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Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with Clinton accepting the Planned Parenthood endorsement on Sunday, where she announced support for repealing the Hyde Amendment.
"I will always defend Planned Parenthood and I will say consistently and proudly, Planned Parenthood should be funded, supported and protected, not undermined, misrepresented and demonized," Clinton said. "As your president, I will always have your back."
"We need a Democratic nominee who will be able to beat the Republicans and get the job done for Americans," Clinton said before asking the audience that "the next president would easily appoint more than one justice to the Supreme Court."
"That fight is not over either. Access to affordable birth control is still hanging in the balance at the Supreme Court," Clinton said. "If a Republican wins this election and gets the chance to stack the Supreme Court with right wing justices, together they will accelerate the move to take America in the wrong direction on so many issues that you and I have fought for and many Americans take for granted."
Planned Parenthood has responded to inquiries as to why they endorsed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, despite them having similar voting records in Congress:
Let’s be clear — when it comes to issues like birth control, abortion, and access to services at Planned Parenthood, both leading Democratic candidates for president have great records, and would make a great president. In fact, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are both rated 100% on Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s congressional scorecard for their perfect voting records on women’s health and rights, and have been strong defenders of Planned Parenthood.
So why did the Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorse Hillary Clinton? Because no other presidential contender in our nation’s history has demonstrated such a strong, proactive commitment to women or has such a clear and outspoken record on behalf of women’s health and rights. With so much at stake in this election, we need someone who will do more than just defend reproductive rights — we need a steadfast champion who will fight to expand them, and do so not just when it’s easy, but also when it’s hard.
When you see their records side by side, there’s no question why the Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. She has simply demonstrated the strongest record, clearest leadership, and most focused commitment to women’s health of any presidential candidate.
For anyone who supports Senator Sanders, know we are grateful for his strong record on reproductive rights. This endorsement doesn’t mean we’ll do anything negative about Sanders’ campaign. Instead it means that for the first time in history, we have the chance to help elect someone who’s been fighting to expand reproductive health and rights for decades to the White House, just when we need that kind of champion the most.
They also provided a handy chart that compares their records side by side, which you can see at the link.
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly on Sunday endorsed Hillary Clinton, stating that she is the only "candidate for president that has the determination and toughness to stand up to the corporate gun lobby -- and the record to prove it.""Time and time again, Hillary has done and said what is right, not what is politically expedient. That's why we are supporting her for President of the United States," the couple said in a statement to CNN.
"Most of the people running for president talk a lot about how tough they are. But most of them have shown they aren't tough enough to stand up to the gun lobbyists. Nobody knows better than us that talk is cheap," the couple says in their endorsement of Clinton.
They argue in their statement that the gun lobby "has had a stranglehold on Washington" for years but that Clinton could break through that gridlock.
On Sunday Clinton welcomed the pair's endorsement.
"We need a president who will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous felons, not create loopholes that allow shooters like the one in Charleston to buy guns," she said in a statement. "We owe that to the countless families who have lost loved ones. We owe that to all America's children. We owe that to Gabby and Mark."
Politicker NJ reports:
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) today formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, citing as motivation the GOP’s effort this week to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which the Long Branch Congressman helped author.
“This week Republicans voted for the 62nd time to unravel the Affordable Care Act, threatening the health coverage of 22 million Americans,” Pallone said in a statement. “Meanwhile, they have no plan for replacement. While I am confident that this political maneuver will be rejected by the President, it is critical we work to elect a new president who will continue to protect the law and build upon it. We cannot allow Republicans to reverse the progress we have made to improve access to health care in this country.
“Hillary Clinton has made healthcare reform a priority from the time she was the First Lady and during her highly successful tenure as a senator from New York,” added the Democratic congressman. “She’s been out front promoting the Affordable Care Act from the beginning and encouraging Americans to sign up for its coverage. I know she will make a great President, but I am emphasizing her support for the Affordable Care Act in my endorsement today because it is so crucial to have a President who will fight against GOP efforts to repeal or dismantle the Act.”
The Seafarers International Union endorsed Clinton on Saturday:
Hillary Clinton has unfailingly fought for America’s working families, including during her service as United States Senator from New York and as Secretary of State. She has always been an ardent supporter of American Mariners and the U.S.-flag maritime industry. She has long been on record as an outspoken, effective backer of the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program, and our nation’s cargo preference laws.
Just as importantly, Secretary Clinton clearly values the importance, service, and historic reliability of the men and women who constitute the U.S. Merchant Marine, also known as America’s fourth arm of defense. Her acknowledgements of the U.S. Merchant Marine’s proud tradition – since the nation’s founding – of unbroken commitment to American economic and national security reflect a genuine appreciation of what we mean to America.
Our union traditionally does not take party affiliation into consideration when backing a candidate for office. We have friends in both major political parties, and we have always lived by the principle that we support those who support the maritime industry along with workers’ rights. In this case, party affiliation once again is not a factor at all. Secretary Clinton is unsurpassed in her strong backing of our core issues and values.
The Seafarers International Union looks forward to working with Secretary Clinton through the rest of the 2016 campaign season and for many years to come. She has our enthusiastic support.
Clinton responded to the endorsement:
“America’s mariners have served our country since its founding, more than 200 years ago, and privately owned U.S.-flag commercial vessels with their American citizen crews have always responded quickly and effectively to answer our nation’s call. The need for a strong, vibrant U.S.-flag Merchant Fleet crewed by well-trained, dedicated Americans remains just as important today as it has throughout our history.”
“In this election, we’re going up against some powerful forces who are determined to turn back the clock and reverse our hard-won progress. We can’t let that happen. The Seafarers Union has always fought for decent wages, good benefits, and safe working conditions for its members. I share their commitment to improving the lives of America’s working families.”
Clinton’s autism policy proposals showcase both how far the autism movement has come, and how Clinton approaches policy formation.
On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton's campaign revealed her plan for tackling autism. That in and of itself isn't huge news. Clinton has tons of plans: She's got a plan to cure Alzheimer's disease, a plan to crack down on campus sexual assault, a plan to reduce out-of-pocket health costs, and many, many more. But the nature of the plan is news. Some of the major elements of the plan include:
The major throughline in each element of the agenda is a desire to help autistic individuals: to make schools and workplaces more accessible for and understanding of them, to prevent them from being mistreated, to fund housing, caregiving, and other services they need.
- Working through Medicaid and Obamacare exchange plans to increase autism screenings at 18 and 24 months
- Pushing states to require Obamacare plans to cover autism services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and services that teach skills for daily living to autistic children and adults; and having the Department of Health and Human Services aggressively monitor states to make sure their Medicaid plans are paying for these services too
- Passing the Keeping All Students Safe Act, which would ban mechanical and chemical restraints, as well as physical restraints that restrict breathing; only allow seclusion or restraint when there's an imminent risk of a student causing physical injury to herself or others; and otherwise limits coercive practices that are often used against autistic youth
- Requiring a post-graduation transition plan for every autistic student aging out of school services, and setting up a public-private partnership with hundreds of employers to give autistic young adults job opportunities
- Funding pilot programs to expand employment for autistic adults, funding community housing with support services for autistic youth and adults, and working with states to expand funding for caregivers
- Conducting the first study of the incidence of autism among adults
Politicians' efforts on autism have historically focused on researching the condition's causes and ways to prevent it. It seems obvious that a presidential campaign's "autism plan" should focus on helping autistic people, but for years it hasn't been obvious. That the Democratic frontrunner's plan is about helping autistic people, rather than "curing" them or eliminating their condition, is actually quite a radical shift.
Roll Call reports:
Ne’eman said on the conference call that while as a non-profit his organization does not make endorsements, he was happy Clinton approached his team and consulted with people on the spectrum.
“The fact it was requested and the fact many of these priorities come directly from the community is extremely significant,” Ne’eman said.
Ne’eman also highlighted Clinton’s support of the Keeping All Students Safe Act, a piece of legislation that would prohibit the use of any mechanical or chemical restraints, such as being given drugs or being locked in handcuffs, as well as seclusion.
Sara Luterman, who has autism and is an advocate, and in her day job works as a program assistant at the Association of University Centers on Disability, spoke about how restraints and seclusion can hurt children on the spectrum.
“If a non-autistic child was tackled by multiple adults and/or locked alone in a windowless room, it’d be considered child abuse,” Luterman said in an email. “Since many autistic children have communication difficulties, oftentimes parents do not know that their children are being abused until it is too late.”
Luterman said that up until the announcement she was on the fence between supporting Clinton or her Democratic primary opponent, Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., but Clinton’s proposal made the difference. “If implemented, her policy proposals could greatly improve quality of life for autistic adults and children,” she said.
Meanwhile, autism activists are wondering when the rest of the presidential candidates will step up.
Moreover, the politics of this announcement ought to serve Clinton well. Millions of autistic people and their caregivers, not to mention allies in other branches of the disability community, are witnessing a sustained, thoughtful commitment to their rights, services and supports. That's almost never happened before.
Which begs the question: Where are the other candidates on these issues? So far, commitment to disability issues of any kind has been mostly an afterthought for the other major candidates.
