June 30, 2020 E-News Letter
I’m pleased to report that the House of Representatives passed H.R. 7120 – the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act – last week. My effort to demilitarize the police – the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act – makes up an entire section of this bold, unprecedented reform bill to curb police brutality, end racial profiling and eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement. This legislation will transform the culture of policing, address systemic racism and help save lives as it holds police accountable and increases transparency.
Specifically, the bill:
• Bans chokeholds;
• Stops no-knock warrants;
• Ends the qualified immunity doctrine that is a barrier to holding police officers accountable for wrongful conduct;
• Combats racial profiling;
• Mandates data collection, including body cameras and dashboard cameras;
• Establishes new standards for policing; and
• Stops the militarization of law enforcement.
In contrast, both the President’s weak Executive Order and Senate Republicans’ proposal fall dramatically short of what is required to combat the epidemic of racial injustice and police brutality by failing to contain meaningful, mandatory accountability measures to end misconduct.
EXPOSING CORRUPTION: As part of my senior role on the Judiciary Committee, I conducted oversight of the Department of Justice last week in a hearing: Political Interference and Threats to Prosecutorial Independence. During my questioning, I exposed a disturbing pattern of abuse of power at the Department of Justice, orchestrated by Attorney General Barr and President Trump. For more, click HERE.
PROTECTING OUR CARE: Even as the Trump Administration filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, I – along with my Democrat colleagues – unveiled new legislation to build on the ACA to lower health costs and prescription drug prices: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act. From day one of the House Democratic majority, we’ve been hard at work to defend and strengthen the Affordable Care Act in the face of President Trump’s relentless efforts to tear down the law and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. We’ll be voting this week to move this legislation forward. For more, click HERE.
COURTS & COVID: I recently chaired a hearing in my Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet on the Federal Courts During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Best Practices, Opportunities for Innovation, and Lessons for the Future. The hearing examined how the federal courts have responded to the historic disruption caused by the coronavirus and the steps they are taking to ensure that access to justice continues as safely and smoothly as possible under these circumstances. For more, click HERE.
DC VOTING RIGHTS: I recently announced my support of H.R. 51 – a bill admitting the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, named in honor of the great American statesman and our Nation’s foremost abolitionist Frederick Douglass, into the Union as the 51st state and give it voting representation in the Congress and full local self-government. For more, click HERE.
CALLING ALL CODERS: Last but certainly not least, I celebrated my 2019 Congressional App Challenge winners via a virtual meeting with three graduates from Arabia Mountain High School in Lithonia. For more, click HERE.
Below you can find quick links to resources that can help you, your family and your business get through this ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Please stay healthy and safe.
As always, I appreciate your time and feedback. Please remember you can reach me and get good information on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages by clicking the icons at the top of this e-letter. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent you in Congress. Please continue following CDC guidelines. And please have a safe and healthy Fourth of July weekend.