Op-ed: The fraudulent case of Puerto Rican statehood

I wanted to bring to your attention an
op-ed published today in The Hill authored by Puerto Rico’s former Governor and Resident Commissioner Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá exposing the dishonest nature of the case being made in favor of Puerto Rico’s statehood. Throughout my career in Congress,
I have been a staunch advocate for self-determination – the right of the Puerto Rican people to decide their own destiny with respect to the Island’s political status. At such a critical moment in Puerto Rico’s political history, I urge caution prior to taking
a position on an issue that should be decided by the people living in Puerto Rico themselves. Instead of imposing on Puerto Rico any particular political status (whether it be statehood, free association, independence or any other option for that matter),
Congress ought to provide an open, fair, and transparent process for the people of Puerto Rico to decide for themselves their own future political relationship with the United States.

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Co-Sponsor H.R. 6303, the Common Sense Maritime and Consumer Services Protection Act

International trade accounts for as much as one-quarter of our economy.  The readiness of consumers and shippers to fully engage in these markets determines the success of our local economies and how well we will compete in world trade.  Our nation’s international
traders face the daunting task of understanding a complex array of international shipping firms, policies, laws, and regulations.

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July Humanities Recess Event: Hamilton Exhibit at the National Postal Museum (New link)

Please join the Congressional Humanities Caucus for the July Humanities Recess Event (HRE)
next Friday, July 20, at 11:00 am at the National Postal Museum for the limited-time exhibit,
Alexander Hamilton: Soldier, Secretary, Icon. HREs are monthly Caucus-sponsored events for staffers to develop understandings of the relationships of public policy to history, literature, languages, philosophy, ethics, religion,
anthropology, government, linguistics, and other humanities disciplines.

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LAST CALL FOR ORIGINALS: Cosponsor The No Security Clearance for Hate Groups Act

Since late 2016, we have seen a startling uptick in violence and harassment rooted in hatred and bigotry. For 2017, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) found that the number of hate groups rose to 954 from 917 the prior yar, up 4 percent. At the same
time, we’ve seen members of the federal government actively supporting extremist views. Extremist domestic terrorism represents a singular threat to American national security and our democratic ideals, yet hate groups continue to gain a foothold in public
life and public service.

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Improve Public Safety and Respect State Marijuana Laws, Co-sponsor the Bi-partisan Heck-Perlmutter FSGG Amendment

Please join us in an effort to let the House work its will in legislating the federal response to states legalizing marijuana. Cosponsor this bi-partisan amendment to allow banks and credit unions to service state-regulated marijuana businesses. When the
House considered this amendment in 2014, it passed 231 -192. We hope, working together, we can get this amendment made in order again this year.

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Support the bicameral COUNT Victims Act

On May 29, a group of independent researchers from Harvard University released a report estimating the number of deaths caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.[1] It uncovered a sobering
figure of 4,654 lives that could have been lost as a result of the storm, many of them from delayed medical care. This is staggeringly higher than the official estimates. While much debate has ensued over the validity of the number, the truth is we may never
know the exact number of all lives lost. Amid a new hurricane season, we need to ensure transparency and oversight.

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SUPPORT THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE BY ENACTING PAID PARENTAL LEAVE

I invite you to be a cosponsor of H.R. 6275,To provide that the 12 weeks of parental leave made available to a Federal employee shall be paid leave, and for other purposes. This legislation would provide 12 weeks of paid
parental leave for federal employees.  This would be an important step in strengthening the federal workforce and making it more competitive with the private sector.

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Help American Patients Access the Care they need and Reduce Medicare Spending

As the cost of prescription medications continues to make headlines, many of our nation’s sickest patients are only able to afford the life-saving medications they need because charities provide them with premium and cost-sharing assistance. A new

study by Avalere Health economists has shown that another benefit of charitable assistance is a reduction in total Medicare costs, which occurs through reduced medical spending.

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