New Democrat Coalition Weekly Wrap 07/10/2020
In recent weeks, the House and New Democrat Coalition (NDC) have been hard at work on several important priorities, including racial justice and policing reform, health care coverage, access, and affordability, infrastructure modernization, climate change, and more.
The House passed the NDC-endorsed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which seeks to better hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement, and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06) applauded the legislation as a meaningful first step to reform the nation’s law enforcement system.
The House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, which contains several provisions from NDC Members and coalition-endorsed bills to make health care more affordable and accessible to Americans throughout the nation. NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Health Care Task Force Co-Chairs Angie Craig (MN-02), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Kim Schrier (WA-08), and Greg Stanton (AZ-09) issued a statement recognizing the urgent need for this legislation to address health care coverage, access, and affordability.
The Select Committee on the Climate Crisis (SCCC) unveiled the Solving the Climate Crisis: Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy. NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Climate Change Task Force Co-Chairs Sean Casten (IL-06), Don Beyer (VA-08), Elaine Luria (VA-02), and Susan Wild (PA-07) applauded the report release, which aligns with the NDC’s policy priorities for combatting climate change and highlights twenty NDC-endorsed bills and several others led by NDC Members.
Finally, the House passed the Moving Forward Act, a comprehensive legislative package to modernize American infrastructure, accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies, and invest in crucial priorities, such as schools, housing, and broadband access. NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Infrastructure Task Force Co-Chairs Salud Carbajal (CA-26), Jason Crow (CO-06), Stacey Plaskett (VI-AL), and Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) issued a statement highlighting the inclusion of several NDC priorities, and the work that must still be done.
More on what New Dems have been up to below.
NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06) issued a statement following House passage of the NDC-endorsed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This bicameral, comprehensive legislation seeks to reform our law enforcement system, expand transparency and accountability, address racial justice, and end police brutality.
NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Health Care Task Force Co-Chairs Angie Craig (MN-02), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08), and Greg Stanton (AZ-09) issued a statement following House passage of H.R. 1425, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act. The legislation included three NDC-endorsed bills and several NDC Member-led and support provisions to lower ACA insurance premiums, expand Medicaid coverage, and test new ways to get more people covered, including autoenrollment.
NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Climate Change Task Force Co-Chairs Sean Casten (IL-06), Don Beyer (VA-08), Elaine Luria (VA-02), and Susan Wild (PA-07) issued a statement following the release of the SCCC’s Solving the Climate Crisis: Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy. The Action Plan is an ambitious, science-based agenda that provides a roadmap for congressional action to solve the climate crisis and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The Coalition was pleased to see twenty of NDC-endorsed bills and many of our climate change priorities included in the report.
NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Infrastructure Task Force Co-Chairs Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Jason Crow (CO-06), Stacey Plaskett (VI-AL), and Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) issued a statement following House passage of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. The legislation contains several NDC-backed provisions to rebuild resilient transportation and infrastructure systems, accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies and lower emission vehicles, expand transit oriented development and “dig once” policies, invest in affordable housing, expand innovative funding programs including vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fees, and expand and reinstate various public-private financing mechanisms.
The SCMC and the House Administration Committee announced the congressional reports from the Committee’s ongoing work will be made public. The reports detail how the Committee’s recommendations could be implemented in the legislative branch to increase transparency, boost technological capabilities, reform human resources, improve accessibility, and build bipartisanship throughout the House. The NDC has supported the formation and work of the bipartisan SCMC, which is Chaired by NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06). Earlier this Congress, NDC Chair Emeritus Jim Himes (CT-04) sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy urging for the extension of the Select Committee to continue its work past its initial February 1, 2020 expiration.
NDC Member Legislation
The President signed Rep. Angie Craig’s (MN-02) bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program extension bill into law. The legislation allows small businesses to immediately apply for additional lending from the remaining $130 billion in PPP funding through August 8th.
NDC Freshman Leadership Representative Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) introduced the bipartisan Small Business Compete Act. The legislation aims to help certain small businesses compete for lucrative federal contracts by easing Category Management requirements implemented by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, which could give an unfair advantage to larger contractors over small companies.
