I will continue standing my ground on the issues that matter to my constituents and do what I can to push back against efforts that don't align with our values.
All of your calls about the refugee ban, the proposed border wall, the Dakota Pipeline, and other concerns have been recorded by both my offices.
We cannot take anything for granted when it comes to good governance and effective government, and I feel that protecting the progress we've made as a country is of paramount importance.
Standing up for Women and Refugees
I attended President Trump's address to a Joint Session of Congress wearing white, an effort I led with other democratic female members to honor suffragists and the progress of women. The visual symbolism of this was meant to remind President Trump and others that we must not erode the progress that has been made by and for women in our country.
As my guest to the address, I invited Quinn Dang a former staff member and now practicing attorney who also happens to be the daughter of refugees. Quinn grew up in San Diego, and her family came over as refugees from Vietnam when she was just six years old. Quinn was the valedictorian of Mira Mesa High School before graduating from Harvard University. She then worked in my Washington, DC office before attending Georgetown Law School.
The hope for a better life held by those seeking to flee intolerable circumstances is one that we would all share. Efforts to scorn and demonize the plight of refugees and strike fear in the public, such have been the actions undertaken by the Trump Administration, are inconsistent with American values and American history.
The Contribution of Immigrants
I recently held a news conference with local immigration advocates to denounce the Trump Administration's anti-immigration actions. Immigrants and immigration play a beneficial role in our community and economy. Comprehensive immigration reform is the way to address the issues and concerns that are present in the existing system, not banning immigration and refugees.
Renewing Fight to Help Military Families:
I recently introduced, H.R. 1078 - Military Hunger Prevention Act to aid military families being blocked from benefits that help them put food on the table. The San Diego Food Bank alone serves over 28,000 service members and their dependents a year. The legislation would exclude Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) from being considered as income in federal food assistance calculations.
I've reconvened the Congressional Navy and Marine Corps Caucus as the Democratic Co-Chair. I look forward to working with my colleagues on policy issues affecting the Department of the Navy.
Keeping Our Campaigns Honest (KOCH) Act, and the Fair and Clear Campaign (FCC) Transparency Act. These bills work toward increasing transparency when it comes to who is financing television and radio ads which are oftentimes highly misleading and filled with inaccurate information. These radio ads and TV spots often manipulate the voting public into supporting policies and platforms in the best interest of special interests, not the country. I feel it's important to stop these actions.
H. Res 111 - The American people have a right to know about the President’s financial ties with Russia and other countries. I cosponsored Congressman Nadler’s (NY-10) resolution to order the release of President Trump’s tax returns and business documents relating to potential conflicts of interest.
Russian Hacking and Cybersecurity Concerns: In light of the numerous intelligence reports of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, I joined as an original cosponsor of the Protecting our Democracy Act to create a National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election.
As a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, I joined a bipartisan group of 100 members of the House in asking that the President direct the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reinstate a webpage that provides details on whether animals are being treated humanely under federal law.
In additional response, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) and I are introducing the Animal Welfare Accountability and Transparency Act, legislation to require the USDA to repost animal cruelty information on its website. The bill would also create penalties for businesses found to be in violation of the Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act. Advocates, lawmakers, and the media are just a few of the groups that use this information to monitor the safety and welfare of animals. Censoring this information from the American people will make it next to impossible to catch the bad actors who try to avoid federal laws that protect animals.
Transgender Executive Order: I wholeheartedly condemn the Trump Executive Order rescinding protections for transgender students. As a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, I led colleagues in a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her to take concrete steps to ensure the safety of transgender students under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education. I also added my name to a Friend of Court brief in support of Gavin Grimm and transgender students nationwide.
Earning a Perfect League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Score
I am proud of my perfect environmental voting record for the 114th Congress. Now more than ever, the fight for clean air, clean water, and open spaces is one of the most important efforts we can undertake as a country and citizen of the global community. I am greatly concerned about Trump Administration plans to cut Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staffing by 20%. This is not the time to be scaling back the federal agency responsible for protecting human health and the environment.
Affordable and Accessible Healthcare