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Congresswoman Alma Adams

Representing the 12th District of North Carolina

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2019 Legislative Update

Introduced Bills

H.R. 5363, The Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act: This bill would permanently reauthorize mandatory funding for minority-serving institutions under Title III, Part F of the Higher Education Act, at a total of $255 million a year. In September 2019, this program expired, forcing smaller schools to begin laying off staff and cut back programmatic offerings. In December, this bill was approved by both the House and Senate, and was signed into law by the President on December 19th.

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H.R. 1179, the African-American Burial Grounds Network Act:  This legislation would create a voluntary national network of historic African-American burial grounds, managed by the National Park Service, and would provide information, technical support, and grants to aid in the research, identification, preservation, and restoration of burial sites within the network. Historically, the protection and preservation of African-American burial grounds has been neglected, and even actively undermined, by those in power. This legislation aims to address this injustice by providing federal recognition and support for these sacred sites.

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H.R. 2970, Army Security Agency Monument Act: This bill would direct the Department of the Army to place a monument honoring the United States Army Security Agency in Arlington National Cemetery. The Agency, which existed between 1945 and 1976, operated as the Army’s signals intelligence branch which monitored and interpreted the military communications of the Soviet Union, China, and their allies.

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H.R. 2625, LIVE Well Act: This bill would include eating disorders prevention within the nutrition education and obesity prevention grant program and the local wellness program. The Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant Program supports nutrition education for SNAP beneficiaries, while the Local Wellness Program helps school districts promote student health within their respective school lunch programs.

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H.R. 1368, Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2019:  Forty million Americans, including 1.5 million North Carolinians, struggle every day to put food on their table, which is why strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is more important than ever.  The Closing the Meal Gap Act would raise the baseline benefit for all SNAP households and better account for people with large medical and housing expenses to reflect the rising cost of living in our community.

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H.R. 3599, Law Enforcement Needs to Know Act: This bill would establish a grant program for states and Native American tribes to enroll firearm purchasers into the FBI Rap Back program. This would allow local law enforcement to receive on-going status notifications of any criminal actions reported to the FBI after a background check has been completed. Law enforcement can use this information to ensure that firearms are relinquished by any individual who becomes prohibited from possessing them through a criminal conviction.

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H.R. 3437, Saving Transit Art Resources (STAR) Act: The STAR Act would reinstate the ability of local transit authorities to incorporate art into federally-funded transit projects. For 30 years in cities and towns across America, transit agencies, including our own Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), have employed artists to enhance their transit projects. Public art helps to improve safety and security, increase ridership, reduce vandalism, and inspire and enrich the community. This bill would restore the ability of CATS and other transit authorities to incorporate art in public transit & create more vibrant and welcoming mass transit options.

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H.R. 2332, Tax Returns Unveiled to Secure Transparency Act (TRUST) Act: The TRUST Act would require all Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates (not just major party candidates or nominees) to release the 10 previous years of tax returns to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) within 30 days of becoming a candidate in addition to their existing ethics forms, which they are already legally required to submit; require public posting of each candidate’s releases on the OGE website, with any necessary redactions of social security numbers and other sensitive information;

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H.R. 1054, HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students Act: This bill would codify President Trump’s White House Initiative on HBCUs and require federal agencies to strategically engage and invest in HBCUs. The bill mandates that agencies measure their progress and report their actions to Congress.

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H.Con.Res.59, Recognizing the significance of equal pay and the disparity in wages paid to Black women in comparison to men: This resolution was introduced in recognition of Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, the approximate day a Black woman must work into the new year to make what men made at the end of the previous year. It emphasizes the importance of equal pay and the disparity between the wages paid to men and Black women. Black women working full-time are paid 61 cents for every dollar paid to men, a disparity that costs Black women $946,120 over the course of a 40-year career.

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H.J.Res.54, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States recognizing and securing the fundamental right to life, liberty, and property, which includes housing, health care, education, and nutrition: This constitutional amendment was introduced to establish that all Americans are endowed with fundamental human rights including access to housing, healthcare, adequate nutrition, and education. It is our national duty to ensure all citizens afforded the rights they need to have full, free and prosperous lives.

