Last week, I shared with you news that the House passed my legislation to give states like Rhode Island a leg up when competing for federal funding that strengthens our manufacturing industry. Today, I am proud to announce that the Senate has also passed my bill, making the president’s desk its next stop.
This bill, which allows our state to request a designation as a “Defense Manufacturing Community,” will give selected communities an edge when competing for financial and technical assistance through the Department of Defense. This designation means real jobs and real results for working Rhode Islanders.
I look forward to working with our private, public, and non-profit sectors to take advantage of this bill's opportunity once signed into law.
Gun violence is an epidemic in our country. We should be doing everything possible to make it more difficult for criminals, children, and individuals with serious mental illness to possess a gun. Instead, the Trump administration has decided to allow the online publishing of 3-D blueprints for these weapons. This decision will open the floodgates for anyone with access to the internet and a 3-D printer to possess a firearm.
At the beginning of the week, I introduced legislation prohibiting the manufacture or possession of 3-D guns. These plastic-printed weapons, which also lack serial numbers, are made to be virtually untraceable by law enforcement and undetectable by modern security devices used in airports, schools, and other would-be targets for mass shooters. It is a disaster waiting to happen.
Since 2013, the State Department has blocked the publishing of downloadable guns because of concerns that it would compromise national security and violate International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Earlier this month, however, the State Department suddenly reversed course allowing the publishing of this technology as early as August 1 -- without rationale behind their decision-making process.
On Tuesday night, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to halt the release of these blueprints, which was a step in the right direction. Now it is up to Congress to permanently prevent the distribution of this technology by moving forward with my bill.
It is vital that my colleagues come together in support of keeping this form of weaponry out of the hands of those who are a danger to others and themselves.
SUPPORTING RHODE ISLAND’S FIRST RESPONDERS
All of us owe our firefighters a debt of gratitude for keeping Rhode Islanders safe, and that means protecting the resources that allow them to do their jobs safely and effectively.
On Monday, I was delighted to join Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare, Mayor Jorge Elorza, Senator Reed and Congressman Langevin in unveiling the Providence Fire Department’s new Rescue 1 vehicle.
This state-of-the-art vehicle is exactly how government should work for the people it serves. I’m proud to have advocated directly to FEMA to help secure nearly $1 million in federal resources that enabled the acquisition of this top-of-the-line rescue vehicle, and other tools that will help ensure our brave first responders can do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program is a great investment, and I’m glad to have helped increase federal support by $5 million in the recent government spending bill, boosting the total investment to $350 million annually, as well as, boosting federal support for the SAFER grant program, which helps Fire Departments hire and train new firefighters, by $5 million.
These increases are a good start, but we could still be doing more to make sure our Departments have the resources they need. None of us should be able to rest until all Rhode Islanders are able to have complete confidence that our fire departments have access to the finest vehicles, resources and trainings. That’s why I’m going to continue working, alongside my colleagues in the Delegation to support robust funding for FEMA’s AFG program, and to continue bringing these resources back to Rhode Island.
As always, if you or someone you know has any questions or concerns, please call my office at 729-5600 or send me an email at David.Cicilline@mail.house.gov.
You can also click here to follow my work on Twitter.
Member of Congress
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