2.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/16814/44550/27110/student-loan-affordability-act

(2.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/16813/44548/27110/comprehensive-student-loan-protection-act

(3.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/17294/45797/27110/limits-interest-rates-for-certain-federal-student-loans

(3.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/16854/45790/27110/bipartisan-student-loan-certainty-act-of-2013

(3.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/18384/48682/27110/bank-on-students-emergency-loan-refinancing-act

(3.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/13524/35632/27110/economic-development-revitalization-act

(3.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/13909/36879/27110/american-jobs-act-of-2011

(3.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/14160/37329/27110/american-jobs-and-economic-growth

(3.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/15598/41154/27110/bring-jobs-home-act

(3.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/17854/47752/27110/minimum-wage-fairness-act

(3.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/18753/49616/27110/bring-jobs-home-act

(3.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/10289/28134/27110/extending-federal-emergency-unemployment-benefits

(4.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/10828/29024/27110/extending-unemployment-benefits-and-certain-tax-credits

(4.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/11006/29576/27110/unemployment-benefits-extension

(4.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/10828/31560/27110/unemployment-benefits-extension

(4.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/12441/32951/27110/emergency-senior-citizens-relief-act

(4.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/14025/37093/27110/limits-farm-subsidies-to-individuals-with-incomes-under-1-million

(4.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/15318/40315/27110/reduces-funding-for-food-stamps

(4.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/15463/40602/27110/limits-farm-subsidies-to-farmers-with-incomes-under-250000

(4.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/15464/40604/27110/limits-eligibility-for-supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap

(4.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/15465/40606/27110/rescinds-bonuses-to-states-for-administering-supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap

(4.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/16822/44578/27110/limits-subsidy-payments-for-individuals-with-incomes-more-than-750000

(5.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/17428/46392/27110/emergency-unemployment-compensation-extension-act

(5.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/16584/43806/27110/authorizes-reciprocity-for-the-carrying-of-certain-concealed-firearms

(5.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/16582/43803/27110/public-safety-and-second-amendment-rights-protection-act

(5.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/16585/43809/27110/limits-firearm-magazine-capacity

(5.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/16586/43816/27110/prohibits-the-sale-of-assault-weapons

(5.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/10650/28314/27110/prohibiting-federally-funded-abortion-services

(5.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/12418/32830/27110/paycheck-fairness-act

(5.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/12449/32979/27110/dont-ask-dont-tell-repeal-act

(5.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/15123/39745/27110/reauthorizing-the-violence-against-women-act

(5.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/14746/38557/27110/authorizes-moral-and-religious-objections-to-certain-health-care-items-and-services

(6.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/15123/39746/27110/reauthorizing-the-violence-against-women-act

(6.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/15815/41670/27110/paycheck-fairness-act

(6.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/15948/41992/27110/the-convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities

(6.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/16132/42500/27110/violence-against-women-reauthorization-act-of-2013

(6.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/17391/46284/27110/employment-non-discrimination-act-of-2013

(6.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/17392/46288/27110/exempts-religiously-affiliated-employers-from-the-prohibition-on-employment-discrimination-based-on-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity

(6.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/17767/47429/27110/paycheck-fairness-act

(6.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/18702/49361/27110/protect-womens-health-from-corporate-interference-act-of-2014

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The Race for the White House 2016: Who is Marco Rubio?

download (3)This week’s Presidential candidate post is going to be about the fourth individual to put in their bid for the White House: Marco Rubio. We’ll be focusing on his personal background and his voting history on six topics:  Healthcare, Education, Job Creation (including minimum wage), Social Programs (medicare/medicaid, SSI, EBT, etc), Gun Control and Human Rights (including LGBT rights and women’s rights). I get all my information on voting history from the website Project Vote Smart and there are many, many more topics than these six so I would encourage you to look up the voting histories for this and all the candidates on other subjects that interest you.

Marco Rubio: Personal Information

Marco Antonio Rubio was born May 28, 1971 in Miami, Florida to Mario and Oria Rubio – both Cuban immigrants who eventually became naturalized American citizens. Though his family claimed the Roman-Catholic faith, they attended a Mormon church from the time Rubio was 8 to the time he was 11 while they were living in Las Vegas. Rubio graduated high school in Miami in 1989 and attended Tarkio College on a football scholarship for a year before enrolling in Santa Fe Community College. In 1993, Rubio earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Florida and in 1996 he earned his Juris Doctor degree cum laude from the University of Miami Law School. (1)

In 1999, Rubio ran for a seat in the 111th House District in the Florida House of Representatives, representing Miami. He won unopposed in November, 2000. In December, 2002 Rubio was appointed House Majority Leader by Speaker Johnnie Byrd and in November 2003, Rubio became the first Cuban-American to become Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. On May 5, 2009, Rubio announced that he was running for Senate under the Republican ticket and he won the general election with 49% of the vote. After being elected to the Senate, Rubio was assigned to the Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. While serving on the Senate, Rubio has also taught a political science course at Florida International University. (1)

On April 13, 2015, Marco Rubio formally announced that he planned to run for President of the United States.

