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Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) today reintroduced the Public Access to Public Science (PAPS) Act. This legislation would ensure public access to published materials concerning scientific research and development activities funded by federal science agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Weather Service (NWS). An embargo period is included to help balance publishers’ needs with public access goals. PAPS builds on efforts by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner: “It is past time to embrace a public access policy for scientific research. The federal government spends over $100 billion annually on research and development. This bill would ensure Americans have access to the results of their investment.  Public access will help prevent duplicative research, foster innovation, increase scientific breakthroughs and keep America on the cutting edge of science and technology.”

Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson: “I want to thank Mr. Sensenbrenner for his continued leadership on this issue.  I am delighted to join him once again in introducing this legislation.  Public access is an important topic across the scientific enterprise, and for budding scientists, start-up companies, garage inventors, and families everywhere.  Increased access and increased use of technology to enable and promote discovery across the corpus of scientific literature will advance the frontiers of science, medicine, and innovation across all sectors of our economy.  In 2009 and 2010, the Science, Space, and Technology Committee took a leadership role on public access, launching an open process that culminated in the 2013 OSTP guidance to all federal research agencies to develop public access plans. I am pleased that many agencies have since published such plans and I encourage those agencies who have not yet done so to accelerate their processes. In codifying OSTP’s balanced guidance with this legislation, we are institutionalizing the framework for public access while ensuring that stakeholders continue to have input as agencies implement and update their policies.  But as with any introduced bill, this remains a work in progress.  I look forward to continuing to work with Mr. Sensenbrenner and with all interested parties as we move forward.”  

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) today introduced the Judicial Redress Act of 2015, which:

• Extends citizens of major U.S. allies the core benefits that Americans enjoy under the Privacy Act with regard to information shared with the United States for law enforcement purposes. 
• Serves as an important show of support for our allies and is critical to ensure continued sharing of information that is crucial to law enforcement efforts and to national security. 
• Has the support of the Department of Justice, federal law enforcement agencies and key European politicians.   

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “The fight against terror spans the globe. Coordinating our efforts with friendly nations is vital to our national security and the security of our European allies. Extending certain rights to their citizens will also help foster a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship for American and European businesses. In short, this legislation will bolster our intelligence gathering capabilities and protect civil liberties at home and abroad.”

Congressman Conyers: “For more than a decade, our allies in Europe have worked with federal law enforcement to ensure that our recordkeeping is both accurate and complete.  In support of that vital relationship, this legislation offers our allies a limited set of privacy protections.  This bill is a measure of basic fairness—our friends abroad should have some course of redress with respect to information that they provided to the U.S. government in the first place.  The Obama Administration fully backs this proposal, and I look forward to its speedy passage.”

On Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 10:00 a.m., the Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Child Exploitation Restitution Following the Paroline v. United States Decision.”

Under current law, federal courts are required to award any child depicted in sexually explicit material restitution in “the full amount of the victim’s losses” as determined by the court.  These losses can include medical services, physical or occupational therapy, and attorneys’ fees, among several other losses. Unlike child pornography production cases, where there is a limited universe of defendants who are generally joined in the same prosecution, the harm to the victims in end-user child pornography trafficking cases is often caused by hundreds or thousands of unrelated individuals who are often prosecuted across time and in different jurisdictions.

In recent years, there has been disagreement among the federal circuit courts over whether an end-user of child pornography—for example, a defendant who received, distributed, or possessed child pornography—must pay restitution and how to calculate the appropriate amount of restitution owed by an individual defendant.  In response to the circuit split, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Paroline that an individual child pornography trafficking defendant may not be held liable for a victim’s aggregate damages incurred by potentially thousands of others who have viewed her images, and that defendants may be made liable only for the harm caused by their own conduct, not the conduct of others.

At this week’s hearing, the Crime Subcommittee will examine the issues surrounding child exploitation restitution orders, the implications of the Paroline Supreme Court decision, and why only 15 out of the approximately 8,500 identified victims of child exploitation have sought restitution. Witnesses for Thursday’s hearing are:
• Ms. Jill E. Steinberg, the National Coordinator for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction, U.S. Department of Justice;
• The Honorable Paul G. Cassell, Professor of Criminal Law, University of Utah College of Law;
• Mr. Jonathan Turley, Professor, George Washington University Law School; and
• Mr. Grier Weeks, Executive Director, National Association to Protect Children.
 
