Washington Review, December 9, 2019
Last week in Washington, the House of Representatives passed my resolution disapproving Russia’s inclusion in future G-7 summits with bipartisan support. The House also considered legislation on voting rights, robocalls, and insider trading. I met with the Prime Minister of the Transitional Government of Sudan and advocated for Puerto Rico’s promised emergency relief.
Last week, the House passed my resolution, H.Res.546, by a bipartisan vote of 339-71. This legislation conveys that the House of Representatives disapproves of Russia’s inclusion in any future Group of Seven summits, while it continues to attack other nations and ignore democratic standards. Russia was expelled from the Group of Eight in 2014 for its aggressive actions in Ukraine. Since then, it has not only continued its campaign but also acted to undermine democracies around the world, including the United States. I am proud that so many of my colleagues joined me to stand against Russian aggression around the world and protect democratic norms and values.
On Tuesday, I managed the House Floor for consideration of H.Res.546, in addition to other important legislation. H.Res.585, introduced by Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY), reaffirms the House of Representatives support for the Good Friday Agreement and other measures to ensure lasting peace in Northern Ireland. H.Res.546 passed unanimously by a voice vote. S.178, the Uighur Intervention and Global Humanitarian Unified Response (UIGHUR) Act of 2019, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), requires Global Magnitsky sanctions for human rights violators in China. Additionally, this legislation updates U.S. policy towards China to reflect the recent oppression of Turkic Muslims in Western China. S.178 passed by a vote of 407-1. S. 178 lls now await consideration before the Senate.
On Wednesday, the House considered S.151, the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, introduced by Rep. John Thune (R-SD). This bill requires carriers to offer call-authentication technology to consumers and small businesses to prevent unlawful robocalls. S.151 would also increase Federal Communication Commission (FCC) enforcement measures and support Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutions against criminal robocallers. I voted for this legislation which passed by a vote of 417-3 and has been sent to the President to be signed into law.
The next day, the House brought up H.R.2534, the Insider Trading Prohibition Act, introduced by Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT). This legislation codifies current Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) policy that bans any person from trading on non-public information. H.R.2534 passed by a vote of 410-13 and has been sent to the Senate for consideration.
On Friday, H.R.4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, introduced by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), was given a vote on the House Floor. I cosponsored this bill because I believe in protecting the sacred right to vote and its foundation for the future of our democracy. H.R.4 develops processes for the Department of Justice to effectively monitor discriminatory voting practices throughout the country. I voted for H.R.4 because we must remain vigilant that every American has access to the ballot. H.R.4 passed by a vote of 228-187 and consideration before the Senate.
On Wednesday, my colleagues and I on the House Foreign Affairs Committee met with Prime Minister of the Transitional Government of Sudan, His Excellency Dr. Abdalla Hamdok. He discussed developments in Sudan and outlined his vision for reforms.
On Thursday, I met with Yeshiva University students to discuss my commitment to the U.S.-Israel partnership. I enjoyed our conversation and it is promising to see so many young people eager to be involved in the political process.
Later that day, I joined the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) to show my support for their important work. IAF critically provides over 5,000 community-led grants to advance social and economic development throughout the Western Hemisphere.
On Thursday, I joined Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Vice Caucus Chair Katherine Clark (D-MA), Rep. David Price (D-NC), and Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) to call attention to a current policy at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) impacting Puerto Rico. Rico. Two years ago, Puerto Rico suffered two back-to-back hurricanes that caused unprecedented damage. Congress appropriated funds to aid the island, including $10.2 billion in Community Development Block Grants for disaster recovery but only $1.5 billion of those funds have been released. It is completely unacceptable that, 660 days later, the full emergency funding has not been released. Puerto Ricans have contributed so much to the United States and they are currently rebuilding from a tragedy. We owe them the assistance they need to rebuild their communities immediately.
Thank you for reading the Washington Review. Again, hearing from my constituents enables me to be a better representative of the 8th District. For regular updates, you may stay in touch by leaving comments on my Facebook, Twitter, and website.