March for Science: Santa Fe

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.; U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M.; and Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales will headline the Santa Fe March for Science this Saturday. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican:
The march leaves the Plaza at 10:30 a.m, followed by a rally with speakers at the Capitol at 11 a.m., and Science Expo booths until 2 p.m.

Congress is about to go on break, are you ready for more town halls?

Congress is set to be off for quite a bit of the month of April. According to the Washington Post, the House is only scheduled to be in session for EIGHT days this month. With all that time off, it’s likely we’ll see some of New Mexico’s congressional delegation back home and talking with constituents. Find events near you: ProgressNowNM’s Statewide Progressive Events Calendar
While we’re generally pretty happy with the job our congressional delegation is doing in Washington, it’s always good to be aware of what key issues our congress people and senators are working on. And in southern New Mexico especially, holding Rep. Steve Pearce accountable for the LACK of representation he gives us is absolutely key.

Ben Ray Lujan: Republicans helping Democrats pick up seats in 2018

Steve Pearce isn’t the only New Mexican in Congress in good spirits this week.  Ben Ray Lujan, Congressman representing New Mexico’s northern district, is the chair of the committee responsible for recruiting candidates for Congress and his predictions for Democratic wins in 2018 got a lot rosier this week. 

From The New Mexico Political Report:
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of Nambe is going to be a key figure for Democrats in the next election cycle. That’s because he’s the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. As such, he’s tasked with aiding Democrats in their pursuit of retaking the U.S. House of Representatives—and while he won’t say if he’s confident Democrats will do so in the 2018 midterms, he says they will pick up seats… “It’s too early to know what’s going to happen in November of 2018, but I can tell you Democrats in the House are on offensive, and there’s no question that we will pick up seats in 2018,” he said according to the paper.

Report: TrumpCare raises NM premiums $2,521 (unless you are rich), Pearce’s constituents most likely to lose health care

New Mexico health insurance premiums are expected to rise an average of $2,521 – unless you make twice the state’s per-capita income, in which case you get a refund. Although Republicans in Congress rush to repeal Obamacare and replace it with TrumpCare before the analysis is complete, some data is already available.  Two new reports released this week show the impact on the average American (and New Mexican). If you’re a millionaire, the AHCA gives you $50K. If you’re poor, it costs you $1,420
“The typical family making less than $10,000 will lose $1,420 if the Republican health care plan passes, a cut that amounts to almost one-third of their income.

[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.

A new New Mexico movement to pass smart gun laws starts now

Earlier this week, I asked our staff “Can ProgressNow help to  build a new coalition of progressive voters who actually asked candidates about their plans to keep guns out of the hands of children and bad people, and will those voters share that info with their friends and family before election day?” They thought so and they built a campaign to test that idea with a few key supporters. Our test got a good response, but then something unexpected happened in DC that made it even bigger: Congress did something! Just as we launched our new campaign, Senator Heinrich joined a bi-partisan group of Senators to announce a new Senate bill to prevent terrorists from buying firearms.
Then Cong. Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham joined the #SitIn to demand a vote on a similar bill in the House (Sen. Udall even joined them!)

 
 

 
WATCH/UPDATE: Sen. Heinrich cited for working
over weekend to craft new anti-terrorist gun access bill
ProgressNowNM | June 23, 2016

 
READ MORE: NM Dems take part in
‘#NoFlyNoBuy’ sit-in
NM Political Report | June 23, 2016 

New Mexicans love seeing our elected leaders take a stand and that’s just what our new campaign is encouraging our state legislators to do.

ACTION: Stand with Planned Parenthood, and ask our Senators and Congresspersons to stand with them too

On Tuesday, a shady anti-abortion group, deceivingly named “Center for Medical Progress,” released a second video that—like the video released last week— manipulates footage to falsely portray a Planned Parenthood official discussing the price of fetal tissue. Don’t believe the lies. These videos are part of a long-term, concerted campaign to undermine safe and legal abortion care and target abortion providers. Anti-abortion radicals are hurling these false accusations and attacks against Planned Parenthood in an attempt to discredit, harass, and stigmatize women and their doctors. If you haven’t seen the response from Cecile Richards at Planned Parenthood, you should.  We posted the video here on Facebook for you to view and share.

John Boehner just gave up. United Dem front defeats Tea Party insurgents in battle over immigration funding

It’s official. John Boehner gave up today. Roll Call, the DC-based newspaper reporting on Congress, reports that Republican House Speaker Boehner will allow his members to vote in a full DHS funding bill later today. It contains no restrictions on President Obama’s executive action covering immigration, and it is expected to pass. “Democrats stayed united and blocked our bill, and our Republican colleagues in the Senate never found a way to win this fight,” Boehner said…

Education Issues Dominate Media This Week

It’s been quite a week for education policy and politics in New Mexico…and it’s only Wednesday. So far this week we’ve seen Santa Fe public school students stage walkouts in protest of high-stakes standardized tests, NM House Democrats attempt to amend the state budget proposal to include more local control of school funding, and yet another member of our federal congressional delegation throw their weight behind tapping the Permanent Fund for state early childhood education funding. Look below to catch up on some of these stories. And stay tuned throughout the week (and throughout the legislative session). Something tells me these debates are just getting started.

Udall, Heinrich, Lujan, Lujan Grisham: right-to-work legislation matters to working families

New Mexico’s Democratic Congressional delegation waded into the fight over so-called, ‘right-to-work’ legislation this weekend, penning this op-ed which ran in today’s Santa Fe New Mexican. Commentary: Right-to-work legislation matters to working families

By Congressmen Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham |

As the national economy shows signs of real improvement, New Mexico’s recovery has been challenging and slow. Working families want to know when we will see more jobs, higher salaries and access to quality education at every level. The state Legislature has an opportunity to put New Mexico in a position to provide that economic security and rebuild the middle class. Unfortunately, the first bill to gain traction at the Roundhouse is a divisive plan backed by out-of-state political operatives designed to divide working families.