Donald McEachin

McEachin Announces Tools For Vaccine Accessibility

WASHINGTON – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today highlighted new tools from the White House to help Virginia residents get vaccinated. Virginians sixteen years or older can now input their ZIP code at www.vaccines.gov / www.vacunas.gov or text their ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) / VACUNA (822862) to get help making a vaccine appointment at a nearby location.

“With these new and helpful tools, it’s now easier than ever to find a vaccine near you,” McEachin said.  “Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to crush the pandemic, protect ourselves and our loved ones, and help us start to return to normal.  Every Virginian ages sixteen and up is eligible now, so visit vaccines.gov or text your ZIP code to GETVAX today to make your appointment.”

Right now, more than 90 percent of Americans live within five miles of a vaccine site.  Across the country, there are nearly 40,000 local pharmacies, more than 650 community health centers and hundreds of community vaccination centers and mobile clinics where Americans can get a shot.  These new vaccine finder tools make it quicker and more convenient than ever to make an appointment.

Public health officials are urging every eligible person to get vaccinated as quickly as possible.  The vaccines are safe and effective, providing significant protection against severe illness and helping slow the spread of the virus in our communities.  Studies have shown these vaccines to be remarkably effective, causing an 80 percent reduction in deaths and a 70 percent reduction in hospitalizations among seniors.

“Our own doctors tell us that getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to protect ourselves and our communities,” McEachin added.  “You’re eligible right now, and there are people waiting to give you a shot – so use these new tools to get yourself, your family and your neighbors a vaccine today.”

Under the leadership of President Biden and Democrats in Congress, the pace of vaccination has quickly ramped up over the last three months thanks to the critical resources delivered by the American Rescue Plan.  As of this week, more than 105 million Americans are fully vaccinated.  More than 147 million Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, including more than 80 percent of seniors, educators, school staff and childcare workers, as well as 90 percent of doctors.

 

McEachin Announces Emergency Broadband Benefit to Help Households Afford Broadband Access

WASHINGTON- Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today announced the start of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit program to help households struggling to afford internet services during the pandemic. The program, which opens for enrollment on May 12, provides up to a $50 per month discount for broadband services, up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal Lands, and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop, or tablet purchased through a qualifying provider.

Eligible households include those where at least one member of the household:

  • Is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines or is a participant in certain government assistance programs;
  • Receives free or reduced school lunch or breakfast;
  • Received a Pell grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced job loss or significant income reduction since February 29, 2020;
  • Or meets the eligibility requirements of a participating provider’s existing low income or covid-19 program.

Interested applicants should either contact their current provider directly, apply online at getemergencybroadband.org or send an application by mail to Emergency Broadband Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742. Further information can be obtained by calling 833-511-0311

“This program offers an assist for families needing broadband but unable to afford it because of COVID-related impacts,” McEachin said. “Whether it’s for work, for school, for virtual medical visits, or to search for employment, this program will help families. I encourage all those eligible to apply. “

McEachin Announces The 2021 Congressional Art Competition Winners

WASHINGTON- Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today announced the winners of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition in Virginia’s fourth district. The first-place winner is Ms. Emani Salas, a 10th grade student at Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Her pencil drawing, entitled “Littered Both Ways” will hang in the Capitol for one year. 

Each spring, members of the U.S. House of Representatives sponsor a nation-wide high school arts competition. The Congressional Art Competition is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent across the nation in each Congressional district. The winning entry from each district hangs in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

The judges for the competition were all prominent members of the local arts community:  Taekia Glass; local artist with Mending Walls RVA; S. Ross Browne, local artist and owner of Browne Studio; and Bob Riggs, principal of Riggs Ward Design.

“Every year I am absolutely amazed at the talent and creativity of the pieces entered in the competition,” McEachin said. “We received entries from across the district and in a wide variety of artistic mediums. Ms. Salas’ pencil drawing was truly a masterpiece both because of the telling subject matter and the advanced, creative skillset. At first glance, people who have seen the drawing presume it’s a photograph and are shocked to find out it’s a pencil drawing. I know Ms. Salas has a very bright future and I will be so proud to walk by her drawing every day in the Capitol.

“I also want to commend our second and third place winners, Annabelle Starr, from Prince George High School and Katherine Farmer, from Clover Hill High School, as well as all the other students who entered.

“This contest is only possible because of the commitment and dedication of our judging panel. They volunteer their time and talents to review and study each entry. I thank them and truly appreciate their efforts.”

See all the winners and their artwork here

An Update from the Office of Congressman McEachin

We’re 100 days, and by the time you read this, a few more, into the 117thCongress. I wanted to give you a report on my work and that of my three offices In Washington, DC, Richmond and Suffolk.  

Almost a quarter of a million dollars ($239,838.00) has been recovered for constituents in the first 100 days of this year. In the same interval, 183 new constituent service cases, in which we seek help for constituents from federal agencies, were opened and 333 were closed, bringing those to a conclusion for satisfied constituents.

During this short three months plus span, I took almost 500 meetings, attended/organized 29 events, and introduced or led on 18 bills and letters. Moreover, we responded to over 3000 letters while issuing an additional 121 letters of congratulations or condolence. Serving you, my constituents, is the most important and rewarding part of my job.

This past week I also hosted a webinar with prominent experts to help people receive grants and funding to address environmental justice concerns. Environmental justice hazards include everything from toxic waste sites and fume-spewing factories to lack of potable water and homes with dangerous lead paint, all located in the vicinity of minority, rural and/or low-income communities. Working together, we can remedy these ills and save our earth!

Lastly, I wanted to make sure to let you know that if youpaid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020 for an individual whose death may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19, you may be able to receive financial assistance. You can apply for up to $9,000 per funeral through FEMA’s dedicated call center at 844-684-6333; TTY 800-462-7585, Monday-Friday, 9 AM ET - 9 PM ET. Online applications will not be accepted. You may apply for assistance for multiple funerals.

Every life lost to this pandemic is a tragedy and the loss of a loved one leaves a void that will never be filled. I can only hope that these available resources, thanks to COVID relief monies, will help ease the financial strain.

McEachin Announces Covid-19 Funeral Relie

WASHINGTON  Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announced last week that funding is available for assistance for funeral expenses for a death which was likely the result of COVID-19.

