February 5, 2021 Dear Friend, This week began with a deployment ceremony for the Charlie Company 3/172nd Infantry Regiment of the New Hampshire National Guard (NHNG) on Monday as they prepared for a yearlong deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield. From supporting our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic to protecting our nation’s capital during the peaceful transition of power to serving abroad and so much more — the bravery and patriotism of the men and women of our National Guard have made the Granite State Proud. We owe them — and their families — a debt of gratitude for their service as we pray for their safety.
February 5, 2021
This week began with a deployment ceremony for the Charlie Company 3/172nd Infantry Regiment of the New Hampshire National Guard (NHNG) on Monday as they prepared for a yearlong deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield. From supporting our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic to protecting our nation’s capital during the peaceful transition of power to serving abroad and so much more — the bravery and patriotism of the men and women of our National Guard have made the Granite State Proud. We owe them — and their families — a debt of gratitude for their service as we pray for their safety.
Attending the New Hampshire National Guard deployment ceremony on Monday
It was a somber moment on Wednesday morning when I honored the life, service, and sacrifice of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries sustained while defending the U.S. Capitol — and our very democracy — from a mob of pro-Trump insurrectionists on January 6th. To lie in honor in the Rotunda of the Capitol is a fitting tribute to the courage and sacrifice of Officer Sicknick. My heart is with his family, friends, and colleagues.
Officer Sicknick's Portrait in the Capitol
At Officer Sicknick's memorial in the Capitol
This week, the Energy and Commerce Committee held its first hearings of the 117th Congress in both the Oversight and Investigations and Health Subcommittees. I’m proud to serve on this influential committee to advance legislation to crush COVID-19 and help us move forward. I recently introduced two different bills to ramp up vaccine production and ensure that we can get vaccines into arms as quickly and efficiently as possible. This Congress, I will be rejoining the House Agriculture Committee where I look forward to bringing the voices of Granite State farmers and producers to Washington as I work to advance the priorities of New Hampshire’s agriculture economy.
An update from outside the Capitol
Working to End the COVID-19 Pandemic and Get Vaccines into Arms
The Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on Tuesday to examine the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. While it’s taken remarkable, unprecedented efforts to get safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines developed, authorized and distributed around the country, it won’t be enough to curb the spread of the virus if we cannot get vaccines into arms quickly.
Questioning witnesses during the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee hearing
In the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on Wednesday, we held a hearing appropriately titled, “Road to Recovery: Ramping Up COVID-19 Vaccines, Testing, and Medical Supply Chain.” At this hearing, we heard from public health professionals and supply chain experts that one of the keys to getting the COVID-19 crisis under control is ensuring we use these vaccines to their full capacity and improve our health data systems. I’m glad that Congress has put resources toward modernizing our public health data infrastructure, but it is clear that we need to do more. Through my role on the Energy and Commerce Committee, I will continue working to ensure that our supply and infrastructure meet the demands of this public health crisis.
Questioning witnesses during the Health Subcommittee hearing
Speaking to the New Hampshire Hospital Association members and leadership
Today, I spoke on the House floor to call for my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to prioritize getting the COVID-19 vaccines equitably and efficiently distributed and administered. The development of two highly-effective vaccines in under one year is an unprecedented scientific accomplishment, but this effort is only truly recognized when we can get vaccines widely distributed. There is no greater public health priority than getting this vaccine into the arm of every American who wants it, and I’m committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure the equitable distribution of the vaccine.
Speaking on the House floor urging Congress to take action on distributing the COVID-19 vaccines
The Biden Administration Continues to Deliver Good News
As we reach the end of the second full week of the Biden-Harris Administration, I am feeling more hopeful about the future of our nation. This week, the Biden administration struck a deal with Australian manufacturer Ellume to secure what will be the country’s first over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 test. Just like vaccines and precautions such as wearing masks and practicing physical distancing, access to COVID-19 testing is key to keeping people safe and combating the spread of the virus. At-home tests will make it easier for people to find out if they are infected so they can take steps to stop the spread and keep their communities safe.
I applaud the Biden-Harris administration for creating a family reunification task force. The practice of separating families at the border was one of the most despicable exploits of the Trump administration that I personally witnessed at a facility in McAllen, Texas. The heartless, shameful family separation policies caused lasting trauma and pain for thousands of children and families.
I’m also thrilled the administration is creating a new Gender Policy Council – a reformulation of the Obama administration’s White House Council on Women and Girls. Some of the goals of this council include restoring and expanding reproductive rights, combating gender-based violence, reducing maternal mortality, and adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.
This week, several of President Biden’s cabinet nominees were confirmed and sworn in, including our new Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg. COVID-19 has highlighted the urgent need for us to advance and improve our infrastructure in the Granite State and across the country. I look forward to working with Secretary Buttigieg and the talented, experienced, diverse team that the President is building to ensure we rise to the challenges facing our communities and build back better.
Working to Expand Access to Mental Health Resources, Treatment for Substance Use Disorder
As the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force, I am proud of my work with both Republicans and Democrats to address substance misuse and expand access to treatment and resources. I introduced the Emergency Support for Substance Use Disorders Act with Congressman John Katko (R-NY) on Tuesday. The ‘new normal’ during the COVID-19 pandemic has added additional stress for those struggling with substance use disorder and this health crisis has made it more difficult for many to get the treatment that they need. Our legislation will help ensure that funding can reach providers so that Granite Staters at risk of substance misuse have access to the care and support they need.
This Black History Month, I’m celebrating the inauguration of our nation’s first female, Black vice president, Kamala Harris! She may be the first, but she will not be the last. I’m also celebrating incredible young Black voices, like Amanda Gorman, who captivated worldwide attention when she read her poem, “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden and Vice President Harris’s inauguration ceremony last month. Amanda is an inspirational young leader, and I look forward to seeing what she does next. You can read her interview with former First Lady Michelle Obama here.
News You Can Use
It breaks my heart every time another friend or colleague reveals that they are a survivor of sexual assault, but sadly, it’s not surprising. By bravely opening up about her history of trauma and sharing her experience during the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is helping to destigmatize these important conversations. I commend her for her courage. As a sexual assault survivor and victim of the January 6th terror attack, I was profoundly moved when Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said that “trauma compounds on each other.” If you or someone you know are experiencing sexual assault, abuse, or domestic violence, you are not alone and help is available. The NH Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence (NHCADSV) has resources available. The NH Domestic Violence Hotline is at 866-644-3574 and the NH Sexual Assault Hotline is at 800-277-5570 – both are confidential and available 24/7.
Sign-ups for Phase 1B of New Hampshire’s COVID-19 vaccination process are now open. Phase 1B opens vaccine registration to:
Those 65 years or older
Those under 65 but medically vulnerable
Residents or staff of residential facilities
Correctional officers working in facilities
Confirm your eligibility and register for your vaccination on www.vaccines.nh.gov/. If you need assistance, you can call 2-1-1 for help.
As always, theCDC and theNew Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services are the best resources to turn to during the COVID-19 public health emergency. If you are sick, stay home and call your health care provider. If you live in NH and have questions about coronavirus, dial 211 or visitCDC.gov for more information.