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Washington Review, October 11, 2013

Oct 11, 2013
Washington Review

Today is the 11th day that the United States government is shutdown. Discussions in Congress continue, but uncertainty remains all too real for American families across the nation.

On October 9th, I attended a meeting at the White House with my Democratic colleagues to speak with President Obama and Vice President Biden about the path forward on reopening the government and sustaining U.S. credit. There are also ongoing discussions between Republican leaders and the President. It is my hope that these conversations will result in a common-sense proposal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling so our nation does not default. We must move past these manufactured crises, and begin discussion on how to grow our economy.

While the government shutdown and the debt ceiling have rightly consumed most of our focus, work continues on other issues. This week, I joined my colleagues at the final hearing conducted by the specially appointed “Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation.” Our freight network is America’s economic competitive edge in a global economy.  Our ability to move goods quickly and efficiently remains the envy of the world, however, if we fail to make smart investments right now, we will lose our competitive edge.

In the realm of global affairs, I attended the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ hearing on Wednesday about the effectiveness of U.S. aid in Haiti.  U.S. aid efforts are a critical component of our foreign policy.  However, at a time when Congress is deadlocked over funding the government, we must ensure that our U.S. agencies are performing efficiently and effectively.  

This week, I continued having meetings in my Washington D.C. office. Yesterday, I met with two students from Bayonne. These students are currently interning in DC as part of The Washington Center internship program. I am always happy to meet such ambitious and bright young adults from our district. Additionally, I met with the new Vice President of the New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut regions of Verizon, Leecia Eve, to discuss the work that Verizon seeks to accomplish in our communities.

Lastly, this week, I delivered a statement before Congress in honor of Master Sergeant Nicholas Oresko, the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, and Bayonne native, who passed away on October 4, 2013 at the age of ninety-six.  Master Sergeant Oresko fought bravely during WWII. The true impact of his unselfish actions can never be measured as it extends beyond the lives of the men he saved.

As we head into the weekend, I invite you to visit my website, Facebook, and Twitter pages for updates regarding the government shutdown and the debt ceiling negotiations. As we work toward common ground, keeping you informed remains one of my top priorities. Please feel free to leave me comments and questions. Your input helps shape the work I do here in Washington.

Once again, thank you for reading my Washington Review.