Articles & Op-Eds

Flake, Kaine Push for Debate on Anti-ISIL War

June 09, 2015

Sens. Tim Kaine and Jeff Flake are introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that pushes for a congressional say in the U.S. fight against the Islamic State. The amendment to the NDAA - which authorizes budget authority for the Defense Department and is currently being debated on the Senate floor - does not specify policy points about an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, Kaine said, but rather indicates that it’s the “sense of the Senate” that it should deb… Continue Reading

On Trade, Obama's Most Loyal Allies Are Abandoning Him

June 08, 2015

Washington — At the grocery store, at church, and at the local Lowe’s hardware store, people stop Rep. Marcia Fudge (D) of Ohio to tell her they support the president, but not the bill to give him one of the things he wants most: the authority to more easily negotiate the largest trade deal in United States history. This is not the North American Free Trade Agreement, the president says. It includes enforceable labor, environmental, and human rights standards. It’s a job creator that will ope… Continue Reading

Rep. Marcia Fudge Makes Sweet Bet on Cavs in NBA Finals

June 08, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. - LeBron James isn't the only one with plenty at stake in the NBA finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. Warrensville Heights Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge has placed a sweet bet on the series with California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee. If the Warriors win, Fudge will give Lee chocolates from Malley's, peanuts from Peterson's and pastries from Davis Bakery. If the Cavaliers win, Lee will supply Fudge with California treats including Clif bars… Continue Reading

Congress Calls For Debate On ISIS War Authorization

June 07, 2015

In a rare showing of bipartisanship, three lawmakers have crafted a resolution that would force the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on allowing military action fighting Islamic State group to continue. Despite the U.S.-led attacks on the terrorist group regularly occurring since August 2014, Congress has yet to officially authorize the airstrikes and bombing campaigns, which has some lawmakers worried about the possibility of the campaign lasting years into the future. The resolution… Continue Reading

Drug War Takes A Shellacking As Congress Okays Several Canna-Bills

June 03, 2015

The drug war took a one of its biggest shellackings in history this week as the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives voted to cement the federal cease-fire on medical marijuana, and nearly gave up the weed war entirely. Under the medical marijuana amendment — which has to pass the Senate — the Department of Justice would remain barred from using funds to undermine state medical marijuana laws. A more far-reaching amendment to protect state-legal recreational cannabis fail… Continue Reading

Congress failing to ‘fulfill the bare minimum’ on ISIS

June 03, 2015

Just last week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was unusually blunt while chiding Congress for failing to authorize the U.S. military offensive against ISIS. Lawmakers, Earnest said, have “been AWOL.” “They haven’t been willing to stand up and do their job. Their job doesn’t require putting themselves at great personal risk. Their job doesn’t require making difficult strategic decisions. Their job requires holding some congressional hearings, writing legislation, and casting a vote. … Continue Reading

Dem: Obama needs 'more elbow grease' for trade vote

June 02, 2015

A House Democratic lawmaker tells The Hill that President Obama needs to get more involved to win Democratic votes for fast-track trade authority. "I think the President needs to do a lot more than what he's doing now. I don’t think he’s doing enough, to be quite honest," moderate Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said in an interview with The Hill. "He sees this as a very important issue, but I think he needs to put a little more elbow grease into this work." House GOP leaders and the Obama … Continue Reading

Congress Takes Tiny Step Toward Authorizing Anti-ISIS War

June 02, 2015

U.S.-led campaign has killed “more than 10,000” since last summer without lawmakers’ assent There’s nothing that interests Congress more than self-preservation. That, for example, is what keeps the pork flowing back home. But the nation’s recent wars—messy, lengthy and inconclusive—have become radioactive. The public has turned on them, which has led lawmakers to go to great lengths to keep their fingerprints off of them. The GOP-controlled Congress has refused to authorize the near-daily … Continue Reading

Obama's trust-me approach falls flat with Democrats

June 02, 2015

President Obama’s argument that Democrats should trust his vision on trade is falling flat on Capitol Hill. Democrats — even some of Obama’s closest allies — say it’s not enough for the president to pronounce his trade agenda the most progressive in history. The lawmakers want assurances that the agreements under negotiation, particularly a huge deal being finalized with Pacific Rim nations, will protect U.S. jobs — assurances many say they simply haven’t gotten. “I take the president … Continue Reading

Barbara Lee bets on Golden State Warriors win

June 02, 2015

Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Marcia Fudge have laid a friendly bet over the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. If (ed. note: WHEN) the Warriors win, Fudge, D-Ohio, will send Lee chocolates, peanuts and pastries made in the heart of Cleveland. If (ed. note: impossibly) the Cavaliers win, Lee, D-Oakland, will supply Fudge with Clif bars, Ghirardelli chocolates, Peet’s coffee and an autographed photo of Stephen Curry, all in anOaklandish tote bag. “The Clev… Continue Reading

Embassy in Havana? House panel: Cuba, no!

