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Representative Ellen Tauscher
Democrat of California District 10

Mailing address: 2459 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
(caution! all mail to Capitol Hill is delayed at least 2 weeks)

Rep. Tauscher's web page and online contact form

DC Office Phone: 202-225-1880
CA Office Phone: 707-428-7792
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District Demographics

Let's put Representative Tauscher's record in context. According to U.S. Census data, California District 10 is 96.48 percent urban, 23.71 percent non-white, and has a population that is 15.05 percent Latino and 15.94 percent foreign-born. 9.88 percent of adults working in Rep. Tauscher's district commute using public transportation, on a bike or on foot. 13.25 percent of adults aged 25 and older in Tauscher's district have a Master's, PhD or Professional Degree.

Progressive Action: support for legislation in the promotion of freedom, knowledge and security. Freedom is achieved when constitutional protections are respected and when people are treated with equality under law. Knowledge is pursued through rigorous support for science and education. Security comes from the protection of environmental resources, the strengthening of economic opportunity for people and the preservation of peace from erosion by wasteful, destructive militarism.

Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher's Progressive Action Score: 33

A score of 33 means that Representative Tauscher has positively acted to support 33% of a slate of progressive policies in the 111th Congress.

The following are positive progressive actions taken by Congresswoman Tauscher during the 111th Congress:

Amendment 35 to H.R. 2647

In June of 2009, Congressman Rush Holt introduced Amendment 35 to H.R. 2647 as a countercurrent to the current push for coverup in American military and interrogation activities. Amendment 35 requires military interrogations to be videotaped, with an exception provided at times when there may not be time to set up a camera.

The idea of required videotaping for interrogations is not an external imposition forced upon the military, but an internal recommendation of the Walsh Report in January of 2009, which states:
We endorse the use of video recording in all camps and for all interrogations. The use of video recording to confirm humane treatment could be an important enabler for detainee operations. Just as internal controls provide standardization, the use of video recordings provides the capability to monitor performance and to maintain accountability.
The Holt Amendment passed in a roll call vote by a margin of 224-193.

Rep. Tauscher has acted progressively by voting YES to pass this measure.


H.R. 1024

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Nor shall any State deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. These are the American standards of nondiscrimination, chiseled into our legal bedrock in the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. How seriously do members of Congress take this section of the U.S. Constitution? H.R. 1024 is a test.

H.R. 1024, the Uniting American Families Act, is a bill which aims to put into closer compliance with the U.S. Constitution by removing discrimination according to the status of permanent couples. According to law, same-sex couples in permanent relationships cannot marry; only different-sex couples can. The creates two classes of couple in the United States. They are separate. Are they equal? Not currently. Under current immigration law, married immigrant spouses of citizens and permanent residents have a preferred route toward gaining permanent resident status themselves. Unmarried partners of citizens and permanent residents have this avenue closed to them. That is unequal treatment under law for immigrants under American jurisdiction, and it is an unequal abridgment of legal privilege for the citizens whose permanent partners wish to join them.

Introduced by New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler, the Uniting American Families Act would end this status discrimination by amending various the immigration laws that discriminate against same-sex couples when one member of a couple is a citizen or permanent resident and the other is seeking citizenship or residency status.

Rep. Tauscher has acted progressively by cosponsoring this bill.


H.R. 11

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is a decent bill that seeks to amend an injustice and provide a fair shot at equality in the workplace. It simply says that workers cannot be expected to file suit for compensation for wage discrimination before they actually find out that theyíve been discriminated against. A previous court case, decided against a worker named Lilly Ledbetter, had declared that workers must file a lawsuit within a few months of the time that wage discrimination begins, even if they are unaware of the discrimination at the time. H.R. 11 seeks to remove this preposterous restriction on workplace equality.

Rep. Tauscher has acted progressively by voting YES to pass this measure.


