I wanted to share some updates on what I’ve been up to in D.C. and in the district. It has been a busy year so far, with plenty of work to do.
The Need for Additional IRS Funding
I had the chance to speak about a variety of timely issues on CSPAN’s Washington Journal, including the importance of the new funding for the Internal Revenue Service that I was proud to vote for in the Inflation Reduction Act. This Congress, I voted against legislation that would repeal those funds, because the IRS must be able to ensure that all tax laws are enforced on a fair basis, and that taxpayers receive quality customer services.
Protecting USPS Letter Carriers
I also spoke with WISN about the uptick in armed robberies and assaults against postal workers in our district and nationwide. Milwaukee police have reported five armed robberies of letter carriers this year alone and Aundre Cross, a letter carrier, was fatally shot last December while delivering mail. To address this, I sent a letter to Postmaster General DeJoy calling for additional efforts to protect United States Postal Service (USPS) workers.
Recognitions - Advocating for Children and Supporting Public Service
While it isn’t why I do the job, it is always nice to be recognized for the important work I do. I was honored to Last week receive an award from First Focus – Campaign for Children- in recognition of my work as a lawmaker to improve the lives of children. My organizing principle continues to be championing our most vulnerable and I will always remain focused on this vital goal.
I also received the John Lewis Bridge to Service Award from Voices for National Service in recognition of my advocacy for AmeriCorps. As an AmeriCorps Vista alum, I know the tremendous impact these programs can have on our communities.
Watch the Awards Ceremony Video here.
I was given the chance to speak before the House Rules Committee on proposed work requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF). I voted against the GOP’s Default on America Act, which, as part of their conditions for raising the debt ceiling, would institute these unnecessary requirements that would only add red tape and prevent struggling Americans from accessing the assistance they need. Addressing real barriers to poverty, such as a lack of transportation and child care is how we can truly meet people’s needs and put them on the path toward family-supporting careers.
As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I also had the opportunity to hear from IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel on a variety of subjects, including the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child tax Credit, and the success they had during the pandemic in keeping families out of poverty.
Additionally, I spoke about bipartisan legislation that I introduced with Congresswoman McBath and Congressman Smucker -- the Savings Access For Escaping and Rebuilding (SAFER) Act -- a bill to allow penalty-free withdrawals from retirement plans for domestic abuse victims. This access can lift a burden off of survivors and enable them to seek safety, so they can access the funds they need to start a new path for themselves.
Meetings and Events
Last week, I spoke with Paris Hilton about the need for reforms in the “troubled teen industry,” which usually refers to facilities aimed at helping children with behavioral issues. Sadly, these institutions are where too many children face abuse and neglect. Paris has shared her story of abuse at one of these facilities and is advocating for change. I support these efforts because it’s critical that all children can grow up in safe and supportive environments.
April marked the ten-year anniversary of the Giffords Courage organization, and it is always great to have my former colleague Gabby Giffords on the Hill. She continues to be an inspiration in the fight against gun violence and is a great partner in efforts to keep our communities safe.
I want to close this newsletter on a high note. I was joined by young people from across my district to celebrate their creativity in this year’s Congressional Art Competition. I look forward to seeing the winners’ art displayed in Washington, D.C.
I will keep you updated on how I am serving you in this Congress. Take care!