December 28, 2019
As we enter the final days of the year, I find myself reflecting on the events of 2019 and all that we sought to accomplish together. This year, the House of Representatives passed more than 400 bills, tackling a wide degree of issues ranging from lowering prescription drug prices, keeping America in the Paris climate Agreement, protecting elections and voting rights and much more. Just a handful of these bills include:
- H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which would remove big money and special interests from politics and protect the right to vote;
- H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, that creates stronger negotiation for drug prices and capping seniors out-of-pocket costs while adding Dental, Vision, and Hearing benefits to Medicare;
- H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which ensures women receive equal pay for equal work; and
- H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would make certain that all firearms sales are subject to a background check.
Creating meaningful and lasting legislation is vital to my work in Congress, which is why, throughout 2019, I introduced 21 pieces of legislation, 18 of which are bipartisan. These bills work to combat the opioid crisis, improve Alzheimer’s care, strengthen U.S. Heritage Areas, modernize the sport of horse racing, make limos safer, deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure, streamline permitting of residential energy systems, officially recognize Yellow Ribbon Day and more. These bills will have an incredible impact on our nation as well as directly benefit our Capital Region communities.
One of my favorite parts of being a Representative is being able to engage with and serve those living in New York’s 20th District. It fills my heart to partake in the numerous community events that help add to the tapestry of our vivid and unique Capital Region. In 2019, I participated in more than 1,000 events in our district. My office and I hosted 14 Mobile Office Hours to speak with constituents on topics including federal legislation, Social Security, healthcare and veterans’ benefits. We responded to nearly 1,000 individual requests for assistance with a federal agency.
In addition to engaging with individuals, I worked to foster community growth and development through federal grant opportunities, trainings and donations, such as;
- Sharing more than 2,500 separate grant opportunities with over 16,000 individuals, nonprofit and community organizations totaling $857,637,015 in funding;
- Assisting to secure more than $10 million in funding for institutions of higher education;
- Hosting 17 workshops and roundtables, providing trainings on how to apply for federal grants and vital insight into federal programs and processes;
- Working to secure $1,558,915 to meet the needs of first responders and fire departments through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Programs; and
- Visiting 16 schools, public libraries, educational institutions and local agencies to donate over 400 items valued over $10,213 through the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program.
It has been my honor and absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to represent a region as diverse and vibrant as ours. Our Capital Region would not be the same without the incredible business owners, community leaders, teachers, students, first responders and residents who ensure our community continues to be a special, safe and prosperous place.
Heading into 2020, I will continue to fight to better the lives of those in our communities and work to make our region and our country a better place.
As always, thank you for reading. Wishing you and yours health and happiness in the New Year.