Under the Dome & Closer to Home: Quigley's Spring Wrap-Up
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As your representative in Congress, it is important that I keep you up to date on how I am serving you at home and in Washington. We've been hard at work improving U.S.“Poland relations, reducing our deficit while keeping our military strong, fighting public corruption, protecting the environment, and connecting with constituents in the district.
HEALTH CARE DECISION
Last month the Supreme Court ruled to uphold health care reform, which protects millions of our most vulnerable Americans. Now it's time to put labels and political rhetoric aside and remember what this is about. It is our responsibility to provide access to affordable health care to Americans, and this victory should bring peace of mind to families across our country. To learn more about how the Affordable Care Act benefits you, click here.
In May, I had the great privilege of meeting with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski at the Polish Consulate in Chicago. We discussed the close relationship between the United States and Poland, as well as our commitment to the many Polish American constituents in the 5th District. As part of my efforts to strengthen the ties between our two nations, I introduced the Jobs Originating through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act, a bipartisan and bicameral initiative to spur the economy, increase national security and modernize the Visa Waiver Program to include strong allies like Poland. The JOLT Act would support more than 100,000 jobs, as well as increase tourism revenue when our economy needs it the most.
Rep. Quigley visits Vienna Beef as part of his "Undercover Congressman" series working alongside 5th District constituents and small businesses to better understand their concerns.
DEFICIT REDUCTION & MILITARY SAFETY
Getting our fiscal house in order is a top priority, and recently I reiterated the need for balanced deficit reduction where everything is on the table. When Congress considered the National Defense Authorization Act, I proposed cutting the failed V-22 Osprey Program, which has resulted in 36 accidental deaths. Cutting the program would save $1.3 billion now and potentially reduce the national deficit by $10 billion over 10 years. I also proposed a study into the Department of Defense's hazardous material shipping program. Both of these initiatives would help the Department of Defense be more efficient in its spending and keep our troops as safe as possible.
FIGHTING PUBLIC CORRUPTION
Government cannot lead without the public's trust so I've taken action to ensure public officials are working for you and not themselves. Earlier this year, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK) was signed into law, prohibiting Members of Congress and federal employees from engaging in insider trading. Included in the STOCK Act is legislation I helped write that eliminates federal pension payouts for elected officials convicted of public corruption crimes. In addition, I have introduced the State Ethics Law Protection Act (SELPA) which protects states that have enacted laws against pay-to-play practices in highway contracting decisions that corrode the integrity of the public works system and let individuals profit at the expense of taxpayers.
PUTTING THE ENVIRONMENT FIRST
We have to learn from past environmental disasters and prioritize conservation over the profits of big oil companies. To this end, I offered an amendment to the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act (H.R. 4480) mandating stronger consideration of environmental impact and protection before drilling for oil and gas in our oceans. I also stood up for the EPA and our national health by voting against efforts to prohibit the EPA from regulating coal ash. Coal ash is the toxic combination of mercury, boron, aluminum, thallium, sodium and arsenic that is produced by burning coal, and people living near unlined coal ash ponds have a risk of cancer that is 2000 times greater than the EPA's acceptable level.
OUT AND ABOUT IN THE DISTRICT
Whenever I'm home I enjoy making visits around the area and listening to the concerns of my constituents. In the past month, I have attended numerous block parties, community meetings and senior events. At Vienna Beef's manufacturing and distribution headquarters I went "undercover to talk with employees and see how these classic Chicago hotdogs are produced. I am always looking for suggestions from the community so if you have any information on local events and projects, please call my district office.
As always, it is an honor to serve you. My district staff is here to assist with any federal issue you might have, including passports, Medicare, veterans' benefits and more. Please don't hesitate to contact our office if there's anything we can do for you.