About Bill Ashley

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Bill Ashley has created 5 blog entries.

H. R. 2396, Privacy Notification Technical Clarification Act

This bill would exempt financial institutions from the requirement to annually disclose their policies and practices regarding customers’ private personal information if they meet specific criteria. Specifically, a financial institution would be exempt if they: 1) Haven’t changed their policies since their most recent disclosure; 2) Make those policies available online and upon request through the mail or over the telephone; and 3) Periodically notify customers of the availability of information on those policies and practices.

Why Jason Lewis’ vote conflicts with our values.

“This bill offers too big an exemption to the requirement that lenders notify customers each year about the policies regarding customers’ personal information. It should only apply to companies that share information with close, but unaffiliated third parties.” (Source: Countable)

“Under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), customers are generally entitled to an annual privacy notice from their financial institutions. During the 114th Congress, legislation was enacted to narrowly exempt financial institutions from having to provide an annual privacy notice if the privacy policy and practices had not changed from the last time the customer received a copy, and if the institution does not share or sell a customer’s personal information with an unaffiliated third party. In those instances, the customer does not have the ability to opt-out from having their information shared by a financial company with its affiliated companies. H.R. 2396 could eliminate meaningful, clear disclosures to consumers about their privacy rights, including their ability to opt-out from having their information sold to unaffiliated third party companies. Furthermore, the current form of H.R. 2396 would expand flexibility to comply with, if not minimize, annual notice requirements under the GLBA to all financial institutions, including payday lenders, rent-to-own companies, and potentially bad actors.” (Source: Minority View, Financial Services Committee, Report 115-434).

More Info See Bill

 

H. R. 2396, Privacy Notification Technical Clarification Act 2017-12-16T21:17:15+00:00

Call to Action – Save Net Neutrality

Voice Your Opposition to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Declaratory Ruling, Docket No. 17-108, Destroying Internet Freedom

We oppose this shameful abandonment of a free and open Internet.  This rule change is a gift to a small but powerful group of corporations, who will gain even more influence to the detriment of the general public.  This could also allow corporations to suppress free speech.

What is it “net neutrality”?

Net neutrality is a term commonly used to describe to rules implemented by the FCC to regulate Internet Service Providers (ISPs), requiring them to treat all Internet traffic as equal.  This means that ISPs can’t slow down, speed up, or block your data based on the type of data it is or where it originates from.

This is how we have come to expect Internet service to operate.  When you sign on for service from Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc., you expect them to make their best effort to deliver content to your device, regardless of where that data comes from or what that data is.  All of that is about to change if the FCC has its way.

What is happening to the net neutrality rules?

The Trump administration is in the process of gutting net neutrality.  A final proposal was recently published by the FCC and will be subject to vote by the FCC Commissioners on December 14, 2017.  Once passed, this will allow ISPs to alter your Internet traffic any way they see fit.  The reasons given by the FCC for voiding these rules range from uninformed to dishonest.

If this passes as proposed, any remedies for ISP abuses will have to come from the over-extended Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has limited enforcement power.  It is also not clear that the FTC can address abuses that don’t affect trade, such as the suppression of free speech by ISPs.  For example, if Verizon doesn’t want you to read this website because they don’t like it’s message, they will be able slow it down or otherwise make it unusable under this new regime.

Destruction of the free Internet could impact your wallet.  Soon you might be forced to pay more for Internet access, because ISPs want to offer more expensive “premium” tiers of end-to-end service.  There is a very strong incentive to throttle service for those who aren’t paying the premium.  Without net neutrality in place, they can do this with few repercussions.

Why should progressives care about this issue?

The core technologies that enable today’s Internet came from a government-funded project in the late 60’s. The Internet infrastructure resulting from that research has benefited both our economy and our society.  Therefore the government should continue to ensure the Internet is an equal playing field, and not just hope that ISPs will put the public’s interests above their own profits.

