Cutting Costs for Rhode Islanders
As global events raise prices everywhere, including here at home, David is cutting costs for Rhode Islanders. He battled the pharmaceutical companies, and lowered prescription drug prices for seniors. David took on the big corporations for price gouging and brought historic investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, and clean energy to create jobs, improve the supply of goods, and help reduce costs for consumers.
Just as many folks in our state were finally recovering from the economic devastation caused by the pandemic, they are again finding it difficult to pay bills, buy groceries, or fill a tank of gas. Rhode Islanders are feeling the pain of inflation, and David knows that households in our state are being hit hard by the rise in prices at the pump and the grocery check-out.
Inflation is a global challenge hitting developed countries throughout the world. Right here at home, Congressman Cicilline has met with constituents at his community conversations and events across the district, and he knows Rhode Island families are hurting as they pay more and get less.
A pandemic that continues to impact the global economy and supply of goods, a Russian war of aggression in Ukraine that has thrown global markets into disarray, and an underlying economic structure in our country that allows big corporations to jack up prices, just because they can – all of these factors are making it difficult for Rhode Islanders to make ends meet. That’s why David is committed to doing everything he can in Congress to help lower costs for families and workers at a time when they need it most.
David delivered on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law in November 2021. This legislation secures $2.5 billion to Rhode Island to fix roads and bridges, replace lead pipes, improve public transportation, and increase broadband access. This new law will create jobs, strengthen the economy, and boost productivity and improvements to the supply chain that help reduce long-term inflation.
Cicilline then helped pass the CHIPS and Science Act, legislation that will lower costs for Rhode Island families by making historic investments in American manufacturing and ending our dependence on foreign manufacturers. This legislation will help end the shortage of essential components in everything from cars to consumer goods, helping lower costs for American consumers.
And, in August, David delivered on the Inflation Reduction Act, fighting the big pharmaceutical companies to lower prescription drug prices, cap annual out-of-pocket drug costs, save money for thousands of Rhode Island seniors by capping monthly insulin costs at $35, and require drug companies issue rebates for excessive prescription price increases. The law is also the nation’s largest action to combat climate change, and will provide affordable clean energy for our state and nation.
As chair of the subcommittee responsible for ensuring greater opportunities for consumers, workers, and small business owners, David has introduced legislation to prohibit price gouging during market disruptions like the COVID pandemic and crack down on abuses by big oil and gas companies overcharging Rhode Island families and workers at the pump. He’s leading efforts to address structural problems in our economy that allow a handful of huge corporations to dominate food, fuel, and other essential markets and drive up prices. And, David is fighting his hardest to strengthen competition laws in our economy, making us less vulnerable to skyrocketing price increases due to supply disruptions and preventing big corporations from prioritizing profits over bringing down costs to consumers.
Prices are too high, and this is no time to play politics with the livelihoods of hard working Americans. He’s supported bipartisan legislation that was signed into law in June, helping to lower shipping costs by cracking down on unreasonably high international shipping costs that were being passed on to consumers for essential supplies. Also in June, the Congressman supported a combination of bipartisan bills that passed in the House to lower the cost of fertilizer, which had increased dramatically after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, lower the cost of meat and poultry products by repairing slow-downs in supply chains, and lower the price at the pump by boosting access to American-made ethanol fuel. He also supported the Inflation Reduction Act, which will bring down the cost of prescription drugs, reduce energy costs, slash the cost of health care, and lower the deficit. David is also championing legislation, Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act,legislation that will return windfall profits from Big Oil companies directly to consumers.
David will continue to lead the fight to combat corporate monopolies, end price gouging, and provide relief to consumers.
Delivering Results for Rhode Island
From securing a historic $2.5 billion investment for Rhode Island’s roads, bridges, and infrastructure, to extending benefits to millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances in the line of duty, and enhancing public safety through the first commonsense, bipartisan gun violence prevention law in 30 years, David Cicilline is delivering for Rhode Island.
David Cicilline is working hard for Rhode Island, helping thousands in our state cut through government red tape and gain access to Social Security, Health, Medicare and Veterans benefits owed to them. He’s worked to bring back hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to Rhode Island, helping communities hire firefighters, provide resources to police officers, combat the opioid crisis, and complete bridge and highway projects that provide good paying jobs and improve our quality of life.
David is fighting hard every day for what matters most to Rhode Islanders –
- Defending affordable health care, and leading successful efforts to cut the cost of prescription drugs and drive down health insurance premiums.
- Introducing legislation to prohibit price gouging during market disruptions like the COVID pandemic and crack down on abuses by big oil and gas companies overcharging Rhode Island families and workers at the pump.
- Improving access to affordable, high-quality child care and early learning.
- Lowering everyday costs, like cable bills, food and fuel, credit card fees, and internet bills, by modernizing laws to reduce corporate greed and promote competition.
Standing strong against attempts to slash Social Security and Medicare, while protecting the pensions Rhode Islanders rely on to live their retirement in dignity.
- Ending the corrupting influence of money in politics and refusing to accept campaign contributions from corporations.
Fixing our broken immigration system that harms our economy and our standing in the world.
- Advocating for the return of Congressionally Directed Spending to states and municipalities, securing over $9 million in funding for community projects to help Rhode Islanders throughout the First District.
