Dear Neighbor: 

Happy New Year! I’m sending heartfelt greetings to all my friends across Maryland and America as we step in to 2024 together. 

It remains a surpassing honor to continue to represent Maryland’s beautiful Eighth District in Congress. Today, I want to share policy highlights, casework results and memories from this past year with you. 

With all best wishes for 2024, 





Jamie Raskin

Representative Raskin’s 2023 in Photos 


Making Legislative Strides in 2023 

Last year, I introduced legislation advancing a wide range of policy priorities: from funding mental health care and pedestrian safety improvements to protecting press freedoms and helping pets in animal shelters. 

  • Two of my bills advanced in the House Judiciary Committee via unanimous bipartisan votes: the PRESS Act, which would establish a federal press shield to protect journalists, and the FAIR Act, which aims to reform civil asset forfeiture and prevent the lawless seizure and forfeiture of people’s private property. 
  • I introduced the CURE Act to ensure that individuals who report prior marijuana use are still eligible for federal employment and security clearances. I’m pleased to report that this bill passed through the House Oversight Committee in a bipartisan vote in September. 
  • There were more than 650 mass shootings in 2023. This escalating crisis demands immediate legislative solutions, like the Handgun Permit to Purchase Act I introduced with Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and the ATF Improvement and Modernization Act that I introduced with Representative Don Beyer of Virginia. In 2023, I also spoke out against the bogus "insurrectionary theory" of the Second Amendment, and, as Ranking Member of the Oversight Committee, convened a roundtable with advocates and legal experts on practical solutions to tackle the gun violence epidemic and save lives. As your Member of Congress, I am committed to fighting for measures like universal background checks and a ban on military-style assault weapons to keep our children and communities safe. 
  • Collaborating with my Maryland colleagues, I introduced the Private Prison Information Act with Senator Ben Cardin and the Economic Inclusion Civil Rights Act with Representative Glenn Ivey, initiatives to reform our criminal justice system and combat racial discrimination in our economy.  
  • successfully urged the Biden administration to issue strong climate standards in their draft guidance on clean hydrogen production to ensure this new energy source supports our climate goals.  
  • My colleague Representative Tony Cárdenas of California and I reintroduced our bipartisan 988 Implementation Act to build on our earlier progress securing resources for crisis call centers and mental health crisis response teams. 
  • In the 2022–2023 school year, free speech watchdog PEN America recorded 3,362 instances of books banned—an alarming increase of 33 percent. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii and I introduced a resolution recognizing the first week of October as "Banned Books Week" and condemning the escalating attacks on freedom of expression in the United States. My colleagues on the Oversight Committee and I released a report outlining how book bans harm educators, exacerbate teacher shortages, politicize classrooms and chill free speech. 
  • I’m “paws-itively” delighted to report that support surged for my bipartisan BARK Act in 2023. This legislation provides liability protections for donations of pet food and supplies to animal shelters and could facilitate the recovery of millions of pounds of wasted pet food for animals in need. 
  • Representatives Lizzie Fletcher of Texas, Marilyn Strickland of Washington and I introduced the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act to protect patients’ fundamental right to cross state lines to obtain medical care like safe and legal abortion, which is under attack across the country. 
  • In 2022, our community suffered an incalculable loss when my constituent Sarah Debbink Langenkamp—a devoted mother, wife, daughter, friend and public servant—was struck by a vehicle and killed in a cycling accident. Her memory should move Congress to act swiftly on improving cyclist and pedestrian safety, and in 2023, I introduced the Sarah Debbink Langenkamp Active Transportation Safety Act with Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon to support state and local government efforts to build safer and more complete networks for cycling and walking. I also urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to account for pedestrian visibility and safety when crafting federal vehicle safety ratings. 
  • Building on Democrats’ tremendous progress reducing drug prices in the Inflation Reduction Act, I introduced the Pharmaceutical Research Transparency Act to require drug companies to disclose their research and development (R&D) expenses so Medicare can more effectively negotiate with drug companies. These R&D expenditures are often cited by drug companies as justification for exorbitant drug prices. 

Advancing Your Constituent Casework

Whether you need help renewing your passport, communicating with the IRS, or accessing your Social Security benefits, my district office staff and I stand ready to assist you with any issues you have involving a federal agency. I'm thrilled to share that in 2023, we received 5,698 constituent casework requests and resolved 5,736 casework requests. That includes 3,859 requests received through our online request form. My hardworking district office team helped constituents like you get assistance with their immigration cases, secure their veteran benefits, resolve mail issues with the Postal Service, connect with the IRS and more. In total, my office recovered $3,026,462 for constituents across Maryland’s Eighth District. If you are a constituent of Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District, you can contact my office for help with a federal agency via my website or by calling 301-354-1000. 

Delivering Federal Funding to Maryland


Speaking at a Team Maryland press conference (without hair or eyelashes!). 

This year I was honored to submit Community Project Funding requests for 15 important local projects. These key local priorities include improving public safety, expanding affordable childcare and bolstering mental health crisis services. Collectively, the projects represent the very best of the Eighth District’s innovative spirit and compassionate heart. I will keep championing each of these projects as the appropriations process continues. 

Throughout 2023, I worked closely with my colleagues in the Maryland congressional delegation to secure millions of dollars of federal funding for critical programs that benefit our community. I’m sharing a selected list below. 

Leading Democrats on the House Oversight Committee

It was a busy year as I led House Oversight Democrats in the 118th Congress to combat disinformation, promote government transparency and hold corporations accountable for exploiting the American people. We convened numerous roundtables and released reports elevating the urgent concerns affecting Marylanders, from access to affordable prescription drugs and reproductive health care to workplace and gun safety.  

