Weekly Update: A New Report on the Costs of Gun Violence
It was another busy week in Washington, DC and I wanted to share some highlights with you.
This week, as Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, I released a report detailing the economic costs of gun violence and held a hearing with expert witnesses who spoke on what we need to do to end this epidemic.
I introduced two bills to help relieve burdens on Americans living overseas who are being unfairly hurt by our tax laws and the House Financial Services Committee unanimously passed my bill to close a loophole that allows corporate executives to trade on information before it’s disclosed to the public and to their own shareholders.
And today, before heading back to New York, I voted to pass the FAIR Act – a bill that will end the unfair, secretive, deceptive practice of forced arbitration.
More on all this below.
The Economic Costs of Gun Violence
While it is impossible to place a number on the most painful cost of gun violence – the loss of friends and family – this week, I released a report from the Joint Economic Committee that details the costs of gun violence to our country and in all 50 states.
This report shows that gun violence is costing our country $229 billion a year – and that is without taking into account the immeasurable emotional toll that this epidemic is putting on our children, families, and loved ones.
New York, even though we are the fourth most populous state in the nation, is not in the top ten when it comes to total gun violence costs and I believe it’s because New York has strong gun laws, including an assault weapons ban. The federal government needs to look to New York and implement similar policies.
Fighting for Americans Abroad
I am proud to serve as co-chair of the Americans Abroad Caucus and on Monday, I introduced two pieces of legislation, the Commission on Americans Living Overseas Act of 2019 and the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act to help American citizens living abroad who are unfairly and disproportionately burdened by existing tax laws.
This community represents our nation as informal ambassadors all around the world, promoting American influence and goodwill worldwide but our existing laws are making it nearly impossible for them to afford to keep their American citizenship – and that’s not right. We need to take care of all Americans – no matter where they live.
Fighting Unfair Trading Practices
Corporate executives shouldn’t be allowed to trade on significant information before it’s disclosed to the public and to investors, but that’s exactly what they do because of a legal loophole. My bill, H.R. 4335, the 8-K Trading Gap Act, has a very simple solution to this problem; prohibiting executives from trading during the four-day gap between when an event happens and when the company publicly files a Form 8-K to alert the public and shareholders of the event.
Today, the House Financial Service Committee sent this bill to the House floor with a unanimous vote. Given the bipartisan support for this bill in our committee, I hope the bill will pass the full House and Senate quickly with bipartisan support. It’s just commonsense.
Ending Unfair, Secretive, and Deceptive Forced Arbitration
Forced arbitration is a trap and denies employees and consumers’ fair shots at justice. Making matters worse, many employees and consumers don’t even realize that are subject to forced arbitration until the have been wronged. So not only has a person been harassed or had their rights violated, but now the employer or company gets to dictate how the matter is settled.
Many businesses claim that forced arbitration is more efficient and streamlined than a court case but what they don’t tell you is that the process is hidden from public view. And we all know that underreporting and secretive settlements have roles in creating and cementing a culture of harassment.
Passing the FAIR Act today is an important step toward empowering all employees and consumers to retain the choice to seek a resolution to a dispute with a corporation in the way that is right for them. I urge the Senate to act quickly and pass this bill.
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