As your Congressman, David has delivered for Rhode Island:
- Drafted legislation signed into law, that will provide critical resources to American manufacturers helping them invest in job training, equipment, and research.
- Wrote legislation, which became law, to protect U.S. manufacturers from unexpected terminations of government contracts and level the playing field with foreign competitors.
- Passed bipartisan legislation to improve small business access to capital.
- Led the successful effort to defeat a proposed change to the Social Security cost-of-living formula, which would have cut benefits for millions of seniors.
- Introduced legislation that prevents pharmaceutical companies from delaying the availability of more affordable generic drugs.
- Successfully fought for increased funding to support the Veterans Crisis Line.
Fighting for Rhode Island Priorities
Congressman David Cicilline is a proven fighter who puts the interests of his constituents first and works hard every day to improve the lives of Rhode Island families.
David’s fighting to:
- Combat corporate monopolies, end price gouging, and improve competition – providing relief to consumers at the gas pump and grocery check-out.
- Protect Medicare and Social Security and ensure benefits keep up with rising costs.
- Defend reproductive freedom and a woman’s right to make personal health care decisions.
- Make it easier for young people to finish college without a mountain of debt.
- Increase investments in job training and apprenticeships – making sure Rhode Islanders have the needed skills for the 21stcentury economy.
- Ensure our manufacturers at home have the resources they need to grow and create good-paying jobs.
- End the corrupting influence of money in our politics, and refusing to accept campaign contributions from corporations.
- Guarantee our veterans have access to the best services and opportunities possible.
- Make certain those responsible for the January 6th insurrection are held accountable.
- Secure our democracy by ending voter suppression, banning partisan gerrymandering, and stopping the flow of dark money flooding our elections.
- Restore voting rights and expand civil rights protections to all Americans
- Once and for all, fix our broken immigration system that harms our economy and our standing in the world.
In Congress, Cicilline continues to deliver for Rhode Island’s First District by bringing home hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding each year to rebuild our roads, bridges, and infrastructure, support our schools and first responders, battle the opioid crisis, and much more. And David is always accessible, responsive, and accountable to the residents of the First District of Rhode Island – helping thousands of Rhode Islanders cut through government red tape and gain access to Social Security, Health, Medicare and Veterans benefits owed to them, answering tens of thousands of constituent letters, visiting small businesses, hosting community conversations, and meeting with constituents to hear their thoughts and concerns.
In 2019, as Chairman of the U.S. House Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law (ACAL) Subcommittee, Congressman Cicilline began a bipartisan investigation into digital markets to determine if competition problems exist in the digital economy and whether existing law is sufficient to address such problems. The Subcommittee, under the direction of Cicilline and Ranking Member Ken Buck, reviewed millions of pages of information from four dominant firms in the digital economy – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, conducted hundreds of interviews with market participants, and brought the CEOs of each gatekeeper platform before the Subcommittee to testify in July of 2020.
This investigation culminated in the publication of a 450-page report that clearly documents how these four platforms, worth nearly $5 trillion combined, use their market dominance to favor their own products and services and engage in other anti-competitive behaviors that disadvantage small businesses, harm consumer privacy, thwart innovation and consumer choice, and undermine a fair marketplace and the vitality of our overall economy.
Based on the findings of this investigation, Congressman Cicilline led his colleagues on the Antitrust Subcommittee in introducing a bipartisan package of legislation that will update our antitrust laws for the 21st century, rein in the largest online platforms, and revitalize competition in our digital markets. David’s legislation, the “American Choice and Innovation Online Act,” was passed by the Judiciary Committee in June 2021, and its Senate companion was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in January 2022.
COVID-19 Response & Recovery
The coronavirus global pandemic is an unprecedented public health crisis. In the House, David was at the forefront of our nation’s response and recovery efforts. From the start, Congressman Cicilline focused on two key objectives: saving lives, and ensuring our families, workers, and small businesses have every possible resource to help get them through the crisis.
Cicilline helped lead efforts in the House to quickly pass bipartisan relief packages, providing vital federal funding to support our public health response, keep small businesses afloat, and uplift workers and their families. These efforts brought billions of dollars in federal funding to Rhode Island to help the state and our cities and towns provide needed resources to first responders, aid to renters, homeowners, and small businesses, job opportunities for Rhode Island workers displaced by COVID, and more.
This unprecedented crisis required an unprecedented federal response, and that’s why Cicilline and Congressional Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan. This historic relief package provided $1.7 billion to support Rhode Island’s recovery from the public health and economic crises. It also provided direct payments to Americans, cut child poverty in half by expanding the child tax credit, extended enhanced unemployment benefits, strengthened aid for small businesses and nonprofits, and provided over $70 billion to increase vaccinations and expand testing, contact tracing, and mitigation efforts.
While David led efforts in Washington to deliver COVID relief for Rhode Island, right here at home he hosted virtual town halls and meetings to make sure Rhode Islanders had all the information they need to access available resources, and assisted thousands of constituents with their federal stimulus payments, small business support, unemployment compensation, housing aid, and more.
Now, David is committed to making serious structural changes to address how our country’s economic divide made this deadly disease even worse, and take whatever steps are necessary to make certain this never happens again.
