Friday, February 17, 2017

News From Congressman Elit Engel

Engel on Senate Confirmation of Scott Pruitt As EPA Administrator
   Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a leading member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement on the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator:

“I am deeply troubled by Scott Pruitt’s confirmation to lead the agency tasked with protecting the American people from significant risks to human health and the environment.  Time and again, Mr. Pruitt has sued the federal government to undo the laws that protect our water and air, and openly questioned the reality of climate change.  He is a dangerous and unacceptable choice to lead the EPA.”

Engel Signs Amicus Brief Opposing Executive Order on Immigration
   Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and officials from 34 cities and municipalities across the United States, have filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on behalf of the plaintiff in Darweesh v. Trump. Mr. Darweesh is an Iraqi national who worked for the U.S. military. He had a valid visa to enter the country, but he is currently in CBP custody pending removal back to Iraq, where he and his family’s lives are in danger because of the support he offered us during the war.

“This travel ban is unlawful, unconstitutional, and discriminatory,” Engel said. “It stokes hatred in the hearts of our enemies and callously turns a blind eye to our friends and others who seek refuge on our soil. Our judicial system, so far, has upheld the Constitution and halted the implementation of this ban, but we cannot rest on our laurels and assume the battle is won. This case is further proof that the fight is not over, and our brief shows that Americans across the country do not support this Muslim ban. We will not rest until this unconstitutional order is thoroughly defeated.”

Engel Opposes GOP Resolution Curtailing Health Care Access
   Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, voted against H.J. Res. 43, a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to disapprove of an Obama administration rule that ensured patients can access Title X family planning and preventive services through any Title X-qualified provider.

As the only dedicated source of federal funding for family planning, Title X allows a diverse network of providers to deliver high-quality care to low-income, uninsured, or underinsured Americans. Title X provides grants to entities that offer a broad range of services, such as cancer screenings, birth control, sexually-transmitted infection testing and treatment, and well-woman exams. More than four million women and men receive family planning and preventive care at Title-X funded clinics annually.

An Obama administration rule stopped states from blocking Title X funds to providers that use private, non-government funds to offer safe, legal abortions. Today’s GOP-sponsored resolution rescinds that rule.

“Eligibility for Title X funding should be based on a provider’s ability to provide family planning services. Period. Whether a provider offers safe and legal abortions with private funds should not be used to prevent women and men from getting preventive care, like cancer screenings or HIV tests,” Engel said. “That is all the rule requires. This should not be controversial.”

In a speech on the House floor, Engel underscored the harmful effects of the resolution, which would prevent Americans in underserved communities from seeing the health care provider of their choice – sometimes the only viable provider.

“My Republican colleagues always talk about individual freedom, and how important it is.” Engel said. “This is an individual freedom of a woman’s right to control her own body and to make personal choices on health care. We should not interfere with that.”

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