Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher's April 7 e-Newsletter
Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher's e-Newsletter
April 7, 2003
A MESSAGE FROM ELLEN:
As you know, I strongly supported diplomacy and the work of the United Nations as peaceful methods to disarm Saddam Hussein; however, now that the United States is militarily engaged in Iraq, my first priority is to see our troops return home quickly and safely. Today our focus must be on the American troops stationed in the Middle East and their families waiting for them here at home. There will be an appropriate time after our troops are out of harm's way to discuss the circumstances of our involvement, and I expect a healthy, vigorous debate at that time.
International support is paramount to a successful reconstruction effort in Iraq, and I have introduced a resolution in Congress calling on the Bush administration to go back to the U.N. to achieve this.
To read my public statements about Iraq and stay up to date with my activities, please visit my website at www.house.gov/tauscher.
§ Ellen Meets with Constituents to Discuss Concerns about Iraq
Recently, Ellen held open office hours to meet with constituents and discuss their thoughts and concerns about the commencement of military action in Iraq. The large turnout was greatly appreciated and afforded Ellen a valuable chance to hear from you directly about this pressing issue.
§ Support Center for Military Families
Concerned that local families with loved ones serving in the Middle East didn't have access to the information they needed, Ellen unveiled a new web-based "Support Center for Military Families." This site provides a central place for active duty military, reservists, National Guard members, and their families to get vital information about health care, pay, benefits, and employment rights. Also, there are special sections for family members that include ways to contact loved ones overseas and information on local support services. You can access the Support Center on Ellen's website: www.house.gov/tauscher/reservists.htm
§ Fighting Cuts to Travis Unified School District
Ellen gave a statement to the House Budget Committee, arguing against the President's proposal to cut funding for Impact Aid, a program that provides federal funding to school districts that are significantly impacted by a federal presence-such as schools on or around military bases. Ellen is specifically concerned about the future of the Travis Unified School District, which serves many of the children whose parents serve or work at Travis Air Force Base. For more information visit: www.house.gov/tauscher/press/03-06-03.htm
§ Bringing House Aviation Subcommittee to the Bay Area
Ellen recently brought the Chairman and a delegation of members on the House Aviation Subcommittee, on which she serves, to the Bay Area. During the trip the Subcommittee focused on aviation security and the innovative, inter-connected transit options in the Bay Area. The group toured the new in-line baggage security system at SFO's International Terminal as well as the soon-to-open BART airport station. For more information visit: www.house.gov/tauscher/press/03-14-03.htm
§ Supporting the Mission Preservation Bill
Ellen is again co-sponsoring legislation to preserve the 21 historic California Missions. The bill, which was recently introduced in the House, would provide $10 million for the restoration effort, supplementing state contributions and private fundraisers. The funds would go toward structural rehabilitation and preservation of the mission's art works.
IN THE HOUSE:
§ Ellen Encourages Broad U.N. Role in Iraq
Ellen became the first member of the House to introduce a bill on the reconstruction of Iraq. The legislation calls for the Bush administration to build an international coalition through the United Nations to help in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq, including: providing humanitarian aid, demobilizing Iraqi forces, disposing of weapons of mass destruction, managing Iraq's natural resources, and lifting international sanctions. Not only will reconstruction be tremendously expensive, but Ellen also believes that restoring Iraq's infrastructure would be more successful with the United Nations' considerable experience in stabilizing other countries than if the United States ventured alone. For more information visit:
§ Introduction of a Prescription Drug Plan
Ellen recently introduced a bill in the House that would provide affordable prescription drugs to every American senior without forcing them into an HMO and without increasing their Medicare costs. The plan makes prescription drug coverage an integrated part of Medicare by providing seniors with a drug discount card. This allows every single person on Medicare to benefit from immediate savings, regardless of how many prescriptions they fill a month. For more information visit: www.house.gov/tauscher/04-02-03.htm
§ Ellen Gets Key Assignment for Military Personnel
While serving on the House Armed Services Committee, Ellen has taken an active role in many military personnel issues. Her expertise led to her appointment to the Subcommittee on Total Forces, the key panel that makes important decisions over all personnel issues impacting servicemen and women, the Reserves, National Guard, and their families. For more information visit: www.house.gov/tauscher/press/03-12-03.htm
§ Local Transportation Officials Meet with Ellen in Washington
Ellen hosted local transportation officials during a week-long series of meetings on Capitol Hill. Those meetings were part of an annual Transit Week, during which representatives of local transportation agencies meet with elected officials in Washington, D.C. As the senior member of Congress from the Bay Area on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Transit Week furthers Ellen's work on reducing congestion and increasing public transit options. For more information visit: www.house.gov/tauscher/press/03-12-03-03.htm
§ A Call for Federal Money to Protect BART and the Transbay Tube from Earthquakes
Concerned that the Transbay Tube and other parts of the BART system needed to be retrofitted to protect against earthquakes, Ellen urged the House Transportation Committee to include money for seismic retrofits in this year's reauthorization of the major transportation bill, TEA-21. For more information visit: www.house.gov/tauscher/press/03-13-03.htm
§ A Request for More Funding for Homeland Security
On March 26, Ellen wrote the President asking for increased funding for the nation's police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel. These brave men and women are the first line of defense in any terrorist attack and their resources are currently stretched thin. To read a copy of the letter visit: www.house.gov/tauscher/press/03-26-03.htm
DID YOU KNOW?
Although the war in Iraq is in the forefront of all our hearts and minds, there is no suspension of the regular legislative session. Dozens of bills and resolutions that affect our country are under consideration by the House of Representatives. The Social Security Protection Act, Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, and a plan to expand the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge are all under immediate deliberation. To read about any day's session on the House floor, visit: www.house.gov/floorsummary/floor.php3.
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Contact Ellen through her website: http://www.house.gov/tauscher
Run dates: 2003-04-07 - 2003-04-21