News from Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici
 

February 2, 2017

Dear Friend,

We are living through a challenging time in our country, and we all have a responsibility to stand up for our shared values. I am encouraged by your phone calls, letters, and emails telling me what matters to you and asking how you can contribute to the debate. Thank you for making your voices heard and please keep calling and writing.

This week the Democrats on the House Education and the Workforce Committee unanimously elected me to serve as their Vice Ranking Member. I look forward to using this leadership position to further advance policy priorities important to Oregonians, and to find bipartisan solutions with our Republican colleagues. I know there are many challenges ahead, but I will work hard to make meaningful progress for American workers and students. I will continue to promote policies that support working families by fighting for more good paying jobs and by making sure that students have access to well-rounded public education.

Here is what I've been working on since the new Congress convened:

Fighting for the American People
On election night, President Trump pledged to 'bind the wounds of division,' and in his inaugural address, he pledged to serve the American people. During his first two weeks he has failed to live up to either commitment. President Trump's actions and executive orders target women around the world, immigrants, Muslim refugees, veterans, and federal employees. If Congress tries to undermine voting rights, tear apart immigrant families, interfere with veterans' health care, silence scientists, reinstate torture, privatize Social Security or Medicare, or repeal the Affordable Care Act, I will fight every step of the way in every way I can.

Delivering on the Promise of Public Education
An Education Secretary should work tirelessly to make our nation's public schools work for all of our students and to provide all students with an opportunity to thrive and succeed no matter what path they take. The nomination of Betsy DeVos to be the Education Secretary is extremely concerning because she does not have the qualifications or the values needed to strengthen public education. Her only meaningful experience with public education is steering select students out of public schools and into private or charter schools. Her school voucher policies would funnel scarce public school funding to schools that do not comply with fundamental civil rights protections, schools that refuse to service students with learning disabilities, and schools that turn away English language learners. As a member of the House Education Committee, I will fight back on attempts to exacerbate inequality in our public education system. Our students deserve better.

Welcoming Refugees and Immigrants
President Trump's Executive Order on refugees and immigrants that targets people from Muslim-majority countries is offensive and dangerous. The United States is a nation of immigrants, and we have a proud history of welcoming those fleeing war and persecution. Turning our backs on refugees is un-American and makes us less safe. This ban has implications right here in Oregon. Families are in crisis and not sure when they will be reunited. Our research universities have students and faculty from around the globe, and many companies in Oregon do business in multiple countries. They are concerned about their students and employees, and the uncertainty is bad for families and the economy. Our country values diversity and religious freedom, and I will stand against this harmful and unconstitutional ban every step of the way.

Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center
One of my priorities is making sure that Oregon workers and students have the skills and experience they need to succeed in the 21st century innovation economy. The Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center is an exciting collaboration by leading businesses and higher education partners that will make Northwest Oregon a world-class hub for advanced manufacturing, high-tech research, and workforce development. I met with leaders from the four higher education institutions that are bringing this vision to life in Columbia County—Portland Community College, Oregon State University, Oregon Tech, and Portland State University. I'll continue to advocate for OMIC, which will create pathways of opportunity to good jobs for Oregonians and elevate our regional economy.

 

Protecting Oregonians' Health Coverage
The Affordable Care Act has made quality, affordable health care a right—not a privilege—for millions of Americans. Repealing the ACA without a replacement will endanger the health of many, including Mark from Tualatin. Mark has stage IV renal cancer that forced him to leave his job as a special education teacher. Because of the ACA, he was able to get coverage for his chemotherapy treatments. I'm grateful to Mark and his family for allowing me to share his story with my colleagues in Washington, and I will keep fighting until every Oregonian has access to affordable, high-quality health care coverage regardless of where they live, their income, their health status, their race, or their gender.


You can find more updates about my work around the district and in Washington, D.C. on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also contact my Oregon and Washington, D.C. offices with questions, comments, or for assistance with a federal agency. This mailbox is not monitored. To contact me via email, please use this secure web form.

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