H.R. 1106

H.R. 1106, The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, is a bill passed by the House that would allow bankruptcy judges to restructure mortgages on family homes to make them more affordable. Judicial modification is already possible in bankruptcy for loans covering luxury yachts and the vacation homes of the wealthy. If the terms of those sorts of loans can be restructured during bankruptcy proceedings, then why shouldn't the mortgages on the homes they live in be similarly protected? H.R. 1106 includes a number of protections against mortgage fraud and limits coverage to those who have made good-faith efforts to stay current on their mortgage payments. This sort of policy would be beneficial to bankers as much as to homeowners, maximizing the likelihood that home loans will be repaid rather than abandoned and restoring stability to the U.S. housing market. A YES vote is cast in the direction of fairness. A NO vote preserves renegotiation for yachts and luxury villas but denies it to everyday Americans just trying to get by.

Rep. Tauscher has acted progressively by voting YES to pass this measure.


H.R. 1310

H.R. 1310, the Clean Water Protection Act, would end the old practice in mountaintop mining of just taking all the heavy-metal-polluted rubble, calling it "fill material," and dumping it into streams from which toxins leach into water supplies and deadly, muddy floodwaters are regularly unleashed.

In 2002, the Bush administration declared that toxin-laden debris from mountaintop removal could be declared "fill material" and dumped into mountain waterways. H.R. 1310 would declare such activity, already dangerous to human health and natural ecosystems, to be illegal.

Rep. Tauscher has acted progressively by cosponsoring this bill.


H.R. 2

Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 makes 4 million children who currently without health insurance eligible to be added to the rolls of the the State Children Health Insurance Program. This legislation isn't some kind of entitlement to a group of people who are somehow responsible for their own economic vulnerability. It's a wise investment in America's future, because healthy children grow up to become productive adults.

Rep. Tauscher has acted progressively by voting YES to pass this measure.


H.R. 35

Essential to the structure of the Constitution is the concept of the balance of powers between the three branches of government. That balance was disturbed in November of 2001, when George W. Bush issued Executive Order No. 13233. That executive order thwarted the intention of the law by declaring that sitting presidents, former presidents, and even the heirs of former presidents, would have the power to deny the release of public White House records.

Congress and the Judicial Branch cannot check the power of the White House without knowledge of the Executive apparatus that the White House has put into place. Thus, Bush's record interfered with the system of government oversight and review the Constitution put into place. The Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2009, H.R. 35, ended this interference by specifically counteracting Executive Order No. 13233.

Rep. Tauscher has acted progressively by voting YES to pass this measure.
There are some bills on the progressive agenda to which Representative Tauscher has not yet added her support.

Call Your Member of Congress to urge that she cosponsor these pending bills:


H.R. 104

H.R. 104 would create a commission to investigate a bipartisan commission 'on presidential war powers and civil liberties'. The commission would investigate the extraordinary powers claimed for the Presidency under George W. Bush, including arbitrary and indefinite imprisonment, extraordinary rendition of detainees to foreign countries to be tortured, cruel and coercive interrogation techniques by American authorities and the 'ghosting' of detainees so that the American public doesn't know they have been detained. The commission would have the power to hold hearings and compel testimony by subpoena, and would issue reports to the President and to Congress. Knowing the past is key to change in the future.

Read H.R. 104, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 14

In a document called the Monaco Declaration, hundreds of scientists from around the world warn that 'Ocean acidification is accelerating and severe damages are imminent'. Due to ocean acidification, animals like shellfish and corals are having a difficult time creating their shells and skeletons. Other ocean animals are experiencing disruptions in their reproductive behavior and general physiological functions as a result of the increased acidity. H.R.14, the Federal Ocean Acidification Research And Monitoring Act, would establish a regime of governmental research and monitoring of the progress of ocean acidification, with the goal of developing strategies for mitigation of ecological impact.

Read H.R. 14, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 1726

Did you know that if you're crossing into or out of the United States, U.S. agents have declared the right take your electronic gear and data from you without the requirement of probable cause or a warrant? If the government makes its seizure on the border, it has decided it may keep what it takes indefinitely, and there is no regulation over what the government can do with whatever data it finds. There is no requirement for the government to inform the person whose property and private information it has confiscated.

