Evans Sworn in as Part of Democratic House Majority, Plans to Introduce Bills on Gun Reform, Health Disparities, School Repairs, Small Business

January 3, 2019
Press Release

Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03) was sworn in today as part of the new Democratic-majority House of Representatives, and he plans to introduce four bills in the coming days to help Philadelphians. 

“The new Democratic House is starting to work right away for the people. We’ll be passing bills to end the government shutdown and to restore voting rights and reform our democracy. And that’s just on day one,” Evans said.

The bills Evans plans to introduce or reintroduce first are:

  • Gun reform: Evans is working on a bill that would repeal a 2005 law that has barred many federal or state lawsuits against gun manufacturers. His bill would allow for holding companies accountable for illegal sales or defective guns. “My bill would enable state attorneys general to hold the gun industry accountable the same way they did with the tobacco industry in the 1990s,” Evans said.
  • Health disparities: Evans will reintroduce his Healthy Communities Act, which would require the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to base its recommendations on health disparity populations, which would ensure more accurate research, focus efforts and improve research outcomes. “African Americans are more likely to have breast cancer, prostate cancer, kidney failure or Alzheimer’s disease, to give just some examples, and we need to add tools to the tool box to reduce this health gap,” Evans said.
  • School repairs: Evans will reintroduce his Rehabilitation of Historic Schools Act, which would allow public school buildings to qualify for the rehabilitation tax credit to give our public schools nationwide the funds they need to make improvements. “Our public schools are anchors in our neighborhoods, and our students and teachers deserve safe, modern places to learn and teach,” Evans said.
  • Small business: Evans will reintroduce his bill that would require the Small Business Administration to establish a grant program to address rising costs of tax compliance for small business concerns. The grants would go to small business development centers and women’s business centers.

Evans also plans to co-sponsor the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the federal minimum wage from the current level of $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2024, and then increase it based on the percentage increase, if any, in the median hourly wages of all employees. 

Evans also said he’ll be voting for the new House rules package because it includes important reforms such as:

  • Enabling the House to defend the Affordable Care Act’s pre-existing condition coverage in court and to explore legal options to protect SNAP food assistance from backdoor attacks from the Trump administration;
  • Require all members of the House to complete ethics training every year – something Evans first did the day after he won a special election to Congress in November 2016, and making clear that nondisclosure agreements cannot be used to block current or former staff from reporting possible wrongdoing, including sexual harassment;
  • Creating a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis so the House can better respond to that urgent threat while creating good-paying, green jobs;
  • Creating a select committee on modernizing and improving Congress;
  • Closing the conflict of interest loophole by prohibiting House members and staff from serving on corporate boards;
  • Ensuring inclusion and diversity with changes that include: amending House rules to clearly ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; ensuring religious expression by clarifying that religious headwear is permitted to be worn in the House chamber; creating a diversity office to facilitate a workforce that reflects members and the districts they represent; and creating a subcommittee within the Financial Services Committee to oversee diversity and inclusion within the financial services industry.

“These are common-sense proposals that would help the people who need it most, and you can count on more as we use all of our available resources to assist people in making improvements to their lives,” Evans said.

 

###

Media Contact: Ben Turner, Ben.Turner@mail.house.gov