Friday, May 24, 2019
Helping Veterans Become U.S. Citizens; Passing 7 Veterans Bills; Champion of Family Medicine Award; Keeping Children Safe; Speaking on the House Floor; Commemorating Women's Suffrage.
Helping Military Service Members Become U.S. Citizens
In January of this year, Dr. Nikalesh Reddy, a Major in the US Army and active-duty trauma surgeon, contacted my office for assistance with obtaining U.S. citizenship. With my help, Dr. Reddy completed all the necessary work and officially became a citizen of the United States on May 10th, 2019.
“It is a great privilege to be a Major in the US Army and a citizen of this great Nation,” said Dr. Nikalesh Reddy. “I’m so thankful to Congresswoman Stefanik for stepping in and making that a reality for me and my family and I will be forever indebted to her. Constituents in New York’s 21st District should know they are in good hands with her as our representative.”
I wrote an op-ed about Dr. Reddy's journey to U.S. Citizenship. Read it here.
Passing 7 Bills to Help Veterans in One Week
In the week leading up to Memorial Day, I helped the House pass seven pieces of bipartisan legislation to improve the lives of veterans. Despite our differences, much of what Congress does is bipartisan and has a meaningful impact on so many Americans. I’m proud that my colleagues and I worked together to pass this legislation, which will expand physical and mental health care access for veterans, equip the VA with the resources they need to prevent suicide, increase disability compensation, and promote education and employment programs for veterans.
The bills include:
For more information on what each bill does specifically, click here.
Receiving the Congressional Champion of Family Medicine Award
I was presented with an award by the New York State Academy of Family Physicians for my recognition of the value of family medicine and primary care, and my dedication to providing health care access for North Country families. I'm honored to be recognized as a Congressional Champion of Family Medicine. The New York State Academy of Family Physicians does incredibly important work, and I’m proud to partner with them in their efforts to lower costs, increase access, and expand care for North Country families by introducing legislation, including the Opioid Workforce Act and the Primary Care Protection Act, and committing to cosponsor the Training the Next Generation of Primary Care Doctors Act during our meeting this week.
Hosting the North Country Chamber of Commerce in D.C.
It was great to host the North Country Chamber of Commerce in D.C. this week. I'm proud to partner with them on U.S.-Canada issues and relations, transportation, rural broadband, and many other issues facing North Country families. Just last week, we received great news about a shared interest: President Trump struck a deal with Canada and Mexico to lift the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Removing these tariffs is a step in the right direction to ratifying the USMCA and strengthening our relationship with Canada.
Ensuring Children's Safety on School Buses
I co-led the Miranda Vargas School Bus Driver Red Flag Act this week. This bipartisan legislation is named after Miranda Vargas, who tragically lost her life in a school bus accident one year ago this month. It requires real-time background checks on school bus drivers. When a driver receives any sort of driving infraction aside from a parking ticket, the school and school bus company will receive a notification regarding the infraction from the DOT within 24 hours. No parent should have to worry about their child’s safety when they drop them off at the school bus stop. I am proud to stand firmly with the family of Miranda Vargas in believing there should be a zero-tolerance policy for school bus drivers’ driving infractions. These drivers do important work and are responsible for so many lives we must make absolutely sure that we have the best drivers on the roads transferring our kids to and from school. I’m proud to cosponsor this bipartisan bill that will save lives and put parents’ minds at ease. For more information, click here.
Speaking on the House Floor in Support of Stronger CAPTA
I spoke on the House Floor this week in support of the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA.) This legislation strengthens the original law by providing for evidence-based support for victims of child abuse, establishing national reporting requirements to more accurately track trends, expanding research into child welfare, and improving the grant funding process. I also spoke in support of an amendment to the bill that I introduced with Congresswoman Lucy McBath (D-GA) that establishes a national child abuse hotline for children and parents to use risk and cost-free. To read more about the legislation, click here, and to watch my full remarks, click here or above.
Commemorating 100th Anniversary of the Passage of the 19th Amendment
100 years ago this past Tuesday, the House of Representatives came together in a bipartisan spirit to pass the 19th Amendment, giving women our long-overdue right to vote. I want to recognize all of the women trailblazers who led the way before us, including women’s suffrage icon Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was born in our district, in Johnstown, New York. Because of their tireless advocacy and determination, women are now the majority of voters in our country a remarkable achievement. Just over one year later, the amendment was ratified and added into the Constitution.
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Elise StefanikMember of Congress