Monday, July 10, 2006


I just got another constituent email from my junior senator, Hillary Clinton - who just happens to be running for re-election. (I'll put the entire thing in the comments section. Here's a link to a previous post I did about a previous email from Hillary - last August; not surprisingly, her previous email to me exhibited the same thing.)

Like the last one, she fails to mention the GWOT or Afghanistan or Iraq or Israel - or any other hotspot in the GWOT. YUP: 5974 words and not one is "terror" - or jihad or Islam or Islamicist. Or anything to do with the GWOT.

She is either in DENIAL about the GWOT, or a total PHONY and a COWARD who is unwilling to take a stand.

I think it's all three. Which is typical of the Left.

What a pity the NY State GOP is so utterly incompetent that it can't put up a decent candidate to run against this disingenous, two-faced socialist.

ADDENDUM: It is important to note that Hillary - (who has vociferously OPPOSED most if-not-all of the measures which Bush has advanced to PREVENT another 9/11 - like the NSA Surveillance and the Swift Surveillance and Gitmo) - makes a BIG POINT in her letter that she wants more money to be spent on "FIRST REPSONDERS." Let me say this: These so called "First Responders" are in fact SECOND RESPONDERS; the REAL first responders are OUR TROOPS and the loyal members of the CIA and NSA who are acting to PREVENT an attack and to bring the attackers and plotters to justice.

The so-called "first responders" who Hillary refers to are brave and important people, but we're much better off NEVER having to have them respond to anything in the first place. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. IOW: We would all be safer if Leftie Doves and PSEUDO-HAWKS LIKE HILLARY - (who are too cowardly to come out and be real hawks in ther constituent letters!) - would pull their weight and stop biting Bush's ankles; we'd win the war a lot faster and with fewer casualties.

AND ANOTHER THING: This letter PROVES that Joe Lieberman is a better man than Hillary! And would make a better president or veep than her ANY DAY OF THE WEEK AND IN ANY YEAR!

OR LOOK AT IT THIS WAY: If Hillary's afraid to mention the GWOT to NY-er's ('cause she's afraid she'll lose too many Lefties and jeopardize her shot at the WH), then she is too timid to be president and take on the enemy!

1 comment:

Reliapundit said...

Dear [Constituent]:

As we wrap up the second session of the 109th Congress, I want to take this opportunity to share with you just some of the progress we have made for New York this past year. Recently, you expressed an interest in learning about my work in the Senate; I am pleased to offer this broad look at the previous year's initiatives and achievements.

At a time when we face great challenges to our economy, our security, and our values, we have made strides for our state. I am proud to have worked on your behalf, every single day. When traveling throughout New York , I am always heartened by the hope and optimism of New York 's families. Having spoken with many of you about your concerns, I have worked hard in the Senate to honor my duty to you, to represent the interests of all New Yorkers. I am proud of all that we accomplished and remain hopeful that we will continue to achieve great things for our state.

Securing our Economy
Protecting our Communities
Investing in Education
Strengthening our Health Care System and Improving Public Health Preparedness
Standing Up for Seniors
Promoting Energy Independence
Standing with our Armed Forces and Veterans
Standing up for Children and Families

Securing our Economy

Working together, I firmly believe that our state can compete and succeed in the 21st century economy. Joining with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I have stood up for an economy that works for people by promoting small businesses, manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism; by seeking federal investment in infrastructure; and by forging new economic partnerships between the public and private sectors, businesses large and small, investors, and young people looking for good jobs in our communities.

Agriculture: Together with New York States growers, distributors, retailers, restaurateurs, and others, we are expanding access to markets for New York 's agricultural products, particularly in downstate regions such as New York City . That is the goal of my "Farm to Fork" initiative which has continued to develop this year. We continue to make the connections needed to support our farmers and rural communities, to develop new institutional markets such as schools and colleges, and to make healthy, locally grown food more accessible to all children and communities.

