Anna's Weekly Report
June 10, 2022
Two weeks ago we lost nineteen little angels and two beloved educators in Uvalde, Texas. It was one of the largest mass shootings in our country, bringing the greatest sorrow to parents who had to bury their child. We are all left reeling from this senseless violence that’s taking place in our country.
The CDC recently released data showing that guns are now the leading cause of death among children. There have been over 200 mass shootings in 2022, and the Uvalde tragedy is the worst mass shooting at an elementary school since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.
The Uvalde and Buffalo tragedies cannot become part of the cycle of inaction we’ve seen after every other shooting. This week the House took steps to ensure this time is different.
I voted for and the House passed the Protecting Our Kids Act, which will make an enormous difference to address gun violence by:
- Raising the purchasing age for certain semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 years old;
- Criminalizing gun trafficking, or the transfer of a firearm from a legal gun owner to someone who is not licensed, and straw purchases, which occur when an individual purchases a firearm on behalf of someone else;
- Closing the ghost gun loophole (ghost guns are firearms that lack serial numbers and are therefore untraceable);
- Strengthening safe storage requirements to protect children from accidental shootings; and
- Outlawing bump stocks and high-capacity magazines for civilian use, as these only make mass shootings more deadly.
|Rep. Eshoo delivers speech on the House floor in favor of commonsense gun safety legislation.|
You can watch my floor speech urging my colleagues to vote for the Protecting Our Kids Act here.
Very importantly, we also passed the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, legislation that would establish a national Red Flag law to prevent those who pose a threat to themselves or others from being able to legally possess a firearm.
Last week, I held a Virtual Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Mike Thompson, Chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in the House of Representatives, and Rudy Espinoza, community advocate and spokesperson for Moms Demand Action, to discuss the bills that the House was going to vote on. We were joined by over 300 constituents for an hour-long discussion. You can watch the recording here.
This week I also voted for a resolution condemning the atrocity that occurred in Buffalo in which 10 Americans were shot and killed and 3 were injured. The White supremacist who perpetrated the attack drove more than 200 miles to seek out a predominantly Black community to carry out this racist, violent mass shooting. He was radicalized by the Great Replacement Theory, a conspiracy theory that perpetuates the racist, xenophobic, nativist, Islamophobic, and antisemitic falsehood that immigrants are being brought into the United States to ‘replace’ White people. The resolution condemns this theory and those who espouse it, including Members of Congress and media outlets who legitimize this idea.
January 6th Committee Public Hearings
This week the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol held its first public hearing in a nationally televised primetime event to share the Committee’s findings. They presented chilling evidence that January 6th was a calculated, violent attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power by subverting our democracy. Included was previously unseen video footage that showed the carnage deliberately inflicted on the tabernacle of our democracy.
|(Warning: violence / language) Video compilation from January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol|
You can watch the full hearing here.
Major Votes in the House This Week
FDA User Fees
I was excited to see the House pass my bipartisan legislation to allow the FDA to collect user fees to fulfill its vital mission of ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of America’s drugs and medical devices. The package includes key portions of my DEPICT Act, which would require clinical trials to include diverse populations so that all Americans can be confident that the treatments being developed work for patients, regardless of backgrounds. We will now work with the Senate to pass the legislation and get it to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
Student Advisory Board Presentations
The 2021-22 Student Advisory Board (SAB) for the 18th Congressional District presented their final presentations last week at a public meeting. I established the Student Advisory Board for high school students in our Congressional District in 1993 because I thought it was essential to engage students in public policy and that they have a voice in the representation of their congressional district. This year, a record number of 184 high school students from throughout our District served on the Board and offered policy recommendations on climate change and public health.
|Pictured: Student Advisory Board on Climate Change delivers final presentation.|
Through 19 Subcommittees, each dedicated to addressing a different part of global climate change and public health, students gave a thorough analysis of how Congress should address these issues. The presentation was superb and highly instructive for all attendees. Bravo to our committed high school students for their excellent work. We can all learn and be inspired by their vision of a brighter future and how to achieve it.
Atherton Library Opening
Last weekend I attended the grand opening of the magnificent Atherton Town Library, the centerpiece of the new civic center project in Atherton. The library features a large and welcoming front porch under a majestic oak tree; a quiet reading room; a makerspace and digital lab with 3D printers; a high-performance laser cutter; GoPro camera kits; a deck for makers to find inspiration outdoors; laptops; WiFi hotspots for checkout; computers and printers; multiple meeting rooms including the renovated Historic Town Hall; and a café to enjoy fresh coffee and pastries.
|Pictured: (left) Rep. Eshoo attends Atherton Town Library Grand Opening. (right) Rep. Eshoo pictured with constituent Debora Ferrand, owner of Mademoiselle Colette Café.|
Summer travel season is in full swing and the demand for new passports remains strong. Be sure to check your passport to make sure it hasn’t expired or is not expiring within 6 months to a year of any future trips.
The U.S. Passport Agency urges all applicants to apply early and make sure a fully completed application is submitted to avoid unnecessary delays. Currently, routine processing takes between 8 to 11 weeks from the day the passport agency receives your passport application, or 5 to 7 weeks from the date of receipt for expedited processing if you’ve paid an extra $60. You can also pay extra for faster delivery once the passport is produced.
If you’re traveling within two weeks, in-person appointments at the passport agencies may be available but are very limited.
If you need to apply for a visa to the country you are visiting, you must apply early and allow for extra time given the large demand for appointments.
You can find more information on the Department of State website here: U.S. Passports (State.gov)
Happy Pride Month!
53 years ago, the LGBTQ community stood up to police violence and anti-LGBTQ laws after the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The protests that followed became a rallying cry for the nascent LGBTQ rights movement. This Pride month we honor the courageous protesters such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera who paved the way for more than half a century of progress. Let’s celebrate how far we've come and recommit to continuing our work for full equality.
In the Words of My Constituents
Every week hundreds of constituents call and write to me to express their concerns, share their passions, and ask questions regarding legislation and policies. Over 185,567 constituents have contacted me since the beginning of the 117th Congress in January 2021. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments from me. This week, 2,186 constituents contacted me about issues including:
- 368 messages in support of comprehensive gun safety legislation
- 148 message in support of Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act
- 76 messages in support of increasing federal protections for LGBTQ+ youth
Anna’s Work in the News
- Congress members hold virtual town hall for gun violence – CBS News
- House Passes FDA Package Reauthorizing Drug, Device User Fees—Bloomberg Law
- The Mass Shootings Where Stricter Gun Laws Might Have Made a Difference – New York Times
- As a doctor, I have to watch children die. There is no disease more brutal, or preventable, than gun violence -- SF Chronicle
- The President has two words to save the world: solar power—Wall Street Journal
# # #
I close with this thought. Always know how deeply grateful I am for the trust you’ve placed in me to represent you. I work daily to live up to it.
Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress