Anna's Weekly Update

April 12, 2019

Highlights of What I Did in Congress This Week

Voted YES on The Save the Internet Act

The House voted this week to pass the Save the Internet Act to restore bipartisan net neutrality protections for consumers and small businesses. The legislation reverses the Trump Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) disastrous repeal of critical net neutrality protections in late 2017.  Since the FCC’s decision to end net neutrality, control of the Internet has been taken from the American people and handed over to Internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, empowering them to generate new profits by restricting access.

The Save the Internet Act is a simple, but powerful three-page bill that wrests control from ISPs and restores the internet as an open platform for content, speech, and information. The Internet is one of the greatest communications networks in human history and an American invention. It’s our responsibility to protect it as a force to drive innovation, expand our economy, and promote free speech in our democracy. Watch my floor speech on the Save the Internet Act HERE

Voted YES on The Local Water Protection Act

Water pollution comes in many forms, but the leading cause of water contamination is nonpoint source pollution which is derived from many sources. Nonpoint source includes everything from agricultural and stormwater runoff to debris blown into waterways from land. Since this type of pollution has no single identifiable source, it can be difficult to regulate and combat.

To address nonpoint source pollution, the House voted to pass the Local Water Protection Act to reauthorize and increase voluntary grant funds for local and state governments to implement conservation improvements and decrease water pollution caused by snowmelt and storm runoff. The legislation secures $200 million in federal funding per year to provide technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, technology transfer, demonstration projects, and monitoring of specific nonpoint source implementation projects.

Legislation Anna Introduced and Cosponsored this Week

Introduced The 9-1-1 Fee Integrity Act

State and local governments charge citizens 9-1-1 fees on their phone bills to support emergency services, but some states divert this revenue to other government projects unrelated to improving public safety. In 2017, nearly $285 million in 9-1-1 fees collected by states were diverted for non-9-1-1 purposes, taking away valuable resources from already strapped public safety budgets.

The bipartisan 9-1-1 Fee Integrity Act directs the Federal Communications Commission to crack down on this practice to ensure taxpayer dollars collected for emergency services are actually invested in emergency services.

Cosponsored The DISCLOSE Act

Dark money has unprecedented influence in our elections, with unnamed sources spending hundreds of millions of dollars during the 2018 midterm election alone. Groups that don’t fully disclose their donors spent more money than groups that disclose the true source of their funding — $539 million vs. $537 million. The impact of this spending cannot be overstated. Secretive political groups have run free for decades without oversight, warping the public’s perception of candidates and their policies.

The Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act increases transparency and guards against foreign interference in elections by requiring the disclosure of dark money spending. The legislation requires organizations to disclose all of their federal campaign expenditures to their members or shareholders and report expenditures of over $10,000 to the FEC. This will guard against hidden foreign interference in our democracy and ensure the American public is aware of who is trying to sway their judgement. 

Cosponsored The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act

The situation at our border is a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of children separated from their families and asylum seekers being held in makeshift jail cells. While the Administration continues to push their medieval fantasy of a border wall, real humans are suffering the consequences of cruel and unjust treatment. Our immigration system is broken, and among the issues plaguing the situation at the border is the lack of substantial guidelines for immigrant detention.

The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act reforms current immigration detention practices by eliminating the profit motive for detaining immigrants and establishing alternative procedures at the border to avoid the mass incarceration of immigrants. The reform also provides much needed oversight of the over 200 immigration detention centers across the country and grants adequate resources to ensure immigrants are treated humanely and fairly.

Weekly Highlights

Big thanks to the students of Redwood Middle School and Sacred Heart Middle School for visiting me in Washington this week. I’m always inspired by the intelligence and passion of the young leaders in our Congressional District!

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, 1,856 constituents contacted our office, including:

  • 173 constituents writing in support of the Violence Against Women Act

  • 140 constituents writing in opposition to the Administration’s proposed changes to Medicare’s Six Protected Classes

  • 93 constituents writing in support of the Bird-Safe Buildings Act

Anna’s Recommended Reading and Watching

Frequently, I read articles or see videos that I think my constituents would benefit from. 

NYT Op-ed (4/9/2019) – “Trump Mocks Climate Change. That’s a Key to Defeating Him.

Thomas Friedman makes a strong case for advancing actionable environmental policies at the state and local level to combat climate change. He notes that California's S.B. 100 is an excellent model for other states to follow.

NYT Op-ed (4/9/2019) – “The Scary Shortage of Infectious-Disease Doctors

This op-ed by Dr. Matt McCarthy, an infectious diseases specialist, discusses the dearth of doctors in his field. It is an important reminder of the complex system of incentives in health care, and the need for ample resources dedicated to research and health professionals’ education.