As your proud Representative, I wanted to give you an update on my work in the first 100 days of this session of Congress.
My office has hit the ground running on your behalf. To date, we have fielded over 9,700 calls and responded to over 23,000 letters from constituents across the district. This is in addition to the over 50 meetings I’ve scheduled with hundreds of constituents, and the tens of thousands that we have dialed out to in our recent telephone town halls.
I want to thank all of you for your engagement on the important issues facing our district and our nation. Your feedback and opinions are critical to allowing me to serve you.
I hope you will stay connected with my office for details about my upcoming “Coffee with Your Congresswoman” events, to schedule meetings with my team, and to be included in our telephone town halls.
Additionally, I will be hosting a televised town hall on May 8 with Mountain Lake PBS that will be live streamed as well and I hope you can tune in.
This year, I am proud to have earned two new opportunities for our district.
On the House Armed Services Committee, I have been selected to Chair the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities – a critical role that is responsible for overseeing counter-terrorism programs and initiatives and counter proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
I was also selected to serve on the House Intelligence Committee and have been working with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis in our oversight role to investigate any potential intelligence or counter-intelligence issues involving Russia.
This Congress, I have already introduced many important pieces of legislation to grow our North Country economy, protect our environment, help our veterans and military families, as well as increase access to higher education.
AGRICULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Agriculture is the backbone of our North Country economy. One of the first bills I introduced is the Family Farm Relief Act of 2017 – an important, commonsense reform to the H-2A Agricultural Visa program that will address labor shortages that challenge our North Country farmers.
I am also proud to lead the legislative push to combat invasive species that threaten our natural habitats, from Lake George to the St. Lawrence River.
Our environment is our lifeblood in the North Country and I am committed to preserving it for future generations.
Invasive species threaten our region’s ecological gems and I was proud to introduce two bills to raise awareness about these threats, as well as provide resources to solve the problem. I am also leading on addressing the threat of climate change, and have introduced an important resolution with my colleagues that calls for using American innovation to improve environmental stewardship. This is in addition to joining the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus to explore policy options to address this threat.
MILITARY FAMILIES AND VETERANS
As the home of Fort Drum and the Kesselring Navy nuclear training site, our district knows firsthand the critical role military families play in supporting our troops and providing for our national defense. Military families make great sacrifices when relocating and transitioning to new schools, jobs and communities, and we must do all we can to make this process as seamless as possible. I have introduced three bills this Congress aimed at easing the burden military families face when their servicemember is relocated – initiatives that will greatly help many families in our area.
Our district is also home to more veterans than any district in New York. With this honor comes a great duty to look out for our heroes. Since arriving in Congress, my offices has secured $1.5 million from the VA in hard earned benefits. And this year I have introduced legislation to support those who care for our wounded vets, expand access to needed care, and helped the House pass important bills to support these brave men and women.
As the first member of my immediate family to graduate from college, I know the importance of a high quality education. This is why I’m championing initiatives that will increase access to higher education for North Country families, and ease the financial burdens students face once they have completed school. I have reintroduced bipartisan legislation to expand access to critical Pell grants year round, and I am working in my position on the Education Committee to see this initiative passed and signed into law this Congress.
Going forward, there is much more work to be done to help families and small businesses across our district. I joined a bipartisan group of my colleagues to urge President Trump to include expanding access to rural broadband in any infrastructure package. I am committed to achieving comprehensive tax and regulatory reform and have voted to pass several bills that would reduce the red tape that burdens our businesses.
And I am continuing to speak with constituents and work with my colleagues to find solutions we can agree on that will help fix our broken healthcare system. I was pleased to help the House pass legislation (H.R. 1101) recently that would allow small businesses to join together through association health plans (AHPs) to provide their employees greater access to affordable healthcare—giving them the same advantages larger businesses have when purchasing healthcare for their employees. This will help expand access as well as lower costs for families and businesses – a win-win for the North Country.
My offices always welcome your thoughts, opinions and feedback, and I will continue to work my hardest to reach families across our district.
It’s an honor to serve you in Congress.