A hearing has been scheduled for Carol Moseley-Braun before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to consider her nomination to be ambassador to New Zealand. Jesse Helms (R-NC), Foreign Relations Committee Chair, who has stood in opposition to Moseley-Braun's nomination, has declined to preside over the hearing and has not committed to attend. Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee's subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific affairs, will preside over the full committee hearing. Helms spokesman Marc Thiessen said that Helms customarily will relinquish the gavel to relevant subcommittee chairmen at ambassadorial confirmation hearings. Moseley-Braun will still face thorough questioning without Helms in the Chair but has stated she is looking forward to the opportunity to clear her name.
Helms is accused of blocking the nomination because of his 1993 battle with Moseley-Braun over the renewal of the United Daughters of the Confederacy patent, which includes a Confederate Flag, a symbol that Moseley-Braun believes represents slavery. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) both predict that Moseley-Braun will be confirmed once her nomination come to a Senate floor vote. If the Foreign Relations Committee blocks the nomination, Daschle would favor a "recess appointment" by President Clinton that would place Moseley-Braun in the ambassadorship to New Zealand until the end of next year.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .