September 3, 2021 Newsletter
This week, my offices have been working very hard as Congressional recess comes to an end. This month, we successfully passed H.R.4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, in the House and President Biden’s budget resolution. I also wanted to acknowledge several upcoming events, including the holidays over the long weekend, and the VA-04 Photography Competition.
I also want to take this opportunity to offer my condolences to the loved ones of those who died in the terrorist attack last month in Afghanistan. These military members have been and remain true heroes.
Lastly, there are many communities throughout the south and northeastern regions of the country that are dealing with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Here is more information on how you can help in the relief efforts.
I want to express my profound sympathy to the family and friends of the servicemembers who lost their lives in the terrorist attack last week in Afghanistan. Thanks to their service and bravery, many Americans and Afghan allies have been able to evacuate to safety. Our military members have been and remain true heroes. We will need to study and determine what happened and what allowed this tragedy to occur. We will also need to make sure we continue to be vigilant to stop any other terrorist attacks both in Afghanistan and here in the United States.
While the war in Afghanistan may be over, efforts to resettle and support all those the United States evacuated are ongoing. If you would like more information on how you can help refugees, how you can start a case with my office, or other helpful resources, please visit my website.
Last week, I was pleased to help pass the budget resolution that was a critical and necessary step in advancing President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Now, my colleagues and I can begin to write the legislation that will enact the significant improvements that we need to improve lives, create jobs, lower health care costs, and address the climate crisis.
The resolution we passed last week instructs the relevant committees to write legislation that provides significant investments in American families and the economy. This investment will change the infrastructure of American lives, invest in small businesses, American workers, and job creation, without raising taxes on anyone who makes less than $400,000 a year.
I am already taking action on that resolution and joined my colleagues in the House Natural Resources Committee for the first full committee markup on the Build Back Better Plan. This legislation will be transformative, and I was thrilled to partner with President Biden and my colleagues to move this legislation forward.
Last week, I also voted for H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. As an original cosponsor of H.R. 4, I was proud to help pass this historic legislation to safeguard voting rights in America. This bill would protect Americans’ right to vote, increase accountability and transparency for localities engaged in questionable election-related activities, and restore necessary parts of the Voting Rights Act that were gutted in the Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision. The bill restores pre-clearance which requires that states with a history of discriminatory behavior toward minority voters or a history of suppressive voting legislation would have to get approval from the Department of Justice before instituting election changes.
The right to vote is the backbone of our democracy and too many Civil Rights warriors were beaten or even died fighting to ensure fair voting for all eligible Americans. This legislation will protect the right to vote, ensure fair standards, and stop the kind of voting suppression we are seeing instituted in too many states today. I call on the Senate to pass this overdue and much-needed legislation expeditiously to protect the sacred right to vote and uphold our country’s democracy.
The Fourth Congressional District Photography Context is only open until September 30th! I encourage you to take some photos of our district and submit them to our office. The Fourth District is a beautiful area with coastlines, rivers, valleys, and unique urban vistas. I cannot wait to see the entries. For more information, including the rules for entry and submission guidelines, please visit my website.
I want to congratulate the athletes from Virginia who are participating in the Paralympics in Tokyo – Sydney Barta, Nicholas Mayhugh, Joshua George, Alexa Halko, and Joey Peppersack, who is a Hopewell native. We are so proud to have these athletes representing the Commonwealth and Team USA in Tokyo!
I want to take this moment to wish my Jewish friends – Shana Tova! – A happy and healthy new year, as they celebrate Rosh Hashanah next week. May this new year be filled with hope, peace and happiness.
I want to wish you a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day weekend. Labor Day celebrates and commemorates the significant and ongoing accomplishments of the labor movement. The labor movement has made considerable contributions to our country and has successfully protected American workers from dangerous and exploitative working conditions. It has also helped ensure children are protected from unsafe working conditions and helped achieve a five-day work week in the U.S. Unions have fought for better wages and health benefits for workers and support for those injured on the job. Whether or not you belong to a labor union, we should thank the labor movement for the many job benefits and improvements we have today and we must work to protect the right of workers to organize.