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Protecting Kids Online

March 13, 2021
e-Newsletter Archive

Protecting Kids Online

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This week, along with Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL), I introduced H.R. 1781, Preventing Real Online Threats Endangering Children Today (PROTECT) Kids Act. The bipartisan bill modernizes the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a law written two decades ago, to better protect children against new threats in the evolving digital ecosystem. In the midst of a global pandemic in which children and parents are relying on digital services for nearly every aspect of life, the need to update our digital privacy laws is more pressing than ever. Read more about this commonsense legislation here.

Fixing VA Vaccine Loophole

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This week, the case of Don Schimmel, a 93-year-old World War II veteran from Onsted came to my attention. Because Don did not meet the eligibility requirements at the VA, despite his service, he was turned away from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. That shouldn’t happen. I supported a bipartisan measure this week to fix this loophole and allow all veterans to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the VA if they choose. To learn more, please click here

Thanking the MI National Guard

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I am glad our state's National Guard troops will finally come back home to Michigan this week. In a display of bipartisan gratitude for their service, I joined members of the Michigan delegation to provide meals and gift cards on Wednesday. As you may know, over the past several weeks I have been able to spend time with members of the Michigan National Guard and also press leadership over their situation, particularly the unacceptable food quality. While I believe these dedicated men and women have been deployed in Washington too long, I appreciated the opportunity to interact with many and get to hear about their experience.

Celebrating Women's Week

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Throughout this week, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce has been celebrating Women's Week. They have been highlighting many difference-making women in various sectors, including business, health care, education, non-profits and more. On Friday, I had the opportunity to stop by Culver’s in Jackson to recognize a great woman-owned business in our community.

Supporting Small Business

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On Monday, I was able to visit MOO-Ville Creamery in Eaton Rapids and welcome them to the community. It has been a challenging time for small businesses to keep their doors open, but it is encouraging to see a family-owned small business have the ability to expand and open up new locations. Throughout the pandemic, I've had countless conversations with small business owners on steps they've taken to remain open safely and keep employees on payroll, and I will continue to advocate on their behalf. 

Demanding Transparency from Big Tech

I joined my fellow Energy and Commerce Committee colleagues this week in sending letters to Facebook, Google, and Twitter insisting on transparency and accountability from Big Tech.  

Many constituents have expressed alarm over the power of these companies. The Big Tech CEOs will soon appear before Energy and Commerce and in preparation, I’d appreciate your feedback on this topic. 

  • What concerns do you believe must be raised with Big Tech and social media platforms?
  • Do you trust Big Tech to consistently enforce their policies? Why or Why not?
  • Do you trust Big Tech as fair and responsible stewards of their platforms? Why or Why not?
  • Do you have any examples of issues you have experienced with Big Tech that the Energy and Commerce Committee should be aware of before the hearing? If so, please provide details of such examples.

If you have a moment, please submit your answers to the following questions by email to BigTech@mail.house.gov.

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