Anna's Weekly Report
October 14, 2022
I want to begin with an important update for parents: The FDA just authorized the bivalent Covid-19 booster for children ages 5 years and older. This booster targets the highly contagious Omicron variant of Covid-19, as well as the original strain of Covid-19.
For those 5 years and older, if you received a Covid booster at least two months ago, you are eligible for this new booster. For those who experienced a Covid-19 infection, if it was at least three months ago, you are eligible for the new bivalent booster. You can sign up immediately for a free appointment at your county’s website below, and it’s very easy to do.
Flu season is upon us! The flu and Covid-19 vaccines are safe to receive together, and most vaccination centers will have both available. Learn where you can get your flu vaccine here: www.vaccines.gov/find-vaccines
Increase in Social Security Benefits
It was announced this week that Social Security beneficiaries will see an 8.7% increase in monthly payments, beginning January 2023, the largest increase in four decades. Social Security provides an unbroken promise of financial security to millions of Americans, including over 100,000 constituents in my Congressional District. This increase in benefits along with historic new provisions to lower seniors’ prescription drug costs will significantly protect older Americans from rising costs.
Thank You America Day
I attended Thank You to America Day hosted by the Immigrant Resettlement and Cultural Center (IRCC) and the Vietnamese Community at the Viet Museum in San Jose. The event is an annual celebration of freedom when the Vietnamese community demonstrate their gratitude to their adopted nation. I was proud to present an American flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of American Vietnamese communities across the country. It was a moving event and a powerful reminder of how much stronger and better America is because of those who chose America.
Farewell to SOFIA
Last month, NASA retired the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), the world’s largest and most sensitive airborne observatory. For the past eight years this converted jet and its 106-inch diameter telescope have allowed astronomers to study the solar system from a viewpoint not possible with telescopes on the ground, including star birth and death, black holes, the formation of new solar systems, and complex molecules in space. The data collected by SOFIA will be used by scientists to continue exploring the solar system for years to come.
While the conclusion of SOFIA’s mission is bittersweet, it’s important to recognize the superb work of our brilliant scientists at NASA Ames who managed the project, which I did at a farewell event this week. I’ve been an unswerving supporter of SOFIA, working with multiple Administrations to ensure the project was not prematurely canceled before the end of its mission, and I’m proud of the discoveries that resulted from this mission.
Honoring Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
This week I celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and presented the Board with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition and a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol. For the past half century, Midpen has worked tirelessly to acquire and preserve over 65,000 acres of open space across 26 preserves with 250 miles of trails. These lands include diverse landscapes such as bay wetlands, coastal grasslands, majestic redwoods, and the summit of Mount Umunhum.
The District was the vision of the incomparable Nonette Hanko and a small group of local residents. They launched a campaign in 1972 to create a special district to preserve the foothills from development. Their vision was summed up in the name of their successful ballot measure which was approved overwhelmingly by voters in 1972: the “Room to Breathe Initiative.” All of us engaged in the important work of conserving our region’s natural spaces stand on the shoulders of these visionary leaders and those who have followed.
Chamber San Mateo County Leadership Program
I joined the 2022-23 Class of the Chamber San Mateo County Leadership Program for a conversation about Congress as part of their Government Day. This 10-month long leadership program consists of weekly sessions with a group of about 40 participants of all ages who learn about government and leadership through discussions with experts. The group asked excellent questions about my work in Washington and it was exciting to meet with leaders from the private, public, non-profit and safety communities.
Legislation Anna Introduced This Week
Identifying Propaganda on Our Airwaves Act
Russian propaganda is flooding our airwaves and mostly goes undetected by radio listeners. In July, the D.C. Circuit struck down a portion of an FCC rule that required clearer foreign sponsorship disclosures for radio broadcasters, claiming that the FCC did not have such authority. This was a disastrous decision. The rule required that broadcasters simply check two federal sources to verify an ad sponsor’s identity, a rule implemented at my urging.
I introduced legislation this week that unambiguously grants the FCC the authority to require broadcasters to conduct reasonable diligence to identify foreign agents and their shell companies so Americans will know who is funding the information on our public airwaves. And if it’s a foreign government funding propaganda, they should be informed.
January 6th Committee
This week the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol voted unanimously to subpoena the former president for testimony. Chairman Bennie Thompson said:
"We have left no doubt—none—that Donald Trump led an effort to upend American democracy that directly resulted in the violence of Jan. 6…He is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on January 6th. So we want to hear from him."
The Committee also shared previously unseen footage of Congressional leaders from both parties who had been taken to a secret and secure location on January 6th, actively working to address the violence, which the former president refused to do. You can watch a recording of the hearing HERE.
You’re Invited! Medicare Virtual Town Hall
Next Wednesday, October 19th at 1:30 p.m. I will host a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Medicare with special guest Casey Schwarz, Senior Counsel with the Medicare Rights Center. It’s important for my constituents to understand the new benefits Congress has put in place for Medicare beneficiaries.
The event will be held live on Zoom, and I ask that you register and submit your questions for us ahead of the meeting 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 110,160 constituents have contacted me this year. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments from me. This week, 1,694 constituents contacted me about issues including:
- 84 messages in support of the protests against repression in Iran
- 59 messages in support of establishing lasting protections for DACA recipients
- 51 messages in support of the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act of 2022
- A winter pandemic wave is looming. Get the booster.—Washington Post
- Why Anthony Fauci is the greatest public servant I have known—Washington Post
# # #
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