Washington Review, February 5, 2016
This week in Washington I met with various officials from New Jersey’s 8th District, completed Foreign Affairs Committee work, and voted on important legislation.
This week, I met with Captain Felix Pacheco of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, who was in DC to attend the National Narcotics Officers Association Coalition’s conference as one of New Jersey’s representatives. He updated me on the Coalition’s research and the ongoing work of the Narcotics Task Force in New Jersey. I appreciate the efforts of Captain Pacheco and the prosecutor’s office to make our communities a safer place to live and work. Later in the week, Mayor Jimmy Davis of Bayonne, visited me to discuss transportation and infrastructure priorities for the city.
On Wednesday, I participated in a Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats hearing that focused on developing political trends in Turkey and the relationship between the United States and Turkey. While Turkey has been an important partner to the United States for decades, we cannot overlook concerns regarding constitutional democracy, corruption, and the abuse of civil liberties, including freedom of the press, in Turkey. As we continue to work with Turkey to resolve issues in the region, it is important that we monitor the potential impact of domestic developments.
This week, I attended a briefing hosted by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, on recent updates regarding the Cuban migrant situation. Over the past year, more migrants left the island and attempted to travel over land, through Central America, to the United States. At the briefing, representatives from the Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services, provided us with developments in the continuing efforts to help Cuban refugees stranded in Central America.
In March of 2010, my colleagues and I enacted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to reform our nation’s struggling health care system and ensure that all Americans have access to quality, stable, and affordable health care. For the 63rd time in the 114th Congress, Republicans have voted to repeal or defund health care reform. I voted to uphold the President’s veto of H.R. 3762, the Budget Reconciliation bill, which would have dismantled the Affordable Care Act, taking away health care from millions of Americans, and defunded Planned Parenthood. I am grateful that the President’s veto was sustained by a vote of 241 to 186 (a two-thirds vote is required to override a veto), and hope that my colleagues are prepared to craft productive legislation that doesn’t undermine our health care system and leave American families without access to health coverage.