Washington Review, March 28, 2014
This week in Washington, I voted on additional support for Ukraine, signed a discharge petition regarding comprehensive immigration reform, and met with various parks and recreation associations regarding my bill on revitalizing community parks.
I began this week by participating in a markup session with the Foreign Affairs Committee on several resolutions, both of which I am a cosponsor, that affirm the importance of the Taiwan Relations Act and urge the government of Burma to end the persecution of the Rohingya people. The Committee also marked up one bill, H.R. 4278, the Ukraine Support Act, in order to send it to the Floor for a vote. H.R. 4278 supports the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as authorizes the Administration to sanction high-ranking individuals in Russia’s government in response to recent events in Crimea. I was pleased to support this bill later in the week when it passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 399-19.
I was also encouraged by efforts of the Democratic Leadership to bring comprehensive immigration reform to a vote. Led by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I signed a discharge petition calling on the House Leadership to allow for H.R. 15, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, to be brought to the Floor for a vote. I am an original cosponsor of this bill, which would secure our borders, protect our workers, unite our families, and provide an earned pathway to citizenship. The Senate passed comprehensive reform with bipartisan support last summer, and it is time for the House to do the same.
This week, I also met with several organizations that advocate for healthy communities and park rehabilitation, including the Morris County Park Commission, the NJ Recreation and Park Association, and Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation. I was glad to hear of support for my bill, the Community Parks Revitalization Act (H.R. 2424), from both at home in New Jersey and across the country. My bill would provide matching grants to help revitalize local metropolitan communities and create a federal financing mechanism for parks and recreation infrastructure.
I would also like to remind my constituents that the deadline to enroll for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is this Monday, March 31st by midnight. As long as you are attempting to enroll on the 31st, you will get covered. If you don’t have health insurance and do not begin the enrollment process by the deadline, you will not be able to get coverage again under the ACA until next year. The Affordable Care Act has already helped millions of Americans get covered, including 151,000 in the 8th District of New Jersey. I would encourage all of my constituents currently without health insurance to visit Healthcare.gov and explore their healthcare options.