This listing of NOW’s priority legislation for the 116th Congress provides a summary of the bills and resolutions we want to see adopted, plus an update on their status as of June 5. Nearly all of the bills that have passed have been acted upon in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives; none have been taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate. You can check at https://congress.gov/ for more details; just enter the bill title or bill number in the window on the homepage. We are also posting many of the joint letters to the Administration and to Congress from our allies that NOW has signed as well. The letters provide interesting policy discussions that will help inform NOW activists.

The Legislative Agenda – A list of priority bills in Congress that NOW supports

You can find a short summary list of the 32 letters that NOW has signed on to here: NOW’s 2020 Legislative Agenda

Letters that NOW Joined in Signing 2020

September 2020

Biden Day One DED Letter 9/28/2020

  • This letter requests that on day one of his presidency, should he be elected, Biden must grant Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to individuals who currently hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or are in danger of losing it. While Biden has committed to protecting many TPS holders, people from multiple countries, including the Bahamas, El Salvador, and Nepal, who are not eligible now would be eligible under DED. Enacting this policy would protect approximately 2.2 million nationals from fifteen countries and affirm Biden’s commitment to providing relief for eligible noncitizens in the U.S.NIBRS Comment Letter 9/28/2020
  • The National Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights alongside the Sikh Coalition and other organizations wrote this letter in support of the Department of Justice’s transition to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). NIBRS will enable more effective data collection than the current Summary Reporting System (SRS) which, in turn, helps combat hate crimes that threaten our current society. Its ability to collect 52 offense classifications and up to 10 offenses per incident is a major improvement from the previous system, which will help fix the current discrepancies in data regarding hate crimes. As such, this letter urges that the FBI continues its transition to NIBRS as data is a crucial tool for changing policy.

NELP DOL Letter 9/24/2020

  • This letter requests that the Department of Labor extend the commenting period for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for at least 30 additional days. Under this Administration, the Department has given at least 60 days notice for the majority of proposed regulations and often granted extensions. However, they are only giving 30 days for this proposed rule. As such, it is evident the Department is trying to rush through this regulation but NOW joined in requesting that the Department follow the Administrative Procedures Act and grant a 60-day comment period to allow constituents to exercise their rights in this process.

LCCHR letter to the House Intelligence 9/23/2020

  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR) wrote this letter to Chairman Schiff to support his investigation into the Trump Administration’s actions to politicize intelligence activity. Specifically, this letter requests that Chairman Schiff prioritize these issues during whistleblower Brian Murphy’s testimony in front of the committee: the report showed white supremacists were the most deadly threat to our democracy, there were language changes that attempted to hide this reality, and there needs to be a future publication of the intelligence that was lost. Additionally, this letter calls for a public hearing to learn about DHS’s actions due to the significance of this issue for the public.

LCCHR letter to the Homeland Security 9/23/2020

  • NOW joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR) in signing onto this letter to Representative Thompson, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, to support his work to hold political appointees at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) accountable for covering up information. Citing how knowledge about white supremacy is essential to keeping this country safe, this letter urges Rep. Thompson to hold a public hearing so that the public can learn how DHS endangered safety for political gain and what the Department plans on doing to correct its previous actions. Additionally, this letter calls for a CRO audit of DHS expenditures which would uncover documented threats of white supremacy that would help the Administration combat white supremacy as whole.

August 2020

South Sudan TPS Request 8/21/2020

  • Directed to Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), this letter requests an 18-month extension and redesignation of Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for South Sudan. It argues that the current South Sudanese TPS holders must continue to be protected for the following reason: the current situation in South Sudan necessitates a continuation of TPS as civilian casualties, human rights abuses, war crimes, and crimes against humanity continue to worsen within the country; and this policy extension aligns with humanitarian values and U.S. interests as it protects people’s lives while enabling the current TPS holders to continue to contribute to our economy.

Kennedy-Larson Letter 8/17/2020

  • NOW signed onto a letter from Representative Kennedy and Representative Larson demanding that President Trump reverse his executive action to defund Social Security by eliminating the payroll tax. Furthermore, it calls for the President to publicly announce support for the HEROES Act, the second COVID relief stimulus package. Citing how Social Security provided nearly $90 billion in monthly benefits to 64.6 million people in April 2020, and the negative ramifications of eliminating the payroll tax during a pandemic, this letter argues that the President’s actions significantly harm Americans today and that the President must develop a plan that truly helps people during this time.

LCCHR Letter on the MORE ACT (H.R. 3884/S. 2227) 8/14/2020

  • This coalition letter is directed towards Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer to bring the MORE Act to a vote in September. The MORE Act is the most comprehensive marijuana reform bill in the U.S. Congress as it targets the decriminalization of marijuana, removing it from the list of Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. It additionally addresses reparative justice, allows marijuana businesses to access financial services, and protects Veteran Affairs doctors from federal prosecution. In doing so, this bill will increase research opportunities, combat racial injustice, and protect other vulnerable populations such as the immigrant community.

First Priorities for the Blueprint for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice 8/12/2020

  • NOW joined more than 90 other organizations in signing onto this blueprint for executive and agency actions in the opening days of the incoming administration. This list demands that the next president must take these following steps to protect reproductive rights: (1) issue an executive order committing to protecting reproductive health care; (2) re-engage with international efforts to support and protect reproductive and sexual health; (3) include reproductive health in their budget; (4) nominate and appoint individuals to the executive branch who are committed to reproductive justice; (5) halt and rescind regulations that access reproductive health care; (6) change a variety of certain policies including extending Medicaid and CHIP coverage and reviewing REMS for mifepristone.

2021 Immigration Action Plan 8/10/2020

  • This letter outlines a concrete set of policies for the next administration that reforms the current immigration system by centering human dignity, family unity, community well-being and American prosperity. Specifically, it includes ten actions items that protect immigrants, affirm human rights, and reform the immigration system to fit America’s founding values. These steps include: (1) prioritizing equity and harm reduction; (2) ending discriminatory targeting; (3) rebuilding the economy; (4) re-envisioning executive leadership; (5) decriminalizing immigration; (6) protecting immigrant children, families, and communities; (7) phase out immigration jails and fund community based programs; (8) establishing borders that respect human rights; (9) reimagining the role of immigration courts; and (10) restoring protection from human rights violations.

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020