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Dear Colleague: House Democrats Advance For The People Agenda

February 4, 2019

Dear Democratic Colleague,

As we end the first month of our Democratic House Majority, our Committees are moving forward with our For The People agenda led by our outstanding Chairs and the enthusiasm of our Members.  I am happy to report that we will have 18 freshmen serving as Subcommittee Chairs, in contrast to the 1974 Watergate class of freshmen, which did not have any Subcommittee Chairs the first year.  In the weeks ahead, our transformative leaders will continue to advance progress as the Committees set out their priorities and hold hearings and mark-ups For The People.

Tomorrow, we look forward to welcoming President Trump as a guest in our House Chamber and hearing his report on the State of the Union.  I am hopeful that tomorrow, we will hear a commitment from the President on issues that have bipartisan support in the Congress and the Country, such as lowering the price of prescription drugs and rebuilding America’s infrastructure.

In regard to homeland security, we applaud our border security conferees, led by Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey, and the strong agenda they have put forward to secure our borders and defend our values.  In that spirit, I am sharing a Washington Post Editorial Board piece from Saturday, which supports Democrats’ case for smart, effective border security solutions.  We continue to support strong and smart protections at the border which include:

  • Because 90 percent of drugs come through the ports of entry, critical enhancements for land ports of entry and adding 1,000 new Customs officers;
  • New imaging technology and critical repairs at the land ports of entry to ensure all vehicles are scanned before entering the country for drugs and other contraband;
  • New cutting-edge technologies for detections elsewhere along the border;
  • New equipment at mail processing facilities to interdict fentanyl and other opioids shipped through the international mail;
  • Funding for additional immigration judges to address the backlog in processing immigration cases;
  • Funding for humanitarian assistance such as enhanced medical support, transportation, food and clothing for migrants held in CBP custody;
  • An expansion of CBP’s air and marine operations along the borders and in U.S. waters, and expansion of risk-based targeting of cargo entering the United States.

During this Black History Month, I am pleased we will be advancing H.R. 1, which contains Congressman John Lewis’s Voter Empowerment Act ensuring equal access to the ballot for every eligible voter, and lays the groundwork of the subsequent passage of Congresswoman Terri Sewell’s Voting Rights Advancement Act.

As always, I am proud and grateful for the strength and unity of our Caucus.  Thank you for your continued leadership to deliver results For The People.

best regards,