Weekly Update From Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo
Congress Returns to D.C. After the 4th of July Recess
Highlights of Legislation the House Took up This Week
H.R. 2259, Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Enhancement Act
I’m very proud to be the mother of a former Peace Corps volunteer, and I know firsthand how hard they work to represent our country and its values around the world. That’s why I’m so pleased that the House passed the Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Enhancement Act which raises pay for Peace Corps volunteers, makes much-needed improvements to their health care, and provides critical services to volunteers who are victims of sexual assault. The Peace Corps is an essential component of America's engagement with nations around the globe and it’s needed now more than ever. I cosponsored this legislation which gives Peace Corps volunteers the support they deserve (and I can’t wait to tell my son about it!)
Legislation Anna Introduced and Cosponsored this Week
Cosponsored H. Res. 982, Resolution Requesting Documents from HHS on Children Separated from their Families
I cosponsored a Resolution this week requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide Congress with copies of all documents related to the health and welfare of children separated from their families under the Trump Administration’s Zero-Tolerance policy.
When the President announced his Zero-Tolerance policy that has separated nearly 3,000 children from their families, HHS was thrust into the middle of implementing this disastrous policy. Now the agency must address the fallout of this crisis by reuniting these families, and while HHS was not responsible for the separations, the agency must be held accountable to reunite them promptly.
At the Energy and Commerce Committee ‘markup’ of several bills this week, I spoke about the importance of this Resolution.
Cosponsored H.R. 1615, the Get Foreign Money out of U.S. Elections Act
When the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending on elections in the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, it created a massive foreign money loophole in our country’s campaign finance system. Although current law bars individual foreign nationals from personally contributing to federal campaigns, foreign political spending can still take place via American-registered corporations that are foreign-owned or influenced.
I’ve cosponsored the Get Foreign Money out of U.S. Elections Act that closes this loophole and bans campaign contributions from corporations that are influenced or owned by foreign nationals. It also prohibits political action committees (PACs) from making campaign contributions using funds managed by foreign nationals.
Letters Anna Wrote and Cosigned this Week
Letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Well Control Rule
Less than a decade ago our country experienced the worst environmental disaster in its history when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank, leading to millions of barrels of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico and polluting our shores. This led the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) to adopt several recommendations, including the Well Control Rule, to improve the safety of our offshore operations. Unfortunately, the Interior Department recently announced a proposal that weakens these safety measures.
I joined colleagues this week in writing to Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke to express our opposition to this new proposal. It’s critical that the standards put in place by the BSEE in 2016 remain fully intact to ensure our coastal communities are protected. To read the full letter, CLICK HERE.
This week the Energy and Commerce Committee held a ‘markup’ on 14 bills related to health care, consumer protection and the environment.
I’m proud that several pieces of legislation I’m a cosponsor of were passed by the Committee and the following are some that did:
1. H.R. 5385, Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Program Support Reauthorization Act: The CHGME Program is one of the most important federal investments in strengthening children’s health care in America and every year I lead the effort in the House to request appropriators fund it. CHGME recipients, only one percent of all hospitals, train 49 percent of all pediatric residents in the U.S., including 45 percent of general pediatric residents and 51 percent of pediatric specialty fellows.
Children’s hospitals play a vital role in caring for kids and they require a pediatric workforce that supports the ever growing needs of communities. In our District, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital directly benefits from this program which provides funding for 72 residents and more than 150 fellows.
2. H.R. 3994, the ACCESS Broadband Act: This bill casts a broad net to help connect our nation’s citizens to high-speed broadband services.
In 2018, too many Americans still lack access to the broadband connections necessary to participate fully in daily life. Our government plays a vital role in helping to bridge that digital divide. H.R. 3994 creates an office to coordinate, track, and streamline federal funding for projects to expand broadband access, improving efficient and speedy deployment to the places in our country still waiting to catch up to the rest of the population.
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 a wide range of legislation and policies. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response from me regarding their specific questions and comments.
Here’s a snapshot of the issues constituents wrote and called me about this week:
· 137 constituents wrote to me in opposition to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice.
· 109 constituents wrote to me in opposition to efforts to undermine the Endangered Species Act.
· 103 constituents wrote to me to in opposition to the separation of families at the U.S. border.
Anna in the News
Anna’s work is written about in the news.
Palo Alto Weekly (7/13/18) “Immigrant detention centers 'a stain on America'”
“Americans who are watching with concern and dismay the slow train wreck of our national politics due to high levels of intolerance and incivility got scant solace from Washington this month.
“Widespread outrage about separation of immigrant asylum-seeking families combined with confusion and misinformation out of Washington — including lies — has created a climate of public suspicion, anger and depression that reaches virtually into every community.
“Congresswoman Anna Eshoo even asked in an official letter whether any detention centers are planned for her 18th Congressional district, covering the Midpeninsula and western Santa Clara County.
“And she joined a delegation of about two dozen Democratic members of Congress who made a fact-seeking whirlwind tour of two new detention centers for undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers at the end of June.”
Anna’s Recommended Reading
I frequently read articles or see videos I think my constituents would benefit from.
New York Times Editorial (7/9/18) “There’s So Much You Don’t Know About Brett Kavanaugh”
This week President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. This Editorial casts light on how Judge Kavanaugh was nominated.
New York Times (7/10/18) “Brett Kavanaugh on the Issues: Abortion, Guns, Climate and More”
This instructive piece from the New York Times explains some of the notable issues and cases Judge Brett Kavanaugh has addressed.
You can find more press releases, commentary and information on issues at my website, eshoo.house.gov. And please visit Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more ways to stay informed.