Dear Friend,

Thank you for signing up for the Comstock Connection.  This Spring has been very busy for us.  Below you will see what we have done legislatively as well as the meetings we have had on Capitol Hill and our travels throughout the District.  As always, it is an honor to serve the 10th District of Virginia.

Memorial Day 2015
Memorial Day is a special day in America, a day on which we honor those who have sacrificed for the good of our great country.  Across the district there were many events honoring the fallen and we will continue to honor those who have sacrificed for our country, as well as those who continue to fight for our nation.  Read my Memorial Day op-ed here. 

    
 Memorial Day 2015

Fairfax Search And Rescue Team
When the country of Nepal was devastated by a major earthquake, Virginia Task Force One was deployed to help those in need.  Comprised of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel as well as specialists like doctors and K9 units, these miracle workers saved two lives and helped countless others.  We were fortunate to welcome these miracle workers home, and seeing the faces of a mom, dad, son, or daughter welcoming their hero home was very special.  On May 19th, I paid tribute to Virginia Task Force One on the House Floor.  

Virginia Task Force One Homecoming

Some Legislative Highlights and Initiatives

Human Trafficking
On May 19th, the House passed, with my support, S. 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which provides restitution to victims of human trafficking and increases the punishment for those who profit from this crime. Building upon what the House passed earlier in the year, this important and bipartisan piece of legislation will help those affected by the scourge of human trafficking and also recognize child pornography as a form of human trafficking.

Human Trafficking Bill Signing Ceremony

Stopping Human Trafficking has long been a major priority of mine.  On April 27th, I participated in a panel at George Mason University about Human Trafficking with Delegate Tim Hugo, Fairfax County Supervisors John Cook and Pat Herrity, Fairfax County Police Detective Bill Woolf, Beth Saunders and Deepa Patel.  We had a very insightful and important conversation about the different ways to combat Human Trafficking in our community.  I also visited Vienna Presbyterian Church to participate in their Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium on June 7th.

    
Discussing Human Trafficking at George Mason and Vienna Presbyterian Church

Taking Action Against Heroin
I joined Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman and other law enforcement officials from federal, state, and local agencies to announce the formation of a regional Heroin Operations Team in Northern Virginia.  We also recently held a roundtable in Winchester with West Virginia Congressman Alex Mooney along with other local elected officials.  Heroin is an emerging issue in our community and we need to work together to combat it.

Heroin Operations Team Announcement

On April 15th, I introduced the Opioid Overdose Reduction Act of 2015, a bipartisan piece of legislation designed to prevent prescription drug and heroin overdoses. This will provide an additional tool to first responders who deal with heroin overdoses on the frontlines.

Heroin Roundtable with Rep. Mooney in Winchester


Science and Technology
On May 19th, the House passed my first bill, The Research and Development Efficiency Act, which is a commonsense, bipartisan piece of legislation that will ensure that more of our federal research dollars are spent on actual research rather than burdensome and unnecessary requirements.  The Research and Development Efficiency Act will help us to minimize the regulatory burden on research institutions and implement cost-saving reforms.

 Speaking on The Research and Development Efficiency Act

The House passed the COMPETES Act, H.R. 1806, which will provide for technological innovation and investment in research, scientific discovery, and development.  As the Chairwoman of the Research and Development subcommittee, investment in scientific research and development is a priority of mine.  The COMPETES Act will help to expand job opportunities and aid the diverse organizations and companies we have in our district.  

On May 6th, we visited Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg, a school that is primarily focused on STEM education and aims to graduate students who have a firm grasp of different types of STEM education.  It is so important that our children begin to learn about different types of technology from a young age, due to the increasingly technological nature of our lives.

Transportation
My staff and I rode Metro's Silver Line from East Falls Church to Wiehle-Reston East with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.  We discussed Metro's response to outstanding safety issues and the need to maintain the current level of federal funding to ensure Metro's commitment to safety.  I am working hard to ensure that Metro continues to receive it's much-needed federal funding.  It is irresponsible for the federal government to withdraw it's $150 million commitment, especially when the safety of our commuters is at stake.  I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Virginia delegation to ensure that Metro receives its necessary funding.  

Metro's Silver Line Briefing

At the Dulles Matters! seminar in April, I announced a working group chaired by former Virginia Congressman Tom Davis to maximize the development and economic growth of Dulles Airport.  Members of our community and my Virginia delegation colleagues recognize the importance of Dulles.  We are dedicated to ensuring that it remains a strong economic engine for our region.

Healthcare
I was honored to join Ellyn Miller and be part of Gabriella’s Army for the 3rd Annual Walkin' with Gabriella Walk-a-thon, hosted by the Smashing Walnuts Foundation dedicated to battling childhood cancer.  Ellyn and Mark Miller tragically lost their young daughter Gabriella to a brain tumor when she was just 10 years old.  When she was diagnosed, Gabriella became an advocate for children with diseases like she had and started the Smashing Walnuts Foundation with her parents to raise money for childhood cancer.  To read more about the Smashing Walnuts Foundation, click here.

Smashing Walnuts Walk-a-Thon

May was Lyme Disease Awareness Month.  We attended the 5th Annual Lyme 5K/10K Run and 1M Fun Run, a fantastic event that I have supported every year since it's inception.  This year I received the Loudoun Lyme Run's 2015 Community Service award for my work on Lyme disease in our community.  For more tips on preventing Lyme, see here.

