Anna’s Weekly Update
Weekly Update From Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo
Highlights of What I Did in Congress This Week
This week the House passed a resolution which calls for Special Counsel Mueller’s report to be made available to the public and Congress. The American people deserve to know the findings of the Special Counsel’s investigation and make their own judgments about what occurred during the 2016 election—and it’s why I voted for it.
Legislation Anna Introduced and Cosponsored this Week
Cosponsored The Equality Act
It’s hard to believe that 29 states still allow discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation, and 30 states allow these forms of discrimination based on gender identity. Recent national surveys of the LGBTQ community show 42% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, and 78% of transgender people have experienced discrimination or harassment on the job because of who they are.
This week I cosponsored the Equality Act to ensure that all LGBTQ Americans are guaranteed the most basic human rights no matter where they live, work, or attend school. The legislation amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other existing laws to ensure that LGBT individuals are afforded the same protections against discrimination as every other American. There is nothing “special” about the protections created by the Equality Act. The bill simply embodies the longstanding American principle that individuals should be judged on their merits, not their identity.
Cosponsored The Dream and Promise Act
In 2017, the Trump Administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, removing protections for 800,000 Dreamers, including 200,000 Californians. The Administration has also undermined the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) humanitarian programs that provide sanctuary to refugees fleeing violence and persecution. The men and women who take part in these programs are as American as any of us. Many have driver’s licenses and work permits, pay taxes, pusue higher education, serve in our armed forces, contribute their talents to our nation, and love this country. But because of our broken immigration system and the Trump Administration’s aggressive anti-immigrant policies, they face the ongoing threat of deportation.
I cosponsored the Dream and Promise Act to provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and individuals with TPS and DED. Dreamers who entered the U.S. under the age of 18 and who were continuously present in the U.S. for 4 years prior to the date of the bill’s enactment will be eligible for citizenship. The bill also provides a pathway for individuals with TPS and DED and who have lived in the U.S. for at least three years. Immigrants would not be allowed to gain citizenship if they have been convicted of serious crimes or have repeatedly broken the law. The Dream and Promise Act gives hardworking people the chance they deserve to earn citizenship.
Cosponsored The MAR-A-LAGO Act
I cosponsored the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act which mandates the publication of visitor logs at the White House and other personal properties where President Trump conducts business. This policy was established by President Obama, but President Trump ended it when he took office. The public has the right to know who meets with the President, and whether the meetings take place at the White House or any of the properties he owns.
Cosponsored Jaime’s Law
One of the first victims identified during the shooting tragedy at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg. In the wake of their daughter’s death, Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg called out for gun safety legislation, including background checks to purchase ammunition because today, once a criminal obtains a firearm, there is nothing to stop them from repeatedly buying ammunition to operate that firearm.
This week I cosponsored Jaime’s Law which imposes background checks for all ammunition sales, with certain exceptions such as transfers between relatives. This universal approach to ammunition background checks is largely similar to the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which I’m so proud to have voted for when it passed the House two weeks ago.
Cosponsored The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act
Student loans account for $1.5 trillion of all consumer debt. This is the highest amount of consumer debt outside of a mortgage, with the average student borrower carrying nearly $30,000 in education debt upon graduation.
This week I cosponsored the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act which allows students with high interest rates in both public and private markets to refinance their loans at a more affordable 3.76%—a rate that is equal to the 2016-17 interest rate for Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Every American should have the opportunity to pursue higher education and the economic opportunities that come with a college degree. My goal is to achieve interest free student loans.
As Chairwoman of the House Health Subcommittee, I held the first legislative hearing of the 116th Congress on bills that will lower prescription drug prices. We considered seven bills to address barriers to drug market competition, the practice of brand manufacturer payoffs, and drug patent transparency. This hearing is the first of many to bring down prices for patients.
Telephone Town Halls
This week I held two evening Tele-Town Hall Meetings with constituents from communities in San Jose, Campbell, Los Altos, Monte Sereno, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Santa Clara County and answered the excellent questions of constituents on a variety of issues.
Approximately 1,900 constituents participated in each meeting and the questions ranged from climate change, to immigration, health care, and government transparency. My constituents consistently tell me how valuable they think these meetings are, and I consistently draw so much from what my constituents say. My thanks to the over 3,800 people who participated in the calls. I will continue to call into every community in our Congressional District so stay tuned for future Tele-Town Halls. You can sign up for future Tele-Town Halls HERE.
In the Words of My Constituents
Every week hundreds of my constituents call and write to me to express their concerns, share their passions, and ask questions regarding legislation and policies. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments. This week, 2,478 constituents contacted our office, including:
- 342 constituents writing in support of the For the People Act
- 269 constituents writing in opposition to robocalls
- 209 constituents writing in support of net neutrality and the Save the Internet Act
Anna’s Recommended Reading and Watching
Frequently, I read articles or see videos that I think my constituents would benefit from.
The New York Times Op-Ed (3/11/2019) - “If Stalin Had a Smartphone”
This op-ed from David Brooks addresses modern technology’s potential to be abused by authoritarians. Let me know what you think.
The New York Times (3/14/2019) - “Sandy Hook Massacre: Remington and Other Gun Companies Lose Major Ruling Over Liability”
The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in favor of the families affected by the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School. The families can now sue the companies that manufactured and sold the semiautomatic rifle used in the tragic attack.