March 27, 2015  

JAC's 5th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
June 1st - Mark Your Calendars Today!

Coffee with Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Chicago, IL
1:30 -2:30 pm, March 30th

Talking Points with Rep. Mike Quigley
Highland Park, IL
10-11:30 am, Monday, April 20

5th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
International Correspondent
Amy Kellogg
Barbara Bluhm-Kaul
Leslie Bluhm & Meredith Bluhm-Wolf
Lincolnwood, IL
11 am - 1:30 pm, Monday, June 1st

For more information and to RSVP, contact the JAC office at 847-433-5999 or

Call your Senator today 

The GOP has found another way to restrict abortion services... 
They snuck a ban into a bill to help human trafficking survivors.
  • Human trafficking survivors need to have all the reproductive health options available to them -- including abortion care.
  • This Act should help, not harm, trafficking survivors.
  • Eliminating abortion care for survivors will further harm them.
  • Affordable abortion care should be a reality for all, including trafficking survivors.
  • All women deserve the right to make their own reproductive health decisions for their own circumstances and access safe and affordable medical care.

Call Today 

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The Week in Legislation

H.Con.Res.27- The fiscal year 2016 budget. PASSED 237-180.
HR 2 - Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, or MACRA. PASSED. This bill closes spending gaps in Medicare and provides funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  However, the bill would prevent community health centers that receive federal funds from offering abortion services.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 

Reid announced today that he will retire at the end of his term in the Senate.  JAC will miss his friendship and leadership.  We were always able to count on Reid to advocate for our issues. Reid was first elected  to the Senate in 1986 and quickly developed a reputation as a consensus builder and a skillful legislator. His Republican colleagues have even praised his reasoned, balanced approach. 


He is strong supporter of Israel saying, "I stand with Israel, the Congress stands with Israel and America stands with Israel because our shared democratic values are one and the same...The people of Israel never tire in their commitment to democratic principles and freedoms. I remain committed to a secure Israel."


Reid has played an important role in the Democratic Leadership in the Senate.  He has served as Majority Leader, Minority Leader, and Majority Leader.  In January 2015, he was elected to serve as the Minority Leader for the 114th Congress. Reid represented the 1st District of Nevada in Congress for two terms before being elected to the Senate.  He grew up in a small cabin without indoor plumbing, and attended a two-room elementary school. While a law student, Reid worked as a U.S. Capitol police officer. Reid and his wife have 19 grandchildren. 



Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Cruz, first elected in 2012, has brought his extreme and conservative agenda to the Senate.  He is chairman of the Space, Science and Competiveness Committee, although he has publicly denied the existence of climate change.  His unwillingness to work in a bi-partisan manner has contributed to Congressional gridlock.  Cruz is the first candidate in either party to formally announce his candidacy for the presidency.  His anti-choice record and dangerous positions on women's issues would  "make him a disastrous president." He is proud of his "no abortion, no gay marriage, no gun control" agenda.  He even voted against the Violence Against Women  Act of 1994.
For more information, click on these articles: 

Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36 and his wife Monica welcomed their new baby girls, Sky and Sage, who were born Sunday.
Here is the 'Uptown Funk' Passover parody you'll be humming at the Seder. Enjoy the holiday. Look for the next EZ ready after Passover.

Six13 - Uptown Passover
Click to Watch

Israel & The Middle East 
PRESIDENT OBAMA: "..We continue to believe that a two-state solution is the only way for the long-term security of Israel, if it wants to stay both a Jewish state and democratic."  

