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NEXT WEEK: International Perspectives on Food Waste Briefing

August 31, 2018

By now you have received the invitation below to a briefing entitled, “International Perspectives on Food Waste.”  The briefing will be next Wednesday at 10 am in Room 2103 Rayburn HOB.  I hope you are able to join this important discussion as we explore
opportunities to reduce food waste.

Independent study by GWU confirms Hurricane Maria death toll of 2,975 – cosponsor the COUNT Victims Act

August 31, 2018

On August 28, 2018, the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health published an

independent analysis commissioned by the Governor of Puerto Rico showing that Hurricane Maria killed an estimated 2,975 people in Puerto Rico from September 2017 through February 2018. Notably, the study found those in low-income areas and elderly men were
at the greatest risk of dying. This comes mere weeks after the government of Puerto Rico finally

acknowledged the official death toll of 64, upon which it relied for months, was a gross undercount, and that the true number was likely to be in the thousands. Though we may never know the exact number of all lives lost during and as a result of Hurricane
Maria, the fact that numerous independent studies (e.g., by the
New York Times and
Harvard University) show the true number is likely to be in the thousands underscores the need for nationwide best practices guidance for quantifying mortality post-natural disaster. More importantly, it shows how badly transparency and oversight are needed
when it comes to post-disaster death counts.

Support Food Banks: Cosponsor the Bipartisan Food Bank Assistance Act (H.R. 4020)

August 31, 2018

Since 2008, the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) Storage and Distribution Funds have been authorized at $100 million, but each year only about $50 million has been appropriated. TEFAP is a means-tested federal program that provides food commodities
to low-income Americans in need of short-term hunger relief through organizations like food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters.  This funding level covers only about 25% of what food banks actually spend on storing and distributing food. 
To make up the other 75% of costs, food banks have to divert private donations to support the cost of storing and distributing TEFAP foods instead of using that money to improve programs and services for individuals in need, or to purchase more fresh, locally
grown foods for the program. 

Cosponsor the Bipartisan Anti-Lunch Shaming Act (H.R. 2401)

August 31, 2018

According to a 2014 report by the USDA, nearly half of all school districts used some form of lunch shaming in order to compel parents to pay for school meals. Often, students’ hot lunches are taken away and replaced with an alternative meal, like a cold
cheese sandwich. A recent New York Times article shed light on some of the troubling practices. An elementary school in Utah threw away
the lunches of about 40 students with unpaid food bills and in Alabama a child received a stamp on the arm with the words, “I Need Lunch Money.”

Reimburse physicians at appropriate rates: Sign-On to letter expressing concerns with the proposed Medicare 2019 Physician Fee Schedule

August 31, 2018

We write to request your support for a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the recently released proposed rule for the Medicare 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). As part of the agency’s laudable goal to substantially reduce
administrative burdens on providers, the proposed rule includes a concerning provision that would significantly alter the evaluation and management (E/M) codes payment rates.

House Budget Committee CBO Open House on September 5th

August 31, 2018

We invite you to join the House Budget Committee for an open house with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). This event will provide an opportunity for congressional staff to engage directly with CBO’s leadership and senior analysts. The Committee encourages
all congressional staff to attend and ask questions about CBO’s processes, including for providing cost estimates.
The open house will take place on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at 9:00 AM in room 1334 of the Longworth House Office Building. 

Help Working Families Retire With Security

August 31, 2018

We invite you to cosponsor the bipartisan Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act to help working families retire with dignity by providing the tools necessary to keep track of their retirement savings when they move from job to job. As employers have shifted
from defined benefit pensions to individualized retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, workers have become responsible for tracking, managing, and consolidating multiple retirement accounts when they change jobs. There is no standard way for workers to consolidate
their accounts, and many workers lose track of their hard-earned investments.

Cosponsor the Palestinian Authority Educational Curriculum Transparency Act

August 31, 2018

We urge you to cosponsor the Palestinian Authority Educational Curriculum Transparency Act (H.R. 6034), bipartisan legislation we introduced to require the U.S. Secretary of State to regularly review and report to Congress on the content of educational materials
used by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This legislation follows the release of the Palestinian Authority’s reformed curriculums for grades one through eleven.