One of the most important responsibilities we have to our children is ensuring access to high-quality opportunities in education from early childhood to college and beyond. That is why David is dedicated to equipping our children and young adults with the tools they will need to succeed in today’s economy.
- Through David’s advocacy, federal education policy now includes enhanced supports for after-school and expanded learning programs as essential parts of school improvement.
- David organized a Youth Advisory Council of high school students to ensure he hears the latest on issues and concerns directly from the young people in schools throughout the district.
- David has successfully advocated for increased funding for afterschool programs and federal initiatives that provide financial assistance to school districts throughout Rhode Island to help ensure all children can succeed in school, regardless of who they are or where they live. David also serves as a Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Congressional Afterschool Caucus.
- No one should have to face a lifetime of debt to attend college and get the skills needed to compete in today’s economy, that’s why David has been a strong defender of Pell Grants, leading the annual appropriations request to advocate for our federal budget to include funding to double the maximum grant award.
- David has also introduced the Making College Affordable Act, which would reform the federal student loan system, create interest-free federal student loans, and help put a college degree within reach financially for more Rhode Islanders.
- David has helped design and deliver on an agenda to strengthen the middle class. As part of this agenda, David advocated for the College Affordability Act, which would reverse the rising cost of tuition by restoring state and federal investments in public colleges and universities, providing dramatic increases in the value of Pell Grants, and making existing student loans cheaper and easier to pay off.
- David helped bring more than $400 million to Rhode Island in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding through passage of the American Rescue Plan.
- David has called for further extension of the student loan repayment pause, student debt forgiveness, and action to address serious shortcomings in our student loan repayment system so we do not continue to burden students with crippling debt. In addition, he has been a strong advocate for extending the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Waiver to ensure the maximum number of Americans can benefit from this forgiveness.
The natural treasures that make Rhode Island such a special place to call home require steadfast stewardship. David understands the importance of this responsibility and has worked hard in Congress to defend our environment and advance the development of renewable energy technology.
- David has been a tireless advocate for key programs in support of land and water conservation and has fought against efforts to undermine commonsense environmental programs like the National Ocean Policy, which helps states better manage vital ocean resources.
- David backed legislation signed into law, The Great American Outdoors Act, which helps safeguard and provide permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an initiative that uses non-taxpayer dollars to support our parks, waterways, and public lands.
- David supported the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would provide funding for conservation efforts to help protect the most endangered plant and wildlife species.
- David has championed programs that brought tens of millions of dollars in federal funding for Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Funds that provide low-interest loans for projects that help protect and enhance water quality in Rhode Island.
- David led the effort in the House to create the Blackstone Valley National Historic Park, which was formally established in 2014. The National Park, which includes portions of Pawtucket, North Smithfield, and Cumberland, will help preserve and protect a vitally important landscape and its historical and cultural assets for generations to come.
At the same time, David is fighting to address climate change and the undeniable science that tells us carbon pollution is threatening the health of our environment and the public. David knows that to protect Rhode Island’s air, water, and other natural resources today and years into the future, we need to end our reliance on fossil fuels that pollute and degrade our ecosystem.
- David was a strong advocate for the climate provisions included in the Inflation Reduction Act. Through these investments the U.S. will be able to reduce its greenhouse emissions to roughly 40 percent below 2005 levels in 2030.
- David took the lead within the New England Congressional Delegation in the House, authoring and introducing the New England Coastal Protection Act, legislation that prohibits the expansion of oil and gas drilling off the coast of Rhode Island.
- David has supported legislation to extend tax credits for electricity produced by renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydropower.
- Here at home, David has successfully fought for resources to make certain Rhode Island has the tools it needs to better study the effects of severe weather on our coastline and provide effective response and resilience capabilities.
Gun Violence Prevention
Each day more than 100 Americans die in an incident of gun violence, on average that is more than 45,000 gun-deaths each year. Furthermore, on average, over 110,000 people in the United States are shot every year, including about 8,000 teens and children.
Gun violence is an epidemic. For more than three decades, David Cicilline has been a champion of commonsense legislation to reduce gun violence.
As a founding member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, David led the City of Providence to its lowest crime rate in more than 40 years. As a member of Congress, he has taken on the powerful gun lobby and demanded action that will keep guns out of the hands of children, criminals, and those who are a danger to themselves or others.
As a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, David has championed efforts in the House to support the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, commonsense legislation to ensure universal background checks keep guns out of the hands of those who should not own them. And he backed the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which passed the House and provides additional time for the FBI to complete a background check before licensed gun dealers can transfer firearms.
David also supported the Safer Communities Act, the first comprehensive piece of gun violence prevention legislation signed into law in several decades, that will invest money into mental health and school protection, as well as close the “boyfriend” loophole, strengthen background checks, and enhance background checks for those under 21 purchasing assault rifles.
David has also authored numerous key pieces of gun violence legislation:
- He introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021, which would prohibit the production and purchase of new assault-style weapons that are designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible. And Cicilline has worked hard to achieve record support for the bill, gathering 212 co-sponsors. The bill passed the House on July 29, 2022 — the first time an assault weapons ban has passed in 18 years.
- He authored the Untraceable Firearms Act, legislation to crack down on “ghost guns” — untraceable firearms that can be purchased online and assembled at home without a background check and are increasingly being used in crime across the United States. This legislation was included in the “Protecting Our Kids Act” package, which passed the House on June 8, 2022.
