At the State of the Union last night. From the Washington Post.
At the State of the Union last night. From the Washington Post.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Wilsack this week to ask him to scrap white potatoes from the list of foods that can be purchased using government-funded food vouchers for women, infant, and children.
The WIC is a welfare program, similar to food stamps, that provides assistance to low-income families who cannot afford to buy food that they need. But individuals receiving WIC benefits can only use the funding to buy foods that meet certain nutrition standards. Since 2009, white potatoes have been banned from that list. But DeLauro says that language buried in the 2014 government funding bill would allow people to use WIC vouchers to purchase white potatoes, and she’s asking Wilsack to reject that change.
“Fresh white potatoes are not currently included in supplemental food packages because the research overwhelmingly shows that white potatoes are not lacking in the diets of low-income women and children,” DeLauro, a staunch defender of food stamp programs, wrote to Wilsack. She said in her letter that Institute of Medicine research has found that while the eligible WIC population consumes a sufficient quantity of white potatoes, participants’ diets are lacking in consumption of other fruits and vegetables.
One of the top football players in the state – Jonathan Mumby – is headed to Washington, D.C. as a delegate to the U.S. Senate Youth Program.
The prestigious progam has numerous famous alumni who later went on careers in public life, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Democratic presidential advisor Mack McLarty and longtime Republican consultant Karl Rove. Another participant was former Rhode Island resident Sara Lonardo, who is now the communications director for U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
Mumby, an All-State player and honor roll student at Bloomfield High School, will be joined by West Haven High School’s Yingxian Guo - an academic superstar and co-captain of the varsity girls swimming team who is headed to Yale University. Mumby is awaiting word on whether he will be accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point or to the U.S. Naval Academy.
The two students were selected by state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, and all 104 students nationwide who are going to Washington are ranked in the top 1 percent of their states academically. Continue reading
According to the memo:
The constant debates and squabbling the witness decried are a result of Republicans refusing to take action on real legislation to help American women. The time has come to stop wasting
taxpayers’ time and dollars waging attacks on women’s constitutionally protected right to make informed health care dec isions about their own bodies with their own doctors and work on an ‘actual legislative agenda for women’s actual needs.’
A majority of the members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation say that Edward Snowden should not be given clemency.
This week, a New York Times editorial called for clemency and whistleblower status for Snowden, a former government contractor who has leaked detailed information about the National Security Agency’s extensive domestic and international spying.
Sen. Chris Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, along with Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joe Courtney, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Jim Himes and Rep. John Larson all say Snowden must face felony charges.
(I am still waiting for a response from Rep. John Larson.)
“Edward Snowden should come back to the United States and be held accountable for his actions,” Murphy said in a statement released by his office Friday. “If Snowden truly cared about exposing illegal activity, he should have gone through proper channels using statutory whistleblower protections. Instead, he stole untold amounts of sensitive, classified information, fled to China and Russia, and made these secrets available to countries with adversarial interests toward the United States. Snowden’s revelations have touched off an important debate, but this fact does not absolve him from responsibility for his crimes, especially when he had other avenues through which to raise these issues.”
But U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney suggested that a plea bargain might be a good idea. His spokesperson, Liz Donovan, said:
Congressman Courtney has consistently voted against giving sweeping powers to the NSA—including changes that weakened FISA warrant standards in 2007 and extension of the Patriot Act without reform—for precisely the reasons that the Snowden revelations have highlighted. Congressman Courtney believes in the integrity America’s courts, and given that Mr. Snowden has been charged by federal prosecutors, he should return to the U.S., where he can present an argument for his innocence or mitigating circumstances. Given the unique nature of this case, the Justice Department should make a bona fide attempt to negotiate a balanced path forward, which may include a plea bargain process that could reduce the severity of any punishment.
Congressman Courtney continues to support bipartisan efforts to reform our intelligence programs to increase oversight and accountability, strengthen protections for whistleblowers, and rebalance our security activities with the rights afforded to American citizens under the constitution. Continue reading
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro was one of the original champions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which allows most workers to take unpaid time off to care for a sick relative or a new baby.
But the Democrat from Connecticut says the law needs to be updated. DeLauro and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are making a push for paid family and medical leave. They are sponsoring legislation that would establish an insurance program for family and medical leave, which would allow workers to take up to 12 weeks of leave and receive partial pay. The insurance program would be funded through contributions from both employers and employees.
“We need to modernize and expand the FMLA,” DeLauro said in February, on the 20th anniversary of the law’s enactment. “And we need to pass paid leave legislation that I have long championed. Being a working parent should not mean choosing between your job and taking care of yourself and your family.”
DeLauro and Gillibrand will hold a press conference in Washington on Thursday to promote the bill.
The radio host has a worth-reading blog post about what his party is doing in Washington:
This will end as a lose-lose for the Republicans in Congress, at some point they will vote to reopen government, the conservatives across the country will be mad they gave in, Obamacare will be untouched, there will be some permanent scars and hard feelings within the Republicans in the Congress and they will get blamed for government disruption. A lot of us may be glad this all happened , but I never understood the long term strategy for Republicans, bottom line… I don’t think we can change the minds of these folks in Congress time for all of them to go….we need term limits now more than ever!!
Efforts to prevent commercial exploitation and sex trafficking of minors “are largely under supported, inefficient, uncoordinated, and unevaluated,” according to a two-year study released this week.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro said the new report, “Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States,” shows that more needs to be done.
“This report recommends important changes needed to strengthen our nation’s emerging efforts to prevent, identify and respond to the sexual exploitation of children in this country,” DeLauro said. “As the report states, ‘A nation that is unaware of these problems or disengaged from solutions unwittingly contributes to the ongoing abuse of minors.’ I will be introducing a resolution next month to raise awareness of the suffering by young girls at the hands of amoral predators in our own backyard.”
Blumenthal, who has introduced legislation to improve data collection and reporting of sex trafficking in child welfare cases, said the scope of the problem is massive.
“Sex trafficking is usually perceived as a faraway, foreign problem, but in fact, hundreds of thousands of children in the United States are at risk of abuse by sex traders,” Blumenthal said.
Connecticut played a pioneering role in advancing several key pieces of legislation related to families, including family and medical leave and paid sick time.
On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and other officials will gather in Hamden to highlight what they say is Connecticut’s role as a model for the nation.
“Connecticut has always been a leader on family-friendly workplace policies, from the passage of a state Family and Medical Leave Act, which led to a federal FMLA policy, to the first state paid sick days legislation in 2011, and now the creation of a legislative taskforce to study family medical leave insurance during the 2013 legislative session,” the Working Families party said in a press release announcing Tuesday’s press conference. The event is also being sponsored by the Connecticut Association for Human Services.
In addition to DeLauro, state Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Teresa Younger, executive director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and Connecticut AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Lori Pelletier are expected to attend.
Federal food labeling requirements haven’t been updated since 1990 and often don’t provide the information consumers need to make healthful choices.
That’s the argument made by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey.
The three lawmakers are pushing a bill that would revamp food labeling requirements. They will hold a press conference in Washington Thursday to highlight their efforts.