By Cash Michaels –
Democrats in Congress, anxious to retain control after the critical 2020 elections, are focused on showing that they care about what their constituents consider to be important issues.
North Carolina’s two African American Congressional representatives—Alma Adams (D-NC-12) and G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1)—are no different, and recently introduced measures that speak to constituent issues at home, but stand an excellent chance at passage in the Democrat-controlled U.S. House.
Whether they would even get a hearing in the Republican-led, Donald Trump-controlled U.S. Senate is another matter.
Last month, Rep. Adams co-sponsored the “Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6), a bill, “…to protect our nation’s Dreamers, as well as our Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders, allowing them to contribute fully to North Carolina’s communities and our country while providing a pathway to citizenship.”
“In North Carolina, Dreamers and TPS and DED holders contribute to our communities and our nation as teachers, students, medical professionals, first responders, entrepreneurs, and taxpayers,” said Rep. Adams. “With the introduction of the Dream and Promise Act, Democrats are taking decisive action to protect these proud Americans from the Administration’s callous attempts to strip away their critical status.”
Another controversial measure Rep. Adams supports is “the Equality Act,” which, if passed by both chambers of Congress, would “amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination.”
“In 2019, only 21 states have laws preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation,” Rep. Adams states. “North Carolina alone is home to 320,000 LGBTQ adults. Yet despite these numbers, the state ranks among the lowest in the nation for LGBTQ equality. This is why I am a proud co-sponsor of H.R. 5, the Equality Act. The Equality Act amends existing laws to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination.”
Both bills are being held in committee. There’s no word on where Rep. G. K. Butterfield stands on those, but he also introduced two of his own in March.
Butterfield unveiled the Building Resources into Digital Growth and Education (BRIDGE) Act of 2019 (H.R. 1586).
“My legislation will expand the opportunities available to HBCUs to ensure the students they serve are prepared for tomorrow’s innovation economy,” said Rep. Butterfield in a statement. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee and the bipartisan HBCU Caucus who share my commitment to strengthening our HBCUs and giving our students the resources they need for success.”
That bill is also being held in committee.
Also last month, Rep. Butterfield introduced an amendment to the For the People Act (H.R. 1) to ensure that early voting is available in rural areas. The bill passed the House on March 8, and was sent to the U.S. Senate for consideration.