Political Games: This Week in Politics
Transparency in Politics
Florida, a state of unresolved tensions between politicians and constituents involving communication, grumbled at the face of Gov. Rick Scott’s election officials for their lack of transparency. Secretary of State Ken Detzner put into place a new way to communicate fast and easy with the voter base. The website showed progress on Thursday, 7-30, and should be published soon. A step in the right direction since Florida garnered a reputation for voting inconsistencies, the website should help. The digital age, fostering the need for transparency, is coming to Florida. And for the better.
Rubio and Jeb: The Republican Fight
Rubio won a big victory this week. Scoring a donation of $16 million, his campaign is looking up. Still dwarfed by Jeb, he has a long road ahead, but having that type of back-up might give him the confidence and edge he needs to push through the Republican primary. The campaign contribution came from a Super PAC, an independent expenditure committee that can raise unlimited money from corporations, unions, associations, and individuals. They also can spend that money to advocate for or against a political candidate. Jeb’s Super PAC made over $100 million so Rubio has an uphill battle. Jeb’s campaign, rearing up to tackle the Clinton’s, looks to be the main force to recon with.
The Koch Brothers Redefining their Image
In a change of heart, the Koch brothers turned their sites on a new ideal: prison reform. Praising Obama for his focus on this issue, the Koch’s put their foot in the door, ready to support criminal justice reform. Not known for their decency, the Koch’s background, for some, fell in the morally gray area, but they are interested in changing their families focus. Still pushing money into the Republican campaign, they do not show any attempts at changing party lines, but this new ally in the fight for change might sow some much needed relief between the two parties- something the country should foster.
Planned Parenthood: Taking a Look
Planned Parenthood made the news as an organization that distributes the remains of fetuses from abortions for profit. Many sides exist on the issue. Proof came out to show that they only charge a packaging and delivery fee for the fetuses. However, some feel that is profiteering. Senate Republicans took to the floor and introduced a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Many look at this as political game playing by placing emphasis on their stances for abortion, reaffirming their stances to constituents. However, defunding Planned Parenthood would also defund many of the programs, such as health clinics, sex education, and distribution of contraceptives. Obama plans to veto any bill trying to defund Planned Parenthood that crosses his desk.
Bills to Look for in the Senate and House:
Senate Bill 833: Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility Earthquake Protection and Improvement Act
This bill will authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to go forward on a project to stabilize the infrastructure to VA buildings in high risk areas. The budget for this was already passed for fiscal year 2015. Amended in committee. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders, Calendar No. 199.
Senate Bill 2007: Cyber Security
A bill that will allow the government to expand recruitment for qualified personnel in cyber security related fields. This move is to enhance cyber security across the board. Read and referred to the Committee of Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
Senate Bill 1576: Representative Payee Fraud Prevent Act of 2015
Amending problems associated with title 5 of the United States Code. This will clarify protections to help prevent fraud by representative payees. Passed in Senate, sent to House.
House Bill 3136: Enforment Transparency Act of 2015
A bill to create more transparency within the Department of Agriculture. This will require Secretary of Agriculture to issue guidelines on fines for violations under the Animal Welfare Act. Referred to the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.
House Bill 212: Drinking Water Protection Act
This bill allows the EPA to develop a plan to tackle drinking water issues which involve algae and other contaminate that might be found in drinking water. Passed the Senate with Voice Vote, sent to House.
House Bill 3120: Great Lakes Assurance Program Verification act of 2015
This will amend the Food Security Act of 1985. Allowing the Secretary of Agriculture to go forward with a Great Lakes Basin initiative, this bill will push to help pollution prevention. Bill went to Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry.
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