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Dear Friend,

They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but this March roared to a close.  I would like to share with you some highlights of my work in March.  I hope you find them informative.  For all the latest news about my work in Congress and in the 40th District, you can also follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

Constitutional rights for our immigrant families and neighbors: Read this information about immigrants' rights under the law.  (Lea este información sobre los derechos de los inmigrantes bajo la ley.)

Reading blood test and soil sample results near Exide: If you live, work, or go to school within three miles of the Exide plant, I encourage you to get a FREE blood lead test.  For details, visit bloodleadtesting.com or call (844) 888-2290.  For information on the Exide Cleanup Project, visit exidecleanup.org or call (844) 225-3887.

Help with tax preparation: Need help with federal tax filing?  I want to alert you that Free Tax Prep Los Angeles (FreeTaxPrepLA.com) offers FREE tax preparation services to low-to-moderate income households, and can help you claim federal tax credits!


Fighting for the Just Treatment of Immigrants and Refugees:

With Leader Pelosi, Congresswoman Jayapal, and Mayor Garcetti at my immigration forum.

As a Co-Chair of the Women's Working Group on Immigration Reform, I held a moving and informative immigration forum at the Capitol to discuss the immoral and destructive immigration policies that we are seeing during the Trump Administration.  We have all been haunted by the recent stories of parents arrested and taken from their children, and the chilling proposal we heard from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to separate children from their parents at the border.

It was gratifying to be joined at this forum by so many distinguished speakers, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, my fellow Working Group Co-Chair Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, a dozen of our House colleagues, and our expert panelists.  After the forum, I shared my continued concerns about Secretary Kelly's comments in a Congressional Hispanic Caucus video.

In addition, Congresswoman Jayapal and I led 25 congresswomen from our working group in sending a letter to Secretary Kelly voicing our serious concern and opposition regarding his intent to separate children from their parents when they are detained at the US border.

I also helped hold another Capitol forum about the consequences of the president’s terrible immigration policies.  As I listened to Muhammad Ali Jr., a native-born US citizen, speak during the forum about being held at an airport and questioned about his Muslim faith by US Customs and Border Protection agents, it was hard to deny the outright religious discrimination at the heart of his detention.


Continuing My Service as a Senior Member of the Appropriations Committee:

Serving as Ranking Member at a hearing of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.

The year's hearings began for my two Appropriations Subcommittees.  As the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, I will keep fighting for the funds needed to protect our country, while also fighting to ensure we live up to our American values and treat people humanely and fairly.  As a member of the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee, I will continue to push for funds to protect US workers, to provide quality educational opportunities, and to secure the health and safety of the American public.


Fighting to Protect Americans' Health:

Sharing my concerns about Trumpcare in a video from the House Democratic Faith Working Group.

The American people won a great victory when Trumpcare was pulled from a vote in the House of Representatives.  Among the victors were the 24 million who would have lost their health coverage under this disastrous legislation intended to repeal the ACA, also known as Obamacare.  For my constituents and all Americans, Trumpcare would have resulted in higher costs, less coverage, a crushing age tax for persons 50 to 64, a shorter Medicare life span, and the ransacking of the Medicaid funds that enable seniors to get the long term care they need.

Thanks to the ACA, the uninsured rate in our 40th District has dropped from 31.7% to 17.5%; it's illegal to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions; there are no annual or lifetime caps on care; and America's seniors have saved billions of dollars on Medicare prescription drugs.

I was on the front lines in the battle to defeat Trumpcare and defend the ACA.  During March, I joined colleagues from the House Democratic Faith Working Group to discuss why I found Trumpcare morally objectionable, including the provisions that hurt older Americans.  In a House speech, I talked about how Trumpcare would be destructive for many Americans.  I recorded a video to describe Trumpcare's devastating effect on families and workers across our 40th District.  I joined my friends Vice President Joe Biden and Governor Jerry Brown at a Capitol celebration of the Affordable Care Act's seventh birthday.  And at Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations hearings, I asked the YMCA's Ted Cornelius about the terrible impact of ACA repeal on diabetes prevention, and spoke with Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel Levinson about how ACA repeal could endanger government's ability to address the very high rate of prescribing psychotropic drugs to treat foster youth with behavioral problems.

Lead poisoning crises have impacted many communities across our country, including the Exide contamination in our 40th District.  When I recently had the opportunity to question Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, I challenged him to protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund and expand the Centers for Disease Control’s lead poisoning prevention program.

As Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care, it was my pleasure to open a Capitol Hill briefing on trends in Latina maternal and child health!  If we want to improve healthy pregnancy outcomes for Latina mothers and children, we must promote breastfeeding for Latina mothers, ensure more folic acid in their diets, and reduce their risk of depression during pregnancy.  One of my proudest achievements in recent years was to get the FDA to approve the addition of folic acid to corn masa flour to prevent neural tube birth defects!


Urging an Investigation of the Mexican Repatriation:

As the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress, I was honored to re-introduce my bill to establish the first-ever official commission to study the Mexican Repatriation of the 1930s.  During this time,  individuals of Mexican ancestry -- including as many as 1.2 million U.S. citizens -- were forcibly removed from the U.S. by the government and private sector.  If we want to ensure that such cruelty is never repeated, we must have a full investigation into this terrible time, so that we may learn from our nation's tragic past and build a future rooted in love and tolerance, not in fear and hate.


Defending Educational Opportunities for Children:

Questioning an early childhood education panel featuring actress and advocate Jennifer Garner.

I took part in a hearing about the crippling impact the president’s proposals would have on early childhood education, including maternal home visiting programs.  Jennifer Garner, the actress and early childhood education advocate, spoke about her experience visiting a family in rural West Virginia who relies on maternal home visiting programs for toys, games, and activities to help their young toddler learn and thrive.  I am deeply concerned by the president’s proposal to cut 18% of funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, and by Speaker Ryan’s proposed ACA replacement bill which threatened to gut funding for Medicaid and the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.

The achievement gap between low-income and minority children and their wealthier counterparts is already pronounced by the time they enter kindergarten.  That is why I am grateful for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's PBS programming for children, which offers educational support for children with fewer opportunities.  At a hearing, I spoke with CPB's President/CEO Pat Harrison about the deeply troubling prospect that the federal government will eliminate its commitment to CPB and jeopardize the educational development of countless American children.


Supporting Blind Americans:

Technology for blind Americans can have a prohibitively high cost.  We should remove the financial barriers that prevent them from accessing current technology.  That is why I was proud to join with Congressman David Young in introducing the Access Technology Affordability Act.  Our bill offers these Americans a refundable tax credit to help them afford the specialized technology they need to achieve and excel in the classroom and the workforce, so that they can pursue their dreams and reach their fullest potential as contributing members of society.


Standing Up for the Rights of Women:

Joining in House Democrats' observance of the Day Without a Woman.

On March 8, I joined House Democrats on the Capitol steps to mark the Day Without a Woman and International Women's Day.  The day served as one more reminder that America still has much work to do to empower women. Women deserve paid family leave, equal pay, easy access to reproductive health care, and protection from assault and harassment.  It is a privilege for me to champion these causes in Congress.

March was Women's History Month, and I recorded this video to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of the women who blazed trails for us to follow.  We must carry their legacy forward, and ensure there are no barriers to what women can achieve.

At the Women's Congressional Policy Institute Gala, I joined past and present congresswomen to celebrate the WCPI and its work to support American women and families.  I'm especially proud of my long history of hosting fellows on my office staff from WCPI and the Women’s Research and Education Institute.  These fellows have provided invaluable support over the years serving our 40th District residents!


Celebrating Local Businesses:

With Rick Creed, the President/CEO of Paramount's Weber Metals.

I was happy to welcome leaders of 40th District businesses to my DC office, including Rick Creed of Paramount's Weber Metals, and Lisa Papini and Chuck Dante of Bellflower’s Dante Valve Company!  I am glad that the 40th District is home to so many vital small businesses that strengthen our local economy.


Demanding Spending Policies that Keep America Strong:

As a member of Congress, it is my duty to ensure that the men and women who bravely protect our nation have the resources and training they need to do their jobs.  I was pleased to support the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill that funds the defense of our nation within budget caps, and does right by the military and civilians who defend our country all over the world.  While it is regrettable that it took nearly half of fiscal year 2017 to approve an adequate, bipartisan Defense Appropriations bill, I am hopeful that we will pass the ten outstanding funding bills with all possible speed, and with the same spirit of bipartisanship.


Advocating for the Humane Treatment of Animals:

Sharing my concerns on the use of live animals in medical training during a meeting with Edie Falco.

What a pleasure it was to meet with actress and animal activist Edie Falco and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) at my DC office!  We're all very concerned about "live tissue training," the practice of using live animals for medical training.  I support replacing this animal-based training with high-tech human simulators, which are more effective and realistic education tools.


Read My Student Resource Guide:

If you are a high school or college student looking for help to pay for college, I encourage you to read information I have compiled in my Student Resource Guide, which lists scholarships, internships, fellowships, and websites to help you meet your college expenses.  Please feel free to circulate it!


Paramount Conference Calls on Air Monitoring:

I want to let members of the Paramount community know that informational conference calls about air monitoring are being held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6:30 PM.  To listen to the call in English, call (866) 244-8528, using the passcode 4063768.  To listen to the call in Spanish, call (888) 394-8197, using the passcode 9891238.  The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is conducting these calls.


Immigration Form Update:

If you are filing forms with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), bear in mind that USCIS is now only accepting the latest versions of its forms.  You can visit uscis.gov/forms to download these new forms for FREE.  You can also request paper forms from USCIS by calling (800) 870-3676.  To file these forms, you must pay the current fees.  New fees are listed at uscis.gov/forms/our-fees.  If you do not include the new fees, USCIS will reject and return your filings.


If You Visit Washington, DC:

If you are a resident of California's 40th District and planning a trip to Washington, DC, I may be able to provide you with tickets to tour the Capitol, the White House, and many of the area's other distinguished landmarks.  You can submit your tour requests here.  Please contact my office with at least 8-12 weeks advance notice whenever possible.


Contacting You About the Issues That Matter to You:

If you live or work in the 40th Congressional District and you would like to specify the issues that particularly interest you, please fill out this form.
 

Sincerely,


Washington, DC Office
2083 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1766
Fax: (202) 226-0350
District Office
500 Citadel Drive, Suite 320
Commerce, CA 90040
Phone: (323) 721-8790
Fax: (323) 721-8789
  

 
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