Marco Rubio: The Issues

+ = Florida Key Votes

Healthcare:

*On April 6, 2006: Nay on A 990255 – Florida KidCare Funding Amendment (2.0)

*On April 25, 2007: Yea on CS HB 7189 – KidCare Eligibility Expansion + (2.1)

*On February 2, 2011: Yea on S Amdt 9 – Repealing the IRS 1099 Provision From the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2.2)

*On February 2, 2011: Yea on S Amdt 28 – Repealing the IRS 1099 Provision From the Health Care Bill (2.3)

*On February 2, 2011: Yea on S Amdt 13 – Repealing the Federal Health Care Law (2.4)

*On April 5, 2011: Yea on HR 4 – Repealing the IRS 1099 Provision From the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2.5)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 1520 – Authorizes Moral and Religious Objections to Certain Health Care Items and Services (2.6)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 3058 – Expands TRICARE Coverage of Autism (2.7)

*On March 13, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 30 – To Prohibit the Use of Funds to Carry Out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2.8)

*On March 31, 2014: Nay on HR 4302 – Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (2.9)

Education:

*On March 23, 2006: Yea on HB 205 – Prohibition of Certain Financial Assistance to International Students + (3.0)

*On April 6, 2006: Nay on A 990269 – Teacher Salary Increase Amendment + (3.1)

*On April 6, 2006: Nay on A 990264 – Education Funding Amendment + (3.2)

*On May 2, 2006: Yea on HJR 447 – Classroom Size Requirements and 65 Percent of School Funding for Classroom Instruction + (3.3)

*On April 30, 2007: Yea on HB 7145 – Private School Scholarship Program Expansion Act + (3.4)

*On May 2, 2007: Yea on CS SB 1710 – State University Tuition Increase + (3.5)

*On April 28, 2008: Yea on SB 2692 – Teaching Evolution in Public Schools + (3.6)

*On May 8, 2012: Nay on S 2343 – Extends Student Loan Interest Rates (Reid Bill) (3.7)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 2153 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates For Student Loans (Lamar Bill) (3.8)

*On June 19, 2012: Nay on S Amdt 2156 – Increases Funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (3.9)

*On June 6, 2013: Nay on S 953 – Student Loan Affordability Act (4.0)

*On June 6, 2013: Yea on S 1003 – Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act (4.1)

*On July 14, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 1778 – Limits Interest Rates for Certain Federal Student Loans (4.2)

*On July 24, 2013: Yea on HR 1911 – Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 (4.3)

*On June 11, 2014: Nay on S 2432 – Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (4.4)

Job Creation:

*On June 21, 2011: Nay on S 782 – Economic Development Revitalization Act (4.5)

*On October 11, 2011: Nay on S 1660 – American Jobs Act of 2011 (4.6)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 928 – American Jobs and Economic Growth (4.7)

*On June 5, 2012: Nay on S 3220 – Paycheck Fairness Act (4.8)

*On July 19, 2012: Nay on S 3364 – Bring Home Jobs Act (4.9)

*On April 9, 2014: Nay on S 2199 – Paycheck Fairness Act (5.0)

*On April 30, 2014: Nay on S 2223 – Minimum Wage Fairness Act (5.1)

*On July 30, 2014: Nay on S 2569 – Bring Home Jobs Act (5.2)

Social Programs:

*On October 21, 2011: Yea on S Amdt 791 – Limits Farm Subsidies to Individuals with Incomes under $1 Million (5.3)

*On June 13, 2012: Nay on S Amdt 2392 – Reduces Funding for Food Stamps (5.4)

*On June 19, 2012: Yea on S Amdt 2181 – Limits Farm Subsidies to Farmers with Incomes Under $250,000 (5.5)

*On June 19, 2012: Yea on S Amdt 2172 – Rescinds Bonuses to States for Administering Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (5.6)

*On May 23, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 953 – Limits Subsidy Payments for Individuals with Incomes More Than $750,000 (5.7)

*On January 14, 2014: Nay on S 1845 – Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (5.8)

Gun Control:

*On March 26, 2008: Yea on HB 503 – Firearms in Vehicles + (5.8)

*On April 17, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 719 – Authorizes Reciprocity for the Carrying of Certain Concealed Firearms (5.9)

*On April 17, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 715 – Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act (6.0)

*On April 17, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 714 – Limits Firearm Magazine Capacity (6.1)

*On April 17, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 711 – Prohibits the Sale of Assault Weapons (6.2)

Human Rights:

*On April 27, 2007: Yea on CS HB 71 – Florida Unborn Victims of Violence Act + (6.3)

*On April 27, 2007: Yea on CS HB 1497 – Abortion Waiting Periods + (6.4)

*On April 26, 2012: Nay on S 1925 – Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (6.5)

*On December 4, 2012: Nay on Treaty Doc 112-7 – The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (6.6)

*On February 12, 2013: Nay on S 47 – Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (6.6)

*On November 4, 2013: Nay on S 815 – Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (6.7)

*On November 7, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 2013 – Exempts Religiously Affiliated Employers from the Prohibition on Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (6.8)

*On July 16, 2014: Nay on S 2578 – Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014 (6.9)

Sources:

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Rubio

(2.0) + http://votesmart.org/bill/1466/4191/1601/florida-kidcare-funding-amendment

(2.1) + http://votesmart.org/bill/4255/13271/1601/kidcare-eligibility-expansion

(2.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/12608/33256/1601/repealing-the-irs-1099-provision-from-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act

(2.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/12610/33258/1601/repealing-the-irs-1099-provision-from-the-health-care-bill

(2.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/12607/33253/1601/repealing-the-federal-health-care-law

(2.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/12858/34385/1601/repeals-the-form-1099-provision-in-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act

(2.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/14746/38556/1601/authorizes-moral-and-religious-objections-to-certain-health-care-items-and-services

(2.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/15950/41999/1601/expands-tricare-coverage-of-autism

(2.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/16352/43144/1601/to-prohibit-the-use-of-funds-to-carry-out-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act

(2.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/17705/47279/1601/protecting-access-to-medicare-act-of-2014

(3.0) + http://votesmart.org/bill/1246/3524/1601/prohibition-of-certain-financial-assistance-to-international-students

(3.1) + http://votesmart.org/bill/1469/4197/1601/teacher-salary-increase-amendment

(3.2) + http://votesmart.org/bill/1464/4187/1601/education-funding-amendment

(3.3) + http://votesmart.org/bill/1468/4195/1601/classroom-size-requirements-and-65-percent-of-school-funding-for-classroom-instruction

(3.4) + http://votesmart.org/bill/4326/13520/1601/private-school-scholarship-program-expansion-act

(3.5) + http://votesmart.org/bill/4240/13213/1601/state-university-tuition-increase

