Washington Review, January 30, 2014
Thank you for reading this edition of my Washington Review. This week I reflected upon the President’s State of the Union address, introduced two new pieces of legislation in the House of Representatives, and worked with my colleagues in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to mark up a bill to bring to the floor for a vote.
On Tuesday, during the State of the Union address, President Obama presented his agenda before Congress to prioritize job growth through providing opportunities for every American. Like the President, I believe that the strength of our economy coincides with the ability of every hard working American to achieve stability in the middle class. I was encouraged by the President’s proposals which included the expansion of pre-school education, increased investments in job training, raising the minimum wage, increasing American manufacturing, improving our crumbling infrastructure, and bringing jobs back to the United States. Furthermore, my colleagues and I in Congress must heed the President’s call to action to finally tackle the most pressing social issues facing our nation today by enacting comprehensive immigration reform and preventing further gun violence. We can make these proposals a reality through the agenda outlined by the President in his State of the Union address.
Last Wednesday, I was proud to introduce two new pieces of legislation in the House of Representatives. The first being the New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act of 2014. This bipartisan legislation will help local leaders reinvigorate their communities and develop a stronger, more vibrant middle class by taking advantage of low-cost financing for the development of bicycle and pedestrian networks. It’s a simple fact that when we make our roads and sidewalks safer, we connect workers to new jobs, we create communities where families want to live and businesses want to invest, and we give mothers and fathers peace of mind knowing they aren’t sending their children to school on the unsafe sidewalks and roadways that exist in so many of our rural and urban communities. This project has attracted the support of my Republican colleagues and will not require a single dollar of new government spending.
The second bill I introduced was H.Res. 469, a resolution supporting Greece’s objectives for its term as President of the Council of the European Union (EU). Greece is a strategic partner and ally of the United States in regards to political stability and economic development, and both of our countries are at the forefront of efforts to advance freedom, democracy, peace, stability, and respect for human rights across the world. H.Res. 469 not only encourages the continuation of U.S.-EU trade and investment negotiations, but also promotes increased cultural exchanges and research partnerships between the two.
Finally, I participated in a markup session with the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on two important bills, preparing them both to be sent to the floor of the House of Representatives. I am a cosponsor of both H.R. 938, the United States Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013, and H.Res. 447, a resolution supporting the democratic and European aspirations of the people of Ukraine. H.R. 938 reaffirms America’s commitment to Israel's security and expands military and civilian cooperation between our two countries. Now more than ever before, it is important that the United States remain fully committed to working with our longtime ally to address common threats. H.Res. 447 calls on the United States and the European Union to cooperate and promote a peaceful resolution of the current crisis in Ukraine, allowing Ukrainian citizens to exercise their right to choose their own future, free of intimidation and fear. Both of these bills have been favored outside of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and will hopefully be brought to the floor of the House of Representatives soon.