Press Releases

May 23, 2024

Poverty Task Force Chair Barbara Lee Blasts GOP Attack on SNAP Funding

Washington, D.C.  - Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Chair of the Poverty Task Force and senior member of the House Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Programs, issued the following statement underscoring the dangerous impacts of the Republican conference's proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). "Our country has a hunger problem. According to the USDA, there are more that 44 million people, including 13 million … Continue Reading


May 22, 2024

Ranking Member Lee Gives Opening Remarks Condemning Proposed GOP Cuts to Diplomacy, Development at FY25 SFOPS Hearing with Sec. Blinken

Washington, D.C. -  Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS), delivered the following remarks at today’s hearing on the Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Request for the Department of State with Secretary Antony Blinken. The full hearing can be viewed here. —As Prepared for Delivery— “Thank you, Mister Chairman. Secretary Blinken, I appreciate you taking the time to be with us this morning. I don’t … Continue Reading


May 21, 2024

Small Business Administration Publishes Complete Minority Contracting Data in Response to Rep. Lee, Tri-Caucus Letter

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) and Tri-Caucus Leaders Reps. Steven Horsford (NV-4), Judy Chu (CA-28), and Nanette Barragán (CA-44) applauded the Small Business Administration for granting the lawmakers’ request for the agency to publish complete data on federal small and disadvantaged businesses disaggregated by race and ethnicity.   “This is welcome news. I thank Administrator Guzman and staff at the SBA for their work to publish this important data, which will … Continue Reading


May 17, 2024

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Issues Statement on House Republicans’ Intended SFOPS Cuts

Washington, D.C. - House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations Ranking Member Barbara Lee (CA-12) issued the following statement regarding House Republican plans to cut diplomatic, global development and humanitarian assistance programs by 11.6% for Fiscal Year 2025: “This is a fundamentally unserious proposal that will make America weaker, hurt vulnerable people, and gut our tools for avoiding conflict and promoting peace.  By cutting our development, diplomacy and … Continue Reading


May 16, 2024

Ranking Members Lee, Meeks, Foreign Policy Democrats Urge Speaker Johnson to Reconsider Inviting Kenyan President Ruto to Address Congress

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Congressman Gregory W. Meeks led a group of foreign policy-focused House Democrats in calling on Speaker Johnson to reconsider his decision not to invite Kenyan President William Ruto to address Congress during his visit to the United States next week. “We are extremely disappointed by your … Continue Reading


May 16, 2024

ICMYI: Congresswoman Barbara Lee & Actress Christina Jackson Tour Mills College at Northeastern University

OAKLAND, CA - On Monday, May 16, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) hosted actress Christina Jackson, who played a young Barbara Lee in the Netflix original film 'Shirley', on a tour of her alma mater, Mills College in Oakland.  Click HERE for additional photos of the Congresswoman’s campus visit. During their visit, Congresswoman Lee reminisced over her college yearbook photos and other memorabilia from her time as president of the Black Student Union at Mills College. Rep. Lee and Jackson … Continue Reading


April 30, 2024

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Releases Statement on DEA Marijuana Reclassification

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, released the following statement on the announcement that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will move to reclassify marijuana from its current classification as a Schedule I drug to Schedule III. “Marijuana’s current scheduling is inappropriate, arcane, and out-of-touch with the will of the American people,” said Congresswoman Lee. “This announcement is a step in the right direction. But to … Continue Reading


April 29, 2024

Congresswoman Lee Applauds Port of Oakland Air Quality Initiatives Supported by $4 million Federal Grant

OAKLAND, CA—Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) applauded a $4 million grant that was awarded to the Port of Oakland for its zero-emissions initiatives at the Oakland Seaport. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) made the announcement last week. This federal funding will advance the introduction of zero-emissions equipment at the Oakland Seaport and help improve overall air quality at the Oakland Seaport and in neighboring communities. The Port and its … Continue Reading


April 26, 2024

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Expresses Disappointment in Delay on FDA Menthol Cigarette Ban

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) released the following statement on the Biden administration’s announcement delaying plans to ban menthol cigarettes, a proposal announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) years ago. “I am very disappointed by today’s news. It's past time we ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars to fully address the dangers of smoking. The FDA has studied menthol cigarettes for years, and all evidence points to their harmful and … Continue Reading


April 25, 2024

Lee, Warren, Fetterman, Schumer, Blumenauer, 16 Lawmakers to DEA: Move Swiftly to Reschedule Marijuana

Washington, D.C. - Congressional Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs U.S. Representatives Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and John Fetterman (D-Pa.) led 17 lawmakers in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram, expressing their growing frustration that the DEA has not acted to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. They are asking the DEA … Continue Reading


April 23, 2024

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Statement on the Passing of Reverend Cecil Williams

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) released the following statement on the passing of Reverend Cecil Williams.   Congresswoman Lee, the Reverend’s wife Janice Mirikitani, and the Reverend at a protest in 2003. “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Rev. Cecil Williams, a dear friend and incomparable moral and spiritual leader of the Bay area. “The Reverend changed the lives of millions through radical love, support, inclusivity, and a commitment to service to … Continue Reading


April 20, 2024

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Votes Against Unconditional Israel Funding, Supports Ukraine and Taiwan Aid

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, released the following statement on the national security funding bills voted on today by the House of Representatives: the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024; the Ukraine Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024; the Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental Act, 2024; and 21st Century Peace through Strength Act. “As Ranking Member … Continue Reading


April 15, 2024

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Tri-Caucus Leaders Call on Small Business Administration to Publish Complete Minority Contracting Data

WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) and Tri-Caucus Leaders Reps. Steven Horsford (NV-4), Judy Chu (CA-28), and Nanette Barragán (CA-44) led a letter Friday with over 40 House Democrats to the Small Business Administration urging Administrator Guzman to publish a complete version of federal contracting spending data broken down by race and ethnicity. The administration published this kind of data for the first time in December 2021, but the data released in January 2024 for … Continue Reading


April 11, 2024

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Releases Statement on POTUS Executive Rule on Gun Background Checks

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) released the following statement on reports of the Biden administration taking executive action to expand background checks for gun purchases and close the “gun show loophole.” The loophole allowed individuals to purchase firearms at gun shows from private sellers without undergoing a background check. Private sellers at these events are not required to conduct background checks on buyers, unlike licensed firearms dealers who are required to … Continue Reading


April 05, 2024

Lee, Pocan, McGovern, Schakowsky Urge Biden, Blinken to Withhold Weapons Transfers After Humanitarian Aid Workers Killed

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-12), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) and 36 of their colleagues sent a letter to President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken asking them to withhold pending offensive weapons transfers to Israel after seven humanitarian aid workers from World Central Kitchen, including one American, were killed in an Israeli airstrike, and to place conditions on future weapons assistance. “We write to express … Continue Reading


April 04, 2024

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Reacts to the Oakland A's Relocation to Sacramento

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) issued the following statement in reaction to the Oakland Athletics announcement to leave the Oakland Coliseum and play their home games for the 2025-2027 seasons in Sacramento, California.  "This is a sad day for Oakland and for generations of A's fans. The A's have been one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball and have brought immense pride to the city of Oakland. Billionaire greed got us to this point - I hope MLB … Continue Reading


April 02, 2024

Representatives Lee & Jacobs, Senator Booker Issue Joint Statement on Congressional Delegation Trip to Chad-Sudan Border

Washington, D.C. - Today, Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, and Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, issued the following joint statement after returning from Chad. In Chad, they had meetings in N’Djamena with the … Continue Reading


March 28, 2024

Representatives Lee, Blumenauer Call on Biden Administration to Reissue Cole and Wilkinson Memos to Protect State Legal Marijuana Markets

Washington, DC - Today, Democratic Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-12) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) led a letter to President Biden urging his administration to reissue overdue protections against federal interference in state-legal marijuana markets. "We write to share our frustration that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has not reissued overdue protections against federal interference in state-legal marijuana markets. We urge you to correct this oversight and … Continue Reading


March 15, 2024

Representatives Lee and Swalwell celebrate $30 million in funding for the East Bay Greenway Multimodal Project

Oakland, CA - Today, Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-12) and Eric Swalwell (CA-14) celebrated $30 million in federal funding from the United States Department of Transportation for the East Bay Greenway Multimodal Project, which will span from Lake Merritt to Bayfair. Reps. Lee and Swalwell submitted a letter of support for the project and advocated for its inclusion in the 2021 Surface Transportation funding bill.  The project will construct approximately 10 miles of complete street … Continue Reading


March 14, 2024

Representatives Lee, Blumenauer, Colleagues Call on Biden Administration to Grant Clemency for Non-Violent Cannabis Offenses

Washington, DC - Today, Democratic Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-12) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) led a letter to President Biden urging his administration to grant clemency to individuals incarcerated for non-violent marijuana offenses. For decades, unfair cannabis policies have led to unjust incarcerations and worsened racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Since the passage of the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, it has … Continue Reading

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