Advance Notice: Briefs

Lawrence, Dingell march to McConnell’s office to demand votes on equal pay, domestic violence bills

By: - December 11, 2019 8:13 pm

Reps. Brenda Lawrence (left) and Debbie Dingell (right)

Two Michigan lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) and Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), on Wednesday were among the Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC) members who marched to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office.

They hand-delivered a letter signed by 84 congresswomen demanding that the Kentucky Republican take up bipartisan legislation, including the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Raise the Wage Act, which have already passed the Democratic-controlled U.S. House.

“His failure to act denies our senators the opportunity to consider these critical pieces of legislation which is an affront to women and families across this country,” said Lawrence, DWC co-chair.

The three other Michigan Democratic congresswomen also signed the letter: U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) and Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills).

Other lawmakers leading the letter included Lawrence’s DWC co-chairs U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), as well as U.S. Reps. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) and Deb Haaland (D-N.M.).

“House Democratic Women are not only fighting for the economic opportunity and the health of individuals, but we are also fighting for legislation that would empower women globally, combat the climate crisis, support women servicemembers and veterans, provide equality for all, and ensure women and families are able to live free from violence,” the congresswomen wrote.

“For too long, women and their families have been held back. House Democrats recognize that when women and girls have equal access to the tools needed to succeed, communities across our country are more prosperous. It is time for Senate Republicans to stop obstructing and expeditiously take action on House-passed legislation that would strengthen the well-being of more than half of all Americans. Women and girls deserve better.”

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.