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H.Res.317, Supporting the designation of the week of April 11 through April 17, 2019 as "Black Maternal Health Week": This resolution was introduced to designate the 2nd annual Black Maternal Health Week during April 11-17, 2019. Unfortunately, in the United States, Black women are nearly four times more likely than white women – and more than twice as likely than women of other races – to die from preventable, pregnancy-related complications. Black women also experience higher rates of maternal complications and infant mortality. Black Maternal Health Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the state of Black maternal health in the US, (b) amplify the voices of Black women and families, (c) serve as a national platform for Black-women led entities and efforts on maternal health, and (d) enhance community organizing on Black maternal health.

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H.R. 2902, Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act: The Maternal CARE Act would create grants for medical schools, nursing schools, and other health profession training programs to support evidence-based implicit bias training. The bill would also establish a pregnancy medical home demonstration project to assist up to 10 states with implementing home visiting programs. In 2005, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) released a report that found that “racial and ethnic minorities receive lower-quality health care than white people—even when insurance status, income, age, and severity of conditions are comparable.” Moreover, risk factors such as a lack of access to prenatal care and physical health conditions do not fully explain the racial disparity in maternal mortality.

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H.R. 2701, Youth Access to Sexual Health Services Act of 2019: This bill would create a competitive grant program to expand access to fact-based, culturally-competent education and support programs that promote sexual health for young people who have been disadvantaged by underlying structural barriers and social inequity. Local organizations that work directly with vulnerable LGBTQIA+ youth would have access to federal resources to provide comprehensive health education within our communities.

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H.R. 3117, Community Access, Resources, and Education (CARE) for Families Act: The CARE for Families Act would make key investments in community health partnerships led by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and would address maternal and infant mortality by improving women and children’s access to quality nutrition and health care services throughout pregnancy and after giving birth. The WIC program has a proven track record of reducing infant mortality and improving the nutritional status and health of pregnant women. 

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H.R. 3642, Improving Credit Reporting for All Consumers Act: This legislation would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to fix the consumer report dispute process; ban misleading and unfair consumer reporting practices; and provide injunctive relief to consumers that experience difficulty getting their consumer credit information fixed when there are errors. Given consumer reports play an increasingly important role in the lives of American consumers, it is critical these reports are as accurate as possible. The bill creates minimum standards to ensure the consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), also known as credit bureaus follow reasonable procedures to ensure the maximum level of accuracy of the information contained in consumer reports.

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H.R. 5294, Student Borrower Protections Act of 2019: This Student Borrower Protections Act would amend the Truth in Lending Act to establish a student borrower bill of rights, including minimum standards for all loan transactions, improving disclosures, requiring accurate and timely repayment resources and options. The bill would also create standards for loan servicers reporting student loan information to the consumer reporting agencies. As a result of unprecedented student loan debt, student borrowers are struggling to begin careers, buy houses, start families, and save for retirement. Nearly 1.2 million North Carolinians hold $43 Billion in student loan debt.

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Key Letters

Letter to HHS opposing proposed rule eliminating abortion coverage through the ACA: This letter was sent on January 8th to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), opposing the Department’s proposed rule, which would impose unnecessary and onerous burdens on insurers and consumers with the goal of eliminating abortion coverage in the Affordable Care Act marketplace and denying women comprehensive health insurance. This rule ignores Congressional intent on abortion coverage, creates customer confusion, and would be costly for insurers and consumers alike.

Letter to support the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: On January 23, Rep. Adams and more than 130 of her colleagues sent a letter to the Secretary of State in support of a three-year pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria for its 6th Replenishment. Since 2002, the number of deaths caused by AIDS, TB, and malaria each year has been reduced by one-third in countries where the Global Fund invests.

Letter to USDA opposing their rule affecting ABAWDs receiving SNAP benefits:  In this letter, sent on April 2nd, Congresswoman Adams & other Members of Congress expressed strong opposition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed rule affecting Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) seeking Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The proposed rule showed complete disregard for Congressional intent, which was made clear by the bipartisan passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, and it lacked supporting evidence to make such a sweeping change.

Letter Opposing the Administration's Plan to Suspend Humanitarian and Development Assistance to Central America’s “Northern Triangle”: On May 6th, Congresswoman Adams joined more than 80 Members of Congress in sending a letter to the Secretary of State opposing the Department of State’s decision to suspend development and humanitarian assistance for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras because this move undermines long standing bipartisan policy goals in Central America and willfully disregards congressional intent.

Amicus Brief in support of LGBTQ protections in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: Congresswoman Adams signed on to a Supreme Court amicus brief supporting equal rights for LGBTQ employees in three cases where high-performing employees were fired once their bosses discovered their sexual orientation or gender identity. The brief, signed by 153 Members of Congress, urges the Supreme Court to clarify the law to reflect what is already widely recognized: that LGBTQ Americans are protected against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Letter to Secretary Pompeo urging the immediate reversal of the decision to withdraw U.S. funding from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA): This letter, sent on July 26th, expressed strong opposition to the Secretary’s Kemp-Kasten Determination against UNFPA.  The annual determination process was performed in bad faith and without evidence of violations. Unfortunately, as a result, for the third year in a row the Secretary defunded UNFPA.

Letter to Democratic House Leadership supporting clean energy tax credits: On October 30th, Congresswoman Adams and more than 160 other Members of Congress sent a letter to House leadership urging the inclusion of clean energy tax policies in negotiations around must-pass legislation this year. In particular, the letter encouraged the inclusion of tax policies that support energy storage, electric vehicles, wind & solar technologies, and energy efficiency.

Amicus Brief Regarding EEOC’s Decision to Halt Significant Pay Data Collection: On October 28th, Congresswoman Adams joined more than sixty of her colleagues in filing an amicus brief to the  D.C. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in National Women’s Law Center v. Office of Management and Budget, opposing the Trump Administration’s appeal to overturn an order requiring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to collect pay data from large companies.

Comment letter to USDA opposing proposed rule rolling back Categorical Eligibility for SNAP: Congresswoman Adams, along with all 27 other Democrats on the Education and Labor Committee, submitted a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture on November 1st, calling on the USDA to abandon its proposed cuts to the SNAP. The letter was submitted after the USDA was forced to reopen a public comment period because it failed to publish internal estimates showing that their proposed rule would cut automatic access to free school meals for 982,000 children, nearly twice as many children as the Department previously informed the Committee would be affected.

Letter to Mitch McConnell urging swift Senate action on 275 bipartisan House of Representatives-passed bills that would directly benefit women and families: Congresswoman Adams joined 89 other Congresswomen in sending a letter to Senator McConnell on December 11th, urging swift action on the more than 275 bipartisan pieces of legislation that have passed the House of Representatives but continue to languish in the Senate. Bipartisan legislation to address our nation’s crisis of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, legislation that ensures equal pay, and legislation to raise the federal minimum wage all sit in the Senate, waiting for McConnell’s action.

Letter to President Trump urging an end to the Government Shutdown: On January 1st, Rep. Adams joined 170 of her colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump on the direct and immediate consequences of the shutdown on housing stability for more than four million households across the country. Both the short-term operations and long-term viability of affordable housing programs are dependent on Housing and Urban Development’s rental assistance initiatives. An estimated 2.2 million low income households were among those at risk of eviction, including housing for thousands of veterans, seniors, and people living with disabilities.

Letter to Census Director Dillingham regarding increasing the frequency of data collection on minority and women franchise business owners: On February 25th, Rep. Adams led a letter with 57 Members calling on the Census Bureau to collect more frequent data on franchise ownership among women and minorities as a part of a push to promote business ownership. The most recent Census data, collected in 2012, shows that 30.8% of franchise businesses are minority owned, compared to just 18.8% of non-franchised businesses. In the 12th District alone, roughly 600 of the 2,000 franchise businesses are women- and minority-owned, representing 42,300 jobs and $1.8 billion in wages.

Letter to House Leadership requesting a delay to harmful Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital cuts: On May 13th, Rep. Adams joined 300 of her colleagues to call for a delay in cuts for Medicaid DSH payments for at least two years, or until a more sustainable, permanent solution is reached. Medicaid DSH payments help sustain hospitals that serve a disproportionate number of low-income and uninsured patients. In doing so, these hospitals incur tremendous uncompensated costs. In states that have not expanded Medicaid, like North Carolina, Medicaid DSH payments help make up for those losses and, in turn, allow hospitals to keep their doors open and continue caring for the most vulnerable among us.

Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy to support reauthorization of the critical Special Diabetes Program: On May 9th, Rep. Adams joined 378 members in sending a letter to House leadership encouraging continued support of the Special Diabetes Program and a commitment to reauthorize the program prior to its expiration on September 30, 2019. The lives of roughly 30.3 million individuals with diabetes, 84.1 million with prediabetes, and countless families impacted by the disease have benefited from this critical program.

Letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson urging withdrawal of the Noncitizen Proposed Rule: On May 10th, Rep. Adams joined Chairwoman Waters and 22 other colleagues in sending a letter to HUD Secretary Carson after the agency proposed a controversial rule that could displace 55,000 American children from public housing, including Section 8 project-based rental assistance or Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) recipients. HUD’s own regulatory analysis found that a little over 76,000 people are eligible members of mixed-family households, and 73 percent of those were children that could be displaced.

Letter to Treasury, IRS, and OMB expressing concerns regarding implementation of the Opportunity Zone Program/Tax Incentive: In April, Rep. Adams led a letter with 10 of her colleagues urging Secretary Mnuchin, OMB Director Mulvaney, and IRS Administrator to develop the Opportunity Zone program regulations in a way that allows for the program to equitably benefit our most underserved communities and the participating investors. In light of reports of abuse, the letter encouraged the regulators to include protections that prevent rapid gentrification and support the intended vision of community revitalization, economic growth, job creation, and long-term, sustainable investment.

Letter to the Commerce Department’s Office of the Inspector General calling for an investigation into the Census Bureau’s hiring of Kenneth Mabry: In March, Rep. Adams led a North Carolina delegation letter expressing serious concerns regarding the Census Bureau’s background check and hiring process of Kenneth Mabry, a registered sex offender, in its Charlotte regional office. The letter requested an immediate investigation into the hiring and vetting processes at the Charlotte regional office to determine what happened, to ascertain if the Census Bureau and third party contractors are adhering to existing policies regarding employee background checks, to identify what steps, if any, the Bureau has taken to address the concerns in Final Report No. OIG-018-015-A, and to outline what short- and long-term steps must be taken to ensure that this mistake does not occur again.

Letter to House Leadership urging support for Community Health Centers, National Health Service Corps, and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (Rep. Pressley): On October 23, Rep. Adams joined 76 colleagues in sending a letter to House Leadership to express our strong support for the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF), and the funds it provides to Community Health Centers (CHCs) and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). The letter also encouraged strong funding levels for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program.

Letter Urging CMS to ensure Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) patients have access to current life-saving therapies: On November 23, Rep. Adams joined 21 colleagues in sending a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services encouraging the agency to ensure that affected patients have immediate access to new, breakthrough treatments for SCD that will improve health equity and outcomes for this long underserved patient population. Currently, 100,000 Americans live with sickle cell disease, a major public health issue that disproportionately affects African Americans. 

Letter to HUD Secretary Carson denouncing agency efforts to undermine the Disparate Impact Rule:  Rep. Adams joined House FSC Chairwoman Waters and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Brown and 34 other Members in sending a bicameral letter to Secretary Carson expressing concern with the agency’s proposed changes to the disparate impact standard under the Fair Housing Act, which would make it harder for everyday Americans who find themselves victims of housing discrimination to get justice. The disparate impact standard is the most important tool for enforcing the Fair Housing Act in today’s rapidly evolving housing market, and it holds actors accountable for the discriminatory impacts of their actions regardless of whether the discrimination was intentional.

Letter to President Trump expressing concern about his selection of Mr. Robert Marbut to lead the US Interagency Council on Homelessness: On December 6th, Rep. Adams joined 75 colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump expressing concern about his pick to lead the US. Interagency Council on Homelessness – Robert Marbut – whose approach rejects decades of learning, research, practice, and bipartisan agreement that “Housing First” ends homelessness. The letter also expresses disappointment with other Trump administration proposals to defund key HUD programs, impose rent increases and work requirements on HUD tenants, evict mixed-status immigrant families living in subsidized housing, and remove protections for LGBTQ individuals experiencing homelessness.

Letter to Department of Labor on their Truncated Public Comment Period for Three Rules in the Wage and Hour Division: Congresswoman Adams led this letter from House Education and Labor Committee Democrats on April 10th to urge the Department of Labor to provide more time for public comment on three rules that impact the wages and workplace liability of millions of America’s workers. The Department originally granted only 60 days for public comment on these rules, contrary to the typical 90-day allotment.

