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Celebrating the Historic Career of Senator Barbara Mikulski

Senator Barbara Mikulski is a groundbreaking champion for the state of Maryland, an inspiration to women all across our country, and my mentor in the Congress. As the longest serving woman in the history of the Congress and the first duly elected on her own, she is one of Maryland’s greatest leaders, and her legacy will echo for generations to come. I value our tremendous partnership on securing scientific funding critical to our state, creating an emergency preparedness initiative for our region centered at Prince George’s County Hospital, and protecting women's rights and health in the landmark Affordable Care Act. I join all Marylanders and countless others around the country in thanking her for 30 years of service in the Senate and wish her all the best as she begins a new chapter in her life.

Rep. Edwards, Leader Pelosi, and Sen. Mikulski visit with
elementary school children at a child care center.

March is Women’s History Month

Reintroduced The Federal Employee Pension Fairness Act

Under current law, recently hired federal employees are forced by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 to raise their contribution amount to their own pensions from 0.8% to 4.4%. This results in a significant decrease in their take-home pay, making it more difficult to afford daily necessities. In recent years, lawmakers have balanced the budget on the backs of federal workers, who have contributed $159 billion towards deficit reduction over ten years. This is in spite of the fact that the main pension fund, the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF), is fully funded.

Federal employees are the backbone of our federal government and agencies. Whether protecting our borders, conducting life-saving medical research, or ensuring our food and medicine is safe to consume, public servants perform duties vital to the health, safety, and economic well-being of the American people. Yet after all their sacrifices, during the past four years federal employees, including nearly 52,000 people in my congressional district, endured unpaid furloughs, saw the elimination of cost-of-living increases, and were forced to increase their own contributions to their pensions by over 500%.

Enough is enough. It is our duty to ensure the fair treatment of the federal employees who have served our nation so well, especially during times of economic strain. We must stop saddling our federal workers with such disproportionate burden, and start asking wealthy corporations to pay their fair share. I look forward to the opportunity to work with my colleagues in Congress to pass this bill that would bring needed relief to those who work tirelessly to keep us safe and our government running.

My legislation would restore the Federal Employee Pension contribution to their original 0.8%, and instead close corporate tax loopholes for companies that are incorporated overseas, but managed and controlled in the United States.

Washington Post: House passes bill fully funding the Department of Homeland Security

I am glad that Speaker Boehner and House Republicans eventually joined Democrats to pass a clean bill funding the Department of Homeland Security.

Testified Before House Budget Committee on Priorities for FY2016

I Applaud President Obama Signing Bipartisan Law to Prevent Veteran Suicides

Suicide among our nation’s veterans is staggering, with twenty-two veterans on average committing suicide daily. The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act will help many of the 55,000 veterans in the 4th Congressional District and across the country struggling with mental health challenges to receive better resources, care, and benefits. I was proud to support this bipartisan legislation in the House and see it signed into law today by President Obama to ensure our nation stands behind our veterans with the compassion and dedication they deserve.”

Of the more than 2 million Americans who have served in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is estimated that one-third, roughly 600,000 women and men, have traumatic brain injury, PTSD, or depression. In 2014, over 1.4 million veterans with a mental health diagnosis enrolled in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services–an increase of 64% from 2005. This bill will support those veterans, expanding access to and improving the effectiveness of mental health services to help respond to their specific needs.

The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act takes a multi-faceted approach to improve mental health services for our veterans. The law:

  • Establishes a peer support and community outreach pilot program to assist transitioning servicemembers with accessing VHA mental health care services.
  • Requires the VA to create a one-stop, interactive website to serve as a centralized source of information regarding all mental health services for veterans.
  • Establishes a student loan repayment pilot program aimed at recruiting and retaining psychiatrists to help address the shortage of mental health care professionals.
  • Requires an annual, third-party evaluation of all mental health care and suicide prevention practices and programs at the VA to find out what’s working and what’s not.

What: Coffee Conversation
When: Saturday, March 14, 2015
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Where: Severna Park Libray
45 West McKinsey Road
Severna Park, MD 21146
Map It!

What: Understanding IRS Filing Requirements
Under the Affordable Care Act:
An Information Session for Small Businesses
When: Thursday, March 19, 2015
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Where: 5001 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746
Map It!

Federal Register Notices of Upcoming Meetings

Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs: Federal Register Meeting Notice
The Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs serves as an independent source of advice and policy recommendation to the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Date and Time: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Washington, DC 20416, Eisenhower Conference Room C, located on the Concourse Level Floor.

For Additional Information: Ms. Barbara Carson, Acting Associate Administrator, Office of Veterans Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Washington, DC 20416; phone: (202) 205-6773; email: barbara.carson@sba.gov.
Click here for more information.

Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development; Federal Register Meeting Notice
This public meeting is to discuss recommendations identified by the Interagency Task Force (IATF) to further enable veteran entrepreneurship policy and programs. In addition, the Task Force will allow public comment regarding the focus areas.

Date and Time: March 12, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
Location: SBA Headquarters, 409 3rd Street SW., Washington, DC 20416, in the Eisenhower Conference Room B, Concourse Level.

For Additional Information: Ms. Barbara Carson, Acting Associate Administrator, Office of Veterans Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Washington, DC 20416; phone: (202) 205-6773; email: vetstaskforce@sba.gov.
Click here for more information.

Food and Nutrition Service: FY2015 Professional Standards Training Grant
This funding opportunity may be subject to the requirements of EO 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs”. This Executive Order was issued with the desire to foster the intergovernmental partnership and strengthen federalism by relying on State and local processes for the coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance and direct Federal development. The Order allows each State to designate an entity to perform this function. If you are located within a State that does not have a SPOC, you may send application materials directly to a Federal awarding agency. For more information click here. Funding Restrictions Pre-award costs will/will not be awarded for this grant project.

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Washington, D.C. Office
2445 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202-225-8699 main
202-225-8714 fax

Prince George's County Office
5001 Silver Hill Road, Suite 106
Suitland, Maryland 20746
301-516-7601 main
301-516-7608 fax

Anne Arundel County Office
877 Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard
Ritchie Court Office Building, Unit 101
Severna Park, MD 21146
410-421-8061 main
410-421-8065 fax