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Washington Review May 24, 2013

May 24, 2013
Washington Review

This week, a deadly tornado swept through Oklahoma, devastating the town of Moore and its surrounding areas. I am saddened over the loss of life and the destruction caused by the natural disaster, particularly those innocent lives lost in the school yard. Words cannot comfort those who lost loved ones, but as proven with Superstorm Sandy, we as a nation stand with our fellow citizens in their time of need. I will work with my colleagues from Oklahoma to make sure that the victims get the assistance they need to rebuild.

This Monday, Americans across the country will also gather to remember the brave men and women in uniform of every generation who have served our country around the world in the name of freedom and democracy. We salute all those who dedicate their lives to serve in the United States Military, and we thank them for the critical work they do around the world.

This week, at the Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, I participated in marking up the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act. This bipartisan legislation strengthens sanctions against human rights violators and the oppressors in the Iranian Regime in an attempt to curb their relentless efforts to acquire nuclear capabilities. I am a proud cosponsor of this bill which is critical to the safety, security and stability of not just the United States, but also the entire Middle Eastern region.

Additionally, in my capacity as the Ranking Member of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee I hosted a meeting along with Chairman Matt Salmon (R-AZ), with our Brazilian counterparts. The Brazilian Congressional delegation was led by Henrique Eduardo Alves, President of the House of Deputies and Deputy Nelson Pelegrino, Chairman of the House Foreign Relations and National Defense Committee, Brazil.  We discussed issues important to both Brazil and the U.S. including energy security, trade relations, and preparations for the upcoming World Cup and Summer Olympics.

Lastly, I attended a meeting to provide updates on important projects with the Port of New York and New Jersey. Key stakeholders at the meeting included the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Army Corps of Engineers New York District, and the U.S. Coast Guard.  They discussed the status of their ongoing efforts to dredge port channels below 50 feet and to raise the Bayonne Bridge air draught in order to accommodate post-Panamax “mega tankers”.  Completing this project will be critical to our regional economy after the expansion of the Panama Canal is completed in 2015, and ensure that jobs are kept in our area.  

Also this week, I was honored to receive an Excellence in Public Service Award from the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. The historic relationship between Greece and the U.S. is invaluable. Our nation would not be what it is today without the contributions of the Greek-American Community. I am committed to ensuring strong relations between Greece and the U.S.

For those of you interested in the House proceedings for this week, click here. You’ll find information about legislation currently under review, and you’ll be able to view how I voted on this week’s agenda items. In this section, you will also find instructions on how to read the voting record.

Thank you for reading my Washington Review. I look forward to continuing to provide you with updates from Washington. In the meantime, please visit my Facebook and Twitter accounts for daily happenings.