Last summer, for example, I launched with FoodLink a regional distribution center that helps local farmers in the Finger Lakes and Greater Rochester Region reach broader markets. For small farmers - and for local businesses looking to buy local produce - the lack of an effective distribution network was a challenge, and FoodLink will help farmers overcome that challenge. I also continue to promote value-added opportunities for our New York state producers, such as organic agriculture, and was pleased to co-host an organic workshop for farmers, educators, and extension agents at Alfred State College in Western New York this past spring. We also convened a meeting in the Hudson Valley with representatives of private colleges and universities to promote New York agriculture.

In Washington , I continue to work with my Senate colleagues to fight for federal programs and legislation that provide critical safety nets for our New York producers. I fought hard to extend the Milk Income Lost Contract (MILC), which was extended until the next farm bill, and strongly opposed the milk tax on dairy farmers that the Administration proposed at the beginning of this year. I have also been a strong advocate for full funding of programs that will help improve the competitiveness of our specialty crop growers. In addition, I will continue to urge the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide the needed disaster assistance when natural calamities hit, such as the recent flooding in the Southern Tier and Central New York .

Alternative Minimum Tax: Once again the Congress enacted a temporary fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax, or AMT, which is affecting more and more middle class families and leading to unexpected and unfair tax burdens. While a long term solution is needed, our AMT "patch" will prevent some 2.9 million New York taxpayers from being caught by the AMT.

Infrastructure: In March of this year, I joined with a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce the National Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2006, legislation to address the deteriorating conditions of our nation's roads, bridges, drinking water systems, dams, and other public works. The bill would create a National Commission on Infrastructure of the United States , charged with investing in infrastructure to meet current demands and the demands of future economic growth. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that we confront a $1.6 trillion need for infrastructure improvements. In addition, last year we passed into law a transportation bill that will bring over $16 billion to New York State to meet our growing highway and transit needs over the next several years. For the future of New York 's economy and communities, we must invest in our roadways, bridges, buses, tunnels, ferries, and transportation infrastructure.

Manufacturing: Joining with my colleague, Senator Lindsey Graham, we created the Manufacturing Caucus, to draw attention to challenges facing manufacturers in New York and around the country and to develop policies that will ensure America 's continuing competitiveness in the global economy. Two recent Manufacturing Caucus meetings have focused on the relationship between the defense industry and manufacturing and on the need for continued investments in research, development, and education to sustain the strength of American manufacturing. Good paying manufacturing jobs helped create a strong and vibrant middle class in America and ensuring the strength of the manufacturing sector in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive economy is crucial.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I have been pleased to advocate for New York 's defense industry and this past year we were successful in securing tens of millions of dollars for New York 's first-rate defense companies.

New Partnerships: To foster good jobs, promote our businesses, and keep economic growth right here in our state, I have continued to work closely with a private sector venture called New Jobs for New York . This not-for-profit effort, which I have supported from its inception and continue to support as chair of its advisory board, brings New York 's investment dollars to entrepreneurs and small businesses across our state. So far, this partnership has joined more than 275 New York businesses with investors through ten conferences and connected more than 3,400 entrepreneurs, investors and researchers from across New York . New Jobs for New York also works to connect our state's young people with career opportunities, so that our talented students realize their potential in our communities. We have recently held a conference on emerging technology on Long Island, a telecommunications summit in Albany , and an event to promote Rochester and New York State as a renewable energy leader. We also held a collegiate job and internship fair in Syracuse , making the connections that we hope will keep our young people right here in New York .

Also, in December, education institutions, non-profit organizations, and local businesses gathered at Schenectady County Community College to discuss how we can continue to develop the world-class workforce necessary for the Tech Valley . For several years, working with local companies, organizations, and community leaders, we have opened up new markets to small businesses through trading cooperatives that help entrepreneurs sell their products online. We continue to expand the Finger Lakes Trading Cooperative to additional counties and our trading cooperative in the North Country continues to add entrepreneurs and local companies.

