EVERY AUGUST, I expand my community outreach program deeper into the 21 Passaic and Essex county municipalities that make up the 8th Congressional District. With such a diverse constituency, I always return to Washington in September with a long and pretty incongruous list of each community's different priorities.
THE HOUSING MARKET collapse that is ravaging working-class families will go down as one of the greatest economic failures in modern American history. It is estimated by the nonpartisan Pew Center for the States that between 7,000 and 8,000 families are filing for foreclosure on their homes every day.
It should come as no surprise that seven years of misguided economic policies have caused the mighty American economy to become unsound and unsteady. Tax cuts targeted to the wealthiest few; carefree deficit spending and reckless industrial deregulation have all created an inviting climate for a damaging economic storm to come thundering down.
Veterans Day is a time for Americans to come together and honor the millions of brave military men and women who have served our nation. They are the foundation of our freedom. Without their valiant service and sacrifice, America would not shine as the beacon of hope and opportunity that nations around the world aspire to become.
IN RECENT YEARS, American families have found their economic circumstances increasingly perilous. Many workers face wage stagnation or prolonged unemployment, and fewer people have guaranteed pensions, causing justified worries about retirement.
PEOPLE ARE SICK and dying as a result of the contamination in the air after Sept. 11. In the six years since the attacks, a mountain of evidence exists telling us that thousands of people exposed to the air around the World Trade Center are suffering from chronic respiratory disease and cancers.
In 1962 President John F. Kennedy said, "The vows of this nation can only be fulfilled if we are first, and therefore, we intend to be first. Our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort."
The mere end of tax season brings a measure of relief for each of us, as an arduous burden is over for another year. Unfortunately, this fleeting relief actually does a disservice, lulling many into a temporary complacency. While most Americans aren't pondering what they will owe the government next year, a serious financial threat is looming over them.
The Record March
Almost four and a half years ago -- Oct. 11, 2002 -- I stood on the floor of the House of Representatives along with 295 of my colleagues to vote in support of the resolution authorizing President Bush to attack Iraq. I have since regretted that vote deeply. I admitted to the residents of my district over a year and a half ago that I made a mistake, taking total responsibility for my vote.
The Sept. 11 Commission issued a "report card" grading action on proposed security reforms. The grades were atrocious. MOST AMERICANS take for granted that airline security issues have been fixed, and that terrorists no longer plan to target our aviation system.
Both assumptions are horribly wrong.
There can be no doubt that New York City and Washington, D.C., are among the leading contenders for a future terrorist attack. Likewise, it is evident to most experts that al Qaeda maintains a fervent determination to carry out colossal assaults - the kind that are possible only in a small number of major U.S. cities.
On Sept. 11, 2001, America was caught unguarded against the machinations of a ruthless terrorist organization. Only four years later, the Gulf Coast was devastated by nature's wrath when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita crashed our shores.
The year 2005 exposed America's dangerous dependence on fossil fuel. No sooner had the American public been shaken by the human devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita than they were forced to face the financial devastation of sudden and steep hikes in gas prices at the pump. Fossil fuel prices climbed at record speeds in the summer of 2005, and they are climbing again this winter. Consum
Hurricane Katrina was more than a natural catastrophe. The painful images of Americans suffering, dying and calling desperately for help will forever be seared into our collective conscience.
"If it were left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter" –Thomas Jefferson
Some 5.3 million Americans live with disabilities caused by a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It is a leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults. At least 1.4 million Americans suffer a TBI each year, which costs more than $56 billion. Falls, motor-vehicle crashes, sports injuries and violence are the major causes.
By Kate Ackley - Roll Call Staff
The federal budget may be as tight as ever, but a collection of advocates is lobbying to squeeze extra money to help U.S. soldiers who have suffered brain injuries.
As I travel throughout the twenty-one towns in the Eighth Congressional District, families of all shapes and sizes talk to me about our health care system. Whether the topic is ensuring that managed care companies cover core services and are accountable for their decisions, or advancing cutting-edge research to confront our most dreaded diseases, there is much we must do.