News from Representative Suzanne Bonamici

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March 2, 2015

Dear Friend,

February is a short month, but we've been busy. In the news you saw the struggle to come to consensus on how to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The safety and security of Americans should be our top priority, but unfortunately the House only passed a one-week bill. I expect to vote on a long-term funding proposal this week. I continued to highlight the importance of public education by speaking to the National School Boards Association at their annual conference in Washington, D.C., and I participated in a major rewrite of No Child Left Behind. Back home in Oregon I visited a behavioral health care provider and warming center in Clatsop County and discussed demand for services, and I kicked off my small business tour with a visit to a woman-owned cosmetics company in Beaverton. And it's almost tax time. Here's a rundown of February.

Protecting America's Safety
The inability to fund the Department of Homeland Security was a manufactured crisis. This funding dispute wasted valuable time, threatened the safety of our country, and endangered the financial security of thousands of DHS employees. I voted for a one-week spending bill to protect our country and because we were assured that we will vote on a long-term bill soon. We need to address immigration reform, but we cannot do so while holding the safety and paychecks of hard-working Americans hostage. Read my comments about the funding bill.
Fixing "No Child Left Behind"
I enjoyed speaking with education advocates from around the country at the National School Boards Association annual conference where I outlined how we should fix No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and discussed my bill to get fewer, better assessments in schools. The House included a version of my assessment bill as an amendment to H.R. 5, the Student Success Act. Unfortunately, that bill does not maintain the law's original intent, which was equity for students. Watch my remarks in opposition to the bill here & here. I am still hopeful a compromise can be reached in the Senate.

Understanding Health and Housing Needs
Earlier this month I visited with behavioral health care and senior care providers in Clatsop County to learn more about the needs of seniors and the vulnerable. I also toured Astoria's Warming Center and met with city and county staff and housing assistance providers to talk about affordable housing needs in the county. Providing support to those in need is important for the health of our communities and ultimately can reduce safety net costs.

Learning from Local Small Businesses 
The kickoff of my small business tour began at Hue Noir, a woman-owned business in Beaverton. As a chemist with a degree in biology, founder and CEO Paula Hayes decided to custom manufacture cosmetics. Visiting small business owners like Paula helps me to understand what's working, what isn't, and how I can be most helpful. Contact my office if you'd like to participate in the tour.

Need Help Filing Your Taxes?
If you received health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act last year and have questions about how to report the coverage, claim an exemption, or make a shared responsibility payment, please contact my District office or visit this website. The deadline to file your 2014 taxes is April 15. The earlier you file, the earlier you receive a refund. Read about my bill to protect your tax refund from unscrupulous tax preparers.
As always, you can find more updates on my work around the district and in Washington on Facebook and Twitter. You can also contact my Oregon and Washington, D.C. offices with questions, comments, or for assistance with a federal agency. This mailbox is not monitored. To contact me via email, please use this secure web form

OFFICE LOCATIONS:
WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
439 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-0855
Fax: (202) 225-9497
 

OREGON OFFICE
12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 220
Beaverton, OR 97005
Phone: (503) 469-6010
Fax: (503) 469-6018



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