October Recap: What You Might Have Missed

Mary Gay Scanlon
6 min readNov 3, 2021


October was another busy legislative month. In addition to regular legislative business, the House of Representatives worked to complete the negotiations and hearings needed to pass the Build Back Better Act — a unique opportunity to refocus our economic policy in a way that benefits everybody, not just those at the top.

Democrats are united in our desire to deliver for the American people. We won’t squander this opportunity.

See what else I was up to in October:

Legislation Introduced

Fresh Start Act

Too many Americans face insurmountable barriers to full employment, housing, and education, despite having paid their debt to society. Having a minor or decades-old criminal record should not be a life sentence, but millions of Americans cannot get a fresh start because clearing their records is so burdensome and expensive.

Bureaucratic delays and high legal fees perpetuate the cycle of poverty and make it more difficult for people to transition back into society successfully. I’m proud to be part of a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers pushing to eliminate barriers to employment and champion opportunities for our communities to recover and thrive through the Fresh Start Act.

National Public Radio Music Day Resolution

In college, I loved working at our school’s public radio station. Public radio serves as a source of entertainment and education, providing listeners across the United States a gateway to the world. I am excited to celebrate its innovative programming with a resolution designating November 10, 2021 as Public Radio Music Day.

Legislative Activity

House Judiciary Committee — Oversight of the United States Department of Justice

My House Judiciary colleagues and I heard from Attorney General Garland as part of our oversight of the Department of Justice. After four years of partisanship defined the Department of Justice during the last administration, Attorney General Garland is working to to restore the integrity of the department and public trust in the DOJ.

Approved a resolution holding Steve Bannon in contempt for failing to comply with a Congressional subpoena

The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol needs Steve Bannon’s testimony to fully understand his role the events leading up to and during the January 6 attack. Bannon isn’t above the law. He can’t refuse to obey a subpoena — which is why the House voted to hold him in contempt.

Attended the White House signing of a bill I co-sponsored to create the September 11th National Memorial Trail Route

This 1,300-mile trail running through PA-05 links the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania.

What else you might have missed

Met with Haverford Township officials

We discussed the township’s use of American Rescue Plan funding. In addition to supporting local businesses impacted by the pandemic, Haverford is making improvements that will ensure better services for our constituents.

Joined Philly leaders to mark the milestone of 25,000+ evacuees arriving at Philadelphia International Airport

The work being done at Philadelphia International Airport has been critical to ensuring that the individuals and families arriving in America from Afghanistan are able to start out on the right foot. As of the end of October, PHL has greeted more than 25,000 Afghan evacuees as they arrive from overseas and travel to their new homes across the country.

Stood with Common Defense in calling for the passage of the Freedom to Vote Act

Our service members and veterans have dedicated their lives to protecting our country and the rights we hold dear. I gladly joined members of Common Defense in support of the Freedom to Vote Act. We need to eliminate barriers to the ballot box for our veterans and all Americans.

Joined the Irish Ambassador for a walking tour of Upper Darby

I was thrilled to welcome my friend Ambassador Daniel Mulhall to PA-05, where the rich history of the Irish-American community, and the waves of immigration that followed in our region are on full display.

Attended the Philadelphia International Unity Cup Final

I enjoyed celebrating the rich diversity of our communities and bringing neighborhoods together through soccer. Before the game, I was honored to welcome new American citizens during an official naturalization ceremony on the field.

Celebrated the unveiling of new designs for a Welcome Center and additional play space at FDR Park

Rally for Reproductive Rights

Visited the “In America: Remember” display

I joined my colleagues on the National Mall to pay my respects to the nearly 700,000 Americans lost to COVID-19. Each flag in the display represents a family member, friend, or neighbor — including Jim from the morning chat at my local coffee shop.

Ran in the Radnor 5-mile run

Joined State Rep. Joanna McClinton’s Fall Resource Fair

It was great to connect with families to raise awareness about the expanded and improved Child Tax Credit and to hear about the huge difference it makes in their lives. And the kids’ Halloween costumes were amazing!

Met with Assadullah Zamir, the former Minister of Agriculture in Afghanistan

It was an honor to meet Mr. Zamir, one of the 58 people my office has helped to evacuate from Kabul so far.

Visited a local vaccine clinic hosted by PA Commission on Asian Pacific America Affairs and Muslim Aid Initiative at a community event in Upper Darby



Mary Gay Scanlon

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