Key Co-sponsorships

H.R. 1, For the People Act of 2019 (Rep. Sarbanes): Learn More

H.R. 3 - Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (Rep. Pallone): Learn More

H.R. 4, Voting Rights Advancement Act (Rep. Sewell): Learn More

H.R. 5, Equality Act (Rep. Cicilline): Learn More

H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (Rep. Roybal-Allard): Learn More

H.R. 7, Paycheck Fairness Act (Rep. DeLauro): Learn More

H.R. 9, Climate Action Now Act (Rep. Castor): Learn More

H.R. 36, Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act of 2019: Learn More

H.R. 40, Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act (Rep. Jackson Lee): Learn More

H.J.Res.79, Removing the deadline for the ratification of the equal rights amendment (Rep. Speier): Learn More

H.R. 95, Homeless Veteran Families Act (Rep. Brownley): Learn More

H.Res.109, Green New Deal Resolution (Rep. Ocasio-Cortez): Learn More

H.Res.124, Resolution opposing the ban on openly transgender servicemembers from serving in our nation’s military (Rep. Kennedy): Learn More

H.Res. 246, Supporting Two-State Solution and Opposing Global BDS Movement (Rep. Schneider): Learn More

H.R. 273, Presidential Tax Transparency Act of 2019 (Rep. Eshoo): Learn More

H.R. 299, Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 (Rep. Takano): Learn More

H.Res.326, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding United States efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a negotiated two-state solution (Rep. Lowenthal): Learn More

H.R. 341, The Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (COAST) Anti-Drilling Act of 2019 (Rep. Pallone): Learn More

H.R. 397, Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2019 (Rep. Neal): Learn More

H.Res.517, Supporting the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and its Sixth Replenishment (Rep. Engel): Learn More

H.R. 553, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act (Rep. Wilson): Learn More

H.R. 647, Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (Rep. Engel): Learn More

H.R. 693, Prevent All Soring Tactics of 2019 (Rep. Schrader): Learn More

H.R. 737, Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2019 (Rep. Sablan): Learn More

H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act  (Rep. Deutch): Learn More

H.R. 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (Rep. Lofgren): Learn More

H.R. 1146, Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act: Learn More

H.R. 1185, FAMILY Act (Rep. DeLauro): Learn More

H.R. 1225, Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act (Rep. Bishop): Learn More

H.R. 1274, Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Rep. Lee): Learn More

H.R. 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (Rep. Courtney): Learn More

H.R. 1379, Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act (Rep. Peterson): Learn More

H.R. 1384, Medicare for All (Rep Jayapal): Learn More

H.R. 1500, Consumers First Act (Rep. Waters): Learn More

H.R. 1530, The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (Rep. Kind): Learn More

H.R. 1585, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (Rep. Bass): Learn More

H.R. 1692, EACH Woman Act (Rep. Lee): Learn More

H.R. 1784, Healthy Families Act (Rep. DeLauro): Learn More

H.R. 1837, the United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act (Rep. Deutch): Learn More

H.R. 1856, Ending Homelessness Act of 2019 (Rep. Waters): Learn More

H.R.1897, MOMMA’s Act (Rep. Kelly): Learn More

H.R. 1903, The Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Act (Rep. Rice): Learn More

H.R. 1941, the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act (Rep. Cunningham): Learn More

H.R. 2147, The RURAL Act of 2019 (Rep. Sewell): Learn More

H.R. 2474, Protecting the Right to Organize Act (Rep. Scott): Learn More

H.R. 2602, Healthy MOMMIES Act (Rep. Ayanna Pressley): Learn More

H.R. 2639, Strength in Diversity Act (Rep. Fudge): Learn More

H.R. 2778, The Healthy Maternity and Obstetric Medicine (MOM) Act (Rep. Watson Coleman): Learn More

H.R. 3197, Restoring Overtime Pay Act (Rep. Takano): Learn More

H.R. 3195, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act (Rep. Van Drew): Learn More

H.R. 3502, Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act (Rep. Ruiz): Learn More

H.R.3632, Fair and Open Skies Act (Rep. DeFazio): Learn More

H.R. 3668, the Asuncion Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act of 2019 (Rep. Chu): Learn More

H.R. 3745, The HUD Inspection Oversight Act (Rep. Lawson): Learn More

H.R. 3760, Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act (Rep. Jayapal): Learn More

H.R. 4995, The Maternal Health Improvement Act (Rep. Engel): Learn More

H.R. 5042, The Opportunity Zone Reform Act (Rep. Clyburn): Learn More

H.R. 5221, 100% Clean Economy by 2050 (Rep. McEachin): Learn More