Highlights from the Week
On September 22nd, 2023, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey was indicted by the Department of Justice on bribery charges. These charges, which also include charges against his wife, Nadine Menendez, and three New Jersey businessmen, include aiding in an arms sale to the Egyptian government in exchange for money and attempting to thwart the criminal prosecution of a friend in exchange for gold bars. Menendez, who was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee until this indictment and has since stepped down, has chosen not to resign among calls from leaders in the New Jersey state government and over a dozen of his fellow Senators. He is also up for reelection next year, where he would seek a fourth term as New Jersey’s senior senator. To read a statement from Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, click here. To read a statement from Senator Bob Menendez himself, click here. To read a statement from New Jersey’s other US Senator, Cory Booker, click here. To read a statement from Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, click here. To read a statement from Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey, click here. Lastly, to read a statement from Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, click here.
On September 22nd, 2023, President Joe Biden established the White House’s first Office of Gun Violence Prevention with the intention of helping to reduce the nation’s epidemic of gun violence. Additionally, this office is tasked with implementing last year’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. As a reminder, this legislation would, among other things, enhance background checks and increase funding for “red flag” laws. The office will be overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris. To read a statement by President Biden, click here. To read a statement from Vice President Harris, click here. To read a statement from Senator Chris Murphy, who introduced the Bipartisan bill last year, click here. To read a statement from Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota, click here. To read a statement from Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, click here. To read a statement from Representative Maxwell Frost of Florida, who attended the event announcing this new office, click here. Lastly, to read a statement from Representative Lucy McBath of Georgia, click here.
On September 26, 2023, Congress passed H.R. 3935, a reauthorization bill demonstrating the work of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. This bill authorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through the fiscal year of 2028, includes activities and programs regarding airport planning, development, facilities, equipment and operations. The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, allows for enhanced aviation safety, improves passenger rights and further develops the infrastructure of aviation. To see the H.R. 3935 bill text and how your representatives voted, click here. To read a statement from Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, click here. To read a statement from Washington Senator and the Chair of Senate Appropriations Patty Murray, click here. To read a statement from Representative and bill sponsor Sam Graves of Missouri, click here. To read a statement from Representative Chip Roy of Texas, click here. Lastly, to read a statement from Chuy Garcia of Illinois, click here.
On September 26, 2023, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reached a three-year deal, therefore officially concluding the WGA strikes. These strikes have been undergoing for some time, dating back to May 2nd, 2023, in Hollywood. The agreement includes four main components: increase in both wages and residuals, language when addressing minimum staffing in writers rooms, payments relating to the streaming success, and protectings combating artificial intelligence. Writers who return to work on Wednesday, will be under the new contract terms. To read a statement from President Joe Biden, click here. To read a statement from Senator Alex Padilla of California, click here. To read a statement from Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, click here. Lastly, to read a statement from Representative Adam Schiff of California, click here.
On September 27th, 2023, seven Republican candidates for President stood on a debate stage for the second time. In a two-hour long debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library sponsored by the Republican National Committee and hosted on the Fox Business channel, candidates debated issues ranging from the UAW strike to the US-Mexico border to the economy at large. Candidates included Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. The requirements for making it to the debate were similar to the first–to attain 50,000 individual donors, sign a loyalty pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, and poll either above three percent in at least two national polls or one national poll plus two state polls from the early primary states. To read transcripts from the debate, click on the candidate’s name above and you’ll see a link to everything that candidate said during the debate.
By the Elections Research team: Nick, Zachary, Caleb, Seth, Jessica, and Max and Elections Research interns Ionut, Spencer, Molly, Rachel, Emma, Kaia, and Brenda
Biographies & Elections:
Want to learn more about the results of elections happening around the country? You can see the list of elections that happened this week here:
Want to learn more about elected officials in your state? You can see the full list here:
Want to learn more about the leadership in each state legislature? You can see the full leadership rosters here:
Want to learn more about which committees elected officials are a part of? You can see the full list of committees for each state here:
Want to learn more about the candidates who are currently being tested and their responses to the Political Courage Test ahead of the general election? You can see the full list of candidates, their responses, and response rates running in various states by office below:
By the Officials Research team: Sam, Johanan, Neal, Thomas, Quinn and Interns: Justin, Skylar, Jami, Abby, Claire, Heather, Kaitlin, Sophia, Tristen, Arola and Nischay.
Public Statements: 361 statements were added this week. See highlights from the week for notable statements.
States: 38 new votes were added.
Pennsylvania Senate passed HB 479 - Establishes taxpayer funded private school tuition vouchers for child in low-performing school districts
Wisconsin House passed AB 387 - Authorizes parents to contribute up to $10,000 per year to a child care reimbursement account
Wisconsin House passed AB 390 - Reduces the minimum age for assistant child care teachers or group leaders to 16
Wisconsin House passed AB 392 - Authorizes child care providers with country certification to care for up to 6 children regardless of family relation
Colorado Senate passed SB 1196 - Authorizes individuals to seek legal remedies for breaches of the Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act of 1971
Colorado Senate concurrence passed SB 23-149 - Authorizes higher education financial aid for youth mentors
U.S. Congress: 1 new vote was added.
Congress passed HR 3935 - Securing growth and robust leadership American Aviation Act
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
This year to date, the SIGs team has entered 36,221 ratings and 11,356 endorsements for candidates.