Congressman Hank Johnson's E-Newsletter for Dec. 16, 2016
I want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year. May the gift of love, peace and happiness be yours this season.
It’s been a busy month since Thanksgiving, and I want let you know what I’ve been working on in Congress.
RUSSIAN HACKING: All Americans should be deeply concerned by the reports that Russian agencies interfered with the U.S. election. As Speaker Ryan noted, ‘any foreign intervention in our elections is entirely unacceptable.’ Although both Senate and House committees will conduct investigations, perhaps the best option is an independent inquiry -- on the model of the 9/11 Commission. For my statement on this issue, click HERE.
EXCESSIVE SURVEILLANCE: This month, I called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take swift action to address the disproportionate use of surveillance technology against low-income and minority communities. Recent reports have shown that police departments are reportedly using surveillance technology with greater frequency against people exercising their First Amendment rights, specifically people of color. To read my letter, click HERE.
STANDING ROCK: While I was pleased the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the construction of a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline earlier this month, what concerned me most was the militarized response by the North Dakota police, who confronted peaceful protesters using armored vehicles, automatic rifles, sound cannons, concussion grenades, and other offensive military weapons and equipment. For my full statement, click HERE.
ONLINE DISCRIMINATION: As Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law (RRCAL), which exercises jurisdiction over antitrust laws and competition, I sent a letter to Airbnb’s CEO this week urging the short-term rental company to reconsider its use of pre-dispute, forced arbitration clauses and class-action waivers in the “terms of service” agreements of their contracts. Airbnb is a peer-to-peer online marketplace homestay network that enables people to list or rent short-term lodging in residential properties with the cost of such accommodations set by the property owner. For more, click HERE.
Lastly, I want to send condolences to the family of Officer Nicholas Smarr of the Americus Police Department and Georgia Southwestern Police Officer Jody Smith, who were shot and killed last week while responding to a call. Police officers put their lives on the line every day for our community. As President Obama said, “nothing justifies attacks on law enforcement.” We must all work together to stop senseless shootings in Georgia and across the nation.
FOR YOUR/MORE INFORMATION:
As always, I appreciate your time and feedback. Please remember you can reach me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now on Tumblr as well as e-mails, phone calls and letters. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent you in Congress and please have a safe and Happy Holidays. I look forward to being sworn in Jan. 3, 2017 to continue serving you and your family in the 115th Congress.