Protecting Privacy: A concern that many New Yorkers have expressed to me more and more frequently is their privacy - and the risks to privacy posed by a more interconnected, information-driven economy. That is why I will introduce a Privacy Bill of Rights - comprehensive legislation designed to protect privacy rights and guard against identity theft. Individuals ought to have the right to know and correct information being kept about them, the right to know how their information is being used by private companies, and the right to hold the public and private sectors to the highest standards of care with personal data and information.

Raising the Minimum Wage: I also believe that Congress should stand up for an economy that works for people. That is why I have continued to call for an increase in the minimum wage - which has not been raised for nearly a decade. In that time, members of Congress have raised their own salaries by tens of thousands of dollars. My legislation, the Standing with Minimum Wage Earners Act, would make sure that, if members of Congress get a pay increase, so do minimum wage workers.

Small Businesses: I have supported legislation that allows small businesses to immediately expense up to $100,000 in equipment and capital investments. We also saved the Small Business Administration's Program for Investments in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME), which provides training and technical assistance to low income entrepreneurs. Last year, this critical program which serves many small businesses throughout New York was eliminated in the President's budget. We fought to include $2 million for this program and we will be working to ensure that this program is funded again this year.

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Protecting our Communities

As your Senator, I believe my most important responsibility is working to secure our nation and to keep our communities safe. Since September 11th, 2001, we have come to understand new dangers but we must do more to make the investments in security that these new dangers require, which includes protecting against and preparing for disasters - both manmade and natural.

Late last year, the Congress passed $250 million for the E-911 grant program, to upgrade and improve our nation's emergency communications system. In New York , over half of the 911 calls placed each year are made on cell phones. Unfortunately, many towns and cities in New York and throughout the country lack the technology to pinpoint the location of these calls. These funds will be dedicated to grants that will enhance emergency communications services through planning, infrastructure improvements, equipment purchases and personnel training - vital in the post 9/11 world.

I have also introduced legislation to ensure that our first responders have an interoperable emergency communications system coordinated under federal leadership. Nearly five years after September 11, our emergency communications systems are still unprepared for the realities of a crisis. My bill will close this gap in our preparedness and make sure first responders on the ground from different jurisdictions are using compatible communications technology and receive the technological, logistical and financial support from the federal government necessary to address this priority.

I also continue to fight for threat-based funding so that our homeland security dollars are distributed based on the facts on the ground instead of politics in Washington . Sadly, often our progress these days is gauged by the bad decisions we prevent; we must continue to fight the misguided cuts to the Homeland Security Grant Program proposed by the Department of Homeland Security that would slash funding for New York .

Over the past twelve months, I have also called for tighter controls on nuclear materials, introduced legislation to block foreign governments from controlling United States ports, and continued to fight for a real commitment to security at our ports and railways. In May of this year, for instance, I joined a bipartisan coalition of senators to introduce comprehensive transportation security legislation; it has been almost five years since the devastating attacks of 9/11 and, sadly, we still do not have an adequate and comprehensive approach to homeland security. I fear we are leaving our ports, our rail systems, and our cities open to great risk - and we must fight for the safeguards necessary to protect against that risk.

I also believe that an important part of defending our communities is supporting the first responders who truly are on the front line of our defense. In September of last year, I introduced with several colleagues legislation to provide free medical screenings to first responders, volunteers, and emergency personnel who respond - at great personal risk - to disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Joining with New York 's other Senator, Senator Charles E. Schumer, and House members from both sides of the aisle, we were able to restore $125 million for injured 9/11 workers. Those funds had been approved as part of the emergency recovery aid passed in the aftermath of the attacks, but President Bush had proposed to take back the promised funding. That was unacceptable, and, working together, we reversed the decision.

We all saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the challenges that remain in effectively responding to crises and emergencies. The response we all witnessed along the Gulf Coast was unworthy of America and I believe it is my duty, as your Senator, to stand up and demand answers. These many years after September 11, 2001, all Americans had every right to expect better. In September of 2005, and in recent months, I have called for the creation of an independent national commission, modeled on the 9/11 Commission, to investigate what went wrong in our response and how we can make it right. I also introduced a bill to create that commission and to restore the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - our nation's emergency response agency - to its rightful place as an independent, cabinet-level agency that reports directly to the President of the United States .