“If you paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020 for an individual whose death may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19, you may be able to receive some financial assistance.  You can apply for up to $9,000 per funeral through FEMA’s dedicated call center at 844-684-6333; TTY 800-462-7585, Monday-Friday, 9 AM ET - 9 PM ET. Online applications will not be accepted. You may apply for assistance for multiple funerals.”

 Find more information from FEMA HERE

“Every life lost to this pandemic is a tragedy and the loss of a loved one leaves a void that will never be filled. I can only hope that these available resources, thanks to COVID relief monies, will help ease the financial strain.”

McEachin Announces Nearly $400,000 in School Funding from American Rescue Plan

WASHINGTON – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today announced $398,399 in funding from the American Rescue Plan to support public schools in the district as they reopen classrooms safely for students and staff.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken away valuable, in-person learning from our students while leaving many schools struggling to support themselves,” McEachin said. “The American Rescue Plan is an opportunity to help get our students and teachers back in the classroom while also ensuring their safety. I am glad we passed this historic bill so that we may finally turn our attention to restoring our homes, businesses and schools.”

Below is a breakdown of grants received by each district:

Charles City County Public Schools

$1,312

Chesapeake City Public Schools

$49,327

Chesterfield County Public Schools

$57,817

Colonial Heights City Public Schools

$4,689

Dinwiddie County Public Schools

$6,537

Emporia City Public Schools

$3,624

Greensville County Public Schools

$3,967

Henrico County Public Schools

$75,560

Hopewell City Public Schools

$12,121

Petersburg City Public Schools

$23,994

Prince George County Public Schools

$4,820

Richmond City Public Schools

$118,556

Southampton County Public Schools

$4,172

Suffolk City Public Schools

$26,485

Surry County Public Schools

$1,508

Sussex County Public Schools

$3,910

 

An Update from the Office of Congressman McEachin

This past month I hosted a series of open forums for my constituents. One of these was a telephone town hall to address tax questions and concerns. As you may have heard, both the federal government and the commonwealth of Virginia have extended the tax deadline until May 17, 2021 for 2020 taxes. With the impact of COVID-19 and relief measures passed by Congress, this is a much-needed extension as taxes have unfortunately become more complicated. I was pleased that Craig Burns, the Virginia Tax Commissioner, and Kimina Harris, a representative of the Taxpayer Advocacy Service, joined us to provide informative answers and offer resources for further information.

In another forum hosted last month on Zoom, we discussed COVID-19 and the vaccination process with Dr. Danny Avula who was selected by Gov. Northam to oversee the process. If you have not yet joined us, I hope you can participate in a future event soon as I continue to host them this year. I would like to use these as an opportunity to hear your concerns and answer your questions. My hope is that we can begin in-person town halls soon as people get vaccinated and the pandemic recedes.

My staff and I are also eager to attend events and hear from you regarding pending issues. You can still voice your opinions on issues at any time by going to my website, mceachin.house.gov to share your thoughts. To invite me or a member of my staff to an event, virtual or in person, or if you are having a problem with a federal agency, please fill out the request form on our website and a constituent services representative will contact you promptly.

Unfortunately, postal issues are still plaguing the district. I have written to the US Postal Service Board of Governors to strongly recommend that Postmaster Louis deJoy be replaced. During his tenure, mail delivery has unaccountably and unacceptably slowed tremendously. These mail slowdowns are simply unacceptable, and I intend to stay intimately involved in resolving this ongoing problem.

In the meantime, President Biden has filled the three vacancies on the USPS Board of Governors. I am hopeful these new members will address the post office and its performance deficiencies with new eyes and implement much needed improvements.

Rep. McEachin Announces 2021 Congressional Art Competition

 

RICHMOND, VA – Today Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announced the opening of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition. All high school students (grades 9-12) who are residents of Virginia’s fourth congressional district are invited to submit an original work of art to compete for an opportunity for their artwork to hang in the US Capitol for one year.

“The annual Congressional Art Competition is something my team and I look forward to each spring,” said Congressman McEachin. “Each year we receive so many wonderful submissions, which truly showcase the immense, promising talent of our students. This event is a fantastic opportunity for our students to express themselves creatively, and I am looking forward to reviewing the artwork with our panel of judges.”

Students should submit a high-resolution photo of their original artwork and a completed 2021 Student Information and Release form by 4:30PM on Monday, April 26, 2021 to VA04.Projects@mail.house.gov with the subject line “Art Competition.”

For additional information, competition rules and forms, please visit https://mceachin.house.gov/services/art-competition

McEachin to VDH on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Concerns: “These Issues Must be Addressed Immediately”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) sent a letter to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) regarding VDH's COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts throughout the commonwealth. The letter commended VDH for its ongoing work, but also advocated for improvements to its coordination efforts in rural communities and communities of color.

McEachin noted that the Crater Health District, located in his congressional district, has received the sixth-lowest amount of vaccines of Virginia’s 35 health districts and cited similar concerns with vaccine administration in communities of color, which have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus. In Richmond, there were initially no vaccination sites in the predominantly Black and Latino communities south of the James River.

“While I appreciate the work you have already done and will continue to do, it is clear that these issues must be addressed immediately,” said McEachin. “Every vaccine that goes unused could save a grandparent’s life, a teacher’s life, or a frontline worker’s life – and we must do everything in our power to protect as many Virginians as possible. With new variants of the virus and the potential for case numbers to continue to rise, families, seniors, teachers, and frontline health workers across the Commonwealth are understandably terrified, and we must work to instill confidence in our state and local departments of health.”

McEachin’s letter to the Virginia Department of Health can be found here.

***ATTENTION MIDDLE SCHOOLERS***Rep. McEachin Announces Second Black History Month Essay Contest

 

RICHMOND, VA  Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today announced his second Black History Month Essay Contest for middle and high school students (grades 6-12) residing in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District. Students will write about a current leader or activist whom they believe will become an important figure in Black history.

 

“Last year, I was deeply moved to read what Black History Month meant to participants in our inaugaral Black History Month essay contest,” said Congressman McEachin. “After witnessing a year of historic protests and national conversations about race relations in America fueled by young people, I look forward to reading about the next generation of leaders our students feel are making a lasting impact in the Black community.”

