Residents of the 8th District know first-hand the serious and unfortunate impacts of disasters that threaten our homes, our businesses, and our way of life. Our communities are forever changed by the terrorist attacks that occurred just across the Hudson River on September 11th, 2001. The 8th District has also experienced the impacts of natural disasters and continues to recover from Superstorm Sandy. It is clear that local, state, and federal government agencies must work closely together to make our communities more resilient for future disasters, whether they are man-made or natural. As a Member of Congress, I have been, and will continue to be, a strong advocate for further Homeland Security and disaster preparedness funding.
Preparedness measures and emergency response capabilities help the communities in the 8th District improve recovery capabilities after adverse events. The 8th District is home to what is considered the most dangerous two-mile stretch in the country due to our critical transportation and industrial infrastructure. Everyday our district facilitates the passage of interstate commerce that is crucial to our local, state, and national economies. The district houses both the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, along with Newark Liberty International Airport and the Port of Newark/Elizabeth. Our district also transports the residents of New Jersey to and from New York everyday with important PATH railway terminals along with New Jersey Transit and Amtrak rail lines. Protection of this infrastructure is paramount, which is why I have and will continue to push for proper transportation and port security funding.
Our nation’s preparedness efforts rely heavily on our local firefighters, police officers, emergency medical services, and emergency management agencies. It is in the best interest of all citizens that we provide our first responders with the resources they need to protect us during everyday emergencies, and during natural and man-made disasters. As a Member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, I remain committed to supporting legislation that benefits fire departments and first responders.
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Last week in Washington, my Democratic colleagues and I supported the introduction of two bills that are priorities for our majority in the House of Representatives. I voted in support of the public release of the Mueller report and attended hearings on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget proposal. Additionally, I met with North Hudson Firefighters, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and the Ambassador from the Dominican Republic.
This week in Washington, I voted again to reopen the federal government, marking eight total different pieces of legislation I have supported to end the shutdown. Additionally, I introduced a bill to increase commuter safety and met with USAID officials to discuss foreign policy priorities.
Last week in Washington, important issues were addressed from local transportation to national criminal justice reform. However, Congress must remain focused on resolving the partial government shutdown currently impacting hundreds of thousands of government workers.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires issued the following statement thanking the FBI, Secret Service, ATF, U.S. Capitol Police, U.S. Postal Service, and more:
“The explosive devices sent to political targets this week could have caused an historic disaster for our nation. Instead, we are safe because of the tireless work and sacrifice of our first responders and public servants. Thank you to following law enforcement agencies we are indebted to:
This week, the President met with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki despite ongoing confirmations by the Intelligence Community that Russia has and will likely continue to target American elections. In Washington, I spoke with local business owners at the Indian Business Association and met constituents who work with ACCSES NJ. Later, I attended a Subcommittee hearing on hurricane and disaster recovery and held a number of meetings.
While in Washington this week, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund our military for fiscal year (FY) 2019. Also, the Transportation Committee’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee hosted a hearing on the implementation of the FAST Act and the full Committee marked up the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).
This week in Washington, I voted to pass disaster assistance for Puerto Rico, cosponsored more legislation to address the gun violence epidemic, met with the Prime Minister of Srpska, and discussed the Iran deal at a Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing.
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Sires issued the following statement regarding the President’s most recent tweets about disaster response resources in Puerto Rico:
(Jersey City, N.J.) – Congressman Sires issued the following statement regarding POTUS latest tweet about the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico:
"The Island of Puerto Rico and its residents have been faced with an unprecedented disaster with Hurricane Maria. The President's latest comments regarding the Mayor of San Juan are uncalled for. This is a humanitarian crisis and the people of Puerto Rico deserve every resource available by this Administration.
This week in Washington, I attended a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the reorganization of the State Department, marked up my Global Health Innovation Act, and met with various groups to discuss health care, education, and regional security in the Western Hemisphere.