New Dem Weekly Wrap 6/30/2022
Following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending half a century of constitutional protection for a woman’s right to choose and make her own health care decisions, New Democrat Coalition (NDC) Chair Suzan DelBene (WA-01) issued a statement that said in part:
“For the first time in nearly 50 years, millions of women across the country seeking abortion care will be denied access to medical care they had just yesterday. Women living in 2022 have fewer rights than women in 1973… New Dems have already voted to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify Roe, but Senate Republicans blocked this legislation. While we are devastated, we are not deterred. We will keep fighting tooth and nail to protect women’s individual freedom.”
Chair Suzan DelBene (WA-01) released the below statement on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was signed into law by President Biden and all New Dem members unanimously voted to pass last week.
“This package will save lives and improve public safety by strengthening the background check system, keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others, and making a dramatic investment in mental health services…This historic progress would not have been possible without the work of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who were willing to come together in the face of tragedy to find common ground. I especially want to salute New Dem Representative Salud Carbajal (CA-24), who wrote the legislation that became law to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals.”
The New Democrat Coalition (NDC) released a comprehensive Action Plan to Fight Inflation outlining the next steps Congress and the Biden Administration can take to tackle inflation and lower costs for Americans.
Jennifer Rubin, Opinion Columnist at The Washington Post, wrote about the action plan, calling the Coalition’s proposed solutions “surprisingly bold” and “simply smart policy, especially when the goal is to tamp down on inflation.” She also stated that “It’s no surprise that economist and Post contributing columnist Lawrence Summers, who correctly predicted sustained high inflation, has endorsed the coalition’s package.”
Last week, NDC Members voted to pass a package that includes ten bipartisan NDC-endorsed bills to address the mental health and substance use disorder crises. As part of the Coalition’s effort to pass bipartisan bills in line with President Biden’s unity agenda, New Dems endorsed a slate of mental health and substance use disorder bills that will increase access to health care services, promote behavioral health care for children, and ensure health care providers can effectively treat substance use disorders.
Of the bill passage, NDC Chair Suzan DelBene (WA-01) stated, “This progress and the House-passage of 10 New Dem-endorsed bills would not be possible without the tireless work of New Dem Reps. Annie Kuster and David Trone, the co-chairs of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. We will continue working with our colleagues in the Senate to get this lifesaving legislation to the President’s desk as quickly as possible.”
Last week, New Dems unanimously voted to induct Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) as the Coalition’s newest Member. Now at 99 Members strong, New Dems look forward to working with Rep. Scanlon to advance an agenda that fights inflation and cuts costs for Americans by executing the New Dem Action Plan to Fight Inflation.
More on what New Dems have been up to below.
New Dems in the News
Punchbowl reported that “Pelosi echoed concerns of Frontliners and New Dems that millions of Americans will face the choice of sharp premium increases or losing their insurance this fall.” New Dems have long called for extending the enhanced ACA subsidies and closing the Medicaid coverage gap through reconciliation to keep health care costs low for Americans.
New Member Legislation
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) introduced H.R. 7995, the GOLD CARD Act of 2022. This bipartisan legislation will exempt qualifying providers from prior authorization requirements under Medicare Advantage plans to allow patients to care the care they deserve.
In light of the Supreme Court Roe Decision, Rep. Sara Jacobs (CA-53) introduced H.R. 8111, the My Body, My Data Act to protect personal reproductive health data. With the decision to overturn Roe. V. Wade, there are serious concerns that data collected by apps and websites could be used to target or arrest people if abortion is criminalized. The bill creates a new national standard to protect personal reproductive health data, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. By minimizing the personal reproductive health data that is collected, the bill prevents this information from being disclosed or misused.
Reps. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Susie Lee (NV-03), Andre Carson (IN-07) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL)joined their colleagues to introduce H.R. 7792, The Water Data Act. This legislation will transform and modernize water management across the country by better collecting water data in coordination with state, tribal, and local stakeholders. Specifically, the bill will address longstanding technical challenges in water data and science, create a national Water Data Council, and establish a new grant program to invest in innovation and new technologies.
Reps. Kim Schrier (WA-08), Jim Costa (CA-16), and Sharice Davids (KS-03) introduced H.R. 8127, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Amendments of 2022, a bipartisan bill to fund critical water and wastewater infrastructure projects. The bill will make public water projects eligible for low-interest, longer-term federal loans, and help ensure clean and consistent water and irrigation for the families in rural communities
Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) reintroduced H.R. 8154 the Facial Recognition Ban on Body Cameras act to prohibit federal law enforcement agencies from using facial recognition technology (FRT) and other biometric surveillance tools on footage from body cameras. FRT and biometric tools are increasingly used by law enforcement, but design flaws suggest that these tools can have negative implications for civil liberties. This legislation would improve transparency and accountability in law enforcement and protect citizen privacy.
NDC Member Actions
Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-31) recently chaired the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on of the U.S. Capitol’s third public hearing to present the panel’s findings. NBC covered Aguilar’s work with the committee ahead of the hearing.
Rep. Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) secured $100 million for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) in this year’s defense budget. This funding will address military infrastructure needs to support military families and follows a letter she led with 28 of her Congressional colleagues to the Defense Department earlier this year.
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