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Dear Friend,

As we reflect on 2019 and look ahead to 2020, I’m grateful to everyone across NW Oregon who made their voice heard and participated in our democracy. This year my office received and replied to more than 101,500 letters and phone calls. I also held 12 town hall meetings with more than 1,300 participants in attendance. Another 1,800 people joined in a telephone town hall meeting-- a new record! My office assisted more than 1,000 people with questions and challenges involving federal agencies, including the VA, Social Security, and immigration.

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Many of you have contacted me with your thoughts about impeachment, which I take very seriously. Witnesses and evidence confirm that the President abused the power of his office for personal gain, jeopardized our national security, and obstructed Congress to prevent the American people from learning the truth about his actions. The House has a duty under the Constitution to hold the President accountable and to provide the checks and balances our founding fathers envisioned. When the House votes, I will uphold my sworn oath to the Constitution and vote to impeach President Trump.


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The impeachment process hasn’t slowed down the legislative process in the House; we have continued to work hard to address the challenges facing Oregonians and people across the country. In fact, this year the House has passed more than 400 pieces of legislation (275 of them bipartisan) to grow our economy, support veterans, protect the environment, safeguard health care access, strengthen education, and more. As a caretaker for my 91-year-old mother, I was proud that the House passed my bipartisan Dignity in Aging Act to expand and improve much-needed services for more than 11 million aging adults. Prescription drug costs are forcing too many families to choose between food and housing and their health: the House recently passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act to improve access to affordable health care for all.  I’m hopeful that early in 2020, the House will vote on the College Affordability Act, another top priority, which will make higher education more affordable. 

Senator McConnell continues to refuse to allow a vote on many of these critical bills. In 2020, I will continue to fight for action in the Senate on these important issues. And, I’ll continue fighting back against this Administration and standing up for immigrant families, asylum seekers, hungry kids and families, people with pre-existing conditions, workers, trans students and the LGBTQ community, and our environment. 


Taking Action on the Climate Crisis

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As the only Member from the Pacific Northwest on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, I’ve been highlighting coastal and resiliency issues and calling for immediate action. We must protect our planet by implementing bold, science-based policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. I was honored to join Speaker Pelosi at the UN climate change conference in Madrid, where we told the world that we plan to uphold our commitments under the Paris Agreement. My first climate bill to pass the House this Congress was the COAST Research Act to help coastal communities better understand and cope with the effects of climate change on the ocean. I support the 100% Clean Economy Act to accelerate our country’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy. 

While the world’s future hangs in the balance, this Administration refuses to act—or even acknowledge that climate change is real. Instead, the Trump Administration is undermining science and trying to pass a rule that would prevent the EPA from considering scientific research that has long been used to safeguard the public. I’ll continue standing up for science and our environment against these backward attacks.


Standing Up for Students

As a community college graduate, I know that our communities and our economy are stronger when every student can get the best education possible to prepare them for success in whatever path they take in life. I am leading the College Affordability Act to address the barriers in higher education that are holding students back. This bill includes many policies from legislation I’ve previously introduced, like my bipartisan RISE Act to help students with disabilities and my proposal to help address student hunger on campus. I am proud of the work we have done crafting the College Affordability Act, and I’ll continue to fight for improvements to the higher education system that help students and our communities.

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When I’m home in Oregon, I enjoy visiting schools and talking with students and teachers about how to improve public education. Data shows that our educator workforce is not nearly as diverse as the student population, but I’ve met with inspiring student teachers who are going to change that. One change we don’t need is the Trump Administration’s effort to cut school meals for nearly one million children, which I vigorously oppose. Finally, don’t miss this podcast I recorded with some talented Beaverton High School students. Visiting with students across NW Oregon gives me hope for the future. 


 

What's Next

Although we’ve made progress on many important issues this year, key priorities remain to be addressed in the last weeks of 2019 and the second session of this Congress. Crucially, we must fund the government and avoid another disastrous shutdown like the one that harmed Coast Guard families and many others at the start of this year.

I am optimistic that the College Affordability Act, which includes several provisions I added to help borrowers and students with disabilities, will pass the House. We have known about the dangers of asbestos for decades, and I look forward to my Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act coming up for consideration next year. In 2020, the Select Committee will announce our bold Climate Action Plan to address the climate crisis and get to work on this urgent threat to our world. We also expect to vote on the USMCA, a rewrite of NAFTA that will update trade policies with Mexico and Canada and provide better rules, enhanced monitoring, and stronger enforcement. 

And of course, I will continue to hold the Administration accountable on every front, because in our democracy no one is above the law.

Wishing you and your family a peaceful and joyful holiday season,

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