Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Letter of Objection to U.S. Justice Department

Illegal Changes in Voting Practices and Procedures in New Orleans, LA Expressly Prohibited under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Congresswoman Watson Addresses Gathering of Dental Mercury Experts

Congresswoman Diane E. Watson (CA-33) participated in a panel of mercury dental experts sponsored by the International Academy of Oral and Medical Toxicology (IAOMT). The panel addressed the environmental and health risks of the use of mercury dental amalgams in dentistry.

Congresswoman Watson, formerly the Chair of the California State Senate's Health and Human Services Committee for seventeen years, said, "The use of mercury in dentistry is an issue that can only be pushed under the rug for so long. The battle we are now in to rid mercury from dentistry reminds me of the fourteen year battle I and others waged in the California State Senate to ban tobacco from the workplace and public places of gathering. Back then, the critics said it couldn't be done. However, over two decades later, we have laws in almost every state banning smoking in public places. Smoking is now outlawed on all domestic and international air travel. But the victory required years of intense public education. We are now in the stage of educating the public about the dangers of the use of mercury in dentistry. We will persevere, and ultimately we will win."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Obama To Introduce Legislation to Help American Students Compete in a 21st Century Economy

During a speech Monday at an education forum in Chicago, U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) said that he will introduce legislation to create 20 Innovation Districts that would be given more resources to try substantial new reforms in teaching to help better prepare American students to compete in a 21st century economy. Obama said the Innovation Districts will be chosen from school districts around the country based on their plans to increase student achievement and place highly qualified teachers in their classrooms.

"Today we are failing too many of our children," said Obama. "We're sending them out into a 21st century economy by sending them through the doors of 20th century schools. We now live in a world where the most valuable skill you can sell is knowledge. Revolutions in technology and communication have created an entire economy of high-tech, high-wage jobs that can be located anywhere there's an internet connection. And today, a child in Chicago is not only competing for jobs with one in Boston, but thousands more in Bangalore and Beijing who are being educated longer and better than ever before."

Friday, March 10, 2006

Scott Signs Minimum Wage Discharge Petition

Representative Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, (D-VA-3), announced his support for legislation that would increase the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over two years. Rep. Scott signed a discharge petition that would force consideration of the Miller-Owens bill (H.R. 2429) to raise the federal minimum wage.

Specifically, the bill would gradually raise the minimum wage by $2.10 -- from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour-- over two years. The bill raises the minimum wage to $5.85 60 days after enactment; to $6.55 one year later; and to $7.25 one year after that.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Obama Presses Nuclear Regulatory commission

U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) Thursday strongly urged members of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to support legislation he has introduced that would require nuclear companies to inform state and local officials if there is an accidental or unintentional leak of a radioactive substance.

"My constituents deserve to be notified immediately and comprehensively when these substances are released into the groundwater," said Senator Obama. "That's why I introduced a bill to require nuclear companies to inform not just the NRC, but also state and local officials if there is an accidental or unintentional leak of a radioactive substance. This is a simple common-sense bill. It's good for public safety, it's good for the public's right to know, and it's ultimately good for the nuclear power industry."

Wynn Pushes President to Accelerate His Energy Independence Agenda

Congressman Wynn and a bipartisan group of House Members met with President George W. Bush to discuss his energy independence plan. During the meeting, Congressman Wynn requested that the President work with him to accelerate the Administration’s Hydrogen roadmap, which calls for hydrogen vehicles to be commercially available by 2020. Under Wynn’s plan, the cars would be available by 2015.

"If we want to increase America’s energy security, we must put forth a bold vision and aggressive goals. The President’s Advanced Energy Initiative is a move in the right direction; however, we must accelerate his timelines to make hydrogen cars commercially available within ten years. If we wait to make hydrogen a reality in 2020 and beyond, America will be reliant on foreign sources of oil for over 70% of its consumption needs. Such a situation would threaten the American economy and national security," said Wynn.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Rush says Bush’s proposed LIHEAP budget amount does little to offset energy costs for low-income families

At the request of President Bush, Congressman Bobby L. Rush and several other bipartisan Members of Congress, most of whom who sit on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, met with the president to discuss his Advanced Energy Initiative, which was outlined during his State of the Union Address.

During the meeting, Congressman Rush urged President Bush to fully fund the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) as authorized with the passage of his amendment under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 for $5.1 billion. A staunch champion for LIHEAP, Rush also called on Bush to fully fund the Weatherization Program.

"I am disappointed by President Bush’s lackadaisical response when I asked him why he has not fully funded LIHEAP. President Bush’s rationale of asking for more LIHEAP funding this year than last year just does not sit well with me or the low income citizens with dire heating and cooling needs, who were counting on the full $5.1 billion.”

Congressman Thompson Announces $5,000,000 Highway Construction Project

Representative Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) announced that the U.S. Department of
Transportation, through the FY 2005 Delta Region Transportation Program, has awarded a grant of $5,000,000 for a highway construction project to reconstruct State Route 6/U.S. Highway 278 in Coahoma and Quitman Counties in Mississippi.

Congressman Thompson stated, “This project will provide a 4-lane link from Clarksdale, Mississippi, and surrounding areas to Interstate Highway 55. The project will help open new markets, improve accessibility, and create new job opportunities in the Second Congressional District.” The project will remedy severe and chronic economic distress by stimulating economic development and fostering partnerships that will have a positive impact on the region’s economy.”

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Congressman Towns Sponsors Health Fair & Summit

"Given today's statistics on the cost of healthcare and the lack of access to quality healthcare in the black community, this forum could not be more timely," stated Congressman Towns. "African Americans lag behind on nearly every health indicator, including healthcare coverage, access to care, life expectancy and disease rates. A significant part of our empowerment strategy is the recognition of the severe health disparities, which continue to exist for racial and ethnic minorities. This healthcare summit provides a unique opportunity not only for healthcare workers to discuss how best to provide healthcare services to their patients, but also to empower them t! o reduce healthcare disparities and to improve health outcomes."

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to establish a Hospital Quality Report Card Initiative to report on health care quality in Veterans Aff

S.2358 : A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to establish a Hospital Quality Report Card Initiative to report on health care quality in Veterans Affairs hospitals.Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 3/2/2006) Cosponsors (None) Committees: Senate Veterans' Affairs Latest Major Action: 3/2/2006 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.