Anna's Weekly Update
Highlights of What I Did in Congress This Week
The House Committee I serve on (Energy and Commerce) held its first full legislative markup this week, writing and passing 14 important bills. 12 originated in the Health Subcommittee which I chair. Six bills lower the price of prescription drugs and six reduce health insurance costs for families across America. We also passed the Save the Internet Act to restore net neutrality protections in a simple, but powerful, three-page bill. It wrests control from ISPs and restores the internet as an open platform for content, speech, and information. The final bill we wrote and passed, the Climate Action Now Act, ensures the United States honors its commitments contained in the 2015 Paris Agreement by requiring the President to develop and communicate a plan to meet our pollution reduction targets. Under the agreement, the United States cannot withdraw until November of 2020. Despite the President’s plans to renege on our support of the agreement, this bill will hold him accountable to the goals agreed to by the signatories of 195 countries. The 14 bills now advance to the full House to be voted on.
Voted YES on the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization
This week the House reauthorized the highly effective Violence Against Women Act, an update of the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 which focused the resources, time, and energy of federal, state, and local law enforcement on the task of preventing and stopping domestic abuse. It also provides victims of violence with critical services and assistance, and safeguards and further builds upon these life-saving protections for women throughout California and across the country. The bipartisan bill:
- Improves the services available for victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking;
- Expands the housing protections and financial assistance available for victims and survivors;
- Improves protections for Native women, including the reaffirmation of tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking;
- Expands firearms laws to prohibit persons convicted of dating violence, misdemeanor stalking, or subject to protective orders from possessing firearms; and,
- Invests in tools and resources for law enforcement and evidence-based prevention programs that make communities safer.
The Senate will now take up this legislation to protect the millions of victims and survivors who need critical legal resources, housing, and health care.
Voted YES on a resolution condemning the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine the health care of the American people
Last week, President Trump launched a monstrous attack on our nation’s health care system and the people of our country by announcing that the Department of Justice would support a lawsuit to strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. By joining this lawsuit, the Administration demonstrated they do not believe Americans should have access to comprehensive, affordable health insurance or that the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions should be protected.
The House passed a resolution condemning the lawsuit and the Administration’s recent actions to abolish every provision of the ACA. It calls on the Department of Justice to protect every American with pre-existing conditions, cease their efforts to destroy access to affordable health care, and reverse its position in the court case.
Legislation Anna Introduced and Cosponsored this Week
Introduced The Clean Energy Production Parity Act
The threat of climate change demands action from Congress to incentivize clean energy and innovation. While certain energy efficient technologies receive tax credits, our system neglects more recent innovations in the energy sector.
This week I introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Clean Energy Production Parity Act to extend a commonsense tax credit for the next generation of fuel cell technology, known as linear generators, to promote energy efficiency and reduce harmful emissions. Traditional fuel cells already receive this tax credit, and this legislation will provide parity to linear generators to promote robust competition among energy efficient technologies.
Introduced The Legacies of War Recognition and Unexploded Ordnance Removal Act
One of the most enduring, yet least known legacies of the Vietnam War are unexploded ordinances (UXO) from the nine-year bombing campaign in Southeast Asia that continue to endanger the daily lives of innocent civilians. Between 1964 and 1973, more than 2 million tons of bombs were dropped on Laos alone, but approximately 30 percent of the bombs did not explode. Less than one percent of the estimated 80 million leftover bombs in Laos have been cleared, and the remaining weapons have resulted in over 20,000 casualties since the war ended in 1975.
The Legacies of War Recognition and Unexploded Ordnance Removal Act authorizes new federal funding for UXO clearance in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia from fiscal years 2020-2024. This legislation provides stable funding to clear dangerous explosives spread across Southeast Asia, and it also recognizes the bravery and service of the Hmong, Khmer, Laotian, and Montagnards who fought with and defended the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War.
Cosponsored The Electric CARS Act
Automobiles are a major cause of global warming. Collectively, cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all U.S. emissions, emitting approximately 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases for every gallon of gas. In total, the U.S. transportation sector which includes cars, trucks, planes, trains, ships, and freight, produces nearly thirty percent of all U.S. global warming emissions, more than almost any other sector.
The Electric CARS Act extends the electric vehicle tax credit for 10 years, encouraging the use of energy efficient transportation. Electric vehicles are playing a critical role in our efforts to combat climate change by reducing fossil fuel consumption, and Congress should implement tax credits to ensure the industry is commercially viable. Our Congressional District is home to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of performance electric motor vehicles, and I continue to be an unswerving supporter of legislation that will cut down our emissions through innovative technology.
It was an honor to host Mrs. Anna Hakobyan, acclaimed journalist and spouse of Armenia’s Prime Minister, at a reception in the U.S. Capitol to discuss the Velvet Revolution and the power of peaceful protest to advance democracy. As a proud member of the House Armenian Caucus, I’m committed to enhancing the bond between the U.S. and Armenia.
A Joint Session of Congress met this week and welcomed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. His inspiring remarks highlighted the critical importance of the most consequential military alliance established post-WWII that has successfully kept the peace in Europe since its inception 70 years ago, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
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 legislation and policies. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments. This week, 1,740 constituents contacted our office, including:
- 154 constituents writing in support of the full Mueller report being released to the public
- 123 constituents writing in opposition to the use of glyphosate pesticides
- 85 constituents writing in support of robust funding for the ARPA-E program
Anna’s Recommended Reading and Watching
Frequently, I read articles or see videos that I think my constituents would benefit from.
NBC News (4/3/2019) – “House Democrats formally request Trump's tax returns”
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal filed a formal request with the Treasury Department for the President’s tax returns. Since 2016, the President has refused to release this vital information to the American people, breaking a tradition that dates back to the Watergate era. Last month, the House passed legislation I introduced that requires the president, vice president, and candidates for those offices to make their tax returns public.