Articles & Op-Eds

Congresswoman Barbara Lee: Resisting The Rise Of Hatred In The Era Of Trump

June 13, 2017

by Barbara Lee

In recent weeks, a disturbing truth has emerged that we can longer sweep under the rug: hate is on the rise and it's being fueled by a resurging tide of White supremacy in America. Since last year's election, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has documented 1,863 bias based incidents. Although these incidents have targeted African-Americans, people of color, immigrants and the LGBT community have also felt the brunt of the rise in hateful aggression. This should surprise no one. D… Continue Reading

Rep. Barbara Lee: How to Move Toward an AIDS-Free Generation

February 20, 2017

To the Editor: Re "Why Trump Should Keep Pepfar," by Bill Frist (Op-Ed, Feb. 9): Bill Frist is exactly right: The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or Pepfar, has been one of the most successful public health and peace initiatives in our country's history. This lifesaving program is an important example of what our government can accomplish when we set aside partisan disagreements and focus on saving lives. In the early 2000s, I was honored to lead the bipartisan effort, with the ba… Continue Reading

Rep. Barbara Lee: The Hyde Amendment Is 'Blatant Discrimination Against Poor Women'

January 31, 2017

In my time as an elected representative in California and here in Congress, I am proud to have fought side-by-side with constituents, advocates, and my colleagues to end racial and gender discrimination, stand up for our human rights, and work to build a future in which all our families can thrive. I have also seen, time and again, politicians who not only ignore the daily struggles and realities of our lives, but also attempt to interfere in our most personal decisions. President Donald Trump … Continue Reading

Rep. Barbara Lee: We Must Keep Fighting For Reforms to End Gun Violence

January 30, 2017

One year ago today, I held a gun violence town hall in West Oakland, featuring young activists from the East Bay. At that town hall, I had the honor of meeting 19-year-old Roderick "Travon" Godfrey, an Oakland native, painfully impacted by the violence in his community. Travon captured the hearts of all those who attended. He gave an emotional speech, at times fighting back tears, describing the toll of gun violence in his life. In 2015 alone, Travon lost eight friends to gun violence. He cal… Continue Reading

America: We are better than this

November 16, 2016

Just a week into his new job, Donald Trump has already installed a white nationalist just steps from the Oval Office. Instead of working to heal the wounds of a deeply divided nation - a nation in which the majority of voters rejected him - President-elect Trump has doubled down on his dangerous flirtation with the alt-right by naming Steve Bannon as his White House chief strategist. This is simply unacceptable. For more than 200 years, the story of our nation has been about expanding rights,… Continue Reading

Congresswoman Barbara Lee on President Trump: 'The Fight is Coming'

November 15, 2016

November 8 was a sobering and defining moment for the East Bay and our nation. Like you, I was disheartened by the election results, and fearful that the progress we've made over the past eight years would be undone. Yet, we must preserve our faith in our democracy and respect our Constitution. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., our drum major for peace and justice, said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase." As the home of the peace and social-justice moveme… Continue Reading

Students need great advocate on Capitol Hill

October 06, 2016

I am a proud Golden Bear. Every day in Congress, I carry with me the lessons that I learned on campus from my professors and my fellow students. Like many others, I would not be where I am today - serving you in Congress - without my time at UC Berkeley. While a college degree does not guarantee success in today's economy, it's the single best bet for getting ahead. As a nation, we must ensure that every student, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to access a high quality, aff… Continue Reading

End Hyde Now

September 28, 2016

Read the original at U.S. News & World Report When I first started my career in the House of Representatives, I worked as a staffer for the great Rep. Ron Dellums, a Democrat representing California's 9th District. Forty years ago, nearly to the day, I was in his office when the Hyde Amendment was attached to the federal budget for the first time. It was a different time. I was one of only a handful of women, especially African-American women, working on Capitol Hill, and women's right… Continue Reading

Congress needs to put our money where our mouth is on STEM

September 27, 2016

In his recent op-ed for The Hill ("STEM education: Not just for the next Neil Armstrong," Sept. 20), Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) lays out the importance of inspiring our nation's next generation of scientists, engineers and astronauts early on. I could not agree more. We need to inspire and challenge our nation's young people to innovate the future. We know that the tech sector is creating the jobs of today and tomorrow, yet too many American students do not have the necessary skills… Continue Reading

Small Victories Won – Now, Let’s Win This War

July 19, 2016

Since the first AIDS Conference in 2000, held right here in Durban, our battle to eradicate HIV and AIDS across the world has won many victories. Since 2010, new HIV infections have fallen by 6% and nearly half of the people living with the virus have access to antiretroviral therapy treatments. But as we return to Durban for the 2016 AIDS Conference, we know that much work still remains to win this war. In 2015, UNAIDS released a stark report finding that without a drastic acceleration in eff… Continue Reading