To bring information about these warrantless seizures to the light of day and provide some accountability for what the government does, Rep. Loretta Sanchez has introduced H.R. 1726, the Border Security Search Accountability Act. If passed, Sanchez’ bill would require:

* sensitive, proprietary and/or personal information to be protected under current laws applying outside the border;
* searches to be done with supervision by commanding officers and the individuals whose gear has been seized;
* receipts for seized items, a procedure for complaints, and disclosure of any sharing of seized information by the government (with a national security exception)
* time limits on how long the U.S. government could keep objects and information without a warrant of probable cause;
* reports to Congress regarding the frequency, and implications for privacy and civil rights of such searches, as well as indicating how often such searches actually led to prosecution or conviction.

In short, Rep. Sanchez’s bill creates some initial limitations on the government’s border search powers while collecting the information necessary to raise awareness and address the problem in a systematic and informed way. It is a step in the right direction.



Read H.R. 1726, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 21

The Earth's oceans have entered an ecological crisis as massive as the seas themselves, and it threatens even those of us who live on the land. Oceans 21 is legislation that creates a comprehensive beginning for governmental intervention in this crisis. It establishes a national oceans policy, strengthens the ability of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to deal with it, and establishes a framework for regional cooperation on issues as they arise.

Read H.R. 21, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 223

The Farallon Islands are an uninhabited group of islands -- uninhabited by humans, that is. The Gulf of the Farralones is a sanctuary for marine birds, is a gathering point for marine mammals, and is host to a wide variety of ocean life due to the shallow depth of the water immediately surrounding it.

In short, the Farallon Island area is a biological treasure. It has value beyond its stark beauty as a biological bank, maintaining fisheries that sustain commerce as well. H.R. 223 is a bill before the Congress that would expand the boundaries of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary to more fully protect our national biological (and thereby industrial) health for the long term.

Read H.R. 223, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 2517

Since the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s, successive Congresses have made it clear, either loudly or meekly, that there is no intention to give same-sex couples the right to marry at the federal level. H.R. 2517, also known as the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, would grant same-sex domestic partners of federal workers the same benefits as federal workers' different-sex spouses. For proponents equality under law in America, this is a step forward for same-sex couples, albeit at a less ambitious scale than full-fledged same-sex marriage.

Read H.R. 2517, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 2704

H.R. 2704 is a bill to shut down the National Applications Office (NAO) in the Department of Homeland Security.

The NAO is a program to use military satellites to engage in surveillance of American people in American homes, American businesses and American public places. This military surveillance in domestic territory is in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act that forbids the U.S. military from being used for domestic purposes. The surveillance is done on Americans without the warrants from a judge that the 4th Amendment to the Constitution requires. The NAO is to share all this information with law enforcement officials at the state, federal and local level. Yes, this means that your local sheriff could be using military spy satellites to spy on you.

To the members of Congress who have failed to cosponsor H.R. 2704, domestic deployment of the military to spy on Americans without so much as a warrant doesn't seem to be a big deal. For those members of the House who feel that violations of the Constitution, violations of Americans' privacy and the creeping infiltration of the military into civilians' lives are significant problems, cosponsorship of H.R. 2704 is imperative.

Read H.R. 2704, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 3017

It might seem that the USA is moving beyond discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transexuals. Yet, it's still legal for people to be fired from their jobs for no other reason than that they aren't heterosexual.

H.R. 3017 would make it illegal to engage in discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation.

Read H.R. 3017 , then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 579

If passed, the School Building Enhancement Act would work through two already-established programs of energy efficiency: Energy Star for K-12 through the Environmental Protection Agency and EnergySmart Schools through the Department of Energy. H.R. 579 would provide grants and planning assistance for states to implement cost-saving environmental building designs, to deploy fleets of energy-efficient buses, and to maximize transportation alternatives for students, staff and parents to and from school. The bill is designed to simultaneously save educational institutions money and protect the environment.

