Poinsettias: Texas’ Mark on the Festive Flower
The Lonestar Weekly The Lonestar Weekly About For Texans Issues Newsroom Contact Poinsettias: Texas' Mark on the Festive Flower 'Tis the season of anticipation, and all around us are signs of the upcoming celebration. In church courtyards, three wise men eagerly look upon still-empty mangers. Elsewhere, some unsuspecting Texans have already seen their first snowfall of the season - or even the decade. And all across the state, Christmas lights twinkle at nightfall, while during the day, vibrant red poinsettias keep the mood merry and bright. Poinsettias have become a staple of the season, but did you know the Christmas flower has ties to the Texas border? Photo by U.S. Dept. of Agriculture In 1825, President John Quincy Adams appointed the first U.S. Minister to Mexico: Joel Roberts Poinsett. Poinsett travelled south to Mexico with the task of renegotiating the U.S.-Mexico border and bringing Texas into the U.S. once and for all. At that time, the southern border of the U.S. sat at the Red River, north of modern-day Texas. President Adams dreamed of the United States extending all the way south to the Rio Grande River, and he was willing to pay one million dollars for that prize. Of course, Mexico saw great value in Texas and did not budge. Unfortunately for him, Poinsett never succeeded in his mission of purchasing Texas. However, during his failed attempt in moving the U.S.-Mexico border, the amateur botanist discovered a plant near Taxco de Alarcón so beautiful that he cut its stems and had them sent back home to the United States. He mailed the vibrant red blooms to friends, fellow botanists, and botanical gardens across the country, and by 1836 - the very same year Texas won its independence from Mexico - the flowers had become widely known across the country not by their scientific name (Euphorbia pulcherrima), but by the name of the diplomat who brought them here: poinsettias. Today, Texas is a top poinsettia producer, although cultivating the red Christmas poinsettias is no easy feat. To grow the brightest blossoms, poinsettias require at least five consecutive twelve-hour nights and warm, bright sunny days. These plants still grow best in the Taxco region of Mexico, where Joel Roberts Poinsett found them almost two centuries ago, and where they're still known as Flores de Nochebuena (Christmas Eve flowers). Texas' own native poinsettia has a distinct splash of red-orange, and is therefore aptly called the "Painted" Poinsettia or the "Fire on the Mountain" Poinsettia. Texas Painted Poinsettia Photo by Judy Gallagher During Christmastime in Texas, poinsettias of all kinds adorn town squares, gardens, and homes. In Big Spring, Texas, the annual 'Poinsettias in the Park' attraction features multiple enormous metal poinsettias wrapped in Christmas lights. The Concho Christmas Celebration is also known for its life-like poinsettia light exhibit. And the winter wonderland display at the Gaylord Texan hotel in Garland, Texas boasts more than 2,000 live poinsettias in all. As you see these famed poinsettia displays and others in Texas this season, I hope you'll take a moment to remember their history. To all Texans who produce, decorate with, and admire the beauty of poinsettias, I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas. 517 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington, DC 20510 Main: 202-224-2934 Fax: 202-228-2856 Get Assistance This message was intended for: xxx You were added to the system October 8, 2015. For more information please follow the URL below: newsletter.senate.gov/p/isv0T8coEN Follow the URL below to update your preferences or opt-out: newsletter.senate.gov/p/osv0T8coEN To unsubscribe from future mailings, send an email to mailto:xxx?Subject=Unsubscribe&body=Please%20remove%20me%20from%20further%20mailings with "Unsubscribe" as the subject line.
· Fri, Dec 15 · cornyn