 

Middle school students should submit an essay 350 to 500 words in length and high school students should submit an essay 500-750 words in length, along with their full name, address, school name and grade level to VA04.Projects@mail.house.gov no later than February 15, 2020. Winners will be notified individually and announced on Congressman McEachin’s social media pages in February.

McEachin, Eshoo Reintroduce Legislation to Make Election Day a Federal Holiday

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives A. Donald McEachin (D-VA) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) reintroduced the Election Day Holiday Act, legislation to make Election Day a federal holiday.

"As demagogues and bad actors attempt to overturn the will of the American people and undermine a fair, accurate and complete count in the November election, we must insist with renewed fervor that every voter’s voice is heard, starting with improving access to the ballot box,” said Congressman McEachin. “Our vote is the most powerful non-violent tool we have to create a more perfect union, and I am pleased to reintroduce the Election Holiday Act to make this cornerstone of our democracy more accessible to everyone.”

“People should not be forced to choose between their job or family in order to exercise their right to vote,” said Rep. Eshoo. “As we see communities nationwide disenfranchised by voter suppression tactics, it’s more important than ever that we reaffirm our commitment to the right to vote and ensure every voice is heard. Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and Congress must make it easier to vote, not harder."

U.S. voter turnout is consistently among the lowest of all established democracies around the world. A 2014 study found that among those who didn’t vote, 35 percent didn’t have time to do so because of work or school.

Reps. McEachin and Eshoo first introduced the Election Day Holiday Act in the 115th Congress with 30 cosponsors.

McEachin Statement on House Passage of National Apprenticeship Act of 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today released the following statement on the House passage of the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, legislation to invest more than $3.5 billion over five years to create nearly 1 million additional apprenticeship opportunities in the United States:

"As our nation builds back  from the devastation caused by the COVID-19 crisis, it is critical that we provide opportunities to get more people back to work safely.

“Today I was pleased to support the reauthorization of the bipartisan National Apprenticeship Act, legislation that will accelerate our economic recovery by expanding access to apprenticeship opportunities which will connect workers across our country to stable, good-paying jobs. Together, we will secure these vital pathways for Americans of all backgrounds to gain the knowledge they need to compete in a global, 21st century economy."

About the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 

During a time of record unemployment, H.R. 8294, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, invests more than $3.5 billion over 5 years in expanding opportunities and access to Registered Apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships. The proposal would create nearly 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities on top of the current expected growth of the apprenticeship system. It would also yield $10.6 billion in net benefits to U.S. taxpayers in the form of increased workers productivity and decreased spending on public-assistance programs and unemployment insurance.

By increasing investments in the national apprenticeship system, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 will begin to bring America’s investments in apprenticeship more in line with countries around the world. The U.S. spends only about 0.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on workforce training and employment programs, while our peer industrialized nations spend roughly six times as much as a share of GDP.

This legislation is critical to expanding the nation’s workforce development system during our nation’s deepest economic decline since the Great Depression and to increasing diversity within the national apprenticeship system. This legislation does not authorize or fund the Trump administration’s “industry-recognized apprenticeship programs” (IRAPs).

Rep. McEachin Hosting Virtual Education Listening Session with Virginia Education Secretary Atif Qarni

 

RICHMOND, VA – On Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30PM, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) will host a Virtual Education Listening Session on Zoom. Congressman McEachin and Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni will hear from parents and teachers from Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District about their experiences with virtual education this school year.

“I have heard from parents and teachers across my district about both the difficulties and unexpected advantages they are experiencing with virtual learning this school year,” said Congressman McEachin. “I am eager to hear more from educators and parents about their needs and to find additional opportunities for me to help at the federal level.”

     Who: Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04)
                 Secretary Atif Qarni, Virginia Secretary of Education
                 Parents and Teachers from VA04

      What: Virtual Education Listening Session

      When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 6:30PM

      Where: Zoom, Register at: https://bit.ly/VA04VELS

Rep. McEachin Calls for Parent and Teacher Feedback on Virtual Learning

RICHMOND, V.A. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today announced an online form which parents and teachers can use to submit feedback and share their virtual learning experiences with him. Most school systems in Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District are wrapping up their first month of virtual learning next week and while some will continue virtually, others may return to in-person learning.

“I know there have been challenges adapting to online learning this school year, and I want to hear from parents and teachers about what is going well and what could be improved,” said Congressman McEachin. “If there is an opportunity for me to help at the federal level, I want to make sure I know about it, whether that is through additional relief funding for school systems, legislation to expand access to child care, or grants for technology and broadband expansion. We must keep our students and educators safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that we are providing the best learning environment possible during this challenging time.”

Parents and teachers can submit their feedback online at https://bit.ly/VA04OnlineEd

School districts within Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District include: Charles City County, Chesapeake, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Emporia, Greensville, Henrico, Hopewell, Petersburg, Prince George, Richmond, Southampton, Suffolk, Surry and Sussex.

McEachin Statement on House Passage of Strength in Diversity Act

RICHMOND, V.A.  Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today released the following statement on the House passage of the Strength in Diversity Act, legislation he co-sponsored to support local communities in thier efforts to desegregate public schools:

 

"More than 60 years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, school systems across our country are more segregated today than at any time since the 1960s. This is unacceptable (or whatever word choice you think is best) and we must do more to make education a more diverse and inclusive experience. 

 

"Today, I was pleased to join my House colleagues in passing the Strength in Diversity Act, which will take meaningful steps toward fulfilling the promise of equity in education. This bill provides critical funding to support school districts’ efforts to increase racial and socioeconomic diversity in the classroom and across school district lines. 

 

"Together, we can move our communities beyond compliance solely with the letter of the law and towards continued progress in increasing diversity in schools and ensuring an equitable learning experiences for all students."

 

 

About the Strength in Diversity Act

The Strength in Diversity Act helps fulfill the promise of equity in education by offering support to districts that are developing, implementing, or expanding school diversity initiatives. The bill:

  • Establishes a grant program that provides federal funding to support voluntary local efforts to increase diversity in schools. Grants could fund a range of proposals, including (but not limited to):
    • Studying segregation, evaluating current policies, and developing evidence-based plans to address socioeconomic and racial isolation.
       
    • Establishing public school choice zones, revising school boundaries, or expanding equitable access to transportation for students.
       