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) issued the joint statement below on this hearing:
 
“The trafficking of child pornography is a serious crime and those who cause the most vulnerable among us pain and suffering deserve to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Although no amount of money can ever take away the trauma these children have experienced, Congress has intended to ensure that victims of child exploitation receive the full amount of their losses from the production and ongoing trafficking of their images.

“Recently, the Supreme Court weighed in on child exploitation restitution and we look forward to having a discussion with experts this week on the constitutional questions surrounding this issue. Additionally, we need to examine why so few victims have sought restitution for the crimes committed against them and how Congress can address the barriers they face.”

Thursday’s hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at http://judiciary.house.gov/. Camera crews wishing to cover must be congressionally-credentialed and RSVP with the House Radio-TV Gallery at (202) 225-5214.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) has reintroduced legislation to do away with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Sensenbrenner, a senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the policies under ATF's jurisdiction could be easily incorporated into other agencies. Moreover, he argued, the ATF has become embroiled in too many controversies in recent years, like the botched "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking operation.

"The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that lacks a clear mission. Its 'Framework' is an affront to the Second Amendment and yet another reason why Congress should pass the ATF Elimination Act," Sensenbrenner said in a statement.

The ATF has drawn the ire of Republican lawmakers for its proposed ban on an armor-piercing bullet used in AR-15 rifles. Republicans say that hunters frequently use the bullets. The bureau says it initiated the regulation to help protect law enforcement officers from bullets that can pierce armored vests.

Sensenbrenner's bill would transfer the ATF's functions related to guns, explosives and violent crime to the FBI. Meanwhile, responsibilities regarding alcohol and tobacco laws would fall under the Drug Enforcement Administration's jurisdiction.

The ATF director would have 180 days, or about six months, to submit a plan to Congress on how to wind down the agency.

Dissolving the ATF hasn't always been a priority for just Republicans, who generally oppose gun restrictions. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, previously introduced a bill in 1993 to turn over the ATF's duties to other parts of the Justice Department.

View article online, here.
The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations today held a hearing on “ISIL in America: Domestic Terror and Radicalization.” Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) gave the following opening statement:

Today’s hearing will examine the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL and the domestic terrorism threats posed by these terrorists.  Although ISIL seems to have reared its head only in the last eighteen months, a closer look quickly reveals ISIL to be an old foe, one with whom the United States has done battle for more than a decade.

Before the group declared itself a global caliphate and adopted its current name, it was merely The Islamic State of Iraq.  During the Iraq War, members of this same group were among the most prolific perpetrators of attacks on American troops and our partners in Iraq.  

The procession of name changes, however, has made no difference in ISIL’s commitment to harm Americans.  Earlier this month we were all reminded of this as we learned of Kayla Mueller’s [Mew-ller] death after eighteen months in ISIL captivity.  The 26-year old from Prescott, Arizona, traveled to Syria with Doctors Without Borders to help alleviate the suffering wrought there by Islamic Extremism.
 
Distance does not make us in the United States immune from ISIL’s destructive ideology.  From far beyond the battlefields of Syria and Iraq comes funding and support for this group’s call to arms against the West.  And the domestic threat is not limited to New York City or our nation’s capital.  

Two weeks ago in St. Louis, Missouri, five Bosnians were charged with providing material support to ISIL.  The suspects allegedly provided weapons, military uniforms and equipment, and money to a sixth Bosnian who left the United States in 2013 to join ISIL in Syria.  Alarmingly, all six individuals are natives of Bosnia who immigrated to the United States.  Three are now naturalized citizens of the United States and the remaining three have either refugee or legal resident status.

But the threats posed by ISIL’s hateful ideology are not purely external.  Inciting Americans to join their ranks or ally themselves with ISIL’s mission is a pivotal component of their campaign of violence against America.  

Last month, a Cincinnati man named Christopher Lee Cornell was arrested at a gun shop purchasing multiple weapons he is alleged to have been collecting for an attack here in Washington, D.C. Mr. Cornell had become an adherent of radical Islam on the Internet.  Having adopted the Jihadi worldview, he aimed to gun down members of Congress and government employees for the glory of ISIL, a terrorist group on the other side of the world with whom he had no connection except devotion to the same perverted Islamist ideology.  As FBI Director Comey has pointed out, these are not isolated incidents.  ISIL connections are being investigated in virtually every part of the United States.

But on the heels of the St. Louis and Cincinnati arrests – and just days after ISIL released a video depicting the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya – President Obama convened a summit on “Countering Violent Extremism.”  A summit that failed to include FBI Director James Comey and refused to acknowledge that ISIL and other terrorist organizations are motivated by radical Islam.  

