Washington Review, July 30,2018
In Washington last week, I managed a resolution on the House Floor condemning the violence in Nicaragua. The House of Representatives passed a bill extending the National Flood Insurance Program and legislation to support palliative care and hospice education centers. Attempts to pass legislation to hold individuals accountable for election interference ultimately failed on the Floor last week as well. Additionally, I met with foreign delegations and announced a grant for a dry dock in Bayonne.
Last week, I spoke on the House Floor in favor of a resolution that condemns the violence, persecution, and intimidation being committed by the Ortega government. The Nicaraguan people continue to suffer as Ortega and his cronies line their pockets with corruption schemes and consolidate their authority. The United States cannot stand idly by and ignore the demands of the Nicaraguan people for a more democratic Nicaragua, which is why Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Rep. Engel (D-NY), Rep. Cook (R-CA), and I have introduced H. Res. 981. This resolution condemns human rights violations committed by the Nicaraguan government and Ortega’s brutal crackdown on peaceful protests. It also urges the Administration to impose sanctions on the individuals responsible. H. Res. 981 passed the House of Representatives unanimously.
The House voted on two pieces of legislation last week which would extend the expiring National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and establish grants to improve the training of palliative care professionals. The House Amendment to S. 1182, the NFIP Extension Act of 2018, extended the NFIP until November 30, 2018. The NFIP enables property owners to access affordable flood insurance and encourages communities to adopt floodplain management regulations. The House Amendment to S. 1182 passed the House by a vote of 366 to 52.
The House also voted on H.R. 1676, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act, of which I am a cosponsor. H.R. 1676 would provide grants to improve training in palliative care and create an awareness campaign on the benefits of palliative care. H.R. 1676 passed the House of Representatives unanimously and awaits further action in the Senate.
Last week, we tried once again to protect our democracy and election infrastructure by attempting to bring the SECURE Our Democracy Act to the Floor for a vote. This bill, of which I am a cosponsor, would sanction any foreign entity found guilty of tampering with U.S. foreign elections. The integrity of our democracy should be a nonpartisan issue of the highest priority. However, the attempt to hold those who interfere in our elections accountable was ultimately rejected by the Majority and failed by a vote of 226 to 183. I will continue to fight for greater election security which is why I have cosponsored bills such as the SECURE Our Democracy Act and the Election Security Act.
Last week, I met with a delegation of British Parliamentarians to discuss how we can continue to strengthen the U.S.-U.K. relationship.
Later, I met with Ambassador Manuel Espina of Guatemala. Our countries work closely together on critical issues of mutual interest such as counternarcotic programs and condemning the violence in Nicaragua and Venezuela. We spoke about the importance of supporting the anticorruption efforts of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
It was my pleasure to join Senator Menendez and Senator Booker last week to announce the awarding of over one million dollars in federal funding to Bayonne Dry Dock. This grant will allow Bayonne Dry Dock to expand and create new high-skilled, well-paying jobs for our communities.
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 Facebook, Twitter, and website.