[StBernard] Washington Report from Rep. Richard H. Baker

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri Jul 13 20:41:57 EDT 2007

July 13, 2007

Thank you for signing up for Congressman Baker’s newsletter. Below are issue updates that you may find interesting. As always, please visit his website at http://www.baker.house.gov <http://www.baker.house.gov/> for the most up-to-date news and information on what Congressman Baker is working on in the Sixth Congressional District of Louisiana.

Cong. Baker Brings Members of Congress to Louisiana to Discuss Veterans’ Health Care

On Monday, Congressman Baker accompanied several Members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee to New Orleans for a field hearing on the future of veterans’ health care in South Louisiana . The Southeast Louisiana Veterans’ Health Care System serves veterans in 23 parishes in South Louisiana , including the parishes in the Greater Baton Rouge area. Hurricane Katrina caused the VA Hospital to close its doors after it was flooded, and the hospital has yet to re-open. Congressman Baker, as Louisiana’s only Congressional Member on the Veterans’ Committee, has continued to push for the re-establishment of health care that Louisiana veterans deserve. At the hearing, Members of Congress and veterans all demanded that health care for Louisiana veterans be re-established as soon as possible. Cong. Baker again urged VA Secretary Nicholson to take immediate action to move this project forward. To read more about Cong. Baker’s concerns about the hospital’s delays, click here <http://www.republicans.veterans.house.gov/news/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1523> .

Federal FEMA Funds for Gulf Coast Recovery Exceed $8 Billion

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has reported that state and local governments in Alabama , Louisiana , Mississippi and Texas have received over $8 billion in federal funding for projects ranging from repair and reconstruction of hurricane-damaged schools, roads, utilities, public infrastructure and removal of storm debris. Louisiana has received $4.85 billion in public assistance funding. Click here <http://www.baker.house.gov> to visit the “Special Features” section of Congressman Baker’s website to learn more.

Congress Passes Legislation to Extend Abstinence Education

Congress has approved legislation to extend abstinence education grants for states through the end of the fiscal year, effectively providing $12.5 million for the programs over the next 3 months. These programs provide teens with a clear message of health and help them develop personal boundaries and leadership skills in order to negotiate teenage pressure. Louisiana (http://www.abstinencedu.com/) ranks ninth in the country for funding, receiving $8 million over the last five years.

Earlier this year Congressman Baker signed a letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) and Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-TX) stressing the importance of the abstinence program. Congressman Baker is pleased leadership in both the House and Senate addressed his concerns and have extended the program so that communities are given the tools to promote good and healthy choices for our nation's adolescents.

FEMA Rental Information Update for Landlords and Tenants

FEMA is looking to expand its list of rental units available for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita victims. If you are an interested landlord, property owner and/or manager and have an available apartment or house you are encouraged to contact FEMA at 1-888-294-2822. If you are currently living in FEMA temporary housing and looking for a place to rent, please visit https://asd.fema.gov/inter/hportal/home/htm or call 1-888-294-2822 <https://asd.fema.gov/inter/hportal/home/htm%20or%20call%201-888-294-2822> . Interested landlords can also register online for the Landlord Direct Payment plan at http://www.corplodging.com/femadap/.

Capitol-to-Capitol Cycling Campaign for Cancer

Earlier this week, Congressman Baker met with a group of 4 extraordinary young men to discuss cancer awareness and research. These men, ages 20-25, are cycling from our nation’s Capitol to the Louisiana Capitol to raise money- through sponsors and donations- for cancer research. Early Friday morning, Michael and Will Benton, Brian Goh, and Matt Marrero embarked on this twenty eight day, 1,800 mile journey from Washington , DC , to Baton Rouge , LA. The group of 4, all Baton Rouge area natives, will donate the proceeds to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center . You can read more about their mission and track their travel at their website <http://http://www.capitoltocapitolride.org/index.html> (http://www.capitoltocapitolride.org/index.html).

Congressman Baker is committed to working with his colleagues in Congress and with partners in Louisiana such as the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center to support cancer awareness and research efforts and to ensure that patients suffering from this disease have greater access to life-saving technology and quality health care options.

New Poll on Security

This summer many Americans are busy traveling and accessing our nation’s airports, highways, and waterways. Some people believe terrorist groups view this season as an opportunity to target the U.S. What do you think? Click to vote <http://www.baker.house.gov> in Congressman Baker’s latest poll.

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