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Washington Review, April 24, 2015

Apr 24, 2015
Washington Review

Continuing my advocacy for the residents of the 8th District, this week I met with undergraduate students from New Jersey, discussed transportation policy regarding the state’s critical infrastructure, attended important hearings on international affairs, and met with several foreign diplomats.

This week was busy with work relating to the Foreign Affairs Committee. I spent time meeting with foreign diplomats and attended two important committee hearings. The first of the hearings discussed the Administration’s extension of nuclear negotiations with Iran for an additional four months and the implications of a final agreement. Details of an agreement with Iran must be closely examined in order to ensure that concerns with the current Iranian regime are fully addressed and that our national security is not threatened. Later in the week, I joined the full Committee to vote on several important measures relating to international relations.

The Minister of Finance from Curacao visited this week to discuss regional security issues, the Caribbean Energy Summit, and the Summit of the Americas. Many Caribbean nations rely on the guidance of U.S. policies in the region and it is important that these policies continue to support development, human rights, and peace in the region.

Also this week, I met with José Nadal Power, member of the Puerto Rican Senate, to discuss the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. The Center is an independent, nonprofit organization serving colleges and universities in the United States by providing selected students opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. This semester, one of the interns in my Washington D.C. office came from Puerto Rico to experience the inner workings of Capitol Hill through this great program.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Dana Hyde, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), to receive an update on the program’s progress. MCC is a U.S. government agency that has the goal of reducing poverty through economic growth. Currently, MCC has agreements with over ten nations around the globe.

I also continued to advocate for the transportation industry in our district this week as I met with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Chief Counsel Scott Darling. Mr. Darling provided updates on the FMCSA’s safety programs and initiatives that impact the 8th District’s highways, bridges, and tunnels.

Investing in future generations’ education will allow the United States to continue to succeed. My experience as an educator encourages me to advocate for affordable access to higher education for New Jersey’s students. This week I met with undergraduate students from the 8th District who are currently enrolled at Rutgers University. These undergraduates came to discuss the importance of supporting funding for Pell Grants, which are the single largest source of grant aid for postsecondary education that is funded by the federal government. Each year, tens of thousands of Scarlet Knights enroll using Pell Grants, allowing the State University to continue to be a diverse center for higher learning.

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