Washington Review, July 29, 2019
Last week, the House considered urgent legislation addressing the humanitarian crisis at the southern border and our nation’s fiscal health. I spoke at a House Committee on the Budget hearing focused on climate change and met with stakeholders on international issues ranging from human trafficking to tainted alcohol.
Last week, The House of Representatives passed H.R. 3239, the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Custody Act, introduced by Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), by a vote of 233-195. As an original cosponsor of this bill, I voted for its passage to address the humanitarian crisis at the Southern Border. This legislation would establish standards for CBP facilities, including sufficient drinking water, clean and private toilets, handwashing stations, basic personal hygiene products, and daily nutritional needs. Additional resources would be required for pregnant and breastfeeding women, young children, the elderly, and the ill. Baseline conditions would also be set for religious freedom, family unity, the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, and the protection of unaccompanied minors. H.R. 3239 awaits further action before the Senate.
Later that day, the House considered H.R. 3877, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, introduced by Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY). This legislation implements responsible budgeting for our nation to avoid potential government shutdowns. It eliminates the automatic sequester that would have cut defense spending by 11 percent and non-defense discretionary spending by 9 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and suspends the debt limit until July 31, 2021. I voted in support of H.R. 3877, which passed the House by a vote of 284-149 and awaits consideration by the Senate.
On Thursday, the House Committee on the Budget gathered to hold a hearing focused on the costs of climate change. Witnessing the impact Superstorm Sandy had on our state, I know the dangers our country faces if extreme weather events continue to increase. We cannot allow serious risk factors like rising sea levels to go unnoticed and unaddressed if we are to leave a prosperous, stable nation for future generations.
Last week, I met with British Member of Parliament David Linden, representing Glasgow East. We discussed political developments in Britain and the vital importance of the U.S.-U.K. relationship. I also met with Renée Brinkerhoff of Valkyrie Racing who is raising awareness of human trafficking with her Peking to Paris Rally race. On Thursday, I spoke to the Wine and Spirits Wholesaler’s Association on the dangers of counterfeit and tainted alcohol in light of the recent deaths in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. The international community must remain vigilant to ensure safety for all travelers across every region.
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