(3.6) + http://votesmart.org/bill/6864/18963/1601/teaching-evolution-in-public-schools

(3.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/15158/39847/1601/extends-student-loan-interest-rates-reid-bill

(3.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/15224/40027/1601/prohibits-increase-in-interest-rates-for-student-loans-lamar-bill

(3.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/15467/40615/1601/increases-funding-for-the-fresh-fruit-and-vegetable-program

(4.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/16814/44550/1601/student-loan-affordability-act

(4.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/16813/44548/1601/comprehensive-student-loan-protection-act

(4.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/17294/45797/1601/limits-interest-rates-for-certain-federal-student-loans

(4.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/16854/45790/1601/bipartisan-student-loan-certainty-act-of-2013

(4.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/18384/48683/1601/bank-on-students-emergency-loan-refinancing-act

(4.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/13524/35632/1601/economic-development-revitalization-act

(4.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/13909/36879/1601/american-jobs-act-of-2011

(4.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/14160/37329/1601/american-jobs-and-economic-growth

(4.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/15815/41671/1601/paycheck-fairness-act

(4.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/15598/41154/1601/bring-jobs-home-act

(5.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/17767/47429/1601/paycheck-fairness-act

(5.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/17854/47753/1601/minimum-wage-fairness-act

(5.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/18753/49616/1601/bring-jobs-home-act

(5.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/14025/37093/1601/limits-farm-subsidies-to-individuals-with-incomes-under-1-million

(5.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/15318/40315/1601/reduces-funding-for-food-stamps

(5.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/15463/40602/1601/limits-farm-subsidies-to-farmers-with-incomes-under-250000

(5.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/15465/40606/1601/rescinds-bonuses-to-states-for-administering-supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap

(5.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/16822/44578/1601/limits-subsidy-payments-for-individuals-with-incomes-more-than-750000

(5.8) + http://votesmart.org/bill/6725/18563/1601/firearms-in-vehicles

(5.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/16584/43806/1601/authorizes-reciprocity-for-the-carrying-of-certain-concealed-firearms

(6.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/16582/43803/1601/public-safety-and-second-amendment-rights-protection-act

(6.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/16585/43809/1601/limits-firearm-magazine-capacity

(6.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/16586/43816/1601/prohibits-the-sale-of-assault-weapons

(6.3) + http://votesmart.org/bill/4241/13217/1601/florida-unborn-victims-of-violence-act

(6.4) + http://votesmart.org/bill/4246/13237/1601/abortion-waiting-periods

(6.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/15123/39746/1601/reauthorizing-the-violence-against-women-act

(6.6) 0http://votesmart.org/bill/15948/41992/1601/the-convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities

(6.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/17391/46285/1601/employment-non-discrimination-act-of-2013

(6.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/17392/46288/1601/exempts-religiously-affiliated-employers-from-the-prohibition-on-employment-discrimination-based-on-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity

(6.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/18702/49362/1601/protect-womens-health-from-corporate-interference-act-of-2014

0

The Race for the White House 2016: Who is Hillary Clinton? Part 2

This is the second installment of the Hillary Clinton segment of my “Be an Informed Voter” blog. Enjoy!

Healthcare:

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 2357 – Medicare Premiums Amendment (1)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 2356 – Hurricane Healthcare for Survivors Amendment (1.1)

*On November 3, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 2381 – Prescription Drug Plan Amendment (1.2)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 2371 – Medicare Prescription Drug Amendment (1.3)

*On November 3, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 2365 – Medical Assistance and Prescription Drug Amendment (1.4)

*On November 3, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 2357 – Medicare Premiums Amendment (1.5)

*On November 3, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 2348 – Medicaid Generic Drug Amendment (1.6)

*On November 17, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 2601 – Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Amendment (1.7)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 2730 – Medicare Part D Amendment (1.8)

*On May 3, 2006: Yea on S Amdt 3688 – Influenza Vaccine Injury Compensation Amendment (1.9)

*Co-Sponsor: S 1200 – Healthcare for Indigenous Peoples (2.0)

*On August 7, 2007: Yea on HR 976 – State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization (2.1)

*On July 9, 2008: Yea on HR 6331 – Medicare Bill (2.2)

Education:

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 3071 – Education Funding Amendment (2.3)

*On July 20, 2007: Yea on HR 2669 – Student Loan Lender Subsidy Cuts and Student Grants (2.4)

Job Creation:

*Co-Sponsor: S 2832 – Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 2006 (2.5)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 4322 – Minimum Wage Adjustment Amendment (2.6)

*On June 21, 2006: Nay on S Amdt 4376 – Increasing Minimum Wage Amendment (2.7)

*On April 28, 2008: Yea on HR 2831 – Equal Pay Bill (2.8)

*On January 15, 2009: Nay on S J Res 5 – Releasing Funds for Economic Stabilization Act (2.9)

*Co-Sponsor: S 181 – Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (3.0)

Social Programs:

* On October 27, 2005: Yea on HR 3010 – Labor, HHS, and Education FY 2006 Appropriations Bill (3.1)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 2409 – Targeted Case Management Amendment (3.2)

*On November 17, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 2634 – Additional Funding for Veterans Amendment (3.3)

*On December 13, 2007: Yea on S Amdt 3695 – Limit on Farm Subsidies (3.4)

Gun Control:

*On July 13, 2006: Nay on S Amdt 4615 – Firearm Confiscation Prohibition Amendment (3.5)

*On September 6, 2006: Nay on S Amdt 4882 – Cluster Munitions Amendment (3.6)

Human Rights:

*On May 17, 2006: Nay on S Amdt 3965 – Employment-based Immigrant Visa Amendment (3.7)

*On May 23, 2006: Yea on S Amdt 4177 – Employer Verification Amendment (3.8)

*On May 23, 2006: Yea on S Amdt 4087 – Orange Card Program Amendment (3.9)

*On May 24, 2006: Yea on S Amdt 4095 – H-2C Visa Program Amendment (4.0)

