Washington Review, January 16, 2015
This week in Washington, I officially reintroduced pieces of key legislation, voted on several critical bills, and was renamed to several Subcommittees in the 114th Congress.
I first reintroduced several important pieces of legislation that were not afforded the opportunity to come before the House of Representatives for a vote in the 113th Congress. I reintroduced six bills thus far including:
- the Multimodal Opportunities via Enhanced (MOVE) Freight Act (H.R. 198), which would strengthen our existing freight network by ensuring that it be comprised of all modes of transportation;
- the Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Improvement Act (H.R. 199), which would provide low-cost credit assistance to large-scale transportation projects, such as bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure initiatives;
- the Commute LESS Act (H.R. 200), which would create and expand commuter benefit programs for our nation’s workers;
- the Community Parks Revitalization Act (H.R. 201), which would establish a grant and innovative loan program for the creation and rehabilitation of America’s parks and recreation areas;
- the Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers Act (H.R. 267), which would allow the Peace Corps name and logo to be used for the purpose of death announcements, grave markers, and tomb stones; and
- the Promoting Tourism to Enhance our Economy Act (H.R. 268), which would allow certain Canadian citizens to visit the United States for 240 days for tourism purposes.
I was also pleased to be renamed to two Subcommittees within the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, both of which I served on in the 113th Congress. In the 114th Congress, I will remain an active member of the Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia, as well as remain the Ranking Member for the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. I look forward to working with my colleagues on each of these Subcommittees to advance legislation to better the lives of American citizens as well as our allies around the world.
Finally, this week I supported the unanimous passage of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act (H.R. 203). This piece of legislation was passed once before in the House of Representatives in the 113th Congress, but was blocked in the Senate. This bill would expand access to mental health services for our nation’s veterans and increase the capacity and efficiency of VA care for the more than one million veterans returning from war. The veterans of our country are owed and deserve our support as they return home.