As one commentator noted, this summit was “strangely sympathetic to Islamist sensibilities and grievances at the very time when rampaging jihadists, while quoting Islamic scripture, are barbarically slaughtering their enemies and conducting a pogrom against Christians.”  

The President’s unwillingness to acknowledge the true motives of these terrorists only emboldens their campaign of terror and makes Americans less safe.  Meanwhile, ISIL continues its march across western Iraq and continues to spew its propaganda of hatred and murder across the globe.  Just yesterday, three New York City residents -- two from Uzbekistan and one from Kazakhstan – were arrested for plotting to travel to Syria to join ISIL and “wage jihad.”  According to the criminal complaint, one of these men stated he would kill President Obama if he had the opportunity to do so.  

The witnesses joining us today will hopefully shed light on the escalating domestic terror threat posed by ISIL and those who would ally themselves with Islamic extremism. 

Demanding More from the IRS

February 17, 2015

Once again tax season is upon us and millions of Americans are preparing to file their federal taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This year, however, the process is proving more taxing than usual.

Explicitly stated in its mission statement, the purpose of the IRS is to “provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities.” But in January, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen announced that filers can expect delayed refunds, fewer audits and limited assistance for the 2015 tax cycle. Rather than live up to its mission, the agency has set up roadblocks and made it more difficult for Americans to perform their civic duty.

From unprecedented hold times on help hotlines to restricted access to filing instructions and forms, I have heard from dozens of you in the Fifth District on how these changes are inhibiting your ability to fulfill your tax filing requirements. Of great concern is the fact that these restrictions disproportionately affect those without the means to file electronically or the resources to use a professional filing service. And when those who are adversely impacted do their due diligence and call for assistance, they cannot even get through to an agency representative for help.

While agency officials have politicized the problem by blaming budget cuts and claiming they are left to “do less with less,” the hardworking Americans who comply with their tax responsibilities each year deserve more than a blame-game. With our national debt surpassing $18 trillion, budget cuts are unpopular but necessary adjustments that challenge agencies to do more with less for the good of the country.

Three weeks ago, I wrote a letter to Commissioner Koskinen demanding answers on what the agency will do to address these problems and eagerly await a response. Additionally, I have met with local taxpayer advocates and contacted libraries in the Fifth District to discuss viable solutions for our constituents. I will continue to insist that the IRS do its job and do right by the American people.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) today reintroduced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which provides for a robust response to the twin epidemics of opioid and heroin addiction that includes prevention, law enforcement strategies and the expansion of evidence-based treatment. CARA is the first piece of legislation introduced as part of Congressman Sensenbrenner’s over-criminalization package.

Original cosponsors of CARA are Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Bobby Scott (D-Va.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio).

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner: “Too many Americans are falling into the addiction trap. It must be addressed effectively and expeditiously. With this legislation, we have an opportunity to build on proven methods that enable law enforcement to respond to this epidemic and support long-term recovery.”

Congressman Tim Ryan: “As Co-Chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, I understand the damage substance abuse inflicts upon the nation. In my state of Ohio, fatal drug overdoses have been the leading cause of accidental death since 2007. Heroin and opiate addiction is destroying lives, disrupting families and destabilizing communities – it is imperative that we begin to stem this tide. The provisions in this legislation are proven to work and I call on Congress to act now and pass this important legislation.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

CARA is supported by more than 90 organizations, including the National District Attorneys Association, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), Faces and Voices of Recovery, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, among others.

 

By Todd Ruger, CQ Roll Call

The Justice Department defended civil asset forfeiture programs Wednesday, as lawmakers and legal experts described them as sorely in need of another legislative overhaul.

The forfeiture law sparked controversy after media reports that law enforcement has seized money or property without warrants or indictments, in what appears to be policing for profit, lawmakers said at the hearing. Many people don’t contest the seizures because of the complexity and cost, so many of the most abusive cases are handled administratively and are never seen by a judge.

“It’s hard to believe this can happen in America,” said Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., the chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations. “The practice has proven a far greater affront to civil rights than it has been as a weapon against crime.”

Sensenbrenner said a previous effort to overhaul civil forfeiture programs in 2000 (PL 106-185) clearly fell short of its goal, since Justice Department forfeitures increased from $556 million in 1993 to $4 billion in 2012.