*On May 25, 2006: Nay on S Amdt 4097 – Confidentiality Requirement Amendment (4.1)

*On May 25, 2006: Yea on S 2611 – Immigration Reform Bill (4.2)

*On June 7, 2006: Nay on S J Res 1 – Same Sex Marriage Resolution (4.3)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 4689 – Teen Pregnancy Education Amendment (4.4)

*On July 25, 2006: Nay on S 403 – Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (4.5)

*On June 6, 2007: Yea on S Amdt 1333 – Barring Immigrants with Certain Criminal Histories (4.6)

*On June 6, 2007: Yea on S Amdt 1316 – Five Year Expiration for Guest Worker Program (4.7)

*On June 7, 2007: Yea on S 1348 – Immigration Act of 2007 (4.8)

*On June 28, 2007: Yea on S 1639 – Second Immigration Act of 2007 (4.9)

Sources:

(1) http://votesmart.org/bill/3715/11536/55463/medicare-premiums-amendment

(1.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/3714/11535/55463/hurricane-health-care-for-survivors-amendment

(1.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/3719/9051/55463/prescription-drug-plan-amendment

(1.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/3718/11539/55463/medicare-prescription-drug-amendment

(1.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/3717/8756/55463/medical-assistance-and-prescription-drug-amendment

(1.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/3715/8760/55463/medicare-premiums-amendment

(1.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/3712/8754/55463/medicaid-generic-drug-amendment

(1.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/3727/9043/55463/medicare-prescription-drug-benefit-amendment

(1.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/3783/11601/55463/medicare-part-d-amendment

(1.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/3742/8738/55463/influenza-vaccine-injury-compensation-amendment

(2.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/6284/17349/55463/health-care-for-indigenous-peoples

(2.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/4640/14622/55463/state-childrens-health-insurance-program-chip-reauthorization

(2.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/7140/20674/55463/medicare-bill

(2.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/3736/11557/55463/education-funding-amendment

(2.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/4531/14464/55463/student-loan-lender-subsidy-cuts-and-student-grants

(2.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/3388/11375/55463/appalachian-regional-development-act-amendments-of-2006

(2.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/3751/11572/55463/minimum-wage-adjustment-amendment

(2.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/3752/8736/55463/increasing-minimum-wage-amendment

(2.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/6820/18842/55463/equal-pay-bill

(2.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/8604/23286/55463/releasing-funds-for-economic-stabilization-act

(3.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/8615/23312/55463/lilly-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-of-2009

(3.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/3292/7814/55463/labor-hhs-and-education-fy-2006-appropriations-bill

(3.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/3721/11542/55463/targeted-case-management-amendment

(3.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/3733/9013/55463/additional-funding-for-veterans-amendment

(3.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/6038/16706/55463/limit-on-farm-subsidies

(3.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/3759/8720/55463/firearm-confiscation-prohibition-amendment

(3.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/3765/8680/55463/cluster-munitions-amendment

(3.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/3743/8707/55463/employment-based-immigrant-visa-amendment

(3.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/3750/8705/55463/employer-verification-amendment

(3.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/3747/8790/55463/orange-card-program-amendment

(4.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/3748/8728/55463/h-2c-visa-program-ammendment

(4.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/3749/8683/55463/confidentiality-requirement-amendment

(4.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/3385/7801/55463/immigration-reform-bill

(4.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/3400/11729/55463/same-sex-marriage-resolution

(4.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/3762/11583/55463/teen-pregnancy-education-amendment

(4.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/3393/7733/55463/child-interstate-abortion-notification-act

(4.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/4303/13451/55463/barring-immigrants-with-certain-criminal-histories

(4.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/4301/13445/55463/five-year-expiration-for-guest-worker-program

(4.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/4288/13409/55463/immigration-act-of-2007

(4.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/4482/14122/55463/second-immigration-act-of-2007

0

The Race for the White House 2016: Who is Hillary Clinton? Part 1

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This week’s Presidential candidate post is going to be about the third individual to put in their bid for the White House: Hillary Clinton. We’ll be focusing on her personal background and her voting history on six topics:  Healthcare, Education, Job Creation (including minimum wage), Social Programs (medicare/medicaid, SSI, EBT, etc), Gun Control and Human Rights (including LGBT rights and women’s rights). I get all my information on voting history from the website Project Vote Smart and there are many, many more topics than these six so I would encourage you to look up the voting histories for this and all the candidates on other subjects that interest you.

Hillary Clinton: Personal Information

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was born on October 26, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois to Hugh Rodham and Dorothy Howell. A the age of three, the Rodham family moved to Park Ridge, Illinois where she grew up. In 1965, Clinton enrolled in Wellesley College as a political science major. Her first year at the college, Clinton served as President of the Wellesley Young Republicans but later stepped down after the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War made her change her political views to something more liberal. In 1969, Clinton graduated from Wellesley with a Bachelor of Arts degree with departmental honors in political science. (1)

After graduating from Wellesley, Hillary Clinton enrolled in Yale Law School. While attending Yale, Clinton was involved in many volunteer and social advocacy programs, including working at the Yale Child Study Center and taking on cases of child abuse at the Yale-New Haven Hospital. In 1970, Clinton was recruited by political adviser Ann Wexler to work on the campaign of Connecticut US Senate candidate Joseph Duffy, which was her first political job. In the spring of 1971, Clinton began dating Bill Clinton – a fellow student at Yale. They were married October 11, 1975. (1)

Bill Clinton won the Arkansas gubernatorial race in 1978 and Hillary was the first lady of Arkansas for the next 12 years. While her husband was governor of Arkansas, Clinton worked for the Rose Law Firm, where she was renowned for bringing in new clients and closing cases.  From 1982-1988, she also served on the board of directors for the New World Foundation, which funded a variety of New Left interest groups. She also served on the boards of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Legal Services and the Children’s Defense Fund. (1)

In January of 1993, Hillary Rodham Clinton became the First Lady of the United States after her husband was elected President. After he was sworn in, Bill Clinton appointed his wife head of the Task Force on National Healthcare Reform. Shortly thereafter, she proposed the Clinton Healthcare Plan – called “Hillarycare” by critics. She failed to get the support for the bill and it never passed. In 1997, along with senators Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch, Clinton helped to pass the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. She promoted nationwide immunization against childhood illnesses and  successfully sought to increase research funding for prostate cancer and childhood asthma. Clinton helped create the Office on Violence Against Women and initiated the Adoption and Safe Families Act. (1)

In September of 2000, Hillary Clinton was sworn in as a United States Senator. While serving in this capacity, she served on five Senate committees: The Committee on Budget, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the Special Committee of Aging. Clinton served as an US Senator until 2008, when she was sworn in as US Secretary of State under President Barrack Obama, a position she held until 2013. Hillary Rodham Clinton announced she was running in the 2016 Presidential race on April 12, 2015. (1)

Hillary Clinton: The Issues

Healthcare:

*Co-sponsor: S 218 – Greater Access to Pharmaceuticals Act (2)

*On June 29, 2001: Yea on S 1052 – Patients’ Bill of Rights (2.1)

*On July 31, 2002: Yea on S 812 – Greater Access to Pharmaceuticals Act (2.2)

*On June 27, 2003: Nay on S 1 – Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Bill (2.3)

*On November 25, 2003: Nay on HR 1 – Medicare Prescription Drug Bill (2.4)

*On March 17, 2005: Nay on S Amdt 229 – Medicaid Amendment (2.5)

*On March 17, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 214 – Prescription Drugs Amendment (2.6)

*On October 5, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 1937 – Health Care for Veterans Amendment (2.7)

*On October 27, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 2259 – AIDS Drug Assistance Program Amendment (2.8)

Education:

*On November 6, 2001: Yea on HR 3061 – Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Act of 2002 (2.9)

*On December 18, 2001: Yea on HR 1 – No Child Left Behind Act (3.0)

*On March 17, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 177 – Education Amendment (3.1)

*On March 17, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 172 – Perkins Vocational Education Program Amendment (3.2)

*Co-sponsor: S 2213 – Federal Pell Grant Increase Amendment (3.3)

*Co-sponsor: S Amdt 2275 – Elementary and Secondary Education Act Amendment (3.4)

*On October 11, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 2287 – After School Funding Amendment (3.5)

Job Creation:

*On May 23, 2003: Nay on HR 2 – Jobs and Economic Growth Bill (3.6)

*On May 11, 2004: Yea on S 1637 – Jump start our Business Strength (JOBS) Act (3.7)

*On October 11, 2004: Yea on HR 4520 – JOBS Act (3.8)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 44 – Minimum Wage Amendment (3.9)

Social Programs:

*Co-sponsor: S 23 – Unemployment Benefits Bill (4.0)

*Co-Sponsor: S Amdt 3114 – Unemployment Benefits Amendment (4.1)

*On September 22, 2005: Yea on HR 2744 – Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA Appropriations Act (4.2)

Gun Control:

*On March 2, 2004: Nay on S 1805 – Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill (4.3)

*On July 25, 2005: Nay on S 397 – Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill (4.4)

Human Rights:

*Co-sponsor: S 625 – Hate Crimes Bill (4.5)

*On June 11, 2002: Yea on S 625 –  Hate Crimes Bill (4.6)

*On June 21, 2002: Yea on S Amdt 3927 – Military Abortion Amendment (4.7)

*On October 21, 2003: Nay on S 3 – Prohibit Partial Birth/Late Term Abortion Bill (4.8)

*On March 25, 2004: Nay on HR 1997 – Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 (4.9)

*Co-Sponsor S 2329 – Victims’ Rights Bill (5.0)

*On May 14, 2014: Yea on HR 1350 – Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (5.1)

*On July 14, 2004: Nay on S J Res 40 – Federal Marriage Amendment (5.2)

*Sponsor: S Amdt 244 – Unintended Pregnancy Amendment (5.3)

*On March 17, 2005: Yea on S Amdt 211 – Native American Funding Amendment (5.4)

*Sponsor: S Amdt 2292 – Individuals with Disabilities Education Amendment (5.5)

Sources:

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Rodham_Clinton

(2) http://votesmart.org/bill/3147/11321/55463/greater-access-to-affordable-pharmaceuticals-act

(2.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/3137/7845/55463/patients-bill-of-rights

( 2.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/3147/7790/55463/greater-access-to-affordable-pharmaceuticals-act

(2.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/3244/7823/55463/medicare-prescription-drug-benefit-bill

(2.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/3863/11948/55463/medicare-prescription-drug-bill

(2.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/3710/8752/55463/medicaid-amendment

(2.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/7400/20709/55463/prescription-drugs-amendment

(2.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/3698/9025/55463/health-care-for-veterans-amendment

(2.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/3707/9017/55463/aids-drug-assistance-program-amendment

(2.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/3111/7811/55463/labor-hhs-and-education-appropriations-act-2002

(3.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/3087/8426/55463/no-child-left-behind-act

(3.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/3697/8854/55463/education-amendment

(3.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/3696/8859/55463/perkins-vocational-education-program-amendment

(3.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/3705/11526/55463/federal-pell-grant-increase-amendment

(3.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/3708/11529/55463/elementary-and-secondary-education-act-amendment

(3.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/3709/9015/55463/after-school-funding-amendment

(3.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/3172/8406/55463/jobs-and-economic-growth-bill

(3.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/3983/12369/55463/jumpstart-our-business-strength-jobs-act

(3.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/3219/11697/55463/jobs-jumpstart-our-business-strength

(3.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/3753/11574/55463/minimum-wage-amendment

(4.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/3256/11334/55463/unemployment-benefits-bill

(4.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/3663/11503/55463/unemployment-benefits-amendment

(4.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/3284/7695/55463/agriculture-rural-development-and-fda-appropriations-act