WH hails 'rock solid' security cooperation with Israel 
Highlighting continuing security cooperation, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says the Obama administration's moves are in the best interest of Israel.
Read Full Article

Israel praises US for abstaining from UN human rights session on Gaza 
The United States will not take the floor at the main UN human rights forum on Monday during the annual debate on violations committed in the Palestinian territories, as part of a previous agreement not to speak, a move praised by sources in Jerusalem.
Read Full Article

Why Netanyahu May Accept an Iran Deal 
It's difficult to remember the last time an Israeli prime minister bought a domestic political victory by paying such a high price abroad. Within a few short weeks, Benjamin Netanyahu has managed to break all protocol and precedent in grossly interfering in the relationship between the President and the U.S Congress.
Read Full Article

Repairing the U.S.-Israel alliance - by Bob Schieffer 
So, the Prime Minister of Israel doesn't like the President and has decided dealing with this administration in no walk in the park. I get that -- there are some in Washington, including some Democrats, who feel the same way.
And the president thinks the prime minister dissed him when he spoke to the joint session of Congress without a presidential invitation. I get that, too -- it was not just rude, but disrespectful to the office.
There have been hard-to-take insults on both sides. But the relationship between Israel and America is unique, and Israel is the only true democracy in that part of the world.
Read Full Article

Amnesty International: Hamas, other Palestinian groups committed war crimes during Gaza conflict 
The human rights group Amnesty International said in a report Thursday that Palestinian militant organizations had committed war crimes during the 2014 Gaza-Israel conflict, by killing both Israeli and Palestinian civilians using indiscriminate projectiles.
Read Full Article  

Anti-Semitism & BDS

House establishes bipartisan task force to combat anti-Semitism
A bipartisan task force to combat anti-Semitism around the world was established by the U.S. House of Representatives. The task force launched Tuesday is designed to educate Congress about anti-Semitism, which its members referred to as "the 21st century face of this age-old bigotry." Congress members will share ideas with the executive branch, foreign leaders and other organizations on combating anti-Semitism. It also will promote Holocaust remembrance through teaching tolerance and confronting hate.
Read Full Article

Harvey Weinstein Encourages Jewish Action Against Antisemites: 'Kick These Guys in the Ass' 
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein on Tuesday night urged Jews to stand together and act against antisemites, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "We better stand up and kick these guys in the ass," he said upon accepting the Humanitarian Award at the Simon Wiesenthal Center's National Tribute Dinner at the Beverly Hilton.
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
Wave of Harmful State Legislation Continues, but Some Good Bills Offered
835. That is the number of anti-choice measures enacted in states between 1995 and 2014 according to NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2014 report, "Who Decides?." Last year alone, state legislators enacted 27 anti-choice measures across the nation. The trend is alarming and doesn't look to be slowing down.
Read Full Article

Supreme Court delivers a win for pregnant workers
Peggy Young, the UPS driver who was forced to leave her job when she got pregnant because she says the company wouldn't assign her light duty, will have another day in court, as Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito joined with the Democratic appointees to craft what Young's attorney called a "big win, not just for pregnant women, but also for all women in the workplace." That is no small feat from a court that has in recent years narrowed interpretations of anti-discrimination law and been reluctant to impose on businesses.
Read Full Article
Federal Court Permanently Blocks Wisconsin Admitting Privileges Requirement
A federal judge on Friday permanently struck down Wisconsin's admitting privileges requirement for abortion providers, ruling the law was motivated by the improper purpose of restricting access to abortion throughout the state.
Read Full Article

The 5 Best Things Obamacare Has Done for Women
Five years ago today, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Since then, despite at least 50 attempts by Republicans to repeal the law and more than 100 court challenges to the Act's contraceptive mandate, more than 16 million Americans have gained health coverage because of the ACA, according to the White House.
Read Full Article
Separation of Religion & State

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the nation's first "Religious Liberty" law into effect. Photo source:Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs religious liberty bill
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday signed into law a religious objections bill that some convention organizers and business leaders have opposed amid concern it could allow discrimination against gay people. Indiana is the first state to enact such a change this year among about a dozen where such proposals have been introduced. The measure would prohibit state and local laws that "substantially burden" the ability of people - including businesses and associations - to follow their religious beliefs.
Beyond the Core

