[Watch] Ben Ray Lujan: we’ll stay here “as long as it takes”

New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Lujan took center stage this week in the effort to stop the repeal of Obamacare as he endured almost 30 hours of marathon Congressional hearings set by House Republicans. Some time after hour 27, Cong. Lujan took to Facebook to remind Americans that Democrats held 79 different bi-partisan hearings on the components of Obamacare before voting on the bill. Paul Ryan and Republicans have promised to pass their bill in just two weeks and set up two committee hearings stacked with solid conservative votes to pass it quickly. Lujan sits on one of those committees – the House Energy & Commerce Committee – where Democrats noted that Republicans moved forward to pass their bill without a fiscal assessment and against the objections of the AARP, a cohort of hospitals and health care providers and a growing group of Republican Congresspersons.

[Watch Video] ICE raids come to New Mexico; Protestors block streets in response

In response to reports of at least two local ICE raids Wednesday morning, Doña Ana County residents rallied at the Federal Courthouse in Las Cruces.  Immigration community advocates reported that persons arrested in the raid included at least one person who had no criminal record, contradicting the Trump administration’s ICE reports that they are only focussing on arresting previously convicted felons. Word of the ICE actions spread quickly through the tightly connected progressive community via texts and social media. After a brief rally the Federal Courthouse, participants – including ProgressNowNM’s local manager Lucas Herndon – marched to the city’s busiest intersection at the height of rush hour and shut it down with protests in the streets and supporters chanting on the sidewalks. ICE actions take place in Las Cruces, Chaparral | NM Political Report
BREAKING: Immigration raids in Las Cruces Wednesday morning – KVIA

ProgressNow’s Lucas Herndon provided video of the protest as police arrived.

After questioning ICE raids, ICE cancels meeting with Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Hispanic Caucus

New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham made the rounds on national TV Monday ahead of a planned meeting to discuss new immigration raids with the acting director of ICE – until he cancelled. KOAT-TV reported this from the Associated Press:
An ICE spokesperson confirmed agents arrested 680 undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Texas and New York. In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the operations have been happening for years, but added that the agency is clear on its mission from President Donald Trump to remove undocumented immigrants who pose a public safety threat. ICE officials said 75 percent of those deported in the past two weeks were criminals. Lujan-Grisham addressed the deportations Monday in an interview with ABC News.

(After DeVos donated to her campaigns) Gov. Martinez wrote DeVos letter of recommendation for Trump education job

Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos, along with family and companies associated with her, donated at least $12,000 to Susana Martinez’s campaign for re-election in 2014.  Fast-forward to 2017 and DeVos became Donald Trump’s surprise nominee to head the US Dept. of Education and Martinez stepped in to help. On January 4, 2017 Gov. Susana Martinez ‘s name appeared on a letter of recommendation for Betsy DeVos published in the Investor’s Business Daily – a magazine for business leaders, not educators. “Betsy DeVos is the right person for the job.”

Heinrich votes against giving Rick Perry nuclear weapons

 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Citing Rick Perry’s past calls to eliminate the Energy Department, and “an unwillingness to commit to the applied energy research and climate science done at our national labs and universities, and the transition team questionnaire that attacked the integrity of climate scientists,” US Senator Martin Heinrich voted NO today on the confirmation of former Texas Governor Rick Perry to lead Donald Trump’s Energy Department. The New York Times recently reported that Perry accepted Trump’s offer to be Energy Secretary believing it was a post to serve as a “global ambassador for America’s oil and gas companies.”  Only after accepting did he learn that it was not that job at all. The Energy Department enjoys a special relationship with New Mexico. National labs, including Sandia and Los Alamos, as well as our country’s nuclear stockpile housed, in part, at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque are all under the purview of the Energy Secretary.

State, local leaders issue public letter to US Senate opposing Trump’s Pruitt for EPA

More than 50 state and local elected officials signed an open letter to New Mexico’s US Senators and Congressional delegation urging them to publicly oppose President Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Scroll down to join these leaders in opposing Pruitt for EPA administrator. As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Pruitt sued the EPA at least 14 times to oppose clean air and water rules.  Mr. Pruitt also allowed Republican donors and oil industry executives to write his office’s climate change policies and official policy statement letters opposing climate change and EPA rules. The full Senate is expected to take up his nomination in the coming weeks.