I want to start off this week by thanking everyone who participated in Tuesday’s Primary Election – our democracy works best when everyone is involved and I am proud to be part of the strong Democratic network in New Jersey that has shown proven dedication to making our state the best it can be.
Our fight is not over. GOP extremism will be on the ballot again this November and we cannot let it win. You don’t need to look any further than last night’s first public hearing of the January 6th Committee to see what’s at stake. You cannot listen to the evidence presented by the Commission, and the heart-wrenching testimony of Officer Caroline Edwards and not know what we are fighting for and against.
We need all hands on deck until Election Day in order to stand strong against the right-wing radical ideologies that have become a pillar of Republican policy attempts.
We are stronger together and we will not allow GOP politicians, in NJ, from NJ but pretending to be from Pennsylvania (we see you Mehmet Oz), or from across the country, to divide us.
GOV. MURPHY UPDATE
Governor Murphy, along with 22 other Governors part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to pass climate and clean energy legislation in order to secure a net-zero emission future. The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to climate action that represents approximately 60 percent of the U.S. economy and 55 percent of the U.S. population.
The letter, which you can read here, asks that leaders “pass a robust federal legislative package with the climate and clean energy investments and incentives our country needs to confront the climate crisis, improve public health and equity, cut costs for businesses and families, and grow the economy.” It also explains that the longer we wait to curb emissions, the more expensive, and limited, the solutions get. In the last 5 years alone extreme weather has cost Americans an additional $600 billion in physical and economic damages.
NJ Senator Bob Menendez introduced legislation alongside Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Boozman (R-Ark.) this week that would increase the number of Medicare-supported graduate medical education positions by an additional 14,000 over the next seven years. The bipartisan Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021, aimed at addressing the nationwide physician shortage, also requires the Government Accountability Office to report on strategies to increase the diversity of the health professional workforce, including with respect to representation from rural, low-income, and minority communities.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical schools and teaching hospitals were also forced to rely on short-term solutions to ensure that their communities had access to needed health care. This included graduating students early from medical schools, calling in retired physicians, and relocating physicians from other geographic regions to staff their inpatient units.
“The fact is, we were already facing a physician shortage crisis before the pandemic hit. We will not be prepared to respond to a future public health crisis – let alone the health needs of an aging population – if we don’t act now to significantly increase the number of medical school students and physician residents in the training pipeline,” said Senator Menendez. “Lifting this arbitrary cap would make a big difference in providing access to quality health care in every community.”
PRESIDENT BIDEN UPDATE
President Biden signed nine different bipartisan bills into law on Tuesday aimed at further protecting veterans once they return home. I’ve detailed some of the most prominent below:
- The Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas SERVICE Act expands mammogram eligibility for veterans allowing more individuals to receive potentially life-saving screenings. Prior to the bill, only those who may have been exposed to toxic burn pits qualified.
- The Making Advances in Mammography and Medical Options for Veterans Act requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to overhaul and improve its breast cancer screening and treatment services entirely, including upgrading all mammography services at its facilities.
- One of the bills will extend a two-year program, set to expire next month, that compensates veterans who developed cancers or any medical conditions from World War II-era nuclear programs.
- Some of the bills were more symbolic or commemorative in nature, such as the United States Army Rangers Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act which will award a Congressional Gold Medal to all of the Army Rangers who served in World War II.
These efforts showcase the work President Biden’s administration has put towards the bipartisan “Unity Agenda” announced earlier this year during the State of the Union Address. One of the central tenets of this plan is delivering on our commitments to current service members, veterans, and their families. As Biden said during the bill signing, “It’s a sacred obligation. Because veterans are the backbone, the spine of who we are as a country.”
— Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr.
P.S. – Join NJDSC at the Ocean City March For Our Lives on Saturday! The march will take place rain or shine. We will march along the 9th Street Bridge to the Welcome Center and back. The meet-up location is at the bottom of the 9th Street Bridge.