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Abortion rights in the Silver State could be in jeopardy, US House and Senate Democrats in Nevada have warned after congressional Republicans this week unveiled legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
“If passed, this bill will supersede the laws of states across the country where abortion is still legal, including my own state of Nevada,” Cortez Masto said in a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday.
Abortion in Nevada is legal for up to 24 weeks, despite Supreme Court ruling Dobbs vs. Jackson decision nullifying a nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to due process established under Roe vs. Wade.
But Nevada’s abortion law, which only a referendum can change, would be replaced by the proposed federal ban after 15 weeks.
Abortion has become a major campaign issue for Democrats, including in Nevada, where Cortez Masto, Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV) and Representative Steven Horsford (D-NV) all face difficult paths to re-election.
Democrats hope the question will energize their base and inspire them to get out and vote.
“As one of the most competitive races in the nation, Susie Lee’s race will help decide congressional oversight and the fate of reproductive rights across the United States,” Lee’s campaign said in a statement. .
In his speech, Cortez Masto challenged the main rationale for the Dobbs decision – which would be for the States to decide.
“[T]it was never about states rights, really, to my colleagues on the right who want to restrict a woman’s basic rights,” Cortez Masto said. “And we know that because they’re now pushing for a national abortion ban.”
Asked how he squares that argument — leaving the decision up to the states — with GOP efforts to push for a federal limit on abortion, Sen. Lindsey Graham (D-SC), who offered the version Senate committee on the bill, said he introduced the bill to show where he and his GOP colleagues stand on the issue.
“After introducing a bill to define who they are, I thought we would introduce a bill to define who we are,” Graham said, referring to a Democratic abortion bill that the Senate rejected in May in a party vote.
Graham called his bill more in line with the mainstream, noting that most European countries have similar bans and it is the United States that lags behind.
“We welcome the debate,” Graham said, adding that under a GOP-led Congress, the measure would likely get a vote.
But only three republicans senators co-sponsored the bill, and some Republican candidates have sought to soften their position on abortion. In Kansas, the bill has split the two GOPs senators, with the one who will be re-elected in November, Jerry Moran, refusing his support.
April Becker, who is running against Lee, said BNC News recently that, although pro-life, she would not vote for a federal ban because it would be unconstitutional. Lee took issue with Becker’s position, as did national anti-abortion groups.
Update Abortion Privacy Rules
Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) also released a statement signaling her opposition to Graham’s bill, which she called “a dangerous nationwide government mandate (that) would deprive women of the fundamental freedom to make decisions about their own bodies, and would put them and their doctors at risk of being thrown in jail.
Rosen also signed a letter dated Tuesday with 29 other Senate Democrats urging Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to strengthen and clarify health care privacy rules under the Health Portability and Accountability Act health insurance, commonly referred to as HIPAA.
The letter called on Becerra to update the HIPAA Privacy Rule, through the rulemaking process, to broadly prevent regulated entities from sharing individuals’ reproductive health information without explicit consent, particularly for forces. law enforcement and civil or criminal proceedings focused on abortion care.
The letter notes that some states have sought to prosecute abortion seekers and providers and that there has been confusion about what information providers must share with investigators.
“Stakeholders told us about providers who were unsure whether to turn over personal health information to state authorities and law enforcement, including instances where providers believed they should handing over information when permitted — but not required — under the HIPAA Privacy Rule,” the letter reads.
The letter also urged HHS to educate providers and patients about the HIPAA privacy rule, including what is required and best practices.
Three Titus tickets head for Biden’s office
The House on Wednesday approved Senate versions of three bills introduced by Titus, including legislation that creates a task force at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to review best practices and current federal guidelines for sheltering and evacuating pets and livestock.
“This will ensure that first responders and federal disaster response officers can help pet owners plan for the safety of every member of their family, even furry and feathered ones, during a disaster,” said Titus said in a statement. speech in the House.
All of the bills – approved under suspension of the rules – needed a two-thirds majority to pass and now go to President Joe Biden for his signature.
Titus introduced the bills in her capacity as chair of the House Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management. The panel has jurisdiction over FEMA and the General Services Administration (GSA), which manages all federally owned properties.
Another measure would require the GSA to install the most durable, cost effective and energy efficient lighting in public buildings. Titus said replacing compact fluorescent and linear light bulbs with LEDs could save taxpayers up to $15.6 million a year.
The final bill would protect FEMA reservists from losing their full-time jobs while assisting communities during disaster response. FEMA Reservists are on-call personnel deployed to respond to floods, severe storms, wildfires, and other natural disasters or national emergencies. FEMA has about 12,000 reservists.
Unlike military reservists, FEMA reservists do not enjoy protection under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994, which guarantees members of the armed forces the right to be re-employed in their civilian jobs after a deployment. The bill would extend those protections to FEMA reservists.
$88 million for Washoe Transportation Project
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the state DOT $88.9 million to build additional lanes for US 395 in Washoe County and improvements to North Virginia Street.
The funds, made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, are part of the Nationally Important Multimodal Freight & Highway Projects program, also known as INFRA, which has distributed $1.5 billion dollars for 26 projects.
The project will add two lanes to approximately three miles of US 395 with better traffic control, interchange lighting upgrades, noise barriers and intelligent transportation system technologies. The project would also improve a 2.5-mile stretch of North Virginia Street with additional sidewalks, buffered bike lanes, shared-use pathways and crosswalks with fast-flashing rectangular beacons and improved transit stops. .
Both Cortez Masto and Rosen hosted the funds.
Plutonium removed from Nevada
Cortez Masto announced Friday that the Department of Energy (DOE) has completed the removal of half a ton of weapons-grade plutonium from the Nevada National Security Site.
The Nevada Democrat negotiated a deal in April 2019 with former President Donald Trump’s energy secretary, Rick Perry, to remove the plutonium after the agency revealed in January 2019 that it had secretly shipped the plutonium on the site in 2018.
“When I heard that the Trump administration secretly shipped weapons-grade plutonium to our state, I acted immediately to ensure it was removed,” Cortez Masto said, adding that all plutonium had been withdrawn in accordance with the agreement.
The DOE’s decision to temporarily store plutonium in Nevada stems from the agency’s failure to meet a deadline to complete construction of a facility in South Carolina to reuse excess plutonium as fuel for nuclear reactors. . A federal judge ordered in May that one ton of plutonium be removed from the site by 2019.
For a full look at the measures delegates supported or opposed this week, see The Nevada IndependentCongressional vote tracking and other information below.
SEN. Catherine Cortez Masto
S.4857 – A bill to amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require companies to file public reports after meeting certain quantitative thresholds, and for other purposes.
S.4822 – DISCLOSURE law of 2022
SEN. Jacky Rosen
S.4862 – A bill establishing a commission on long-term care.
S.4863 – A bill to amend the Small Business Act to improve the Women’s Business Center program and for other purposes.
REPRESENTING. DINA TITUS
HR 8862 – To invest in genuine pro-life policies that support the American family, and for other purposes.
HR 8813 – To direct the United States government to support the extension of the mandate of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela, which is set to expire in September 2022.
REPRESENTING. SUSIE LEE
HR 8868 – Repeal the sunset clause of the Iran Sanctions Act 1996, and for other purposes.
REPRESENTING. STEVEN HORSFORD
HR 8800 – Healthcare Provider Support Act 2022