Rep. Peters Leads 71 Members in Call to Keep Congress in Session, Finish Pressing Legislative Business
July 31, 2014
Rep. Scott Peters Leads 71 Members in Call to Keep Congress in Session, Finish Pressing Legislative Business
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) led an effort to keep the House of Representatives in session, urging Speaker John Boehner not to start the planned five-week recess and instead stay in Washington to complete numerous pressing legislative tasks. Rep. Peters was joined by 71 other members in his letter to the Speaker.
“With just ten legislative work days left before the government runs out of money, and with a growing list of pressing matters that need attention, now is not the time for Congress to spend five weeks out of session,” Rep. Peters said.
“As Congress leaves important business unfinished it is no surprise that congressional approval is at an all-time low,” Peters continued. “San Diegans and the American people deserve to see action on important issues, including funding the government past September 30 and avoiding another government shutdown, fighting and preventing wildfires that are burning the western states today, passing comprehensive immigration reform, protecting voting rights nationwide, and ensuring equal pay for equal work.”
The full text of the letter with signatories is below or can be seen HERE:
[BEGIN LETTER TEXT]
We, the undersigned Members of Congress, urge you to prevent the United States House of Representatives from adjourning for the August recess. With fewer than 48 hours left before your scheduled adjournment and just ten days legislative work days left in the fiscal year, this body has yet to act on many of the nation’s most pressing needs.
Adjourning for five weeks with so much left to do is irresponsible and a disservice to the families we represent.
The number of pressing legislative matters that require swift action from Congress is growing by the day. Instead of a five week district-work period, I urge you to allow the House to remain in session so that we can tackle critical legislation that includes:
- Budget for FY 2015 – The House has only passed 7 of the 12 appropriations bills and is rapidly running out of time before the close of the fiscal year on September 30th. We need a real budget and not the last-minute, crisis-to-crisis approach to budgeting that has become commonplace in this body, and led to last year’s shutdown.
- Comprehensive Immigration Reform – Bring to the floor either H.R.15 or S.744. The majority of Americans know that our immigration system has long been broken is in desperate need of an overhaul. Comprehensive reform would grow the economy, reduce the deficit by $900 billion, and help stabilize and preserve Social Security.
- Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank – At the end of September, the Export Import Bank will run out of funding. The bank supports $237 billion in exports and 4,927 small businesses in the United States. Now is the time to be having a thoughtful debate over merits of the bank, not in September when we are running against the clock.
- Funding for Wildfires – Bring to the floor H.R.3992, the Wildfire Disaster Fund Act of 2014. This would increase wildfire disaster relief and provide some much needed relief to communities across the west coast where we are facing one of the most severe fire seasons on record.
- Voting Rights Act – Bring to the floor H.R. 3899. One of our most sacred obligations is to protect individuals’ right to vote. We need to increase transparency surrounding voting changes, and reestablish federal oversight of elections in states that have demonstrated violations of voting laws
- Equal Pay for Equal Work – Bring to the floor H.R. 377. It has been 553 days since the Paycheck Fairness Act was introduced in the House of Representatives. Failure to act on this commonsense legislation is an affront to women and families around the country who are working hard every day and failing to make the same amount as their male counterparts.
Speaker Boehner, these are merely a few of the countless reasons to not adjourn for August recess. Devoting our time to tackling these issues is the job the American people hired us to do. We urge you not to adjourn so that we in Congress can do right by the people of this country.
Scott Peters (CA-52), Joe Garcia (FL-26), Patrick Murphy (FL-18), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Chris Van Hollen (MD-08), Tony Cardenas (CA-29), Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Tammy Duckworth (IL-08), Ron Kind (WI-03), Jared Polis (CO-02), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Madeleine Bordallo (GU), Janice Hahn (CA-44), Mike Michaud (ME-02), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Dan Maffei (NY-24), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Tim Bishop (NY-01), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Ami Bera (CA-07), Bobby Scott (VA-03), Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Mike Honda (CA-17), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Steve Israel (NY-03), David Cicilline (RI-01), Jim Himes (CT-04), Pete Gallego (TX-23), Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Bill Foster (IL-11), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Mike Doyle (PA-14), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Matt Cartwright (PA-17), John Carney (DE), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Karen Bass (CA-37), Ron Barber (AZ-02), Susan Davis (CA-53), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), John Delaney (MD-06), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Donna Edwards (MD-04), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Elijah Cummings (MD-07), John Garamendi (CA-03), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02)
[END LETTER TEXT]