Bay Area Reporter: Discrimination is not an option

June 30, 2016

Each year, the celebration of LGBT Pride Month reflects on how far we've come as a nation to end discrimination in all its forms. It is a powerful commemoration of life, love, and belonging, especially for a community who are consistently criminalized and hated because of who they are and who they love. While this month is about celebration, it is also about standing in solidarity. It is about remembering our dark past and working for a brighter tomorrow. The recent tragedy in Orlando targeted… Continue Reading

TIME: Paul Ryan’s New Plan Will Put More Families in Poverty

June 08, 2016

On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan unveiled his long-promised solution to poverty. His answer to the epidemic? Recycling the same failed policies that prevent Americans from finding work, earning a decent wage and supporting their families. Quite simply, Ryan's plan flies in the face of the evidence. No one honestly believes that the solution to poverty is cutting proven lifelines to struggling families. Yet once again, Congressional Republicans have put forth a plan to cut Head Start for tod… Continue Reading

Rep. Barbara Lee: Ending poverty starts with school lunches

May 30, 2016

by Rep. Barbara Lee

This month, congressional Republicans will once again try to take food out of the mouths of hungry kids. All across the country, low-income children rely on their neighborhood schools for healthy and filling meals. In urban, suburban and rural communities, schools are on the front lines ensuring students get enough to eat. Six years ago, we expanded school meals to millions of low-income children by ending burdensome reporting requirements. Now, this program is at risk from House Republicans w… Continue Reading

Washington Post: Congress is Missing in Action on the Middle East

May 04, 2016

The May 1 editorial "In Syria, time for 'Plan B'  " called on President Obama to "reconsider" the failed U.S. program to train and equip the rebels in Syria. Last year, the Pentagon ended such a program. In one year, the Pentagon managed to train only a handful of rebels, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars. While serious questions arose about the enormous price tag, I have other questions: Who are these rebels? Can we guarantee that the "training" won't be turned agai… Continue Reading

The Hill: Fears grow about rising US troop levels in Middle East

April 27, 2016

by Kristina Wong & Rebecca Kheel

Fears are growing in Congress about the deeper U.S. involvement in the Middle East. The latest flashpoint is President Obama's decision this week to send an additional 250 special operations troops to Syria, where they will support forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The decision follows a separate move to increase the number of troops in Iraq and as the Pentagon and White House struggle to withdraw troops as scheduled from Afghanistan, where the Taliban - and a nascent… Continue Reading

The Hill: Progressive Congresswoman warns against 'all-out war' with ISIS

April 25, 2016

by Rebecca Kheel

President Obama's decision to send 250 troops to Syria to help fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) inches the United States closer to an "all-out war," Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said Monday. "Nearly every day, we see the U.S. mission in Iraq and Syria creep closer and closer toward all-out war, while Congress refuses to muster the courage to even debate it," Lee said in a written statement. Lee again called on Congress to debate an authorization for the military force in the fig… Continue Reading

The Hill: Lawmakers see ISIS war 'mission creep'

April 19, 2016

by Kristina Wong

"Yesterday's announcement that the U.S. will deploy more than 200 additional troops to Iraq to assist in the fight against ISIL is textbook mission creep," Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said Tuesday. Lee was Congress's lone dissenter in granting then-President George W. Bush authority to go to war in Afghanistan.… Continue Reading

Let's Make Solar Accessible To All Californians

January 27, 2016

by Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Fighting climate change is a moral imperative that requires leadership and a clean vision for our nation's energy future. NASA recently released data showing that the Earth's surface temperatures for 2015 were the warmest on modern record. It is clear that the threat of climate change is no longer a theory but a clear challenge to our society, national security, and way of life. For more than a generation, California has been leading the charge for innovative solutions that tackle the threat o… Continue Reading

World AIDS Day 2015: The Start of the End of HIV?

December 01, 2015

Since 1988, World AIDS Day has been marked on December 1st as an opportunity to unite in the global fight against HIV, show solidarity with those living with the virus and remember those lost to this terrible epidemic. Over the nearly three decades since the first World AIDS Day, we have come far in our efforts to combat and finally destroy this virus. Thanks to medical advances and critical programs like PEPFAR and Ryan White CARE, tens of millions of people have had access to education an… Continue Reading

The Danger of a Quagmire in Iraq and Syria

October 30, 2015

To the Editor: Re “The Military Escalation in Iraq and Syria” (editorial, Oct. 28): You are right: Greater involvement in Syria and Iraq will not make us any safer. But it will cost more lives in an endless war with no exit strategy. As Paul Ryan begins his tenure as speaker of the House, he has an important duty to restore Congress’s constitutional role in debating and authorizing war. For Mr. Ryan’s first order of business, he should advance the repeal of the 2001 and 2002 war authori… Continue Reading

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