This weekend we celebrate the visionary declaration in 1776 that led to our union: the declaration that all of us are created equal, with unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and establishes commitment to a government by the consent of the governed. Although how we celebrated Independence Day was a little different this year—what we celebrated is the same. I hope you had a happy and safe Independence Day weekend!
Over the last several weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases in our region has steadily increased, even though we took extraordinary and unprecedented steps to slow the spread of the virus across our community this spring. These efforts were essential to mitigating the impacts of the virus. But the virus has remained present in our community, and as of today, there were 36,597 confirmed cases in Houston & Harris County and 195,000 confirmed cases in Texas. These numbers are reminders of how careful we must be to protect ourselves and our community from the serious health risks of COVID-19. I urge you to take the precautions public health experts have shared: wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay home when possible. I will continue do all I can to represent and support our community at this challenging time.
The Harris County Public Health website dashboard provides updated information each day at 4:00pm. You can also see that several areas in our district are among the most affected in Harris County, which remains at Level One.
I spent most of this week in Washington, D.C., where the House voted on several important measures. On Monday, the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, legislation to expand access to health care, cap premiums, protect people with pre-existing conditions, and lower the cost of prescription drugs. The bill also encourages states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, including Texas, to do so by reinstating the original federal matching funds. At this unprecedented moment in our country's history, when the novel coronavirus has made plain the vital need for affordable and accessible health care for people across our country, I was proud to cast my vote in favor of this bill. I spoke on the House floor on how this bill would help our district, which you can watch here. You can also learn more about what is in the bill here.
This week, the House also passed the Moving Forward Act, legislation to improve our country’s infrastructure. I was proud to work on this bill on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, incorporating several bipartisan amendments that reflect the priorities of our district: improving infrastructure resiliency, expanding federal support for natural gas and propane as alternative fuel sources, and ensuring that high-speed rail projects can secure the funding they need.
For those of you with children and grandchildren working on creative indoor projects this summer, my office is hosting the Congressional App Challenge! It is a nationwide competition for middle and high school students who have an interest or passion in coding. All middle school and high school students in the district are invited to participate by creating and submitting an original computer program or app. The program or app can be written in any programming language and designed for any platform (desktop/PC, web, mobile, raspberry PI, etc.). I encourage students with all levels of coding experience to submit their ideas. You can learn more here.
At this important and challenging time, I am committed working for you and for our community. Please remember that my team and I are here to help. If you need anything, you can submit a request for help through my website, you can send me an email here, or you can call my office at (713) 353-8680.
I am proud to represent you, and I am here for you.
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