What do other candidates think about these issues? For the most part, we just don't know.There are around 57 million Americans with disabilities. There are tens of millions of people like me, who are not disabled but are directly connected to disability in some way. My 9-year-old son has Down syndrome. Research shows that disability issues strongly inform our voting decisions. Clinton has now made a major play for our votes.
Whether you like the details of Clinton's plan or not, she has now set a new floor for what a presidential candidate can be expected to do. The others need to step up. If, that is, they want to win.
Securing Obama’s legacy is a crucial element of Clinton’s closing argument for Democratic primary and caucus voters.
“We’ve made a lot of progress under President Obama on the environment, saving the auto industry, advances for LGBT rights, trying to work out the extreme difficulties involved in supporting immigration,” Bill Clinton said during his first solo campaign stop for his wife of the 2016 campaign. All that “will be reversed if you get a Republican Congress and a Republican President.”
Hillary Clinton made a similar point in her first speech of the year Sunday. “We’re gonna have a great debate in the general election. I can’t wait. You know I really can’t wait,” she said in New Hampshire.
And she continued to hammer it on Monday as she campaigned across Iowa. “So when I think about what’s at stake in this election, I don’t think the stakes could be higher,” she said in Davenport. “The stakes are so high for Iowa and America,” she said in Des Moines.
Her campaign has been highlighting specific Obama administration accomplishments that would be jeopardized if a Republican wins in November, from gun control to the Affordable Care Act. “I know that a Republican president would delight in the very first day, reversing executive orders that President Obama has made,” Clinton said in a statement sent to reporters this week.
Clinton is also reaffirming her commitment to Obama’s legacy on guns, and is again highlighting her differences with Bernie Sanders on gun manufacturer liability. Using a CBS appearance to do so, she also dismissed the recent personal attacks on her husband from Donald Trump.
The New York Times reports:
Hillary Clinton pressed Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on his gun control record during her appearance on “Face the Nation” on CBS on Sunday, and brushed off “dead end” attacks from Donald J. Trump and other Republicans about Bill Clinton’s past scandals.
On CBS, Mrs. Clinton continued to knock Mr. Sanders for a past Senate vote to give gun manufacturers immunity from prosecution when a gun is used in a crime.
“It’s the only industry in our country where we have given that kind of carte blanche to do whatever you want to do with no fear of legal consequences,” Mrs. Clinton said.
She added, “And he often says, well, look, I’m from Vermont and it’s different. It’s not like being in New York City.” She faulted him for “excuses” on the issue, saying, “It’s a difference that Democratic voters in our primary can take into account.”
Mrs. Clinton also waved off criticisms by Mr. Trump and other Republicans about scandals from her husband’s first presidential campaign and during his time in office, including his affair with Monica Lewinsky while she was a White House intern. Mr. Trump said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he was making a “threat” to keep raising the issue only if Mrs. Clinton and Democrats accuse him of sexism.
“Well, if he wants to engage in personal attacks from the past, that’s his prerogative. You know, so be it,” Mrs. Clinton said, pointing to her stands on legislation related to women’s issues.
She added later, “It’s been fair game going back to the Republicans for some years,” but said that “I think it’s a dead end, blind alley for them, but let them go. I’m going to talk about the differences between us, because I think that’s what Americans care about.”
ABC News reports:
"They can do it again if they want to. That can be their choice as to how to run in this campaign. Didn't work before. It won't work again," she added. "I'm going to talk about the differences between us because I think that's what Americans care about."
"He can say whatever he wants to about me, but I am not going to let him, or any of the other Republicans rip away the progress have made. ... I'm going to stand up and make it clear there is a huge difference between us."
"These polls go up, they go down," she said. "I stay pretty focused, as I think we all should, on what we have to do to build on the progress of the Obama administration, but go even further."
Of course, Bill Clinton’s not Hillary’s only surrogate on the campaign trail.
The Washington Post reports:
More than 150 people had crowded into the Java House, a coffee shop and performance space near the University of Iowa. Most of them were women. Most of them were young. All of them signed a caucus card for Hillary Clinton, then craned their necks for a view of writer, director and actor Lena Dunham. Joking and riffing on the controversial Iowa City episodes of her show "Girls," Dunham soon got to her speech — and got serious. Clinton, she said, was a true feminist who had fought for "women's rights" over a drumbeat of anger and sexism.
"I can't talk about Hillary Clinton without also acknowledging that she has survived horrific, gendered attacks on nearly every single aspect of her character with tremendous grace and aplomb," Dunham said. "The way she's been treated by the media is just more evidence of the anger that exists toward women, particularly ambitious women, and the way we are not allowed to exist on our own merits, rather than extensions of powerful men."
Young women were nodding their heads. "That really moves me," Dunham said. "It reminds me that we can all fight to rise above." She choked back tears, and the room went silent. "It really moves me," she said again.