November Recap: What You Might Have Missed

Mary Gay Scanlon
6 min readDec 8, 2021


In November, the House of Representatives passed two historic pieces of legislation. Together, the investments included in the Build Back Better Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will grow America’s economy, advance equity in our communities, and position the nation to compete globally. I was incredibly proud to vote for both bills and witness President Biden signing the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law. Now, it’s up to the Senate to get the Build Back Better Act across the finish line so we can deliver President Biden’s full economic agenda.

Build Back Better Act

For too long, America’s economic policy has revolved around support for the rich and powerful rather than working people. With the Build Back Better Act, that finally changes. It will grow our economy from the bottom up and middle out, address the climate crisis — and it pays for itself. This bill will help working people in PA-05 and across the country.

The Build Back Better Act:

  • Lowers child care and family care costs
  • Invests in education and workforce development
  • Lowers health care costs and improves access to care, including for pregnant women and new moms
  • Combats the climate crisis
  • Invests in veterans and their families
  • Supports American small businesses

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the largest investment in America’s infrastructure needs in generations. And few regions will benefit more from this investment than ours. PA-05 is home to Philadelphia’s airport, port, and rail yard, dozens of miles of interstate highways and passenger rail lines, and regional commuter and light rail lines that link Philadelphia and its suburbs. Our infrastructure is aging, heavily used, and — in many cases — beyond its usable lifespan. That is precisely why the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is so critical for our community.

There was a lot of attention on the Build Back Better Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last month, so you may have missed some of these highlights from November:

Other Legislative Activity

House Judiciary Committee: Silenced: How Forced Arbitration Keeps Victims of Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in the Shadows

We held a hearing to examine how forced arbitration clauses in employment agreements undermine the public interest in holding perpetrators of sexual violence accountable, robbing survivors of sexual violence and sexual harassment of their voices while allowing companies to look the other way. Legislation to end this practice has been introduced and will be revised based upon the evidence collected at this hearing.

Voted to pass multiple bills to support veterans

The House of Representatives passed several bills to aid U.S. veterans last month, including the Protecting Moms Who Served Act, Protections for Student Veterans Act, Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fairness for Survivors Act, and Bringing Registered Apprenticeships to Veterans Education Act. President Biden has already signed the Protecting Moms Who Served Act and Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fairness for Survivors Act into law, and the other bills are awaiting a vote in the Senate.

Led debate on H. Res. 789 — Censuring Representative Paul Gosar

We must forcefully condemn threats and calls for violence against elected officials — and all public servants. Rep. Paul Gosar’s behavior towards Rep Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is dangerous and demands accountability.

What Else You Might Have Missed

Veterans Day celebrations in the district

It was a privilege to participate in observances at the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum, marching in the Media Veterans Day Parade, and joining veterans of all ages for lunch at the Media VFW. I am so proud to work in Congress on behalf of our service members, our veterans, and their families to make sure they have all of the support and resources they need.

Worked on a project with Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties

It was great to work with Habitat for Humanity once again, this time to help build a ramp for Pam, a veteran with disabilities who uses a scooter to get around and needs a ramp added to her home.

Honored the life and legacy of Emlen Tunnell

It was a privilege to honor Delco native Emlen Tunnell on the House floor after the U.S. Coast Guard named a Sentinel-class cutter for him in recognition of his accomplishments as an NFL pioneer and WWII hero in the Coast Guard.

Met with women veterans from the Philadelphia area

All of our veterans deserve our support, but women veterans still face distinct barriers and deserve resources tailored to their needs. We met with local women service members and veterans about how we can better help them return to civilian life after service.

Hosted two “Coffee with your Congresswoman” events and a tele-town hall

Throughout the pandemic, our office has worked hard to find ways I can connect with constituents while keeping people safe — including through virtual events and outdoor gatherings. With rising vaccination rates, we have begun holding small indoor gatherings again and hope to continue to do so. Last week, I enjoyed connecting with constituents in person at the Marple and Middletown Libraries, as well as during our November tele-town hall earlier in the month. We discussed the continuing economic fallout from the pandemic and how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better Act will pave the way to a brighter future for all.

Visited Project MFG’s student welding competition

One of the first meetings I had when I took office was with laid-off workers at the then-quiet Philadelphia Shipyard. Since then, one of my top priorities has been to reinvigorate the maritime industry in our region and develop the workforce to support it. We’ve worked hard to secure billions in new government work for the shipyard, and it’s roaring back to life. We are also supporting exciting new programs to prepare workers in our area to work in these good-paying jobs. In November, I attended a welding competition for local trade schools hosted by Project MFG as part of the U.S. Navy’s PA Pipeline Project: Philadelphia Region Workforce Pilot. This initiative recruits and trains young people for careers that strengthen our local economy, maritime industry, and national defense.

Celebrated Public Radio Music Day

Public radio stations are a source of entertainment and education — providing listeners with a gateway to the world. To celebrate this unparalleled public service, I’m proud to lead a resolution in Congress designating November 10, 2021, as Public Radio Music Day.



Mary Gay Scanlon

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