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Entries in DNC (308)


DNC - On addiction, GOP rhetoric doesn't match actions 

We can all agree that the drug addiction epidemic in this country requires attention by leaders in every state. This is a tragedy that touches so many of us, and it’s up to our elected officials to take action to curb the epidemic.


That’s why President Obama has made drug treatment a priority for his administration. The Affordable Care Act includes countless protections for those impacted by drug abuse. Mental health and substance abuse coverage is now available to thousands of individuals, thanks to Obamacare.


But what we’ve seen from Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and other GOP candidates running for president isn’t going to help fix the problems we face. In fact, their actions could make the situation worse.


In New Jersey, Chris Christie has had an opportunity to make real progress on behalf of his constituents when it comes to drug abuse. But he’s failed to take meaningful action on this issue, despite the fact that the state’s heroin overdose rate is now triple the national average – an alarming statistic that occurred on Christie’s watch.


Here’s what we’ve seen from Governor Christie, to the detriment of countless New Jerseyans:


·        Fewer admissions to drug treatment programs. Under Chris Christie, the state has suffered from a lack of capacity to help those seeking addiction treatments.  In 2013, 10 percent of people seeking treatment could be accommodated. Despite this disappointing statistic,Christie said he did not want to build new state drug treatment facilities, leaving those seeking treatment with few options to get the help they need.

·        No reassessment of treatment beds since Christie first took office. Despite the fact that the state is unable to provide treatment to the vast majority of those who seek it, the Christie administration hasn’t taken necessary steps to reassess how many treatment beds it would actually need to help these individuals.

·        Lack of funding for treatment centers thanks to Christie’s mismanaged budget.Governor Christie’sbudget failures have led to a lack of investment in treatment facilities throughout the state.

·        Calls to repeal mental health and substance abuse coverage included in the Affordable Care Act. Governor Christie joins the rest of the GOP field in his desire to repeal the ACA and strip mental health and substance abuse coverage from men and women who need it to afford the cost of treatment.

·        Support for drug testing welfare recipients.Chris Christie, like so many GOP Presidential candidates,supports drug testing those applying for public assistance. This backwards GOP inquisition doesn’t do any good for those seeking help, or for a state’s budget.

And it’s not just Chris Christie who is taking the wrong steps to remedy the drug abuse epidemic in this country. It’s the entire Republican field.


  • Jeb Bush opposed a ballot initiative giving drug offenders the right to treatment instead of prison, and Florida received an “F” grade from the National Alliance on Mental Illness for its mental health system infrastructure under his leadership.
  • Marco Rubio prevented mental health legislation from even getting a vote when he was Speaker of the House in Florida, and wants to strip mental health and substance abuse coverage from men and women who need it to afford the cost of treatmentby repealing the Affordable Care Act.
  • John Kasichsupported a program to force drug testing of welfare recipients, and claimed he didn’t get why the program was “an attack on the poor.”
  • Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and theentire Republican field would repeal the Affordable Care Act, which provides coverage for substance abuse and mental health treatment. 


We can all agree that something needs to be done. However, Chris Christie’s rhetoric doesn’t match his actions, which is becoming an all too familiar pattern with the rest of the Republican field. The difference between what Christie says and what he does is why voters can't trust Republican politicians to govern.


View this post on our Factivists sitehere.



DNC - Huffington Post: DNC Goes All Out On Paul Ryan And Paid Family Leave

DNC Goes All Out On Paul Ryan And Paid Family Leave

Huffington Post // Amanda Terkel


The Democratic National Committee is making paid family leave one of its banner issues in the 2016 election cycle, using the ascendance of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as an opportunity to hammer Republicans on the subject. 


The House elected Ryan its new speaker on Thursday, succeeding Ohio Republican John Boehner. Ryan wasn't eager for the job; his colleagues pleaded with him to take it after it became clear that no one else with an actual shot of getting enough votes wanted to lead the fractious GOP caucus.


Ryan remained skeptical, and extracted a number of concessions from lawmakers before agreeing to run. The most personal condition was that he didn't want to give up his "family time" -- he goes back to Wisconsin each weekend to be with his wife and three young children. 


