Rep. McEachin: À votre santé

11/22/2019, 6 a.m.
We send up positive thoughts for the good health of Congressman A. Donald McEachin, who has been sidetracked lately while ...

We send up positive thoughts for the good health of Congress- man A. Donald McEachin, who has been sidetracked lately while undergoing surgeries in his battle with health issues.

While we respect his privacy, we applaud that he shared some details about his latest medical challenges with the public in a recent media interview. We believe that all elected officials, in the name of transparency and responsibility to their constituents, should provide that type of information to the people they represent.

Rep. McEachin has had an exemplary career representing people in Metro Richmond, starting in the Virginia General Assembly in 1996. He has honorably represented Virginia’s 4th Congressional District — a large and varied collection of localities from Richmond and Petersburg to Greensville, Sussex and Surry counties and on to Chesapeake in Hampton Roads — since 2017. He has worked to address not only the needs of the highly populated urban areas he represents, but also the concerns of the rural and farming communities within the district.

Already this year, he has introduced federal legislation to make health insurance more affordable for roughly 6 million young adults under the age of 30 who currently are uninsured.

He also sponsored a voter protection measure, now folded into the larger SHIELD Act, that prohibits efforts to willfully spread misinformation about the timing, polling locations, general voter eligibility requirements or procedures of federal elections for the purpose of manipulating or influencing the electoral process. Other parts of the SHIELD Act are aimed at preventing foreign influence in our future elections, including closing loopholes that allow foreign governments and foreign nationals to contribute to campaigns in the United States.

The SHIELD Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives in late October and is now under consideration by a Senate committee.

Also this year, he reintroduced an important environmental protection measure, the Defend Our Coast Act, that would pro- hibit the U.S. Department of the Interior from issuing leases for the exploration, development or production of oil or gas off the mid-Atlantic coast.

His office announced that in the three years that Rep. McEachin has represented the district, his staff has helped recover more than $1.2 million owed to constituents from federal agencies such as the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Internal Revenue Service.

We believe that’s something to celebrate, particularly for those whose money was tied up by the federal bureaucracy.

Important issues that can impact our democracy are now before Congress. The impeachment inquiry hearings about President Trump and his use of foreign aid as a bargaining chip to get dirt on his political opponents are central to our country’s future and direction.

We are confident that Rep. McEachin, an insightful attorney and leader in both the Congressional Black Caucus and the House Democratic Caucus, is tuned in to the hearings as he recuperates and regains his strength for a full-time return to his congressional duties after the Thanksgiving break.

Rep. McEachin’s logic and leadership skills are in high demand, particularly now, and we offer good wishes that his solid, intelligent and potent voice will be a part of this important national dialogue and decision very soon.