Reining in Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse
This week, the House of Representatives passed an amendment Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) and I introduced to rein in civil asset forfeiture abuse and passed an amendment I introduced to increase funding to help eliminate the rape kit backlog. Also this week, I supported Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) Medicare For All Act, I introduced a bill with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to protect job-seekers from credit-based discrimination, I was featured on a CBS This Morning story about the safety risks of shrinking airline seats, I released a statement on the recent natural disasters across the country, and commemorated the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see more updates as they happen.
Reining in Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan amendment that Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) and I introduced to rein in the federal government’s power to seize private property without due process. The amendment prohibits the use of federal funds to implement the Department of Justice’s recently announced expansion of civil asset forfeiture, which reversed a previous ban on the practice of adoptive seizures. Read more here. Watch my remarks here.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed my amendment to include an additional $4 million in the Fiscal Year 2018 House appropriations package for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI). This federal program helps local law enforcement agencies who are working to reduce their backlogs of untested rape kits. This is the third time since 2014 that the House has approved an amendment that I have offered to increase funding for this program. Altogether, these amendments have increased annual funding by 36%. Read more here.
On Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Medicare For All Act to expand the federal Medicare program for all Americans. I am proud to be a cosponsor of the House companion to this bill, introduced earlier this year by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). I have cosponsored this bill since coming to Congress in 2007, and I will continue to advocate for Medicare for all Americans.
On Thursday, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and I introduced the Equal Employment for All Act to protect job seekers from unfair discrimination from employers based on credit ratings that are often inaccurate and bear little to no correlation to job performance or ability to succeed in the workplace. The legislation would protect prospective employees from being forced to disclose their credit history as part of an employer’s application process. Read more here.
On Thursday, CBS This Morning ran a story in which I was featured about the potential safety risks of shrinking airplane seats. Earlier this year, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and I introduced a bipartisan bill to establish a minimum seat size on commercial airlines as well as a minimum distance between rows of seats to protect the safety and health of airline passengers. I am pleased our bill has been included as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill in the House. Watch the CBS story here.
My thoughts go out to the people affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida and across the Southeast, as they did for the people affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana and the people affected by massive wildfires in the West. These victims have experienced suffering, loss of property and, in some cases, loss of life. Read my full statement here.
Last week, my Democratic colleagues and I walked out of a House Judiciary Committee meeting because of Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) decision to shut down debate on a Resolution of Inquiry and the lack of oversight of the Trump Administration and its ties to Russia. NowThis Politics reported on the incident. You can watch the video here.
Bringing Congress to your Corner
The Congressional App Challenge is a competition aimed at encouraging U.S. K-12 students to learn how to code by creating their own applications, or “apps.” The Congressional App Challenge is open to all students in the Ninth Congressional District of Tennessee. Students entering the competition must submit their app on CongressionalAppChallenge.us by 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Daylight Time on November 1, 2017. Click here for more information.
Each year billions of dollars are distributed in federal grant and loan money to institutions and organizations throughout the country. The 9th District's universities, colleges, non-profit organizations, small businesses, and local governments are well-qualified to compete for these funds. If you are interested in receiving up-to-date federal grant information, including a list of the most recent grant awards and opportunities, please click here to sign up for my Grants E-Newsletter. I also encourage you to explore the resources on my website to help you and your organization search and apply for grants.
Each week, I share a health tip in the hopes of promoting a healthy lifestyle for residents of the Ninth Congressional District. As always, it is best to check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise routine or lifestyle.
September is National Prostate Health Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control, prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among American men. Learn more about symptoms and screening tests for prostate cancer here.
L’Shanah Tovah to those celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, next week.
As always, I remain.