Weekly Update: Oversight Hearings on Equal Pay Day & DC Statehood, Celebrating Greek Independence Day
It was another busy week in Washington, D.C. as I chaired Oversight Committee hearings on Equal Pay Day and D.C. Statehood. At this week’s Financial Services Committee hearing, I asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about her plans to implement my Corporate Transparency Act, which was recently signed into law, and how we can ensure an equitable COVID recovery.
On Thursday, I was thrilled to join with the Greek American community to celebrate the bicentennial of Greece’s independence.
More on all of these and other updates below.
If you missed this week’s NY-12 COVID-19 Update, you can read it on my website here.
And to all those who will be celebrating, I wish you and your loved ones a Happy Passover.
Equal Pay Day 2021
On Wednesday, I chaired a hearing in honor of Equal Pay Day to examine the economic harm caused by longstanding gender inequalities, particularly for women of color.
We heard some sobering statistics during the hearing, from a truly impressive and diverse group of women. I applaud their hard work and continued fight for equality. Let’s not wait until the next crisis hits to act. Let’s get at the root of the problem now—for ourselves, for our mothers and daughters, for our sisters and neighbors — for those who are suffering much more than we can ever imagine. Let this be the last Equal Pay Day we ever have to commemorate — because hardworking people of all genders deserve to be fairly compensated for their work.
You can read more about the hearing here.
Oversight Committee Hearing on D.C. Statehood
H.R. 51 would admit the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth into the Union and reduce the size of the federal district. The bill has 215 cosponsors and the Senate companion bill (S. 51) has 42 cosponsors. An identical version of H.R. 51 was passed by the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress.
Among others, we heard testimony D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser; Chairman of the D.C. Council Phil Mendelson' Wade Henderson, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; and Harry Wingo, a D.C. veteran.
Read more about the hearing and the path to D.C. Statehood here.
Financial Services Hearing with Treasury Secretary Yellen
At Tuesday’s House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled “Oversight of the Treasury Department’s and Federal Reserve’s Pandemic Response,” I spoke with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about what steps the Treasury Department is taking to implement the provisions of my Corporate Transparency Act, and about the impacts COVID will have on the American labor force going forward, post-pandemic.
You can watch my exchange with Secretary Yellen here.
Greek Independence Day
On Thursday, as Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic issues, I brought together Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, and the Hellenic-American community to celebrate the bicentennial of Greece’s independence and to call on the United Kingdom to return the Parthenon Marbles to their rightful home in the Acropolis.
I introduced H.Res. 254 on March 18 with Congressman Bilirakis, which calls on the UK to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.
Our art and architecture, our rhetoric and our philosophy all owe much to the influence of Grecian culture. So, when there is already a long-standing debt of such great value - one we can never fully repay – it seems that the very least that we could do is to return to the Greek people something of great value that is rightfully theirs to begin with: the great collection of Classical Greek sculptures known as the Parthenon Marbles. They were originally sculpted by Greek citizens and meant to be displayed in the Parthenon and other buildings of the Acropolis. The Parthenon is one of the greatest cultural monuments in the history of the world – and the world and all Greeks deserve the chance to see it as it once stood – complete with the Marbles. As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence, we cannot forget that its fight to reclaim the Parthenon Marbles and erase this reminder of the imperialist past continues to this day.
Seeking Documents About the January 6th Attack on the Capitol
On Thursday, I joined with Committee and Subcommittee Chairs across the House of Representatives in sending letters to the White House, federal agencies, law enforcement, and Legislative Branch entities, including the House and Senate Sergeant at Arms, seeking documents and communications relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist assault on the Capitol.
Read more here.
USPS Releases it 10-Year Plan
This week, the Postmaster General announced a 10-year plan for the Postal Service. I am extremely concerned about the Postal Service’s unacceptable decision to make permanent slower mail delivery despite substantial public and Congressional opposition, and its failure to fully engage with Congressional leaders and postal stakeholders during the development of this plan. It should not be implemented until Congress and the American people have the opportunity to fully review it and provide substantive feedback.
11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act
This week, we marked the 11th anniversary of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
For 11 years, the ACA has stood alongside Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as a pillar of health and economic security for New York families. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to the ACA’s lifesaving benefits and protections is more vital than ever. I was proud to vote for the ACA 11 years ago, and thrilled that it included my Breastfeeding Promotion Act, to provide breastfeeding protections for women in the workplace, and my Women’s Health Office Act, to establish an Office on Women's Health, headed by a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women's Health. I will continue to fight against any attacks levied by Republicans against the ACA as we continue to pursue new policies to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible to all.
Congratulating Judge Paul Feinman on His Retirement from the NYS Court of Appeals
Judge Paul Feinman served New York State with fairness, dignity, and an acute appreciation for the application of the law. Throughout Judge Feinman’s illustrious career, equality has been at the cornerstone of every decision he has made, and his appointment to the New York State Court of Appeals was an historic moment. I have been so proud watching my friend, Judge Feinman, serve with such distinction on our state’s highest court. I wish him and his husband all the best in his retirement.
Snapshot from NY-12
On Thursday, I participated in a Lower Eastside Girl’s Club panel on menstrual equity with 16-year-old activist and non-profit founder, Camila Perez.
Camila and I talked about the barriers facing individuals who menstruate. From access to the products, affordability of the products, and information available about the products, I have been fighting for menstrual equity throughout my time in Congress. I have sponsored legislation related to tampon safety since 1997. This year, it’s title will be the Robin Danielson Menstrual Hygiene Product Safety Act. I am also the author of a report, Earn Less, Pay More: The State of the Gender Pay Gap and ‘Pink Tax' in 2018, which found that half of the personal care items studied had higher price tags for the female version.
As always, your concerns still and always remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.
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