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Clark: Free Covid-19 testing near you

Clark: Free Covid-19 testing near you

 The office of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05) provided the following statement July 10.

I wanted to update you with new information to help ensure that you and your family stay healthy during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 

Starting today, Massachusetts will be providing free and accessible Covid-19 testing for all residents in the Commonwealth to help track and reduce the spread of the virus as our communities continue to reopen.

Click here find a free testing location near you >>

These free new testing sites are available by appointment or by walk-in, and you can get yourself tested even if you are asymptomatic. If you or a loved one tests positive for Covid-19, please answer the call when contacted by the State's Community Tracing Collaborative or your local board of health. If you need a safe space to isolate, you can call (617) 367-5150 to access an isolation and recovery site at no cost.

Readily available testing is one of our greatest weapons against this virus and will help us quickly contain any future outbreaks so we can keep Massachusetts open. Our communities have already made incredible progress in limiting the spread of Covid-19, and this new initiative will help us keep Massachusetts trending in the right direction.

Please be sure to regularly check my dedicated Covid-19 page on my website for new health and public safety information as well as for additional resources as they arise. I promise to keep you updated as this situation evolves and will continue to do everything I can in Congress to protect American families from this virus.

Clark leads call for $100B investment in child care

84 House Members Join Call for $50 billion in immediate pandemic relief, $50 billion for sustained long-term recovery

The office of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05) provided the following statement May 6:

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-5), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Congressmembers Jahana Hayes (CT-5), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1), Danny Davis (IL-7), and Tom Malinowski (NJ-7) called for a $100 billion investment to aid in the relief, recovery and revitalization of the child care sector in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy, the House members outline a proposal providing $50 billion in the form of short-term stabilization funding and an additional $50 billion in long-term recovery funding to support students, families and providers.

“Child care is critical to supporting essential workers today and to our ability to return to work in the future,” Clark said in a May 6 news release. “The nation’s early education and child care sector has been particularly hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and for too long, has been undervalued and underfunded. For a robust economic recovery, we cannot just maintain the status quo, where providers operate on the thinnest of margins and families struggle to find and afford quality care. We must begin to make a comprehensive investment in our early education and care system to ensure the economic and educational future of our country, and the moment to act is now.”

“Even before this pandemic, over 44% of people in Connecticut lived in a child care desert,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “After conversations with child care providers in my district, I know that this problem is only going to get worse and only a fraction of providers in our state will be able to survive this crisis. We need to ensure that these critical services, which make it possible for parents to return to the workforce and children to grow and thrive, are stabilized and supported. I am calling on my colleagues to prioritize this vital sector in any future legislative package.”

“The coronavirus crisis has hit the child care system especially hard, causing widespread layoffs and mandatory closures,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “An investment of $50 billion in the next Covid-19 relief package would be an important start to help meet current child care needs for families, provide economic security for child care businesses, and support child care workers. This economic crisis won’t end for families unless parents have access to quality child care.”

“Child care serves as one of the most effective ways to reduce child poverty and to increase employment and earnings,” Congressman Davis said. “A $50 billion investment in child care in the next Covid package is critical to promoting family economic well-being and spurring national economic growth as we emerge from this crisis.”

“The last thing our country’s essential workers should be worrying about is who will take care of their children while they are out serving their communities,” said Congressman Malinowski. “And when America opens for business, our child care facilities have to still be there so that parents can go back to work without difficulty.”

According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, 60 percent of licensed child care providers have already closed due to the pandemic and a survey from the National Association for the Education of Young Children shows that only 11% of our nation’s child care providers will survive without government support. The immediate $50 billion in short term investment would be used to sustain the viability of providers that have been forced to close due to Covid-19 and fund emergency care for the 6 million children of essential workers.

The lawmakers’ $50 billion long term investment would expand current funding and tax credits to support families and students while also creating new grant programs for child care infrastructure and workforce development.

Under their proposal, the financial burden associated with child care would be significantly reduced for families by:

  • Requiring employers to extend the grace period to use a Dependent Care Assistance Plan;
  • Enhancing and making the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit refundable;
  • Providing an increase in mandatory federal child care funding through the Child Care Entitlement to States and temporally waiving the state match for that increase so more families can access subsidized child care;
  • Reauthorizing the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program at $200 million annually to provide more child care support to student parents.

