By Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
The new session of Congress provides an exciting opportunity to renew the focus on resolving the numerous challenges we face in our Congressional district, and in our nation. During this session, I will pursue a number of legislative issues and policy concerns that are designed to advance educational opportunities for our children, improve technology and innovation, create jobs, increase access to high quality healthcare and safeguard every individual’s right to participate in the democratic process.
I hold sacred the public trust that comes with serving my constituents, and value greatly the partnership we have established to build a better society. As your partner, it is both prudent and fair that I keep you informed about my activities in Washington.
In my role as ranking member on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, I will continue my efforts to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. I believe it is crucial to the future of our economy, and will allow our nation to remain a leading innovator in this area. In order to do so, our students must be well-educated in these subjects.
As a veteran member on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I will propose and support legislation that addresses unsafe and severely dated infrastructure in our country. I will continue my efforts to improve our roads, airports, seaports, harbors and railroads.
Approximately 11 million Americans, many of them veterans of our armed services, suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. Unfortunately, our country lacks adequate treatment options for these men and women. I am fully committed to legislation that will provide the mentally ill with the type of treatment that they so desperately need and deserve.
In addition to improving the types of treatment and availability of healthcare, I will reintroduce the National Nurse Act. This critical piece of legislation will designate the Chief Nurse Officer, an existing position in the U.S. Public Health Service, as the National Nurse for Public Health. The person who assumes this role will work with healthcare officials to address health disparities and establish goals for improving our nation’s public health.
I will continue to co-chair the Congressional Homelessness Caucus, which focuses its efforts on ending homelessness, and establishing guidelines that protect individuals and families that find themselves without proper shelter.