Read H.R. 579, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 591

The Military Commissions Act is one of the worst laws to be passed by Congress during the Bush years. It revoked the ancient protection of the writ of habeas corpus, enabling arbitrary and indefinite imprisonment. The law ended the right to a fair and speedy trial, setting up a system of kangaroo courts that could operate under absurdly unjust standards. The law gave retroactive immunity to the President and his aides for war crimes. It created unconstitutional exceptions to the Geneva Conventions. It made hearsay and evidence obtained under coercive interrogation admissible.

Under President Barack Obama, the Military Commissions Act is still on the books. It is true that the prisons of Guantanamo Bay and other "black sites" run by the U.S. around the world will be closed... but the laws that enabled them remain in effect. As long as the Military Commissions Act remains on the books, any closure of prisons like those at Guantanamo will be purely voluntary... and wholly reversible.

The surest way to overcome this problem is not just to rely on the trustworthiness of the President of the United States, but to enact a law that specifically contradicts and counteracts the Military Commissions Act. U.S. Representative David Price has introduced legislation to do just that. Itís H.R. 591, the Interrogation and Detention Reform Act. It does away with the unconstitutional military tribunal system. It does away with torture interrogations. It repeals the repeal of habeas corpus and returns constitutional legal protections to the American justice system. Those members of Congress who support H.R. 591 show the most fidelity to their oath of office pledge that they defend the liberties inherent in the Constitution of the United States.

Read H.R. 591, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 626

Claims of common ground are often a sham, covering up the results of a lopsided negotiation in which one side gets the lionís share of the benefits. But H.R. 626, the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act, is one case in which the interests of Republican and Democratic constituencies truly meet. Republicans say that they support family values. Democrats say that they support workersí rights. Both of these are provided for with H.R. 626, which if passed would give federal employees four weeks of paid parental leave. Such benefits increase employee satsifaction and loyalty, cement family bonds and give children a healthy start in that critical first month of life.

Read H.R. 626, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 676

H.R. 676 is a bill that would NOT create a system of universal health care in the United States. Rather, it would expand an already functional system, Medicare, to cover every American. Nobody would have to invent an entirely new system, and so startup costs would be low. The moral benefit of health care for everybody would be great, but personal economic benefit would be considerable as well: no more bankruptcies and foreclosures caused by huge health care bills, no more delayed primary care leading to the accumulation of huge and expensive problems, no staying in dead-end jobs just to keep health care, no worries about exclusion due to pre-existing conditions. The best of the private system is retained: you choose your hospitals, you choose your doctors, and you don't need government responsibility to see them.

Read H.R. 676, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 790

Our oceans are in severe crisis, not just because of pollution, but also because of overfishing and climate change. It's irresponsible to ruin the marine resources of tomorrow in order to fill the gas tanks of today. On February 2, 2009, Representative Ed Markey remarked:

"Last year, as a result of opposition from the Bush Administration, the longstanding protections against drilling off the east and west coasts expired. As a result, the American people could now begin to see drill rigs as close as three miles to our beaches and in fragile ecosystems like Georges Bank. Allowing oil and gas drilling in Georges Bank would forever destroy this fragile ecosystem and our nationís most important fishery."

The Georges Bank Preservation Act, H.R. 790, would prevent oil companies from establishing offshore drilling operations on the Georges Bank, a very biologically productive area off the coast of New England. It would protect the fisheries of the Georges Bank rather than decimate them at a time when they are already threatened.

Read H.R. 790, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.


H.R. 981

The problem with cluster bombs is threefold:

1. When used, they are distributed in large numbers across terrain;
2. They have a high failure rate, leaving many unexploded bombs;
3. They are small and typically shiny, disproportionately attracting the hands of curious children.

Cluster bombs are designed to kill people, not to damage buildings or roads. Like land mines, they continue to kill people long after the battle in which they were used. It is typical for a large number of these smaller bombs to remain undetonated, waiting to explode, after their initial deployment.

