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Politics Lawmakers laud diversity gains in Congress

18:07  16 october  2021
18:07  16 october  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Why investing in diversity and raising the grade on school spending is urgent

  Why investing in diversity and raising the grade on school spending is urgent Diversity among teachers is trending downward, but 53 percent of American public-school children are persons of color. As of fall 2018, 15 percent of U.S. students were Black and 27 percent were Hispanic, but only 7 percent of teachers were Black and 9 percent were Hispanic.Before determining how to affect positive changes to increase diversity in the educational workforce, it is urgent to understand why schools lack diversity.

Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) said recent diversity gains in Congress could help create policies that better support minority communities.

Sharice Davids wearing a suit and tie: Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) is seen during a press conference on June 30 to discuss the INVEST in America Act which will focus on infrastructure and transportation. © Greg Nash Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) is seen during a press conference on June 30 to discuss the INVEST in America Act which will focus on infrastructure and transportation.

"I think the more we can support folks who are stepping out and stepping up, the better off we'll all be," Davids said at The Hill's Diversity and Inclusion Summit.

Speaking with The Hill's Rafael Bernal, Davids also highlighted diversity gains outside of politics, including in the entertainment and fashion industries.

Why lawmakers are fighting over the debt ceiling — again

  Why lawmakers are fighting over the debt ceiling — again Republicans are using the debt ceiling to send a political message.Lawmakers are now back at the brink, scrambling to pass a suspension to the debt limit — a legal cap to how much the country can borrow — even as they wrestle with approving an expansive infrastructure package and social spending bill. According to estimates from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, lawmakers have until October 18 to avoid a potential default.

"We're seeing lots of new voices coming into the fold," she said.

But Davids, co-chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and the Congressional Native American Caucus, cautioned against gains that are viewed as tokenism, instead encouraging a policymaking process genuinely driven by diverse voices.

"It's not just for the sake of having someone in the room, but really for the sake of learning from their lived experience or from their expertise," Davids said.

"I think if we're really intentional about the way that we do that, that can help us avoid anything that remotely resembles something that's maybe performative," she said.

Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), who lost reelection in his South Florida district in 2018, lauded record diversity levels in this year's Congress.

"There's so much bad news out of Congress," he said at the event. "This is some good news that we should all celebrate."

The 117th Congress includes the most women ever, alongside gains in the number of Black, Native American and LGBTQ members.

Curbelo said members of his former caucus have in many cases worked to recruit a more diverse class of candidates, pointing to efforts by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to increase the number of women in the caucus.

"A lot of Republicans are explicit and open about recruiting minority candidates," Curbelo said.

Curbelo expressed frustration at a lack of progress on passing immigration bills, saying such a move would take "dramatic action" in a bipartisan fashion that forces the hand of the two parties' leadership. He said leaders in both parties have maintained a status quo by failing to pass a package.

Curbelo introduced a discharge petition in 2018 as part of attempts to force immigration votes on the House floor.

"The only way we can get back to that point is if members force the issue," he said.

Marie Bernard, chief officer for scientific workforce diversity at the National Institutes of Health, said her agency is working to improve diversity in the broader scientific community, including other federal agencies, academic institutions and foundations.

"We're all in this together," Bernard said at the event sponsored by Gilead Sciences and The Rockefeller Foundation. "It's really important that we take advantage of all that talent if we're going to maintain our leadership role in science across the globe."

Fixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates

  Fixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates Paramount among the troubles is that legislative processes have become fantastically complex, which leaves citizens and many media in the dark as to who is doing what. Consider the recent increase in the debt limit. For weeks upon weeks, Democrats and Republicans bickered. Team Donkey refused to vote for higher debt without Team Elephant's support. Democrats feared many swing voters would be angry and were oblivious that higher debt was needed to cover the costs run up during the Trump administration.

She said recruiting diverse groups of researchers can foster broader perspectives and encourage minorities to participate in their research studies.

"Sometimes there are things that you never would have imagined would make a difference for a community that that person from that community will bring forward," Bernard said.

Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled .
Democratic lawmakers are renewing calls to expel any member of Congress implicated in the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol following reporting that witnesses have recently informed congressional investigators of their coordination with lawmakers.A Sunday story from Rolling Stone didn't directly tie lawmakers to the violent assault, but two sources who spoke to the outlet instead detailed multiple meetings with members of Congress to coordinate contesting the election results and plan the rallies that preceded the attack. The two have reportedly met with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

usr: 1
This is interesting!