- He authored and introduced a key piece of bipartisan public safety legislation — the Active Shooter Alert Act — to give law enforcement the tools they need to send alerts to people’s smartphones when an active shooter is in the area and posing a threat to the community. This legislation is endorsed by major law enforcement agencies, including the Fraternal Order of Police, National Sheriffs’ Association, National Association of Police Officers, and Rhode Island Chiefs of Police Association, among others. It passed the House on July 13, 2022 with broad bipartisan support.
- He has also introduced legislation to alert local police departments when a gun is purchased by a person is prohibited from owning a firearms; to prohibit anyone convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime from purchasing a gun; to close loopholes gun sellers can use to sell their inventory without a background check; and to encourage safe storage practices in homes with children.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded coverage to thousands of Rhode Islanders, reduced costs, drove reform of the health care delivery system, and provided thousands of Rhode Islanders with the peace of mind that health insurance will be there for them when they get sick.
For many Rhode Islanders, the ACA has been transformational– designed to ensure every person, regardless of their gender, age, or pre-existing condition, has access to affordable health care. That is why David has fought against Republican efforts to repeal the ACA.
David believes we need to build on the successes of the ACA and fix what doesn’t work. At the same time, he’s worked with colleagues to reign in the cost of prescription drugs, curb the opioid addiction and overdose crisis, keep health care affordable to seniors, and invest in vital research to find cures for various debilitating conditions including Alzheimer’s and various types of cancer.
David is working hard every day to ensure more Rhode Islanders have access to affordable health care.
- David was a strong advocate for the Inflation Reduction Act, which will reduce the cost of health care for millions of Americans by lowering prescription drug costs by empowering Medicare to negotiate the price of high-cost prescription drugs, extending enhanced ACA subsidies, capping monthly insulin costs at $35 and capping annual out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and requiring drug companies to pay a rebate to Medicare when they increase prices higher than the rate of inflation.
- He introduced the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act, which was signed into law and makes it easier for consumers to access lower-cost generic medication.
- He helped House Democrats pass the Affordable Insulin Now Act, which would cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin at no more than $35 per month in Medicare Part D and commercial insurance. This price cap was included in the Inflation Reduction Act for those with Medicare.
- David is a cosponsor of the Medicare For All Act, legislation that expands the successful Medicare program and ensures every American has guaranteed access to health care.
- He worked to expand access to mental health care for children by supporting legislation to provide federal funding for school-based services and legislation to integrate behavioral health care into pediatric primary care. David believes we must make mental health care and mental health parity major priorities as we continue to expand health care to all Americans.
- David led more than 140 House Members in urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to end the blanket unscientific three-month blood donation deferral period for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transition to an individual risk assessment to determine donor eligibility.
Our current immigration system is broken. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans refuse to come to the table to address this issue and pass comprehensive immigration reform, but David is working in the House and with the Biden administration for a more fair, just, and orderly immigration system.
David strongly believes Congress should pass legislation to help approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants emerge from the shadows and provide a responsible path to citizenship for those who want to fully participate in our society and contribute to our nation’s economy. This begins with securing our border — while still preserving the dignity and human rights of all migrants — and ensuring that those without proper documentation pay any penalties and taxes, and pass criminal background checks before receiving citizenship.
Passing comprehensive immigration reform would help secure our border, protect workers, unite families, and provide an earned pathway to citizenship for hardworking immigrants. It will also help businesses expand, foster innovation, increase productivity, contribute to long-term wage growth, and help create more than 100,000 jobs every year. And according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, enacting such legislation could reduce our national deficit by more than $800 billion over the next decade, and estimates suggest that such legislation could boost our GDP by $1.7 trillion over the next decade and create almost half a million jobs over the same period.
While Republicans in Congress continue to block any attempts to consider comprehensive immigration reform, and we are still feeling the harmful effects of Donald Trump’s anti-immigration agenda, David is working with colleagues to make change where reform is possible.
- David cosponsored and fought for House passage of the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, which establishes a path to citizenship for more than 600,000 Dreamers (individuals brought to the U.S. as children) and those with Temporary Protected Status living in Rhode Island. This bill passed the House in March 2021. Given the recent 5th Circuit decision ruling that DACA is unlawful, David believes it is more important than ever to pass this legislation and secure lawful status for Dreamers.
- David backed the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act, legislation that would repeal all versions of President Trump’s ban on Muslims, refugees, and asylum seekers and changes immigration law to prohibit discrimination based on religion.
- David cosponsored the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, which would require more humane conditions at detention centers, ensure immigrants receive individualized court hearings, and prevent unreasonable detention of primary caregivers and other vulnerable populations.
- Representing one of the largest Portuguese populations in the nation, Cicilline introduced the AMIGOS Act, which would make it easier for Portugal and the U.S. to do business with each other by making Portuguese nationals eligible for E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant visas.
- David has worked with the Biden administration to ensure America is doing its part to assist Ukrainian, Afghan and other refugees. This includes designating Temporary Protected Status for citizens of countries that are unstable so that we do not deport people to unsafe conditions, asking the President to commit to raising the refugee cap, working to decrease our immigration backlog so that cases can be processed in a timely and fair fashion, and ensuring refugee organizations have the resources they need.
