Anna's Weekly Update
Weekly Report From Your Congresswoman
This week in Washington, D.C. has been a tumultuous one as the breaking news story developed and took shape regarding a whistleblower’s allegations that the President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds, our national security, and our Constitution.
The Speaker has called for a new impeachment inquiry to investigate every aspect of the President’s actions to use the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election, actions that pose grave risks to U.S. national security.
This new inquiry has my full support, as did the impeachment inquiry conducted by the House Judiciary Committee. Since this is a matter of national security, the House Intelligence Committee will lead on the whistleblower complaint.
I urge constituents to read the 9-page report of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community. It spells out in detail the whistleblower’s allegations and his investigation into the charges.
I’m also enclosing an unclassified read-out of the text of President Trump’s phone conversation on July 25, 2019, with the President of Ukraine. (Note: The White House put this out and I have no verification as to whether this is the complete text, etc.)
Also enclosed is a letter signed by 300 former national security and foreign policy officials voicing grave concern over Trump’s activity with Ukraine.
My oath of office is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and I will continue to do everything I can to live up to this sacred pledge.
Highlights of What I Did in Congress This Week
Legislative Hearing on Drug Pricing
Big news! As Chairwoman of the Health Subcommittee, I held the first hearing in the House on legislation to lower the price of Rx drugs by removing the ban on Medicare from negotiating directly with drug companies. (We already do this at the VA)
The Subcommittee considered H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. Here’s what the bill will do:
- Lowers drug prices and out-of-pocket costs for all Americans by allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate directly with drug companies. All reforms will apply to Medicare and ALL private insurance plans.
- Stops drug companies from charging Americans more for the same drugs that sell for less in other countries. The plan limits the maximum price for any negotiated drug by averaging the price paid in other developed countries.
- Limits out-of-pocket costs on prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. Today, seniors pay up to $5,100 in out-of-pocket costs and some pay more. Under this plan, every senior will have their out-of-pocket costs capped at $2,000. Period.
- Invests in innovation and research for new cures and treatments. The savings from lower drug prices will be invested in research for breakthrough treatments and cures at NIH. If the savings are great enough, improvements could include new Medicare coverage for vision, hearing, and dental, and improvements to benefits for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.
To read more about the legislation considered by the Subcommittee and to watch video footage of the hearing, click HERE.
Voted YES on The U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act
The conditions I witnessed in July of this year at our southern border were inhumane. Through my conversations with detainees and officials at the border, I learned that many do not have access to proper medical care. The U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening and Standards Act ensures appropriate medical safeguards for individuals under the control of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This legislation is for all the families I met that are being kept in cramped cages without access to showers, clean clothes, and medical screenings. This legislation will help them.
Legislation Anna Cosponsored this Week
The Younger Onset Alzheimer's Act
An estimated 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 are currently living with Alzheimer’s, and they face a unique set of challenges. The Younger Onset Alzheimer's Act allows individuals living with dementia under the age of 60 to access support and services from programs under the Older Americans Act (OAA), including nutritional services, supportive services, and respite care through the National Family Caregiver Support program.
The Safe from the Start Act of 2019
Women are particularly vulnerable during humanitarian crises, with 1 in 5 reporting they’ve experienced sexual violence. The Safe from the Start Act increases funding to the Safe from the Start initiative, a joint program between the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Safe from the Start is an effort to change the way the humanitarian community responds to gender based violence in humanitarian crises. The funding will expand the Safe from the Start initiative’s training and support, and also open greater opportunities for local organizations to play a role in protecting and empowering survivors.
Telephone Town Halls
Over the last two weeks I’ve held four evening Tele-Town Hall Meetings with constituents from communities in San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Counties.
Approximately 1,600 constituents participated in each meeting with wide-ranging questions on climate change, impeachment, immigration, health care, secure elections, and more. Constituents consistently tell me how valuable they think these meetings are and I draw so much from what my constituents say to me. My thanks to the over 6,000 people who participated in the calls. I will continue to conduct these calls on a consistent basis so I can talk with my constituents in every community 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. So far this year, over 93,500 constituents have contacted me, and this month, 9,700 constituents have weighed in. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments. This week, 3,069 constituents contacted our office, including:
- 950 constituents wrote to me in support of impeachment
- 225 constituents wrote to me about the Trump Administration’s attempts to rollback California’s clean air standards
- 12 constituents wrote to me in support of the CECIL Act
Anna’s Recommended Reading and Watching
Frequently, I read articles or see videos that I think my constituents would benefit from.
The Atlantic (9/25/2019) – “America Needs Whistle-Blowers Because of People Like This”
Allison Stanger details the vital importance of whistleblowers in our democracy, back to its very foundation. They serve a great duty to our country.