Politics

Making Federal Dollars Count for Baby Boomers

As Chairman of the House Select Education Subcommittee, I recently convened a field hearing in Westerville, Ohio so fellow lawmakers could learn first hand about the local impact of programs for senior citizens authorized under the Older Americans Act. This law is up for renewal, and my subcommittee has jurisdiction over it.

The Older Americans Act is the 1965 federal law governing the organization and delivery of a wide assortment of social services for older Americans.

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Bipartisan Call to Shore Up Our Glaring Vulnerability

Experts have repeatedly told me and members of the Homeland Security committee that our ports are one of our biggest vulnerabilities. The bi-partisan bill I introduced along with other committee members will help build a coordinated approach to maritime and port security across all levels of government and with our overseas trading partners.

In addition to improving our nation’s security, it will expedite trade with foreign governments and businesses, and provide financial assistance to our ports as they strive to strengthen their terrorism prevention and response effort. The enactment of these reforms will ensure that cargo containers entering our ports do not become the Trojan horses of the 21st century.
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Back To Iraq

Sunday morning our day began at 4:00 am as we mustered our delegation for a 20-hour day in Operation Iraqi Freedom. As we approached the C-130 U.S. military aircraft awaiting us on the tarmac, we were issued flack jackets and helmets. We greeted our crew as we walked up the ramp under the tail of the idling aircraft. Next stop: Iraq.

1. Mosul, Iraq

Mosul is in the center of the Nineveh Province, which derives its name from the ancient city of Nineveh, the site of the events recorded in the Book of Jonah.

While this region is steeped in the history of the ancient world, our focus was present-day Mosul, which has become, after a difficult period of insurgent violence, a model for the rest of the Iraq.

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House Republican Chair Discusses Goss Resignation

Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), chair of the House Rules Committee, discussed the resignation of CIA Director Porter Goss.
Porter Goss has served his country with outstanding distinction for more than four decades. From his initial service in the CIA, to his many years in Congress on the Intelligence and Rules Committees, to his latest position, Porter has made the security of the American people his top priority. He has been tireless in his commitment and dedication to fighting and winning the Global War on Terror. All Americans owe Porter Goss a debt of gratitude for his service to the United States of America.

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Energy Independence Calls for Ethanol Import Tariff

The President stated, "The federal government has got a role to play to encourage new industries that will help this nation diversify away from oil. And so we're strongly committed to corn-based ethanol produced in America." The President clearly understands the need to assist our domestic ethanol industry so that they can get a foothold and succeed. Why would the United States want to send a signal that we're backing away from our efforts to seek energy independence by promoting renewable fuels in the United States?

Providing yet more duty-free treatment for Brazilian ethanol would send the wrong signal to those Americans who are devoting their careers to help America become more energy independent. The U.S. ethanol industry is working every day to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. This is a virtue that President Bush has touted again and again.

Providing more duty-free treatment for ethanol won't increase supplies or reduce prices at the pump. It's a solution in search of a problem. It's a bad idea for our energy independence and our national security.
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No-Bid Contracts Amendment Passes in Senate

Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) amendment to the Emergency Supplemental Bill, requiring competitive bidding for federal contracts regarding Katrina reconstruction passed in the Senate yesterday.
The total amount of federal funding for hurricane recovery will now exceed $100 billion, and it's safe to say that more money will be needed in the months and years to come...But in order to make good on the President's pledge to rebuild the Gulf Coast, we need to do more. We need to pledge to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, we haven't done a very good job so far of delivering on this pledge

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A Unified Message to Iran

We arrived this morning to a glorious dawn over the Aegean Sea as our jet landed at Athens International Airport. After a country briefing with the US Embassy team here in Greece, our bipartisan delegation traveled to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece, Yannis Valinakis. Sitting at a table overlooking the famed Acropolis where stand the ruins of the Parthenon and other structures of the ancient world, we talked about current events...specifically Iran.

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Another Hearing on the Kavanaugh Nomination

I am pleased that finally we will be having another hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, which the Democratic members of this Committee have asked for dating back a year now. The Senate Republican leadership has been all too willing in the past to answer the siren call from the right-wing special interest groups trying to prevent this Committee from doing its job on judicial nominations. This is a nomination for the second highest federal court in the country, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. If we had considered this nomination today, we would have done so without answers to many critical questions about this nominee’s record. The seven Democratic members of the “Gang of 14
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Medical Malpractice a Liability For Doctors and Patients

North Carolina hospitals have experienced medical liability insurance premiums increasing from 400 to 500 percent for the past 3 years, with small rural hospitals experiencing the greatest increases.

According to two recent studies, North Carolina's nursing homes are experiencing a tremendous increase in their medical liability premiums. Premiums for some nursing homes in North Carolina have skyrocketed by as much as 1,800 percent since 1995. But some in this institution suggest there is not a liability crisis in health care in America.

Next week, people will come to the floor of the Senate and they will, in an incredible way, suggest there is not a crisis in America. I want those in the Chamber today to remember next week not just the doctors who say there is a crisis, and it is real, but to remember the patients out there who are directly affected by our inability to solve this problem. They are the ones for which the safety net is supposed to be there to protect them. But the safety net only works if the infrastructure is there. This is not about cost by itself today. This is about access. And when access goes away, our ability to address it with a safety net is gone.
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