Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This week, I spoke at events commemorating the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and introduced my friend Majority Whip James Clyburn, who received this year’s “I Am A Man” award at the April 4th Foundation’s annual banquet. I also voted for the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, a bill that would improve protections for victims of domestic violence; voted to authorize a subpoena so Congress can obtain Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and the underlying evidence; defended the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against the Trump administration’s attacks; led an effort to prohibit federal spending at Trump businesses; met with University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd; commemorated the 70th anniversary of the NATO alliance; asked Attorney General William Barr to look into a suspicious fire at the iconic Highlander Education and Research Center; questioned the NASA administrator about plans for returning to the moon; and offered a weekly health tip. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see more updates as they happen.
Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Voting for Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act
Voting to Authorize Subpoena to Release Mueller Report to Congress
Defending the Affordable Care Act against Trump Administration Attacks
Leading Effort to Prohibit Federal Spending at Trump Businesses
Meeting with U.T. President Boyd on Health Science Center, Scholarships
Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of NATO
Asking the Attorney General to Investigate fire at Highlander Center
Questioning NASA Administrator about Partnership with Russia and Going to the Moon
Signing Up for “Congress on Your Corner” and this e-Newsletter
Weekly Health Tip
Quote of the Week
On Thursday, I spoke at a memorial service on the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., steps from where he fell at the Lorraine Motel, now the National Civil Rights Museum. I had the pleasure of introducing the crowd to my friend and colleague Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, who also spoke. I shared with the audience that, earlier in the day in Washington, I attended a reception for the new Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, Cheryl Johnson, the second African American woman to serve in that role. Her appointment show how far we have come in pursuit of Dr. King’s dream. So does the phoenix-like transformation of the once-rundown Lorraine Motel, now a premier destination museum for learning about Civil Rights. Later that night, Congressman Clyburn received the “I Am A Man” award at the April 4th Foundation’s 19th annual banquet. Memphis can never forget that Dr. King was in Memphis to help our 1,300 striking sanitation workers. See my release on commemorating the anniversary here.
On Thursday, I voted for, and the House passed, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which improves protections for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. See my release here.
On Wednesday, as a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, I voted to authorize Chairman Jerrold Nadler to issue a subpoena to the Department of Justice to compel the release of the complete report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, including exhibits and other material, as well as subpoenas to certain former Trump White House staff. Seeing all of what Mueller found – not relying on President Trump’s handpicked Attorney General’s four-page interpretation or a redacted version of the report – is the only way Congress can exercise its oversight duty. See my release here. On Monday night, as it appeared Attorney General William Barr would miss Chairman Nadler’s April 2 deadline for releasing the report, I went on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Chris Matthews to discuss the implications. See that interview here.
On Wednesday, I voted for, and the House passed, a resolution condemning the Trump administration’s efforts to eliminate protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for pre-existing conditions and its decision to try to use the courts to invalidate the entire law. Nearly three million people in Tennessee have a pre-existing condition and more than 20 million people rely on the ACA for their health care. The Administration’s lawsuit is a cruel attempt to strip vital care from millions of Americans. See my release here.
On Thursday, I led a letter to the House Appropriations Committee leaders, signed by 40 of my House colleagues, asking them to include language in the annual spending bills for the next fiscal year to prohibit the use of federal funds at businesses owned by President Trump. Such payments may violate the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. See a release containing the letter here.
On Wednesday I met with University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd. Mr. Boyd thanked me for my work to pass the Lottery Scholarship Program when I was in the State Senate and for my continued support for access to higher education. Boyd noted that the University of Tennessee’s Health Science Center in Memphis has wide-reaching impact across Tennessee, with over half of the doctors and dentists in Tennessee being UTHSC graduates.
On Wednesday, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addressed a joint session of Congress commemorating Thursday’s 70th anniversary of the Alliance. At a time when some, like the President, question the value of the pact, I agree with Stoltenberg that it is essential to maintaining a peaceful world order. On Tuesday night, I was invited to dinner at the British Ambassador’s residence for a celebration of the 70th anniversary where NATO officials thanked me for the resolution I introduced and passed last year supporting the alliance and the territorial integrity of Central and Eastern Europe. See my release on the anniversary here.
On Thursday, I wrote to Attorney General William Barr, asking him to look into the discovery of a notoriously racist symbol found spray-painted near a building that was destroyed by a recent fire at the Highlander Education and Research Center. I asked him to investigate for possible violations of federal law, and to significantly increase the Justice Department’s efforts to combat the rise in hate crimes and white nationalism. See a release containing my letter here.
On Tuesday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine appeared before the Science, Space and Technology Committee on which I serve, and I asked him questions about our ongoing partnership with Russia on missions in space and about our plans for a return to the moon by 2028. I also sought assurance that the lack of proper spacesuits for women, which led to the cancelation of a planned first all-female spacewalk, would not happen again. See our exchange here.
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 here to receive notification as soon as the next event is scheduled. My next “Congress on Your Corner” is Friday, April 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Millington Public Library, 4858 Navy Road in Millington.
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April is Autism Awareness Month but, as a member of the House Autism Caucus, autism and National Institutes of Health’s research into it, is on my mind year-round. The federal government has an interagency Autism Coordinating Committee that keeps track of news and information about autism. See the very latest information here.
“You are reminding, not only Memphis, but you are reminding the nation, that it is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.” -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “All Labor Has Dignity” speech delivered March 18, 1968, at the Mason Temple Church of God in Christ, Memphis.
I am scheduled to be on “CNN Tonight” with Don Lemon tonight in the 9 o’clock hour and on “CNN Newsroom” with Fredricka Whitfield in the noon hour Saturday.
As always, I remain
Member of Congress