Mobile Casework Hours, Rx Drug Pricing Report, & Women and Minorities in STEM Booster
I hope you’ll join me for Mobile Casework Hours this Sunday, July 11 at the Steinway Street Station or on Wednesday, July 14 in Koreatown (32nd Street between 5th and Broadway). My staff and I will be there to answer questions and provide help with federal agencies.
This week, in a press conference with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, I released a staff report from the Oversight Committee which shows that the world’s leading drug companies have used price increases to boost payouts to investors and for top executive’s salaries, rather than research and development as claimed. It’s clear that these companies could lower prices without sacrificing research and development, despite their talking points.
I also reintroduced the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act which would support programs designed to increase participation for women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
And earlier this week, I had the pleasure of visiting with the North Brooklyn Angels at their new facility.
More on these and other updates below.
In case you missed it, you can read this week’s NY-12 COVID Vaccination and Recovery Update here.
Oversight Committee Drug Pricing Report
Yesterday, as Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, I released a staff report analyzing financial data from 14 of the largest drug companies in the world evaluating the amount they spend to enrich investors and executives, the amount they invest to research and develop new treatments, and the potential impact of direct Medicare price negotiations.
Based on our findings, it is clear that Congress needs to act to curb out-of-control prescription drug prices. This report finds that the world’s leading drug companies have used price increases to boost payouts to investors and executives while spending less on research and development (R&D). It also shows that industry claims about the potential impact of pricing reforms have been overblown. Even if the pharmaceutical industry collected less money due to reforms like H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Prices Now Act, drug companies could maintain or even exceed their current levels of R&D if they spent less on rewarding shareholders and executives.
We must address this crisis head-on.
Read the staff report and more about the investigation here.
Fight for NCAA Gender Equity
On Wednesday, I was joined by Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Mikie Sherrill in sending a letter to Mark Emmert, President of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), requesting documents and information on the NCAA’s differing treatment of men’s and women’s sporting events and the Association’s ongoing reviews of gender equity across its championship programs. We requested a briefing from the NCAA by July 21 on the full scope of gender disparities across its programs, the NCAA’s progress in addressing these disparities, and the actions the Association plans to take to eliminate such disparities in the future.
Reports of other inconsistencies, including in COVID-19 safety protocols and in branding and promotion practices, have brought to light serious questions about how longstanding NCAA organizational decisions have furthered gender-based injustices in collegiate athletics. By failing to invest in and promote women’s athletics programs in the same way it does for men’s, the NCAA prevents women’s sports from reaching their full potential.
Read our full letter to NCAA President Emmert here.
Purdue Pharma Settlement
Yesterday, more state Attorneys General, including New York State Attorney General Letitia James, reached an agreement with Purdue Pharma on a bankruptcy settlement.
Allowing the Sacklers to obtain legal immunity through Purdue’s bankruptcy would be a tragic mistake. While the settlement will provide needed transparency about the Sacklers’ central role in creating, fueling, and profiting from America’s opioid epidemic, I remain troubled that the Sacklers are poised to escape accountability once again. It is crucial that we reform this system to prevent this kind of injustice now and in the future. This is why I am working with Oversight Committee Member Congressman Mark DeSaulnier to pass our SACKLER Act.
Cracking Down on Predatory Overdraft Fees
Today, in front of the Wells Fargo at 545 Madison, I was joined by consumer protection advocates in calling on Congress to pass H.R. 4277, the Overdraft Protection Act. Wells Fargo is one of the many big banks that continue to charge the unfair and abusive overdraft fees that my legislation would crack down on.
The bill, which I introduced last week, now has 31 cosponsors. It will empower consumers by cracking down on unfair overdraft fees and establishing fair and transparent practices for overdraft coverage programs. This bill builds on the protections gained through the passage of my Credit CARD Act, which the CFPB has estimated to save consumers $16 billion in the first years of its enactment.
You can read more about today’s event and the bill here.
Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act
On Tuesday, I reintroduced the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act which would support programs designed to increase participation for women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Under this bill, grants would support online workshops, mentoring opportunities to connect professionals with students, internships for undergraduate and graduate students, outreach programs for K-12 students, and retention programs for STEM faculty.
Even though women make up half of the current workforce, they still hold less than a quarter of all STEM jobs. Many groups including African-American, Hispanic, and Asian populations, make up only a quarter of the STEM workforce. That needs to change. Failing to realize the full potential of all of America’s workforce hurts not just these communities, but our economy as a whole and our competitiveness on the world stage. The Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act will help us realize that full potential.
Visiting with the North Brooklyn Angels
I had the opportunity to spend time with the incredible volunteers at North Brooklyn Angels on Wednesday and tour the organization’s new facility on Kent Street. I was proud to submit a community project funding request for $676,000 on their behalf as one of my ten requests for the upcoming spending bills. This organization has done incredible work for our community and was indispensable during the pandemic. This funding would allow the North Brooklyn Angels to expand their preparation and distribution of free meals and produce to food-insecure individuals and fund projects including Operation Neighbors Feeding Seniors to provide thousands of meals to homebound seniors. I look forward to all we can continue to do for the community together.
Snapshots from NY-12
On Wednesday, I was grateful to be able to join in the ticker tape parade honoring our frontline and essential works for all they have done for our city during the pandemic. As much as we say thank you, we must follow that up with action. That is why I am fighting for a $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All, and my Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers Act and Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act.
The American Rescue Plan expanded Child Tax Credit is a game changer for working families. Thursday night, I joined parents in Long Island City to talk about the CTC, expanding 3-K into LIC, and the importance of keeping affordable housing affordable!
The annual Congressional App Challenge for NY-12 has officially begun! All middle and high school students in New York’s 12th Congressional District are eligible to apply.
The CAC accepts computer program apps written in any programming language, for any platform (desktop/PC, web, mobile, raspberry Pi, etc.).
The Challenge’s submission portal is now open. The deadline for student submissions is November 1, 2021. The competition is open to all students who meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of coding experience.
Winners will be selected by panels of judges drawn from the local community and honored by their Member of Congress. Their apps are eligible to be featured on display in the U.S. Capitol building, on house.gov, and on the Congressional App Challenge website.
As always, your concerns still and always remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.