Earlier this week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed our country’s growing deficit on Social Security and Medicare. He refused to acknowledge that the massive tax cut he and fellow Republicans passed for the richest Americans contributed to the financial predicament we now face.
Social Security and Medicare are programs that hard-working Americans earned, and just days after making false claims about these programs, Senator McConnell doubled down by saying Republicans will keep trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If they succeed, they will take away protections for 130 million people with pre-existing conditions, raise health care costs, impose an age tax on older Americans, and eliminate access to coverage for millions of working people.
Democrats remain committed to fighting for the people by working to protect access to affordable health care, lower prescription drug prices, and ensure retirement security. We will pass a tax cut for the middle class rather than working on behalf of special interests that fund Republican campaigns.
This week I participated in the Annual Fall Coastal States Organization membership meeting. It was great to join leaders and advocates from other states to discuss the importance of working together to protect our coastal communities, resources, and economies.
While coastal counties in the United States make up less than 10% of the total U.S. land area, they are home to a significant portion of our country’s population - 40% or 125 million people.
And coastal counties make up an important part of our economy. In Rhode Island, the coastal economy supports more than 240,000 jobs and generates more than $17 billion annually.
Recognizing the significance of coastal communities, their economic impact, and how important their existence is to such a large portion of our population is incredibly important.
That’s why in Congress I’ve been proud to work on preserving natural resources and waterways, and remain committed to combating the effects of climate change and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
This year, I lead the New England Delegation in the House in signing on to the New England Coastal Protection Act, which would prohibit the expansion of oil and gas drilling off the coast from Maine to Connecticut.
And I will continue to advocate for strong funding for the Southern New England Estuaries Program.
We have a responsibility to ourselves and future generations to be responsible stewards of the environment.
Too many Republicans in Congress along with the Trump administration are beholden to fossil fuel companies and working in the interest of big corporations and not the American people they represent.
In Congress, I will continue fighting for the values we share as champions of the environment.
RHODE ISLAND SEA GRANT
This week I was proud to announce along with the rest of our state’s congressional delegation an award of $745,815 through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the Rhode Island Sea Grant program at the University of Rhode Island. This award will support a training curriculum for entry-level aquaculture workers in our state. Federal work-training investments like this help create good-paying jobs and allow potential employees to gain critical skills needed for this industry.
Aquaculture is an important industry in the Ocean State and has grown drastically over the past several years. This federal investment will help close a skills gap and allow more people to get good jobs in this expanding industry.
INVESTING IN OUR CHILDREN
I was glad I got to join so many Rhode Islanders at Children’s Friend’s annual Investing in Our Children luncheon today. Children’s Friend is our state’s oldest child welfare agency and provides extremely caring and effective services to some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
Each year this organization provides services to more than 30,000 Rhode Island children and families.
It is the responsibility for all government officials – federal, state, and local – to work together with our partners in the private and non-profit sectors to support these efforts and ensure that no child falls through the cracks. In Congress, I’m proud to continually fight to strengthen programs that benefit children and families including:
• Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which ensures 9 million children are provided with low-cost health insurance.
• Child Care Development Block Grant which helps families access quality, affordable child care.
• Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which supports low-income mothers and young children who have or are at risk of developing nutrition-related diseases and disorders.
• Head Start, which offers education, health, and nutrition services to economically disadvantaged children, as well as parenting and employment support to parents.
I promise to continue to advocate for robust funding for these programs to ensure that every child has their basic needs met and the chance to get ahead.
On Thursday, I attended ReFocus' 12th Annual Auction and Gala in Providence to raise awareness for members of our community with different physical and developmental needs.
ReFocus is a non-profit human service agency that is dedicated to offering opportunities of growth to adults with developmental disabilities so that they are able to thrive in a loving, trusting, and challenging environment. The organization does incredible work to serve our community.
I was proud to help them raise awareness and recognize their Executive Director, Christine Kavanagh, RSM, for 45 years of dedicated service.
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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