Weekly Update: Situation in Afghanistan, Health Care Savings Report, Upcoming Jobs Fair
Like many of you, I am very concerned about what is currently happening in Afghanistan and our efforts to not only bring home every American citizen but to also keep safe our Afghan allies and partners who worked with us over the last 20 years.
Yesterday, in partnership with Oversight National Security Subcommittee Chairman Stephen Lynch, I sent a letter to Secretary of State Blinken and Secretary of Defense Austin urging the Biden Administration to accelerate the evacuation of U.S. citizens from Afghanistan, as well as Afghan nationals who served alongside U.S. forces, political and civic leaders and their family members, and women and girls who are at an especially acute risk of political violence and retribution by the Taliban.
Also this week, I introduced a House resolution that would make clear Congress’ unequivocal support for equitable and science-based medication abortion care policies, and released a new report from the Oversight Committee showing how the tax credits that Democrats passed in the American Rescue Plan are helping to make health insurance affordable for even more New Yorkers.
In case you missed it, you can read this week’s NY-12 COVID-19 Vaccination and Recovery Update here.
More on these and other updates below.
The Biden Administration Must Expedite Evacuations from Afghanistan
Yesterday, Oversight Subcommittee on National Security Chairman Stephen Lynch and I sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III urging the Biden Administration to accelerate the evacuation of U.S. citizens from Afghanistan, as well as Afghan nationals who served alongside U.S. forces, political and civic leaders, and their family members, including women and girls who are at an especially acute risk of political violence and retribution by the Taliban.
As we wrote in our letter, “[t]he safety of U.S. citizens and government personnel is paramount, and we also have a moral imperative to rescue our Afghan partners who served alongside and supported U.S. forces over the last two decades.”
As we urged the Administration to expedite efforts to account for all American citizens who may remain in Afghanistan, we also called on the Biden Administration to make clear to the Taliban—in no uncertain terms—that they will face severe repercussions if they take any action that jeopardizes the security of U.S. military and civilian personnel at Hamid Karzai International Airport, limits or restricts safe passage to the airfield, or otherwise interferes with the evacuation of U.S. citizens and Afghan nationals.
You can read the full letter here.
New Report: American Rescue Plan Health Care Savings in NY-12
Yesterday, I released a new report highlighting that NY-12 families with marketplace health plans could see an average of $6,900 in health care savings per year because of the American Rescue Plan.
By lowering health care costs for millions of Americans who purchase their insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges, the American Rescue Plan is helping to make high-quality, low-cost health care accessible to even more New Yorkers and Americans.
With the Delta variant spreading throughout the country, access to affordable, high-quality health coverage is urgently needed. As this report shows, the expanded tax credits under the American Rescue Plan are helping to ensure that all Americans can access affordable health coverage. I am encouraging my constituents, and all New Yorkers, to take advantage of these savings today by visiting the state’s marketplace, NY State of Health.
Read the full report here.
Fighting for Equitable, Science-Based Access to Medication Abortion Care
On Thursday, I introduced a resolution in support of equitable, science-based policies governing access to medication abortion care.
I am proud to lead my colleagues in expressing Congress’ unequivocal support for equitable and science-based medication abortion care policies. Mifepristone is extremely safe—the FDA’s own data confirms this. It’s time that we trust the science and ensure access to safe, legal abortion, particularly for communities where abortion care has been historically pushed out of reach.
Read more about the resolution here.
Designating August as National Health Care Awareness Month
On Tuesday, I joined with Congressman Donald Payne to introduce a resolution that would designate August as National Health Care Awareness Month.
Health care impacts all aspects of our lives – and a lack of accessible, affordable health care only serves to exacerbate already existing disparities and inequities in our communities. National Health Care Awareness Month is meant to help us inform the American people on the importance of health care, lift up the voices of patient and health care advocates, and place a national spotlight on the need for Congress to act to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable, quality comprehensive healthcare. Health care is a human right, and our policies must reflect that.
Stop Downsizing at the NAS
On Monday, I joined with Rep. Stephen Lynch, Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, to release new documents that directly contradict the Department of the Navy’s stated justification for its previous attempts to downsize the personnel strength and budget of the Naval Audit Service (NAS).
I look forward to working with newly confirmed Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro to right the ship and begin to rebuild the Naval Audit Service so that it can effectively carry out its critical oversight mission on behalf of the United States Navy and American taxpayers.
Read more here.
Women’s Museum Advisory Council
Today, the Smithsonian announced its appointments to the American Women’s History Museum Advisory Council. After two decades of working to create a museum recognizing the contributions of women throughout our nation’s history, I’m thrilled to see the diverse, talented, and knowledgeable Advisory Council that the Smithsonian has brought together to bring the American Women’s History Museum to life.
I am honored to have been appointed to the Council by Speaker Pelosi and am looking forward to getting to work. Together, we will support the Smithsonian’s operations to establish a museum that the American people deserve and will inspire future generations.
Congrats to NY-12 Congressional Gold Medal Winners
A big shoutout to NY-12 constituents Miles Pines and Gabriella Calabia on earning the Congressional Award Foundation’s Gold Medal! They have embodied what it means to be New York Strong. This accomplishment is even more impressive as they were able to achieve these goals during a global pandemic and overcome the unforeseen obstacles that this presented. You have made New York proud!
My office is hosting Mobile Casework Hours this coming Monday, August 23 from 11am-12pm at Rainey Park and Wednesday, August 25 from 3-4pm at the F Train Station on Roosevelt Island. Staff will be there to answer questions and provide help with federal agencies.
The annual Congressional App Challenge for NY-12 has officially begun! All middle and high school students in New York’s 12th Congressional District are eligible to apply.
The CAC accepts computer program apps written in any programming language, for any platform (desktop/PC, web, mobile, raspberry Pi, etc.).
The Challenge’s submission portal is now open. The deadline for student submissions is November 1, 2021. The competition is open to all students who meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of coding experience.
Winners will be selected by panels of judges drawn from the local community and honored by their Member of Congress. Their apps are eligible to be featured on display in the U.S. Capitol building, on house.gov, and on the Congressional App Challenge website.
My office is now accepting applications for my Congressional Youth Cabinet.
Learn more and apply here!
I am hosting a jobs fair on Wednesday, August 25 from 9AM-12PM at the Queensbridge Jacob Riis Center (10-25 41st Ave.). I hope you can join us. If you are an employer interested in participating, please fill out this form. No RSVP necessary for prospective employees.
As always, your concerns still and always remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.