Rush Highlights His Legislative Priorities on the Opening of the 116th Congress

Jan 3, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON —Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) was sworn into the 116th Congress.  On opening day, the new House Democratic Majority will move swiftly to deliver on a promise of lower health care costs, bigger paychecks, and restoring integrity in government.  The American people have demanded a Congress that works for the people and one that will improve the lives of seniors, children, and hard-working Americans.

“For too long, the American people have been confronted with an agenda that has harmed the futures of families and seniors, all to further enrich the wealthy and well-connected.  House Democrats will deliver an ambitious, forward-looking, and positive agenda for the people,” said Rush.

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

H.R. 33 (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. 35 (Emmett Till Antilynching Act): This bill would amend the United States Code to specify that lynching is a crime in itself that its heinous nature warrants an enhanced sentence under hate crimes statutes.

H.R. 41 (RESCUE Act for Black and Community Banks): This bill establishes 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 authorizes the Comptroller to provide them with the regulatory flexibility to encourage affordable small-dollar lending.  The bill also establishes 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. 45 (Barack Obama Highway Act): This bill would designate the portion of I-57 located in Illinois as “Barack Obama Highway”.  I-57 is an interstate highway in Missouri and Illinois that, at a length of 386 miles, is the second longest two-digit Interstate Highway without an auxiliary route and remains the only expressway that transits the Chicagoland area that does not have a commonly used name.

H.R. 55 (Connecting Broadband Deserts Act of 2019): This bill would require that the FCC determine if advanced telecommunications capabilities are being properly deployed in broadband deserts in a reasonable and timely fashion and if digital redlining is occurring.  Digital redlining occurs when areas are systematically excluded from digital resources and advanced technology.  Those most impacted areas by this occurrence are mostly low-income communities or areas with a high minority population.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the 1st Congressional District of Illinois and I am excited that under the new Democratic Majority, we have a chance to make meaningful strides that will help families across our district and nation achieve their American dream,” said Rush.