The Maine State Legislature’s 2023 session is now complete, and the 2024 session will not begin until January. However on a federal level, the U.S. Congress reconvened in Washington, D.C., on September 5. Congress will have a couple of small breaks this fall and is expected to adjourn on December 15. Between now and adjournment, Congress has a lot of work to do – notably passing the Farm Bill and avoiding a government shutdown, a rare event in which certain federal government services are temporarily paused until a budget agreement is reached.
Like all states, Maine has two U.S. Senators for the entire state – Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King. We also have two members of the House of Representatives – Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Jared Golden. Pingree is responsible for representing the First Congressional District, which includes the southern counties of Cumberland, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and York. Golden represents the Second District, which includes the northern counties of Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo, and Washington. Kennebec is the only split county, with some towns in the First District and others in the Second District.
Immigration is largely a federal issue, and MIRC is very involved in advocating for our policy priorities with our members of Congress and their staff. Some of our top priorities for this fall are: Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act, New Deal for New Americans Act, Afghan Adjustment Act, Refugee Protection Act, Fairness to Freedom Act, The ASPIRE Act, Lift the Bar Act, Southeast Asian Deportation Relief Act, strengthening the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, Supporting DACA Recipients (“Dreamers”), and recapturing unused visas to provide relief to the backlog at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Maine’s members of Congress represent us, their constituents, and we encourage you to contact their offices by phone (most effective) or through online contact forms to let them know how you feel about issues you care about. And please visit the MIRC website or contact us anytime to learn about our advocacy efforts and get all the latest updates.