Anna’s Weekly Update
September 13th, 2019
Weekly Report From Your Congresswoman
Congress reconvened on September 9th after the August in-District work period. It was a jam-packed month for me with two Town Hall Meetings, hosting the Speaker of the House at NASA Ames, a tour and briefing at SLAC with a Congressional Delegation, and countless meetings with constituents from across our District. My thanks to those who met with me to discuss the issues that are most important to you.
Telephone Town Hall Meeting Invitation
On Wednesday, September 18th and Thursday, September 19th I’ll be holding Community Telephone Town Hall Meetings for residents of the 18th Congressional District at 6:45 p.m. PDT. I’ll be talking directly to constituents and answering their questions. You can also tune in via live webstream to listen in and submit your questions. I look forward to your probing questions and hope you will participate.
Highlights of What I Did in Congress This Week
Together with Rep. Adam Schiff, we authored an Op-Ed which was published in the Washington Post (9/10/19) this week about China’s monopoly of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), a key component of prescription drugs. The United States’ dependence on China for ingredients in almost every antibiotic, blood pressure medication, and generic drug poses a grave national security threat. With heightened tensions related to several issues, including the trade war, China could use its leverage by raising prices, causing shortages, or placing a chokehold on our drug supply. Rep. Schiff and I announced that we will hold joint hearings with the Intelligence Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee to address the issue. You can read our Op-Ed and watch this NBC Nightly News report to learn more about our country’s dangerous dependence on China for drugs.
Voted YES on The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act
The House passed my bipartisan legislation, the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act, which increases energy efficiency at government data centers. The legislation directs federal agencies to harness best practices and energy-saving technologies to reduce energy use within the federal government’s information technology. The U.S. government operates over 2,000 data centers to store everything from Social Security tax records to e-books at the Library of Congress, and the Department of Energy estimates that their energy usage could be slashed in half simply by implementing best practices and existing technologies.
Voted YES on The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act
The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act blocks new offshore drilling along the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines. The bill is a direct rejection of President Trump’s vow to open new leasing in vulnerable American waters which his administration has pursued despite offshore drilling’s poor safety track record and risks to coastal economies from another Deepwater Horizon-type spill. For over forty years I’ve opposed drilling off the California coast, understanding the risks of drilling and knowing we have to move to a new energy future for our country. We simply cannot drill our way to energy independence.
Legislative Hearing on Maternal Mortality Rate
The Health Subcommittee I chair held a legislative hearing on four bills to lower America’s high maternal mortality rate. Shockingly, each year about 700 American women die and 50,000 women are severely injured due to complications related to childbirth. This is unacceptable. A high maternal death rate is a direct reflection of how society values women. As the first Chairwoman of the Health Subcommittee, I’m determined to reverse this trend by shaping a health system that better cares for women. The Subcommittee considered bipartisan legislation to ensure women receive high quality care and coverage before, during, and after their pregnancy. To watch my opening statement and to learn more about the legislation, click HERE.
Legislation Anna Cosponsored this Week
The Act for the Amazon Act
Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research has recorded roughly 40,000 forest fires this year alone in the Amazon Rain Forest, a 77 percent increase from 2018. The Act for the Amazon Act puts strategic initiatives in place to pressure President Bolsonaro of Brazil to act on an aggressive plan to fight the Amazon wildfires and reduce deforestation by farming and mining industries. The bill:
- Bans targeted imports from Brazil, including beef, soybeans, and other commodities contributing to deforestation;
- Freezes military and security assistance to Brazil; and
- Prohibits the Trump administration from negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with Brazil.
The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act
Nearly 1 in 5 American adults live with a mental-health condition, nearly half of those afflicted report having an unmet need for services, and tragically, the suicide rate continues to increase in the U.S. I’m cosponsoring the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, which establishes a three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This number could be used by those experiencing a mental-health emergency to immediately receive help (This number is not yet operational. The Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 today.).
It was an honor to join the Cal Alumni Club of Washington, D.C. to honor my colleague and good friend, Rep. Doris Matsui, as Alumna of the Year. Her service to Sacramento and California is nothing short of remarkable!
FYI – Passport Day
Are you in need of renewing your passport or applying for the first time? The San Francisco Passport Agency is holding a Passport Day on September 21st from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Details are below:
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 87,750 constituents have contacted me, and this month, 3,955 constituents have weighed in. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments. This week, 2,114 constituents contacted our office, including:
- 187 constituents wrote to me with concerns about robocalls
- 143 constituents wrote to me with concerns about oil drilling in the Arctic
- 127 constituents wrote to me in support of the Reducing Waste in National Parks Act
Constituents also express their concerns in person. Last week, a petition in support of the Medicare for All Act of 2019 was hand-delivered to my Palo Alto office with 1,108 signatures.
Anna’s Recommended Reading and Watching
Frequently, I read articles or see videos that I think my constituents would benefit from.
Vox (6/21/2019) – “We read 9 Democratic plans for expanding health care. Here’s how they work.”
Many constituents ask me about Medicare for All. There are several proposed health care plans introduced in Congress, and this article does a fantastic job of summarizing their key differences and similarities. It’s an easy read and highly informative.