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Congressman McEachin e-Newsletter

Congressman McEachin e-Newsletter



News from Representative McEachin

McEachin Newsletter Weekly Roundup

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NEWS RELEASES

Dear Friend,

These past few weeks have very busy both on Capitol Hill and in the district. We passed important legislation, including voting to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 U.S. service members who died in Afghanistan. We also passed the Build Back Better Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, both of which will be especially helpful to various projects and localities throughout Virginia.

This week, we also voted to censure Congressman Paul Gosar after he posted a disturbing animated video on social media. Threats of violence are never acceptable, and they certainly have no place in the halls of Congress.

Lastly, I recently attended two great events I wanted to share with you. The first was a webinar in partnership with the Metropolitan Business League and Amazon to learn more about Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator. The second event was a panel with The German Marshall Fund, Québec à Washington, and other Congressional leaders to discuss subnational efforts and the implementation of policies coming out of the COP26 Climate Summit

Bill to Award Congressional Gold Medal Posthumously to Afghanistan Servicemembers

I was proud to cosponsor legislation, which has now passed the House, to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to the thirteen American servicemembers who lost their lives as American troops withdrew from Afghanistan this past summer. In dangerous and violent conditions, these servicemembers performed their duties, trying to ensure Americans and their allies were able to safely depart the country. These troops knew they faced life-threatening circumstances, but they still conducted their mission bravely and fought to protect others. I hope my colleagues in the Senate will also pass this legislation to recognize these brave and selfless men and women for their heroism, their commitment, and their sacrifice.

Resolution to Censure Congressman Gosar and Strip Him of Committee Assignments

As you may well know, Congressman Paul Gosar posted an animated video on social media depicting him killing Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and assaulting President Biden. Threats and depictions of violence against anyone is never acceptable and certainly have no place in our government. It is the antithesis of a democracy where differences of opinion must be resolved by debate and vote, not by violence.

Therefore, I cosponsored and voted in favor of the House resolution this week to censure Congressman Gosar and strip him of his committee assignments. Violence and threats of violence must never be normalized.

Post-COP26 Climate Panel

I was pleased join a panel discussion with international climate policy leaders to discuss COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference recently concluded in Glasgow,  and the important role of subnational entities in the implementation of those policies. Intergovernmental coordination between all levels of the U.S. government, and in collaboration with our international partners, is crucial as we continue our efforts to address the climate crisis.

This was an opportunity for me to speak to the critical role both state and local governments can play, joining in the efforts to protect the environment and address climate change. As a former member of the Virginia General Assembly and Caucus Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, I was excited to share my insights into how local officials can best aid in these efforts. I want to thank Congresswoman Escobar and the other leaders who participated in this event.

Amazon Roundtable
I was excited to co-host a roundtable discussion with the Metropolitan Business League and Amazon to explore Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator program. The program is designed to help grow Black-owned businesses and provide Black entrepreneurs with important resources, guidance, marketing, and promotional help. I would like to thank Amazon and the Metropolitan Business League, and all those who participated. Programs such as the Amazon Black Business Accelerator program help us increase equity, support Black business entrepreneurs, and create a stronger and fairer economy for all.

Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act in Virginia
This week, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, into law. Here in Virginia, we have some specific needs that should be met by this important legislation.

Over the past decade, commute times have increased by almost 8% and drivers pay $517 per year in costs because of driving on roads in need of repair here in the Commonwealth. The package includes $7 billion for transportation projects in Virginia, some of it in commitments that have now been reauthorized while some of the money is distinctly for new projects. In addition, Virginia will receive over $500 million for bridge replacement and repairs. Building and repairing these highways, roads and bridges will create good-paying, much-needed jobs for a workforce that has been waiting for these opportunities. Fortunately, Virginia has an effective process, put in place by the General Assembly, to determine the greatest need in our highway system, so we should be able to efficiently and quickly put this money to use.

Almost 10% of Virginians live in an area with virtually no broadband infrastructure and almost 40% live in areas with only one internet provider. Moreover, broadband poses a financial hardship for many households. At least $100 million will come to Virginia to help us achieve our goal of universal broadband access, ensuring high speed internet across the Commonwealth. Additionally, almost 2 million Virginians will be eligible for a benefit that helps low-income families afford high speed internet.

$1.2 billion will flow into Virginia to improve public transit by modernizing bus and train fleets. Moreover, Amtrak will receive $22 billion, which will be used to modernize rail cars and stations, as well as expand rail service between Washington, D.C., Richmond, Hampton Roads, and the western part of the state. Both Virginia airports and seaports, including the Port of Virginia, in Richmond at the James River, will also receive funding to improve their infrastructure, form runways to terminals.

We should also receive about $738 million over the next five years to replace water pipes and other aging drinking water systems, both of which are essential for public health. Access to clean, safe drinking water must be a right for all Virginians. These systems need to meet up to date, 21st century standards.

To help combat climate change, Virginia should receive at least $106 million to install charging stations to make electric vehicles more convenient. This funding also includes monies to replace pollution-emitting school buses with electric ones, keeping our byways and neighborhoods cleaner and healthier.

In the last decade, Virginia has experienced forty extreme weather events, which is estimated to have cost the state more than $10 billion. This legislation will bring Virginia $15 million to protect against wildfires. We must reduce and eliminate climate change but, in the meantime, these monies can help us decrease costs associated with extreme weather events.

STAY TUNED
Early this morning, the House passed the Build Back Better Act, sending it to the Senate. The legislation will bring many benefits to Virginia families, making higher education more affordable, expanding childcare support, extending the Child Tax Credit, ensuring universal pre-K, and making significant investments in addressing climate change and environmental justice, among other important provisions.

For next week, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, with friends and family. We have a lot to be thankful for this year, even as we need to double down and continue to improve our economy and people’s lives.

Due to the holiday, we will not have our newsletter next week. I look forward to reconnecting with you on December 3rd to share detailed information on the Build Back Better Act.

Thank you for the honor of representing you in Congress. May you and yours have a blessed, peaceful, and healthy Thanksgiving!

If you want to stay up-to-date on all of the work my office is doing, I encourage you to follow along on our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Please remember that my office is always here to help if you have a question or need assistance. You can reach us using the contact information below and we will do everything we can to connect you with the resources you need.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Sincerely,

A. Donald McEachin
Member of Congress
Virginia’s 4th District

 

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