House Passes Virginia Rep. McEachin’s Bill to Study Creating a Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area

The House of Representatives passed Congressman Don McEachin’s (D-VA-04) Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Act on Tuesday. If passed in the Senate, the bill will require the Secretary of the Interior to study potentially designating a Heritage Area in the region of the Great Dismal Swamp on the Virginia – North Carolina border.

“The Great Dismal Swamp is an incredibly important historical, archaeological, and environmental site for the Commonwealth,” McEachin said in a press release. “The Swamp was once a home and refuge to African American and Indigenous populations and enabled robust economic activity between the communities that called it home. Not only does it have immense cultural significance, the Swamp also plays a crucial role in our continued fight against the climate crisis.”

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Virginia’s Congressional Delegation Splits Along Party Lines in Vote to Legally Codify Abortion Rights

People marching for women's rights

Virginia’s congressional delegation split along party lines on a vote to legally codify providers’ right to provide abortions and patients’ right to receive abortions. The Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 passed out of the House of Representatives Friday in a 218-211 vote with no Republicans voting for, and no Democrats voting against, although two Republicans and one Democrat did not vote. The bill now faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

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Watchdog Requests Ethics Investigation into Rep. Scott’s Financial Reporting of Stock Trades

The Campaign Legal Center (CLC) alleges that Representative Bobby Scott (D-Virginia-03) may have failed to file periodic reports disclosing up to $60,000 in stock transactions. On Wednesday, the CLC filed a complaint with the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) requesting an investigation into possible violations of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.

“In 2019 and 2020, Rep. Scott appears to have purchased at least four assets with a total value ranging from approximately $4,004 to $60,000 without disclosing the transactions. While Rep. Scott disclosed the ownership of these assets on his annual financial disclosures, he did not file periodic transaction reports (‘PTRs’) for the transactions that resulted in the changes in his stock holdings, as required pursuant to the STOCK Act and House rules. An OCE investigation is necessary to determine whether his failure to file was a violation,” the complaint states.

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Virginia Spending Included in House Version of National Defense Authorization Act

The House of Representatives passed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Thursday, including an amendment protecting three Virginia-based guided missile cruisers from decommissioning.

“Countering China’s expansionist ambitions starts at sea,” Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) said in a press release Friday.

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Newport News School Board Backtracks, Passes Transgender Policy

The Newport News School Board reconsidered its vote against a transgender policy. After frustration from transgender advocates and politicians including Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA-03) and Delegate Mike Mullin (D-Newport News), the board voted four to three in favor of the policy, flipping its previous vote of five to one with one abstention.

In the Thursday special meeting Member John Eley explained why he changed his vote: “As school board members we must uphold the law and follow the law. If we’re not in compliance with the law, we’re breaking the rules.”

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Virginia Congressional Leaders React to Ongoing Afghanistan Crisis

President Biden addressed the nation late Monday afternoon to discuss the ongoing national security and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Some congressional leaders were furious at the Biden Administration’s lack of leadership on the issue. Congressman Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ-02), a former Democrat who switched parties in 2020, lashed out and called for the resignation of President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) hinted Monday that the Cabinet should consider invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Biden.

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Arlington County Prepares to Rename Lee Highway After Virginia’s First Black Congressman John Langston

Lee Highway

The Arlington County Board is expected to vote in July on a motion to rename U.S. Route 29 from Lee Highway to Langston Boulevard. On Saturday, the Board voted to defer the vote to allow more time for community comment and to refine cost estimates, according to a county press release. The release said the supervisors expressed “broad support for the motion.”

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Deadlines Approach for Annual U.S. Congressional Art Competition for High School Students

Every year, the U.S. Congress holds an art competition for high school students sponsored by the Congressional Institute; winners are selected from each congressional district and their art is displayed in the Capitol for the next year.

“The Artistic Discovery Contest is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in the nation, as well as in our congressional district,” states an announcement from Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA-03).

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After Five More Charged in Connection with June 10 Protests, Leading Virginia Democrats Appear at Rally Supporting Senator Lucas

Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) appeared alongside former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D), Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) at a rally of over 100 people outside a Portsmouth church on Tuesday, according to reporting by The Associated Press. The rally came after police charged five more people in relation to a June 10 protest.

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