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Hello Friends,

It’s Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman providing you with another monthly update on our progress here on Capitol Hill and back home in New Jersey. November is always a month of change and transition. Fall brings out the beautiful colors amongst the trees and we set our clocks back for an extra hour of sleep. But, more importantly, we get to visit and make plans to see our families and loved ones during the holiday season. We use this time to reflect on our successes and assess some of the challenges we face. For me, November was met with some challenges, both new and recurring, but with your resilience, encouragement and activism, there were moments of triumph to be celebrated.


ACA Open Enrollment

Earlier this month, while in my local grocery store, I met Sara and her daughter Zion, a precious little girl who is fighting sickle cell anemia, along with other complications. Sara confided in me that she has trouble sleeping at night for fear that Republicans will succeed in their efforts to strip away the health care her daughter so desperately needs. Under the Affordable Care Act, children like Zion are no longer discriminated against because of their pre-existing conditions. Access to affordable healthcare has saved so many lives and continues to protect families from financial devastation like Sara and Zion.

Despite Congressional Republican’s best attempts, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land. That means, you can still get covered and in spite this Administration's sabotage — participation in Open Enrollment has surged. The deadline to purchase insurance, or make changes to your current plan is December 15th. Do it today and get covered at healthcare.gov!

 

House Passes GOP Tax Scam
 

Congressional Republicans dropped deficit and devastation on the doorsteps of millions of Americans with the passage of their tax scam. It makes an irresponsible bet on trickle-down economics by providing billions of dollars in tax cuts to the nation’s wealthiest and multinational corporations and reaching deep into the pockets of the middle class to pay up.

On the House floor I watched my colleagues vote yes to tax hikes for 36 million middle class families, 25 billion dollars of Medicare cuts next year alone, and the addition of $1.5 trillion in debt for our children to pay. Hardworking middle class New Jersey taxpayers will see limits on the state and local tax deduction and will no longer be able to deduct medical expenses. In particular, by limiting the ability of New Jersey families to deduct state and local taxes, this bill is a direct attack on our state that already pays a disproportionate amount of federal taxes. I refuse to support legislation that will so blatantly damage New Jerseyans, working families, small businesses, our nations’ veterans, the sick and a host of other constituencies that elected us to work in their best interests. Donald Trump, propped up by my Republican colleagues, has delivered an early Christmas gift to his wealthy family members, friends and big corporations.



Sexual Assault Allegations Deserve Investigations 

I joined Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC to discuss the need to expedite sexual harassment/misconduct reporting. The system is antiquated — we need to do more to protect those who report sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment and assault is unacceptable and inexcusable. Where there are allegations there should always be a thorough investigation no matter the workplace or industry - that includes Senator Franken, Congressman Conyers but also the White House and the President. You can watch the interview here.

 

Veteran's Day Conference & Resource Fair

This year, on Veterans Day, I brought the Department of Veterans Affairs directly to New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. At the inaugural Veterans Conference & Resource Fair in Monroe Township veterans and their family members were able to learn about VA resources, including compensation, pension, vocational rehabilitation, employment and education benefits. They were also able to speak to vendors representing the American Red Cross and Johnson & Johnson to hear about their initiatives to assist Veterans.

It is an honor to be able to serve these brave men and women who risked their lives for our freedoms. If you or someone you love is a veteran and needs assistance with receiving their benefits, please contact my office at 609-883-0026.

 

Coalition for Peace Action Recognition

I brought my granddaughter, Kamryn, to the The Coalition for Peace’s 38th Annual Conference and Multifaith Service for Peace. The Coalition was gracious to recognize me for fostering leadership that ushers in peace. In accepting this amazing honor I shared with the audience my motivation for the work that I do, and that is Kamryn. Each day here in Congress, I think of her and the boys and girls of her generation, who I fight for to ensure they are granted access to every opportunity they desire. God granted me this responsibility to ensure that this world is a better place for all of my constituents but especially for generations to come.



