A Humanitarian Crisis
My Visit to the Border
Last weekend, I joined Representatives Jackie Speier, Vicente Gonzalez, Filemon Vela and 17 other Democratic Members of Congress at the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen and Brownsville, Texas. We were briefed by detention center staff and spoke to children and parents at those locations as well as two nonprofit centers before crossing over the border at Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville to provide food and other items to migrant families attempting to apply for asylum in the United States. I was pleased to see an improvement in the treatment of children and their parents compared to my visit last year when families were being separated at the border. However, these conditions remain far from perfect. I will continue my work in Congress to ensure no family suffers while in our care.
Speaking about my visit to the border on WMUR. Watch here.
I was deeply disturbed by the inhumane conditions I saw at some of the border facilities. Some people have been held for 40 to 60 days with the lights on 24/7 in cement cells without the ability to bathe or brush their teeth, and some told us they have not had enough to eat. As Members of Congress, it’s our responsibility to conduct oversight. The public must see what’s happening inside these border facilities. The way our government is treating vulnerable men, women and children is a humanitarian crisis and goes against our values as a nation.
A mother and child at Ursula facility in McAllen.
Giving Americans a Raise
Yesterday, I voted in favor of the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, which would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025, giving up to 33 million Americans a raise and lifting more than 1.3 million workers out of poverty. Too many Granite Staters and Americans across our country are struggling to make ends meet despite working 40 hours or more - and for some, multiple jobs - just to get by. Our nation’s stagnant minimum wage undermines the economic prosperity of hardworking men and women, and it holds back those who may want to pursue higher education, apprenticeships, or vocational training programs. I am pleased the House voted to pass this commonsense legislation to invest in the futures of our workers and help give Americans the dignity that comes with financial independence. I urge the Senate to follow suit.
Supporting the Hardwood Industry
I joined Congressman Chris Pappas in leading a bipartisan letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue calling on the Trump Administration to include the hardwood industry in any future trade mitigation assistance packages. The hardwood industry supports jobs and communities across our country, and it requires financial support akin to what other commodities impacted by current trade and tariff disputes are receiving. Its survival is critical to the health of our economy as a whole.
Combating the Spread of Illicit Fentanyl
On Tuesday, I joined my Energy and Commerce Committee colleagues for a hearing on combating the spread of illicit fentanyl in our fight to beat the opioid epidemic. While we have seen opioid and heroin overdose deaths decline in New Hampshire, fentanyl-involved overdoses continue to devastate our communities. As these overdoses continue to ravage communities nationwide, it is clear we need an immediate and practical plan to confront this ever-changing threat.
At the hearing on combating fentanyl. Watch here.
Protecting Access to Healthcare and Family Planning
Like so many Americans, I am deeply concerned over President Trump’s Title X gag rule, which went into effect on Monday. This rule puts family planning and basic health care services on the line for millions of Americans. The Title X program is crucial to the wellbeing of families nationwide, providing funding for contraception, fertility treatment, family planning, cancer screenings, and other vital services. The President’s changes will also restrict the information doctors can share with their patients - threatening the quality of the care and preventing patients from making informed decisions about the full range of family planning services available to them. I will continue my fight to protect Title X and defend every Americans’ right to quality health care and family planning services.
Stay Safe in the Heat
We are expecting extreme heat here in New Hampshire this weekend! Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, be alert for signs of heatstroke and exhaustion, and check on your friends and neighbors who don’t have air conditioning. To find a cooling center near you, click here.
Here for You
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at 603-226-1002 with any questions, concerns or ideas you have - I love hearing from you! I look forward to staying in touch, and I hope to see you at my upcoming town halls in the coming weeks. My office will be in touch with details soon. Thank you for all the wonderful contributions you make to our great state. I hope you enjoy the weekend!