- David is a cosponsor of the Real Courts, Rule of Law Act, which would transition the nation’s immigration court system into an independent judiciary, ensuring fairness in immigration courtrooms, de-politicizing immigration proceedings, and reducing case backlogs.
Jobs and Economic Growth
From day one in Congress, David’s energy and focus have centered on ensuring more Rhode Islanders have access to good-paying jobs. Cicilline is working hard every day to create, expand, and sustain economic opportunities for all Rhode Islanders.
David continues to be a tireless champion of American manufacturing, fighting to ensure the local companies, men, and women in this vital industry have the tools they need to succeed, and are on an even playing field with foreign competitors. And, David is leading efforts in Congress to grow and support job creation here at home, and raise family incomes.
- David fought to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which will tame inflation, invest in communities, support American energy security and domestic manufacturing, and ensures the wealthiest individuals and largest corporations pay their fair share in taxes.
David strongly supported the Chips and Science Act, which will create 100,000 new good-paying jobs, strengthening supply chains and investing in U.S. manufacturing and innovation.
- David authored legislation, signed into law in 2018, to provide Rhode Island manufacturers with the ability to compete for new federal funding to grow jobs and strengthen our economy.
- David wrote legislation, signed into law, that provides greater transparency to government defense procurement – making it easier for American manufacturers to compete for overseas contracts.
- In 2022, the House passed David’s legislation creating a Southern New England Regional Commission, which would help bring federal funding to Rhode Island to promote economic growth, job training, and infrastructure development in collaboration with our neighboring states of Massachusetts and Connecticut.
- David’s 21st Century Buy American Act would close loopholes that allow federal agencies to sidestep their obligation to prioritize American companies when purchasing goods or services and would enhance resources for American companies to manufacture products that are in short supply domestically.
- David also introduced the bipartisan Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act, which would create a new program at the Department of Commerce to provide public-private partnerships with financial and technical assistance designed to expand and support domestic manufacturing.
David also knows that Rhode Island businesses, large and small, need reliable infrastructure – roads, bridges, ports, and telecommunication systems that allow goods, services, and ideas to move through our economy. Critically important investments in our infrastructure not only help strengthen the broader economy, they also create and support good-paying jobs for Rhode Island workers. That’s why, David helped pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides more than $550 billion in new spending for infrastructure priorities over five years, including $2.5 billion going to fix roads and bridges, replace lead pipes, improve public transportation, increase broadband access, and create jobs in Rhode Island.
Underlying all these efforts to create and sustain good-paying jobs is David’s work to grow the middle class and expand economic opportunity for all Rhode Island families. He is a strong supporter of legislation to increase the federal minimum wage and has fought to make certain our tax policies do not disadvantage middle class workers and their families.
Over the past several years, hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been introduced in state legislatures across the country. In the 2022 state legislative season alone, more than two dozen anti-LGBTQ+ state bills have been signed into law. These laws have disproportionately targeted transgender and nonbinary youth. David Cicilline is fighting back against these state laws, advocating for robust federal protections for the LGBTQ+ community.
As Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, and one of only nine openly LGBTQ+ members of the House of Representatives, David has been a vocal and passionate advocate in defense of equal rights for all Americans. Recent studies underscore that despite growing acceptance of LGBTQ+ people, LGBTQ+ individuals in America continue to report high rates of discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That is why David authored and introduced the Equality Act, historic legislation that passed the House in 2021 and would explicitly prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in employment, housing, public accommodations, government funded programs, education, credit, and jury selection.
In the wake of an alarming opinion by Justice Thomas which stated that he would like to revisit the Supreme Court’s case establishing marriage equality as the law of the land, David co-led introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act to ensure federal protections for married same-sex and interracial couples. He then played a leading role in ensuring its speedy passage through the House.
As a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, David is fighting to ensure U.S. foreign policy is holding governments abroad accountable for their failure to prevent violence against LGBTQ+ individuals. The House passed his Global Respect Act, a bill that would help prevent international violators of LGBTQ+ human rights from entering the United States and enhance U.S. State Department tracking and reporting of violence and other human rights violations against LGBTQ+ individuals in foreign countries. David has also secured increased funding at the State Department and at USAID to support LGBTQ+ communities abroad.
As Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, David has played a leading role in pushing pro-LGBTQ+ legislation through the House of Representative. Not only did the House pass his Equality Act and Global Respect Act this Congress, but also under David’s tenure as Caucus Chair, two Equality Caucus endorsed bills have been signed into law: the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act which improves resources to respond to hate crimes — including those committed against the LGBTQ+ community — and legislation to designate the Pulse nightclub as a National Memorial.
National Security & Foreign Affairs
Our government has no more basic responsibility than providing for the safety and security of our citizens.
Americans must have complete confidence that all levels of government are working collaboratively to provide the highest level of security and protection. In Congress, David has worked hard to enhance Rhode Island’s emergency management response and preparedness programs, as well as homeland security capabilities.
We must acknowledge the toll repeated tours of duty have on the men and women who volunteer to serve our country in the armed forces. It should always be a priority to bring our troops home as soon as possible.
