Congressman Lynch's Lunch Bucket Bulletin - 3/25/17
March 25, 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.
House Republican leadership and President Trump hastily pushed their so-called American Health Care Act legislation forward without public hearings and with very limited debate. We heard loud and clear from the families we represent that Trumpcare would put their access to healthcare at risk.
Trumpcare did not have working families, children, Americans with disabilities, or seniors in mind. Trumpcare would have been a disaster for Massachusetts – potentially jeopardizing coverage for nearly 500,000 Massachusetts residents and costing the Commonwealth nearly $2 billion in federal funding. It would have destroyed Medicaid as we know it and taken funds that seniors depend on from the Medicare Trust Fund. Trumpcare would have defunded Planned Parenthood – putting women’s access to preventative health services, cancer screenings and contraception at risk. House Republicans were focused on tax cuts for the richest Americans, while pushing the cost of healthcare onto middle-income earners and the states. And to make matters worse, they would have dropped Medicaid coverage for substance abuse and mental health services, threatening efforts to address the opioid abuse epidemic across the country. We still need to make high quality healthcare more affordable and accessible for all Americans; Trumpcare would have done the opposite.
Now that Republican leadership pulled the bill from the Floor, I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will now take into account how the American people have reacted to their so-called plan and I call for a sincere, bipartisan effort to make needed improvements to the Affordable Care Act.
Earlier this week, the House Intelligence Committee held a public hearing with FBI Director James Comey and Admiral Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency. During the hearing, Director Comey confirmed an investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election is ongoing and they are looking at possible links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. We need an independent bipartisan commission to investigate foreign interference into the 2016 election, which is why I cosponsored H.R. 356, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to push this effort forward. Director Comey also noted that the FBI has no information to support President Trump’s allegation that President Barack Obama wiretapped him. President Trump should apologize to the American public and issue a retraction of his misleading statements about wiretapping. If we can’t trust our President, our allies will be worried about trusting the United States as a country.
I am also concerned about the recent release of President Trump’s budget blueprint for Fiscal Year 2018. He proposes dramatic cuts to domestic spending, from slashing funding at the State Department to eliminating key programs that American families depend on at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The key to good diplomacy is to increase the number of our friends and allies and decrease the number of our enemies. Huge cuts to the State Department budget will not facilitate good diplomacy. In addition, cutting the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by about 25% will deeply impact programs combating global warming and lead to more than 3,000 job cuts. This sends the wrong message about our country’s commitment to fighting climate change.
President Trump wants to cut $5.8 billion at the National Institutes of Health. These cuts harm the important work being done at the research institutions, hospitals, and biotechnology companies across Massachusetts. We want to be investing in cures for cancer and other diseases, not making across-the-board cuts that would eliminate partnerships between research institutions. Rather than investing in our workforce, President Trump proposed cutting funding for health professions and nursing training and shrinking the Job Corps, which provides education and job training to young people across the country. The Trump administration has also targeted the National Flood Insurance Program for funding cuts seeking to eliminate mapping and mitigation activities, which could lead to additional fees on policyholders and could directly affect South Shore communities.
The Trump administration’s goals do not appear to have working families in mind. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle have expressed their opposition to aspects of this budget blueprint. It is the responsibility of Congress to approve a budget, so I am hopeful that we can fight to preserve funding for many of these important programs. I have heard from Mayors in the 8th Congressional District, who depend on federal funding to assist families in their cities and towns. From funding for affordable housing initiatives and TIGER grants to support transportation projects, to investments in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Community Development Block Grant program, many important priorities for our local communities are on the chopping block under President Trump’s misguided budget blueprint. I will work closely with our local elected officials and community organizations to advocate for funding for these critical initiatives.
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.