Celebrating Change for “The People’s House”
This week, I celebrated the change to come to “the People’s House,” the U.S. House of Representatives, when the new Congress convenes in January. I also expressed concern about the integrity of justice with the leadership of the U.S. Department of Justice in flux and the Special Counsel’s probe of Russian interference in jeopardy, reminded constituents that open enrollment for 2019 HealthCare.gov plans has begun and ends December 15, called for an end to unnecessary military deployments at the border to thwart innocent asylum seekers, suggested a way to get to the bottom of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, expressed concern about the President’s renewed attacks on the press, planned to commemorate Sunday’s Armistice Day anniversary and Monday’s Veterans Day, planned to hold a November “Congress On Your Corner,” offered constituents U.S. Capitol Historical Society calendars and suggested a health tip about diabetes. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see more updates as they happen.
Celebrating Change for “The People’s House”
Protecting the Integrity of Justice
Flagging Open Enrollment Now Available at HealthCare.gov
Calling for an End to Military Deployment at the Border
Getting to the Bottom of the Khashoggi Murder
Again Expressing Concern about the President’s Attacks on the Press
Celebrating Veterans Day on Sunday and Monday
Appearing on MSNBC About the New Congress
Holding My Next “Congress On Your Corner”
Offering U.S. Capitol Historical Society Calendars
Signing Up for “Congress On Your Corner” and this e-Newsletter
Weekly Health Tip
Quote of the Week
On Tuesday, the people spoke with their votes and changed the House of Representatives for the 116th Congress that gets under way in January. It will once again be what the Founders intended it to be, “the People’s House,” and no longer “the House of Trump.” This puts Congress in a good place to begin addressing the people’s needs long sidelined by gridlock, such as improvements to the Affordable Care Act and protecting people with pre-existing conditions, protections for safety net programs, protection for the integrity of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the 2016 elections, protecting voting rights by updating and strengthening the Voting Rights Act, and oversight of the suspicious patterns of corruption we’ve seen but were powerless to investigate in this Congress. I look forward to playing an active role in that oversight as a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee. As a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I am hopeful that we can work in a bipartisan way to improve our crumbling highways, bridges, pipelines, transit systems and rail lines while creating jobs.
On Wednesday, President Trump fired U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and replaced him with loyalist Matthew Whitaker, who has been publicly skeptical of the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections undertaken by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Not only was Whitaker an anti-Mueller, anti-Clinton political commentator on CNN after a failed bid for the U.S. Senate from Iowa, but worked for a now defunct patent marketing firm that the Federal Trade Commission accused of running a scam that bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars, and the firm was ultimately forced to pay a more than $25 million fine. The only reason he was selected is that he will be a hatchet man, employing an open, notorious and blatant effort to stifle and control the Mueller investigation and have its final report shielded from the public.The predictable but perilous Constitutional crisis requires Congress to step up and protect Mueller’s probe by passing the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act (H.R. 5476) that I have cosponsored. Congress must act.I will attend a rally to protect Mueller’s probe at the downtown Federal Building on Saturday, beginning at noon.
Open enrollment for 2019 HealthCare.gov insurance plans is now under way. This year, open enrollment runs only through December 15. I will be making use of every possible means to make my constituents aware that the time available to sign up has been limited again this year compared to the enrollment periods during the Obama Administration -- six weeks shorter than it was in 2016. For more information on signing up for health care, see Healthcare.gov.
Sending thousands of military troops to the border to protect against a so-called “invasion” -- a political stunt meant to scare the Trump base ahead of the midterms – was inappropriate and wastes taxpayers’ money. I joined my colleagues in sending a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis expressing my opposition to sending additional troops. The troops should be called back and the migrants seeking asylum should go through the routine legal vetting procedures without unnecessary drama.
As I told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, I think the bipartisan Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, on which I serve, should look into credible allegations from Turkey that the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in Istanbul by Saudi Arabian agents. I will be pursuing this in the days ahead. This grisly affair has deep repercussions for U.S.- Saudi relations and the stability of the region.
CNN’s reporter Jim Acosta routinely asks hard questions of the current President, as he did the previous President and other elected officials, because he represents the Fourth Estate and is obliged to inform the public. When he did so at Wednesday’s presidential news conference, the White House decision, for the second time this year, was to curtail CNN’s access to White House officials, breaching First Amendment rights. The press is not “the enemy of the people,” and the public knows it, but the President continues to say it is. Such behavior is both dangerous and un-American and should be condemned.
Sunday is the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the horrific trench warfare that killed millions in World War I, including 116,708 Americans, 231 of them from Shelby County. I’ll be at the Doughboy Statue in Overton Park on Sunday to read the names of our fallen.
Monday is Veterans Day, when we honor all who have served in uniform. It is an appropriate time to remember Army Air Forces Second Lieutenant Martin F. O’Callaghan of Memphis, shot down over what is now Slovenia in the waning weeks of the Second World War, whose remains were buried this week. His sacrifice and that of those who fell on battlefields in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere around the world should never be forgotten.
I look forward to my 10th annual Veterans Day Meeting on Monday to hear their concerns.
I’m scheduled to appear on Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC show Friday night and on Alex Witt’s show on MSNBC on Sunday morning in the 11 o’clock a.m. hour to talk about the new Congress convening in January and its agenda.
My Memphis staff and I will hold an evening “Congress On Your Corner” for those who can’t make our daytime events, on Monday, November 26, at the Benjamin Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. As your representative in Congress, part of my job is making sure your concerns and issues with federal agencies and federal benefits are dealt with fairly and expeditiously. We can help with Social Security, Medicare, veterans benefits and military service issues, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and services, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) home loans, federal grant applications, visas and passports, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues and more.
My office will soon have a limited number of 2019 U.S. Capitol Historical Society calendars available. If you would like to receive a calendar, please complete this form on my website. Due to the rules of the House, I can mail calendars only to residents of Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District. Please feel free to share this email with other residents of the 9th District who may be interested in receiving one but who do not receive my e-Newsletter.
I enjoy meeting regularly with constituents in the district and helping get answers for them to questions about dealing with federal agencies. If you are interested in attending one of my “Congress on Your Corner” events, you can sign up hereto receive notification as soon as the next event is scheduled.
For those who haven’t participated in a telephone town hall, it’s easy to sign up for them by using this form.
If you would like to receive this weekly e-Newsletter, or share it with others, you can do that with this form.
Each week, I share a health tip in the hope of promoting a healthy lifestyle for residents of the 9th Congressional District. As always, it is best to check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise routine or lifestyle.
According to the National Diabetes Association, 806,000 Tennesseans have diabetes and 1.7 million have prediabetes. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and next Wednesday is Diabetes Awareness Day. Many don’t know that they have diabetes, which is problematic because diabetes can be managed or prevented with active measures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advice on preventing pre-diabetic patients from developing the condition. See that information here.
“We have men of science, too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.” -- U.S. Army General Omar N. Bradley, Armistice Day speech, November 11, 1948.
As always, I remain
Member of Congress