Press Releases

Congresswoman Barbara Lee statement on Supreme Court ruling protecting gay and transgender workers from discrimination

June 15, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. The ruling affirmed that federal anti-discrimination laws protect gay and transgender employees. "The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today moved our nation one step closer towards the promise of fairness and equality for all. Of course it should be clear that firing someone for who they love, or where they fall on the gender spectrum,… Continue Reading

After Years of Wasted Spending, Congresswoman Lee Calls to Cut Pentagon Budget, Reprioritize Programs that Keep Us Safe

June 15, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced a resolution calling for significant cuts to the Pentagon budget. Last year's $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act was the largest on record, coming at the expense of health care, education, infrastructure spending, and public health research. In the middle of a global pandemic, it's more clear than ever that wasteful spending on unnecessary and endless wars does not keep our country safe or healthy. "For years, our gover… Continue Reading

Lee, Thompson Reintroduce Bill to Remove Confederate Statues From Capitol

June 11, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) introduced a bill to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol. The bill, the Confederate Monument Removal Act, originally introduced by Congresswoman Lee in 2017 in the wake of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, would remove all statues of people who voluntarily served the Confederate State of America from the National Statuary Hall Collection within 120 days. "Americans in al… Continue Reading

Congresswoman Lee Honors LGBT Pride Month

June 01, 2020

Oakland, CA - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a founding member and Vice Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, released this statement in honor of LGBT Pride Month: "Every year, we recognize June as Pride month across the country and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of LGBTQ Americans. "During Pride month and throughout the year, we must embrace the certainty that love is love, and no one should ever have to hide their true self. Our LGBTQ neighbors, fri… Continue Reading

In the Wake of COVID-19 and Murder of George Floyd, Congresswoman Barbara Lee Calls for Formation of Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Commission

June 01, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee announced legislation calling for the establishment of the first United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT). The Commission will examine the effects of slavery, institutional racism, and discrimination against people of color, and how our history impacts laws and policies today. The legislation - supported by a broad coalition of members of Congress and community partners - will be officially introduced Thurs… Continue Reading

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Statement on the Death of Federal Protective Service Security Officer Patrick Underwood

May 31, 2020

Oakland, CA - Congresswoman Barbara Lee issued the following statement about the death of Federal Protective Service Security Officer Patrick Underwood: "My condolences and prayers go out to the loved ones of Patrick Underwood, who was killed in the line of duty in Oakland on Friday night, and I am praying for the speedy recovery of the wounded officer. During this time of trauma and hardship in our nation, we are further saddened and outraged by this callous act of gun violence. This crime is … Continue Reading

Following George Floyd Murder, Reps. Pressley, Omar, Bass, Lee, Introduce House Resolution Condemning Police Brutality

May 29, 2020

WASHINGTON - Today, Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Ilhan Omar (MN-05), in partnership with Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-37), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), introduced a resolution to condemn police brutality, racial profiling and the excessive use of force. The resolution comes days after the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, as well as the recent murder of Breonna Taylor by police in Louisville, Kentucky, and the… Continue Reading

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Blasts Congressional Inaction, Calls on Congress to End Poverty

May 28, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Chair of the Majority Leader's Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, introduced a resolution urging Congress to live up its moral responsibility to end poverty in the United States. The current COVID-19 pandemic is projected to push more families into poverty. Prior to the pandemic, approximately 4 in 10 Americans were unable to cover an unexpected expense of $400. However, the pandemic's effects are set to sharply increase poverty if Congre… Continue Reading

Lee, Pocan Lead 29 Dems Demanding Defense Spending Decrease Ahead of NDAA Talks

May 19, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) led a group of 29 Democrats demanding that this year's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorize a level of spending below last year's budget, in a letter to House Armed Services Committee (HASC) leadership this morning. Since the start of the Trump Administration, defense spending has increased every year-over $100 billion, almost 20%, in three years. Now more than ever, in the middle of a global pandemic, we… Continue Reading

Congresswoman Lee Votes Yes on Heroes, Urges Further Action on Poverty

May 15, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement after House Democrats voted to pass H.R. 6800, the Heroes Act. "We are facing the worst health and economic crises in our lifetime. But for many, this crisis is nothing new. "Communities of color are facing elevated and disproportionate rates of infection and death. Heroic frontline and essential workers are often paid poverty wages without personal protective equipment. Struggling small and minority-owned bus… Continue Reading

Heroes Act Prioritizes Families and Workers as the GOP Continues to Fight for Billionaires, Says Rep. Barbara Lee