"When Paul Ryan said he won't compromise his family time in order to take a promotion, the first thing many Americans thought is, 'Gee, I wish I had that luxury,'" said Kaylie Hanson, director of women's media at the DNC.


The DNC is seizing on Ryan's demand as a way to point out that the United States is the only developed country with no guaranteed paid family leave policy. Republicans have blocked President Barack Obama's attempts to put a law on the books, and Ryan himself has voted against paid family leave legislation. 


The committee started its on-the-ground blitz even before Ryan took his new job. 


On Monday, Democrats held a press conference in the Wisconsin Republican's home district, featuring families who want him to support paid family leave. 


The DNC organized members of Congress from Colorado to go after Ryan and the Republican presidential candidates on paid family leave this week, ahead of Wednesday's GOP primary debate in Boulder. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) wrote an op-ed in the Denver Post, lawmakers spoke to reporters, and state and local officials received briefings on how to message the issue.


On Thursday, the committee also held a press call on the issue with party leaders in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. 


"Now that we have a Speaker Ryan, he should make it a priority to ensure all families can have the same opportunities he possesses, and he should make paid family leave the first bill he brings to the House floor. He should vote families first," Iowa Democratic Party Chair Andy McGuire said on the call.


The DNC has also taken its push to social media, launching an email petition and buying ads on Instagram that tie Ryan to the GOP presidential candidates.


DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) emphasized the issue in a speech at the party's Women's Leadership Forum last week, which attracted about 600 donors. 


"Congressman Ryan, you deserve quality time with your family," she said. "I especially know how precious that is. But every mother and father in America deserves that time too, and we Democrats will be loud and clear in calling on you to make paid family leave a priority at the outset of your speakership."


Ryan's office didn't return a request for comment Friday, but spokesman Ian Martorana has previously pointed to the congressman's support for the Working Families Flexibility Act. The legislation would loosen federal overtime laws by allowing private sector employees to take "comp" time, instead of pay when they work beyond 40 hours in a week. Democrats and labor unions oppose the measure. 


"Throughout his career, congressman Ryan has placed a premium on spending time with his family," Martorana told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week. "Congressman Ryan is currently a co-sponsor of the Working Families Flexibility Act. This legislation would help people achieve a healthier work-life balance and maintain current employee workplace protections in law." 


DNC Chair Statement on GOP Presidential Candidates Voting Against the Senate Bill to Raise the Debt Limit 

Washington, DC—After Senators andGOP presidential candidates Rubio, Cruz, and Paul voted against the bipartisan agreement to raise the debt limit, ensure that our country pays our bills, and provide the framework necessary to keep our government open, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:


"Tonight’s vote clearly demonstrated the Republican Presidential candidates’ priorities. Senators and GOP Presidential candidates Rubio, Cruz, and Paul are playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States at the expense of the American people. 

“Raising the debt limit and passing a budget are non-negotiable responsibilities of our leadership. In 2011, we saw Republicans’ debt limit brinksmanship prompt Standard & Poor's to downgrade the US credit rating for the first time in history. Our constituents elect us to be their voice and their vote, not to play politics for political gain. There is nothing presidential about failing to pay your bills and jeopardizing our standing in the world economy.

“It is completely unbelievable that these reckless politicians think they deserve a promotion to the presidency.” 




NEW DNC VIDEO: Why we need to make our 45th President a Democrat


At Tuesday’s first Democratic debate, Americans (15.8 million, in fact) got to hear our presidential candidates talk about their vision to move America forward and to strengthen the middle class. They had a substantive conversation about important issues like equal pay, immigration reform, college affordability, and climate change. And in so doing, they made clear that they’re ready to lead this country.


This, of course, is in stark contrast with the Republicans running for president, all of whom have failed to propose any ideas other than recycling disastrous policies that would drag America backwards during their nearly ten hours of debates.

Take a look at our new DNC video that highlights this difference, given how many issues were either entirely ignored or not seriously dealt with at Republican debates, and why we need to make our 45th President a Democrat:



P.S. And if you missed the Democratic debate the first time, you can watch it again on CNN tonight at 10 pm ET!


