Anna's Weekly Update
Highlights of What Congress Did This Week
Voted NO on Motion to go to Conference on the GOP Tax Plan
Now that the Senate has passed its version of a tax plan, House Republicans voted on a measure this week to send the GOP Tax Plan to conference. This means that the legislation will now have to be ‘conferenced,’ meaning House and Senate members must meet to reconcile the differences between their respective bills, come up with one bill that must be passed by each chamber, and then send it to the President for his signature.
Both bills are assaults on the middle class that I believe will do lasting damage to our country. Every day we learn more about the consequences of this tax scam that will raise taxes on millions of middle class families, hand tax cuts to the top 1% of Americans and multinational companies, and explode the deficit. A new analysis by the Tax Policy Center found that the bill passed by the Senate raises taxes on 82 million middle class families.
The Majority’s goal is to put a bill on the President’s desk before Christmas. I will continue fighting with every fiber of my being to stop this, unfair, unbalanced, and fiscally irresponsible effort that hurts the middle class, damages higher education and places debt on future generations. As more details emerge, I will continue to share them with constituents.
Voted NO on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017
This year we’ve witnessed the largest mass shooting in our country’s history, and the largest mass shooting in a place of worship. I’ve called for more than just thoughts and prayers. I’ve called for sensible gun legislation. Instead, Republicans in the House passed a bill this week that will put more guns into the hands of more people in every state in one fell swoop than ever before.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 creates a huge and dangerous threat to public safety by forcing all states to honor concealed carry permits issued by other states. While some states have very strong concealed carry laws and standards, other states have very weak standards for issuing concealed carry permits. This legislation would give the weakest state laws the furthest reach.
For example, a person denied a permit in his or her home state due to a criminal conviction, could simply get a concealed carry permit from a state with weak or non-existent requirements for obtaining a permit, allowing them to carry a concealed weapon in their home state. This is essentially a free-for-all bill for anyone to carry a concealed weapon anywhere.
Voted NO on House Impeachment Resolution
This week Representative Al Green (D-TX) introduced a Resolution to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump. I voted to ‘table’ (a parliamentary procedure) the Resolution. I did so because the Resolution itself did not put forward impeachable offenses. Rather, it enumerated offensive words and actions that certainly violate my sensibilities, but do not constitute ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ as is stated in the U.S. Constitution.
I believe there is a strong case to be made that the President obstructed justice, and I look forward to Special Counsel Mueller completing his criminal investigation which I believe will become the basis for impeachment of the President.
I encourage my constituents to read the Resolution, as I did.
Legislation Anna Co-Sponsored This Week
H.R. 4518, the Bear Ears National Monument Expansion
President Trump sharply reduced the size of two national monuments in Utah on Monday by two million acres, the largest rollback of federal land protection in our nation’s history.
The Administration shrank Bears Ears National Monument, a sprawling region of red rock canyons, by 85 percent, and cut another monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante, to about half its current size. This decision by the President is a travesty in my view and has already been challenged by local conservation groups and Indian tribes in court.
I’m proud to be a cosponsor of the Bears Ears National Monument Expansion Act, which prevents the President by law from changing the boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument. The Monument was designated by President Obama in December of 2016 and is home to over 100,000 archeological sites. This legislation would change the boundaries of the national monument back to the ones designated by President Obama.
Policy Letters Anna Wrote and Cosigned This Week
Letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Opposing his Plan to Gut Net Neutrality
I wrote to FCC Chairman Pai strongly opposing his proposal to gut Net Neutrality protections which will smother the free, open Internet and create a closed gatekeeper regime that will stifle innovation, harm consumers, and suppress free speech. Several House colleagues joined me in this effort.
In 2015 the FCC adopted fair and balanced net neutrality rules to ensure all content and information on the Internet is treated equally by your Internet Service Provider. That means no blocking websites or content; no fast lanes for businesses that can afford to pay more to beat out competitors; and no control over what you can and cannot to see on the Internet. Chairman Pai wants to undo all of that by completely eliminating net neutrality protections and allowing providers like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and Charter to decide the future of the Internet.