May 12, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement on the introduction of H.R. 6800, the Heroes Act. "Since the start of this pandemic, House Democrats have fought to put people over profits, put families first, and ensure that every community has the resources they need. The Heroes Act is another important step forward in that fight. "I'm especially glad that we were able to include critical provisions to address the unequal impact of the coronavirus on people of c… Continue Reading

Ocasio-Cortez, Lee Introduce Bill to Provide Burial Costs for COVID-19 Victims

May 12, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Barbara Lee introduced the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Act, which, if enacted, would instruct FEMA to disperse $10,000 to cover the funeral expenses of those lost to the pandemic. In addition to their extraordinary emotional toll, these deaths can further strain a family's finances and create new cycles of poverty, particularly as the United States faces the highest levels of unemployment since the Great Depression. A full co… Continue Reading

Reps. Lee, Pressley, Escobar, & Schakowsky lead More Than 150 Colleagues in Rejecting Attacks on Essential Reproductive Healthcare During COVID-19 Pandemic

May 07, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswomen Barbara Lee (CA-13), Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Chair of Pro-Choice Caucus's Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, Veronica Escobar (TX-16), and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Chair of Pro-Choice Caucus's Providers and Clinics Task Force, led more than 155 of their colleagues in calling on House Democratic leadership to ensure that any future COVID-19 relief packages reject Republican efforts to diminish access to comprehensive r… Continue Reading

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Slams Trump’s War Powers Veto, Urges the Senate to Override

May 07, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement after President Trump vetoed S.J.Res. 68, a bipartisan War Powers Resolution to curb his military authority against Iran. "Since day one, Trump and his administration have fanned the flames of war with Iran. This veto is the latest in a long line of provocations that needlessly raise the risk of war. "It's extremely disappointing - yet completely unsurprising - that Trump decided to ignore the bipartisan conse… Continue Reading

Rep. Lee, Colleagues Call on Newsom, Baker, Cuomo, and Other Governors to Decarcerate Amid Rising COVID-19 Infections and Deaths in State Correctional Facilities

May 05, 2020

WASHINGTON - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) joined Representatives Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Karen Bass (CA-37), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to call on governors around the country to decarcerate amid rising COVID-19 infections and deaths in state correctional facilities. In their letter addressed to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Chair of the National Governors Association and Governors Baker, … Continue Reading

Congresswomen Lee, Bass Condemn Shooting at Cuban Embassy

April 30, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Cuba Working Group, and Congresswoman Karen Bass, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, released the following statement in response to a shooting outside the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. last night. "We were deeply disturbed and saddened to hear about the violence committed at the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. last night," said the Congresswomen. "Acts of violence targeting diplomats and diplomatic miss… Continue Reading

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Statement on the Death of Steven Taylor

April 27, 2020

OAKLAND, CA -- Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement on the shooting and killing of Steven Taylor: With great sadness, I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Steven Taylor. Mr. Taylor died on April 18 after experiencing what appears to be a mental health breakdown that led to a confrontation with San Leandro police. As we wait for the particular facts of this case, what is clear is that we have seen such tragedies far too many times. African Americans r… Continue Reading

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Supports Interim Relief Bill, Urges Further Action

April 23, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Lee released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. "Families, workers, and small businesses across the country are struggling. Last week, 4.4 million new unemployment claims were filed - bringing the total to 26 million unemployment claims in the last 5 weeks. "As public officials, we have to do everything in our power to get our communities the help they need to protect … Continue Reading

Reps. Blumenauer, Lee, McClintock, and Young Urge House Leadership to Include Cannabis Businesses in Next Phase of COVID-19 Relief

April 17, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Don Young (R-AK), co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, were joined by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) in urging House Leadership to include state-legal cannabis businesses, which employ nearly a quarter-million Americans, in future COVID-19 relief efforts. Currently, state-legal cannabis businesses are being left out of federal COVID-19 relief. The bipartisan letter was signed by over three dozen members of… Continue Reading

Reps. Lee, Pressley, Kelly, Bass, & Sen. Warren Introduce Legislation to Require Federal Government to Collect & Release COVID-19 Demographic Data Including Race and Ethnicity

April 14, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Karen Bass (CA-37), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Robin Kelly (IL-02), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, and Barbara Lee (CA-13), along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and more than 85 of their colleagues introduced the Equitable Data Collection and Disclosure on COVID-19 Act. The bill would requir… Continue Reading

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