From U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings
We enter the new 117th Congress welcoming a new administration. President Biden and Vice President Harris will unite the country and build it back better for all Americans. They will work to aggressively combat the COVID-19 pandemic and help our economy recover, advancing justice for all and ensure that no one is left behind.
This February we commemorate Black History Month, honoring the history of Black Americans. From emancipation to the Civil Rights Movement, the journey of the Black community exemplifies perseverance and triumph. However, the fight for equality and justice is far from over.
Sadly, disparities in employment, wealth, and education still exist among communities of color across our nation, which has only been exasperated with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
I applaud President Biden and his administration on taking action for advancing racial equality for those who have been underserved and left behind. As we celebrate this Black History Month and throughout the year, we must continue this fight together for racial equality and justice.
Legislation in Focus: Ensuring House Membership Mirrors the Citizens it Represents
On February 8th, I introduced the Congress Commission Act of 2021, which would establish a bipartisan Congressional Commission to Strengthen Representative Democracy.
My legislation will mandate such a commission to solemnly examine representation in the people’s House and offer recommendations to report any shortcomings. We have not addressed House membership in over a century, despite a growing population and an overwhelming amount of evidence illustrating the need for reform of the House of Representatives.
This past year, Americans from coast to coast demanded change and turned out at the polls in record numbers. It is high time we examine representation to ensure the people’s House truly reflects those we serve.
Legislation in Focus: Expanding Health Care for Breast Cancer Survivors
In January, I reintroduced with my esteemed colleague, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), H.R.469, the Comprehensive Breast Reconstruction Act of 2021.
While advances in medicine and patient care have perfected breast reconstruction, many post-mastectomy patients’ access to these procedures are determined on a case by case basis or are guided by a patchwork of differing policies, restrictions, and guidelines. This can be an unfair burden for patients and their families. Patients shouldn’t have to fight for the care they deserve.
This legislation builds on advancements to fix the loopholes in the current patchwork of care available to survivors after a medically-necessary mastectomy, expanding covered procedures and allowing survivors access to the care they need to heal. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress on this legislation and hope that it will be acted upon swiftly on the House floor.
As the 117th Congress turns its attention to these and other issues, I will continue to advocate for a more open process that benefits all Americans.
For more information on the various issues that I am working on, please visit my official website at alceehastings.house.gov.
CongressmanHastings is the representative for Florida’s 20th congressional district which includes Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, North Lauderdale, portions of Palm Beach County, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, South Bay, and Sunrise.
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