The Federation of American Scientists' report on the matter makes clear the danger of cluster munitions: "40 percent of the duds on the ground are hazardous and for each encounter with an unexploded submunition there is a 13 percent probability of detonation. Thus, even though an unexploded submunition is run over, kicked, stepped on, or otherwise disturbed, and did not detonate, it is not safe. Handling the unexploded submunition may eventually result in arming and subsequent detonation." Cluster bombs kill civilians when they are used. Our government knows this, and yet our government continues to manufacture, use and sell cluster bombs to foreign countries. The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2009 forbids the United States government from spending money to use, sell or transfer cluster bombs unless the following requirements are met:
  • The cluster bombs are proven to have a 1 percent or lower rate of malfunction
  • The cluster bombs will not be used against anything but a clearly defined military target, in an area where there are no civilians and in places where civilians do not ordinarily live
  • A plan is submitted, with the costs included, for cleaning up all the undetonated explosives that come from cluster bombs, whether they are used by the US military, or by other countries to whom the United States has supplied the cluster bombs
There is a waiver in the law for the first requirement (for the malfunctioning rate of 1 percent or lower), in cases in which it is "vital" to use cluster bombs in order to protect the security of the United States. However, even in such cases, the President is required to submit a report to Congress which explains how civilians will be protected from the cluster bombs, and revealing the failure rate of the cluster bombs, as well as whether the cluster bombs are equipped with self-destruct functions. The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act is not perfect, but it is a big improvement over the deadly status quo.

Read H.R. 981, then call Rep. Tauscher at 707-428-7792 and ask her to support it by adding cosponsorship.
Regressive Action: a pattern of legislative behavior that erodes freedom, knowledge and security. When constitutional protections are disregarded, when discrimination under law is fostered, when the pursuit of knowledge is abandoned and science overruled, when wealth for a few matters more than prosperity for all, and when "Yeehaw" becomes the articulation of foreign policy, our nation is headed in a direction that is not only morally wrong but self-destructive.

Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher's Regressive Action Score: 0

A score of 0 means that Representative Tauscher, through voting or cosponsorship, has pushed forward 0% of a slate of regressive policies in the 111th Congress.

We are happy to report that Rep. Tauscher hasn't lent her support to any of the slate of legislation we have identified as regressive.
Catalog of Bill Sponsorship

The following are bills Ellen O. Tauscher has introduced for consideration by the House of Representatives:

H.R. 906

Title: To provide incentives for affordable housing.

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2009
8 cosponsors: 0.00% Republicans, 100.00% Democrats.
Ellen Tauscher is the principal sponsor of this bill.

H.R. 1052

Title: To mandate minimum periods of rest and recuperation for units and members of the regular and reserve components of the Armed Forces between deployments for Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

Latest Major Action: 4/27/2009
25 cosponsors: 8.00% Republicans, 92.00% Democrats.
Ellen Tauscher is the principal sponsor of this bill.

H.R. 1100

Title: To authorize the Commandant of the Coast Guard to issue regulations that require certain pilots on vessels operating in designated waters to carry and utilize a portable electronic device equipped for navigational purposes, and for other purposes.

Latest Major Action: 2/14/2009
2 cosponsors: 0.00% Republicans, 100.00% Democrats.
Ellen Tauscher is the principal sponsor of this bill.

H.R. 1283
notitle

Latest Major Action: 3/31/2009
139 cosponsors: 0.72% Republicans, 99.28% Democrats.
Ellen Tauscher is the principal sponsor of this bill.

H.R. 1571

Title: To amend title 49, United States Code, to permit certain revenues of private providers of public transportation by vanpool received from providing public transportation to be used for the purpose of acquiring rolling stock, and to permit certain expenditures of private vanpool contractors to be credited toward the local matching share of the costs of public transportation projects.

Latest Major Action: 3/18/2009
7 cosponsors: 57.14% Republicans, 42.86% Democrats.
Ellen Tauscher is the principal sponsor of this bill.

H.R. 1830

Title: To improve the organization and procedures of the Department of Defense for the acquisition of major weapon systems, and for other purposes.

Latest Major Action: 3/31/2009
1 cosponsors: 0.00% Republicans, 100.00% Democrats.
Ellen Tauscher is the principal sponsor of this bill.