Weekly Recap: What You Might Have Missed

Mary Gay Scanlon
6 min readAug 3, 2020

Last week marked the end of several relief programs that have been helping families in our district and across the country deal with COVID-19; programs like expanded unemployment insurance, mortgage forbearance and rent and food relief. Anticipating this fiscal cliff, the House passed the Heroes Act ten weeks ago, to extend and expand such programs and provide much needed relief to families, small businesses and frontline workers. But the Senate and White House have yet to propose a plan that even comes close. You can see the difference in the House and Senate plans, here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/30/upshot/coronavirus-stimulus-bill.html?referringSource=articleShare

Americans are still waiting for the Trump Administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to stop playing politics and join the House in supporting legislation to protect the lives and livelihoods of every American. We need the Senate to pass the Heroes Act now.

I am committed to fighting for the resources that you need to get through this unprecedented time. Here’s how I’ve been fighting for you:

Joined my colleagues in passing bills to expand quality child care

Last week, I joined my colleagues in passing two bills to address the child care crisis which has been worsened by this pandemic.

Child care is essential — Without it, schools can’t open and Americans can’t go back to work. The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act provides critical relief to working families, child care providers, and essential workers. In addition, it includes long overdue funding for child care infrastructure and offers incentives for employers to provide child care assistance. Affordable and accessible child care is essential for families in our region and across the country. Now, we need the Senate to act.

Read more about these bills here: https://thehill.com/policy/finance/509670-house-approves-two-child-care-bills-aimed-at-pandemic?amp&__twitter_impression=true

Questioned Jeff Bezos on Amazon’s predatory pricing tactics

In a hearing with the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law we examined the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, I had the opportunity to question Jeff Bezos on Amazon’s use of predatory pricing tactics to quash competition, specifically, how it drove an online diaper company out of business.

Predatory pricing is a classic monopoly tactic. A corporation temporarily cuts prices below-cost, in order to drive out rivals — and become the only game in town. And once it’s the only game in town, it can hike prices and fees, for consumers as well as for sellers.

Americans need to know the truth about anti-competitive practices that hurt consumers.

Watch my line of questioning here: https://twitter.com/repmgs/status/1288571488099074050?s=21

NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000007263183/bezos-amazon-predatory-practices.html

Held Attorney General Bill Barr accountable for making false claims about vote-by-mail.

Recently, Attorney General Barr has been peddling the President’s dangerous conspiracy theories about mail-in voting. During a House Judiciary hearing on oversight of the DOJ, I asked him if he had any evidence to back up his claims. He said “no” under oath.

Pennsylvania has a large population of seniors who are at higher risk for the coronavirus and should not have to choose between risking their lives and exercising their right to vote. We must ensure every voter can vote safely during this public health crisis.

Watch my line of questioning here: https://twitter.com/repmgs/status/1288198347875123201?s=21

NBC: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/barr-testify-portland-protests-have-been-hijacked-calls-trump-russia-n1235078

Joined Rep. Jennifer Wexton in opposing Trump administration proposal allowing homeless shelters to refuse to accept transgender people.

It has been 430 days since the House passed the Equality Act, and this rule is just one more demonstration of why we need Senator Mitch McConnell to take it up — We need to push it through the Senate.

Read more here: https://www.washingtonblade.com/2020/07/30/rep-wexton-leads-congressional-effort-against-huds-anti-trans-rule/

Participated the 2020 Black Maternal Health Caucus Stakeholder Summit

The United States’ maternal mortality rate is exponentially higher than any other developed country. Black women are 3X more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women, a glaring disparity that hasn’t improved in decades.

In the Philadelphia region, many organizations like the Foundation for Delaware County and Maternity Care Coalition are addressing this crisis locally, but we must do more.

I am grateful to Congresswomen Lauren Underwood, Alma Adams, and Senator Kamala Harris for their leadership in introducing the Black Maternal Health Momnibus this past March, and I am proud to support their efforts. We must take a comprehensive approach to maternal health, and particularly black maternal health, by funding community based organizations, investing in social determinants that influence maternal health outcomes, and growing and diversifying the prenatal workforce.

Watch a full recap of events here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AKwuw-Gyxo4&feature=youtu.be

Joined House Judiciary for hearing on Oversight of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

I hear constantly from constituents who are frustrated because their naturalization processes are taking months longer than usual, and they’re starting to feel like there’s something sinister about the process of becoming a citizen being delayed right before an election. My colleagues and I felt it critical to examine:

  • Political influence in agency decision-making that has deepened the budget crisis and prevented individuals from seeking or obtaining immigration benefits for which they would otherwise be entitled
  • Measures that are necessary to restore efficiency, transparency, and accountability at USCIS.
  • The factors that contributed to USCIS’s budget shortfall, including the COVID-19 pandemic and policy and management decisions that restrict legal immigration and damage agency efficiency

Watch the hearing here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mqTywe4eoVw&feature=emb_title

Unanimously passed bipartisan recommendations to address continuity of government with the Select Committee Modernization of Congress.

It’s important that Congress is reflective of the changing landscape, and improving continuity of operations is important to ensure we can keep working effectively for the American peoples with the previous three rounds of committee recommendations, this round passed with unanimous bipartisan support.

Read about our 12 recommendations here: https://modernizecongress.house.gov/news/press-releases/select-committee-unanimously-approves-fourth-round-of-recommendations

Joined colleagues in honoring our friend and colleague, civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis

Representative John Lewis lay in state at the Capital on Monday and Tuesday so that his colleagues and the public could pay their respects. We all feel his loss deeply, but we are committed to honoring his legacy by passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and continuing to make “good trouble, necessary trouble.”

I know that the past few months have been incredibly challenging and I want to thank you for doing your part to practice social distancing to save lives. One recent study indicated that widespread mask wearing will reduce US deaths from COVID by as much as 40,000 by the end of the year.

Our office is here to help as we navigate this crisis together. You can reach us by phone at 610 — 626 — 2020 or by sending me a message through our website at scanlon.house.gov/contact.



Mary Gay Scanlon

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