e-News 10/6/17

eNews 10-6-17

  • More Help for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • PROTECTing Children
  • Listening Tour Continues
  • Salute: CCM’s Dr. Edward Yaw


More Help for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

As I move across my Congressional District, attending events in Morris, Essex, Passaic and Sussex counties, I continue to hear of serious concerns about horrendous conditions in Puerto Rico.  Even as federal assistance continues to flow in, it is very clear to my constituents that their families and friends in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands need more help – in dollars, in resources, in manpower, and in federal support.

And they’re right.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Defense and their partners continue aggressive 24/7 life-saving operations. Each day this week, they distributed over 400,000 meals and nearly 300,000 liters of water. For remote areas and places where roads remain impassable due to flood waters, mudslides or broken pavement, there have been targeted supplies carefully dropped from airplanes and helicopters into isolated communities.

There are now 10,000 military servicemembers - active duty and National Guard - on the ground to supplement the efforts to thousands of additional federal workers from a wide range of agencies.  Work is underway to re-establish the power grid and cell service. 

And additional help is on the way.

Two days ago, the House Appropriations Committee received a new request from the White House for emergency funding for hurricane recovery and we are already at work on it.

The request seeks to address two pressing needs. The first is to pump money into the flood insurance program, which is rapidly running out of cash to pay an influx of claims from victims of the three hurricanes. At the same time, the FEMA continues to spend money for disaster relief operations at a high rate and requires more money.

The request includes $12 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) and $16 billion for debt relief for the flood insurance program, which is now depleted.

The hundreds of thousands of people affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria continue to struggle. Congress will provide whatever is necessary to get these families and businesses back on their feet and to rebuild their communities. This will be a long process, and this next round of funds certainly won’t be all that is needed. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will work to ensure that both short-term relief and long-term recovery funds are available and are being put to good use for those in need.”

My committee has already begun to move on this week’s emergency funding request and will put legislation forward as soon as possible.

Last month, Congress approved a $15.3 billion aid package that nearly doubled President Donald Trump’s request for funds for immediate cleanup, repair and housing costs in Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

PROTECTing Children

The use of the internet by children is increasing every day, and, regrettably, so are the opportunities for criminal exploitation.  Law enforcement officers are encountering new types of crimes, such as sextortion, that create new complexities in their investigations.

This week, the House passed legislation designed to ensure that law enforcement officials have the tools they need to combat crimes against children online. Specifically, the PROTECT Act (S.782) authorizes the establishment of local law enforcement task forces to combat internet crimes against children, or ICAC. 

These task forces have been absolutely crucial in the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of internet crimes. The program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the internet, the proliferation of child sexual abuse images available electronically, and heightened online activity by predators seeking unsupervised contact with potential underage victims.

Since the ICAC program's inception in 1998, more than 589,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and other professionals have been trained on techniques to investigate and prosecute ICAC-related cases. More than 709,000 complaints of alleged child sexual victimization have been reviewed resulting in the arrest of more than 73,000 individuals.

There are now 61 coordinated task forces representing over 4,500 Federal, State, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies.  And their need has never been greater.

Learn more about S. 782, the PROTECT Act here.

Listening Tour Continues

In recent days my 11th Congressional District “Listening Tour” took me to the Kushner Academy in Livingston to meet with students and civic events in CaldwellNorth Haledon, Harding TownshipMorris Plains and the Farmers Market Veterans Service Day in Hopatcong!

In Washington, I welcomed the opportunity to meet with New Jersey mental health and Down’s Syndrome advocates, small business representatives, biomedical researchers and others!

Follow my activities at home and in Washington @usreprodney

Salute: Thank you and a fond farewell to the only President the County College of Morris (CCM) has known for the last 30 years!.  Dr. Ed Yaw turned over the reins of CCM to Dr. Anthony Iacono this morning after three decades of valuable and dedicated service! 

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