I was proud to vote against the 33rd attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act this week.
After decades of choosing between buying medications and putting food on the table, after decades of living in fear of bankruptcy caused by an unexpected illness, Americans are entering a new era of reliable access to quality, affordable health care. President Obama and Congress took the lead and did what no other Congress and Administration has been able to do – put health insurance in reach for the more than 50 million uninsured Americans and make it more affordable for everyone.
The Supreme Court affirmed the Constitutionality of the law more than two weeks ago, and upheld these important protections. It is time to move on and focus on strengthening the economy, creating jobs and paying down our debt.
I am also proud to have joined Representatives John Lewis, David Scott and Sanford Bishop in a letter we sent to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal urging him to implement an aspect of the ACA that offers states the chance to expand Medicaid coverage to more than 600,000 Georgians who desperately need healthcare.
For more, click HERE.
VOTER APP: In the last year, we have witnessed a nationwide assault on American citizens' constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. Aside from the unnecessary, expensive, and ineffective new voter ID laws, we have also seen targeted purges of eligible, registered voters. Little has been done to educate the public. As a result, there are thousands of eligible voters at risk of being turned away from the polls. To combat this, my colleagues in Congress have developed an app to give Americans critical voter eligibility information so voters are empowered and know their rights. For more, go to my page and look for the “Registered to Vote? Check Now!” icon on the bottom right of the site under “Hot Topics.”
HOMEOWNERS’ SETTLEMENT: The Department of Justice this week filed the second largest fair lending settlement in the department’s history to resolve allegations that Wells Fargo Bank, the largest residential home mortgage originator in the United States, engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers in its mortgage lending from 2004 through 2009. For more, click HERE.
JOB FAIRS: The Norcross First United Methodist Church, Norcross Cooperative Ministries and the Georgia Department of Labor - Gwinnett Career Center - are sponsoring the sixth annual CareerFest Job Fair on Thursday, July 19th from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, click HERE. The DeKalb/Rockdale Employer Committee is sponsoring a Career Expo & Health Fair on July 19 as well. For more, click HERE.
CHAMPION OF CHANGE: Congratulations to Margaret Schuelke, executive director of Project Community Connections Inc. (PCCI) in Decatur for being named one of just 13 "Champions of Change" by the White House on Thursday afternoon.
Margaret’s work with homeless families, and especially the formation of the DeKalb KidsHome Collaborative, is to be commended. For more on Margaret’s honor, read about her in Decatur Metro -- click HERE.
ARABIA MOUNTAIN PLAN: I'm pleased to report that the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area management plan has been approved by the National Park Service. This is a huge step in the development of the Heritage Area, which will help in preserving, protecting and promoting the cultural, natural and historic resources of our nationally distinctive landscape. Congratulations to Executive Director Mera Cardenas and the entire Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance family. For more, click HERE.
GOODWILL GRANT: Congratulations to Goodwill of North Georgia for receiving a $300,000 grant to help women train in apprenticeships and non-traditional jobs. Goodwill will work with Atlanta Regional Workforce and DeKalb Workforce development, among others, to help women who are out of work gain the skills they need to find a job. For more, click HERE.
ART STATION: The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant program is awarding the Stone Mountain Incubator Program (SMart, Inc.) a $50,000 grant. Our Town matching grants support communities such as Stone Mountain that are using the arts to revitalize neighborhoods and stimulate local economies. Congrats! For more, click HERE.
SOUTH RIVER ALLIANCE CANOE TRIP: Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance is sponsoring SRWA’s July 21 South River 5-mile canoe trip. The event is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please reserve a space no later than Saturday, July 14 by contacting Jackie Echols at 404-285-3756 or via e-mail at email@example.com. When confirming via e-mail, be sure to provide a contact telephone number.
SOCIAL SECURITY ONLINE: Americans 18 and older can now view their Social Security statements online. On May 1, Social Security unveiled this new addition to its popular suite of electronic services. The online statement provides estimates for retirement, disability and survivor benefits. For more, click HERE.
NATIONAL FELLOWSHIP: Congratulations to DeKalb Early College Academy teacher Jason Butler for earning a James Madison Fellowship by the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation in Washington, D.C. The fellowship will help in Mr. Butler's pursuit of a master's degree. Well done Jason!
As always, I appreciate your time and feedback. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent you in Congress.
July 13, 2012
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Arthur D. Sidney, Chief of Staff
Kathy Register, District Director
Eric C. Hubbard
Oliver Spurgeon, III