Looking forward to 2019 - background checks, protecting survivors, and healthcare access: Civic action to-do list for 12-31-18

3. Prioritize Universal Background Checks

While the recent passage of the First Step Act banned bump stocks and strengthened the criminal background check system, there is still much work to do in 2019. With so many loopholes in current law, Congress must take action! Currently hundreds of thousands of individuals are slipping through the “gun show loophole”, purchasing guns from private sellers without a background check. JWI stands with the more than 90% of Americans who believe that background checks must be completed before a person purchases a gun. Leader Pelosi has indicated that she will prioritize passing universal background checks in the first 100 days of Congress, and JWI looks forward to working with Congress to pass this vital bill. 

2. Violence Against Women Isn’t Partisan

The Violence Against Women Act was supposed to expire on September 30 th 2018, but has been extended to February 8, 2019. Millions of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking are calling for increased protections to both support survivors and prevent gender-based violence. The new bill must have increased prevention funding to help youth build healthy relationships, protect Native American victims of sexual assault by allowing Tribes to prosecute rapists, and allow law enforcement to develop procedures to remove firearms from convicted perpetrators of violence. Violence against women cannot be a partisan issue and we must demand that both political parties prioritize passing a new VAWA with these critical enhancements. JWI will continue to be passionate advocates, along with our coalition partners, to ensure Congress passes a bi-partisan bill ASAP!

1. Healthcare Access is Key

After Congress failed this year to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a judge in Texas ruled that a part of the law is unconstitutional and therefore invalidated the entire law. If this moves forward through the higher courts and the decision is upheld, there would be devastating consequences. The ACA required that every healthcare plan cover ten essential health benefits (like maternity and newborn care), not penalize individuals with pre-existing conditions, and permitting children to remain on their parent's insurance until the age of 26. Getting rid of these provisions would deny healthcare for millions of Americans and have grave consequences for individuals, families, and our economy. JWI will work with the members of the 116 th Congress to make sure that healthcare is available for everyone in this country and the law is strengthened, not repealed. 

Action AlertDanielle Cantor