DOJ Challenges Idaho Abortion Law
Tuesday, August 2, 2022, US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a lawsuit against the State of Idaho. The suit alleges that its trigger law, outlawing abortion in all but the deadliest emergencies, violates the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTLA).
EMTLA is a federal law enacted in 1986. It prevents hospitals from transferring (dumping) unfunded patients onto other facilities without providing stabilizing treatment. The DOJ claims that the Idaho abortion law conflicts with aspects of this legal framework. Therefore, in the event of a material deterioration in a mother’s condition, it would be illegal to refuse an abortion that would stabilize her condition.
Attorney General Garland will seek an injunction and summary judgement to suspend the law. Because EMTLA is a federal act and since federal law supersedes state law, the lawsuit is likely to prevail.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, in response to the announcement, called the lawsuit a waste of tax dollars and claimed that the DOJ should have tried dialogue first. However, included in the lawsuit is a statement that a July 29 attempt by the DOJ to reach out to the Idaho Attorney General did not receive a substantive response.
The bottom line is that the Idaho GOP plans to fight to enforce their draconian measures to prevent women from receiving abortion related services. Governor Little seemed to agree, saying the Supreme Court granted states the right to regulate abortion, “end of story.”
A statement by IDP Chair Lauren Necochea, reads in part: “Republican politicians would rather let a pregnancy kill a person than allow them to receive an abortion.”
I guess we will see about that. In the meantime, thank you, Attorney General Garland.
Inflation Reduction Act Pending Vote in Congress
Last Week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin announced an agreement on terms for a new bill called the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The legislation enacts historic deficit reduction to fight inflation, lowers energy costs, increases cleaner energy production, and reduces carbon emissions by approximately 40 percent by 2030. In addition, it allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices and caps out-of-pocket costs to $2,000, lowers ACA health care premiums for millions of Americans, makes biggest corporations and ultra-wealthy pay their fair share of taxes while avoiding new taxes on families making $400,000 or less and small businesses. Finally, it closes a carried interest tax loophole and funds enforcement of the tax code on high earners.
The IRA will easily pass in the House of Representatives. However, in the Senate, it will need all fifty Democratic votes plus the tiebreaker from Vice-president Kamala Harris. In other words, one Democratic holdout could keep this legislation from passing. That legislative holdout is Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
So please, send a brief email to Senator Sinema to urge her support of the IRA without any reservations. Why? The IRA is in line with her previous statements about prescription drug pricing and climate action. In addition, it closes the carried interest loophole that allowed wealthy fund managers to claim a lower tax rate of less than 24% on their investment income rather than the 37 percent top rate for ordinary income.
Local Canvassing is Ramping Up
Let us get together and win something.
Thanks, and have a wonderful week.