This week the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 387, the Email Privacy Act, bipartisan legislation that passed unanimously by voice vote.
The Email Privacy Act ensures that as technology advances, our privacy protections under the Fourth Amendment are not diminished in the process. Currently, under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the government may access emails on a public server that are more than six months old without a warrant. Under the current version of the ECPA, emails newer than six months old are already protected. H.R. 387 modifies the ECPA to state that governmental agencies must obtain a warrant to search Americans’ emails, regardless of when they were sent.
I became an original cosponsor of H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2017. This bill was introduced by Congressman Chris Collins of Western New York.
For decades, firefighters have been exposed to chemicals and toxins that other citizens have not. This exposure puts our brave men and women at an increased risk for cancer. In fact, some studies show that roughly 60 percent of firefighter line-of-duty deaths can be attributed to cancer. Unfortunately, our society and medical professionals still do not have complete data on this correlation. This lack of data limits medical researchers’ ability to fully examine these cancer trends and develop new safety protocols.
H.R. 931 will create a specialized voluntary national firefighter cancer registry. This data set will allow researchers to better understand the correlation between the chemicals used to suppress fires and their cancer-causing effects. I am proud to be an original cosponsor on this piece of legislation that will potentially lead to new discoveries and advancements in safety protocols and, hopefully, save lives.
I am also an original cosponsor of H.R. 909, a measure to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence from emotional and psychological trauma caused by acts of violence or threats of violence against their pets, also known as the PAWS Act. This bill was introduced by Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts.
For victims of domestic violence, animals often serve as an important source of love and support. Studies show that many women have even delayed leaving abusive situations when they felt their pet’s safety was at risk. In order to address these harmful situations, H.R. 909 establishes a grant program to help shelters accommodate domestic abuse victims and their companion animals. I am proud to support this legislation that will empower abused women.