Dear Neighbor:

I wanted to take a moment to share an update about how my staff and I have been working for the people of Maryland’s Eighth District. It remains a surpassing honor to serve as your Representative in Congress.

Before I share my regular updates from September, I want to address the horrific and devastating violence that has overtaken Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, which continues to deeply affect many of my constituents, both those with relatives and friends in the region and those without who are still touched by the tragedy and horror of the situation.

The terrorist operation conducted by Hamas against Israeli civilians starting on October 7, 2023, was a mass war crime, an illegal invasion of a sovereign country, and the most murderous assault on Jewish civilians since the Holocaust. We must do everything we can to stand by the traumatized Israeli people. Israel has the indisputable right under international law to engage in self-defense against this explosion of mass terrorist violence. I'm also continuing to demand, and work for, the immediate safe return of the nearly 200 hostages, among them both Israelis and Americans, who are still being held captive by Hamas terrorists in Gaza today.

I am also profoundly concerned for the safety of two million Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and am working to ensure that the basic necessities of life for Gaza’s civilians are available, such as food, water, and medicine. The Palestinian people, including the estimated one million children living in Gaza, have a right to be kept safe from the terrorist violence of Hamas and from the Israeli military campaign launched in response to it. Immediately following the terrorist attacks, I joined a group of my Jewish Democratic colleagues in the House to reiterate my complete support for Israel’s security, and I expressed my thoughts on Israel’s right of self-defense, the laws of war, hostage-taking, and the protection of Palestinian civilians in Gaza in more detail in a recent statement. It is imperative under the laws of war and international humanitarian law that civilian populations on both sides are protected against all violence.

You should know that I am doing everything I can to support my constituents whose loved ones are caught up in this nightmare. I am working with my staff to ensure the security and safe passage home of many constituents who were traveling in the region when the terrorism took place and war broke out. If you are a U.S. citizen seeking to contact the U.S. Embassy in Israel, complete the crisis intake form, or call 1-833-890-9595 (toll free) or 1-606-641-0131. U.S. citizens in Israel should call the embassy local number (03-519-7426). The State Department’s crisis coordination division is assisting U.S. citizens 24/7. If you want to request my assistance, please complete the online request form here, and my District Office will be in touch.

My heart is with everyone who is grieving and suffering right now.

Jamie Raskin

Rep. Raskin’s September in Photos


Averting a Government Shutdown

I am relieved that House Democrats united to temporarily avert a federal government shutdown, which would have caused terrible hardship in the Eighth District and nationwide. I’ve introduced legislation to prevent all future shutdowns and have written to GOP leadership underscoring the vital importance of keeping our government open. I’ve also championed legislation to ensure federal contractors receive backpay in the event of a shutdown. I will continue doing everything in my power to protect our workers and prevent a wasteful government shutdown ahead of the new November 18 midnight deadline to fund the federal government.

Reforming Our Government’s Marijuana Policies

I’m excited to share that in September, my Cannabis Users Restoration of Eligibility Act (CURE) Act passed the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability with bipartisan support. This bill will ensure that prior marijuana use no longer stands as a barrier to federal employment or to receiving a security clearance. States across America have reformed their marijuana policies, and it’s time for the federal government to catch up and allow talented and qualified Americans to become public servants. In the months ahead, I will continue to push hard for enactment of this bipartisan legislation.

Championing Freedom and Resisting Book Bans

Ahead of Banned Books Week (October 1-7), I led 44 Members of the House of Representatives in introducing a bicameral resolution condemning the escalating attacks on books and freedom of expression in the United States. According to PEN America, attempts to remove books from school library shelves increased by 33 percent during the 2022–2023 school year, with nearly 3,400 challenges to 1,557 unique titles. Award-winning classics like Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and George Orwell’s 1984 have faced a renewed onslaught of challenges, as have other books that explore structural racism, misogynist control over women’s bodies and fertility, and the very concept of freedom itself. Our Resolution, led by Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii in the Senate, takes a stand against this wave of censorship and is just one way to push back. I encourage you to pick up a book that’s been targeted and share the joy of reading banned books with your friends and family!

