As we celebrate the holiday season and reflect on the blessings and challenges of the past year, I am pleased to share with you some highlights of my recent work in Congress and our communities. I hope you find them informative. And if you haven't followed me yet on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, be sure to do so today. See the online version of this newsletter here.
Meeting with Constituents:
Greeting Alicia Marin of Cudahy at Maywood’s Southeast Rio Vista YMCA during a meeting of the Maywood Seniors Club.
I've loved my meetings with constituents across the 40th District, including old and new friends at the Maywood Seniors Club, the Commerce Evening Lions Club, the Paramount Chamber of Commerce, Salazar Park’s Thanksgiving Community Lunch, the Assistance League of Downey, the Downey Coordinating Council, the Bell Community Center, and the Barbara Riley Senior Center. I let them know my office is happy to assist constituents in dealing with federal agencies (read more here), and I emphasized that it is important for everyone to take part in the 2020 census.
In other local visits, I congratulated the City of Huntington Park for organizing a successful and memorable holiday parade; I paid tribute to AltaMed’s 50th anniversary with a statement in the Congressional Record; and I visited White Memorial Community Health Center to celebrate White Memorial's former CEO Carl Coan and new CEO Dr. Grace Floutsis.
Promoting Good Health for All Americans:
I was thrilled to vote for H.R. 3, which included principles of my Seniors Have Eyes, Ears and Teeth Act to let Medicare give our seniors the gifts of hearing, vision, and oral health in their golden years. This will have huge benefits for CA-40 beneficiaries: About 81% stand to gain from adding a dental benefit, about 47% stand to gain from adding a vision benefit, and about 72% stand to gain from adding a hearing benefit. I hope the Senate passes our bill without delay.
As founding co-chair of the Maternity Care Caucus, I am proud we won investments in the newly passed domestic appropriations bill to prioritize critical maternal and infant health programs, which will help address pervasive health disparities that disproportionately impact mothers and babies in our minority communities.
In other health news:
• I co-led a resolution recognizing women’s cardiovascular health as a critical priority.
• I met with Los Angeles LGBT Center representatives about the rising rates of many sexually transmitted diseases, which I strongly support combating with increased funding for STD prevention and education.
• As Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Vice Chair, I took part in a subcommittee hearing about the threat that e-cigarettes pose to the health of our youth.
Fighting for the Just Treatment of Immigrants:
Joining Dreamers at the Capitol to advocate for DACA and my Dream and Promise Act.
I was at the Supreme Court to hear arguments on the future of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which is under assault by the Trump Administration. I hope the court will stand with our amazing young Dreamers by blocking the Administration's cruel effort to destroy DACA. But we must go further: I am the proud author of the Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), which offers DACA recipients and other Dreamers a path to citizenship, and I urge the Senate to follow the House in passing my bill without further delay.
It was also my honor to meet with Alejandra, a brave trans woman and asylum seeker, who described the heartbreakingly inhumane conditions she faced during the nearly two years she spent in U.S. detention. As Homeland Security Appropriations Chairwoman, I am fighting to ensure America's immigration system treats trans asylum seekers like Alejandra with the utmost dignity and fairness.
Impeaching the President:
I voted to impeach President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress relating to his soliciting and pressuring a foreign nation to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. I took no joy in voting for impeachment, but I had to do so in order to live up to my oath to support and defend the Constitution. My impeachment vote is also a signal to future presidents of both parties that they are not above the law and will be held accountable if they violate our Constitution. When our children and grandchildren look back on this historic time, I hope they will know we did not shy away from our oath of office, and that we fought to protect our democracy and to preserve our Constitution not just for us, but for them and all future generations.
Standing Up for American Workers:
Speaking to working families at the SEIU USWW Christmas Celebration.
Thank you to SEIU United Service Workers West (USWW), and its president David Huerta, for inviting me to join the working families of USWW at their Christmas Celebration and Toy Drive in LA. I appreciated my conversations with those in attendance, and I updated them on my legislative work in Congress.
I voted for the USMCA trade agreement because LA is a global center of commerce and trade. This new agreement improves our trading power while protecting the rights of our hardworking labor force, and ensures that our trading partners play by the rules.
Making Sensible Security Decisions:
This week, I voted against the national security appropriations bill, because it allows the president to circumvent Congress’s constitutional power of the purse. While many priorities I drafted were included in the bill, the final legislation opened the door for the president to keep going around Congress to spend funds as he sees fit, including more money for border barriers and detention beds. That was totally unacceptable, and I could not support this bill's abdication of Congress's appropriations authority.
As Homeland Security Appropriations Chairwoman, I met with U.S. Secret Service leaders to discuss the Secret Service's missions in the DC region. I will keep fighting to ensure they have the resources they need to carry out their vital work to protect America's leaders and our nation's financial and critical infrastructure.
Saluting Our Armed Forces and Veterans:
Assembling USO care packages for members of our armed forces.
I was honored to speak at Veterans Day ceremonies in Bell and Downey, and to greet veterans, active duty servicemembers, and their families at the Paramount Military Ball Veterans Celebration. I also wrote holiday letters to U.S. servicemembers at the American Red Cross's Holiday Mail for Heroes event, and joined the USO in assembling care packages for members of our armed forces.
Thanks to the patriotism and sacrifice of these brave Americans, we can speak and worship freely, assemble without fear, and have hope for a better tomorrow. As your congresswoman, I pledge to keep fighting to ensure America supports and respects our servicemembers, our veterans, and their families by providing them all with the benefits and services they have rightly earned and deserve.
Promoting Higher Education Opportunities for Our Children:
I have cosponsored the College Affordability Act, a bold higher education bill to help students spend less and earn more. The bill will strengthen Pell Grants, make student loans cheaper to pay off, and expand opportunities for students of all backgrounds, including DACA and TPS recipients.
Protecting the Right to Vote:
I proudly cast my vote in support of H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, to strengthen the Voting Rights Act and help ensure every eligible voter can exercise their right to cast a ballot. Now, I urge the Senate to join us to pass H.R. 4 and protect the right to vote! I also encourage all eligible residents to register to vote at registertovote.ca.gov; you must register by February 18, 2020 in order to vote in California's March 3, 2020 presidential primary election.
Standing Up for American Women:
As one of the 90 Democratic women in the House, I am proud that several of my bills were included in the House Democratic Women's Caucus's inaugural policy agenda, which fights for the dignity, autonomy, and economic security of women and girls. My bills in the agenda include:
• The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act to support screening newborns for treatable life-threatening medical conditions.
• The SAFE Act to protect the financial security of domestic violence survivors.
• The Help Separated Families and HELP Separated Children Acts to protect families who are torn apart by our immigration system.
• The CARE Act to protect child farmworkers.
• The Midwives for MOMS Act to create a larger and more diverse midwifery workforce.
Announcements and Notices:
Covered California Open Enrollment Lasts Until January 31, 2020:
Find a health insurance plan that works for you and your family at coveredca.com. Need assistance? Free expert help is available at coveredca.com/find-help.
El Periodo de Inscripción Abierta del Covered California en Español Termina el 31 de Enero del 2020:
Encuentre el plan de seguro médico que le convenga a usted y su familia en coveredca.com/espanol. ¿Necesita ayuda? Hay ayuda gratuita de expertos disponible en coveredca.com/espanol/find-help.
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 the 2019-2020 edition of my Student Resource Guide. The guide includes information about scholarships, internships, fellowships, and websites to help you meet your college expenses. Please feel free to circulate it!
Help with Federal Agencies:
If you need assistance with a federal agency, you can call my district office at (323) 721-8790 between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday, or visit my office during the same hours at 500 Citadel Drive, Suite 320, in Commerce's Citadel Outlets. You can also speak to a caseworker from my office on the second Tuesday of every month, from 10 AM to 12 PM, at Barbara J. Riley Community & Senior Center at 7810 Quill Drive in Downey.
Ayuda con Agencias Federales:
Si necesita ayuda con una agencia federal, puede llamar a mi oficina en el distrito al (323) 721-8790 de 9 AM a 5 PM, de lunes a viernes, o visitar mi oficina localizada en 500 Citadel Drive, Suite 320, en los Citadel Outlets de Commerce durante las mismas horas. Tambien puede hablar con una trabajadora de casos de mi oficina el segundo martes de cada mes, de 10 AM a 12 PM, en Barbara J. Riley Community & Senior Center en 7810 Quill Drive en Downey.
Rights Under the U.S. Constitution for Our Immigrant Families and Neighbors:
Make sure you know your rights under the law! Watch this video and read this card to be prepared if you are approached by an ICE agent or other official.
Derechos Bajo la Constitución de los Estados Unidos Para Nuestras Familias y Vecinos Inmigrantes:
¡Preparese y conozca sus derechos bajo la ley! Vea este video y lea esta tarjeta para estar preparado por si se le acerca un agente de ICE u otro funcionario.
Enter Our District's Student Art Competition:
The 2020 deadline for the Lucille Roybal-Allard Student Art Competition is coming up fast! All high school students living in the 40th Congressional District are welcome to enter before the deadline of February 6, 2020, at 5:00 PM PT. The winning entry will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year, and the artist will receive a $1,000 college scholarship and a trip to Washington, DC, in the company of a guardian. If you’re interested in entering the competition, please email Kimberlee.Tachiki@mail.house.gov, or call my District Office at (323) 721-8790.
Blood Testing and Soil Sampling Near Exide:
If you live, work, or go to school within three miles of Vernon's Exide plant, I encourage you to get a FREE blood lead test. For details, visit bloodleadtesting.com or call (844) 888-2290. If you live within 1.7 miles of Exide, you can also sign up for soil testing. For more information, visit dtsc.ca.gov/residential-cleanup or call (844) 225-3887. Please also feel free to share this general information Exide flyer in English and in Spanish with any friends and family living in the affected area.
If You Visit Washington, DC:
If you are a resident of California's 40th District and planning a trip to Washington, DC, I can provide information on many of the area's 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.
| Washington, DC Office
2083 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1766
Fax: (202) 226-0350
500 Citadel Drive, Suite 320
Commerce, CA 90040
Phone: (323) 721-8790
Fax: (323) 721-8789