Anna's Weekly Update
Weekly Report From Your Congresswoman
The Intelligence, Oversight, and Judiciary Committees have been diligently carrying out their duties. To stay up to date, you can visit my website to view a timeline of the events and important documents related to the investigation.
Highlights of What I Did in Congress This Week
Energy and Commerce Committee Passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act
Big News! My Committee (Energy and Commerce) passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3). The bill will allow Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies, saving Americans billions of dollars in the cost of their prescription drugs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis found the bill will:
- Reduce drug prices by 40% to 55% on average;
- Save Medicare $345 billion over ten years;
- Save patients $158 billion by 2029 through lower premiums and out-of-pocket spending on drugs; and
- Lowers private insurance premiums due to lower prescription drug costs.
The package my Committee passed directs that all savings will be reinvested in Medicare with new benefits for seniors to provide vision, hearing, and dental coverage, and invest in research and development at the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.
During our markup, my amendment was added to H.R. 3. The original bill caps the out-of-pocket costs of seniors at $2,000. I heard from Medicare beneficiaries who take high-priced drugs that when they fill their first prescription at a pharmacy their co-payment must be paid in full. My change to the bill allows beneficiaries to have their payments be spread in monthly installments over a year.
H.R. 3 will now be voted on by the full House by October 30th. To watch my opening statement from the markup and to learn more about the bill, click HERE.
Legislative Hearing on the Youth Tobacco Epidemic
As Chairwoman of the Health Subcommittee, I held a hearing on legislation to address the youth tobacco epidemic in the U.S. For the first time in decades, youth tobacco use is rising significantly, and the consequences are deadly. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., and e-cigarette vaping among young people is threatening to ensnare an entire generation of young Americans in nicotine addiction. To combat the rise of tobacco use, my Subcommittee considered the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act, legislation that raises the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21 years and extends restrictions on tobacco marketing, sales, and flavors to e-cigarettes. To watch my opening statement from the hearing, click HERE.
Voted YES on The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act
Activists in Hong Kong continue to bravely protest mainland China’s disregard for their rights, despite the increase of persecution and violence perpetrated by authorities. The House stands with the people of Hong Kong who seek independence and freedom. I voted for legislation that requires the Department of State to provide an annual report on the status of Hong Kong. It also requires the Administration to list individuals responsible for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and human rights and impose sanctions on them. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of this legislation and the Senate should act quickly to pass it.
Legislation Anna Introduced and Cosponsored this Week
The Investing in Safety and Innovation Act
I introduced the Investing in Safety and Innovation Act of 2019 to invest over $5 billion in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support the development of new medical technologies and secure the safety of America’s drug supply. So much of American’s drug manufacturing has moved overseas, and the FDA needs more resources to protect Americans from tainted drugs. The funding will support the FDA’s core activities, including the following:
- Strengthen the FDA’s capacity for foreign and domestic inspections and enforcement;
- Establish a safety monitoring system across all medical products, including drugs, biological products, and medical devices;
- Modernize the FDA’s use of technology, including computer hardware, software, data, and analytics, to advance the FDA’s mission.
Thom Hartmann Show
This week I enjoyed speaking with Thom Hartmann about legislation to reduce the price of prescription drugs and my Subcommittee’s hearing on the youth tobacco epidemic. You can listen to the interview 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. So far this year, over 100,300 constituents have contacted me, and this month, 5,321 constituents have weighed in. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments. This week, 2,019 constituents contacted our office, including:
- 265 constituents wrote to me in support of the impeachment inquiry
- 221 constituents wrote to me in support of banning PFAS chemicals
- 212 constituents wrote to me in support of protesters in Hong Kong
Anna’s Recommended Reading and Watching
Frequently, I read articles or see videos that I think my constituents would benefit from.
The Washington Post (10/17/2019) – “Elijah Cummings, Baltimore congressman and civil rights leader, dies at 68”
Congress lost a great leader this week, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland. Take a moment to read about his life and his relentless commitment to making America a better country “for the generations unborn.”
Open Enrollment – Covered California – DEADLINE DECEMBER 15th for 2020 Coverage
Covered California’s open enrollment time has arrived! If you’re a Californian and do not receive health insurance through your employer, visit CoveredCA.com to sign up for health insurance by December 15th for coverage beginning January 1, 2020. This year almost a million people could receive additional financial help from Covered California which will lower the cost of their health insurance. To determine if you’re eligible and to learn more, click HERE.
Passport Day – Mountain View
The State Department is hosting a Passport Fair Day in Mountain View. This flyer provides details.
Santa Cruz United States Postal Service Job Openings
The USPS is hiring in Santa Cruz. This flyer provides details.
U.S. Census Job Openings
The U.S. Census Bureau has kicked off its recruiting efforts for the 2020 Census and they are hiring census takers. They have temporary supervisory, outreach, and recruiting positions available, the pay is competitive, and the work is critical to obtaining an accurate count for next year’s census. You can find more information on available positions HERE.
Opportunities for Students
Congressional App Challenge
Reminder: The deadline to participate in the Congressional App Challenge is November 1st. The Congressional App Challenge is open to all high school students who live in or are eligible to attend a public high school located in the 18th Congressional District. Students entering the competition must create a YouTube or VIMEO video explaining their app and what they learned through the competition process. Click HERE to learn more.
Student Advisory Board
Since 1993, high school students in our District have shared their ideas and policy proposals with me through the 18th Congressional District Student Advisory Board. Their reports have yielded incredibly important recommendations that I take back to Washington, D.C. If you are interested in participating on the Board, the deadline to apply is November 8th. To learn more about the SAB and to submit an application, click HERE.
CBYX Scholarship Opportunity
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program for American high school students is accepting applications. You can learn more about the scholarship by visiting www.USAGermanyScholarship.org.