You can learn more details about what Committee Democrats and I have accomplished in 2023 here 

In addition, you can read a report that I recently released on former president Donald Trump. The report discusses the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which states that “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

Staying Focused on Safety and Security in the Middle East 

Since October 7, 2023, I have been working to promote security, peace and the protection of civilian life in Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, and the region. I have met with numerous families of the remaining 136 hostages, including six Americans, abducted on October 7 who are still being held by Hamas over more than 100 days later. I continue to demand their immediate return to their families as a paramount imperative in this difficult moment and as a prelude to a comprehensive mutual and bilateral ceasefire.  

As we have already seen, such a ceasefire agreement is a viable option that will also save countless thousands of endangered civilian lives on both sides. More than 1,200 Israelis were killed on October 7, and more than 23,000 Palestinians have been killed since. It will also permit a political process to be launched for the long-deferred two-state solution that will address the underlying Israeli-Palestinian conflict, oust Hamas from operational control in Gaza, and marginalize extremist politicians in Netanyahu’s cabinet who have been calling for expulsion of the Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and removal from parts of the West Bank. The creation of a democratic Palestinian state alongside a democratic Israel will enable the region to break from the brutal and repetitive cycles of terrorism, war, mass suffering and violence. 

We must work with all our democratic allies, as well as the United Nations, to end the horrific carnage of this war and establish the framework for a just and durable peace and the peaceful democratic reconstruction of the region. You can find a longer statement that I issued on November 17, 2023 here, and more information about my actions on the Israel-Hamas war on my website.   

Since October 7, I have also repeatedly spoken out against the frightening resurgence of antisemitism, anti-Muslim discrimination, hate crimes, and extremist bigotry in our country. We must remain vigilant to protect democracy and civil peace in 2024. 

Honoring the Local Heroes of the Eighth District 

Maryland’s Eighth District remains one of the best places to live because of the creative, passionate and inspiring people that make Montgomery County an extraordinary place to live. This year, I proudly honored 60 MD-08 constituents as Local Heroes. Anyone who wants to reaffirm their faith in their neighbors and the boundless compassion in Montgomery County’s residents should subscribe to my YouTube channel here to watch every Local Hero explain their accomplishments. 

Here are just a few of the 60 Local Heroes we honored in 2023: 

  • My conversation with U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell on the second anniversary of the January 6 insurrection highlighted the pressing need to tell the truth about what happened that day and redouble our energetic defense of democracy.  
  • To celebrate Juneteenth, I honored Roz Pelles, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, and discussed the continued imperative to fight for racial and economic justice as part of our struggle to defend democracy.  
  • As students returned to school in September, I was delighted to honor Connor Pugh, an MCPS student with Type 1 diabetes who put together resource kits for recently diagnosed students in Montgomery County. His inspiring display of ingenuity and empathy was part of a project to earn his Eagle Scout rank.  
  • In October, I interviewed Kim Ball, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Homeless Services Administrator, about her work to prevent and address homelessness in our communities. We spoke about what she is doing with Montgomery County to provide services to the most vulnerable people in our community. 

Recognizing Youth Achievement Across MD-08


Winning submission to Congressman Raskin’s 2023 Congressional Art Competition: The Memory Quilt: Pieces of Myself by Olivia Ensign of Albert Einstein High School in Kensington 

In 2023, students across our district demonstrated dazzling academic and extracurricular excellence. Olivia Ensign from Albert Einstein High School in Kensington took first place in my annual 2023 Congressional Art Competition for The Memory Quilt: Pieces of Myself, pictured above. Each time I pass Olivia’s spellbinding piece as I walk to the Capitol, I’m reminded of the boundless youth creativity in our community. To view the other MD-08 entries and honorees, be sure to check out our virtual gallery here. 

Wootton High School freshmen Cody Gao and Sreeyan Nampally showed similar vision and ingenuity, creating SignMe, the winning application of my 2023 Congressional App Challenge. This innovative app links American Sign Language with English speech through real-time translation on your device. You can watch my conversation with Cody and Sreeyan on Local Hero here. 

As your Member of Congress, I have the privilege of nominating exceptional young Marylanders to our nation’s service academies. The opportunity for a fully funded education and the high honor of attending a service academy make these nominations highly competitive, and in 2023, I proudly nominated 30 students for admission and recognized them in a virtual ceremony. 

At the close of Hispanic Heritage Month in 2023, I was proud to recognize 23 Latina/o/x/e high school scholars in Maryland's Eighth District for exceptional achievement. All nominated by their respective schools, these students represent the academic, extracurricular and community service accomplishments of students in the Latino community across the Eighth District. You can watch my sixth Annual Hispanic Heritage Student Awards Ceremony here 

Sharing a Personal Health Update

Susan Sontag once wrote that “everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick.” I spent the first six months of 2023 in the kingdom we would all rather never visit as I battled a diagnosis of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. Completing six five-day rounds of chemotherapy while continuing to fulfill my responsibilities as your member of Congress was obviously challenging. But, with the boundless and fierce love of my family, the outstanding care from my doctors, the touching support of my constituents and well-wishers from around the country, the gracious response from my colleagues, and a wardrobe full of bandanas, I was able to cast every vote and attend every hearing while recovering from my second bout with cancer. I am delighted to share that my doctors say I am still cancer-free as I approach the nine-month mark. I am beyond grateful for everyone’s support and look forward to continuing to represent you every day in Congress. 

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