Washington Review, January 23, 2015
This week in New Jersey, I presented a replacement Purple Heart award to one of my constituents, and in Washington, reflected on the President’s State of the Union address, voted on several critical bills, and was renamed to several Subcommittees in the 114th Congress.
At the beginning of this week, I was honored to present Elizabeth resident George Cygan with a replacement Purple Heart medal for his courage and service in World War II. The Purple Heart is awarded for bravery in action, as well as to those wounded or killed in action. Mr. Cygan was a member of the 28th Infantry Division in World War II, and was active in the military for three years. During this time he served as a Cotton Ringer Operator and was awarded four Bronze Service Stars, a Good Conduct Medal and the Purple Heart Medal. Mr. Cygan was not only missing for sixteen days in action, but was also wounded in Luxembourg in 1944. In recent years, his awarded Purple Heart was found to be missing. It was an honor to be able to obtain and present a replacement to Mr. Cygan this week.
In his annual State of the Union address, the President presented his agenda before Congress and reflected on the progress of our nation. The United States has witnessed the fastest economic growth in over a decade and deficits have been cut by two-thirds. The stock market has doubled, health care inflation is at its lowest rate in fifty years, and we have reduced our dependence on foreign oil. While much work still needs to be done to stabilize the middle class, our economy is finally on stable ground.
President Obama also discussed the need for affordable, high-quality childcare, especially in an economy that necessitates having both parents in the workforce. The President plans to create a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child, per year for every middle-class and low-income family with young children in America. The President also plans to send Congress a plan to make community college free to students who maintain a 2.5 GPA and make steady progress toward completing their program. I look forward to working with my Congressional colleagues to make these proposals a reality.
I was also reappointed as a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Under the Committee, I will remain an active member of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, as well as the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials. In addition, I was newly appointed to serve on the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management. I look forward to working with my colleagues on each of these Subcommittees to advance legislation to better our transportation infrastructure at home in New Jersey and around the country.
Finally, this week I voted to oppose legislation that would place restrictions on how women with private health insurance can spend their own money when purchasing health insurance. H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, would result in millions of women having restricted access to comprehensive health coverage. Currently, federal funding of abortions is already prohibited, and women purchasing plans with abortion coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace must already use their own private money for such coverage. We must prioritize legislation that creates jobs and grows the economy, not bills that roll back healthcare choices for women. You can read my full press release here.