(4.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/3254/7776/55463/firearms-manufacturers-protection-bill

(4.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/3392/7775/55463/firearms-manufacturers-protection-bill

(4.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/3146/11320/55463/hate-crimes-bill

(4.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/3146/7793/55463/hate-crimes-bill

(4.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/3660/8761/55463/military-abortion-amendment

(4.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/3260/11953/55463/prohibit-partial-birthlate-term-abortion-bill

(4.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/3171/7874/55463/unborn-victims-of-violence-act-2004

(5.0) http://votesmart.org/bill/3257/11335/55463/victims-rights-bill

(5.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/3160/7803/55463/individuals-with-disabilities-education-improvement-act

(5.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/3266/7773/55463/federal-marriage-amendment\

(5.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/7402/20713/55463/unintended-pregnancy-amendment

(5.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/3701/8782/55463/native-american-funding-amendment

(5.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/3711/11532/55463/individuals-with-disabilities-education-amendment

0

The Race for the White House 2016: Who is Rand Paul?

download (4)This week’s Presidential candidate post is going to be about the second individual to put in their bid for the White House: Rand Paul. We’ll be focusing on his personal background and his voting history on six topics:  Healthcare, Education, Job Creation (including minimum wage), Social Programs (medicare/medicaid, SSI, EBT, etc), Gun Control and Human Rights (including LGBT rights and women’s rights). I get all my information on voting history from the website Project Vote Smart and there are many, many more topics than these six so I would encourage you to look up the voting histories for this and all the candidates on other subjects that interest you.

Rand Paul: Personal Information

Randal Howard “Rand” Paul was born January 7th, 1973 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Carol and Ron Paul. When Paul was 5, he and his family moved to Lake Jackson, Texas, where he was raised in a very political household, with his father being elected to the US House of Representatives when Paul was 13. Rand Paul’s father also headed Ronald Reagan’s Texas Delegation.

Paul was enrolled in the Honors program at  Baylor University from the fall of 1981 to the summer of 1984. During his time there, he was on the swim team and regularly contributed to the school paper The Baylor Lariat. Paul left Baylor early in 1984 without completing his bachelor’s degree when he was accepted at the Duke University School of Medicine. He earned an M.D. degree in 1988 and completed his residency in 1993. In 1993, after completing his residency in ophthalmology, Paul moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky and got his first job as an ophthalmologist. This was a field he continued in until 2009, when he ran for his first political office. (1)

In 2009, Rand Paul won the Kentucky senatorial primary as a Republican candidate after which he was assigned as the head of the Energy and Natural Resources, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs and Small Business committees. Paul also formed the Senate Tea Party Caucus. Paul’s first legislative proposal was to cut $500 billion in federal spending. This proposal included cutting the Department of Education by 83 percent and the Department of Homeland Security by 43 percent, as well as folding the Department of Energy into the Department of Defense and eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Seven independent agencies would be eliminated and food stamps would be cut by 30 percent. Under Paul’s proposal, defense spending would be reduced by 6.5 percent and international aid would be eliminated. (1)

Rand Paul officially announced his candidacy in the 2015 Presidential race on April 7th, 2015.

Rand Paul: The Issues

Healthcare:

*On February 2, 2011: Yea on S Amdt 9 – Repealing the IRS 1099 from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2)

*On February 2, 2011: Nay on S Amdt 28 – Repealing the IRS 1099 Provision from the Health Care Bill (2.1)

*On February 2, 2011: Yea on S Amdt 13 – Repealing the Federal Healthcare Law (2.2)

*On April 5, 2011: Yea on HR 4 – Repeals the Form 1099 in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2.3)

*On November 10, 2011: Yea on S Amdt 928 – American Jobs and Economic Growth (After reading the bill, I decided this belonged in this category instead of in Job Creation) (2.4)

*Co-Sponsored S Amdt 1520 – Authorizes Moral and Religious Objections to Certain Health Care Items and Services (2.5)

*On November 29, 2012: Nay on S Amdt 3058 – Expands TRICARE coverage of Autism (2.6)

*Co-sponsor on S Amdt 30: To Prohibit the Use of Funds to Carry out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2.7)

*On March 31, 2014: Nay on HR 4302 – Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (2.8)

Education:

*On May 24, 2012: Nay on S 2343 – Extends Student Loan Interest Rates (Reid Bill) (2.9)

*On May 24, 2012: Nay on S Amdt 2153 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Lamar Bill) (3)

*On June 6, 2013: Nay on S 953 – Student Loan Affordability Act (3.1)

*On June 6, 2013: Nay on S 1003 – Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act (3.2)

*On July 24, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 1778 – Limits Interest Rates for Certain Federal Student Loans (3.3)

*On July 24, 2013: Yea on HR 1911 – Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 (3.4)

*On June 11, 2014: Nay on S 2432 – Bank on Student Loans Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (3.5)

Job Creation:

*On June 21, 2011: Nay on S 782 – Economic Development Revitalization Act (3.6)

*On October 11, 2011: Nay on S 1660 – American Jobs Act of 2011 (3.7)

*On July 12, 2012: Nay on S 2237 – Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act (3.8)

*On July 19, 2012: Nay on S 3364 – Bring Home Jobs Act (3.9)

*On January 1, 2013: Nay on HR 8 – Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012 (4)

*On April 30, 2014: Nay on S 2223 – Minimum Wage Fairness Act (4.1)

*On July 30, 2014: Nay on S 2569 – Bring home Jobs Act (4.2)

Social Programs:

*On October 21, 2011: Yea on S Amdt 791 – Limits Farm Subsidies to Individuals with Incomes Under $1 million (4.3)

*On June 13, 2012: Nay on S Amdt 2392 – Reduces Funding for Food Stamps (4.4)

*On June 19, 2012: Yea on S Amdt 2181 – Limits Farm Subsidies to Farmers with Incomes Under $250,000 (4.5)

