To keep this short and simple: President Obama is pushing involvement in Syria and with only 36 days left in this years congressional session. In these 36 days, our congress must act on five complicated and truly difficult issues, besides what is the US involvement in Syria.

First issue: Immigration reform. But this issue is far from resolved or in a place that would truly be progressive reform. First, we still have too much money allocated for securing what I think is truly un-securable border. Secondly, the current status of the bill continues to put women’s health at risk by not allowing access to coverage, while on a minimum 15 year path towards citizenship!

Second issue: Congress has to keep government open! This means that they will be working on a short term spending bill to keep all the jobs and programs, etc. functioning as is. However, some conservative congress folks would like to defund Obamacare so we can almost certainly expect this to appear in the proposals.

Third issue: The debt ceiling. This, however can affect everything else. If congress does not vote to approve an increase in our debt ceiling, more than likely we will breach this limit which is against the law. Yet, congress expects Obama to make cuts to very crucial programs like Social Security, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act before raising the debt ceiling and borrowing more money.

Fourth Issue: There is a farm bill that allows food stamps for agriculture that maintains a steady bottom line for farmers and agriculture producers. Now Congress would like to slash this program by $40 billion dollars. I am sure you can guess what could happen to the agriculture biz, not to mention hungry families.

And finally, the fifth Issue: The national defense authorization bill. But this is not the exciting thing. What is exciting is the potential amendment that would remove the chain of command for sexual assault and other serious crimes in the military. Some support this and other military personal say that if his is removed, than order will be removed and commanders will not be able to keep their troops in line. However, we know that “Most sexual assault crimes never make it up the chain of command to a court-martial, according to the Pentagon’s own data.  A Pentagon survey released earlier this year estimated that 26,000 service members had experienced “unwanted sexual contact” — which includes rape, attempted rape and unwanted sexual touching — but only 3,374, or 13 percent, reported the incidents. There were only 302 prosecutions.” According to an article in Front Line.

So this is it and under 500 words. Questions?

 

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