David has visited with Rhode Islanders stationed abroad, often in areas of great danger. He has done this to thank them for their service, to ensure they know how deeply we all appreciate the sacrifices they are making, and to hear directly from them about what they need to do their jobs and stay safe. Hearing directly from Rhode Islanders on the front lines is more valuable than hours of testimony before a Congressional committee.
National security today depends, as it always has, on a comprehensive, balanced approach to the full range of national security challenges, including cyber-security, homegrown terrorism, engagement with allies, and combating destabilization abroad to ensure we remain safe at home.
David also knows we have to confront the rise we have seen of white supremacy and other hateful ideologies in the United States. That is why David was proud to support the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which passed the House of Representatives earlier this year. This legislation would authorize the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to monitor, analyze, investigate, and prosecute domestic terrorism.
David knows that America’s foreign policy must be centered around the principles of diplomacy and global human rights. That is why he has called for a $12 billion increase in the International Affairs budget to be sure that we’re empowering our diplomats to meet the ever growing set of challenges around the world. David has also led legislation to protect minority rights around the world, including introduction of the Global Respect Act. This legislation would impose sanctions on individuals complicit in crimes whose victims were targets because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics.
Rhode Island, like much of the country, is suffering a devastating overdose crisis that is causing unbelievable pain for so many families. Over the past few years, hundreds of families have lost loved ones to drug overdose. Addiction has struck every community in Rhode Island – urban and rural; young and old; and across all income levels. The disease of addiction does not discriminate.
Many factors have combined to create and fuel this tragedy. And the only way we will be able to reverse this crisis is through a strategy that is as broad as the factors driving the addiction and overdose epidemic.
David is actively engaged and pressing for the necessary actions in Washington that will make a difference back here in Rhode Island. He cosponsored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was signed into law and is transforming the way we prevent, treat, and provide recovery services to individuals and families in need. David has also backed a successful supplemental appropriation to provide additional resources from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to help local communities act now. And, he led the successful effort in the House to provide a $3 million boost for Rhode Island’s State Opioid Response Funding and an increase in funding to ensure more first responders have access to Naloxone, a rapid overdose reversal medication.
David has also led efforts to protect youth by tightening the controls on a new threat, so-called synthetic drugs that often mimic their traditional predecessors but with greater risks. He has worked to ensure that our nation’s drug control laws are keeping up with what we are seeing in our communities.
Recognizing the overdose crisis has hit the northeast particularly hard, David has worked to unite the New England delegation around a common agenda to respond aggressively.
Because the pathway to addiction often starts with a prescription, David is leading the effort to support innovative pain treatment and management programs that do not rely on opiates, and encouraging doctors to change prescribing habits.
Our country stands at a crossroads. For centuries, the fight against racial inequality has moved at a glacial pace. The victories in this struggle, while significant, have been too few and far between.
The death of George Floyd forced our country to acknowledge that any progress we have made is simply not enough. Black men and women face challenges and obstacles that white Americans do not experience and cannot comprehend.
These go far beyond the overt displays of racism that we associate with hate groups or the alt-right. The truth is, as many Americans are now realizing, racial disparity touches nearly every aspect of our lives, oftentimes in the most insidious and subtle of ways.
In Rhode Island: a quarter to half of Native American, Black, and Hispanic children live in poverty, compared to 13% of white children; the unemployment rate for Black and Hispanic workers is more than 170% that of whites; the median income for Black and Hispanic families is just 63% and 50%, respectively, of that of white families; the infant mortality rate is more than three times as high for Black children than for white children; and Black kids are 60% more likely to drop out of high school as their white peers, and the dropout rate for Hispanic students is more than double that of white students.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, David Cicilline has been a vocal advocate and leader in the effort to reform the way law enforcement operates, and enact federal policies focused on ending systemic racism in America.
As a member of the Judiciary Committee, Cicilline helped advance passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, legislation that holds bad police officers accountable, demilitarizes state and local police departments by limiting the transfer of military weaponry, and cracks down on police brutality by banning chokeholds, requiring body and dashboard cams, and taking steps to end racial profiling.
This bill addresses the most immediate, obvious problems that George Floyd’s death brought to light, including the fact that Black men are 250% more likely to be killed by the police than whites. However, Congressman Cicilline knows that there is much more we need to do to advance racial and economic equality in America. Tragedies like the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many more Black Americans, and the overwhelming toll that COVID-19 has taken on communities of color, must serve as calls to action to bridge what divides us as a nation.
After a lifetime of hard work, Rhode Island’s seniors have earned the right to enjoy their retirement years with dignity, financial security, and quality affordable health care. It is critically important to David that we provide our nation’s seniors with access to quality health care, affordable prescription drugs, a secure retirement, safe housing, and responsive transportation services that help seniors live active and fulfilling lives.
As a member of the House Democratic Task Force on Aging and Families, Cicilline wrote legislation to re-establish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging, a select committee to study and help respond to challenging issues facing seniors such as poverty, housing, health, employment, and long-term care. He also introduced bipartisan legislation to expand funding opportunities for community and senior centers.
We can also provide seniors a more dignified retirement – and reduce spending – by lowering health care costs. The Inflation Reduction Act will lower prescription drug prices for seniors, cap annual out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions at $2,000, and cap insulin at $35 a month. David is working to improve access to Medicare, and expand coverage to include a wider range of home health services and important necessities like hearing aids, eyeglasses, and dental care.
