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Hello, again!

This is Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and before I give you October's updates on our progress on Capitol Hill and in #NJ12, I wanted to talk to you briefly about three of the most pressing issues that my staff and I have heard about from your concerned calls and letters - and coincidentally - the same issues that are facing hard-working American families. 

Mark your calendars! Open Enrollment in New Jersey begins, today, November 1st until December 15th. Despite Congressional Republican's best efforts to strip away health care from millions of Americans, the ACA is still the law of the land. This means until December 15th are able to purchase a healthcare plan or make changes to your current policy. Access to health care remains your right and now is your time to get covered. With financial help, most people find plans with insurance premiums between $50 - $100 per month. Last year, 8 in 10 people qualified for financial assistance with their plan! Visit healthcare.gov today and get covered! 

Additionally, over the next few weeks, Congressional Republicans will roll out a "tax reform" bill that we know will shift the American economy to further enrich America's wealthiest earners and businesses on the backs of the middle class. Make no mistake about it, I agree that our tax code needs to updated, but, it cannot happen without a bipartisan, honest conversation about how we can make it work for everyone! What we know now, under this plan, New Jersey is facing the second highest tax hike. 1 in 4 New Jerseyans will see their taxes increased by $2,400 meanwhile, the top 1% of New Jerseyans will see their taxes cut by $74,000. This plan also seeks to eliminate State and Local Tax Deductions, gutting Medicare and Medicaid, and stealing trillions of dollars from future generations to deliver tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. Sound the alarm and pick up the drum beat on this issue so that we can defeat this plan and protect hard-working families. 

Last, the indictment of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and senior aide Rick Gates, along with reports of a guilty plea by Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopolous are the latest in troubling revelations surrounding this President. The Special Counsel’s investigation is critical to uncovering the full extent of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and its interference in our democracy. I continue to be concerned by the attempts of Trump allies to undermine and discredit Special Counsel Mueller and his investigation. Congress has a duty and responsibility to protect the integrity and independence of this process—our democracy depends on it.

 Access to Care & Reproductive Rights are
on the Ballot in New Jersey 

In Washington, DC, it seems like almost every month, if not more, we are entertaining legislation designed to diminish a woman’s access to health care, a woman’s access to birth control, a woman’s access to the kind of decisions that she has a right to make. It has been persistent and consistent, it preceded this current president and become a more insidious and robust assault on women’s right to choose.

I was proud to stand with TCNJ students and Planned Parenthood Action Fund to make it known that while in Congress, I will always fight to ensure that women's reproductive rights are not a bargaining chip. And remember: on November 7, New Jerseyans will have the opportunity to choose a governor who will respect women, respect our intellect and our capacity to make our own healthcare decisions. Make sure you are part of this decision and get out the vote!


Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act 


Day in and day out men and women lose their lives at the hands of gun violence and the only response from the Republican-controlled Congress, and now our Republican President, has been moments of silence and continued inaction. Gun safety policies shouldn’t have to wait for tragedies like Las Vegas, Orlando and Charleston to be considered; we also owe it to mothers, fathers and siblings burying family members every day in Trenton, Plainfield and other cities across America.

That is why I reintroduced the common sense, Stop Online Ammunitions Sales Act to place limits and safeguards on the online market for ammunition.  We must slow the proliferation of guns and ammunition. New Jerseyans did not send me to Washington to simply mourn them, they sent me here to protect them. I joined NowThis Media to talk about this critical step to reduce gun violence and the tragic impact it has on our communities. You can watch by clicking the picture above. 


Letter To Twitter's CEO

I joined my college, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II in expressing our concerns with Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey on the platform's role in 'propagating hate and undermining democracy' and the company leadership's inaction to address the gravity of these issues. We asked that Twitter clearly outlined how we will combat the manipulation of the platform by domestic and foreign entities. A failure to do so will force increased oversight and regulation of the industry. You can read our full letter here.

I'm happy to share that our advocacy and concern have lead both Twitter and Facebook to take greater responsibility for the content on their platforms. This attention and action by executives at Twitter and Facebook is a small step in the right direction, to reassure the public that they have grasped the severity of this issue and are taking steps, incrementally, to counter any future risks. However, more work still needs to be done by social media platforms to combat on-line violent racial incitement and to seriously improve their hiring practices when it comes to racial diversity. 


Meeting with Ian Gorst,
Jersey's Chief Minister of the Channel Islands

I had the pleasure of meeting Ian Gorst, Chief Minister of the country of Jersey in the Channel Islands. During our meeting we discussed the unique relationship that the state of New Jersey and the country of Jersey have as we are their namesake. We both agree that there are many opportunities to improve the partnerships between our state and his country to deliver jobs and economic growth. 


Dr. John F. Nash, Jr. Post Office Naming

Earlier this month, the House unanimously passed my bill to rename a Princeton Post Office to the Dr. John F. Nash, Jr. Post Office. Nash, Jr. was a Princeton University graduate and the only person to be awarded both the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics Sciences and the Abel Prize. He serves as a national example of fearlessness in wrestling down problems so difficult few others dared to try. When residents come the the Post Office in Princeton, I hope they are inspired by his legacy, the originality of his thinking and his remarkable achievements that empowered generations of mathematicians, scientists and economists.  I can't take all of the credit though. During my first term, I hosted a post office naming competition and it was elementary school student Lyla Malloy who submitted Dr. Nash's name for consideration. Great job and many thanks, Lyla!



President Trump's Inadequate Response to
Puerto Rico & U.S. Virgin Islands

 

President Trump and Congressional Republican's response to the tremendous humanitarian crisis facing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands was and continues to be delayed and inadequate. The extent of devastations and the impact on transportation and communication networks caused by these Hurricanes Irma and Maria is unprecedented. These American citizens continue to go without basic necessities for a significant period of time to come. While Congress has just recently approved a disaster relief package, much more will be required. I will continue to push my colleagues to provide additional disaster relief funds for our fellow Americans. You can click the image above to watch my video on how I am working with the federal departments to amplify aid to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. . 


5 years after Sandy,
U.S. still working on disaster response


Ignoring the problems our nation faces will only continue to harm American citizens. I was looking forward to speaking with Carmen Cruz, Mayor of San Juan, who was scheduled to come before the House Homeland Security Committee this week. During the hearing, "Assessing FFEMA's Preparedness and Response Capabilities," each witness would be able to answer questions on how we as a nation can better prepare for national disasters.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, Congressional Republicans cancelled the hearing without rescheduling with no reason as to why. The American people deserve to know where their government can improve, where changes need to be made and how the federal government more adequately support our state and local governments in the face of natural disasters. I wrote an op-ed on the five year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy and the lessons our federal government needs to take to hear. You can read it here


Congratulations!

Congratulations are in order for the young men and women who have received awards of distinction in both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.

Eagle Scout: Christian Charache 

Girs Scout Silver Award: Chanel Lawrence, Tashay Moore, Kasey Robertson, Aluen Tomat-Kelly 

Girls Scout Gold Award: Summer Keller, Elle Bukosky 

The recognition that these young men and women have received means much more than an award for your accomplishments throughout their Scouting careers, it is a symbol of their tenacity to complete any goal and preparedness to overcome any obstacles. They have a great responsibility not only as one of America's vibrant young leaders, but also as a role model for women and men. Their dedication to service and ability to lead others has the potential to have a profound impact on the vitality and wellbeing of our communities, state, and the entire nation.



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