June 28, 2019 Update from Rep. Dean Phillips
I’m pleased to share with you a review of what we accomplished this week in Washington.
FUNDING FOR THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS AT THE BORDER
Earlier this month, I visited the border at McAllen, TX and saw the humanitarian crisis there in person. I saw children and families kept in overcrowded cages and sleeping on the floor. I saw mothers with infants sitting on concrete in 107 degree heat. I saw limited access to restrooms, and kids without blankets or toothbrushes. Even worse, our Administration is arguing in court to keep it that way. With such ineffective and failed leadership, it falls on Congress to act. I supported the funding package that passed out of the House on Thursday, and I want you to hear why directly from me. If you have a moment, please watch this video message about my vote.
TAKING ON THE 2017 TAX BILL'S SALT CAP
This week, I testified before the House Committee on Ways and Means and shared what I'm hearing in Minnesota about the harm done by the 2017 tax bill. Since that bill became law, the SALT deduction has been capped at $10,000. Back in Minnesota, that’s hitting our neighbors in their pocketbooks, which is in turn hurting our schools, and hurting funding streams that our communities rely on. That's why the SALT cap should be repealed. I urge all of my colleagues to work together across the aisle to have our tax code reflect our values and restore fairness to our system. We should encourage real, long-lasting prosperity for our communities, rather than the sugar rush we have now.
You can watch my testimony here
FUNDING OUR FUTURE INFRASTRUCTURE
On Wednesday, I was happy to bring tax dollars home to Minnesota by voting in favor of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. The bill includes an amendment I authored, which affirms Congressional support for projects like the Southwest Light Rail expansion. I am so pleased that the House has committed to continued funding in important transit investments. Two of these key Capital Investment Grant projects are in our community —the Green Line extension and the Blue Line extension—and are awaiting funding agreements from the FTA. Minnesota residents, municipalities and businesses agree that these rail projects are critical for expanding transit options and will connect people to jobs, reduce traffic congestion and spark economic development in our community.
I met with the Hennepin County Commissioners this March to discuss how to get the Southwest Light Rail done
WORKING FOR A STRONGER STATE DEPARTMENT
One of our nation's bedrock institutions, the Department of State, has experienced unprecedented personnel shortages since the Trump Administration took office. This hampers the Department's ability to conduct diplomacy across the globe. This week, I worked with my extraordinary colleague, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, to pass an amendment in the Foreign Affairs Committee addressing this. It ensures that Secretary Pompeo is held accountable for the shortages, and that he takes steps to fix the problem. This is critical for our national security and international diplomacy. It's past time for the United States to start leading on that front again.
Finally, I wish you and yours a meaningful and safe 4th of July. Our office will be closed next Thursday and Friday in observance of the holiday, but we hope to see you at mobile office hours next Wednesday in Maple Grove!
Member of Congress