    • Creating or expanding innovative school programs that can attract students from outside the local area. 
       
    • Recruiting, hiring, and training new teachers to support specialized schools.
  • Supports the development and maintenance of best practices for grantees and experts in the field of school diversity.
     
  • Makes available grant funding to school districts, independently or in collaboration with neighboring districts, as well as regional educational authorities and educational service agencies.

The Strength in Diversity Act is endorsed by: American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD); Center on Law, Inequality, and Metropolitan Equity – Rutgers Law School; Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice – Harvard Law School; Integrate NYC4me; Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Legal Defense Fund, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP-LDF); The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Magnet Schools of America; National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP); National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP); National Coalition on School Diversity (NCSD); National Education Association (NEA); National Women’s Law Center (NWLC); New York Appleseed; the Office of Transformation and Innovation at the Dallas Independent School District; Poverty & Race Research Action Council; The School Superintendents Association (AASA); Unidos; and the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation.
 

McEachin, Davis, Watson Coleman Introduce Legislation to Protect Patients from Increased Prescription Drug Costs During COVID-19 Pandemic

Legislation Would Delay Implementation of 2021 NBPP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13), and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) introduced a bipartisan bill to protect patients from increased out-of-pocket prescription drug costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. H.R. 7647, the Preserving Patient Savings on Drug Costs Act, stops insurers from instituting costly copay accumulator programs by delaying the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) 2021 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameter (NBPP) rule from going into effect until a year after the COVID-19 public health emergency has lifted.

“Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle agree: there shouldn’t be additional barriers to access lifesaving and much-needed prescription drugs, especially in the middle of a pandemic,” said Congressman McEachin. “As households across the country continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, we must do more to support those who depend on copay assistance to offset soaring prices at the pharmacy counter and ensure prescriptions remain accessible to all patients who need them.”

“Making prescription drugs more affordable for everyone is one of my top priorities and a bipartisan goal shared by our fellow lawmakers in Congress,” said Rep. Davis. “Patients should not face even more financial barriers to receiving the drugs they need to stay healthy, especially during this pandemic, and particularly for those with chronic conditions who are vulnerable to COVID-19. I’m proud to join Congressman McEachin and Congresswoman Watson Coleman in introducing this bipartisan legislation so we can provide financial relief and promote the health of patients while this pandemic continues.”

“In a time where the cost of lifesaving and critical medications are a challenge for so many families, we can’t afford to remove one way that consumers can keep their costs down,” said Rep. Watson Coleman. “We’re in the midst of a pandemic, with families who’ve lost work and are struggling just to make ends meet. Now is not the time to add new healthcare costs to their plates, and I’m proud to work alongside my colleagues to make sure we fix this.”

Historically, when a patient has utilized cost-sharing assistance at the pharmacy counter, the amount has counted towards a patient’s deductible and maximum out-of-pocket limit, thereby lowering patient’s overall out-of-pocket spending. In June, HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar, II finalized the 2021 NBPP rule, reversing that policy and allowing health insurers to omit certain prescription drug coupons from counting toward a patient’s deductible and out-of-pocket limit. The AIDS Institute recently released a report showing that health plans on the individual market in 33 states and the District of Columbia have widespread use of copay accumulators, reinforcing that the proposed changes would lead to increased financial burdens on patients across the United States.

The Preserving Patients Savings on Drug Costs Act would delay the 2021 NBPP rule until a year after the COVID-19 health emergency is lifted, allowing more time for patient input and discussion on the negative impact of copay accumulator programs.“Now is not the time to allow insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers to make it harder for people to get the medications they need to stay healthy.

The COVID-19 pandemic is already increasing financial stress for millions; people living with and at risk of HIV, hepatitis and other chronic conditions cannot face additional cost burdens for accessing their medications,” says Rachel Klein, Deputy Director of The AIDS Institute. “This legislation is extremely important to ensure that patients who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 are not put at even greater risk to their health or their financial security.”

The legislation builds on a March letter led by Reps. McEachin, Davis, Watson Coleman and Joyce signed by more than 70 Members of Congress to Secretary Azar expressing strong opposition to the 2021 NBPP rule.

“We thank Reps. McEachin and Davis for their continued leadership on this issue. They continue to be a strong voice for patients living with chronic conditions in Congress, and we encourage other Members of Congress to sign on as cosponsors of this legislation,” says Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute. 

McEachin Votes to Support Working Families and Stabilize Child Care During COVID-19 Crisis

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today issued the following statement on his votes in favor of the Childcare is Essential Act and Childcare for Economic Recovery Act, legislation to stabilize the child care sector and provide support for working families and providers looking to safely reopen and operate.

"Reliable, safe and available child care is essential for working families, including the frontline workers who are keeping our communities safe and healthy during this pandemic," said Congressman McEachin. "Sadly, our child care system is struggling – decreased revenue, alongside increased expenses associated with necessary safety measures such as social distancing, masks and disinfection regimens, have caused too many to close their doors. Today, I was very pleased to vote for two urgently-needed bills to provide child care relief for families and providers across our country. The Child Care is Essential Act and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act ensure that all families have access to child care today and in the future."

McEachin Votes to Pass Historic 60th Consecutive NDAA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today voted to pass H.R. 6395, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, which passed the House by a vote of 295 to 125 and authorizes $732 billion in national defense spending.

“During a time of significant uncertainty, this bipartisan NDAA advances critical support for our servicemembers, improves our nation’s readiness and reasserts the importance of our international alliances and partnerships,” said Congressman McEachin. “This defense bill, which includes a number of provisions that are of critical importance to the Commonwealth of Virginia, promotes a more inclusive military, while responding to our climate crisis and ensuring we will not be caught off-guard by future pandemics like COVID-19. I am proud to stand with my colleagues as we continue the important work of taking care of those in uniform, while promoting a strong national defense.”

Background:

The FY21 NDAA creates a Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fund, directing $1 billion to efforts to proactively increase the country’s ability to prepare for and respond to future pandemics. 

The bill requires the Department of Defense to identify, report on a process, and change the names of all military bases and infrastructure named for individuals who served in the Confederacy within one year and prohibits the public display of the Confederate flag on Department of Defense installations.  

