Celebrating John Muir’s Birthday and Earth Day
Dear Contra Costa County Residents:
As the House of Representatives returns to session this week, below is a snapshot of our recent work in Washington.
RECENT KEY VOTES
Protecting Children from Identity Theft Act (H.R. 5192)
As more of the world moves online, we have to take bold action to protect against identity theft. This bill would require the Social Security Administration to provide a database that financial institutions could use to prevent children's Social Security Numbers from being stolen to commit fraud. I supported this bill, which passed by a vote of 420-1.
Taxpayer First Act (H.R. 5444)
The federal tax process is complex and can often leave taxpayers needing to file appeals and delays to ensure their information is correctly recorded. This bill would require the IRS to become more consumer focused, and to put greater checks in place to prevent abuse by debt collectors. That is why I supported this bill, which passed by a vote of 414-0.
21st Century IRS Act (H.R. 5445)
The IRS is in need of modernization. This bill would require tax preparers who file more than 10 returns to file them online and would allow the IRS to accept credit card payments. I supported this bill, which passed by a vote of 414-3.
MARK AROUND TOWN
California State Building and Construction Trades
America has the strongest, most productive labor force in the world, thanks in large part to unions like North America's Building Trades Unions. I enjoyed speaking with members of California State Building and Construction Trades this morning at their Legislative Breakfast about ways we can grow and strengthen unions to help workers in California and around the country thrive.
At the John Muir Birthday-Earth Day Celebration
John Muir, Father of the National Park Service and revolutionary environmentalist, was inspired by the beauty of the Bay Area and championed the idea of conservation in our backyard of Martinez. On what would have been his 180th birthday, we honored his legacy by presenting the 2017 John Muir Conservation Awards to those whose work has helped preserve and protect ecosystems in California and around the globe.
Expanding UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland recently opened its newly expanded Outpatient Center. The expanded center adds exam rooms and treatment space, and offers new technology and lab facilities for pediatric care and research. As one of the nation's top public health research institutions, the medical professionals at UCSF consistently provide high quality care to Bay Area residents, and this expansion will help to further care for members of our local communities.
OPINIONS FROM THE DISTRICT
Below are some of the top issues you shared with me over the last week:
- 337 constituents have called for the preservation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with the Farm Bill Reauthorization.
- 168 constituents continued to write in calling for the protection of Special Counsel Mueller and the investigation into foreign interference into our nation's election.
LEGISLATION MARK RECENTLY SUPPORTED
Global Food Security Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1567) - combats hunger and malnutrition, and promotes new agricultural practices to help lift women, children, and families out of poverty
H.Res. 763 - resolution condemning the use of labor camps and the human rights abuses that happen in North Korea
H.Res. 834 - resolution expressing no confidence in Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and calling for his immediate resignation
Campus Accountability and Safety Act (H.R. 1949) - increases protections for victims of sexual assault on college campuses, to address ambiguities in the law, improve reporting and training, and strengthen enforcement
Report and Educate About Campus Hazing (REACH) Act (H.R. 2926) - requires schools to include incidents of hazing in their annual security report and implement a hazing education program
BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act (H.R. 809) - would create a modern infrastructure headed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for improving prevention, treatment, and care of Alzheimer's disease
Community-Based Independence for Seniors Act (H.R. 4006) - would establish a federal demonstration program to help enable low-income, chronically-ill Medicare recipients to receive treatment in their own communities
LETTERS MARK RECENTLY SENT
Letter to the United States Trade Representative opposing anti-union legislation in Mexico as we renegotiate NAFTA
Letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke urging him to uphold the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and protect migratory birds from hazards created by industrial activity
Letter to California State Director of Bureau of Land Management to oppose the Administration's intent to amend the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan and open up pristine areas of California desert to mining
MARK IN THE NEWS
Quorum Interview on Town Hall Best Practices:
Since coming to Congress in January of 2015, our office has hosted 63 town halls and mobile district office hours. Mark sat down with Quorum to discuss the inspiring new levels of civic engagement we have seen in Contra Costa, and how town halls are truly the essence of democracy.