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Congressman Albio Sires

Representing the 8th District of New Jersey

Washington Review, April 12, 2019

Apr 12, 2019
Washington Review

This week in Washington, the House considered legislation addressing net neutrality. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing and markup, and I met with Speaker Pelosi and my colleagues to discuss the evolving situation in Venezuela.

Legislation

This week, the House of Representatives voted to overturn the FCC’s disastrous 2017 net neutrality decision and restore federal protections for consumers. H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act, was introduced by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and would prohibit internet service providers from engaging in paid prioritization of content. On Wednesday, I voted in favor of H.R. 1644 because I believe our internet must remain fair and accessible to all Americans. H.R. 1644 passed the House by a vote of 232-190 and now awaits action by the Senate.

I have also recently cosponsored several bills to address our country’s priorities, including the following:

H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, was introduced by Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) and would require the President to develop and update plans that keep the United States engaged in the Paris Climate Agreement. Our nation has a responsibility to itself and to future generations to do its part in mitigating the effects of global climate change. I reject the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement and support efforst to put our nation back on the right track.

H.R. 1058, the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2019, was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and would reauthorize coordinated federal research into autism’s causes and treatment.

Lastly, H.R. 553, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, was introduced by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) and allows surviving spouses of military members to collect both their Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments and their Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) payments. Families of the brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to our country do not deserve to face increased financial hardship.

Stevens Institute of Technology

On Tuesday, I spoke on the House Floor to commend Stevens Institute of Technology for their leadership and innovation in STEM education. Forbes Magazine recently minted Stevens as “one of the most desirable STEM colleges in the nation,” for its consistently impressive graduation rate and job preparedness. Recently, Stevens has also spearheaded initiatives to bolster success for historically underrepresented communities, expanding opportunities in fields that are critical to our nation’s future. I am proud to represent this institution as a part of the 8th District and look forward to the continued success of Stevens for all of New Jersey.

Foreign Affairs

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs marked up 14 different pieces of legislation advancing our nation’s priorities in international relations. Bills ranged from addressing the effects of climate change to supporting democratic elections around the world. On Wednesday, the Committee convened again for a hearing to discuss the Trump Administration’s reckless decision to cut aid to the Northern Triangle countries – Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. I have seen firsthand the effective programs that have functioned with bipartisan support for decades to address the root causes of migration, keep our country protected, and engage with our partners abroad.It is wholly unacceptable to throw out this progress with no forethought or planning to advance our interests abroad.

Also on Tuesday, I, along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), met with Ambassador Carlos Vecchio of Venezuela to emphasize our support for the return of free, fair elections to Venezuela. We discussed ways to increase pressure on Maduro and his regime while continuing to protect the Venezuelan people.  

Thank you for reading the Washington Review. Again, hearing from my constituents enables me to be a better representative of the 8th District. For regular updates, you may stay in touch by leaving comments on my FacebookTwitter, and website.