Rush Announces His Legislative Priorities on the Opening of the 117th Congress

Jan 5, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) announced that he was sworn into the 117th Congress.  In the 117th Congress, the Democratic majority remains committed to building back better by stamping out COVID-19, supporting the frontline workers that have served our communities so bravely throughout the pandemic, supporting small businesses, and putting urgently needed money in the pockets of workers.  In this time of grave emergency, the American people need a Congress that prioritizes their health and economic well-being, and House Democrats stand ready to deliver.

“I am proud to continue my service to Illinois’ 1st District.  Going into the 117th Congress, I remain focused on addressing the severe health and economic crises facing all Americans.  Congress has a responsibility to deliver a robust and equitable recovery, and I will work diligently to ensure that is the case.”

Following Rush’s swearing-in, he introduced seven bills, highlighting his legislative priorities for his district and the nation:

H.R. 30, the Gun Trafficking Prohibition Act: This bill amends the federal criminal code to establish trafficking in firearms and straw purchasing of firearms as criminal offenses and prohibits transferring a firearm knowing that it will be used to commit a violent crime or drug trafficking offense.

H.R. 55, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act: This bill would amend the United States Code to specify that lynching is a crime in itself and that its heinous nature warrants an enhanced sentence under hate crimes statutes.

H.R. 152, the Ensuring Homeowner and Occupant Monetary Encouragement and Stability (HOMES) Act: This bill would require that all mortgage payments deferred because of this emergency are not due to be paid back until the end of the loan rather than the end of the deferral period.  This bill would also incentivize landlords to waive rent for their tenants, extend leases until after the emergency period, and put a moratorium on evictions in exchange for a quarterly forgivable loan from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

H.R. 153, the Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act of 2021: This bill would prohibit the practice of “pay-for-delay,” in which brand name drug companies compensate generics to delay the entry of generic drugs into the market.

H.R. 154, the Reenergized Economic Sustainability for Community and Urban Entities (RESCUE) Act for Black and Community Banks: This bill would establish within the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency an office to be known as the “Office of Black and Community Banks” and would authorize the Comptroller to provide them with the regulatory flexibility to encourage affordable small-dollar lending. The bill would also establish the “Minority Bank Deposit Program” to expand the use of minority banks, women’s banks, and low-income credit unions and requires federal agencies to develop plans to use these institutions, to the extent possible, for their banking needs.

H.R. 155, the Providing Officer Licensing to Increase Confidence for Everyone (POLICE) Act: This bill would require the Attorney General to develop and issue licensing standards to federal law enforcement officers.  Officers must be licensed and receive continuing education.  The bill would also require states to institute a comparable system or lose 50% of funding under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.

H.R. 156, the Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Development Act of 2021: This bill would direct the Department of Energy in awarding grants, to prioritize education and training for energy and manufacturing jobs, including by encouraging state and local education agencies to equip students for those jobs and strengthening DOE programs and labs carrying out workforce development initiatives. DOE must prioritize educating and training workers from underrepresented groups such as minorities, women, and veterans.

“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to continue my service to the people of Illinois’ First Congressional District.  I look forward to continuing my staunch advocacy for my constituents and securing the vital resources it needs to navigate the current challenges facing the district and the nation”