Reps. Harley Rouda (CA-48) and Tom Suozzi (NY-03) introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act, which would designate the people of Hong Kong as Priority 2 refugees and create a path for frontline pro-democracy activists in immediate danger to seek asylum protection in the United States.
Reps. Josh Harder (CA-10) and Cheri Bustos (IL-17) introduced the bipartisan Success for Rural Students and Communities Act. The legislation aims to improve college access and success for rural students by spurring innovation and investment in new strategies to prepare them to complete their credentials and step into high-demand jobs in their communities.
Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10) introduced the bipartisan COVID Preparedness, Response, and Effective Planning for Advanced Requirements by the Executive Branch (PREPARE) Act. The bipartisan legislation would require federal agencies to submit a report to Congress on the steps they are taking to respond to a potential resurgence of COVID-19, including measurable goals, anticipated challenges, and how they will consult with Congress.
Rep. Harley Rouda (CA-48) introduced the bipartisan Helping Businesses Reopen Act to provide businesses with the resources needed to successfully reopen. The legislation would provide a tax credit to small businesses, nonprofits, and local governments of up to $25,000 annually to purchase personal protective equipment and other supplies that are crucial to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Watch Rep. Rouda’s interview on Good Day LA.
Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) Introduces Two Pieces of Legislation:
- The Revolving Loan Fund Flexibility Act to provide localities greater flexibility in using federal economic development funds delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will allow local governments to repurpose funds that have been loaned from and repaid to a revolving loan fund, so that they can better target federal funds for projects that stimulate and revitalize local economies.
- The Encourage Americans to Save Act to update the saver’s tax credit into a saver’s match, a federal matching contribution to middle- and low-income working Americans who contribute to a retirement savings account, whether they save at work through an employer-sponsored plan or on their own through an IRA.
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26) introduced the bipartisan Shovel-Ready Restoration Grants for Coastlines and Fisheries Act. This legislation authorizes $3 billion for shovel-ready resilience projects that help bring back jobs lost by COVID-19 and boost the climate resilience of our coastlines.
NDC Member Action
NDC Vice Chair Terri Sewell (AL-07) joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn on the 7th anniversary of the Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court decision. Rep. Sewell focused on the negative impacts the decision had on American voting rights and urged the Senate to pass her NDC-endorsed legislation, H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Al Lawson Jr. (FL-05), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Darren Soto (FL-09), and Val Demings (FL-10) sent a letter demanding President Trump denounce offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. The letter follows troubling reports that the Trump Administration plans to open the Eastern Gulf to offshore drilling.
Reps. TJ Cox (CA-21), Jim Costa (CA-16), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Josh Harder (CA-10), and Julia Brownley (CA-26) sent a letter to congressional leadership asking for greater rural broadband investments in future COVID-relief legislation. The Members also asked that the requirements for such programs consider the rural regions of California that continue to lack adequate funding.
Reps. TJ Cox (CA-21), Josh Harder (CA-10), Angie Craig (MN-02), Kim Schrier (WA-08), and Cindy Axne (IA-03) sent a letter to the SCCC urging for the prioritization of the agricultural community and the contributions it can make in helping lower greenhouse gas emissions if given the proper tools and resources.
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26) penned an op-ed in Keys Weekly detailing the importance of protecting our oceans and using the ocean to combat climate change: “The data and science are clear: we cannot wait to act on the climate crisis, and we are running out of time to make serious progress. Our to-do list is long, but the consequences of inaction are too severe to ignore. I believe that protecting and harnessing our ocean in the fight against climate change must be a part of the solution to protect our communities and save our planet. I will continue fighting to keep my promise to South Floridians of a healthier, safer, and more sustainable environment for future generations.”
Rep. Harley Rouda (CA-48) penned an op-ed in the OC Register highlighting the importance of wearing face masks, especially as the nation looks to reopen its economy: "Face masks — in addition to practicing good hygiene and maintaining critical elements of physical distancing — give the vast majority of us the freedom to safely return to our lives. They allow small business owners to keep their lights on and employees on their payroll."
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