Anna's Weekly Update

June 28, 2019

Weekly Report From Your Congresswoman

Town Hall Meeting Invitation

On Saturday, June 29th I will be hosting a Community Town Hall Meeting  at the San Jose City Hall from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. The Town Hall Meeting is open to constituents of the 18th Congressional District on a first-come, first-served basis, and doors will open at 1:30 p.m.

Who:    Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18)

What:   Town Hall Meeting

When:  Saturday 29 June 2019

Time:    2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Where:  San Jose City Hall, Council Chambers

200 East Santa Clara Street

San Jose

RSVP:   Tell us if you can attend by completing this RSVP.

Highlights of What I Did in Congress This Week 

Voted YES on Legislation Making Emergency Supplemental Appropriations

The lives of innocent refugee children are at stake on our southern border. The Trump Administration’s draconian immigration policies have caused a humanitarian crisis. The House passed comprehensive legislation to protect the security, welfare, and health of refugee children. Regrettably, the Senate passed their own legislation which lacks important requirements to create standards for families held in detention. It also fails to include limits on how long children can be held in emergency shelters that lack basic standards of care.

At the end of the day, the legislation we passed provides $4.6 billion in emergency spending and requires facilities that house children to comply with state-based licensure requirements and minimum standards of humane care, oversight, and transparency. I’m disappointed the final bill did not include the stronger provisions of the House bill, but I voted for it because protecting the children has to come first. Without action, federal agencies would have run out of money to care for the refugees in a matter of days, and the suffering at the border would only worsen.

Voted YES on The Securing America’s Federal Elections Act

The Intelligence Community reported to Congress in January 2017 that Russia conducted sweeping manipulations during the presidential campaign in 2016, and that they will continue to do so. According to the Department of Homeland Security, electoral systems in 21 states faced attempted hacking in the 2016 election. To address this issue, the House passed the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act to provide more funding to protect the integrity of state election systems, require paper ballots, and secure voting systems against foreign attacks. This is a ‘must do’ to secure our election systems before the 2020 elections.

Hearing on Reauthorizing Vital Health Programs

The Health Subcommittee I chair held a legislative hearing to consider four bills to reauthorize critical public health programs that support and improve the health and wellbeing of children, adults, and caregivers.

  • Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act – Gives parents the peace of mind that their newborn will receive comprehensive diagnostic screening no matter where they are born in our country. Because of these screenings, each year over 12,000 babies live healthier, longer lives because they receive lifesaving treatments faster.

  • Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act – Reauthorizes the only federal program dedicated to improving emergency medical care for children.

  • Autism CARES Act – Expands efforts to conduct research and provide services to people who are autistic, with an important focus on addressing racial disparities. Black and Latino children with autism tend to be diagnosed later than white children, they’re often misdiagnosed, they have less access to services, and they’re underrepresented in most autism research. This five-year reauthorization addresses these disparities as well as other challenges relative to autism research, education, and detection.

  • Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act – Supports family members who provide full-time care to their aging or disabled loved ones (mostly women).

Legislation Anna Cosponsored this Week

Cosponsored The Redistricting Reform Act

Gerrymandering is the act of drawing Congressional Districts to favor one party over the other. This week the Supreme Court ruled that partisan gerrymandering is a “political question,” meaning it cannot be decided by federal courts. This means maps designed to benefit one party over the other can no longer be challenged in federal court. The Court made clear that it is up to Congress to address this undemocratic practice. I’m proud to cosponsor the Redistricting Reform Act to require all states to create an independent redistricting commission to draw Congressional Districts. Each state commission would be bipartisan and courts would provide oversight to ensure fair districting. Rep. Zoe Lofgren and I have introduced similar legislation for the past seven Congresses to establish nonpartisan commissioners to end gerrymandering. If the Supreme Court will not act to protect our elections, then Congress must.

Cosponsored The Northern Triangle and Border Stabilization Act

The unprecedented influx of refugees from the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) at our border has led to a humanitarian crisis. To resolve the root causes of the issue, I’ve cosponsored the Northern Triangle and Border Stabilization Act. The bill establishes a regional strategy to address violence, corruption, and poverty in Northern Triangle countries and improves the asylum process by hiring more immigration judges, medical professionals, and child welfare specialists.

Cosponsored The Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act

The history of American women is one of strength, diversity, and persistence. Telling their story matters and our country should recognize their many achievements which were hard earned. The Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act provides funding to establish an American Women’s History Museum in our nation’s capital. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Create a Council of 25 members to make recommendations regarding the planning, design, and construction of a museum; advise on Museum administration, operations, maintenance, and preservation; acquire and manage artifacts and collections; and manage programming, education, exhibits, and research.

  • Authorize a Museum Director to collaborate with schools and carry out education and liaison programs to support the goals of the Museum.

  • Allow the Board of Regents to designate a site for the Museum and include the consideration of two sites on the National Mall.


Cosponsored The Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Award Act

Hundreds of thousands of women joined the work force during World War II. Without their grit and patriotism, America could not have accomplished our victory over the Axis powers. The bipartisan Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Award Act would grant a Congressional Gold Medal to the American women who joined the workforce or volunteered during World War II in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the nation and the war effort.

Letters Anna Wrote and Cosigned

Letter to the FDA requesting a briefing on opioids

Together with a bipartisan group of Members, we requested that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Norman E. Sharpless, M.D. produce briefings on two key agency actions related to the opioid epidemic. We’re seeking information on the Agency’s management of safeguards against high-risk patients being prescribed certain types of fentanyl products made by Insys Therapeutics and other companies. Researchers have found that the safeguards in place did little to prevent inappropriate prescribing practices. We also want to better understand the Agency’s decision in 2001 that expanded the label for Purdue Pharma’s Oxycontin to cover chronic, long-term pain. To read the full letter, click HERE.

Weekly Highlights

Testimony Before Ways and Means

We all know that last year’s tax legislation affected our ability to deduct our state and local taxes (SALT) on our 2018 tax returns. That’s why I testified at the Ways and Means Committee to voice my objection to the 2017 Republican tax law’s capping of the SALT deduction at $10,000 annually. This arbitrary cap has hammered middle class families and put people in my District at a financial disadvantage. I urged the Committee to take up H.R. 188, the SALT Deductibility Act, which permanently repeals the cap on the SALT deduction and makes the repeal retroactive for the 2018 tax year.  To watch my full testimony, click HERE.

Meeting with the Laotian Ambassador to the United States

It was an honor to meet with the new Laotian Ambassador to the U.S., Khamphan Anlavan. We discussed the funding I fought to secure for demining the explosives which remain from the Vietnam War in Southeast Asia. The funding will save Laotian lives and secure sustained cleanup efforts.

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. So far this year, over 62,516 constituents have contacted me, and this month, 14,206 have. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments. This week, 2,292 constituents contacted our office, including:

  • 422 constituents wrote to me with concerns about asylum seekers at the border

  • 252 constituents wrote to me with concerns about the ongoing situation with Iran

  • 282 constituents wrote to me in support of the Omar-Jayapal amendment that would fund green energy projects

Anna’s Recommended Reading and Watching

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

San Jose Mercury News Op-ed (6/25/2019)A San Jose WWII hero has much to teach the world

This piece tells the inspiring story of a longtime San Jose resident, Lt. Ogden. He served during World War II and his story is about the power of courage and resilience. I think you’ll enjoy my longtime friend, Les Francis’, retelling of his story as much as I did.