Finally, with my colleagues in the House and Senate, we have worked hard to ensure that FEMA is responding to the needs of people in the Southern Tier, the Mohawk Valley , the Catskills, Central New York , and other upstate communities that have lost homes, businesses, and face other hardships as a result of severe flooding. It is imperative that the federal government provide the necessary resources to get people the help they need as quickly and efficiently as possible so that their homes, farms, businesses, hospitals, and other facilities can be repaired or rebuilt, and lives can go on. I have spoken with many local officials and people who have been directly impacted by the flooding, and have promised to do whatever is in my power to make sure no one is left behind. So many New Yorkers deserve our praise for their hard work and dedication in the immediate aftermath of these floods and for those who have been directly affected, my office and I will continue to be available to you in the difficult weeks and months ahead.

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Investing in Education

In November of last year, I introduced the Investing for Tomorrow's Schools Act of 2005. Too many children are struggling to learn in overcrowded and deteriorating schools with leaking roofs, dangerously outdated ventilation systems, and other serious structural problems. Unless we invest in helping states and financially strapped school districts repair and modernize crumbling schools, these problems will only get worse and more expensive to fix. The act would provide immediate aid to the neediest schools and help fund affordable construction far into the future. New York has a greater need for repairs and renovation than any other state - estimated at $51 billion. In New York City alone, where schools on average are 61-years old, schools are estimated to need $21 billion in repairs. I will continue to fight for this legislation; every child deserves a safe and enriching place to realize his or her dreams and develop skills necessary to be competitive in the fast-paced global economic climate.

We also have to do more to stand with students seeking higher education. That is why I introduced the Non-Traditional Student Success Act, a comprehensive bill to help students who are attending college while raising children and/or working while studying. This legislation would make Pell Grants available year-round, boost awareness and information about available financial aid, and provide financial aid to students who are attending school part time. In December of 2005, Congress passed legislation that included much of the act, fixing the definition of student costs so that students attending school less than half the time can receive financial aid to cover room and board for up to three semesters; simplifying access to need-based aid; and reducing the "work penalty" by allowing working students to keep more of their earnings without penalizing their aid.

The foundation of our financial aid system is the Pell Grant. Unfortunately, the buying power of the maximum Pell Grant has declined over time. In March, I cosponsored an amendment to increase the Pell Grant to $4,500.

In addition, this spring I introduced the Student Borrower Bill of Rights. The legislation aims to provide student borrowers with basic, enforceable rights: the right to affordable loan payments that do not exceed a certain percentage of a student's income, the right to real options so that students can choose what is right for them, and the right to accurate information and transparency in the loan process.

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Strengthening our Health Care System and Improving Public Health Preparedness

Another important challenge - which New Yorkers increasingly share with me - is the rising cost of health care. These last few months, in fact, I have held health care forums in Rochester , in Buffalo , and on Long Island to talk about health care, and how we can address the crisis. Forty-six million Americans lack insurance, including 8 million children. Millions more are underinsured. We are all affected by our broken system, when hospital emergency rooms are filled; doctors struggle to meet increasing patient loads; and families face premiums rising five times faster than incomes.

One important step we should take is to harness 21st century technology to improve quality, increase efficiency, and control costs. Technology has changed the way we do business - and it can change the way we administer and deliver health care, too. The Senate unanimously passed in November bipartisan legislation that I introduced with my colleague Senator Bill Frist and others to invest in health information technology, or health IT. The Wired for Health Care Quality Act would create a secure and private health IT infrastructure - to reduce errors, cut paperwork, lower costs, and improve patient care.

