Anna’s Weekly Update
June 21st, 2019
Highlights of What I Did in Congress This Week
The House passed the first spending package this week which makes important investments in health care, education, energy, national security, and humanitarian aid. I offered two amendments to the package that were adopted by the full House, including one that increases funding for the pancreatic cancer research program in our country.
We also debated and voted on amendments on a second spending package this week to fund additional agencies of the federal government for the upcoming fiscal year. It provides resources to address the opioid epidemic; prevents gun violence through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System; fully funds food assistance programs for low-income households; protects clean air, clean water, public lands, and national parks; delivers medical care for veterans including mental health services, opioid abuse recovery services, and suicide prevention; funds affordable housing and homelessness programs; and helps rebuild our nation’s infrastructure.
Legislation Anna Introduced and Cosponsored this Week
Cosponsored The Vietnam Veterans Liver Fluke Cancer Study Act
During the Vietnam War, many U.S. servicemembers were exposed to liver flukes, parasites common to Southeast Asia that are contracted from consuming raw undercooked fish. These parasitic infections have been linked to bile duct cancer, an aggressive disease that attacks the gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver. The Vietnam Veterans Liver Fluke Cancer Study Act requires the Department of Veteran Affairs, in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control to conduct a study of liver flukes among veterans to determine the prevalence of these infections and how they impact veterans’ health. This study will help pave the way for veterans to receive the benefits they deserve if they’ve faced adverse health effects after serving our country.
Cosponsored The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act
Accessible childcare is essential to families across the country, but for too many it is unaffordable. To address the rising cost of childcare, the Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act significantly expands the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program and guarantees childcare assistance on a sliding scale for families earning up to 150 percent of the median income in their state. This will more than double the number of families who will be able to pay for childcare. The bill also increases access to preschool programs, improves childcare for children with disabilities, and improves training, development, and compensation for childcare workers.
Cosponsored The Land Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act
The Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is one of the most successful environmental undertakings that Congress created. It funds conservation projects, outdoor recreation, and the preservation of national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges. California has been the biggest benefactor of the fund, receiving over $2 billion since 1965. Today, the program is funded at $900 million per year through gas drilling royalties, however, Congress has routinely diverted these funds to other priorities. The Land Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act permanently funds the LWCF at $900 million annually without the need for annual appropriations. This ensures that the fund will be available for its intended purpose.
This week my Health Subcommittee held a hearing to examine Medicaid funding for U.S. citizens who reside in U.S. territories, including American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The hearing addressed the long-standing inequities in Medicaid funding and examined solutions to provide dependable health care to the nearly four million Americans living in the territories. 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. So far this year, over 58,749 constituents have contacted me, and 10,448 constituents have contacted me so far in June. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments. This week, 2,032 constituents contacted our office, including:
- 228 constituent messages in support of the Omar-Jayapal Amendment to H.R. 2740 which funds clean energy projects.
- 157 constituent messages in support of the Huffman Amendment to H.R. 2740 which protects the Pebble Mine in Alaska.
- 109 constituent messages in support of robust funding for the EPA and NOAA.
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 (6/17/2019) – “We Must Prepare for the Next Pandemic”
Mr. Bruce Schneier of the Harvard Kennedy School draws attention to the issue of battling the next pandemic on two fronts: the disease itself and misinformation regarding it. In the era of fake news, the repercussions of misinformation about pandemics could be disastrous.