Organizations from A-Z continue to oppose Chairman Pai’s proposal and support the current rules. That list includes over 1,200 startups, 200 online companies, over a dozen state Attorneys General, over sixty Mayors across the country, 52 civil and human rights organizations, 120,000 libraries, 41 small Internet providers, more than 900 online video creators, and the tens of millions of Americans who continue to weigh in every day.
My letter urges Chairman Pai to remove his proposal from the agenda of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) December Open Meeting, and to abandon his ongoing attempts to repeal the judicially approved 2015 Open Internet rules.
Letter to House Leadership to Address Outstanding National Priorities by the End of the Year
Very few legislative days remain in the fiscal year and Congress is no closer to addressing a number of outstanding legislative priorities or agreeing to a long-term budget for our country. From reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to finding a legislative fix to protect DREAMers, much work remains to be done.
This week I joined several House colleagues in sending a letter to Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell, calling on them to work with Democrats to get these national priorities resolved in the remaining legislative days we have this year in Congress. We also asked Leadership to keep the government open before funding runs out on December 8th.
We must reauthorize CHIP and Community Health Centers, reform and fully fund our flood insurance and disaster relief programs, pass a comprehensive spending bill that supports our service members and veterans, and continue funding for Cost Sharing Subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Inaction puts our nation’s security at risk, hurts our veterans, and harms families and children.
Millions of Americans have voiced their support for a free and open Internet, but FCC Chairman Pai is determined to unravel the critical net neutrality protections that spur innovation on the Internet.
I had the honor this week of also joining U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and former FCC General Counsel Jon Sallet in a press conference call regarding FCC Chairman Pai’s proposal to scrap net neutrality, urging him to drop his proposal.
ANNA IN THE NEWS
Frequently, Anna’s legislation is written about in the news. Here are some excerpts from this week’s ‘Anna in the News’
San Jose Mercury News- “Net neutrality protesters gather at Verizon stores nationwide”
“The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote next week to repeal regulations established in 2015 under then-President Barack Obama. Those rules prohibit internet providers from establishing fast and slow lanes online, and from favoring certain types of content over others. Net neutrality means treating all online content equally.
“Rep. Anna Eshoo, who represents part of Silicon Valley, in an interview earlier this week pointed out that there has been bipartisan support for net neutrality in Congress throughout the years.
“Pai’s plan “removes bright-line rules based on bipartisan principles that have been embraced by Republican and Democratic FCC chairmen over the last two decades,” she said.”
“Tom Wheeler, the Federal Communications Commission chairman under President Obama, wasn’t coy in expressing his feelings about his replacement’s “abomination” of a plan to gut the open internet rules he put in place two-and-a-half years ago.
“This is the culmination of a grand plan which started back in 2013,” Wheeler said Wednesday during a press conference with Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-California, and former FCC General Counsel Jonathan Sallet.”
In My Constituents’ Words
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.
Here are some of the issues constituents wrote and called me about this week and this month:
- 961 constitutions wrote to me to express their support for net neutrality.
- 758 constituents wrote to me in opposition of the GOP Tax Plan.
- 580 constituents wrote to me in opposition of the President shrinking the national monuments in Utah.
Anna’s Recommended Reading
Frequently, I read articles or see videos that I think my constituents would benefit from.
New York Times- “The F.C.C. Wants to Let Telecoms Cash In on the Internet”
The New York Times published a great editorial this week that gives a dark preview of what the Internet will look like without net neutrality protections. They describe a scenario where the Internet would simply be a latter-day version of cable TV in which the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can decide what customers watch and how much they pay for that content.
Washington Post- “How to move the tax bill from worse to bad”
In this editorial, the Washington Post focuses on the conference process in the House and the Senate on the GOP tax bill, outlining what is needed to come to a “less-bad” agreement, including reinstating the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and urging Republicans to drop all of the provisions in each bill that would negatively affect universities and their students.
This editorial describes the dangerous legislation that passed the House this week that would undercut the right of states to determine what qualifications a person must meet before being allowed to carry a concealed firearm. This legislation will put guns into the hands of more people who shouldn’t have them in every state in our nation.