Two Bipartisan Bills Introduced: the Moving FIRST Act & Federal Wildland Firefighter Recognition Act

October 10, 2017
DeSaulnier Digest

Dear Contra Costa Residents:

As part of our continued effort to keep Contra Costa residents in the know, below is an update of what took place in Washington, DC over the last week.


RECENT KEY VOTES

The Republican Budget (H.Con.Res. 71)

Where a nation spends its money reflects its values. The House-passed, Republican budget prioritizes decreasing taxes for the wealthy and throwing unchecked money at the Defense Department over providing for the needs of hardworking Americans. The Republican budget set defense spending $72 billion above the agreed-upon level, and at the same time cuts funding for Medicare by $487 billion and Medicaid by $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years. Since the Republican budget fast-tracks massive tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations, while severely cutting programs that American families rely on, I voted against this bill.

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36)

In yet another effort to restrict women’s rights, the House voted on H.R. 36, which would ban abortions after 20-weeks with no meaningful exception to protect a woman’s health. The bill would deny care to women in the most desperate of circumstances, and is a blatant attempt to chip away at a woman’s right to choose. I strongly opposed this attack on women’s health.


MARK'S LEGISLATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Last week Mark introduced two bipartisan pieces of legislation:

The Moving FIRST Act (H.R. 3901)
Mark joined his colleague Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) to introduce the Moving FIRST Act, which would establish $100 million in new grant funding for cities to invest in and use innovative solutions to improve transportation and mobility. The Moving FIRST Act (H.R. 3901) was introduced to build upon the Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities Challenge, by increasing the funding available and making it an annual grant opportunity. To read more about this legislation, click here.

The Federal Wildland Firefighter Recognition Act (H.R. 3907)
Mark along with Rep. Doug LaMalfa introduced the Federal Wildland Firefighter Recognition Act to properly recognize the brave men and women who work to fight wildfires and categorize them as “Wildland Firefighters.” This bill is an important step toward ensuring that these individuals can access the benefits they deserve for putting their lives on the line fighting wildfires. To read more about this legislation, click here.


MARK AROUND TOWN

Following the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, Mark joined his Democratic colleagues and former Congresswoman and gun violence survivor, Gabby Giffords, to honor the 58 innocent victims who lost their lives to gun violence and to renew their commitment to address the gun violence epidemic in our country.

Mark joined the Senior Mobility Action Council to discuss ways to provide greater access to transportation for seniors and those in need throughout Contra Costa County and nationwide.


OPINIONS FROM THE DISTRICT​

Hearing directly from you not only informs my work in Congress, but also is my favorite part of being your Representative. To share your opinions with me you can either email me or take our survey.

Below are some of the top issues you shared with me over the past two weeks:

- 325 constituents contacted my office expressing their opposition to President Trump’s tax reform framework, which would provide massive tax cuts for the wealthy while raising taxes for the working class.

- 290 constituents wrote in or called my office to request additional resources be deployed to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.

- 288 constituents following the shooting in Las Vegas shared with me their serious concerns about the gun violence epidemic in America and requested that commonsense legislation be brought up for a vote to protect American lives.


LEGISLATION MARK RECENTLY SUPPORTED

Equal Access to Justice for Gun Violence ACT (H.R. 3484)

Following the tragic shooting in Las Vegas, Mark supported legislation that would repeal the law that provides immunity from civil liability for licensed manufacturers, distributors, and dealers of firearms, as well as their trade associations, in most negligence and products liability actions.

LGBT Data Inclusion Act (H.R. 3273)

Having accurate data on the makeup of our country allows us to make well-informed public policy decisions and deliver effective and targeted services. Unfortunately, LGBT data collection has been under attack by the Trump Administration. This bill that would require all federal agencies to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Veteran Education Empowerment Act (H.R. 3272)

Over one million veterans and active duty service members in the United States attend college every year, and many face unique hardships in transitioning from the battlefield to the classroom. To ensure our student veterans have access to essential academic support, I supported legislation which would authorize grants for colleges and universities across the country to establish new veteran student centers and to improve existing ones.

Reverse Mass Incarceration Act (H.R. 3845)

In an effort to reduce mass incarceration, this legislation would give grants to states that lower their prison population. The funds given to states would support evidence-based programs proven to reduce crime and incarceration, leading to savings for taxpayers and better opportunities for those who have come into contact with the system.

Dignity for the Detained Immigrants Act (H.R. 3923)

This bill would reform the immigration detention system by ending use of private facilities, repealing mandatory detention, and increasing oversight, accountability, and transparency of the immigration detention system.


LETTERS MARK RECENTLY SENT

DeSaulnier Led Letter to Secretary Pruitt expressing concern over the weakening fuel economy standards

As a former member of California Air Resources Board and Chair of the Transportation Committees in the California State Legislature, Mark knows firsthand how standards for air quality and emissions reductions spur innovation and job creation. Alternative fuel technology has made our economy stronger and creates good jobs that are putting Americans to work. For that reason, Mark sent a letter to Secretary Pruitt expressing concern about the decision to reopen and potentially weaken fuel economy standards set for 2022 through 2025.

Letter to President Trump urging him to not decertify the Iran Nuclear Deal

Amid recent reports that President Trump may decertify the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Mark joined his likeminded colleagues in sending a letter to the President expressing that withholding certification risks threatening America’s national security, harming our international alliances, and undermining efforts to defuse the nuclear crisis with North Korea.

Letter to President Trump urging him to reverse EPA decision to remove Clean Water Act protections in Alaska and to protect West Coast salmon fisheries

Following EPA’s announced plans to reverse clean water safeguards put in place to protect Bristol Bay salmon, Mark joined his colleagues in both the House and Senate in sending a letter to President Trump expressing deep concern over this decision. Bristol Bay is an important economic driver in Washington, Oregon, California, and throughout the west. The letter requests that the President listens to America’s fishermen and businesses and reverse EPA’s decision, which weakens protections and clean water safeguards in Bristol Bay.


MARK’S RECENT STATEMENTS

Congressman DeSaulnier Reacts to Statements by Trump Administration and Republican Leadership that it is Not Time for the Gun Debate

“The outright refusal of the Trump Administration and Republican leaders to discuss public safety and gun violence in America – following the largest mass shooting in recent history – shows how tight a grip the NRA has on the presidency and Congress. It is time to put public safety above politics, and engage in an immediate and rational conversation about gun violence. These conversations can take place in public or private committee sessions, with or without the NRA, or on the floor of the House of Representatives, but to do nothing fails the 59 innocent victims who lost their lives yesterday and the nearly 12,000 victims whose lives are taken by a firearm each year in America.” To read the full release, click here.


MARK IN THE NEWS

KQED: DeSaulnier: Trump White House May Have Lied About Use of Personal Emails

“The hypocrisy is jaw-dropping,” said Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, referring to the fact that as a candidate for the presidency, Trump pilloried Democrat Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of State. To read the full story, click here.