June 02, 2015

The White House may be moving quickly to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, but House Republicans are trying to put on the brakes as a key panelvoted Wednesday to prohibit funding for a U.S. embassy in Havana. The vote by the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the State Department and foreign operations does not prevent the department from designating an embassy in Havana. But it makes it more difficult. The U.S. already has a building on Havana’s Malecon waterfront … Continue Reading

Post Office Supporters Banking on Financial Services

May 31, 2015

The city's 57,000 square-foot historic downtown post office, officially off the U.S. Postal Service list of properties for sale, sits largely unused. On Tuesday afternoon, with about a dozen service windows shuttered, 24 people waited for help from two postal clerks. The rear of the century-old building and the second story are deserted -- USPS has moved postal carriers, bulk mail services and the postmaster's office out of downtown.But a May 21 Postal Service inspector general report called … Continue Reading

TV Network to honor Rep. Barbara Lee

May 28, 2015

One Caribbean Television will host a reception in the nation’s capital to celebrate Caribbean-American Heritage Month, which is observed in June. The reception, to be held Wednesday, June 3 in the Rayburn House Office Building, will be hosted in conjunction with the office of U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee. The event will bring together ambassadors from various Caribbean nations, members of Congress and Caribbean business and cultural leaders to commemorate Lee’s role in championing the historic bill … Continue Reading

Fighting for Heroic Moms This Mother's Day

May 28, 2015

By Congresswoman Barbara Lee and PSI Ambassador Ashley Judd Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted. Mothers struggle to do the best they can for their children -- making sure they're happy, healthy and know they are loved. In many parts of the world, this is a truly heroic feat. As we watch ongoing coverage of the tragedy in Nepal or the heartbreak in Nigeria, we remember that mothers must weather even the most trying times to care for their children. They are stopped by nothing; they… Continue Reading

Rep. Lee: Poverty must face swift action

April 05, 2015

Your article, "Poverty rates near record levels in Bay Area despite hot economy" highlights a growing crisis of economic inequality in our community. One in five Alameda County residents relies on food banks -- two-thirds are children and seniors. Given the Bay Area's high cost of living, a family of four would need to earn an estimated $86,000 to be economically secure. While Alameda County's poverty rate is 12.9 percent, the hidden poverty rate is higher. The people struggling to make ends … Continue Reading

Forging a new path forward with Cuba

February 27, 2015

IN December, President Obama took bold action and made a historic announcement to end more than five decades of failed U.S. policy toward Cuba. He renewed his commitment during the State of the Union address and has already dispatched Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson to Cuba for high-level talks. Our president is leading the way with his action. Now it is time for Congress to act. Together with some of my Republican colleagues, I am helping to lead a bipartisan and bicamera… Continue Reading

Barbara Lee Does Not Want Congress to Write Another Blank Check for Perpetual War

February 16, 2015

Barbara Lee wants Congress to get serious about issues of war and peace. The California congresswoman who cast the sole vote against authorizing George W. Bush to wage an ill-defined “war on terror” has been the House’s most consistent advocate for greater congressional engagement in debates about US foreign policy—and for seeking smart and comprehensive alternatives to endless war. In this pursuit, Lee has been willing to criticize Republican and Democratic administrations that seek blank ch… Continue Reading

Rep Lee on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Show: Congress Needs to Debate Military Force Proposal

February 14, 2015

Congresswoman Lee joined the Melissa Harris-Perry Show on Sunday, February 15th to discuss the need for a full debate on any military force authorization proposals. You can watch the video in its original format here.… Continue Reading

We must reform the entire system to achieve racial justice

February 11, 2015

(The Oakland Tribune) --- Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder accepted my invitation to visit our city, one of six cities, to listen to our concerns and suggestions. In the wake of demands for action, the Obama administration has begun making important changes to end racial profiling, emphasize community-oriented policing and de-militarize police forces. However, much more needs to be done. We are rightly outraged by the killing of unarmed young black men, weapons of war on our streets… Continue Reading

Amid Debate on ISIS War Bill, a Democrat Proposes Peace

February 10, 2015

With President Obama and congressional leaders negotiating the terms of a new war resolution to counter the Islamic State, a key antiwar Democrat is pushing what amounts to a peace bill. Representative Barbara Lee of California plans this week to introduce legislation to rescind the authority that Mr. Obama has been citing for using military force against the Islamic State, and effectively bar the use of ground troops in a combat role against the Sunni militant group. Ms. Lee, who cast the… Continue Reading

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