The FY21 NDAA has strong provisions to take care of our troops and our military families – authorizing support for a 3.0 percent pay raise, authorizing increased funding to clean up contamination of drinking water on our military bases by PFAS chemicals, continuing to invest in improving the oversight and management of housing for military personnel and their families, making improvements to sexual assault prevention and response programs, and developing several key programs to promote and enhance diversity and inclusion programs in our military.

The bill establishes Chief Diversity Officer reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense as well as establishing a Chief Diversity Officer in each of the military services reporting directly to the Secretary of that service, to include the Coast Guard. The bill also requires the Secretary of Defense to establish a Diversity and Inclusion Council to help develop a strategy to be included in the National Defense Strategy to increase diversity in the military mirroring the US population.

The bill makes corrections to the paid parental leave benefit provided through the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to ensure that the FAA, Department of Veterans Affairs, and certain other civilian employees inadvertently omitted from the legislation receive the paid parental leave benefit.

The bill also honors America’s values in many ways, including prohibiting use of DOD funds to provide logistical support to the Saudi-led coalition for strikes in Yemen, limiting the funding under the national emergency military construction authority to prevent its misuse on the President’s wasteful border wall, and not containing any restrictions on transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

In addition, the measure also includes several provisions to confront the climate crisis.

Finally, the bill does not authorize an additional Base Realignment and Cloture (BRAC) round in FY 2021.

A summary of the provisions in the FY21 NDAA is available here.

McEachin Announces $10,523,821 Health and Human Services Grants

Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today announced three grants from the Departmentof Health and Human Services to the Virginia Department of Health, totalling $10,532,821 for immunizations ($6,993,106), tobacco control ($1,539,715), and diabetes and heart disease ($2,000,000.)

"I am so pleased to see these funds coming into our Department of Health to help with such critical issues," said Congressman McEachin. Immunizations, especially during this pandemic, are important to protect our children from other severe,sometimes fatal illnesses. Tobacco addiction leads to many respiratory and lung diseases and most severely, lung cancer. Finally, diabetes and heart diseases are not only major killers of Virignians but also tax the health care system and families struggling with these diseases. These resources will ensure that many more Virignians will be able to access critical health care services needed."

McEachin Condems Use of Tear Gas Against Peaceful, Law-Abiding Protestors in Richmond and Washington, DC

RICHMOND, VA - Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today issued the following statement regarding the unwarranted use of tear gas to dispel peaceful protests in Richmond, VA and Washington, DC.

“Non-violent resistance to demand better from our government is a pillar of our democracy that must be protected and valued at all costs. 

"American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights – among them freedom of speech and assembly – is law and order.  We cannot ask protesters to make themselves heard in a peaceful, constructive way, then tear gas them while they are lawfully assembled.

"Whether in Richmond, VA or Washington, DC, or anywhere in our nation, there is no justification for the use of tear gas against citizens engaging in a peaceful protest, obeying the law. 

"It is alarmingly authoritarian, un-American and utterly unacceptable."

Rep. McEachin Hosts COVID-19: Managing Our Grief, Mental Health, Stress & Trauma

RICHMOND, VA. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) yesterday hosted COVID-19: Managing Our Grief, Mental Health, Stress & Trauma, a virtual event to discuss mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. Congressman McEachin was joined by mental health experts who provided advice and tips for constituents who are struggling with the additional daily stress and worry caused by COVID-19. 

“I am so grateful that these incredible panelists were able to join me this evening to provide much-needed advice for my constituents,” said Congressman McEachin. “This is an incredibly stressful and heartbreaking time for us all, and I wanted to host this event to make sure that my constituents have the tools they need to take care of themselves. Maintaining our mental health is so critical, but it is easy to forget to check in on yourself with so much else going on. I hope tonight was an opportunity for folks to get connected to resources they may need.”

Moderated by Jessica Lark from WTKR, the panel included: Ms. Kathy Harkey, Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Virginia; Dr. Faye Belgrave, Virginia Commonwealth University Professor of Healthy Psychology; Dr. Rebecca Vauter, Virginia Board of Psychology; Mr. Jesse Wysocki, Chief Operating Officer, The McShin Foundation; Ms. Ashley Everette Airington, Children’s Mental Health Policy Analyst, Voices for Virginia Kids; and Ms. Frederika Jones, Interim Executive Director, Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance (SAARA) of Virginia.

"We are grateful to Rep. McEachin for shining a light on the impact this pandemic has had on the mental health of children and families,” said Ashley Airington. “Supporting and protecting the emotional well-being of our children is critical now, more than ever. The good news is that nurturing relationships between children and their caregivers are the most important factor in developing resilience and overcoming the negative impacts of this collective trauma."

“As we move into a new lifestyle norm, we must have the courage to go forward,” said Frederika Jones,  SAARA Interim Executive Director. “For some, it will be right on the surface of their mindset, but for others it will require reaching deeper within themselves to muster the strength needed to deal with each new day.  Nevertheless, we must stay hopeful because the sun will still shine and as Stevie Wonders sings, ‘Tomorrow Robins Will Sing.’”

“It was an honor and a privilege to be join this diverse panel of experts in their respective fields. We know that COVID 19 is real, causing harm throughout our community and nation [and] we must not forget about those who suffer from substance use disorders or mental health struggles,” said Jesse Wysocki, McShin Foundation Chief Operating Officer. “Having these open talks and panelists of experts to discuss and answer questions is part of the solution, but we must now turn our discussion into action, doing everything we can to continue to have access to services for those with SUD and MH.”

“COVID 19 has impacted the mental health of everyone through disruption in major life events such as unemployment, financial problems, changes in living situations and routines, and changes in the health status of self or loved ones,” said Dr. Faye Belgrave, VCU Professor. “Poor mental health is directly linked to poor physical health so we must always be attentive to our mental health.  Although there are many things we cannot control about COVID 19, there are things we can control.  Let's center ourselves and be mindful of every day mental health care.

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May 2020 Update from Congressman McEachin

As I write this, we have entered the second month of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the second month of Governor Northam’s stay-at-home order. Most of us are tired of being at home, tired of being separated from family and friends and frightened of both the virus and the cratering economy.

 In compliance with both state orders and orders in the District of Columbia, my offices are closed, but we are all working remotely.  We are here for you and eager to help.  If you have an issue or a problem with a federal agency, such as a missing tax return, needing a visa or passport, unreceived benefits or issues with mail delivery, my office is happy to help. Just go to my website, mceachin.house.gov, to get started. We are also happy to record your opinion on any news topic.