“Forfeiture’s only defenders seem to be its beneficiaries, law enforcement agencies entitled to keep the proceeds of their seizures, a conflict of interest so stark that it takes us to another stage,” Sensenbrenner said. “Adequate forfeiture reform is overdue.”

Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., said he would work with Republicans on an overhaul bill this year, and that “it has become increasingly apparent that the procedures are inadequate from the aspect of fundamental fairness.”

Lawmakers floated overhaul provisions during the hearing. Those included ending civil asset forfeiture outright, or at least moving the seized funds to a general fund instead of returning them to the agency that seized them.

Kenneth Blanco, the deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, told the subcommittee that civil asset forfeitures are an important part of fighting crime. Civil forfeiture is the only means by which the government can pursue some cases, such as those of terrorists, fugitives and deceased defendants, and the department has returned billions of dollars to victims, Blanco said.

“By taking criminally-tainted assets out of circulation and off the streets, we intend to break the financial backbone of organized criminal syndicates, terrorists, fraudsters, drug cartels, and use these assets to compensate victims and deter crime,” Blanco said.

Blanco also described the procedural structure around civil asset forfeitures, trying to dispel some myths about the programs.

Late Tuesday, the Justice Department issued more guidance on a new policy, announced in January, to curb the use of a controversial type of civil asset forfeiture.

The new policy ends the practice that allowed state and local police to seize vehicles, valuables, cash and other monetary instruments, and then share the proceeds with federal agencies that “adopt” the seizures.

The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations today held a hearing on “Civil Asset Forfeiture.” Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) provided the following opening statement:

It’s hard to believe this can happen in America.  The government is seizing billions of dollars of cash and property from Americans often without charging them with a crime.

With origins in medieval law, civil asset forfeiture is premised on the legal fiction that inanimate objects bear moral culpability when used for wrongdoing.  The practice regained prominence as a weapon in the modern drug war as law enforcement sought to disrupt criminal organizations by seizing the cash that sustains them. The practice, however, has proven a far greater affront to civil rights than it has a weapon against crime. 

While forfeitures have received increased attention in recent months, they are still poorly understood.  During her recent confirmation hearing, Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General, testified that civil asset forfeiture is “done pursuant to supervision by a court, it is done pursuant to a court order, and I believe the protections are there.”

As a United States Attorney, Lynch was known for her aggressive use of forfeiture provisions.  She was, however, wrong when she testified that forfeiture is “done pursuant to supervision by a court,” and wrong again when she said it was “done pursuant to a court order.”  One wonders if she would still believe the protections were “there” if she properly understood how they worked.

After property is seized, its owner will usually have the option of challenging the seizure judicially, with the federal court system, or administratively, with the seizing agency itself.  Seizures that are not challenged within 30 days of receiving notice are automatically forfeited. A majority of federal civil forfeitures are never contested, largely because of the high cost of retaining counsel, which often exceeds the value of the property itself.

Because of the expense and complexity of the federal court system and the short timeframe, most owners who contest forfeitures do so administratively.  Thus, contrary to Ms. Lynch’s testimony, only a small percentage of federal civil forfeitures have any involvement or supervision of a court or judge. 

I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today about whether these administrative processes provide property owners with sufficient protections.

Better-documented has been the Justice Department’s use of adoption, which occurs when a federal agency adopts a seizure from state or local law enforcement and proceeds with federal forfeiture. Under the equitable sharing program, DOJ returns up to 80 percent of forfeited money to the state agencies. 

Federal adoption allows police to ignore restrictions in state law by working with the federal government.  A 2011 study found that police were in fact more likely to rely on federal equitable sharing in states where the law made forfeitures more difficult or less rewarding. This presents a profound federalism problem and opens law enforcement agencies to allegations that they are policing for profit.
           
After 5 O’clock last night—at the last minute before today's hearing—DOJ sent new guidance on the revised adoption policies it issued last month. I look forward to learning more about the impact of these revised adoption guidelines. 

Just last month we learned that the DEA, through their cold consent searches, may have improperly searched citizens’ belongings at transportation hubs throughout the country.  During these searches, DEA seized cash based merely on the suspicion that a large quantity of cash was indicative of illegal activity.

To make matters worse, according to the DOJ Inspector General, DEA did not always provide adequate information to those who had their cash seized. At times, people did not even know which agency had seized their money, making contesting the seizure extremely difficult. 
           