The letter also calls for the creation of competitive infrastructure grants to support both the renovation and new construction of child care facilities, with priority given to those areas of the country that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

In addition to prioritizing facilities, the House members are requesting an investment in the higher education of our nation’s early childhood educators by offering $20 million per year for a student loan repayment program.

Finally, the House members are calling for $3.8 billion in renovation, maintenance, and repair funding for Head Start Centers; $2.3 billion to provide updated technological services for in-home early learning school readiness programs; and $989 million to cover the cost of providing an additional hour of mental health consultation for each child.

“Any attempt to restart this nation’s economy will be a wasted effort without a strong investment in our nation’s child care system,” Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center. “This support is direly needed to ensure child care providers can provide these essential services to their communities while keeping their workers safe and allowing parents to return to the workforce. Working mothers especially bear the burden of child care nationwide, and it’s no coincidence they are also most at risk for the economic pressures brought on by this pandemic. We thank Rep. Clark for fighting for a high-quality and sustainable child care system, without which millions of working families will be held back from any meaningful recovery.”


“Child care is the backbone of our nation’s response to disaster and the road to recovery”,
 said Rhian Evans Allvin, CEO, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). “The National Association for the Education of Young Children is grateful for the leadership of the Representatives who are calling for substantial, direct Congressional investment in child care, and who have engaged with early childhood educators and families in their communities to understand the intense challenges they face. We look forward to working together to secure the investments needed to sustain this essential industry that will continue to support children, families and the American economy through this crisis and the coming recovery.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has rocked the foundations of the already precarious child care system at the same time it’s demonstrated that child care must be an essential element of the nation’s economic recovery,” said Hannah Matthews, Deputy Executive Director for Policy, Center for Law and Social Policy. “The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) estimates that at least $9.6 billion is needed each month to fully fund existing providers during the pandemic--and additional funding is needed to support the industry's long-term recovery. We applaud the leadership of the members of Congress who are proposing a $100 billion investment in child care—it is what we need to ensure that essential workers can stay on the job, parents can go back to work when public health allows, children can return to safe settings to learn and grow, and millions of child care workers—mostly women of color—will not lose their livelihoods.”

The letter was authored by Rep. Clark and co-signed by 84 members of the House. The full text of the letter is available below. 

May 6, 2020

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy

Minority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy,

We write today urging a robust investment in our nation’s child care system. Child care is critical to supporting essential workers today and to our economic future. The nation’s early education and child care sector has been particularly hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and is in dire need of emergency relief funds. In addition, we must take the opportunity to create a stronger, more affordable and accessible child care industry by making a long-term investment in our nation’s caregivers, facilities, and families.

$50 Billion is Necessary for Immediate, Short-Term Relief

The child care industry is facing a crisis due to Covid-19. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, 60 percent of licensed providers have already closed due to the pandemic and a survey from the National Association for the Education of Young Children shows that only 11% of our nation’s child care providers will survive without government support.[1] Even as some states contemplate reopening, the fate of an already underresourced child care industry remains unclear as providers navigate new staff-to-child ratios, unexpected costs due to sanitation and social distancing, and the prospect that parents will not be able to afford care or fear the public health risks of using child care.

The Center for American Progress estimates that without significant relief, a crippling proportion of our nation’s child care capacity will disappear.[2] Our country cannot have a sustained economic recovery without a foundation of affordable, quality, and accessible child care. Therefore, we request that any upcoming stimulus include at least $50 billion in immediate, short-term relief funding.

According to a recent economic analysis, the child care and early learning industry requires at least $9.6 billion each month to sustain the viability of our providers.[3] This amount covers the $3.9 billion required to keep providers who have been forced to close due to Covid-19 operational. Another $6.3 billion is required each month to support emergency care for the 6 million children of essential workers.

The $50 billion should be provided in the form of short-term stabilization funding, and we must ensure these funds are flexible to account for increasing, and potentially unforeseeable, expenses due to the pandemic. While the funds must continue to support essential frontline workers, it should also prioritize keeping providers operational for the duration of this crisis, especially those serving our most vulnerable children and communities. If we fail to provide this $50 billion in short-term stabilization funding, we are at high risk of returning from this crisis only to find that families do not have the child care they need to go back to work.

A Minimum of $50 Billion is Needed in Longer-Term Investments

Even before the pandemic, this country faced a child care crisis. That is why any upcoming stimulus package should begin to redress our lack of investment in child care infrastructure and affordability by providing an additional $50 billion in long-term recovery funding. However, this number is only a starting point. It is imperative that we make other structural changes such as increased payments to providers, expanded eligibility under CCDBG, and wage increases for our nation’s educators. At bare minimum, upcoming recovery legislation should include:

Support for Families: Provisions that will help families afford child care after the pandemic include requiring employers to extend the grace period for Dependent Care Assistance Plans; enhancing and making the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit refundable (an estimated cost of $11 billion over five years); authorizing and providing five years of increased mandatory funding through the Child Care Entitlement to States at a funding level of $7 billion annually while also temporally waiving the state match for any increased funds above $2.9 billion; and reauthorizing the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program at $200 million annually.

Investment in Providers and Early Childhood Educators: Competitive infrastructure grants should be provided to support both the renovation and new construction of child care facilities with priority given to those areas of the country that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. The National Children’s Facilities Network estimates that at least $12 billion is required to rebuild our child care industry. In addition to prioritizing facilities, Congress should invest in the higher education of our nation’s early childhood educators by ensuring sustained, increased wages and offering $20 million per year for a student loan repayment program.

Bolster Head Start: Investments in Head Start should include $3.8 billion for the renovation, maintenance, and repair of Head Start Centers, $2.3 billion for in-home early learning school readiness programs to provide technology, hardware, software, and internet, and $989 million to support the cost of an additional hour of mental health consultation for each child.

As we look forward, the next Covid-19 related package must include $50 billion in short-term relief to ensure that there is a child care system after this pandemic is over. However, for a robust economic recovery we cannot just maintain the status quo, where providers operate on the thinnest of margins and families struggle to find and afford quality care. We must begin to make a comprehensive investment in our early education and care system to ensure the economic and educational future of our country.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to working with you to provide for the immediate needs of our nation’s child care providers and for a significant investment in the future of early education and child care programs.

Sincerely,

Katherine Clark                                   Jahana Hayes                               Jimmy Panetta
Member of Congress                          Member of Congress                    Member of Congress

Suzanne Bonamici                              Danny K. Davis                            Tom Malinowski
Member of Congress                          Member of Congress                     Member of Congress

Cindy Axne

Joyce Beatty

Earl Blumenauer

Cheri Bustos

Tony  Cárdenas

Kathy Castor

Joaquin Castro

David N. Cicilline

Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr.

Angie Craig

Madeleine Dean

Ted Deutch 

C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger

Adriano Espaillat

Dwight Evans

Abby Finkenauer

Bill Foster

Marcia L. Fudge

Ruben Gallego

Jesús G. "Chuy" García

Jimmy Gomez

Raul Grijalva

Deb Haaland

Pramila Jayapal

Hakeem Jeffries

Joseph P. Kennedy, III

Ann McLane Kuster

Jim Langevin

John B. Larson

Barbara Lee

Lisa Blunt Rochester

Alan Lowenthal

James P. McGovern

Gregory Meeks

Grace Meng

Gwen Moore

Joseph D. Morelle

Seth Moulton

Jerrold Nadler

Grace F. Napolitano

Joe Neguse

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Frank Pallone, Jr.

Donald M. Payne Jr.

Scott H. Peters

Chellie Pingree

Mark Pocan

Ayanna Pressley

Mike Quigley

Jamie Raskin

Bobby L. Rush

Linda T. Sánchez

Kim Schrier, M.D.

Terri A. Sewell

Adam Smith

Jackie Speier

Thomas R. Suozzi 

Rashida Tlaib

Norma J. Torres

Lori Trahan

Lauren Underwood

Nydia M. Velázquez

Peter Welch

Susan Wild

Frederica S. Wilson

André Carson

Sheila Jackson Lee

Darren Soto

Harley Rouda

Zoe Lofgren

John Yarmuth

Mary Gay Scanlon

Lois Frankel

Debbie Dingell

Adam B. Schiff

Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.

Matt Cartwright

Jan Schakowsky

Julia Brownley

 [1] https://bipartisanpolicy.org/blog/nationwide-survey-child-care-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTTJKaU1ERmxOV1ZsTldZdyIsInQiOiJrXC81dkNFXC96b2hHYUg3Smt3MGI1R21kaXZ1SmVGVEh2NFpoOHIyQnJxZXI2cklcLzlqaGRvU1lmNEhWeXQ5djhIS0xaR3BKU2JLMFpUMWJsZk9weHZSNlhhaFBkZUlaSWNYV0EyaTE4S2c0QTBrUGlYeDlWNXdpNVwvN2Y2YW0xOTQifQ%3D%3D ; https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/our-work/public-policy-advocacy/effects_of_coronavirus_on_child_care.final.pdf

[2] https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/news/2020/04/24/483817/coronavirus-pandemic-lead-permanent-loss-nearly-4-5-million-child-care-slots/

[3] https://www.clasp.org/sites/default/files/publications/2020/04/CCKeytoEconomicRecovery.pdf

Clark thanks Mass. essential workers via video

The office of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05) provided the following statement May 1:

After launching #MAthanks on April 14, Congressmembers Katherine Clark (MA-5) and Joe Kennedy III (MA-4) have released “A Massachusetts Thank You” – a virtual thank you card for health-care providers and essential workers on the front lines of Covid-19.

“The Commonwealth has one message to essential workers: thank you,” they said in an April 30 news release. “As demonstrated by this outpouring of gratitude, Massachusetts residents are beyond grateful for the help and care they’re receiving from front-line workers, from the grocery store employees to the transit workers to the nurses and doctors. These messages show that we will get through this together and that it’s our collective humanity that shines brightest in the most challenging moments.” 

cid:<a href=image004.png@01D61ECF.BCFA4470Video thanks: Downloadable video available hereThe lawmakers compiled the video using pictures and videos submitted online over the last 10 days. More than 250 thank you messages were submitted from the public.

The video will now be distributed to Massachusetts health-care centers, hospitals, nursing homes workers, food pantries, labor unions and other organizations that represent our brave essential workers who are putting themselves in danger to serve others.  

  Clark introduces bill to require transparency in medical supply chain

The office of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05) provided the following statement April 20:

U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark (MA-5), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Brad Schneider (IL-10), and Angie Craig (MN-2) introduced the Emergency Supply Chain Transparency Act. The legislation aims to ensure greater accountability of federal agencies and private-sector partners responsible for the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other emergency resources under the Defense Protection Act and Stafford Act.

Specifically, this bill would require that the president report to Congress with detailed information about the transport, distribution, and possession of emergency resources by federal agencies and their private partners every 14 days. The legislation follows several requests for detailed information about FEMA’s efforts to maintain visibility on PPE and guard supplies from the threat of hoarders and price gougers.“I am in constant communication with local hospitals, community health centers, essential workers and our state leaders. They all have one message: we need PPE,” Clark said in a statement April 20. “The Trump administration’s failure to coordinate and distribute these materials in inexcusable. We need accountability now. Lives depend on it.”

 In March, Clark, along with the members of the Massachusetts Delegation, sent two letters to the Trump administration demanding an immediate invocation of the Defense Production Act authorities, which would allow the president to direct private industry to produce critically needed medical equipment, such as PPE and ventilators. Additionally, Clark sent a letter to Vice President Pence demanding answers on the lack of medical equipment supply. Hospitals and medical centers across Massachusetts and the country are reporting a dire lack of PPE for doctors, nurses, and first responders, as well as insufficient ventilators to meet projected need of patients in critical care. 

“We’ve all seen the pictures of nurses wearing trash bags, reusing disposable masks, and improvising their own protective gear to protect themselves from Covid-19,” Rep. Deutch said. “If Project Airbridge is to effectively address the national shortage of PPE, we must be certain we don’t lose any of the lifesaving equipment to a broken supply chain. We are demanding confirmation that the masks, gowns, and other equipment nurses and doctors need make to the hospital loading dock, not a profiteer’s warehouse.”

"The White House’s response to the massive shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies across our country has been convoluted, slow, and inexcusably political," said Rep. Schneider. "This ‘Wild West’ environment created by the lack of Administration leadership has allowed price-gouging and hoarding to flourish. Our legislation would bring desperately needed transparency to the medical supply chain to ensure this vital equipment is getting to our communities in need."

“I’m proud to work with my colleagues and ensure greater transparency in the FEMA supply chain to ensure that critical health care equipment, PPE and medical equipment gets to health care workers so they can continue their heroic work on the front lines,” said Rep. Angie Craig. Craig spent more than two decades working for a medical manufacturing company that relied heavily on supply chain management and logistics to provide products to more than 100 countries around the world.Hospitals and state emergency officials from around the country have been frustrated by unfilled orders, delayed deliveries, and sharp price hikes.

The Trump Administration launched Project Airbridge, a public-private partnership to cut the shipping time for emergency supplies from Asia down from 30 days to 2 days to meet the needs of front-line workers responding to the Covid-19 emergency. After arriving in America, half of those supplies are turned over to private medical supply companies for distribution through the traditional supply chain.

You can view the legislation here.

Clark applauds, details emergency relief

The office of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05) provided the following statement March 13:

Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Representative Katherine Clark joined the U.S. House of Representatives in passing an historic $2 trillion emergency stimulus package to help safeguard the health, safety, and economic security of Americans in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

<a href=
Congresswoman Clark Delivers Speech on the House Floor in Support of the CARES Act


“Americans are facing a public health crisis that poses an unprecedented threat to the health and safety of our communities. Right now, hospitals are struggling to care for those in need and the pandemic has brought schools, businesses, and entire states, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to a standstill,” said Congresswoman Clark. “American families are calling for help. Today, the House of Representatives voted to bring them critical relief and offer them a lifeline. To those on the frontlines of this national emergency, please know that we see you, we appreciate your sacrifice, and we will keep fighting to bring you the help that you need to get through this crisis.”

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes:

  • A $150 Billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund:  Creates a $150 billion State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide states and localities additional resources to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.  It is estimated that Massachusetts will receive approximately $2.67 billion in desperately needed funds to benefit communities across the Commonwealth. (state-by-state breakdown)
  • $260 Billion in Dramatically Expanded Unemployment Benefits:  Includes numerous provisions to improve unemployment benefits including providing an additional $600 per week for the next four months, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits, and expanding eligibility to include workers in the gig economy and self-employed workers.
  • Immediate Direct Cash Payments to Lower and Middle-Income Americans:  Provides for immediate, direct cash payments to lower-and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household.  These payments will provide individuals with the cash they need right now to survive with much of the economy currently shut down.
  • More Than $375 Billion in Small Business Relief:  Provides more than $375 billion in small business relief, including $349 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on the payroll; $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.
  • Approximately $200 Billion for Our Hospitals, Health Care Workers, and Health Research:  Provides an investment of about $200 billion in our hospitals, health systems, and health research, including expanding funding for the personal protective equipment desperately needed by our health care workers, including ventilators, n95 masks, gowns, gloves, etc.
  • More Than $100 Billion in Additional Emergency Appropriations, Including the Following:
    • Transit Agencies:  Provides $25 billion to transit agencies, which have all seen a drastic drop in revenues as social distancing has been implemented.  This funding is to be used to protect the jobs of the employees of the transit agencies, funding their paychecks during this public health emergency. Massachusetts transit agencies will receive over $1 billion under this program.
    • HUD Emergency Solution Grants:  Provides $2 billion for HUD Emergency Solution Grants to states that will be distributed by formula. These grants are designed to address the impact of the coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance.  Of this $2 billion, Massachusetts will receive over $60 million.  In addition, the bill provides an additional $2 billion for these grants that will be allocated by HUD to the most hard-pressed areas.
    • Child Care and Development Block Grant:  Supports child care and early education by providing $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.  Massachusetts will receive approximately $60 million under this emergency appropriation.
    • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP):  Provides $900 million to help low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills.  Massachusetts will receive nearly $11 million for this purpose during this public health emergency.
    • Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program:  Provides $850 million for this program, giving additional support to state and local law enforcement agencies, thereby allowing them, for example, to obtain the personal protective equipment and other medical items they may need during this public health emergency. Massachusetts is projected to receive over $17 million under this appropriation.
    • CDC Coronavirus State, Local and Tribal Grants Minimum Awards:  Provides about $750 million in CDC State, Local, and . Tribal Grants Minimum Awards to help agencies cope with the public health emergency.  The minimum award for Massachusetts is nearly $13 million.  In addition, states can apply for additional funds above their minimum award, based on their needs.
    • Election Assistance:  Provides $400 million for Election Assistance Grants for states to help prepare for the 2020 elections.  Coronavirus is already resulting in the postponement of some primaries and this funding can help states make voting safer for individuals.  Funding can be used, for example, to increase the ability to vote by mail, expand early voting, and expand online registration.  The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is projected to receive over $8 million for these purposes.

This the third bill to pass the House related to the coronavirus pandemic. On March 4, House passed an $8.3 billion emergency aid package to provide for a fully-funded, coordinated, and comprehensive government-wide response to the emerging Covid-19 outbreak. The second bill, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, provides Americans with free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured, expanded paid sick leave, expanded unemployment insurance, food assistance, and other basics resources to support American workers and families.   

The bill now waits for the President’s signature.

Clark held telephone town hall on crisis

The office of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05) provided the following statement March 13:

On Tuesday, March 17 at 6:30pm EDT, I will be hosting a telephone town hall on the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. 

I will be available to update you on the work we are doing in Washington to mitigate the spread of the virus, and I will be joined by Massachusetts health care professionals who will be able to answer your questions about the virus and the public health response.

You can join the discussion by dialing in at 1-844-734-8764. 

Clark graphicIf you are not able to join the call but have a question or need assistance, please reach out to my district office.

I hope you will join us for this important conversation about the steps being taken to protect our community from this virus.  

Sincerely,

Katherine Clark
Member of Congress (MA-05)

Clark on Senate GOP deciding to acquit Trump

The office of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05) provided the following statement Feb. 5:

U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark

“The ballot is stronger than bullets.” -- Abraham Lincoln

Donald Trump solicited foreign interference into our elections, and he has told us he will do it again. By voting to acquit, Senate Republicans have willfully sanctioned his abuse of power and become accomplices in his cover-up.

They have sent a message to Trump and all future presidents that there is no check on a president in pursuit of reelection. They are clinging to a political system rigged for the privileged, stoking fear and enabling a corrupt president rather than protecting the integrity of our democracy.

It is easy to despair over the actions of the Senate. But in this critical election year, we cannot afford to.

I think of a young John Lewis crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma -- marching to secure the right to vote for all Americans. John saw the ugliness before him, he could feel the potential violence humming in the air, but he kept marching.

John almost lost his life, but he did not turn around. In the face of fear and violence, John kept marching all the way to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

We must show the same determination and courage to fight for our democracy. We must demand that all of our votes be counted. If we do, we can restore accountability, gird our democracy and ensure that our government is of, by and for the people.

Clark joins votes to end endless wars, prevent conflict with Iran

The office of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05) provided the following statement Jan. 31:

On Thursday, Jan. 30, U.S. Rep. Clark  joined House colleagues in passing two bills that would prohibit taxpayer funding from being used to take military action against Iran without congressional authorization and repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), a military authorization that has been misinterpreted by the Trump administration and others a blank check for war.“

It is troubling to know that many young Americans, like my sons, have never known an America that wasn’t engaged in war. That has to stop,” Clark said. “Massachusetts families and families across America overwhelmingly oppose another unnecessary war in the Middle East because they know the consequences would be catastrophic."

With this week’s vote, House Democrats emphatically reasserted our constitutional authority and said no to endless wars. No matter the person or party, we cannot allow presidents to unilaterally push America into devastating conflicts abroad.”“The American people are sick and tired of war in the Middle East,” said Brian Garvey, Organizer for Massachusetts Peace Action and Melrose Resident. “A new conflict with Iran endangers the lives of our military personnel, millions of people across the region, and our own citizens who suffer the costs of endless war. Congress must deny President Trump funding for an unconstitutional war with Iran. Instead we must deescalate tensions by returning to the Iran nuclear deal, renewing diplomacy, and bringing our troops home from the Middle East. We thank Congresswoman Clark for her leadership on these issues."

“I want to thank the House of Representatives for passing the No War Against Iran Act and voting to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) yesterday, and I want to thank Representative Clark for her support,” said Ian Harrington, Wayland Resident and Activist.

“Passing the No War Against Iran Act shows people want to give diplomacy and international cooperation a chance instead of the current Administration policy of threats, drone attacks, and war planning. The current path is not only destabilizing and dangerous, but it could lead to a war with Iran that would be catastrophic for human lives, national security, and the health of the planet. Repealing the 2002 AUMF is important because the current Administration is using it to justify attacks such as the recent assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and shows that Congress is ready to turn the page and move away from destructive wars of choice.”

At the beginning of this year, President Trump used the 2002 Iraq AUMF as cover to order the killing of Iranian officials. The U.S. House of Representatives responded to this dangerous escalation of conflict in the Middle East by reaffirming Congress’ authority over matters of war. The legislative initiatives passed by the House of Representatives would:

  • Prevent the President from unilaterally authorizing military force against Iran.
  • Prohibit federal funding for any use of military force in or against Iran unless Congress has declared war or enacted specific statutory authorization for such use of military force.
  • Immediately repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF, an outdated piece of legislation initially intended to address the perceived threat posed by the regime of Sadam Hussein almost 18 years ago.

According to a 2018 Brown University study, the United States has spent over $5.9 trillion on wars in the Middle East since 2001, totaling over $1 trillion more than all federal government spending in 2019. The report also found that over 480,000 people have died as a direct result of the conflicts, 244,000 of which were civilians, and that over 10 million people have been displaced due to violence.

Head Start recognizes Clark as champion for children, families

The office of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05) provided the following statement Jan. 29:

Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Representative Katherine Clark (MA-05) was recognized by the National Head Start Association with the 2020 Head Start Pledge Award for demonstrating a steadfast commitment to fulfilling the Head Start pledge to serve America’s most vulnerable children and families.

“I’m so grateful for the partnership of Head Start,” said Congresswoman Clark in a Jan. 29 news release. “So many of the challenges we face as a nation, whether poverty, racial injustice, economic inequality, can be helped by giving every child a great start. I am thrilled that we have secured an additional $550 million for this vital program, but our work won’t be over until every child has access to early education.”

 “Head Start children and families are grateful for Vice Chair Clark’s support and thank her for keeping the commitment to Head Start in both her words and her deeds,” said NHSA’s Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “For 55 years, Head Start has been partnering with vulnerable children and families on their paths to success, and our impact would not be possible without the steadfast support of our long-standing allies in Congress.”

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Clark led the successful effort to increase the Head Start federal budget by $550 million in fiscal 2020. Shek was honored with the Pledge Award for her leadership in advocating for an increase in Head Start funding to support practices that address trauma; and for diligently working to find solutions to Head Start’s most pressing challenges throughout her tenure in Congress.

Clark accepted the Pledge Award during the annual Head Start Breakfast on the Hill, where congressional champions addressed Head Start parents, alumni, and other supporters who were on Capitol Hill to advocate for the early childhood development program with members of Congress and their staff.

ead Start on the Hill events are part of NHSA’s 2020 Winter Leadership Institute, which brings together more than 500 Head Start leaders to plan for the future of the comprehensive early childhood education program. Leaders of the Head Start community from across the nation are convening in Washington, D.C., for four days of informative sessions, innovative panels, and results-oriented workshops.


These news announcements were updated Friday, July 10, 2020.

Town of Arlington to LGBTQIA+ students: You belong
 

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