Bringing Home Major Transportation Victories for Memphis
June 11, 2021
This week, as a senior member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I participated in a 19-hour markup of the INVEST in America Act and ultimately voted for the measure containing all or part of nine bills I have introduced, plus several Memphis-specific transportation projects. I also questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray about Donald Trump’s role in inciting the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol; noted that the June 4 Judiciary Committee interview with former White House counsel Don McGahn establishes that Trump asked him to lie and lied himself about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election; introduced a bill addressing multiple-substance impaired driving; spoke out against ocean dumping; congratulated Sweden on its chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; offered my office’s assistance with COVID-related mortgage and foreclosure problems; remembered my civic-minded friend Charlie McVean; and offered a health tip. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.
On Wednesday and into the pre-dawn hours Thursday, I participated in the markup of the INVEST in America Act containing all or part of several bills I have introduced involving multiple substance impaired driving, interstate rail compacts, complete streets, school bus safety, underride guards for tractor-trailers, Amtrak dining car service, and the renaming of the Selma-to-Montgomery section of U.S. 80 in Alabama for my dear friend and late colleague as the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Highway. See my speech endorsing the INVEST in America Act here and my release after its passage here.
On Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared before the Judiciary Committee. I focused my questions on former President Trump’s role in inciting the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and whether it is being investigated by the Bureau. See my release on my exchange with the director here.
On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee, on which I serve, released the transcript of the Committee’s June 4 interview with former White House Counsel Don McGahn. It’s clear from the transcript that Trump asked McGahn to lie about efforts to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and that Trump himself lied about the investigation, thereby obstructing justice. See my statement on McGahn’s interview here and the transcript of the interview here.
On Tuesday, I introduced the Multiple Substance Impaired Driving Prevention Act with Congressman Kathleen Rice of New York to address this under-reported public safety problem. See my release on the bill here.
As a member of the Natural Resources Committee, I participated in a hearing Tuesday on the impact of the insecticide DDT dumping off Southern California decades ago. I spoke out against past and current misuse of the oceans as a dumping ground. See my statement here.
On Friday, as a longtime member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (also known as the Helsinki Commission), I congratulated Sweden and its foreign minister on assuming the annual chairmanship. See my release, including an opening statement, here.
On Sunday, I learned that my good friend Charlie McVean had passed. Charlie will always be remembered for his civic-mindedness, his commitment to the students at East High School and the permanent gift he left at our city’s front door – the Harahan Bridge’s Big River Crossing. See my statement on his passing here.
If you are experiencing hardships paying your mortgage or are in foreclosure due to the COVID pandemic, you can contact my district office and I will try to help. Call (901) 544-4131.
I read in The Commercial Appeal this week about the low vaccination rates in Memphis ZIP codes 38126 and 38106 and am working to encourage more people to get vaccinated. I am especially mindful of helping those who may have difficulty getting to a vaccination site. If you need a ride to a vaccination site, you can call 901-RIDE901 (901-743-3901) to coordinate the best transportation option for you. The City of Memphis is also now coordinating with organizations, congregations, community groups, and businesses to host COVID-19 vaccinations. To find the latest information about vaccination sites, to request a vaccination appointment for a homebound individual, or to set up a community COVID vaccination event, visit https://covid19.memphistn.gov/.
We all need to be vaccinated to begin a return to our new normal.
In Shelby County, the process is free, easy and fast. Do it for your family, your friends, and your community.
“My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: ‘In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.’ What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black. So I shall ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, that’s true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love.” – Presidential candidate, Senator and former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, speaking at Indianapolis on the evening of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., April 4, 1968. Kennedy was assassinated 53 years ago last Sunday.
As always, I remain.