 Loudoun Lyme 5K

Other Legislation of Interest
Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act

I voted for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which received strong bipartisan support.  It is in our best interest, as well as that of our allies, for Iran not to obtain or develop nuclear weapons.  

National Defense Authorization Act
A strong national defense is important to keeping America safe in a world where our freedoms and values are under threat of attack.  It is for that reason that I voted for the National Defense Authorization Act.  This legislation will ensure the improvement of the pay and benefits of our warfighters and will also reform the Department of Defense so that it spends the taxpayers' money more wisely.  

Death Tax Repeal Act
I voted for H.R. 1105, The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015.  This legislation repeals the 40% tax on family-owned businesses.  
 I was proud to cosponsor this important piece of legislation so as to further protect families who spend a lifetime working and saving for the betterment of their communities and families.  

Meetings On Capitol Hill
I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Cindy Shao, President of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, about the Chamber's business issues.  Our community is always thankful for the work that they do. 

 
 Meeting with the Asian American Chamber of Commerce

I always enjoy visiting with groups of students on Capitol Hill.  It is great to hear about their studies and aspirations.  If anyone would like to visit us up on Capitol Hill, you can find out more information here.

    
Visiting Student Groups

We had a great visit with Dr. Angel Cabrera, President of George Mason University. Here we are with two of my staff members who went to George Mason, my Chief of Staff Susan Falconer, and Legislative Correspondent Patrick Gooley.

 Meeting with the President of George Mason

Our Work Throughout The District
We recognized National Crime Victims' Rights Week in April at a ceremony at the Loudoun County Courthouse.  I was honored to be able to present four citizens with awards recognizing their significant achievements to the community.  Roger Canaff, a renowned author and attorney dedicated to eliminating violence against those most vulnerable, was a special guest speaker at the event to discuss ways to stop predatory behavior.  The Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office presented awards to four individuals in recognition of their efforts to help crime victims: Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Detective Thomas Butler, Leesburg Police Officer Mirza Kadric, Loudoun County Fire Marshall's Office Investigator Chris Doyle, and Michael DeSantos.  

 Crime Victims' Rights Reception

On April 24th, we had our official opening to our Winchester District office located at 117 East Piccadilly Street in the City of Winchester.  It was so great to see so many friends from Winchester, and Clarke and Frederick Counties.

 Winchester District Office Opening

Dr. Tracy Fitzsimmons, President of Shenandoah University in Winchester, gave us a beautiful tour of their campus, including a look at their world-class conservatory.  Shenandoah University's theater program creates a multitude of great opportunities for graduates and continues to be recognized far and wide for its accomplishments.

 Visiting Shenandoah University 

It was wonderful to be in attendance at the Oatlands 50th Anniversary Gala. Oatlands is a National Historic Landmark and an incredible educational resource for our community.  The beautiful land and rich history of Oatlands will continue to be a huge boon for our area.  If you would like to learn about Oatlands, please visit their website here.

 Oatland's 50th Anniversary Gala

We visited with the Prince William Chamber of Commerce on April 20th for a discussion about small business issues facing the area, including the repeal of the Death Tax.   Our local chambers continue to be very active in supporting the businesses that make our community great. 

Lunch with the Prince William Chamber

We had a great visit with the American Legion Post #34 from Leesburg and discussed the efforts we all make in Congress to provide the best policies for our veterans.  I voted for the Hire More Heroes Act to ensure that we continue to help our veterans and small businesses.  

 Leesburg American Legion Post #34

Rock Ridge High School had an inspiring kickoff for the 2015 Loudoun International Youth Leadership Summit.  This important summit brings together high schools from Loudoun County with schools and students from throughout the world to create opportunities for young students to learn more about cultures around the world.  

 Visiting Rock Ridge High School for the Youth Leadership Summit

On May 16th I joined state and local officials at the Korean Bell Garden annual celebration in Vienna. This is a great celebration of our local Korean culture and I have enjoyed the many times I have been able to attend this event. 

 Korean Bell Garden Ceremony

On May 4th we took an informative tour of Berryville Graphics, the largest employer in Clarke County. They print over 100 million books per year.  Berryville Graphics is one of the leading book printers in the United States and prints all kinds of books, including many major best sellers right here in the 10th District!  They were recently featured on C-Span.

 Tour of Berryville Graphics

10th Congressional District Academy Day
On April 11th, we had a wonderful 10th Congressional District Academy Day!  A special thank you to Colonel Harry Shablom (RET), Chairman of the 10th District Service Academy Advisory Board for his presentation.  If you would like to apply for a nomination to a service academy, or if you would like more information, visit our website here. 

10th Congressional District Academy Day

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
In May, we got our BLOOM on at the Winchester Apple Blossom Festival!  It was so wonderful to see everyone dressed in pink and green and enjoying the beautiful weather.  The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival is one of the premier events in the 10th District and we were all so excited to be able to show the rest of the country our beautiful District.

    
 Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

10th Congressional District Art Competition
We recently had the awards ceremony for the 10th Congressional District Art Competition.  All of the students had such creative and exciting pieces of art.  An independent panel crowned Alena Titova of Dominion High School as the winner of this year's competition.  Her piece of art will be on display at the U.S. Capitol.

 
 Alena Titova and Her Stunning Piece of Art

 

It is always a pleasure to serve the 10th Congressional District of Virginia.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance. 

 

Sincerely,

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock

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