ISSUES & STATUS
Why do we have issues?
When we discuss an issue, it essentially is a way of unbinding it from a news cycle.
For example, the media might talk about election fraud one week, civil rights the next, and minimum wage the next. But all of these things are issues every day. Just because nothing is changing with health care this week doesn't mean that millions of Americans aren't having problems getting the health care they need.
But the real problem is bigger than that. Your representative might receive hundreds of letters the week an issue is getting its 5 days of fame. They might even propose a bill. But the following week - once the issue isn't in the limelight - the bill will just languish and die.
Yet the problem remains.
We keep issues right at the forefront... so you can start to understand them whenever you're ready - and even make a difference by writing to your representatives.
Issues we feel will have the most impact on most Americans in the near future. Action such as writing to your representatives might be time-critical.
|Shutdown 2018||Last Update: 2019-Jan-07|
|The 2018-2019 Shutdown|
|Trump Campaign Russian Timeline||Last Update: 2018-Nov-27|
|From the launch of Donald Trump's presidential campaign until he took office, at least 14 members of Trump's inner circle and Trump himself had contacts with at least 20 Russian officials or others connected to the Kremlin.
This is a timeline of those contacts and other actions.
|Mueller's Indictments||Last Update: 2018-Nov-27|
|Indictments from Mueller's investigation|
|ObamaCare: What you should know||Last Update: 2018-Nov-15|
|The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act made insurance available to millions of Americans for whom insurance previously had been out of reach. But there may be actions you need to take. We explain the law's relationship to you.|
|President: Donald Trump||Last Update: 2018-Jun-06|
|We keep tabs on the tone set by President Donald Trump, and on what he does that likely will affect most Americans. And we explain those effects.|
|Fixing Obamacare||Last Update: 2017-Aug-05|
|With the failure (at least for now) of Republican attempts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the representatives and senators are seeking ways to modify the law in various ways. We'll keep track of those ways in this discussion.|
|Repealing (and Replacing?) Obamacare||Last Update: 2017-Jul-18|
|Republicans have been trying to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) as our national health care policy. But what would they replace it with? We explain recent attempts - so you can understand what effects a public health care policy can have.|
|Assault on Regulations||Last Update: 2017-Jun-20|
|Regulations protect our safety, environment, and workplaces. The cost usually is borne by the companies responsible for creating hazards. Congress is actively working to give these companies more leverage in avoiding meaningful regulations - at the expense of those protections.|
|Washington, DC statehood||Last Update: 2017-Mar-07|
|An effort is underway to make the residential parts of Washington, DC the nation's 51st state - which would finally give its residents the same representation as other Americans.|
|Federal Lands||Last Update: 2017-Feb-28|
|Right-to-Work||Last Update: 2017-Feb-15|
|The phrase "right-to-work" means you can benefit from a union's activities on your behalf, but you are not required to support the union. This will result in a weakening of unions and declining wages and benefits.|
|Dismantling Obamacare||Last Update: 2017-Feb-03|
|What is the status of our current health care policy - in light of President Trump's and Republicans' stated intent to repeal it?|
|Minimum Wage||Last Update: 2017-Jan-02|
|When a company saves money by not paying a livable wage, you end up paying for it.|
|Payday Loans||Last Update: 2016-Aug-25|
|Payday loans provide a way for someone to quickly get money to help struggling people cover basic expenses or emergencies. But they often can't be repaid, causing borrowers' finances to spiral out of control while the loan companies and banks profit.|
|Voting Rights||Last Update: 2016-Apr-22|
|One vote for each legal voter - how do we achieve that?|
|Air Traffic Control Privatization||Last Update: 2016-Apr-19|
|Should Air Traffic Control operations continue to be run by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or by a private corporation?|
|Health Care for All Americans||Last Update: 2015-Jan-21|
|Get the care you need? Choose any doctor? Pay less than you do now? Every other country does it.|
|Unemployment Insurance||Last Update: 2014-Jun-24|
|It not only helps people pay bills while looking for work - it helps create the jobs for them.|
There is no bill in Congress regarding these issues, but we consider them unresolved. You can request action from your representatives.
|Russians' Secretive Deals with Donald Trump||Last Update: 2017-Aug-10|
|Several Russians and others accused of money laundering have purchased millions of dollars of condos in Trump SoHo - the luxury hotel managed by President Donald Trump's company.|
|Energy||Last Update: 2017-Feb-01|
|News related to energy exploration, production, and use|
|Obamacare Work Week||Last Update: 2017-Jan-02|
|What happens if million workers lose health insurance? You pay instead of their employer.|
|Discrimination: Racial||Last Update: 2016-Dec-08|
|In spite of Supreme Court decisions such as Brown and laws such as the 1968 Civil Rights Act, racial discrimination persists in the country. Though not as explicit as in the past, policies that don't take certain racial issues into account continue to result in de-facto discrimination.|
|Highway Trust Fund||Last Update: 2015-May-29|
|Bad roads cost you time and money. How repairs are paid for could cost you even more.|
|IRS Funding||Last Update: 2015-Apr-15|
|Will affect wait times, fraud prevention, and expose you to identity theft|
|Cell Phone Unlocking||Last Update: 2014-Mar-25|
|Why is it illegal for a company to sell you a phone that they "unlocked"? It could save you hundreds.|
|Discrimination: Gender||Last Update: 2014-Feb-20|
|Is it okay to fire someone based on their gender identity? (It's legal in most states)|
|The "Sequester"||Last Update: 2013-May-07|
Understanding Public Policy
Issues that are more global in nature. You will want to understand these when smaller, actionable isues arise.
|Understanding Health Care Policy||Last Update: 2014-Nov-29|
|Affects how much you pay for health care, and what you get for the money|
|Understanding Election Campaign Financing||Last Update: 2014-Apr-20|
|Who gets to give what? A quick history about how we got where we are.|
|Understanding Tax Rates||Last Update: 2012-May-09|
|How should we decide who should pay what?|
Interesting reports that will help you understand how our government really works.
|Trump's Ties to Russia||Last Update: 2017-May-17|
|Did the Trump campaign collaborate with Russia in its attempt to influence the presidential election? Could Trump's (and his associates') close ties with Russia influence actions he takes on behalf of the United States? The answers aren't in yet, but we describe the intimate connections that are known.|
|Trump's Enrichment||Last Update: 2017-Apr-07|
|Donald Trump's travel and protection is costing taxpayers much more than any other president. And much of the money is going right into Trump's bank account.|
|ALEC in the Trump White House||Last Update: 2017-Jan-20|
|Half of Donald Trump's cabinet nominees have strong ties to ALEC - a powerful organization that works to abolish protections that benefit most Americans.|
|Presidential Appointments||Last Update: 2014-Jun-30|
|Agencies can't help you much without a head. Here's why it's been so hard to get them.|
|ALEC (Who is ALEC?)||Last Update: 2013-Feb-25|
|Many policies from "stand your ground" to privatization of schools and prisons are a coordinated effort by one group|
|US Postal Service||Last Update: 2013-Feb-04|
|Can it really not support itself? Should it? What service do you want?|
|Understanding Senate Filibusters||Last Update: 2013-Jan-19|
|Why does it take 60 votes for the Senate to pass a bill? How does it affect you?|
This issue has been resolved. Near-term change is unlikely.
|The True Cost of Flying||Last Update: 2014-May-31|
|Congress tried to pass a bill that would obscure how much you pay for an airline ticket.|