Another step that would improve our system is making our health care system work better for small businesses. In March, I introduced legislation with a number of my colleagues to make it easier for small businesses to provide health care benefits for their employees. Small businesses are the engine of our economy, employing more than half of all private sector employees and driving economic growth, but these businesses struggle to offer health care to their employees. The Small Employer Health Benefits Program Act allows small business to join into one risk and purchasing pool - just like federal employees do - so businesses can negotiate for lower costs and offer a wider array of affordable choices to their employees.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has also passed the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act, legislation to create research centers to explore the links between environmental pollutants and breast cancer. This is an issue I care deeply about, and was proud to do my part as a member of the committee. Three million women in the United States are currently living with breast cancer, one million of whom have not yet been diagnosed. On average, over 13,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year in New York State , with about 3,000 annual deaths caused by this disease.

We also have to do more to prepare for public health threats, including the seasonal flu and the threat of avian or pandemic flu. Working across the aisle with my colleague, Senator Pat Roberts, I introduced legislation to fix the recurring shortages of flu vaccine and strengthen our vaccine delivery infrastructure. I have called on the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Michael O. Leavitt, to address the delivery issues and I have asked for an investigation into the communications gap with public health officials, providers, and the public about the flu vaccine supply. In October, the Senate adopted a proposal I co-sponsored to increase funds to fight seasonal flu and help prepare our country for a pandemic or avian flu outbreak. In light of remaining concerns over shortages, I released a guide to help New Yorkers locate flu vaccine and have continued to urge the President and his allies in the Congress to support my legislation to improve our nation's vaccine delivery system.

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Standing Up for Seniors

New York has the third largest population of older adults in the nation and as a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, I have worked to address the challenges facing New York 's seniors. I will continue to fight for the promise of Social Security, and will stand against any ideological attempt to dismantle the program.

As co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease, I have been working to address the many challenges that confront Americans with the disease, as well as the challenges facing their families. Today, about 4.5 million Americans over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer's. In New York alone, it is estimated that Alzheimer's directly impacts 330,000 people. Just a few weeks ago, I joined patients, caregivers, and advocates to raise awareness about the early-onset form of the disease.

I have also been working hard to fix problems in the new Medicare Prescription Drug Program, Medicare Part D. Throughout the enrollment process, my office offered a guide to seniors struggling with a difficult and often confusing new system of drug plans. In December, I introduced legislation to help the most vulnerable seniors and disabled Americans in their transition to the new plans, including those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid and were automatically moved from Medicaid to Medicare as a result of the new law. As confusion over the program grew, I stepped up my efforts, urging the administration to aid local pharmacists and beneficiaries, such as those who reside in assisted living facilities, who bear the brunt of the problems with the new system. I traveled to pharmacies throughout New York to draw attention to real people who were affected by the changes and the confusion, and I continue to support fixes that will make the program work better for seniors.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, of which I am a member, recently approved legislation that includes three of my initiatives that will serve New York seniors. These initiatives would foster greater access to home and community-based long-term care services so that seniors have greater autonomy and choice in meeting their needs; establish a national grant program so that communities with concentrations of older Americans, so called Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities or NORCs, can develop a service and support structure so more seniors can stay in the area; and address the gap in mental health services available to older Americans, who often suffer without treatment with conditions like depression and anxiety.

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Promoting Energy Independence

As we have all seen these past months, energy prices pose a real challenge to our economy and to families working hard to make ends meet. I have called on the President to increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), especially after the price shocks that followed Hurricane Katrina. I helped to secure an investigation into price gouging to protect consumers in New York and around the country and called for legislation to protect consumers against gouging this summer as well, when many will spend time traveling on the roads.

I am also working on long-term solutions to meet the challenge of securing our energy future. I have proposed a series of steps to put America on the road to energy independence, to secure our economy, to safeguard our environment, and to free our hand to protect America and confront global threats. One proposal is to create a Strategic Energy Fund that will invest in new technologies; promote alternative fuels, such as biofuels; encourage conservation; and foster gains in efficiency. In the wake of historic oil company profits when many families have been struggling to afford even the daily commute, my legislation would finally ensure that these companies are part of the solution. The oil companies can either invest in alterative energy and efficiency, or invest in the fund - to help finally put us on a real path to energy independence.

