Weekly Update From Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo
The House concluded its session this week and will be in recess for the month of August. I will resume my E-Newsletter when the House reconvenes in September.
Highlights of Legislation the House Took up This Week
Passed H.R. 5385, the Dr. Benjy Frances Brooks Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Support Reauthorization Act of 2018
This week the House passed the reauthorization for the CHGME Program which is one of the most important federal investments in strengthening children’s health care in America. Every year I lead the effort in the House to see that it is fully funded. CHGME recipients are only one percent of all hospitals, but they 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.
Passed H.R. 2345, the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018
The National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018 will create a universal three-digit number for people in our country to dial if they need the help of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
I’ve long been a champion for mental health since my service on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. I’ve learned that when someone is struggling mentally, reaching out for help can be the hardest thing to do. This legislation will make access to critical support services as simple as possible. I know how much this bill will mean to my constituents and to the people who love them, and I’m proud it passed the House overwhelmingly.
Legislation Anna Introduced and Cosponsored this Week
Cosponsored H. Res. 1008, a Resolution affirming the United States’ Commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and condemning President Donald Trump’s failure to confront Vladimir Putin
Last week the President brought great shame to our country when he accepted the word of Mr. Putin, the former head of the KGB, over the findings of the entire U.S. intelligence community, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the FBI and the Justice Department that Russia attacked our democracy by blatant interference in our national election.
This week I joined colleagues on a Resolution condemning President Trump for his failure to fulfill his Constitutional duty to place the interests of the United States before all others, including those of the Russian Federation; expressing America’s unambiguous support for NATO; standing with the judgments of our intelligence community; and calling for the transfer to the United States of the 12 Russians indicted for interfering with the 2016 election.
Cosponsored H.R. 6435, the Election Vendor Security Act
The integrity of our election systems and their security are essential to our democracy and it’s why I cosponsored the Election Vendor Security Act which addresses the vulnerabilities in our election systems that can be exploited by foreign actors.
The legislation requires election vendors to be owned and controlled by a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. and disclose whether vendors are using foreign-made parts in their products and software. It also requires vendors to adhere to cybersecurity best practices as developed by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and requires them to report known or suspected cybersecurity threats to state authorities and EAC and DHS within 10 days.
Cosponsored H.R. 5038, Reserve Components Benefits Parity Act
In 2012 Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which gave the Department of Defense (DoD) the authority to call up National Guardsmen and Reservists for pre-planned missions. Since then, Guardsmen and Reservists have been mobilized in countries such as Egypt, Kosovo, and parts of Eastern Europe. However, under current law National Guard and Reserve troops do not receive early retirement eligibility or high-deployment allowance and pay, benefits otherwise extended to active duty members who are mobilized.
This legislation corrects these disparities by providing National Guard and Reserve members with access to these benefits. I think they’ve earned them.
Cosponsored H.R. 5439, to provide for a single point of contact at the Internal Revenue Service for the taxpayers who are victims of tax-related identity theft
This week I cosponsored legislation that will ease the experience of resolving tax-related identity theft for consumers with the IRS.
Today, too many victims of identity theft struggle to resolve their cases because they have to contact so many different offices in the IRS. This legislation will help victims of identity theft by instructing the Secretary of the Treasury to create a single point of contact at the IRS to assist victims to resolve their cases. I know this all too well because I personally experienced the theft of my Social Security number which was then used to file a fraudulent tax return in my name. Thankfully, this legislation passed the House and I’m doing everything I can to see that it becomes law.
Letters Anna Wrote and Cosigned this Week
Letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to Seek Trump’s Tax Returns through Investigation
This week I led 88 colleagues in writing to the IRS and the FEC demanding the agencies launch an investigation of President Donald Trump and the Trump Foundation, and obtain the President’s tax returns.
On June 14th New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a civil suit against President Trump for persistently misusing funds from the Trump Foundation to benefit himself and his businesses. The letter urges the IRS and FEC to follow-up on Attorney General Underwood’s recommendation to investigate the president and his Foundation. Due to Attorney General Underwood’s accusation of tax fraud, federal investigators would have the authority to obtain the president’s tax returns and make them publicly available for the first time. To read the full letter, CLICK HERE.
I spoke on the House Floor on July 26th about the missed opportunity in the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report (NDAA) to take strong action against the Chinese firm ZTE. In April 2018, the U.S. blocked ZTE’s access to U.S. suppliers, saying the company violated a 2017 sanctions settlement related to trading with Iran and North Korea and then lied about the violations. The Commerce Department also found that ZTE paid full bonuses to employees who engaged in illegal conduct, and then lied about it to U.S. authorities. In July 2018, the Trump Administration lifted the ban.
Instead of sending a strong message to ZTE, the NDAA Conference Committee stripped language from the Senate bill to ban ZTE from doing business with all U.S. firms, and replaced it with watered-down language that merely prohibits ZTE from doing business with the U.S. government. I find this outrageous.
It was wonderful to meet with students from our Congressional District who are attending the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Summer Advocacy Institute in Washington. They discussed immigration issues that matter most to them, as well as how to best address the significant challenges of separated families and reunification.
I’m very proud of the exceptional Interns in our D.C. office who spent their summer learning and doing the important daily work for my constituents. The Interns were tasked with putting together a policy proposal of their choice and this week they presented their findings to me. Each Intern is a star and a source of inspiration to me.
For more information on our internship opportunities, you can visit my website: http://eshoo.house.gov/constituent-services/student-internships/
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:
· 142 constituents wrote to me in support of the Help Extract Animals from Red Tape (HEART) Act which improves the care of abused animals.
· 112 constituents wrote to me in support of campaign finance reform.
· 69 constituents wrote to me to express their concern with climate change.
Anna’s Recommended Reading
I frequently read articles or see videos I think my constituents would benefit from.
Washington Post Op-Ed (7/20/18) “Trump is reviving the policies that once darkened the world”
This Op-Ed is a powerful one, invoking chilling references to World War II and how the President’s undermining of the international framework threatens what was put into place some 70 years ago.
New York Times Op-Ed (7/20/18) “Disgusted With Donald Trump? Do This”
This inspiring Op-Ed instructs all of us about what we must do.
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.