Anna's Weekly Report

July 29, 2022
E-Newsletter

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Weekly Report
July 29, 2022
 

Dear Friends,

This has been quite a week, with a welcome surprise and key legislative victories.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin reached an agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act, legislation to curb inflation, combat the climate crisis, and lower health care costs. The legislation is fully paid for by a corporate minimum tax and strengthened IRS enforcement, and there will be no new taxes on small businesses or households making under $400,000 a year.

The agreement will lower health care costs by finally allowing Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices, and health insurance costs will be reduced by an average of $800 a year for the 13 million Americans who are covered under the Affordable Care Act. Very importantly, the bill will also be the most substantial legislation to address climate change in the history of our country. It will reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030 by providing tax credits for clean energy projects and investments in affordable, American-produced renewable energy. This will lower energy costs and advance energy security. The legislation will also fight inflation by actually reducing our national debt by $300 billion.

So many constituents have written to me about addressing climate change, and I’m very excited about this bold plan.

The Senate will most likely vote on this bill next week and the House will follow.  

Major Votes in the House This Week

Assault Weapons Ban

  • The Elementary School in Uvalde
     
  • Tops Grocery in Buffalo
     
  • The Gilroy Garlic Festival
     
  • A music festival in Las Vegas
     
  • A bible study at a church in Charleston
  • Pulse Nightclub
     
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
     
  • A church service in Sutherland Springs Texas
     
  • Sandy Hook Elementary School

What all these mass tragedies have in common is that the weapon of choice was an assault rifle, a weapon designed for war. They are the most effective way to hunt humans and slaughter as many as possible as quickly as possible. They decimate victims and they have no place in civilian life.

One of the votes I’m proudest of was the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994. This week I voted to put it in place again. It was a terrible mistake for Congress to allow the ’94 ban to expire.

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CHIPS and Science Act

This week I voted for bipartisan, bicameral legislation that invests $52 billion to boost the domestic production of semiconductors (i.e., computer chips). As many readers know, Silicon Valley takes its name from the material used to make semiconductors, but today few semiconductors are made here or anywhere in the U.S.

Once a leader in chip manufacturing, the U.S. now makes only about 12 percent of semiconductors used worldwide. Since chips are used in cars, cellphones, appliances, medical devices, and more, disruptions in the semiconductor supply chain have impacted nearly every aspect of our economy. To make matters worse, our dependence on foreign countries for such an essential item poses a national security risk.

This legislation will restore American leadership and bring chip manufacturing back to the U.S. It also includes my legislation to ensure the manufacturing equipment and materials are made domestically. This investment will create good-paying jobs, improve the resiliency of the supply chain, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign manufacturers.

The CHIPS and Science Act also makes historic investments in domestic R&D, including both basic research and innovative technology, ensuring the future of tech is made and designed in America. It is the most significant legislation produced by the Science Committee in its history.

The bill passed with a vote of 243-187.

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Pictured: Rep. Eshoo attends the signing ceremony of the CHIPS and Science Act.

Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act

Climate change has made severe drought and catastrophic wildfires an alarming part of everyday life in California. We’re currently in another terrifying wildfire season with the Oak Fire, the largest fire in California so far this year, burning just outside Yosemite National Park. As we battle ongoing wildfires, the House voted this week to provide much-needed resources to combat and prevent wildfires and droughts:

The Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act is a comprehensive package of nearly 50 bills that invest in drought-resistant water systems, wildfire prevention, and a badly needed pay increase to approximately $20 per hour for our heroic firefighters.

The legislation also includes my bill to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to study the public health impacts of wildfire smoke and provide resources to local governments to mitigate the risks.

Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID–19 Act

The widespread adoption of telehealth during the pandemic has been a bright spot during a very dark time. Over 28 million Medicare beneficiaries used telehealth during the first year of the pandemic after the Department of Health and Human Services waived telehealth restrictions for traditional Medicare. I voted for bipartisan legislation this week to cut red tape so that seniors can continue receiving care from their doctor at home via video or phone through 2024. The bill passed with a vote of 416-12.

South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act

I voted for legislation to fund research on cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other heart-related ailments among at-risk populations, including the South Asian community. The bill passed with a vote of 237 – 192.

Legislation Anna Cosponsored

Housing Access Improvement Act

Rising housing costs in our community continue to force middle- and working-class residents to leave the area in search of affordable housing. This is unacceptable. That’s why I cosponsored legislation to expand the use of Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, which will help people afford homes and promote the construction of new affordable housing that our region urgently needs.

Covid-19

Everyone over six months old is eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19. If you or your children have not yet been vaccinated or received your booster, you can sign up immediately for a free appointment at your county’s website below. It’s very easy to do.

San Mateo County                 Santa Cruz County                Santa Clara County

Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a virus that spreads through close or intimate contact with symptoms that include a rash and fever. There have been 4,639 confirmed cases in the U.S, with 799 in California, and more than a third of our state’s cases in San Francisco.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced this week that the U.S. will make 786,000 additional monkeypox vaccine doses available to local health departments as soon as possible. The CDC and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommend that people aged 18 or older who have been exposed to monkeypox be given the vaccine to prevent them from developing the disease. The vaccine can also be given to those who do not have a known exposure but who’ve been present in settings where monkeypox cases have occurred.

Visit your county’s website below to learn how to get vaccinated.

San Mateo County          Santa Cruz County          Santa Clara County

Saratoga High School Students Return Home Safely

Late last week, panicked parents of Saratoga High School students called our Palo Alto office and informed us that a total of 114 students, parents, and teachers were stranded overseas due to a cancellation of their flights home. The group included mostly orchestra students who toured Europe, performing in historic concert halls. The airline initially told parents it could take weeks to get the students a new flight home. My office immediately contacted the airline, the State Department, the U.S. Embassy, and the group’s tour director. We were ultimately able to arrange a charter flight by Lufthansa to fly the entire group home. As a mother, I understood the parents’ worries and we were all enormously relieved when the students landed safely at SFO on Monday afternoon. A story with a happy ending!

I share this story with you because it highlights our daily work for constituents. Whether it’s expediting passport applications or assisting Americans with emergencies abroad, you can always contact my Palo Alto office at (650) 323-2984 or through my website here for assistance. Bravo to my staff who worked through the nights to keep everyone informed and the ‘ball moving.’

Telephone Town Hall

Our next Telephone Town Hall Meeting will be on Tuesday, August 2nd and we’ll be joined by Dr. Grace Lee, Pediatrician at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Chair of the CDC's Committee on Immunization Practices. You can sign up to join HERE.

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 201,103 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, 2,096 constituents contacted me about issues including:

  • 194 messages in support of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022
     
  • 132 messages in support of the Big Cat Public Safety Act
     
  • 119 messages in support of protecting the wild salmon population of Snake River in Eastern Washington

Anna’s Work in the News

Recommended Reading

Helpful Hints – Gas and Groceries

Gas prices have consistently been falling for more than a month, but costs are still high. As Congress works to pass legislation to reduce inflation, I’m sharing this website with you to locate the cheapest gas stations near you: Fueleconomy.gov

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s smartphone app can help you find savings on healthy food and prepare budget-friendly meals. Download the app here: Shop Simple with MyPlate App

# # #

** When I return home from Washington this weekend, August will begin. It’s the month that the House of Representatives is in recess, and hopefully a time with family and needed downtime. I plan to hold Telephone Town Hall Meetings and attend community events, but because the House will be recessed, I won’t be sending my e-newsletter during August.

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.

Sincerely, 
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Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress