Edwards’ statement on Jewish-American Heritage Month

Edwards release

Congresswoman Edwards’ Statement Celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month

May 4, 2010

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) released the following statement today calling on all Americans to join in the celebration of the 5th anniversary of Jewish American Heritage Month, which began on May 1.

“The Jewish American story is an indispensable part of our nation’s narrative. Fleeing discrimination and persecution, Jewish settlers first arrived on these shores in 1654, seeking a land to practice their faith, raise their families, and realize their dreams. We are a better nation because of it. Jewish settlers built a thriving community – shaped by tradition, committed to service, and dedicated to core Jewish values such as ensuring social justice for all individuals.

“The story of Jewish Americans is the story of immigrant communities from around the world – people who chose to make a better future, become citizens, and work hard to build our nation. Their commitment to excellence in science, public service, law, medicine, athletics, literature, and countless other fields contributed to the prosperity we know today.

“This Jewish American Heritage Month, let us come together and reflect on the ways Jewish Americans continue to enrich our culture, further our national dialogue, and strengthen this nation as they have for 356 years.”


Van Hollen, Norton, Dahlkemper, Connolly Introduce FEHBP Dependent Coverage Extension Act

Van Hollen release

Van Hollen, Norton, Dahlkemper, Connolly Introduce FEHBP Dependent Coverage Extension Act
Would Ensure Federal Employees can Keep Children on Health Care Plan until 26 Years Old Starting in 2010

Washington, May 4, 2010 -

Today, Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA), and Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) introduced the FEHBP Dependent Coverage Extension Act. Current federal law allows people in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP) to keep dependents on their health insurance plans until the age of 22. This bill would conform current law with the recently passed health care reform law and ensure that the children of Federal employees are able to remain on their parents’ health insurance until their 26th birthday. It also gives the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) the authority to implement this change for the 2010 plan year. This builds on a letter that Congressman Van Hollen sent to OPM Director John Berry in March on this issue.

“The legislation I am introducing today will move up to this year the timetable for allowing Federal employees to keep their children on their health care until the age of 26. This will provide emotional and financial relief for families in the often uneasy transition period from high school and college to the working world,” said Van Hollen. “The recent announcement that private health insurers will voluntarily allow young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance policies before the enactment date of the new health care law is welcome news. However, this voluntary implementation does not extend to the millions of hard-working Federal employees. And while I commend OPM for beginning to take steps to apply the age 26 dependent coverage provision to FEHBP plans in 2011, OPM needs the authority to implement this very important provision sooner. And this legislation is designed to do just that.”

“This small change simply puts federal employees with young adult children on par with other Americans in tough economic times, when no American should be without healthcare if it can be avoided,” said Norton.

“This legislation is the next step to ensuring that my Young Adult Healthcare provision is fully implemented, in both the letter and the spirit of the law, and made immediately available to hardworking families as college graduation approaches. Extended dependent care is a simple solution that makes health insurance affordable for young adults at no cost to taxpayers. Now that insurance companies have offered to implement this reform immediately, we need to ensure that no one, especially dedicated federal employees in Pennsylvania and nationwide, is excluded from this benefit,” said Dahlkemper.

“There is broad public support for accelerating the implementation of provisions in the health insurance reform law like this one,” Connolly said. “With college and high school graduations fast approaching, this legislation will ensure that federal employees can keep their sons and daughters on their health care plans now and save thousands of out-of-pocket dollars.”

To read a copy of the legislation, click here.

Van Hollen Announces Winners of the 29th Annual Congressional Art Competition

Van Hollen release

Van Hollen Announces Winners of the 29th Annual Congressional Art Competition
Germantown, Potomac, Silver Spring, Rockville, Bethesda Students Win Honors

Washington, May 3, 2010 -

Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) announced the winners of the 29th annual Congressional Art Competition for high school students on April 26, 2010 at The Mansion at Strathmore in North Bethesda. At this event, widely attended by over 300 students, teachers, principals, families, and friends, Congressman Van Hollen honored all the participants and this year’s winner, Germantown’s Alicia Vidal. For a photo of Congressman Van Hollen with the winner, click here.

Vidal, a senior at the Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac, will be honored by having her graphite self-portrait displayed in the U.S. Capitol beginning in June for one year.

