I’m committed to getting the Build Back Better Act and the bipartisan infrastructure bill across the finish line to make overdue investments in our families, workers, and infrastructure. Roads and bridges are important, and so are affordable child care, workforce programs, and protecting our planet. Negotiations are ongoing, and I am confident we will get the job done.
It was exciting to help announce a $100 million federal investment in expanding the MAX Red Line to Hillsboro to allow even more people to get to work, school, and home safely and efficiently. This is a great example of the need for federal investment to strengthen and expand our public transit systems.
Reproductive freedom in all 50 states
I strongly condemn the repeated attacks on reproductive rights. Everyone should have the freedom to decide what is best for their own health and family. It is essential that everyone have access to health care, including abortion services, that is free from political interference. I helped the House pass legislation that would protect the right to abortion in all 50 states. I will continue to do all I can to protect reproductive freedom and I urge the Senate to quickly pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. We refuse to be dragged back to the dangerous days before Roe v. Wade.
Financial security for students and taxpayers
Many Americans rely on tax refunds to cover necessary expenses, and every penny makes a difference. We must protect them and their tax refunds from predatory preparers who take advantage of the complexity of the tax code to line their own pockets. The Tax Refund Protection Act will provide increased transparency and needed oversight so taxpayers will not be cheated and can be confident that they will receive the amount they are due.
I’ve also heard from too many students and young consumers who have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous student loan companies and for-profit colleges. Restoring the Office for Students and Young Consumers—which was recklessly shut down by the Trump administration—will provide students and young consumers with the protections they need.
Scientists tell us that there is a flashing a code red for the climate, and I’m doing everything I can in Congress to advance climate action. One bill I’m working on will help our communities better prepare for and mitigate extreme heat events, like the heat dome that tragically took more than 100 lives in Oregon this year.
Another bill will focus our initial transition to clean energy on states and Tribes with longstanding economic ties to fossil fuel industries. The Just Transition for Energy Communities Act will empower frontline communities and provide economic development grants to states and Tribes that have historically been dependent on fossil fuels.
And it is always inspiring to see youth leadership on climate, like the 1000-person march recently in Portland. Thank you to the youth leaders driving us forward.
Remembering those we lost
More than 700,000 people in the United States of America have died from COVID-19. They were fathers and mothers, sons, and daughters, friends and neighbors. I visited a powerful visualization of this overwhelming tragedy on the National Mall, where one white flag honors each person whose life was lost.
We have the tools to prevent the further loss of life.
In case you missed it
• Schools in NW Oregon will receive more than $20 million to close the digital access gap so all students can participate and succeed, regardless of their family’s income or where they live.
• Federal funding is especially important for smaller, rural fire departments that struggle to raise the revenue they need for new equipment. I was thrilled to announce $1.29 million in federal dollars to fire departments in Clatsop County.
• Workforce development programs improve lives, and I introduced a bipartisan resolution to honor September as National Workforce Development Month.
• Making Indigenous Peoples Day a federal holiday will provide a meaningful opportunity to celebrate the powerful history, traditions, and cultural contributions of our Indigenous communities.
• The Newberg school board’s ban on “political” symbols harms the students who would benefit most from seeing and sharing symbols of pride in their identities. I strongly oppose this action by the school board, and I applaud the community’s vigorous efforts to stand up for what’s right and foster a more inclusive and respectful community.
U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici represents Oregon’s 1st congressional district. She may be reached through her Beaverton office at 503-469-6010.