Welcome to NRA Madness
For two days last week, an anti-gun violence group set up shop on Manhattan's Lower East Side to sell guns, with a catch. Each weapon had a tag denoting its role in a gun tragedy. One was tagged as the handgun a 2-year-old used to shoot his mother; another was type of assault weapon used in the Connecticut school shooting.
Read Full Article

Smithsonian Stands By Wildly Misleading Climate Change Exhibit Paid For By Kochs
The Smithsonian risks damaging its reputation by having a polluter-funded science denier on the payroll and a wildly misleading Koch-funded exhibit that downplays the risks posed by human-caused climate change. It's time for the world's self-proclaimed "largest museum and research complex," to live up to its mission - and its own climate statement - and cut ties with the anti-science, pro-pollution crowd.
Read Full Article

Ted Cruz: 'Global Warming Alarmists Are The Equivalent Of The Flat-Earthers'
Ted Cruz, the junior U.S. senator from Texas and first official contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, compared people who think that the climate is warming to "flat-Earthers" and described himself as a modern-day Galileo in an interview with the Texas Tribune.
Political Byte
Reid Plans Senate Exit: Not Running for Re-Election 

Longtime Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid will not seek re-election, he said Friday.

Reid, who sustained face and rib injuries earlier this year in an exercise accident, made the announcement in a video to supporters.

Read Full Article


Nancy Pelosi is in the market for a new successor. The California Democrat had a favored recruit in Rep. Chris Van Hollen, but his decision to run for retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski's Senate seat has opened a power vacume in the caucus.
Read Full Article

Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL- 18) announces he's running for Senate  
Rep. Patrick Murphy, the young Democrat who ended the elective office career of Allen West, said this morning he will run for the U.S. Senate in 2016 Marco Rubio is expected to vacate.
Read Full Article

Budget backed by GOP leaders prevails 
The House on Wednesday backed a modified budget with a funding boost for the Pentagon, setting the stage for final passage of the fiscal blueprint preferred by Republican leadership. Adoption of the amendment fell largely along party lines by a vote of 219-208. Twenty-six Republicans voted against it, along with every Democrat.
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 Meet Ruth Porat, Google's new CFO

To the business press, the symbolism of Ruth Porat's move from her position as chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley to her newly announced perch as Google's CFO of the future couldn't be more obvious - it represents a shift in power from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. And a brief look at her family history reveals that the forces that led them to end up in northern California were nothing less than the defining events of 20th century Jewish history: the Holocaust and the founding of the state of Israel.

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Can Israel's Medical Diplomacy Make It the Cuba of the Middle East?
In an old stone house on Nevi'im street in Jerusalem on a recent afternoon, young Kurdish and Syrian girls played with wooden toy sets on the floor while their mothers, clad in colorful head scarves and black clothing, chatted on their phones in Arabic and Kurdish with relatives back home. The children were awaiting heart surgery at Israeli hospitals and the parents were nervous, both for their children and because being in Israel at all is a risky proposition for someone from Syria, Iraq, or Jordan.
Read Full Article

After cyclone, Israeli mission provides relief in Vanuatu

Two weeks after a tropical cyclone battered the Pacific island-nation of Vanuatu, a contingent of Israeli aid workers traveled to the archipelago to assist residents and distribute supplies to struggling and desperate communities."

Read Full Article 

Our members count on JACPAC to provide information on current events, candidates, and elections.  JACPAC depends on membership support to make this possible.


If you have not renewed your membership, please consider doing so today, to help us pursue a strong US-Israel relationship, reproductive rights, and separation of religion and state.  Together we can make this a better world!



Janna Berk, President
Marcia Balonick, Executive Director
Joy Malkus, Research Director 

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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a national network committed to the special relationship between the US and Israel and a social agenda that includes reproductive rights and separation of religion and state.  JACPAC supported US Senate and House candidates who uphold this agenda and maintains ongoing dialogue with those it helps elect.  In addition, JACPAC serves as a political resource for the Jewish community, furnishing information about candidates, elections and issues.