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Standing with our Armed Forces and Veterans

I also want to share with you what we have been able to achieve on behalf of our brave servicemen and women and our veterans. We owe a great deal to these patriotic individuals. I have met with many of these men and women, both in New York and in Iraq and Afghanistan , and they make me so proud to be a New Yorker and American. We cannot forget their sacrifice. New York contributes the fourth largest contingent of servicemen and women now in Iraq and Afghanistan .

I have tried to honor their service in Congress - and am proud of what we have achieved on their behalf. My Heroes at Home Act, which will enhance support for troops transitioning back home after deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan , has passed the Senate. I am pleased to have introduced the amendment and proud to have received the support of the National Military Family Association and the Wounded Warrior Project. Heroes at Home will support returning men and women readjusting to work, struggling with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues, and confronting traumatic brain injuries. The measure also provides support and education to the family members of our returning troops, who often face their own set of challenges.

The second provision is a bipartisan amendment I introduced with Senator Lindsey Graham and others to improve retirement and TRICARE benefits for National Guard members and Reservists. Under the amendment, any Guard or Reserve member who is called or ordered to active duty or volunteers for active duty would qualify to receive retirement benefits earlier. In addition, the amendment further expands access to TRICARE, the health care available to our Guard and Reserve members. Improving health care for these men and women has long been a priority for me. In fact, last year, Senator Graham and I secured into law a provision that made all members of the Selected Reserve eligible to enroll in TRICARE, and created a separate category based on whether a Guard member or Reservist had been deployed. Reservists and National Guard members who volunteered to serve our country are playing an ever-more demanding role as our nation faces new and grave threats. Our values demand that we honor these citizen-soldiers with our best efforts to stand with them.

The third provision would fix pay problems facing wounded soldiers. It is unconscionable that soldiers who have been injured in service to our country return home to bureaucratic mazes and problems receiving their pay. This amendment requires the Department of the Army to conduct an audit of its wounded soldiers' pay accounts and report back to Congress.

I have also called on the army to investigate delays in providing improved body armor in response to reports that more extensive body armor for our troops in Iraq might have saved lives. I also called for a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee to investigate issues concerning body armor.

In December, the Senate passed my bipartisan legislation to make available better financial education and training to members of the Armed Services. Too often, unscrupulous lenders and insurance providers seek to prey on our men and women in uniform. We need to give members of our armed services the financial knowledge they need to make informed decisions about how best to provide for their families. I am proud that the Senate has taken an important step forward in meeting this goal.

We can look to other achievements as well. When the Pentagon announced their recommendations for base closures, for example, our state stood to lose several facilities and more than 1000 jobs. It was an uphill battle, but we stood together - and never gave up. A bipartisan coalition in Congress joined by local leaders and members of the community made a powerful case before the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission and fought hard to save New York's bases like the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and Rome's Defense Finance and Accounting Services facilities and prevent reductions at Rome's Air Force Research Laboratory and Stratton Air National Guard base. Now, instead of losing hundreds of jobs, New York is gaining hundreds. It was one of my proudest moments as a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee, having seen first hand on that committee the true value of top-notch military facilities. That is what we have here in New York and it is heartening to learn that our leaders agree.

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Standing up for Children and Families

For more than thirty years, I have been fighting for children - especially vulnerable children who, by no fault of their own, find themselves in difficult circumstances. I believe we all have a duty to these children, and I have worked hard to honor that duty in the United States Senate.

In the past year, joining with grandparents from New York and across the country, we have underscored the challenges for families when children are raised by relatives other than parents, and I have called on Congress to pass my Kinship Caregiver Support Act.

I have also tried to draw attention to the plight of young people "aging out" of the foster care system, often left on their own to further their education or obtain employment and housing with little or no family or community support structure.

I cosponsored the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act to overhaul and strengthen our country's sex offender laws. The bill passed the Senate in May. I also co-sponsored legislation renewing and strengthening the Violence Against Women Act. The bill passed the Senate last fall and became law last winter.

