Washington Review, March 21, 2014
I was glad to spend this week at home in New Jersey’s 8th Congressional District, where I attended the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Latino Summit, testified at a New Jersey State Senate Transportation Committee hearing, and spoke at the 2014 kick off of the Union County Means Business Networking Breakfast series.
I was pleased to join U.S. Department of Education Secretary Duncan, Senator Menendez, and Senator Booker at the ACA Latino Summit in Union City to encourage members of the Latino community to sign up for health care coverage as soon as possible. Besides finding new, affordable options for coverage because of the ACA, today over two million people in New Jersey, including 151,000 in the 8th District, are paying less for preventative care, and 17 million children nationwide with pre-existing conditions are no longer being denied coverage or charged more, including 38,000 children in the 8th District. The ACA is also helping 8.5 million Americans, including over 200,000 individuals in New Jersey, receive money back in their pockets. With the March 31 deadline fast approaching, I encourage all New Jersey citizens to sign up for quality, affordable health care.
I also served as a witness at the New Jersey State Senate Transportation Committee hearing concerning the expansion of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, which currently connects the communities of Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, and North Bergen. The proposed extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail into Bergen County would include a new terminus at the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. As a Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I believe that investing in transit provides positive long-term economic impacts and generates future economic returns to individual regions and the national economy. The line spans over 21 miles and serves over 44,000 weekday passengers, and transit ridership hit its highest mark nationwide since 1956 last year, facilitating more than 10.6 billion rides in 2013. Due to the increasing demand for convenient, affordable, clean transportation, I was pleased to express my support for the expansion of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, of which I have been an advocate for many years.
Finally, I spoke at the Union County Means Business Networking Breakfast series 2014 kick off at Kean University. Small businesses are the driving force for economic growth and job creation in the American economy, and the President’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2015 provides opportunities for accelerating economic growth, expanding opportunity for all Americans, and ensuring fiscal responsibility. The proposal also contains a tax incentive to bring offshore jobs and investments back to the United States. I am proud to support a budget that makes important investments in infrastructure, job training, preschool, and pro-work tax cuts that benefits small businesses and their employees.