200 students from 21 schools within the Eighth Congressional District participated in the competition. Certificates of participation were presented to each student who submitted artwork by Congressman Van Hollen. Jurors selected 84 entries to include in the exhibition that will be on display at The Mansion at Strathmore until May 15, 2010. From these 84 entries, 13 student works were selected for special recognition. These 13 works represent students from 9 different schools. Additional details on the students who were recognized are below.
(Continue reading…)

Cardin sponsors small business opportunity fair

Press Release of Senator Cardin


Goal is to provide small businesses with job & business opportunities

Contact: Susan Sullam: 410-962-4436
Monday, May 3, 2010

Click here for associated multimedia.

LARGO, MD — U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today sponsored a Small Business Opportunity Fair for Maryland businesses. Hundreds of Maryland small business owners attended the Fair, which included workshops on contracting with the federal government, BRAC opportunities, green business opportunities and access to capital. Senator Cardin is a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and has made helping small businesses a top priority.

“Maryland small businesses need access to capital and opportunities to contract with the federal government,” said Senator Cardin. “My goal is to provide information and contacts in one location so that small business owners can learn about job opportunities and also take advantage of our proximity to the federal government for future business opportunities.”

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, chairman of the Governor’s Subcabinet on BRAC, was the featured speaker for the BRAC Opportunities panel.

“BRAC is here and it is creating new jobs for our neighbors and new opportunities for our small and minority-owned businesses,” said Lt. Gov. Brown. “Maryland led the nation in job creation in March and we are well positioned to continue our leadership because of BRAC, because of the Cyber Command coming to Ft. Meade and because we have built the nation’s best educated workforce and have helped develop the strongest community of small and minority-owned businesses in America. Governor O’Malley and I understand that small business is big business in Maryland and that is why we are fully committed to working with our partners in the private sector to expand opportunities for all Marylanders, including opportunities for small business owners to compete for contracts that will put Marylanders to work.”

In January, Senator Cardin introduced The Boosting Entrepreneurship and New Jobs Act, S. 2967, to spur job creation and strengthen the economy by providing essential tax credits and loans to small businesses. A key provision of Senator Cardin’s bill would allow the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make direct loans to small businesses as a way of increasing the availability to credit during the recession.

Edwards: Children of Fallen Heroes Can Apply for “Fry” College Scholarship

Edwards release

Congresswoman Edwards: Children of Fallen Heroes Can Apply for “Fry” College Scholarship Beginning May 1

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs will start taking applications May 1 for The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, which Congress passed and was signed into law last year. The “Fry scholarship” expands the New GI Bill education benefits to cover the full cost of a college education for all of the children of service members who have died on active duty on or after September 11, 2001.

“This legislation honors the sacrifice of our military families, who are truly the unsung heroes of our nation’s defense,” said Congresswoman Edwards. “No one is more deserving of our nation’s support than children whose moms or dads have given their life in military service to our nation.”

Fry Scholarship:

* All children of members of the Armed Forces who have died in the line of duty while on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, are eligible for 36 months of tuition and fees up to the maximum in-state tuition and as well as a monthly living stipend, and book allowance.
* The VA will begin accepting applications for this benefit today, May 1, 2010.
* The benefit took effect August 1, 2009, and VA must begin making payments no later than August 1, 2010 with retroactive payments for children enrolled in college from August 1, 2009 through July 31, 2010.
* Surviving military children have 15 years to use their benefits, beginning on their 18th birthdays.
* For more information, visit the VA website at http://www.gibill.va.gov or call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-88-442-4551).
* VA estimates 1,500 military children will be eligible for the Fry scholarship in 2010.

This provision, authored by Rep. Chet Edwards, was enacted as part of the Supplemental Appropriations Act in 2009 in honor of Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry, 28, a Texas native who died in Iraq in 2006 while disarming an explosive. He is survived by three young children.

This legislation builds on a record of accomplishments for our veterans and members of the military — including the new G.I. Bill to provide returning troops with the promise of a college education; historic investments in veterans’ health care and providing that funding one year in advance to prevent political or legislative delays; expanding economic opportunities for returning soldiers and improving care for those with PTSD; and “landmark legislation” providing support to family members and others who care for wounded veterans and enhancing health services for the 1.8 million women veterans.


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