It’s hard to believe that we are more than halfway through the year.
Congress only has four months to tackle the issues most important to Americans, and I am deeply disappointed that the House hasn’t yet addressed the need to extend unemployment insurance or fix our broken immigration system.
The gridlock in Washington is among the worst that I have seen in my 26 years serving in Congress, but I have continued to push for meaningful legislation.
Superstorm Sandy showed little mercy as it swept through parts of the 16th Congressional District.
Flood insurance premiums were set to skyrocket -- and in some cases soar as high as an extra $10,000 a year -- unless Congress took some sort of corrective action. I cosponsored the "Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act," which delayed price increases for flood insurance premiums and reinstated “grandfathered” rates for properties that were remapped into higher-risk areas. In March, the President signed the bill into law.
I have also worked hard to secure federal funding for communities in our District to help offset rebuilding costs, and cosponsored the "Hurricane Sandy Tax Relief Act."
I recognize the need to have a coordinated federal response in the event of a nuclear disaster, and introduced the "Nuclear Disaster Preparedness Act" to help achieve this goal. With a district so closely located to the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, I am keenly aware of how important it is to be prepared and I am committed to doing everything I can to protect our citizens in the event of a nuclear emergency.
I am equally committed to safeguarding our environment. I sponsored the "Open Fuel Standard Act" which requires 80 percent of new cars sold in the United States to run on any combination of ethanol, methanol or gasoline by 2016, and introduced legislation that would prevent repeat polluters from benefiting from certain tax breaks.
As a senior member of the Subcommittee on Health of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I wrote legislation to reauthorize funding for poison center programs and for Muscular Dystrophy research.
The "Poison Center Network Act" reauthorizes grants to fund the national toll-free phone number, poison control centers and a national media campaign. New York has two poison centers that field over 164,000 calls a year.
Hundreds of thousands of children and adults currently suffer from various forms of Muscular Dystrophy in the United States. The "MD CARE Act" ensures that we are able to better respond to the changing needs of people living with MD by updating the current law to reflect scientific gains, among other things.
I encourage you to stay current on important legislation that impacts you and your community, by signing up for my newsletter.
I enjoy hearing from each of you, and look forward to keeping you informed of my efforts to serve our community.
Eliot L. Engel
MEMBER OF CONGRESS