Dear Friends and Neighbors
Happy 4th of July, I hope this newsletter finds you well. From the positive Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, to the launch of the Anti-Bullying Caucus, it was a busy and productive two weeks. As always, I have been working hard to protect the interests of you and your family.
Significant Events This Week
On June 25th, I released a statement commending the Supreme Court for striking down a majority of Arizona's immigration law in Arizona vs. The United States. However, I am disappointed that the Court upheld the law's notorious 'show-me-your-papers' provision. This provision can easily be abused, and subjects legal American citizens, minorities, and immigrants to unlawful racial profiling. It may also have the effect of pushing families, workers, and senior citizens into the criminal justice system. The Supreme Court's ruling is an urgent reminder of the need for Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform, which secures our borders and maintains America's heritage as a welcoming land of opportunity for persons of every race and nationality.
On June 26th, I met with representatives from the Pancreatic Action Network to discuss The Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act and cancer research funding. I am a cosponsor of H.R. 733, Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act.
On June 27th, I introduced the "Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act" as a companion to Senate bill S. 3321. The legislation will create a National Responsible Father Registry, which gives unwed fathers the chance to register and be notified of court proceedings involving the child. I will also relieve birth mothers of the burden of notifying birth fathers. California is not one of the 34 states that currently have father registries. The national registry will link together current registries and allow fathers in the remaining 16 states to participate.
On June 28th, I spoke with the Congressional Progressive Caucus on the steps of the Supreme Court to commend the Justices for their upholding of the Affordable Care Act. This Act has put Americans and their families, not health insurance companies, back in charge of their health care. It protects women and minorities from discrimination in health care, and will expand health care coverage to millions of Americans.
Congresswoman Laura Richardson speaking in front of the Supreme Court with other Members of Congress.
On June 28th, I spoke at the launch of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus. Bullying has become an epidemic of violence, that over 50 percent of Americans have reported being a victim of- either in their workplace, home, or community. The Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus will aim to combat bullying of all kinds- from the playground to elderly care facilities. I am proud to be a charter Member.
On June 28th, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4251, the Securing Maritime Activities through Risk-based Targeting for Port Security Act. This legislation included two bills that I sponsored to strengthen port security. The first, the Port Security Equipment Improvement Act (H.R. 5802), enables Port Security Grant Program recipients to have the flexibility to determine whether it is more cost-effective to use grant funds to replace or maintain security equipment. The second, the Port Security Boots on the Ground Act (H.R. 5803), amends existing law to permit grant recipients to use the funds to defray the cost of maintaining needed security personnel to safeguard the nation's ports.
On June 28th, the House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. in contempt of Congress. I walked out of this vote in protest, along with 107 of my Democratic colleagues. This peaceful objection was led by the Congressional Black Caucus, of which I am proudly a member, and was a joint effort with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
On June 26th, I met with Representatives from the Cable and Telecommunications Association to discuss the pilot program they have introduced to provide high speed internet to school children in the district.
Congresswoman Laura Richardson met with the Cable and Telecommunications Association.
As always, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve you and California's 37th District. I commit to continue working to meet your needs and improve the lives of all of our families.
My warmest regards to you and your family,
Member of Congress (CA-37)
Last week ago I was proud to announce that the House Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2013 considered by the full House last week substantially funds nine of my major legislative priorities in the areas of transportation and housing and urban development. I believe this funding will make a real difference in boosting the economy and improving the lives of vulnerable communities, including indigenous populations, veterans, and American seniors. For a full list of the funding requests that were approved and included in the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill, click here.
I urge military service members in my district to visit VA for Vets. This organization facilitates the reintegration, retention and hiring of Veteran employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). They offer career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members. I encourage those veterans looking for work to visit the website where over 24,000 jobs are available for veterans in the private and public sector.
Last week I was proud to announce that $155 Million of Homeland Security Grants were awarded to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, and to State Agencies. The funds will be used to protect our ports and keep police, firefighters, and first responders on the job so they can keep our communities safe.
Saturday I spoke about the challenges and opportunities our nation's health care sector faces in the years ahead at the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Convention in Long Beach. AAPI is a premier ethnic medical association in the United States, whose mission is to promote and protect the interests of its members through programs and initiatives in advocacy, industry leadership, professional development, membership benefits and community involvement.
Congresswoman Laura Richardson speaks at the launch of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus
The Legislative Calendar This Week In D.C.
Securing Maritime Activities through Risk-based Targeting for Port Security Act: H.R. 4251. This Act authorizes, enhances, and reforms certain port security programs through increased efficiency and risk-based coordination within the Department of Homeland Security.
Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013: H.R. 5972. This Act makes appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.
Recommending that the House of Representatives find Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: H. Res 711
MAP-21: H.R. 4348. This Act provides an extension of Federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund pending enactment of a multiyear law reauthorizing such programs.
Congresswoman Laura Richardson with Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr.
On June 27th, the Subcommittees on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications & Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies of the Homeland Security Committee had a briefing on the operations of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office.
On June 28th, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing to review the delays and problems associated with TSA's transportation worker identification credential.