Syria’s use of chemical weapons was a horrendous attack on innocent men, women, and children that the United States cannot stand for. It is long past time we held the Assad regime accountable for crossing the red line established by President Obama. Assad and his allies need to know the U.S. will no longer stand idle while atrocities are carried out against innocent people.
Students, business owners, mothers and fathers, young people and the elderly - all individuals, regardless of background or occupation, want to feel safe in their communities. Law enforcement is here to fulfill this need and they do so day in and day out. But funding cuts have put tremendous strains on law enforcement agencies nation-wide as they face hiring shortages and a lack of resources and support for critical training and community outreach programs. We must reverse this trend and fully support our law enforcement so they can protect and serve their communities to the best of their ability. This week, I led a bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Committee, urging them to strengthen funding for the Byrne Jag and COPS programs, which give agencies the hiring capacity, tools, and resources to perform their critical mission of protecting our loved ones. I'm proud this letter earned the bipartisan support of 183 of my colleagues.
Giving Youth in Foster Care Hope through Opportunity
We cannot eliminate all of the challenges faced by youth in foster care, but we can give them opportunities to help overcome those challenges. That’s what the Improving Employment Outcomes for Foster Youth Act does by providing federal tax incentives to private sector employers who hire youth transitioning from the foster care system to independence.
Helping youth find jobs and rewarding them when they do is a great way to help them become independent and give them hope for the future. Like all of our children, our youth in foster care deserve to have the opportunity to follow their dreams, and our bill gives them the independence to do just that.
Closing the Medical Provider Shortage Gap in Rural Communities
Many patients in rural regions across the country and Washington State struggle to find adequate, convenient care due to a shortage of medical professionals in their region. This week, I met with a group of nurse anesthetists from Washington State who explained the importance of highly-trained Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to filling this provider gap. Strengthening our training and development programs, including Nursing Workforce Development Programs, is also critical to ensuring we are prepared for the growing strains on our health care system. I was proud to send a letter to the House Appropriations Committee, urging my colleagues to protect the funding for these important programs.
Taking Care of Our Military Men and Women
Over the years, the tasks asked of our men and women in the military have increased, but our military support has lagged behind. On Wednesday, I met with members of the Washington State Council of Chapters Military Officers Association of America to discuss their concerns about inadequate resources for our men and women in the military and their fear of recruitment challenges in the future. We must also make sure our veterans have access to the care and services they earned. I am proud this week the House passed legislation to extend the VA Choice program to help ensure our vets get the timely and quality care they deserve. There is still more work to be done. I remain committed to fighting to fully fund the needs of those who are willing to risk their lives for the safety of our country.
Expanding Medicare Coverage for Radiology Services
This week, I joined several of my House colleagues in re-introducing the Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act. This bipartisan legislation would allow for Medicare coverage of qualified Radiologist Assistant (RA) services. Seniors rely on radiology services. They are indispensable when detecting diseases or abnormalities within the body. With growing doctor shortages, highly trained radiology assistants have played an important role in making sure our seniors get this critical care. We must make sure these potentially life-saving services performed by Radiology Assistants are covered by Medicare. It is what makes sense and it is what is right.
It has been another great week. Looking forward to speaking with you next time!