I'm Suing Donald Trump

My Republican colleagues have abdicated themselves of their duty to oversee this President as he uses his desk in the Oval Office to enrich himself and his family. It is Congress’ responsibility to oversee the President and there is an abundant amount of alarms being triggered that my Republican colleagues are snoozing through. The President is currently defying federal statute and denying our ability as Members of Congress to fulfill our constitutional duty and that is why I joined my fellow Democrats on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in filing a lawsuit. You can read more about in the Washington Post here.

 

William J. Hughes Award

I was so honored when the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University informed me that they wanted to honor me with their Excellence in Civic Engagement Award. Whether it was starting the Civil Rights Division for New Jersey's Transportation Department, serving in the New Jersey Statehouse, and now as a member of the United States Congress, my service has always been dedicated to making New Jersey a better place for all who call the Garden State home. 

Congratulations, Sahit Penmatcha!

This year my office participated in the Congressional App Challenge, a nationwide effort which allows high school students to highlight their creativity and innovation through creating an app. The winner for the 12th Congressional District is Sahit Penmatcha, a West Windsor Plainsboro High School North student, for his app Glimpse. Glimpse is an app which offers the visually impaired community a narrative to the visual environment by recognizing objects, the distance between the object and person, and speaking that information to assist the visually impaired in navigating their environment. Congratulations Sahit!


Drain The Swamp?

Remember how Donald Trump said he was going to drain the swamp? We can’t know this to be true if his Administration continues to hide the names of the men and women tasked with advocating in the best interests of the American people. Task forces charged with deregulation are seemingly being stacked with lobbyists who have deep ties to the industries being regulated. During an Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, I requested that Rebeckah Adcock, the current head of the Department of Agriculture's de-regualtion commission and former industry lobbyist, bring forth the names of the USDA commission. You can read more about why I am pushing for these names to become public information in the New York Times here.

 

Preserving Riki Jacobs' Legacy

The Hyacinth AIDS Foundation has played an integral part in helping New Jersey resolve its AIDS epidemic. They have provided access to information and programs to protect individuals and themselves from infection, and ensured that those living with HIV/AIDS have access to the medical care and treatment they need. I was honored to be able to join them and thrilled they they decided to honor me with their Riki Jacobs Social Justice Award at their 32nd Gala. Riki guided the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation into one of the premier AIDS service agencies in this country. Her unwavering commitment saved thousands of lives and helped turn around the AIDS epidemic in New Jersey.

 


Thanksgiving

For some of us, Thanksgiving is a day surrounded by the friends and loved ones that we are most grateful for. However, there are too many people not surrounded around the dinner table amongst loving company. That’s why on Thanksgiving, my district staff and Youth Advisory Council spent their day feeding senior citizens in Lawrenceville along with homeless people in the city of Trenton. Small acts of kindness can do a great deal of good in someone’s life. I know times are tough during the Holidays, but please — do what you can for your neighbors and community.

 

Goodbye Christie, Hello Murphy

On the night of November 7th, we experienced a pivotal moment for not only New Jersey, but this nation. Instead of choosing to continue down the misguided Trump/Christie style of bullying and incompetent governance, New Jerseyans chose a unifying team in Phil Murphy and Sheila Oliver that will lead with compassion and intelligence. I look forward to working with our new Governor and Lieutenant Governor as they steer New Jersey back on the right track and reverse the damage that Chris Christie inflicted upon New Jerseyans. I joined Eric Landskroner with Power & Politics to talk about what this move means for New Jersey and our country. You can watch the interview here.

Just one year ago, we were inundated with hollow rhetoric that a Trump victory was indicative of the America in which we live. Let it be known that in December and on into 2018, we will continue to break down barriers in elected offices around the country – moving towards leadership that represents the true fabric of our nation. Our nation is better when we embrace our diversity and what makes us truly great as opposed to dividing for cheap and hateful political opportunism. There will be more difficult days ahead of us, make no mistake about that, but our most recent election proves that the resistance is winning, whether Republicans are listening or not. We must continue to stay awake, stay alert, and be ready to mobilize.

 


WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
1535 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5801
Fax: (202) 225-6025
EWING, NJ OFFICE
850 Bear Tavern Road Suite 201
Ewing, NJ 08628
Phone: (609) 883-0026
Fax: (609) 883-2093
 
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