Bill Introductions and Immigration Update
As we head into the Fourth of July week, there is a lot to celebrate. On top of the bills we debated, last week I introduced efforts to study and combat climate change, support our nation’s students, and prevent gun violence. More on all of that and more is included below.
Member of Congress
AT A GLANCE
In this week’s Digest, you will find information on:
- Mark’s votes to protect immigrant children and families in detention at our Southern border and secure our nation’s elections;
- The passage of Mark’s effort to study the impact of climate change on our nation’s transportation systems; and
- Meetings in the community.
Mark’s Vote to Stand with Immigrants
At least 7 children are known to have died in immigration custody since last year, after almost a decade in which no child reportedly died while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This is absolutely unacceptable and a dark mark on our nation. The agencies responsible for housing immigrants after they cross the border pled with Congress to provide them additional funding as they struggle to accommodate the number of individuals they are servicing. In the House, we put together a package of funding that not only would get the agencies the funding they need, but would also put restrictions on that money to ensure that it is used humanely and not to further traumatize or degrade the immigrants. The Senate, however, opted to write a blank check to the Administration, allowing them to maintain the deplorable conditions in these facilities and continue operations under the morally repugnant status quo. I opposed the Senate's proposal, but it was ultimately the package that was passed.
Mark’s Vote to Secure Our Nation’s Elections
Congress acted last week to safeguard our democracy in light of foreign interference in our 2016 elections by passing the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, which will provide states with funding to replace outdated and vulnerable voting equipment; mandate paper ballot voting systems; and put in place cybersecurity requirements for election technology vendors and voting systems. These are all upgrades that are necessary to help combat interference and hacking in our upcoming elections. Mark voted yes, and the bill passed by a vote of 225-to-184.
Mark’s Measure to Study Impact of Climate Change on Transportation Systems Passed in Spending Package
Last week, five measures spearheaded by Congressman DeSaulnier, including a study on the impact of climate change on our transportation systems, were included in the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act of 2020 (H.R. 3055), which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 227-to-194. From commercial air travel to our crumbling infrastructure, climate change and volatile weather patterns are changing travel for the worse. Travel times, delays, and congestion are just some of the ways we are seeing the impacts of climate change every day. This amendment will allow us to better quantify the concrete effects climate change is having so we can address it and the impact it has on how we travel. To read more about these efforts, click HERE.
Mark Introduces Constitutional Amendment Guaranteeing a Right to a Quality Education
America’s founders felt that a free public education was a necessity for an informed citizenry and a functioning democracy. For too long, we have accepted that millions of students sit in unheated classrooms, with underpaid teachers, using outdated instructional materials. This is an appalling betrayal of our nation’s values. To help turn that tide, last week Mark introduced a Constitutional amendment (H.J.Res. 69) guaranteeing the right to a quality, public education to all students. This legislation affirms that the federal government has a Constitutional obligation to ensure that every citizen receives a world-class education, and supports the federal role in education policy and funding.
Congressman DeSaulnier Introduces Effort to Help Schools Provide Healthy Meals to Students
Research proves that students need nutritious and filling meals to do their best in school. While our understanding of nutrition has improved, schools’ infrastructure remains stuck in the past. In fact, a national survey by Pew Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project indicates that 88 percent of school districts need at least one piece of new kitchen equipment, and 55 percent require infrastructure changes. Last week, Congressman DeSaulnier and Congressman Glenn ‘G.T.’ Thompson (R-PA) introduced the School Food Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation that will help local schools replace outdated kitchen equipment in an effort to provide healthy and nutritious meals to students. To read more about Mark’s effort and similar work being done in the Senate, click HERE.
Mark Authors Bill to Prevent Theft of Federal Law Enforcement Weapons
In recent years in the Bay Area and across the nation, fatal shootings and other crimes have taken place that used weapons stolen from federal law enforcement officers. Although there are nearly 80 federal law enforcement agencies, there is currently no federal standard in place for officers to safely lock and store their guns. Mark introduced the Federal Law Enforcement and Public Protection Act (H.R. 3420), a bill to create minimum standards to prevent federal law enforcement officers’ service weapons from becoming lost and stolen. The intention of federal law enforcement agencies is to keep the public safe. When their own weapons are being used against them and in other acts of violence, they are not fulfilling that job. To improve public safety, we need to improve the standards for officer gun safety and storage.
IN THE NEWS
Mark joined KPIX’s Phil Matier to discuss what is going on at our southern border and the need to address immigration through policy, not politics.
BY THE NUMBERS
IN THE COMMUNITY