News from Representative Suzanne Bonamici

December 17, 2015

Dear Friend,

Happy Holidays! My favorite memories from this year include: U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez visiting Oregon to build support for paid family leave and retirement security, the Supreme Court legalizing same sex marriage, replacing No Child Left Behind, investing in new highway and transit projects, and listening to Pope Francis address Congress. But as we celebrate our victories, we must also reflect on the times of tragedy. Like every Oregonian and American, I was horrified and saddened by the tragic events at Umpqua Community College, San Bernardino, and unfortunately, too many similar massacres across the county. These deadly shootings should be calling us to action: we must do more to end gun violence across the country. 

Here’s what I’ve been working on lately:

Leaving Behind “No Child Left Behind”
One of the top reasons I came to Congress was to strengthen public education, so it was exciting to stand behind President Obama as he signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act. This legislation will give more control to states and school districts and reduce the high-stakes testing that has narrowed curriculum and stifled the joy of teaching and learning. It was an honor to serve on the bipartisan, bicameral panel that finalized the bill. Of course, our work doesn’t end here. I look forward to working closely with the U.S. Department of Education and our state education leaders as this law is implemented to make sure it best serves our students, parents, and educators.
Supporting Oregon’s Small Businesses
In 2015, I toured small businesses throughout NW Oregon. From Amity to Astoria and many places in between, small businesses are the engine of our economy and the heart of our communities. Talking with owners and employees about their successes and struggles informs my work in Congress. I heard from business owners about education and workforce issues, ways to streamline government processes, trade, and many other topics. This summer, I introduced legislation to increase the government’s contracting goals for businesses owned by veterans, women, or economically disadvantaged minorities. More contracts will help small businesses grow and hire more workers, empowering them to continue to give back to our communities. 
Onward Rose City!
Watching the Portland Timbers win their first MLS Cup was thrilling! Valeri’s goal just 27 seconds in set the victorious tone for the rest of the game. Rep. Blumenauer and I made a friendly wager with three of our colleagues from Columbus, and this week we collected our prize – Ohio beer and Buckeye candies. I recognized the Timbers with a bipartisan Congressional Resolution for their triumphant season and for the contributions the team and their supporters provide to the community. You can see the Timbers’ MLS cup trophy at the Oregon Historical Society on December 19th and 20th.
End Governing by Crisis 
Americans deserve the certainty of knowing their government will be funded and open tomorrow, next week, and next month. We cannot continue to govern our country by moving from one crisis to the next. As the year comes to a close, I am relieved that Congressional leaders have presented a bipartisan funding agreement that will make important safety investments in the Scoggins Dam, support renewable energy industries, and give Americans certainty that we will not face another devastating government shutdown. Although I do not agree with all the funding and policy priorities in the bill, compromise is about finding common ground and I am pleased to report Congress is now on track to pass a funding agreement through the end of the fiscal year.
2015: Year in Review
This year, I responded to more than 50,000 letters and phone calls, welcomed more than 900 Oregonians to my Capitol Hill office, cast more than 650 votes on the House floor, cosponsored dozens of bipartisan pieces of legislation, attended more than 60 committee meetings, and hosted a dozen town hall meetings across the district. It is a privilege to represent NW Oregonians in the United States Congress. 

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.


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