David is committed to protecting Social Security and has been a strong advocate for the Social Security 2100 Act, legislation that would help strengthen the Social Security Trust Fund while also improving the Cost of Living Adjustment formula to better reflect price changes in the goods and services regularly purchased by seniors. David also opposes the raising of the Social Security eligibility age or any effort to privatize the system.
With Alzheimer’s disease remaining one of the top causes of death in Rhode Island, David is an active member of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, and fought to secure a $289 million increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding in FY2022.
As a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, David has been a consistent supporter of a robust relationship with Israel. Israel is a strong and brave democracy and has been since its founding nearly 75 years ago. The State of Israel was founded on the values of pluralism, justice, and respect for human rights, and as a practicing Jew, David is proud that Israel continues to embody those same values today. It is because of these shared values and commitment to protecting marginalized communities and workers, and a strong belief in freedom of speech and an impartial judiciary, that the relationship between the United States and Israel is so strong and mutually reinforcing.
Israel remains America’s strongest ally in a volatile region. It is imperative that the United States continues to strongly and vocally support the right of Israel to defend herself and protect the safety and security of the State of Israel and her people.
David’s trips to Israel have only strengthened his belief that a strong Israel is not only vital to her people, but also vital to U.S. interests. The United States must be prepared to provide additional assistance to Israel for her increasing defense needs.
The United States-Israel Alliance in the Middle East Peace Process and Israel’s Right to Exist
The United States’ partnership with Israel and commitment to pursuing a two state solution with Israel and the Palestinians living side-by-side in peace and prosperity is central to David’s foreign policy goals in the Middle East.
Israel is surrounded by many self-proclaimed enemies, including those who have publicly declared their intention to destroy the State of Israel and the Jewish people. David is firmly committed to ensuring that Israel maintains her qualitative military edge. In addition, David fully supports our country’s foreign aid initiatives which include our multi-year commitment to Israel’s defense.
The Importance of the Role of the United States in Achieving Peace in the Region
The United States plays an important role in ensuring that peace in the region is realized. Our responsibility is to protect American interests and ensure that Israel is strong and protected from those who threaten her existence.
David supports American efforts to bring about a two-state solution, under which Israel and a Palestinian state will live side by side in peace and prosperity. The United States can and must play a vigorous role in attempting to facilitate that solution by helping both parties bridge the gaps for a mutually agreeable peace determined by the parties themselves.
Economic and Scientific Cooperation and Development
The United States and Israel have a unique opportunity to collaborate on economic development initiatives and scientific and medical advancement. David supports joint initiatives in research, innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.
In Congress, David has focused on efforts to promote regional innovation devoted to biotechnology, life sciences, medical devices, advanced manufacturing, and other technology. With the second greatest number of companies on the NASDAQ, Israel must always be a very strong partner in this economic development strategy.
The Threat from Iran
David has often spoken about the threat that Iran poses to Israel. This threat is real and cannot be ignored. Being cognizant of this threat also requires a clear-eyed reassessment of what is working, what is not achieving what we aim, and when we need to change our approach.
That is why, after extensive review and consultation with experts in many fields, David supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), calling it “one of the most difficult and consequential decisions that I will ever make as a Member of Congress.”
David believes that by taking the nuclear threat off the table, through the strongest verification regime ever put in place, the international community, led by the United States, would be able to more aggressively combat Iran’s bad behavior throughout the Middle East.
Unfortunately, President Trump decided to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal, with no strategy for preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in the future. For two years, the Iran deal imposed the most intrusive nuclear inspections regime in the history of the world. It was not perfect, but the former President’s decision will make it harder than ever to improve it.
The Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the JCPOA undermined the United States’ reputation and our national security. Other countries will think twice before they sign agreements with the United States.
Today, the continued trajectory of Iran’s pre-agreement actions poses a much greater threat to Israel, the region, the U.S, and the world.
David will continue to support legislation that punishes Iran for its bad behavior on a number of fronts, including support for terrorism, human rights abuses, the building of inter-continental ballistic missiles, and any attempts to seek nuclear weapons.
The freedoms we enjoy as a nation are born from the many sacrifices of our veterans and their families. The brave men and women who have worn the uniform, and who today put their lives on the line in defense of our democracy, deserve our deepest respect and gratitude. Above all, the sacrifices of our veterans warrant our solemn commitment to providing high-quality health care, education, and employment opportunities as they transition from military service to civilian life.
Whether through his meetings in Iraq and Afghanistan with active duty Rhode Islanders, or while here at home in discussions with his Veterans Advisory Council or at his annual Community Conversation for Veterans, David has learned about issues at the forefront of veterans’ minds. And he’s bringing that knowledge to Congress as a call to action for the more than 60,000 Rhode Island veterans and their families.
David is dedicated to safeguarding and enhancing the resources and services our veterans have earned through their selfless duty. He knows that, just as our servicemen and women swore an oath to support and defend our nation, we too have an obligation to deliver on the promises made to our veterans once they return home.