DNC - SLATE: Could George W. Bush Save Jeb's Listless Campaign? 



It was Jeb Bush’s last name that probably kept him from running for president in 2008 and 2012, when memory of his brother’s tumultuous time in office was still quite fresh. And it was Jeb Bush’s last name that seemed like enough of a liability as he entered the 2016 race that his posters and slogans refer to him simply as Jeb! But now, as the establishment favorite struggles mightily in the face of considerable anti-establishment headwinds, Jeb’s advisers are beginning to wonder if that same name might be what can save his listless campaign before it’s too late.


The New York Times reports that Bush’s team “has begun exploring” the idea of trotting George W. Bush out on the campaign trail in South Carolina to give Jeb a “boost with skeptical conservatives” in a state where he may need to make a crucial stand early next year.


The idea, according to the Times, originally came from Palmetto State party officials but has since gained significant traction at Jeb’s campaign HQ. “To the extent it makes sense on the campaign, we’re going to be happy to have his support, and I know President Bush is willing to help,” Tim Miller, Bush’s communications director, told the paper. Miller hinted that George could appear at South Carolina rallies for his brother in the lead-up to the state’s February primary, the third nominating contest on the 2016 political calendar and one that might prove particularly important for Jeb given his current also-ran status in the first two, Iowa and New Hampshire.


While Bush has already enlisted his older brother to help solicit big-dollar donations from his family’s sprawling network of the conservative rich and richer, a public appearance from 43 would represent a major shift in strategy for a candidate who has for months tried to escape any and all talk of a political dynasty and avoid being tied to his brother's presidency. Images of George and Jeb standing arm in arm onstage in Columbia or Charleston or Greenville would make that impossible.


Using the former president as a high-profile surrogate would be a major gamble for Jeb. Democrats are already dreaming of the attack-ad fuel that such appearances would provide them for the general election if Jeb makes it that far. And, more immediately, Bush would risk further cementing himself as a political insider at a time when the outsider trio of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina sit 1-2-3 in the national GOP polls.


While those risks are indeed real, they might be overstated—or, more specifically, the Hail Mary might pose less of a risk to Jeb than sticking with a game plan that has taken him from the presumed GOP favorite to a political punching bag in a matter of months. What would he have to lose?


Bush can’t lose the general election if he doesn’t win the primary first. And while liberals still have W.-PTSD, conservative voters tend to have fond memories of the last Bush administration. A New York Times/CBS News survey from this spring found that 71 percent of Republicans had a favorable view of George W. Bush compared with only 10 percent who said they had an opposite one. While there hasn’t been any state-specific public polling done on the issue, South Carolina is believed to be particularly Bush-friendly terrain.


Using George would mean Jeb would need to abandon his I’m-my-own-man routine—but it’s not as though he’s been performing that to rave reviews on the campaign trail. Remember, Jeb’s first major campaign stumble came earlier this year when he struggled for days to find an answer to an Iraq War hypothetical that he and his team should have seen coming from 7,000 miles away. At last month’s CNN debate, meanwhile, Bush’s best received line of the night came when he defended his brother’s record on terrorism in the wake of Sept. 11, a talking point he made sure to repeat on social media and elsewhere in the days that followed.


Through it all, Jeb’s had to twist himself into rhetorical pretzels to avoid the perception that his first term would effectively be his brother’s third. When pressed by reporters on the campaign trail to say where he differs from W., Jeb has a tendency to lament the fact that his brother didn’t use his veto pen to rein in congressional spending. In his next breath, though, he’s normally quick to argue the president didn’t really have much choice in the matter. “Part of that related to the efforts to fight—you know, create the homeland security efforts and to fight the wars and all this,” the GOP hopeful said last week during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. “He needed the support to maintain that.”


Jeb’s last name might not be on his campaign signs, but voters don’t need a Bush family Christmas card to remind them that he’s the brother and son of presidents. Given that, if he can’t right the ship soon, he might have no other choice but to stop trying to limit the political price of embracing his family name and start trying to maximize the rewards that come with it.