This past month, while I could not physically be out and around the district, I have hosted several virtual events to inform and assist constituents. We had a roundtable with small business owners to hear directly from them about their concerns and needs. I also had a tele-town hall with experts such a Small Business Association representative, the governor’s workforce development head and Dr. Carey, the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Services, to help with any and all coronavirus concerns. If you have further questions, feel free to post them on twitter and I will get you answers.

This past week I held a town hall about at home schooling. I know many parents are struggling with this new responsibility and children are struggling with distance learning over the internet. We were fortunate to be joined by Atif Qarni, the Virginia Secretary of Education, Jason Kamras, Richmond Superintendent of Schools and several prominent teachers including Rodney Robinson, former Richmond teacher and national Teacher of the Year.

As this pandemic continues, we are all becoming increasingly aware and appreciative of our frontline and essential workers and the critical jobs they do. Healthcare workers, grocery store employees, farmers, food processing workers, senior center staff, trash collectors, mail delivery persons and many more keep us going in these difficult times.  We thank them and honor their service.

But I know there are many more folks here in our district who are working hard to make a difference, to pay it forward, to help all of us get through this. And while they are most frequently anonymous and not looking for praise, I have started a thank-a-neighbor program. If you know someone in your community who is making a difference during these trying times, we want to be able to shout them out and give them a public thank you. Please submit their name and what they are doing to VA04projects@mail.house.gov.

The Congressional Art Competition for local high schoolers is open until 4:30 PM on May 27th. Please just email a high quality photo of artwork to VA04.Projects@mail.house.gov.

Pre-registration for the Congressional App Challenge, where high schoolers develop apps for phones and computers, is also open now. Once students have signed up they can start coding immediately. Information on all the above programs can be found on my website at mceachin.house.gov.

 

Rep. McEachin Applauds House Passage of the Heroes Act, Benefits for Virginia and Local Communities & Counties

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today applauded the passage of the Heroes Act, the latest legislation to address the continued public health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. The legislation provides urgently-needed support for struggling families and essential workers; funds for testing and tracing measures; key support for frontline workers; and strengthened assistance for the American people.

 

The Heroes Act provides the Commonwealth of Virginia and local communities on the frontlines of this crisis with robust, desperately-needed funding to cover coronavirus-related outlays and revenue loss and pay our healthcare workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers, and other vital workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.

 

“Congress must lead the nation through this crisis with common-sense and compassion,” said Rep. McEachin. “Our lives and the well-being of our communities are threatened if our healthcare, police, fire, EMS, teachers, and other vital workers do not have the support that they need. Passage of the Heroes Act will protect the livelihoods of frontline heroes risking their lives to care for our communities and provide workers and families with relief urgently-needed to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

Congressman McEachin worked diligently to ensure that the priorities of Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District were included in this legislation, specifically:

  • Coverage for COVID-19 treatment for Medicare beneficiaries;
    • H.R. 6727 introduced by Congressman McEachin holds Medicare beneficiaries harmless for specific COVID-19 treatment services furnished under part A or part B of the Medicare program – (Section 30201)
  • Incentivizing state and local governments to end water shutoffs;
    • The Home Energy and Water Service Continuity follows Congressman McEachin’s May letter to House leadership urging a prohibition of water shutoffs for municipalities and county governments receiving federal COVID-19 relief aid – (Section 190701)
  • Ensuring EPA environmental justice efforts continue during the pandemic; and
    • H.R. 6692 introduced by Congressman McEachin requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to continue to carry out certain programs relating to environmental justice, and for other purposes – (Section 190702)
  • Bolstering emergency funding for colleges and universities
    • Following Congressman McEachin’s April letter to leadership requesting increased funding for universities, the Heroes Act includes more than $10 billion to help alleviate burdens associated with the coronavirus for both colleges and students, including $1.7 billion for HBCUs and MSIs, and $8.4 billion for other institutions of higher education – (Division O – Education Provisions and Other Programs)

The Heroes Act also includes a $90 billion fund to support state and local public education, including $2,020,418 for communities across Virginia.  This funding will help maintain or restore state and local fiscal support for elementary, secondary, and public higher education and can be used to meet a wide range of urgent needs, including summer learning, afterschool programs, distance learning, and emergency financial aid for college students, as well as coordination with public health departments to mitigate the spread of disease.

 

In addition to resources for our state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the Heroes Act provides transformative, far-reaching support to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people and the life of our democracy.

  • Provides strong support for our heroes by establishing a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers across the country receive hazard pay.  
  • Commits another $75 billion for the testing, tracing, and treatment we need in order to have a science-based path to safely reopen our country and helping ensure that every American can access free coronavirus treatment.
  • Puts money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families up to $6,000 per household, new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their paychecks and benefits, and extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
  • Supports small businesses by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types, and responds flexibly to small businesses by providing $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
  • Ensures further support for Virginians and all Americans, including for:
    • Health security – with COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for those without insurance.
    • Workplace security – requiring OSHA to ensure that all workplaces develop science-based infection control plans and preventing employers from retaliating against workers who report problems.
    • Housing security – with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments, and other housing-related costs.
    • Food security – with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table.  
  • Protects the life of our democracy with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service. 

 

“We cannot pause while so many families in our communities are struggling,” continued Rep. McEachin. “We have a responsibility to do what is necessary now to protect the health and well-being of all of our communities. With the Heroes Act, House Democrats honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes and meet the needs of the American people today and through the coronavirus crisis.”

McEachin Announces Support for Farm to Food Bank Enhancement Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today announced his sponsorship of the Farm to Food Bank Enhancement Act, a bill to expand support for donations of agricultural products to food banks through USDA’s Farm to Food Bank program and cover up to 100 percent of administrative costs for any harvesting, processing, packaging, and transportation costs needed to get produce to food banks.

“Around the country and right here in my district, lines for food banks are inordinately long," said Congressman McEachin. "With unemployment in double digits and rising, many Americans are struggling to find and pay for healthy, fresh food to feed their families. State budgets are cratering, and this legislation will help ensure that food banks have sufficient agricultural foodstuffs for the increasing number of Americans who go to a food bank for help at no costs to localities or states."

