Congressman Lynch's Lunch Bucket Bulletin - 2/18/17
February 18, 2017
Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter, where I will be sharing updates on what Congress is considering on the House Floor, legislation I’ve introduced or cosponsored, as well as reports on issues and events of importance to the families of the 8th Congressional District.
The resignation of General Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former National Security Advisor, is not the end of the story. Members of Congress need to be briefed by the intelligence agencies and the Oversight Committee must launch a thorough, bipartisan inquiry into General Flynn’s actions. Earlier this week, I joined the Democrats on the Oversight Committee in renewing our call for oversight of the Trump administration, including the alarming concerns about General Flynn’s ties to Russia. We sent a letter to Chairman Jason Chaffetz calling for him to initiate an investigation or step aside so that we can. And the new reports of repeated contact between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence only reaffirm our numerous calls for an oversight investigation into the Russian hacking. This week, I cosponsored Congressman Nadler’s Resolution of Inquiry, which would force a floor vote directing the Department of Justice to provide the House of Representatives all information relevant to an inquiry into President Trump and his associates’ conflicts of interests, ethical violations, and ties to Russia. We are talking about people undermining the integrity of our national elections and attacking democracy. This should not be a partisan issue. We need a thorough bipartisan investigation and congressional action so that people do not lose faith in the integrity of our electoral system.
In response to President Trump’s misguided freeze on hiring for federal jobs, I introduced H.R. 1001, the Veterans Federal Hiring Protection Act of 2017. With veterans making up more than 30% of the federal workforce and new hires at the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Transportation, and other agencies nationwide, America’s returning service men and women will be disproportionately affected by the President’s action. Veterans in the 8th Congressional District are being frozen out of federal government jobs due to President Trump’s government-wide hiring freeze. This is no way to treat our returning service men and women, who proudly served our nation and fought to protect our democracy. They are being denied the opportunity to make a transition to civilian life by going to work for the VA or other agencies of the federal government. Putting veterans to work should not be a partisan issue. By coming together on a bipartisan basis and passing the Veterans Federal Hiring Protection Act, we can ensure our veterans, who have critical skills needed by federal agencies, can continue their important public service to our country in the federal workforce.
During the Blue Collar Caucus special order hour, I spoke on the House floor about the importance of passing H.R. 1001 the Veterans Federal Hiring Protection Act of 2017. In addition, I highlighted the importance of our blue collar economy and noted that the withdrawal of Andrew Puzder as President Trump’s nomination for Labor Secretary is a win for America workers. Puzder’s employees sued his restaurants for lost wages, overtime violations, and harassment. Puzder is not a friend to workers and would threaten the right to a safe workplace and the right to fair pay. Thanks to the calls of everyday Americans and opposition from both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, we have stopped this disastrous nomination and we can push for a Labor Secretary who better understands the needs of working families.
During the Financial Services Committee hearing on the U.S.-EU Covered Agreement, I raised concerns about the international negotiation of agreements that excludes Congress and state regulators. Congress negotiates war and peace, life and death, every major issue in our society, but when it comes to trade agreements or international insurance agreements, we are excluded from the process. The people I represent deserve to have some input into this process. When I feel confident that their interests have been included, then I will support the agreement. There is a lack of transparency in the current process. It is not right that we are having the industries with the most direct financial interest at the table, while the people who are most affected by it are not included. I am committed to changing this system.
Partisanship causes gridlock in Washington, D.C. so I see a lot of value in building relationships with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. This week, I introduced a bipartisan bill alongside my friend, Pete King, a Republican from New York, who I am proud to serve alongside as co-chairs of the Task Force on Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proliferation. Our legislation, H.R. 1037, creates a National Emergency Medical Services Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work on federal land in the District of Columbia to honor the ongoing commitment and sacrifice of the EMS members across the country. Each year, the 850,000 first responders of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) answer more than 30 million calls serving 22 million patients in need of life-saving care at a moment’s notice without reservation. The men and women of the EMS are our country’s first line of defense in the prevention and mitigation of risk from terrorist attacks, man-made incidents, and natural disasters. A national EMS memorial will honor the members of the EMS and memorialize the sacrifice made by first responders and their loved ones.
Thank you for keeping in touch with our office and for keeping me informed about the issues that are important to you and your family.
God bless you and God bless these United States of America.