In response to a budget proposed by House Republicans, Senate Democrats announced their own budget proposal for 2014.
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, released a proposal that combines spending cuts with increased tax revenue, an aspect missing from Representative Paul Ryan's proposal. The Murray budget seeks to close tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans without raising tax rates for the middle and lower class. In addition, the Murray budget would protect Medicaid and Medicare while expanding coverage in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.
In a statement released by the Senate budget Committee, members said "The Senate Budget is grounded in the understanding that our country's long-term fiscal and economic goals will only be met with policies that support a strong and growing middle class. And it keeps the promises we have made to our seniors, our families, and our communities. The American people are sick and tired of watching their government lurch from crisis to crisis. The Senate Budget offers a serious and credible path away from this gridlock and dysfunction and toward a long-term plan to create jobs, lay down a strong foundation for broad-based economic growth, replace sequestration, and tackle our deficit and debt responsibly and credibly."
The Ryan budget would repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which prohibits insurance companies from classifying being a woman as a pre-existing medical condition and eliminated co-pays for birth control. The Ryan budget would also turn Medicare into a voucher system that would leave seniors, particularly women, struggling to get coverage. In addition, the proposed budget would restructure the way Social Security Living Adjustments are determined, threatening the stability of seniors nationwide. Paul Ryan also seeks to undo sequester cuts to the Pentagon by instead transferring the cuts to already severely impacted domestic programs.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .