Monday, November 20, 2017     Volume: 18, Issue: 37

Santa Maria Sun / Community

Citizen's Alert

Benefits, Meetings, Protests, Forums and Public Meetings

Political Watch 11/16/17

• Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Kamala Harris (D-California) introduced leglislation to prevent earthquake mitigation incentives from being taxed at the federal level, according to a statement released by Feinstein's office Nov. 9. The Earthquake Mitigation Incentive and Tax Parity Act of 2017 comes ahead of the Senate Republicans' tax bill, the statement said. "Our bill makes sure Californians aren't taxed for participating in lifesaving earthquake preparation programs, like the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program," Feinstein said in the statement. "We must do all we can to encourage earthquake-readiness, and this bill will make it easier for Californians to take the necessary steps to protect their families."

• U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2016 on Nov. 8, which was signed by many Democratic Senators including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California), which would "ban the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines," according to a statement released by Feinstein's office. The statement referenced several high-profile mass shootings, including those in Aurora, Newtown, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Sutherland Springs. The key provisions of the bill include: the ban of 205 military-style weapons, but owners may keep existing weapons; the ban of assault weapons that accept a detachable ammunition magazine and have one or more military characteristics like a pistol grip, forward grip, barrel shroud, or a threaded barrel; and the ban of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, where owners can keep existing magazines past the limit The bill also includes exemptions and a grandfather clause of all weapons lawfully possessed before the bill would be enacted. The bill would also require background checks for certain transfers of weapons covered by the bill, that grandfathered weapons are stored with a safety device, the transfer of high-capacity magazines, and the ban of bump-fire stocks. "This bill won't stop every mass shooting, but it will begin removing these weapons of war from our streets," Feinstein said in the statement. "The first Assault Weapons Ban was just starting to show an effect when the NRA stymied its reauthorization in 2004. Yes, it will be a long process to reduce the massive supply of these assault weapons in our country, but we've got to start somewhere."

• Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) and Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-West Lampeter Township) introduced the bipartisan Home for the Brave Act of 2017 to the House of Representatives on Nov. 9. The resolution would exempt Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits paid to veterans for service-related injuries from counting toward total income when determining eligibility for housing assistance programs through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. "It is wrong to deny veterans access to housing assistance programs for benefits they receive for service-related injury or illness," Rep. Carbajal said in a statement. "I am glad to work across the aisle to assist our homeless veterans on the Central Coast and across the country ahead of Veterans' Day. They stepped up to defend our national security, and Congress must step up for them to fix this egregious penalty against our disabled veterans."

• Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) signed a joint statement along with 15 other members of Congress that addressed a letter from the Joint Chiefs of Staff addressing concerns over the Pentagon's plan for possible military action against North Korea. "The Joint Chiefs of Staff has now confirmed that the only way to destroy North Korea's nuclear arsenal is through a ground invasion," the statement reads. "That is deeply disturbing and could result in hundreds of thousands, or even millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting." The statement´┐Ż"which included signatures from mostly Democrats and on Republican´┐Ż"reaffirmed the Congress's constitutional power over a military first strike.

Weekly Poll
What do you like most about the holiday season?

Spending time with family and friends.
The food, and eating too much of it.
Gift giving and receiving.
The days off from work.

| Poll Results