Washington Review, January 17, 2017
Last week in Washington I spoke on the House Floor, introduced legislation, and participated in important votes.
On Wednesday, I spoke on the House Floor to recognize the Union City Public Schools for their outstanding achievements. As residents of one of the most diverse Districts in our Nation, many of my constituents experience the challenges of assimilating into a new community. Union City Public Schools have created model programs that help low-income English-language learners succeed, such as their English as a second language (ESL) and early childhood programs. In just two years, graduation rates in the district have increased by nearly ten percent. It is an honor to represent a school district that has made enormous strides in easing the transition of immigrant youth into our society and providing them with the resources they need to succeed.
On Tuesday, I reintroduced H.R. 427, the Collaborative Academic Research Efforts (CARE) for Tourette Syndrome Act. This legislation would expand and coordinate efforts towards research for Tourette syndrome at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Specifically, H.R. 427 would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a new system to collect data on Tourette syndrome, including the availability of medical and social services for individuals with Tourette syndrome and their families. It would also instruct the Secretary of HHS to award grants to establish new Collaborative Research Centers that would conduct research into the cause, diagnosis, early detection, prevention, control and treatment of Tourette syndrome. It is my hope that this legislation will help us better understand Tourette syndrome and help enhance the lives of those affected by it.
On Friday, I voted against S.Con.Res.3, the Fiscal Year 2017 Republican Budget Resolution, because it would allow Congress to use budget reconciliation as a means to expedite the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This legislation would be a dangerous step towards implementing the Republicans’ plan to dismantle the ACA, which would essentially revoke health care coverage for 20 million Americans who have gained coverage thanks to health care reform. While it is not perfect, the ACA has improved our health care system to ensure every American has access to quality and affordable health care. I believe we cannot afford to revert to a system where insurance companies’ needs are placed before consumers. Unfortunately, S.Con.Res.3 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 227-198.