Our Founders understood the virtues of limited government.  The right to own property is enshrined in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution:  “[No person shall] be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. . .”  Current forfeiture provisions mock the spirit and meaning of that passage and create serious issues under several other Constitutional provisions. 

It’s no wonder my former colleague Henry Hyde described civil asset forfeiture as an “unrelenting government assault on property rights, fueled by a dangerous and emotional vigilante mentality that sanctions shredding the U.S. Constitution into meaningless confetti.”

Hyde led an effort that culminated in passage of the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, known as CAFRA.  It was a noble effort, but it plainly fell short.  In advancing CAFRA, Hyde noted that in 1993 DOJ forfeited $556 million.  Post-CAFRA, in 2012, DOJ seized $4 billion dollars. 

Forfeitures only defenders seem to be its beneficiaries—law enforcement agencies entitled to keep the proceeds of their seizures—a conflict of interest so stark it takes us to another age.  Adequate forfeiture reform is long overdue. 

To be clear, the failure is not on law enforcement, who risk their lives to enforce the laws we write. Congress has failed to craft adequate laws, and DOJ has failed to implement sufficient policies.  The failure is ours, and I hope DOJ will work with us to fix it.   

As a former-chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, I am fully aware of how broken our criminal justice system is. I spent the last year leading a task force on over-criminalization. Our jails are over-crowded, our criminal code is convoluted and federal regulations are outdated and cumbersome.

William Blackstone wrote, “[H]owever convenient these may appear at first, (and doubtless all arbitrary powers, well executed, are the most convenient), yet let it be again remembered, that delays, and little inconveniences in the forms of justice, are the price all free nations must pay for their liberty in more substantial matters.”

It is passed time to pass comprehensive legislation to reform forfeiture laws.

Today, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) reintroduced the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2015.  The legislation aims to uphold the most vital principles of the historic law, which was first enacted 50 years ago.

Reps. Conyers and Sensenbrenner reintroduced the legislation in response to the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision which struck down Section 4b, the core provision in the Voting Rights Act that determines how states are covered under Section 5 of the Act (which requires federal preclearance of voting changes by covered jurisdictions to protect against discriminatory voting measures).  The bill updates the coverage formula by making all states and jurisdictions eligible for coverage formula based on voting violations in the last 15 years. 

“The Voting Rights Act was designed to eliminate evolving legal barriers to the voting booth and to give minority voters an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.  The Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the Section 4b formula for coverage under Section 5 is a critical blow to its future relevancy and will make it more difficult to challenge existing barriers” said Rep. Conyers, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus who cosponsored the original Voting Rights Act in 1965.  “I have witnessed firsthand the stain that discrimination has placed on our democracy.  Though the Shelby County v. Holder decision struck at the heart of the Act, today, it is with much pride that my colleagues and I are reintroducing a renewed Voting Rights Amendment Act to reaffirm our constitutional commitment to protecting the right to vote.”

“The VRA is one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation ever passed.  Combating both discrimination and fraud is essential to ensuring Americans’ right to vote is protected.  Our legitimacy as elected officials relies on the integrity of the ballot box.  I urge my colleagues to support the VRAA because it is vital to our commitment to never again allow racial prejudices in the electoral process,” said Rep. Sensenbrenner.

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law in August of 1965, and it has been reauthorized four times since.  President George W. Bush signed the most recent reauthorization into law in 2006, after the House voted 390-33 and the Senate 98-0 in favor of the legislation.

An outline of the legislation can be found here, and text of legislation can be found here.

Key provisions in the bill include:

• Through a coverage provision based on current conditions, the bill establishes a rolling nationwide trigger that covers states or jurisdictions that have a persistent record of recent voting rights violations over the last 15 years.

• Allows our federal courts to bail-in the worst actors for preclearance.  The current law permits states or jurisdictions to be bailed in for intentional violations, but the new legislation amends the Act to allow states or jurisdictions to be bailed in for results-based violations.

• Greater transparency in elections so that voters are made aware of changes.  The additional sunlight will deter discrimination from occurring and protect voters from discrimination.

• Allows for preliminary relief to be obtained more readily, given that voting rights cannot often be vindicated after an election is already over.

Additional original co-sponsors of the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2015 include: Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Charles Dent (R-PA), Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), John Lewis (D-GA), Christopher Gibson (R-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY),  Bobby Scott (D-VA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee ( D-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN),  Hank Johnson (D -GA), Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR),  Judy Chu (D-CA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Karen Bass (D-CA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Scott Peters (D-CA).