Rep Levin Urges NAFTA Renegotiation to Put American Workers First

Jun 28, 2017

On Tuesday, June 27, Rep. Levin testified at a hearing held by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on upcoming efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Levin strongly urged the USTR to ensure any new agreement require basic international labor rights, including the right to bargain collectively.  Without such a provision, Levin argued that NAFTA would continue to fail to protect American workers because of the huge wage differential between the U.S. and Mexico.  Levin noted that he and many Democrats voted against NAFTA 25 years ago because it failed to include meaningful labor and environmental standards.  You can see his entire statement here.    

Rep. Levin Speaks out Against the Senate’s Trumpcare Bill
Last week, Rep. Levin spoke out against the Senate Republican’s Trumpcare bill that was finally unveiled after being written behind closed doors with little input or public hearings. The bill contains many disastrous provisions.  It would ultimately lead to the long-term underfunding of Medicaid, cutting it by $772 billion and jeopardizing access to care for millions of Americans. And when it comes to coverage, the Congressional Budget Office determined the Senate bill would result in 22 million fewer Americans having health insurance.  The bill would also gut key consumer provisions currently in law and would raise premiums for older Americans. On Monday, Rep. Levin sent a letter urging Gov. Snyder to publicly discuss the impact of the legislation on Michigan, just as the Governor did in March on the House Trumpcare bill. To read the full letter to Gov. Snyder, click here.

In response to the opposition raised by consumer, health care provider, and public interest organizations, as well as constituents and elected officials like Rep. Levin, the Senate has postponed its consideration of the legislation until after the July 4th Congressional recess.

St. Clair Shores Fire Department Secures DHS Grant
Rep. Levin announced that the St. Clair Shores Fire Department has been awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) for $346,364 from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This money is essential in order for the St. Clair Shores Fire Department to replace old radio equipment on its fire trucks. Replacing the old radio equipment helps firefighters effectively communicate in emergencies. When our firefighters can properly communicate with one another, they can better save lives and protect communities.

Rep. Levin applauded the DHS for providing funds for local community emergency response teams that keep residents and first responders safe. Since 2001, AFG has provided approximately $6.7 billion to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training.

Rep. Levin Supports Voting Rights
Recently, Rep. Levin joined more than 100 of his colleagues in cosponsoring two pieces of legislation to help protect and expand access to the ballot. These bills, the Voter Empowerment Act and the Voters’ Rights Advancement Act, would protect the rights of voters across the country and make it easier to vote. Specifically, the Voters’ Rights Advancement Act would restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that gives the federal government the power to stop laws that unduly restrict access to the vote. The Voter Empowerment Act would make voting and registering to vote easier for Americans. The bill would require 15 days of early voting, online and same-day registration, and no-excuse absentee voting.  These bills will ensure that all Americans, particularly minority and disadvantaged groups, can exercise their constitutional right to vote.

LGBT Equality Resolution Introduced in the House
June 26th marks the date in 2003, 2013, and 2015 when the Supreme Court issued landmark rulings for equality, most recently the Obergefell v. Hodges decision in 2015.  In that decision, the Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, finally ending marriage discrimination.  To recognize these historic decisions, Rep. Levin became an original cosponsor of a resolution designating June 26th as LGBT Equality Day.  We as a nation, led by commitment and courage from the LGBT community, have made great strides towards equality in recent years, yet the community still faces discrimination and violence today. 

This week on the House floor:
This week the House will consider the Protecting Access to Care Act (H.R. 1215), which is another attempt by the majority to cut off the ability of victims of medical malpractice and defective medical products to seek full compensation for injuries.  The House will also consider two anti-immigrant bills.  The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003) would require state and local involvement with federal immigration enforcement and ban certain federal funds, including resources provided to law enforcement, to those states and localities that don’t comply.  Kate’s Law (H.R. 3004) expands criminal sentences for the crimes of illegal reentry and attempted reentry, including for individuals with no criminal history but the legislation doesn’t actually do anything to deter illegal re-entry, strengthen border security, or protect Americans.