On Thursday the House considered a motion to concur with Senate Amendments to H.R. 4851:
Continuing Extension Act. This legislation extends some important programs such as unemployment benefits and COBRA. Senate Republicans blocked this necessary extension for three weeks, which resulted in thousands of people losing their unemployment benefits. This measure extends unemployment benefits retroactively through June 2nd so those who did lose their benefits will be able to recover that money. It also extends COBRA health insurance eligibility, and some other programs that were set to expire, such as the National Flood Insurance Program.
I voted YES. H.R. 4851 passed.
On Thursday the House considered H.R. 4715: Clean Estuaries Act. This measure increases authorization for our nation's estuary program to $50 million per year in order to protect more of these natural resources. Estuaries are bodies of water that contain both fresh water from rivers and salt water from oceans, creating an environment that supports a wide range of plants, fish and wildlife. 70% of our commercial fish catch comes from estuaries, which are a significant economic and environmental resource. Many are plagued by pollution and overuse. H.R. 4715 provides further protection for estuaries.
I voted YES. H.R. 4715 passed.
During the recent District Work period I met with new Boston National Historical Park Superintendent Cassius Cash at the Bunker Hill Monument to review ongoing repair work being funded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). All four sets of stairs leading to the monument are being stabilized and two of its sides will be re-pointed as part of this repair project. Stimulus funding will also be used to repair damaged brick walls in the Charlestown Navy Yard. These stimulus funds are helping create jobs in our state and preserve an important piece of our Revolutionary War history.
I also had the chance to visit some great local organizations, including Jumpstart in Jamaica Plain. The goal of this non-profit organization is to help pre-school aged children prepare for kindergarten, giving them the tools they need to succeed as they begin their educational journey. Jumpstart has a number of locations in Massachusetts, working with student and community volunteers to help children build their language and social skills during the developmentally important year leading to kindergarten.
What's Up Next
This week the House is expected to consider several bills, including H.R. 157:District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act.