 

Rep. McEachin Thanks Emporia Constituent Mia Moore for Providing Childcare During Pandemic

RICHMOND, V.A. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today continued his Thank-A-Neighbor program by highlighting the work of Mia Moore, Owner of CareKids Childcare Center in Emporia. Ms. Moore has continuted to provide childcare to parents who are still working,and has been flexible with families experiencing financial burden. She has also been assisting in providing meals for students in the Emporia-Greensville area while schools have been closed.

“I am very grateful that people like Ms. Moore are so willing to share their resources with people in their communities,” said Congressman McEachin. “Many families are facing tough decisions during this time, and I am thankful that Ms. Moore has been able to keep the doors of CareKids Childcare Center open, so that our essential workers know that while they are at work, their children will be taken care of. ” 

“I’ve been in situations where I needed help. I’m blessed now in many ways. So, anytime I’m ini a position to bless somebody else, I choose to do that simply because I know there are people who are in situations and they just need help,” said Mia Moore, Owner of CareKids Childcare Center. “Being able to help others is a blessing to me.” 

Congressman McEachin launched the Thank-A-Neighbor program in early April to celebrate residents of Virginia’s fourth congressional district who are going above and beyond to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Constituents of Congressman McEachin can nominate someone for Thank-A-Neighbor by emailing VA04.Projects@mail.house.gov

April, 2020, Update from Congressman Donald McEachin

These are incredibly challenging and scary times. We are all having to make great sacrifices to ensure that we defeat COVID-19 as quickly as possible. This means some parents are out of work, children are home from school, and families are isolating from one another to conquer this viral enemy.  I want you to know that while my staff and I are working remotely, we are all still hard at work and we are still here for you.

Most importantly, I want to update you on the legislation Congress recently passed to help people across the country during this pandemic. I was so pleased to be part of advocating for and passing the stimulus bill to help American families and business owners.

Our goal for this legislation – my goal – is to help people. Unfortunately, many Virginians are out of work, some are ill, and small business owners are trying to figure out how to make sure their business survives this pandemic. This bill will make a real difference to struggling families, suffering small businesses, and our overwhelmed health care system. This legislation will:

  • Give hospitals money to help them purchase desperately needed equipment and pay for free testing, which is desperately needed across the country.
  • Provide almost $400 billion for small businesses to survive these trying times. Businesses that maintain employees will be able to turn loans into grants, which will both help businesses stay afloat and keep more workers on the job.
  • Provide $260 billion for unemployment benefits so that out-of-work Americans will know they can pay rent and bills while they must stay home. The unemployment benefits include part time workers and gig workers and increases the benefits currently available.
  • To apply for this, contact the Virginia Unemployment office. Their telephone number is 1-866-832-2363 and they are available 8:15am to 4:30pm. More information is available on their website:  www.vec.virginia.gov.
  • Provide direct stimulus money to the vast majority of Americans. Individuals making less than $75,000 annually will receive $1200 and couples who file jointly and make under $150,000 combined income will receive $2400. Families will receive $500 for each child.  Those who make between $75,000 and $99,000 annually will receive a diminished amount on a sliding scale. This money will allow for folks to buy groceries, pay bills and hopefully ease some of the financial burden this outbreak has placed on individuals.

Our goal is to protect American families, keep Americans safe, while doing what we can to stimulate the economy. Please know that this is not the end. We recognize this is going to be a long haul and we will be vigilant. Protecting the future of this great nation and all Americans is our singular goal. I expect we will see additional legislation to help Americans and to ensure our economy comes back.

Additionally, researchers all over this country and around the world are working diligently to find a vaccine to offer protection from the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, that is a prolonged process as vaccines require 12 to 18 months of development and testing. We certainly do not want to inject a healthy person with medication that could be harmful. At the same time, research is ongoing for therapeutics that will address the virus, mitigate its impacts, and diminish its severity. Because those medications are given to persons already quite ill and struggling, they do not require as much testing to be approved. When an individual is quite ill, taking chance on a novel drug is the compassionate and humane course if it can potentially save a life or ameliorate the outcome.

Please know that this is not the end. We recognize this is going to be a long haul and we will be vigilant. Protecting the future of this great nation and all Americans is our singular goal. I expect we will see additional legislation to help Americans and to ensure our economy comes back.

 I want to thank all the health care professionals, first responders, grocery and pharmacy workers, mail deliverers, garbage collectors, and all the others who continue to diligently do their jobs for the sake of all Virginians.

Lastly, let me reiterate that my office and I are here to help. If you need help with a federal agency or have a question about the bill, please go to my website at mceachin.house.gov.

McEachin and Spanberger Bring FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks to Central Virginia for a Conversation on Rural Broadband

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) today co-hosted a Conversation on Rural Broadband with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, local officials, community leaders, and broadband advocates to discuss federal solutions to barriers expanding broadband access to unserved areas. Held at Prince George Central Wellness Center in central Virginia, the roundtable was moderated by Jeffrey Stoke, Deputy Administrator of Prince George County, and included leaders from the Prince George Electric Cooperative, VCTA The Broadband Association of Virginia and the Office of the Governor of Virginia.

A member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Congressman McEachin last week led 22 of his committee colleagues in issuing a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai outlining their concerns that last-minute language changes to the commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Order might inadvertently undermine the ability of states, including Virginia, to effectively provide their residents with accessible, reliable broadband infrastructure. Building on that work, today’s roundtable discussion centered around the critical importance of access to high-speed internet and provided participants with the opportunity to voice their concerns and connect on solutions to mitigate communities’ lack of access.

 “The problems we face in Washington working to ensure every community has access to the high-speed internet needed to grow small businesses, create good-paying jobs, and promote digital equity are complex and cannot be tackled successfully in silos,” added Rep. McEachin. “Today’s conversation with rural broadband experts and stakeholders from Prince George County proves the power and possibility of solution-building between federal, state, and local government, and offers a successful blueprint for future collaboration to provide broadband to unserved and underserved communities throughout the country.”

