DC Updates: Remembering the Holocaust, No War with Iran, & News on DC Statehood
It was 75 years ago this week, in January of 1945, that Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated from the Nazis. The concentration camp was one of the most infamous sites of the Nazi genocide. To mark this day, and to honor the survivors and the memories of those murdered in the Holocaust, the House this week passed my Never Again Education Act and I chaired a hearing in the Committee on Oversight and Reform on what lessons we can take from the Holocaust to combat hate and violence today.
Also this week, I joined with my colleagues to pass Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s amendment to repeal the 2020 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to curtail the President’s ability to start a war with Iran. I also voted to pass Congressman Ro Khanna’s legislation to make clear that Congress has not authorized the use of military force against Iran and to prohibit the President from using federal funding for military action in Iran without congressional approval.
I’m proud to report that the House also passed the Comprehensive CREDIT Act to empower consumers to take better control over our credit reports. And on Thursday, I joined with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson to announce that the Oversight Committee will be voting on H.R. 51, the D.C. statehood bill, on February 11.
More on all of this below.
Teaching and Learning Lessons From the Holocaust
Watch the Chairwoman’s Opening Remarks from Wednesday’s Hearing
In order to combat bigotry, hatred, and violence in our own time, we must tell the history of the Holocaust – and teach it to our children. That is why I introduced the Never Again Education Act to give educators the tools they need to teach our children about the Holocaust. I’m proud to report that the House passed this bipartisan bill overwhelmingly on Monday, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
As a follow up, on Wednesday, I chaired a hearing in the Committee on Oversight and Reform about what the Holocaust can teach us about our current battle against hate.
At the hearing, we heard from multiple witnesses, including Holocaust survivor Nat Shaffir. I asked him what single message he hoped to convey to the American people. He replied, “Two powerful words: ‘speak out.’ It’s very important that we do not remain silent.” You can watch our exchange here.
We all must take his words to heart. We cannot and must not sit idly by as our country experiences a sinister increase in hate crimes not only against Jewish communities, but also against African-Americans, Muslims, immigrants, and others. The Oversight Committee will continue its ongoing investigation of the threat of white supremacy in the coming weeks and months with additional hearings on voter suppression in minority communities; anti-Muslim discrimination; anti-immigrant actions; and issues facing LGBTQ communities.
You can read more about the Never Again Education Act on my website.
Ending Our “Endless” Wars
The Constitution states plainly that Congress shall have the power to declare war and peace. Which is why I voted with my colleagues this week to repeal the 2002 AUMF and limit the Trump Administration’s ability to conduct any military actions against Iran without Congressional approval.
This vote reflects the will of the American people and is the first step to finally bringing our endless wars to an end.
You can read my full floor speech on Rep. Barbara Lee’s amendment on my website.
Comprehensive CREDIT Act
Our credit reporting system is deeply flawed, and it affects millions of consumers every day. When there is an error on a consumer’s credit report, it can harm their credit for years. These kinds of basic errors should be easy to fix, but unfortunately, they often take years to sort out. And in the meantime, consumers are being wrongfully denied credit or paying higher rates than they should be.
The Comprehensive CREDIT Act will solve these problems by reforming the dispute process in order to give consumers more rights and more opportunities to challenge bad information on their credit reports. It also helps consumers who have burdensome student loans by removing negative credit information as soon as they can demonstrate that they have a history of timely loan repayments.
This is incredibly important because far too many Americans — and especially younger Americans — have an enormous amount of student debt, and we need to find new and innovative ways to resolve this problem. This bill helps student borrowers improve their credit scores, so that they’re not burdened for the rest of their lives. I was proud to vote yes on this bill and I hope the Senate will act quickly to pass it.
The Fight for D.C. Statehood
On Thursday, I joined with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson to announce that on February 11, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform will hold the first markup of the D.C. statehood bill since 1993.
The United States is a democracy, but our capital is not. More than 700,000 D.C. residents are taxed without voting representation in Congress. They cannot consent to federal laws that govern them and they pay more in federal taxes than 22 states. D.C. residents have been petitioning for congressional voting rights and local self-government for more than 200 years. In 2016, 86 percent of D.C. residents voted for statehood and yet, neither chamber of Congress has ever passed the D.C. statehood bill on the floor.
I hope this year will be different. I am proud to be an original cosponsor of H.R. 51, legislation that now has a record number of cosponsors—224. I truly believe that a commitment to democracy should transcend party affiliation.
I’m excited that the Oversight Committee will cast the first votes this Congress to give D.C. residents their full rights and representation.
As always, your concerns still and always will remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.
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Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress