Congressional Update.

Since there’s been so much going on in Washington recently, I wanted to give you an update about what I’ve been working on — and how you can help me keep fighting for us in Congress.

Fighting Unfair Trade Agreements

These past few weeks have seen heated debate in Congress regarding the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).  In Michigan, we know firsthand the negative repercussions of unfair trade agreements.  Thousands of Detroit area jobs have been lost over the decades, devastating families and communities that were built around those jobs.  This vote was about my district.  This vote was about my core beliefs.  Trade agreements have a long-lasting impact, so we’ve got to ensure they’re the best possible deal for our nation and our workers.  Hundreds of constituents also weighed in, urging me to vote no on TPA.  I wanted to make sure you know that I cast a strong ‘NO’ vote on TPA, as well as TAA, to stop Fast Track.  Fighting for Michigan workers is a responsibility I take very seriously — and I’ll keep fighting for our workers as this trade debate continues.

Committees and Caucuses

My committee assignments are Small Business and Oversight & Government Reform, which allow my to effectively advocate for Michigan.  On Oversight, I’m a subcommittee Ranking Member as well.  Recently I co-founded the Congressional Investment in America’s Skilled Workforce Caucus, fighting for resources to equip our Michigan workers to succeed.  Working in a bipartisan manner, I’ve revived the Congressional Former Mayors Caucus to ensure our cities get the federal support they need; my many years as Mayor of Southfield gave me unique perspective on how we can forge alliances to deliver results and I’ve been applying that experience in Congress.

Fighting for Legislative Action

Here are some figures on my legislative work since starting in Congress earlier this year: 4 sponsored bills, 2 original co-sponsored bills, 116 co-sponsored pieced of legislation — and not a single missed vote.  There’s no shortage of important issues that come before Congress, but I wanted to let you know about a few bills that I’ve personally sponsored:

– Workforce Development for the Advancement of Manufacturers Act (H.R. 1970), establishing tax credits for employers that provide employees with training programs and essential skill building

– Pilot Program to Provide Greater Access for Disabled Veterans and their Families to Support Services (H.R. 1843), helping over 40 percent of Michigan’s veterans who live in rural or remote areas

– Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act (H.R. 1899), allowing our veterans from all wars the ability to apply for the VA Caregivers program

– National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act (H.R. 1900), supporting that program at Michigan’s universities, funding the responsible use of coastal and Great Lakes resources, and benefitting over 10,000 Michigan youths

Michigan has critical transportation and infrastructure needs. You’ve heard from me a few times already on the pressing issue of the federal Highway Trust Fund, which needs long-term reauthorization instead of the dozens of last-minute, short-term extensions it keeps getting from Congress.  I continue to fight for results on that front.  Additionally, I’ve teamed up with Congresswoman Candice Miller to co-sponsor her Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Safety Technology Investment Flexibility Act legislation.  I’m pleased to report that Senator Gary Peters has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate and it is gaining momentum in both chambers.

Out in the Community

I’ve dedicated a lot of my time to reaching out to constituents.  Since starting in Congress this year I’ve personally attended over 400 meetings and events throughout the 14th district; on top of that, my staff has attended over 700 meetings and events in the district.  In recent weeks I’ve had the honor of serving as Commencement Speaker for Wayne County Community College, addressing Komen Race for the Cure participants on Detroit’s riverfront, meeting with Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce small business owners, addressing Grosse Pointe and Sylvan Lake Memorial Day ceremonies, participating in the Walk For Israel in West Bloomfield, marching in the Detroit Cinco De Mayo parade and holding coffee hours in Farmington Hills, to name a few activities.

If I can be of any help, or if you want to share an idea with me, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I’m humbled to represent the communities in Michigan’s mighty 14th congressional district — I work for you.

I Need Your Help to Keep Fighting

Congressional elections are expensive propositions.  Compounding that further, Congress is up for re-election every two years.  That means my campaign for re-election is already underway.  I need your help to keep fighting in Washington for the values we share in Michigan.

I can’t succeed in this fight without you.  Can I count on you to contribute to my re-election campaign?

Thank you for your support and friendship,


Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, Michigan’s 14th District

Fighting for Michigan. Fighting for Us.


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