News from Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

September 1, 2017

Dear Friend,

I join those across Oregon and the country who are deeply concerned about the devastating and deadly flooding unleashed by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. In Congress, I'll work with my colleagues to make sure the thousands of families harmed by the storm get the help they need. On the Science Committee, I'll continue to advocate for better forecasting and preparation for severe weather events, and I'll fight to protect funding for the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This is a catastrophic event, but we can all be proud of the strength of the survivors and the courage of the first responders and volunteers who are providing aid and support.

Happy Labor Day to you and your friends and family. Here are more details about what I've been doing in Oregon this summer:

Helping Seniors Remain Independent
The population of older Americans continues to grow. As a policymaker, I have been a strong advocate for improving programs that help keep seniors healthy, active, and engaged in their communities. Last year, I was proud to take a leading role in helping Congress pass a law to update the Older Americans Act, which provides nutritional and social services to millions of seniors. Unfortunately, the President's budget proposal includes cuts to programs that fund Meals on Wheels. I recently helped Meals on Wheels deliver meals to homebound seniors in Oregon and saw firsthand how visits by volunteers offer companionship and a good meal. As Congress negotiates a budget, I will continue to fight for funding for these important programs.

Going Back to School
Across NW Oregon, students and their families are getting ready for the school year. Research shows significant academic benefits for children who read over the summer. Bridging Cultures at the Beaverton City Library is a wonderful federally-funded program that helps young children, many of whom are immigrants and refugees, get a strong start in reading so they can improve their chances of success in school. As a leader on the House Education Committee, I am devoted to strengthening public education so all students have the opportunity to access an education that will set them on a successful path, no matter what they do in life.

To all the educators who help our students grow and learn, thank you for your hard work and dedication.

Innovative Businesses Thriving in Oregon
This August, I got to tour several innovative businesses that are growing our economy, supporting working families, and solving tough problems. By developing cutting-edge technology and offering great customer service, Ruby Receptionists has grown rapidly in recent years. I appreciate their commitment to training and supporting workers. Cut My Timber is one of the Oregon companies leading the way in advanced manufacturing of cross-laminated timber and sustainable wood products. Finally, OCHIN is a health information network helping patients and health care providers realize the full benefits of electronic medical records and other technological advances. I'll continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to advance policies that help these companies thrive.

Increasing Affordability and Access to Higher Education
As a young adult, I was able to work my way through community college, undergraduate, and law school, and finish with a manageable amount of debt - but that's not possible for too many students today. Although some students are able to manage their debt, in some cases, particularly in for-profit colleges, students are saddled with debt but do not gain knowledge or skills that prepare them for today's workforce. I was disappointed to learn that the Department of Education under Secretary DeVos further delayed requirements that held schools accountable for educating and preparing students for gainful employment. In Congress, I'll continue to call on the Trump Administration to put the interests of student borrowers first, not the interests of for-profit colleges.

You can find more updates about my work around NW Oregon and in Washington, DC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also contact my Oregon and Washington, DC 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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