May 19 e-Newsletter from Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher
Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher's e-Newsletter
May 19, 2003
A Message from Ellen:
Americans will forever be grateful for the skill and sacrifice of our servicemen and women who made victory possible in Iraq.
At this point, I believe Congress should be working to ensure that the administration is committed to the long and unglamorous process of rebuilding a Iraq, and I have introduced a resolution in Congress to this end.
It will take years and billions of dollars to rebuild Iraq. Simply because the military campaign was short and relied heavily on U.S. technology does not mean that reconstruction will be equally fast or that America has the money or expertise to do it all alone.
If American troops are ever going to leave Iraq and allow the country to become a self-sustaining entity, the United Nations and the world community it represents must play the central role in rebuilding Iraq. The United Nations is a repository of know-how when it comes to helping countries emerge from war. Based on years of involvement in rebuilding conflict-ridden countries such as Bosnia, Cambodia, Haiti and El Salvador, the United Nations has significant experience in reconstruction.
I also believe that finding appropriate roles for the United Nations and NATO in postwar Iraq would be a major step toward rebuilding frayed international alliances and demonstrating to the Iraqi people that their future and well-being is of concern to the entire world community.
To read more on my resolution and public statements about Iraq, please visit my website at www.house.gov/tauscher
Debate Over UC Lab Contract
Ellen has been very vocal about Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham's decision to allow competition over the Los Alamos Lab contract and her desire to protect employees' benefits and pensions regardless of the outcome. She acknowledged that there were serious and intolerable management lapses, and pointed out the aggressive actions the University of California has taken to correct them. Most notably, Ellen has called for reform within the Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration, saying that officials there need to match UC's efforts if they are serious about reform.
Click here for more information: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/05-01-03.htm
Local Transportation Helping People with Disabilities
In a recent Congressional hearing, Ellen applauded the Bay Area's Job Access and Reverse Commute grant program for its success in providing transportation to unemployed individuals to cities in Marin, where there were plenty of jobs but no one to fill them. She also encouraged Congress to fund a local transit services center and a information center for people with disabilities.
For her full statement visit: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/05-01-03.htm
Winners of Congressional Art Competition Announced
Local high school students from across the 10th Congressional District competed in the 11th annual Congressional Art Competition, An Artistic Discovery. Ellen is proud to announce the first place winner of the district competition, Soo Kim of Acalanes High School in Lafayette who will have her artwork displayed in the United States Capitol and will receive two round-trip tickets to Washington, D.C.
Click here for more information: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/05-02-03.htm
On the Hill:
Helping Small Businesses Provide Health Insurance
Ellen is a lead cosponsor of legislation in the House of Representatives to provide incentives to help small businesses provide health insurance coverage to their employees.
For more information visit: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/05-08-03.htm
Ellen Works to Amend Defense Bill
The Defense Authorization Bill has been working its way through the Armed Services Committee and is scheduled to be voted on by the House next week. As it currently stands, the bill has several provisions Ellen opposes, including: environmental roll-backs that would essentially gut the Endangered Species Act and exempt the Department of Defense from the Marine Mammal Protection Act and other environmental laws; personnel provisions that would drastically alter how employees are hired, disciplined and fired and virtually eliminate the employee grievance process; and develop controversial new "bunker buster" nuclear weapons. Ellen offered amendments to strip these provisions from the bill, which were defeated in committee on party-line votes.
For more information about Defense Department employee protection visit: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/05-01-03-02.htm
For more information about gutting the Endangered Species Act visit: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/05-14-03-02.htm
For more information about stopping the development of new nuclear weapons visit: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/05-08-03-02.htm
Ellen Secures Congressional Funding for Travis Projects in Defense Bill
At Ellen's request the House Armed Services Committee recently added several provisions to the Defense Authorization Bill that will benefit Travis Air Force Base, including $1.35 million for one of the base's priorities.
For more information visit: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/05-09-03-02.htm and http://www.house.gov/tauscher/05-07-03.htm
Fighting for Employees' Rights in the Defense Department
Ellen sharply criticized a new proposal that would weaken the rights of military and civilian employees within the Defense Department. The proposed plan would create a new pay structure for employees; drastically alter how employees are hired, disciplined, and fired; and virtually eliminate the employee grievance process.
To read the full statement visit: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/05-01-03-02.htm
Ellen Works to Unite Government and Airlines to Battle SARS
Last month, Ellen brought together a coalition of nine groups - ranging from the CDC, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, State Department, and the airline industry- to develop strategies for preventing the spread of SARS.
For more information visit: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/04-29-03-02.htm
Widespread Use of Polygraph Testing Criticized
Ellen criticized the Department of Energy's decision to continue widespread polygraph testing of employees in our national laboratories, despite a National Academy of Sciences report confirming that the process is scientifically unreliable. She urged Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham to change his decision. For the full statement visit: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/04-14-03.htm
Did You Know?
To the excitement of Bay Area commuters, the extension of BART to San Francisco International Airport will open on June 22nd! The extension will make it possible for travelers from as far as Fremont and Pittsburg to reach SFO without driving, thus reducing traffic congestion around the airport. To date, Ellen has helped secure $470 million for the BART to SFO project.
For more information visit: http://www.house.gov/tauscher/04-17-03.htm
Run dates: 2003-05-21 - 2003-06-02