*On June 19, 2012: Yea on S Amdt 2174 – Limits Eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (4.6)

*On June 19, 2012: Yea on S Amdt 2172 – Rescinds Bonuses to States for Administering Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (4.7)

*On June 19, 2012: Nay on S Amdt 2156 – Increases Funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (4.8)

*On June 21, 2012: Nay on S 3240 – Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (4.9)

*On May 23, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 953 – Limits Subsidy Payments for Individuals with Incomes More Than $750,000 (5)

*On January 14, 2014: Nay on S 1845 – Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (5.1)

*On February 4, 2014: Nay on HR 2642 – Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (5.2)

Gun Control:

*On April 17, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 719 – Authorizes Reciprocity for the Carrying of Certain Concealed Firearms (5.3)

*On April 17, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 715 – Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act (5.4)

*On April 17, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 714 – Prohibits the Sale of Assault Weapons (5.5)

*On April 17, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 714 – Limits Firearm Magazine Capacity (5.6)

Human Rights:

*On April 26, 2012: Nay on S 1925 – Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (5.7)

*On December 4, 2012: Nay on Treaty Doc. 112-7 – The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (5.8)

*On February 12, 2013: Nay on S 47 – Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (5.9)

*On November 4, 2013: Nay on S 815 – Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (6)

*On November 7, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 2013 – Exempts Religiously Affiliated Employers from the Prohibition on Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (6.1)

*On July 16, 2014: Nay on S 2578 – Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014 (6.2)

Sources:

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rand_Paul

(2) http://votesmart.org/bill/12608/repealing-the-irs-1099-provision-from-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act

(2.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/12610/33258/117285/repealing-the-irs-1099-provision-from-the-health-care-bill

(2.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/12607/33253/117285/repealing-the-federal-health-care-law

(2.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/12858/repeals-the-form-1099-provision-in-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act

(2.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/14160/37327/117285/american-jobs-and-economic-growth

(2.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/14746/authorizes-moral-and-religious-objections-to-certain-health-care-items-and-services

(2.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/15950/expands-tricare-coverage-of-autism

(2.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/16352/to-prohibit-the-use-of-funds-to-carry-out-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act

(2.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/17705/47279/117285/protecting-access-to-medicare-act-of-2014

(2.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/15158/extends-student-loan-interest-rates-reid-bill

(3) http://votesmart.org/bill/15224/prohibits-increase-in-interest-rates-for-student-loans-lamar-bill

(3.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/16814/44550/117285/student-loan-affordability-act

(3.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/16813/44548/117285/comprehensive-student-loan-protection-act

(3.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/17294/45797/117285/limits-interest-rates-for-certain-federal-student-loans

(3.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/16854/45790/117285/bipartisan-student-loan-certainty-act-of-2013

(3.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/18384/48683/117285/bank-on-students-emergency-loan-refinancing-act

(3.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/13524/economic-development-revitalization-act

(3.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/13909/american-jobs-act-of-2011

(3.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/15601/small-business-jobs-and-tax-relief-act

(3.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/15598/bring-jobs-home-act

(4) http://votesmart.org/bill/15637/job-protection-and-recession-prevention-act-of-2012

(4.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/17854/47753/117285/minimum-wage-fairness-act

(4.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/18753/49616/117285/bring-jobs-home-act

(4.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/14025/limits-farm-subsidies-to-individuals-with-incomes-under-1-million

(4.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/15318/reduces-funding-for-food-stamps

(4.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/15463/limits-farm-subsidies-to-farmers-with-incomes-under-250000

(4.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/15464/limits-eligibility-for-supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap

(4.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/15465/rescinds-bonuses-to-states-for-administering-supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap

(4.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/15467/increases-funding-for-the-fresh-fruit-and-vegetable-program

(4.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/15316/agriculture-reform-food-and-jobs-act-of-2012

(5) http://votesmart.org/bill/16822/44578/117285/limits-subsidy-payments-for-individuals-with-incomes-more-than-750000

(5.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/17428/46392/117285/emergency-unemployment-compensation-extension-act

(5.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/18702/49362/117285/protect-womens-health-from-corporate-interference-act-of-2014

(5.3) http://votesmart.org/bill/16584/authorizes-reciprocity-for-the-carrying-of-certain-concealed-firearms

(5.4) http://votesmart.org/bill/16582/public-safety-and-second-amendment-rights-protection-act

(5.5) http://votesmart.org/bill/16586/43816/117285/prohibits-the-sale-of-assault-weapons

(5.6) http://votesmart.org/bill/16585/43809/117285/limits-firearm-magazine-capacity

(5.7) http://votesmart.org/bill/15123/reauthorizing-the-violence-against-women-act

(5.8) http://votesmart.org/bill/15948/the-convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities

(5.9) http://votesmart.org/bill/16132/42501/117285/violence-against-women-reauthorization-act-of-2013

(6) http://votesmart.org/bill/17391/46285/117285/employment-non-discrimination-act-of-2013

(6.1) http://votesmart.org/bill/17392/46288/117285/exempts-religiously-affiliated-employers-from-the-prohibition-on-employment-discrimination-based-on-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity

(6.2) http://votesmart.org/bill/18702/49362/117285/protect-womens-health-from-corporate-interference-act-of-2014

0

The Race for the White House 2016: Who is Ted Cruz?

imagesI’ve decided that I’m going to do a series of blog posts regarding the current crop of presidential candidates (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Hillary Clinton). I’m going to be focusing on their personal background and their voting histories on six topics that I feel affect voters today; Healthcare, Education, Job Creation (including minimum wage), Social Programs (medicare/medicaid, SSI, EBT, etc), Gun Control and Human Rights (including LGBT rights and women’s rights). I will include links to all my sources and try to keep these posts as factual and impartial as possible. I got all the information on the voting history from the website Project Vote Smart and will post the links to the individual bills that are being voted on in the sources section. There are so many more issues than just the ones I’m listing and I would encourage you to do your research on any not listed here that are important to you.