Killing net neutrality will undermine the ability of poor people to get broadband, knee-cap funding for rural telecommunications, encouraging consolidation and higher prices in business broadband, enable massive broadcasting conglomerates to gobble up more local voices.  The only ones who benefit from killing these rules are the big ISPs, who will try to shake down consumers and businesses that rely on the Internet.

What can I do?

Contact the three Republican FCC Commissioners and tell them to vote NO on December 14.  We want to keep net neutrality just as it is.

You can also add your voice to the over 20 million public comments already on record regarding these proceedings (Docket 17-108).  Go to this site and select “+Express” and then fill in the form.  In the comments, make sure to indicate you want the FCC to continue enforcing Net Neutrality under Title II.

Also, contact your representatives and tell them you want them to support legislation to ensure the Internet remains free.

 

More Information

The following links provide additional information about this issue.

Call to Action – Save Net Neutrality 2017-11-27T04:24:38+00:00

H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Jason Lewis voted for HR1 and against our values. 

We oppose this irresponsible increase in the national debt. It will not lead to significant job creation or real economic growth.  It will benefit the wealthiest and increase corporate influence in our political system.   

There will be another vote on a final tax bill after a House-Senate “conference committee” aligns the House and Senate versions.

Regardless of the final details, we know enough to reject the core aspects of the plan.  We will update these points as more information becomes available on the final bill.

Contact Jason Lewis with any or all of these points:

Partisans favoring this bill will want to ignore “economics 101”  when they provide optimistic forecasts of economic growth, job creation and deficits.  They will ask you to ignore credible nonpartisan information.

Be skeptical of this law that benefits the wealthiest and asks us to gamble on failed “trickle-down economics”.

In addition, HR 1 can threaten our values via the hidden “details”.  For example, we are concerned about cuts to the EPA, the State Department, items that affect health care, or a repeal of the “Johnson Amendment” that preserves a healthy separation of church and state.     We will these highlight special focus issues where we can.

To stay in touch with this fast moving bill, we recommend these sources:

The Congressional Budget Office

The Tax Policy Center

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

The Center for American Progress

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

The New York Times

The Washington Post

More Info See Bill
H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 2017-12-06T20:13:53+00:00

H. R. 238, Commodity End-User Relief Act

This bill reauthorizes through FY2021, and revises provisions related to, operations of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In addition, the bill amends the Commodity Exchange Act to direct registered futures associations to require their futures commission merchant members to meet certain procedural and reporting requirements.

Why Jason Lewis’ vote conflicts with our values.

The CFTC is trying to prevent derivatives from unravelling the financial markets again and causing another crash, it shouldn’t be told how to do its business by Congress. (Source: Countable)

“This bill increases government red tape, increases costs to the commission for no foreseeable benefit, and may increase the likelihood of another financial crisis like 2008. For these reasons, I opposed this bill, which passed the House on Republican support with a vote of 239 to 182.” (Source: Congressman Seth Moulton)

More Info See Bill

 

H. R. 238, Commodity End-User Relief Act 2017-11-10T00:47:27+00:00

H.R. 1180 Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017

This bill amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to authorize employers to provide compensatory time off to private employees at a rate of not less than 1 1/2 hours for each hour of employment for which overtime compensation is required, but only if it is in accordance with an applicable collective bargaining agreement or, in the absence of such an agreement, an agreement between the employer and employee.

Why Jason Lewis’ vote conflicts with our values.

This would put private sector workers who choose paid time off in lieu of overtime at risk of exploitation by their bosses, who’d be able to deny requests to use the comp time if it’d “unduly disrupt” their operations. (Source: Countable)

H.R. 1180 does not create any meaningful new rights for employees. Employees can already take time off without pay, if they get permission from their employer. The bill does, however, create a new right for employers to withhold employees’ overtime pay. Democrats have offered real solutions to the challenges facing working families that would not force them to make an impossible choice between money and time–when they need both. This Committee should bring up for consideration the legislation being offered by Democrats that would both raise workers’ pay and help them better juggle work and family life. (Source: Dissenting View, Committee on Education and Workforce, Report 114-101)

More Info See Bill

 

H.R. 1180 Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 2017-11-10T00:50:53+00:00