“Access to opportunity in America shouldn’t be dictated by zip code. In the digital age, fast and secure internet access is a necessity for Central Virginia families, students, and businesses—but in many of our rural Virginia communities, unreliable high-speed broadband internet drastically limits the scope of opportunities for growth and success,” said Spanberger. “Today’s conversation on rural broadband in Congressman McEachin’s district was an opportunity to put our heads together and discuss how we can expand broadband access here in Central Virginia. I’d like to thank the many local and state officials who joined for today’s conversation, and I’d especially like to thank Commissioner Starks for coming to our region to share the FCC’s perspective on current broadband issues—like the need for strengthened investment in local infrastructure and updated broadband connectivity maps. At a time when infrastructure remains a key topic of conversation on Capitol Hill and within the administration, these community conversations emphasize the importance of keeping up the drumbeat on connecting our rural communities and closing the digital divide.”

Since arriving in the U.S. House, Spanberger has worked to expand high-speed broadband internet access across Central Virginia’s rural communities, including through the work of the FCC. Last year, Spanberger introduced and passed an amendment to improve FCC broadband internet data. In August 2019, Spanberger hosted her 2019 Rural Broadband Summit in Louisa County to hear about how a lack of reliable broadband internet access is impacting families, farmers, first responders, and small business owners across Central Virginia.

“I was pleased to work with my colleague, Congresswoman Spanberger, to bring together federal, state, municipal and industry leaders for this critical conversation on rural broadband” said Congressman McEachin. “Too frequently, constituents across the country struggle to ensure their voice is heard and their needs are addressed in Washington, and at the same time, Washington acts without engaging with impacted communities. Facilitating connections is where we do our best work,” McEachin continued. “Today’s roundtable discussion is another example of delivering that access for the people of Virginia’s Fourth District.”

February 2020 Update from Congressman McEachin

This month I was pleased that a member of my staff could attend the American Legion meeting in Emporia. While I cannot be everywhere, it is important for my staff to be at community and organization meetings. They are my eyes and ears throughout the district and they uniformly report how much they learn from and enjoy interacting with constituents. My office and I are eager to continue to be active and involved in the community. Please let us know about any events in which we can participate and be helpful. The nature of Congress is that I spend significant time in Washington, DC, but when possible, I want to be in the district, meeting and interacting with residents. You can request my attendance or invite a staff member by filling out this form: https://mceachin.house.gov/contact/request-appearance.

I am also pleased to continue helping my constituents with federal issues. Tax season is now upon us and I know many of you, like me, are starting to think about preparing your taxes and making sure you do not miss the April 15th deadline to file. If you choose to use a professional preparer, please make sure to check their qualifications, history and ask in advance about any fees. To speed up the process, ask them to eFile and, if possible, request direct deposit for your refund. Please also consider the below helpful information before filing:

  • Active duty military members can prepare and file using brand name tax preparation software for free. This is a service provided by the IRS to thank our men and women in uniform.
  • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who made $56,000 or less in 2019, persons with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to those who qualify.
  • In addition to VITA, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

As always, if you have an issue or a problem with a federal agency, such as a missing tax return, needing a visa or passport, unreceived benefits or issues with mail delivery, my office is happy to help. Just go to my website, mceachin.house.gov, to get started.

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January 2020 An Update from Congressman McEachin

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were peaceful and blessed, filled with family and friends. 

Last month we ran a photo contest where I asked constituents to take pictures of our beautiful fourth congressional district. We received many entries, with a range of subjects, from beautiful scenes to stunning animal shots. I am thrilled to announce Ann Jacobson from Chesapeake was our grand prize winner with an amazing water scene. I certainly wanted to get out on the water after seeing it!

Second Place was Steven White of Suffolk, Third Place was Roan Tierney from Richmond and the People’s Choice Award went to Caleb Thompson, also of Richmond. I want to thank all the wonderful constituents who entered. I was so impressed with the quality and range of photographs. 

On a more serious note, next month is Black History Month and we need to make sure all our children are learning about diverse people and cultures that contribute to our community, our Commonwealth and our country. With that in mind, I am hosting a Black History Month essay contest.  The Contest is open to middle and high school students (grades 6-12) residing in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District. Students should submit their completed essays to VA04.Projects@mail.house.gov. The deadline for submissions is February 6, 2020. Middle school students (grades 6-8) should submit an essay 350-500 words in length. High school students (grades 9-12) should submit an essay 500-750 words in length. Essays should answer the question, “What Black History Month Means to Me.” Winners will be notified individually and announced on social media in February, and I will enter the winning essays into the Congressional Record. 

I look forward to reading each of these essays. I am sure I will be inspired and will learn new things.

Please let my office know about any events in which we can participate and be helpful. The nature of the job is that I spend significant time in Washington, DC, but when possible, I want to be in the district, meeting and interacting with residents. Please request my attendance or invite a staff member by filling out this form: https://mceachin.house.gov/contact/request-appearance.

I am interested in and eager to hear your opinion on topics of the day. Please feel free to contact me at this link: https://mceachin.house.gov/contact/email. I promise I will get back to you, but please be patient. We receive hundreds of emails and calls on many days. I want to make sure I provide timely, informative answers.

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December 2019 Update from Congressman Donald McEachin

This is a big month for our office. We have passed the $2 million dollars in returning money to constituents from federal agencies. Whether it’s a never-received tax refund or missed benefits from the VA or absent Social Security checks, our office is diligent and devoted in trying to ensure my constituents get what they are owed. This milestone, over $2 million back to VA-04 residents, is an important part of my service as your Congressman.

If you have an issue or a problem with a federal agency, such as the examples listed above, my office is happy to help. Just go to my website, mceachin.house.gov, to get started. We are also happy to record your opinion on any news topic.

It’s also an important month because, having had surgeries recently, I am able to return Washington, DC and to being out and about in the district.  This recent illness has shown me, yet again, how critical access to affordable quality healthcare is for ALL Virginians. I go back to work recommitted to ensuring available health care, without regard for pre-existing conditions and with reasonably priced prescription drugs. Health care should never be a choice between paying a bill or a prescription. I am determined to advocate every day for affordable and quality care.

Please let my office know about any events in which we can participate and be helpful. The nature of the job is that I spend significant time in Washington, DC, but when possible, I want to be in the district, meeting and interacting with residents. Please request my attendance by filling out this form: https://mceachin.house.gov/contact/request-appearance.

I hope you and yours have a lovely and peaceful holiday season, filled with the blessings of friends and family.

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