In December, I joined with several colleagues to introduce a measure to protect children from graphic, violent, or pornographic video games, to strengthen the enforcement of video game ratings, and to put control back in the hands of parents. I am also pleased that my Children and Media Research Advancement Act, or CAMRA Act, passed a key committee in March. We ought to find out how the many kinds of media - including television, computer games, and the Internet - affect our children, and this bill will fund the research to do exactly that. On my website (http://clinton.senate.gov), I have published a Parent Media Guide to raise awareness about the resources and information available to parents looking to learn more about how to protect their kids in this new media environment.

This past November, I was joined by Senator John E. Sununu to introduce the Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act, named for a two-year-old Long Island boy who was killed when he wandered behind the SUV his father was backing into the driveway. Nearly every other day, a child dies in a non-traffic vehicle accident. My bill will ensure that America 's cars are properly equipped with safety technology to prevent unintentional harm to our children so we can have safer cars and safer children in New York and across the country.

A concern New Yorkers often share with me is the cost of housing throughout New York and the challenge of providing a good home for one's family. In April, I introduced the Federal Housing Fairness Act to increase the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan limits so that working families in high-cost areas can use the program. The act raises the loan limit for single family homes to either the limit offered by Government Sponsored Enterprises like Fannie Mae or the median home price in the area.

In June of this year, I built on the Federal Housing Fairness Act with new legislation, the 21st Century Housing Act. The act would reform and modernize the FHA, which has helped more than 34 million families realize the dream of home ownership, particularly helping first-time homebuyers, low and moderate income homebuyers, and minority homebuyers. The FHA has long needed investment in personnel and technology infrastructure to remain competitive and useful to consumers. Reforming the FHA is important since it helps prevent many working families from having to seek out costly mortgages in the sub-prime or predatory loan market.

Last summer, I worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to introduce the Housing America's Workforce Act. This legislation would provide incentives to increase private sector investment in housing with financial support for employees buying or renting a home and would make the benefit nontaxable so employees get the most out of employers' contributions.

I am especially focused on tackling preventable environmental health issues that are affecting our children, particularly childhood lead poisoning. While we have made a great deal of progress, lead poisoning affects the health and development of more than 1 million children under the age of six nationwide. Despite a ban on lead paint in 1978, there are still over 24 million housing units in the United States that have lead paint hazards; about 1.2 million in New York State alone. We will never stop childhood lead poisoning unless we get lead out of the buildings in which children and families live, work, learn, and play. For this reason, I introduced the Home Lead Safety Tax Credit Act with Senators Mike DeWine, Barack Obama and Gordon Smith last year, which will provide an incentive for homeowners and landlords to safely remove lead-based hazards. I joined Deputy Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Agency Roy Bernardi and Dr. Benjamin Hooks in Rochester earlier this year to highlight efforts and model programs that will enable Monroe County to be lead free by 2010.

* * * *

I am proud of what we are achieving on behalf of New York . Indeed, looking back on all we have achieved these past twelve months, I am also reminded of how far we have come as a state these past five and a half years.

We have faced incredible tragedy. September 11th changed our nation and touched personally and deeply the lives of thousands of New Yorkers - and we are still working to meet the challenges of new threats and dangers. We continue to confront challenges in our economy as we grapple with a more competitive global marketplace. We also face challenges to our values in what is a rapidly-changing world. We have achieved a lot as well, working together for the great state of New York . Just a few weeks ago, for example, I joined the hardworking men and women of the Southern Tier at a defense plant in Owego , New York for the ribbon cutting at the facility that will build the next presidential helicopter. It was an incredible moment, years in the making. So many worked so hard to make it happen, and I was proud to do my part as the first New York Senator to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Standing there among so many enthusiastic, smart, talented, hardworking New Yorkers, I was filled with optimism, knowing that on so many fronts there are no challenges to our security, our economy, or our values that we cannot meet by working together.


Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton