Legislative Recap: What You Might Have Missed

Mary Gay Scanlon
4 min readFeb 28, 2020

Congress was back in session this week and I stayed busy! Here is what I was up to:

Introduced Bill to Push Back on Trump Administration’s Changes to Social Security

This week, I fought back against the Trump Administration’s latest effort to strip Social Security benefits from people with disabilities by introducing the Language Equity in Social Security Act.

The Language Equity in Social Security Act amends the statute to require the Social Security Administration (SSA) to consider an individual’s linguistic limitations, including an inability to speak English, in determining eligibility for SSI and SSDI.

Denying Social Security and SSI disability benefits to older, severely disabled workers, who are not native English speakers, would cause significant harm — jeopardizing the economic security of countless people who rely on these benefits.

Read more about my bill here: https://scanlon.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=139

On the One Year Anniversary of the House’s Passage of H.R. 8, I Joined Activists and Democratic Colleagues from both the House and Senate to Demand Action from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Gun violence has become a constant in our lives, invading our schools, our places of worship, and the places where we work and play. Students, families, and communities should not have to beg for the government to protect them.

It has been one year since the House passed H.R. 8 to require background checks on all gun sales. In the year that bill has sat on Senator McConnell’s desk, over 38,000 people have died from gun violence, and twice as many have been wounded. Our country cannot wait any longer for the Senate to do its job.

Participated in the House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on the Current State of the U.S. Refugee Program

Since the beginning, the US has served as a beacon of light for refugees as the country with the largest resettlement program in the world.

Many of the faith-based communities in my district are willing and able to welcome refugees seeking a home. In addition to the humanitarian duty we have to welcome those seeking refuge, we must recognize the critical role they play in our local economies. Our refugee neighbors make extraordinary contributions in filling labor gaps, buying vacant homes, and starting businesses.

Welcoming refugees to our country is not just a longstanding tradition, it is a fundamental core value of what it means to be an American.

Listen to my questions here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10186&v=PBAjTPs6hdY&feature=emb_title

Help Grandfamilies Prevent Child Abuse Act included in Bipartisan Opioid Task Force legislative agenda for 2020

The opioid crisis has had so many devastating consequences, including the impact on the children affected. As a result of the opioid crisis, more and more grandparents and relatives are stepping in with little preparation to raise children whose parents are absent due to substance use disorders.

More than 2 million children in the United States are currently being raised by these kinship caregivers, and the vast majority of these children are being raised outside of the foster care system. Living with relatives can provide great stability for a child, but I know that kinship caregivers and the children they raise face their own unique set of challenges.

In order to properly help these families, this bill provides additional and specialized support for children who have been exposed to substance misuse and trauma.

Read more about my bill here: https://scanlon.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=122

Check out the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force Legislative Agenda here: https://aboutbgov.com/O7H

Presided over House Floor Debate Regarding Various Bills to Support our Veterans.

I had the opportunity to preside over the unanimous passage of 5 bills that will improve employment, health, education, and housing opportunities for veterans and their families.

Debated legislation included:

H.R. 2227, Gold Star Spouses and Spouses of Injured Servicemembers Leasing Relief Expansion Act of 2019

H.R. 3749, Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act

H.R. 561, Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2019

H.R. 4613, VA Reporting Transparency Act

H.R. 4852, G.I. and Veterans Education Empowerment (GIVE) Act

House Passed H.R. 2339, the Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act

This bill works to prevent a lifetime of nicotine addiction for future generations by protecting kids from Big Tobacco and provides the FDA with the tools and resources needed to respond to this public health crisis.

Read more about this bill here: https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/pallone-and-shalala-introduce-comprehensive-legislation-to-address-youth



Mary Gay Scanlon

Mary Gay Scanlon currently serves a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.