Ted Cruz: Personal Information

Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz was born December 22, 1970 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Rafael Cruz (a naturalized Cuban citizen) and Eleanor Wilson Cruz (a U.S. citizen from Delaware). When Cruz was very young, he and his parents moved to Katy, Texas where Cruz attended school, graduating valedictorian in 1988. In 1992, Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy. After Princeton, Cruz attended Harvard Law, graduating magna cum laude in 1995.(1) Cruz formally renounced his dual Canadian citizenship on May 14, 2014.

Cruz’s law career began shortly after graduating from Harvard when he served as law clerk to J. Michael Lutting of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and later to William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States in 1996. From 1997-1998, Cruz took a position with law firm Cooper & Kirk, LLC. While working with this firm, Cruz began working with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and helped to draft the impeachment proceedings for President Bill Clinton. Cruz also served as private counsel for now-Speaker of the House John Boehner  when Boehner sued Congressman Jim McDermott for a breach of privacy. (1)

In 1999, Cruz joined the Bush administration campaign as domestic policy adviser. After George W. Bush took office Cruz served as Associate Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. Justice Department and as the director of policy planning at the U.S.Federal Trade Commission. (1) Cruz served as Solicitor General of Texas under Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott from 2003-2008. After leaving the Solicitor General position in 2008, Cruz joined private law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP where he represented corporate clients. (1)

Ted Cruz (R-TX) was elected as a U.S. Senator in 2012 and took office in 2013. On March 23, 2015 Ted Cruz announced that he was running for the United States Presidency in 2016. (1)

Ted Cruz: The Issues

Healthcare:

* On March 13, 2013 : Yea to S Amdt 30 – To Prohibit the Use of Funds to Carry Out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2)

* On March 31, 2014: Nay on HR 4302 – Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (2.1)

Education:

*On June 6, 2013: Nay on S 953 – Student Loan Affordability Act (2.2)

*On June 6, 2013: Yea on S 1003 – Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act (2.3)

*On July 24, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 1778 – Limits Interest Rates on Certain Federal Student Loans (2.4)

*On July 31, 2013: Yea on HR 1911 – Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 (2.5) 

*On June 11, 2014: Nay on S 2432 – Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (2.6)

Job Creation:

*On April 20, 2014: Nay on S 2223 – Minimum Wage Fairness Act (2.7)

*On July 30, 2014: Nay on S 2569 – Bring Jobs Home Act (2.8) 

Social Programs:

* On May 23, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 953 – Limits Subsidy Payments for Individuals With Incomes More than $750,000 (2,9)

* On June 10, 2013: Nay on S 954 – Agriculture Reform, Food and Job Acts of 2013 (3.0)

*On January 14, 2014: Nay on S 1845 – Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (3.1)

Gun Control:

*On April 17, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 719 – Authorizes Reciprocity For the Carrying of Certain Concealed Firearms (3.2)

On April 17, 2014: Nay on S Amdt 715 – Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act (3.3)

*On April 17, 2014: Nay on S Amdt 714 – Limits Firearm Magazine Capacity (3.4)

*On April 17, 2013: Nay on S Amdt 711 – Prohibits the Sale of Assault Weapons (35)

Human Rights:

*On February 28, 2013: Nay on S 47 – Violence Against Women Re-authorization Act (3.6)

*On November 7, 2013: Nay on S 815 – Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (3.7)

*On November 7, 2013: Yea on S Amdt 2013 – Exempts Religiously Affiliated Employers from the Prohibition on Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (3.8)

*On July 16, 2014: Nay on S 2578 – Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014 (3.9)

Sources:

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Cruz

(2) https://votesmart.org/bill/16352/43142/135705/to-prohibit-the-use-of-funds-to-carry-out-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act

(2.1) https://votesmart.org/bill/17705/47279/135705/protecting-access-to-medicare-act-of-2014

(2.2) https://votesmart.org/bill/16814/44550/135705/student-loan-affordability-act

(2.3) https://votesmart.org/bill/16813/44548/135705/comprehensive-student-loan-protection-act

(2.4) https://votesmart.org/bill/17294/45797/135705/limits-interest-rates-for-certain-federal-student-loans

(2.5) https://votesmart.org/bill/16854/45790/135705/bipartisan-student-loan-certainty-act-of-2013

(2.6) https://votesmart.org/bill/18384/48683/135705/bank-on-students-emergency-loan-refinancing-act

(2.7) https://votesmart.org/bill/17854/47753/135705/minimum-wage-fairness-act

(2.8) https://votesmart.org/bill/18753/49616/135705/bring-jobs-home-act

(2.9) https://votesmart.org/bill/16822/44578/135705/limits-subsidy-payments-for-individuals-with-incomes-more-than-750000

(3.0) https://votesmart.org/bill/16821/44570/135705/agriculture-reform-food-and-jobs-act-of-2013

(3.1) https://votesmart.org/bill/17428/46392/135705/emergency-unemployment-compensation-extension-act

(3.2) https://votesmart.org/bill/16584/43806/135705/authorizes-reciprocity-for-the-carrying-of-certain-concealed-firearms

(3.3) https://votesmart.org/bill/16582/43803/135705/public-safety-and-second-amendment-rights-protection-act

(3.4) https://votesmart.org/bill/16585/43809/135705/limits-firearm-magazine-capacity

(3.5) https://votesmart.org/bill/16586/43816/135705/prohibits-the-sale-of-assault-weapons

(3.6) https://votesmart.org/bill/16132/42501/135705/violence-against-women-reauthorization-act-of-2013

(3.7) https://votesmart.org/bill/17391/46285/135705/employment-non-discrimination-act-of-2013

(3.8) https://votesmart.org/bill/17392/46288/135705/exempts-religiously-affiliated-employers-from-the-prohibition-on-employment-discrimination-based-on-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity

(3.9) https://votesmart.org/bill/18702/49362/135705/protect-womens-health-from-corporate-interference-act-of-2014