By: - July 27, 2019 5:35 am

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens | Ken Coleman

Freshman U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester) was tapped to deliver the Democratic Party’s weekly address Friday, and took the opportunity to point out the party’s legislative efforts in their first 200 days in power.

Stevens discussed bills passed by the Democratic-controlled U.S. House on retirement benefits, prescription drug costs and a $15 an hour minimum wage.

“In the first 200 days of the 116th Congress, the House of Representatives has taken strong action on our For The People agenda — delivering for the middle class, by passing legislation that will improve people’s lives,” Stevens said. “I am so proud of what we have accomplished … and we will keep working to lower health care costs, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and expand economic opportunity.”

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The vast majority of the expansive Democratic agenda Stevens discussed, however, is unlikely to be fulfilled, as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has nicknamed himself the “grim reaper” for his unwillingness to bring it for a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. 

This week, two of Stevens’ bills cleared the U.S. House. 

H.R. 1665, the Building Blocks of STEM Act, was the first bill introduced by Stevens, the chair of the U.S. House Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology. The legislation instructs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to more equitably allocate funding for research and focus on early childhood, according to Stevens’ office, and directs NSF to support research “on the factors that discourage or encourage girls to engage in STEM activities, including computer science.”

“Women and girls everywhere need to know that they can succeed in the STEM fields, and that our country and our economy won’t succeed without them,” Stevens said in a statement.

The U.S. House also passed H.R. 2397, the American Manufacturing Leadership Act reauthorizing and adding funding for the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation, which she said will boost advanced manufacturing workforce development and facilitate regional supply chain development.

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Stevens, elected last year in the Republican-leaning 11th District in Wayne and Oakland counties, has raised a total of roughly $1.3 million for her re-election campaign so far. No major opponent has announced yet, after widespread speculation that Republican businessman John James would do so. He opted instead to run for the U.S. Senate.

In her address, Stevens touted her track record “standing up for working people, from helping save the U.S. auto industry during the greatest economic crisis of our time, to working in a manufacturing research lab focused on the future of work in the digital age,” and vowed to continue to “serve our teachers, our students, retirees and veterans.”

Advance Editor Susan J. Demas contributed to this story.

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Derek Robertson
Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.