Washington Review, September 12, 2014
This week in Washington, I had a series of meetings with constituents, participated in the USO annual service project, announced an important transportation and infrastructure grant for the State of New Jersey, and spoke on the Floor of the House.
Earlier this week, fellow Taiwan Caucus members and I met with our Taiwanese counterparts from a delegation to the United States, led by Lin Yu-Fang. The delegation discussed pressing issues in Taiwan, including the U.S. sale of defense weapons, an increase in diplomatic relations, bilateral investment agreements, and Taiwan participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
I then attended a Subcommittee on Highways and Transit hearing to assess the environmental review and permitting processes in regards to surface transportation projects. The environmental review process works to ensure that environmental impacts of transportation projects are fully analyzed and that any environmental impacts are mitigated. We must work to reduce potentially negative environmental impacts while ensuring that American transportation and infrastructure projects are implemented at the highest possible level.
I also spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives to congratulate the people of Jersey City upon the recent announcement that the PGA 2017 Presidents Cup will be hosted at the premier Liberty National golf club. This prestigious tournament will not only expose golf fans to Jersey City, but also bolster tourism, investment, and raise awareness for charities in the area. In correlation with the tournament, tournament organizers announced a $5 million, 5-year commitment to The First Tee, an international youth organization that promotes life skills and leadership through the game of golf.
This week I met with Cristian Ritondo, First Vice President of the Buenos Aires Assembly and a former member of the House Representatives of the National Congress of Argentina to discuss ways to improve U.S.-Argentinian relations. Mr. Ritondo recognized that the relations between our two nations can be much improved and hopes that strengthening the ties between the City of Buenos Aires and the U.S. can help in that effort.
The United Service Organizations Inc. (USO) visited Capitol Hill this week for their annual Warrior Care Packages drive. I appreciated the opportunity to support our troops and am very grateful for the men and women who serve our country, and hope the packages my colleagues and I helped put together bring them each a little piece of home and happiness.
Lastly, I am pleased to announce a $14.8 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to improve and expand facilities at Port Newark Container Terminal, create hundreds of jobs, and enhance economic opportunities throughout the region. This grant will accelerate the critically-needed replacement of outdated infrastructure and related security and utilities assets that, if left unimproved, threaten freight transportation network efficiency, impede the mobility of goods, and suppress economic growth in New Jersey. You can read my full press release here.