e-News 12/9/16

e-News 12/9/16

  • Mr President: Please Sign the Cures Act!
  • Keeping the Government Open for Business
  • Faster Care for Veterans
  • “App Challenge” Produces Three Wayne Winners
  • Salute:  To Morris County First Responders


Mr President: Please Sign the Cures Act!

The President of the United States now has the opportunity to advance the fight against thousands of diseases that impact the lives of millions of Americans of all ages.  The 21st Century Cures Act will land on his desk shortly for his signature after passing Congress with strong bipartisan support. 

The Cures Act provides $4.8 billion in new, fully paid for funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to aid in cures development, including funding for the "Cancer Moonshot."  The bill encourages personalized medicine to find best treatments, incentivizes the development of drugs for childhood diseases and removes barriers for research collaboration.  The measure also improves and strengthens Medicare to increase access for seniors to quality, affordable health care.

The Senate gave final legislative approval to this “game-changing” legislation on Wednesday and Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, signed the document to transmit the bill to the White House yesterday. 

In advance of the Senate vote, the Wall Street Journal labeled the three-year legislative effort a “Breakthrough.”

The paper’s editorial board wrote, “Medicine moves faster than government, thank goodness, but every now and again government tries to catch up. After years of thoughtful bipartisan work, Congress is now poised to pass the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill designed to accelerate the development of new medicines and modernize a malfunctioning corner of the regulatory state."

Read the entire editorial here.

Keeping the Government Open for Business

The House this week approved legislation (H.R. 2028) which will keep the agencies of the federal government open for business and operating into next Spring. The measure also includes funds for biomedical research, repair of the lead-contaminated water system in Flint, Michigan and flood and hurricane relief.

While this is not the path I supported, this is responsible legislation which sets the stage for work on a longer-term funding resolution in the New Year.  It is imperative that Congress complete its work on the remaining 11 Appropriations bills to ensure the proper and responsible use of tax dollars, to provide necessary resources for important programs and services, and to hold federal agencies accountable to the American people. 

Faster Care for Veterans

The best way to show our gratitude to those who have served in our military is to make sure they get the care they earned.  Frankly, when a veteran contacts the Veterans Administration (VA) for assistance, they should have the red carpet rolled out for them.  But instead, too often they face endless wait times and bureaucratic red tape.  In this day of innovative technology, there is no excuse for this!

To attack this reality, this week the House passed the Faster Care for Veterans Act (H.R. 4352). The legislation directs the VA to create a pilot program establishing a patient self-scheduling appointment program. 

With the Faster Care for Veterans Act, we are demonstrating to the VA that currently available technology, used by millions of people across the country each day, can work for them to cut back on wait times and make the scheduling process easier for veterans. They are the ones who should be in control of all aspects of their health care, and this bill is a step towards achieving that goal.

Learn more about The Faster Care for Veterans Act (H.R. 4352) here.

“App Challenge” Produces Three Wayne Winners

A team of high school students from Wayne has won the third “Congressional App Challenge.” Teammates Kelly Wallert (Wayne Hills High School), Sangjun Ko (Wayne Hills High School), and Sruthi Soorian (Wayne Valley High School) created an app called “Book Browser.”

Our Nation’s continued economic strength depends on developing the talents and expertise of students interested in Science, Technology, Education and Math (STEM) fields. For the third year, I have been highly impressed by the STEM education and coding ability displayed by high school students of my Congressional District in the Congressional App Challenge.  After viewing the student “app” submissions, I am encouraged that the future of our nation’s technological prowess is in capable hands.

The Congressionally-chartered “Congressional App Challenge” is a competition aimed at encouraging U.S. high school students to learn how to code by creating their own software applications. By encouraging and recognizing our nation’s young programming talent, Congress hopes to shine a light on the growing importance of STEM skills.

Our winning team’s application, “Book Browser,” is designed to allow school libraries to communicate with one another to share book resources, so that unwanted or old versions of books do not get wasted.

View the presentation here

More information about the competition can be found here

Congratulations to Kelly, Sangjun, and Sruthi on their fantastic work!

Salute:  To Morris County First Responders for participating in a 54-truck parade past the Boonton Township home of five-year old Annie, who had been undergoing treatment at the Goryeb Children's Hospital in Morristown since this summer.  Hats off to the Boonton Township, Mountain Lakes and Boonton fire and police departments, Boonton Kiwanis Ambulance Squad, Rockaway Township Fire Department, Pequannock Co. No.1 Fire Department, Lake Hiawatha Fire Department, Parsippany Fire Dist. 5, Lincoln Park Fire Department, Rainbow Lakes Fire Company, Mt. Tabor Fire District 1, Picatinny Arsenal Fire Department, Denville Fire and EMS, Bloomingdale Fire Department, Riverdale Fire Department, Kinnelon Fire Company, Butler Fire Department, Montville Fire Department and New Jersey Forest Fire Service.  Read William Westhoven’s story in the Morris County Daily Record here.

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