Anna's Weekly Update
Highlights of What I Did in Congress This Week
Voted YES on a Resolution Allowing the House to Enforce Its Subpoenas in the Courts
I voted on a resolution to allow Congress to sue the Trump Administration for its refusal to cooperate with Congressional investigations. The extent of obstruction is unprecedented, and if the White House continues to ignore Congress’ authority to conduct oversight, we’re prepared to take them to court.
Began Consideration of Appropriations Bills
The House debated and voted on amendments to several important bills this week to fund the federal government for the upcoming fiscal year. Among many provisions, the bills:
- Provide a $2 billion increase in funding for life-saving NIH research; include over $450 million for HIV prevention, treatment, and outreach; and provide funding for gun violence research for the first time in more than 20 years;
- Provide funding for active-duty and reserve military personnel, including a military pay raise and funding for sexual assault prevention and response efforts; strengthens Congress’s oversight over the President by preventing him from dragging America into war with Iran; ending U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen; and blocking the President from using military funding to build a border wall;
- Make historic investments in early childhood initiatives; strengthen K-12 education, including Title I and Special Education; expand student assistance to attend college; and make strong investments in apprenticeships, workforce training, and other pathways to good-paying jobs;
- Robust funding for initiatives to modernize America’s electricity grid and defend our energy sector against cyber-attacks; and increase funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) initiatives, the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), and the Army Corps of Engineers; and
- Investments in urgently-needed humanitarian assistance for refugees, displaced peoples, and those recovering from international disasters; support anti-terrorism, nonproliferation, and peacekeeping initiatives; invest in global health and education initiatives; support women’s reproductive rights and family planning initiatives; and strengthen our commitments to the Green Climate Fund, Paris Agreement, and other environmental initiatives.
Legislation Anna Introduced and Cosponsored this Week
Cosponsored The Local and Independent Television Protection Act
Local TV stations are one of the most important sources of information for Americans, offering coverage of local news, weather, sports, and arts. Unfortunately, rising media consolidation threatens to place local TV stations across America under often politically motivated parent companies. The Local and Independent Television Protection Act closes an antiquated loophole that enables one company to own television broadcast companies that reach over half of viewers in one media market. The bill ensures local media has a diversity of viewpoints. In a democracy, there should be many voices to the many.
Cosponsored The Restore Honor to Service Members Act
Since World War II, more than 100,000 gay servicemembers have received less-than-honorable or dishonorable discharges from the military because of their sexual orientation, including those who were discharged under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The Restore Honor to Service Members Act will help service members discharged for no other reason than their sexual orientation to correct their military record to reflect their honorable service. The bill codifies the current Department of Defense policy as it pertains to service members discharged under “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to correct their records to reflect honorable service. Our servicemembers’ records should be judged on their merits, not their identity.
Policy Letters Anna Wrote and Cosigned This Week
Letter to Armed Services Committee on Iran
I led a bipartisan group of 55 Members of Congress urging Chairman Adam Smith and Ranking Member Mac Thornberry of the House Armed Services Committee to include language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prohibiting U.S. offensive military operations against Iran. Last month, the White House deployed 1,500 U.S. troops to the Middle East, the U.S. Embassy in Iraq was partially evacuated. Additionally, an aircraft carrier strike group, Air Force bombers, and Patriot missiles were deployed to the Persian Gulf. It was also reported last month that the White House considered military plans against Iran involving as many as 120,000 U.S. troops. My colleagues and I requested the Committee ensure the Trump administration’s escalation of tensions does not lead to military action against Iran without Congressional authorization. To read the letter, click HERE.
Legislative Hearing on Surprise Medical Billing
This week my Health Subcommittee held a legislative hearing to protect patients from surprise medical bills. Most working families worry about getting hit with a surprise medical bill that could wipe out their savings. A recent poll found 67% of Americans said they are worried about being able to afford their own or a family member’s unexpected medical bills. Hospitals, physicians, and health insurers all participate in a system that bankrupts many, and this hearing was an important step to put the finger pointing aside and pass bipartisan legislation that helps patients. To watch my opening statement, click HERE.
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. Year to date, over 56,500 constituents contacted me, and this month, 5,443 constituents contacted me. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments. This week, 3,163 constituents contacted our office, including:
- 894 constituents wrote to me with concerns about the Mueller Report and impeachment
- 191 constituents wrote to me about robocalls
- 113 constituents wrote to me about the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act
Anna’s Recommended Reading and Watching
Frequently, I read articles or see videos that I think my constituents would benefit from.
New York Times Op-ed (6/10/2019) – “Deepfakes Are Coming. We Can No Longer Believe What We See.”
Professor Regina Rini of York University in Toronto argues for the importance of knowing the origins of videos posted online. As fabricated videos becomes more common, viewers must be aware of who is producing the content they consume.