Remembering Elijah Cummings
This week, I remembered my friend and colleague Elijah Cummings of Maryland, a giant of Congress and a man of quiet power and integrity. I also chaired a hearing on strengthening the Voting Rights Act; moved to block federal funds from being used at Trump’s Doral Resort for the G-7 Summit next year; introduced the Tax Return Preparer Accountability Act; prepared for my October 25 Memphis roundtable on Complete Streets; celebrated the naturalization of 60 new American citizens; offered 2020 U.S. Capitol Historical Society calendars; and offered a health tip on critical vaccinations during pregnancy. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see more updates as they happen.
Remembering Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland
Chairing Hearing on Legislative Proposals to Strengthen the Voting Rights Act
Condemning Trump’s Choice of his Doral Resort for the G-7 Summit
Introducing Tax Return Preparer Accountability Act
Holding a Complete Streets Roundtable October 25
Celebrating Newly Naturalized American Citizens
Offering 2020 U.S. Historical Society Calendars
Weekly Health Tip
Quote of the Week
Elijah Cummings was a giant in Congress and will be sorely missed. The son of a sharecropper who rose to be the powerful Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, he was a lifelong advocate for civil rights and justice and was a staunch defender of the Constitution. He was working hard to hold the President accountable for his impeachable conduct when he succumbed to complications from longstanding health problems on Thursday. We were fiends and I valued the time we spent together. He was a model legislator, a man of integrity, knowledge and grace. He will be missed. See my release on his passing here and my statement here.
On Thursday, I chaired the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties as it considered legislative proposals to strengthen the Voting Rights Act in the wake of the Supreme Court’s disastrous 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder. This was the seventh in a series of hearings, including one held in Memphis on September 5, to create a record in advance of passage of H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act which would restore the pre-clearance provisions of the original act and strengthen voting rights protections. See my release on the hearing here.
On Thursday, Acting Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney announced that the G-7 Summit of world leaders will be held at Trump’s Doral National Resort in Florida next June, a clear plan to violate the foreign emoluments clause of the Constitution and an astonishingly corrupt instance of illegal self-dealing. I condemned this decision when I heard about it since it so clearly presents the appearance of impropriety and joined colleagues Friday in introducing the Trump’s Heist Undermines the G-7 (THUG) Act. Public officials should avoid even the appearance of impropriety and this roars IMPROPRIETY. See my statement on the announcement here.
Earlier today, I introduced the Tax Return Preparer Accountability Act with Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia to protect consumers from unscrupulous and/or unskilled tax preparers who defraud honest taxpayers. This bill incorporates Internal Revenue Service rules for preparers to meet certain education and testing standards and gives the IRS explicit authority to regulate tax return preparers. See my release about the bill here.
It is an unpleasant fact that Memphis has a reputation as one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians, bicyclists and users of public transit. That’s why I introduced H.R. 3663, the Complete Streets Act, to create a program to pay for technical assistance and capital grants for projects such as sidewalks, bike lanes and bus stops to improve the safety and efficiency of transit. It’s also why I am hosting a Complete Streets roundtable discussion next Friday, October 25, in Memphis to hear ideas from private sector stakeholders and our local, state and federal government on how to produce safer Complete Streets.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Parker presided at the swearing in of 60 new American citizens from 26 countries in his Memphis courtroom. As I had votes in Washington, my my district staff attended this solemn and inspiring ceremony that made former residents of Nepal, China, Egypt, South Sudan, Honduras, Senegal and Laos, among other places, naturalized American citizens. Judge Parker quoted President Obama, who noted that the most important title is not “president” or “prime minister,” but “citizen.” I congratulate all our new Americans.
My office will have a limited number of 2020 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 am only able to mail calendars to residents of Tennessee’s Ninth District. Please feel free to share this email with other residents of the Ninth District who may be interested in receiving one but who do not receive my e-Newsletter.
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Weekly Health Tip
Earlier this month, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report with compelling data that indicated many pregnant women in the United States are not getting vaccines against flu and whooping cough. These vaccines are strongly recommended during pregnancy to protect both mother and child. Seventy percent of those who died from whooping cough in recent years were infants younger than two months. See the C.D.C.’s guidance here. Incidentally, it’s not just women who need to get their flu shots: I got mine today.
“I want justice, oceans of it. I want fairness, rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.” -- Congressman Elijah Cummings (1951-2019) at the 2015 Baltimore funeral of Freddie Gray.
“God has called me to this moment. I did not ask for it.” -- Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland (1951-2019) in an August 7, 2019, speech at The National Press Club.
As always, I remain
Member of Congress