Promoting Ranked-Choice Voting and Effective Government in the House of Representatives 

As conservatives were ousting Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia and I offered a way to end the chaos: elect House leadership through ranked-choice elections. I’ve long advocated for the broader adoption of ranked-choice voting. When voters can rank their choices, political candidates are more incentivized to campaign to the full electorate rather than to an extremist minority. Ranked-choice voting is a win-win, with the potential to make our Congress not only more representative, but more functional too.

Pursuing Truth on the House Oversight Committee and Debunking Conspiracy Theories


Ranking Member Raskin delivers remarks at a House Oversight Committee hearing. Click to watch the remarks.

In September, Republicans on the House Oversight Committee launched an impeachment inquiry against President Biden. In the first impeachment inquiry hearing, both majority and minority witnesses emphasized that there were no sufficient grounds to impeach the president. At the hearing, I showed boxes containing the 12,000 pages of subpoenaed bank records the Committee received, and also explained that the Committee had reviewed over 2,000 pages of suspicious activity reports, and spent hours interviewing witnesses, including two former business associates of Hunter Biden, and found no evidence of any wrongdoing by President Biden.

Pursuing Peace for the Armenian People in Nagorno-Karabakh

I am outraged by the shelling of Nagorno-Karabakh by the Azerbaijani military. I quickly spoke out to condemn the attack and joined my colleagues in the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues in calling for the Biden administration and the United Nations to respond to the violence. You can find our full list of recommendations here.

Celebrating Constitution Day

Did you know that America devotes an entire day to celebrating the U.S. Constitution? September 17 is one of our most important but under-recognized federal observances, which recognizes the day in 1787 that delegates to the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the document that laid out the foundations of American democracy. I marked Constitution Day with a Q&A about the state of American democracy with independent analyst Rick LaRue. Rick and I discussed the captured Supreme Court, the insurrectionist theory of the Second Amendment, what we can do to remove the antiquated and dangerous Electoral College, and how we can keep the wheels of a strong democracy turning. Check out our conversation here.

Spreading the Word About the 2023 Congressional App Challenge

MD-08 students: submissions are open for my 2023 Congressional App Challenge! I’m inviting middle and high school students across Maryland’s Eighth District to code and create their own software application, or “app,” for mobile devices, tablets or computer devices for congressional recognition. Students should know that they do not need to submit a totally finished app to participate in the challenge. Instead, the App Challenge merely requires students to submit a short video explaining their app and showing footage of any finished portions of the application. The submission deadline is 12:00pm EST on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. For more information, including submission guidelines, you can visit my website.

Honoring the Local Heroes of the Eighth District

In September, Vicente Lopez of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) told Local Hero viewers about the vital role unions play in supporting workers and strengthening workplace culture. I was proud to feature him as a Local Hero ahead of Labor Day weekend.

As an MCPS student with diabetes, Connor Pugh knows what it's like to balance your educational goals and your health needs. This Boy Scout and Local Hero created diabetes resource kits for students across Montgomery County in an inspiring display of ingenuity and empathy.

I was humbled to recognize Michelle Windows of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as a Local Hero during National Suicide Prevention Week. Through the MoCo Out of the Darkness Walk and her legislative advocacy, Michelle Windows uplifts our people with a remarkable generosity of spirit.

Have you gotten your flu vaccine and your COVID booster? In September, Local Hero Kimberly Townsend of Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services detailed the importance of staying updated on your vaccinations. Thank you, Kimberly, for your commitment to our public health!

Born and raised in MoCo to an immigrant family, Montgomery County Councilmember Gabe Albornoz has devoted his life and career in public service to the people of Montgomery County, whose virtues he sings every day. I was proud to salute his dedication to our community this Hispanic Heritage Month.


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