For far too many veterans, the challenges of life after military service start with obstacles to employment opportunities. In his first year in Congress, David supported the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which was later signed into law. This measure provided tax credits to businesses that hired unemployed veterans, enhanced employment benefits, and expanded educational and workforce programs. When authorization for some of the programs created under the 2011 law expired, David joined in support of legislation, the Putting Our Veterans Back to Work Act, which would reauthorize the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), an initiative that helps train unemployed veterans for careers in high-demand fields.
But, David knows our promise to veterans goes beyond the commitment of ensuring access to economic opportunities. Congress has a moral obligation to guarantee our servicemen and women receive high-quality health care without delay or bureaucratic red tape.
When David learned that the Veterans Crisis Line was sending some of our nation’s heroes to voicemail, at a time when they needed urgent support, he led a bipartisan effort to demand funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide 24-hour support, 7 days a week for veterans who find themselves in crisis. And, Congressman Cicilline was a co-sponsor and vocal advocate of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The PACT Act, signed into law in August 2022, is the most significant expansion of benefits and services for toxic exposed veterans in more than three decades, and will extend benefits to millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances in the line of duty.
David has also championed bipartisan legislation to increase the number of health care providers treating our veterans, and introduced the Vet Center Improvement Act and Justice for Servicemembers Act – both of which the House passed most recently in July 2022 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
Vet Centers provide a variety of counseling services to ensure successful transitions from military to civilian life or after a traumatic event is experienced while serving in the military. The Vet Center Improvement Act would improve staffing practices to ensure counselors are able to provide the best care to our veterans. And, David’s Justice for Servicemembers Act would protect servicemembers from being denied their rights if an employer eliminates their job while they are out on active duty.
David supports the right of a woman to make her own healthcare decisions, and he is appalled by the radical decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. David was a cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation to codify a woman’s right to choose, which passed the House in September 2021 and again in July in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs. He is actively advocating for the Senate to pass the legislation. David is proud that Rhode Island protects a woman’s right to choose at the State level, but knows we must ensure that this right is extended to every woman across the country, no matter where they live.
In Congress, as a steadfast advocate for women and families, David Cicilline is promoting policies that enhance economic opportunity and health outcomes for Rhode Islanders. Even as Senate Republicans refuse to guarantee women equal pay for equal work, David is there time and again to stand up for what’s right. He has championed the Paycheck Fairness Act, which passed the House in 2021 and would put an end to the economic injustice where women on average earn 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. And, with women representing nearly two-thirds of minimum wage earners, David advocated for passage of the Raise the Wage Act, legislation that will increase the federal minimum wage, provide a higher minimum wage for tipped workers, and remove politics from future minimum wage increases by indexing it to median wage growth.
For the forty percent of families with working mothers as the primary wage earner in the household, David knows how important it is to advance policies that allow for greater life-work balance. That is why he is a strong proponent of legislation like the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, giving women vital workplace protections so they no longer have to choose between their job and the health of their family and pregnancy. And, because so many Rhode Islanders will need to take time off from work at some point in their career to care for a family member or newborn, David is supporting the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act – legislation that will help ensure families don’t have to sacrifice a paycheck to care for the ones they love.
David also knows we need to stand up for more than just the economic health of women and families. As a vocal proponent of commonsense legislation to end gun violence, like the Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act, David is working to close loopholes in our gun laws that allow domestic abusers and stalkers to access guns.
Under a Republican-controlled House in 2018 the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) expired. As a member of House Democratic leadership, Cicilline and his colleagues passed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in April 2019, but the measure did not advance in the Republican-controlled Senate. David and Democrats in Congress continued their advocacy for VAWA reauthorization, which was achieved in March 2022. Reauthorized through 2027, VAWA has been modernized, and the legislation boosts investments in violence prevention and education, and strengthens services for survivors.
David has also been a staunch advocate in defense of the Affordable Care Act, so women are never again denied health coverage because of pre-existing conditions like breast cancer, or dropped from their insurance if they become sick or pregnant. And, in Congress, David has fought against Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, a vital resource providing access to reproductive health care for thousands of women.
America’s working families are facing tremendous challenges today at every level of government, made worse by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stagnant wages, attacks on collective bargaining, attempts to weaken retirement security, and a tax code that is rigged against working people have all weakened the American Dream.
The percentage of workers represented by labor unions has dropped from 20.1% to less than 10.3% between 1983 and 2021. And as a result, a majority of Americans are not part of the middle class. However, a wave of unionization is sweeping the country as countless workers organize to fight for higher pay, better benefits, and safe working conditions. David is committed to helping workers organize across the country.
The single most effective way to rebuild the middle class is to provide more Americans with the benefits of union representation. Unions empower more Americans to participate in our democracy. They give working families a strong voice. They stand up for the rights of workers, women, people of color, and retirees.
When unions are strong, America is strong.
David Cicilline is standing up for working families, championing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which passed the House and strengthens the federal laws that protect workers’ right to join a union. David has been a strong advocate of the Raise the Wage Act, legislation that will increase the federal minimum wage, provide a higher minimum wage for tipped workers, and remove politics from future minimum wage increases by indexing it to median wage growth. And, Cicilline co-sponsored the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act. This legislation passed the House in 2019, and provisions of the measure were signed into law in 2021 through the American Rescue Plan, protecting the savings of more than 1 million workers and retirees, and helping keep tens of thousands of businesses from closing.