The Laudable Pursuit: Higher Education Needs a HERO
December 15, 2017 "to elevate the condition of men--to lift artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance, in the race of life." --Abraham Lincoln Chairman's Note: Higher Education Needs a HERO The dawn of the 21st century has brought tremendous opportunities and changes to our economy. Everyone now needs some kind of education after high school. Yet, only four in ten Americans achieve an associate's degree or higher. It's a new game, and it's essential that all citizens can still pursue their American dreams. We need a higher education system that works better for more Americans and their families. We can begin this process by focusing on four key reform principles: accountability, affordability, transparency, and innovation. These principles are at the heart of the Higher Education Reform Opportunity (HERO) Act introduced in the Senate this past week. Affordability Between 1982 and 2007, the average cost of a four-year college education rose by 439%, according to the biennial report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education-and costs have only continued to rise in the past decade. The typical solution to the unaffordability problem has been to increase the amount and types of loans that students can access. However, this solution has actually contributed to the exponential rise in tuition rates. In 2015, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York issued a study that found "a pass-through effect on tuition of changes in subsidized loan maximums of about 60 cents on the dollar." This means that for every additional dollar the federal government allows students to borrow, colleges and universities increase their tuition by 60 cents, thus increasing the number of students who "need" loans to "afford" college in the first place. The HERO Act would address the affordability issue by streamlining the current duplicative menu of student loan programs into one option and creating one repayment period for undergraduate loans and another for graduate loans. Additionally, the act would establish caps on loan amounts, which would help to keep university rate increases in check and lower the amount of debt students need to repay once they graduate from college. Transparency Informed consumers are a critical component of a free-market economy. Yet when it comes to choosing a good college and major, parents and students are often left to make these life-changing decisions in the dark. The HERO Act would ensure that parents and students have access to information about how effective their college of choice is in helping students graduate on time; how burdened by debt students are after obtaining their degrees; and how successful graduates in a particular major are at obtaining jobs that enable them to pay back their loans. Accountability Nearly half of borrowers today are not making payments on their student loans. This alarming statistic is one of the reasons some economists have predicted that student loans are the next financial bubble. It is time for a change. One promising solution is to make sure that all parties in higher education have "skin in the game." The HERO Act would ensure that colleges have a financial stake in their programs by requiring schools with poor student loan repayment rates to pay a fine. The possibility of a penalty would motivate schools to invest in the success of their students. Innovation Today's post-secondary students come from a range of different backgrounds, from the traditional 18-year-old high school graduate, to the single mom going back to school, to the laid-off worker who needs to retrain mid-career. Meeting the needs of this diverse population means we need a lot more options than we did when current federal policies were first written decades ago. The HERO Act would accomplish this by changing the way schools are accredited. The HERO Act would enable each state to accredit any institution that provides post-secondary education. With this new accreditation power, states would be able to authorize innovative new education options (for example, massive online open courses, competency-based offerings, and certification exams) for students in any learning situation. Today's students deserve an innovative higher education system that provides more and better options to prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of today's job market. The HERO Act is an important first step toward building that new system. It would open the door to the American Dream for the millions of Americans who are pursuing it. Higher Education Reform Opportunity Act Click here to watch video Issue in Focus: The Rise in Unwed Childbearing Too often, legislators pass bills that seem to be solutions in search of problems. But those problems are rarely as straightforward as they appear to be. This is why my staff at the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) have worked so tirelessly on the Social Capital Project - a multi-year research initiative that explores the evolving nature and importance of our associational life, specifically why the health of those associational relationships seems so compromised. And of all the relationships people have in their lives, the most important and formative is the one children have with their parents. This relationship is the foundation of a healthy associational life, which is why the JEC's most recent study focused on parent/child relationships and how they've changed in the last few generations. As many of you already know, there has been a significant uptick in children born to unwed parents since 1960. And numerous studies show children of stable, married couples outperform children born to single parents, especially when it comes to laying the foundation for engagement in associational life. This isn't to say a child born to single mother or father will necessarily face more challenges in life, or that a child born to a married mother and father will automatically succeed. But there is a statistically significant pattern that shows having two stable parents in a committed relationship does give a child a leg up. Yet, in the past few decades, we've shifted from this two-parent model of child-bearing. In 1960, just 5.3% of children were born to single mothers. As of 2008, that number jumped to 40%, and that number is even higher for children born to mothers who are under 30. This means 35% more of the children born today are born into a situation that disadvantages them. While it would be simple to point to increased sexual activity as the obvious cause, our research found two even larger factors: 1) there are fewer married women, and 2) the cultural norm often referred to as the "shotgun" marriage has all but disappeared. The causes for these two trends are also very complicated, but they appear to be a result of an increase in affluence and opportunity in society as a whole. Rising affluence and opportunity is absolutely something we should celebrate, but that doesn't negate the fact that the uptick in non-married births is something that should be addressed. Problems are rarely as straightforward as they appear to be. I am proud of the work my staff on the JEC is doing to shine a light on the complexities of this issue, and we will continue to pursue this line of inquiry to ensure all children are born with the leg up they deserve. Washington, D.C. Office 361A Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C., 20510 Phone: 202.224.5444 Fax: 202.228.1168 Salt Lake City Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building 125 South State, Suite 4225 Salt Lake City, UT 84138 Phone: 801.524.5933 Fax: 801.524.5730 St. George Office of Senator Michael S. Lee 285 West Tabernacle, Suite 200 St. George, UT 84770 Phone: 435.628.5514 SaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSave Save Save Save Save Save Save SaveSave SaveSaveSave SaveSave Save This message was intended for: xxx You were added to the system October 2, 2015. For more information please follow the URL below: newsletter.senate.gov/p/isEKjO7o5N Follow the URL below to update your preferences or opt-out: newsletter.senate.gov/p/osEKjO7o5N To unsubscribe from future mailings, send an email to mailto:xxx?Subject=Unsubscribe&body=Please%20remove%20me%20from%20further%20mailings with "Unsubscribe" as the subject line.
· Fri, Dec 15 · lee

This Week in Washington
Richard Burr, US Senator North Carolina id="content_main"> This Week in Washington While House and Senate Conferees finalize critical tax reform legislation, the rest of Congress has been hard at work this week on important issues facing our country. North Carolina was a big winner on a number of different fronts, including the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, Fort Bragg's selection as the base for the second of six new Army Security Force Assistance Brigades, and my introduction of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Reauthorization Act. North Carolina stands to benefit tremendously from this year's Defense bill, as our state alone will receive nearly $300 million in military construction for bases at Camp Lejeune, Cherry Point, Fort Bragg, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. In addition, all of our service members will see an across-the-board 2.4 percent pay raise, one that was long overdue. I was especially pleased to see the Army's decision to stand up the second of six new Security Force Assistance Brigades at Fort Bragg. These units are the Army's first permanent units to be focused on train-advise-assist missions, allowing combat brigades to focus solely on combat missions. As what I like to call the "Pentagon of the Army," Fort Bragg is the perfect place for this unit, and I couldn't be prouder of our troops there. Senator Tillis and I also introduced the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Reauthorization Act of 2017. This enormously successful National Heritage Area has added more than 30,000 jobs and $2.39 billion to the western North Carolina economy with minimal federal assistance. By simply authorizing this Area for an additional four years with no extra money, millions more will be able to enjoy the beautiful landscapes and culture of western North Carolina for years to come. Next week, there are more vital issues on the agenda. We will take the final steps to pass a historic tax reform bill and fund the government. Rest assured, I will keep North Carolina foremost in mind as I consider anything that comes before the Senate.
· Fri, Dec 15 · burr

FCC voting today
Friends, The Republican-controlled FCC board is meeting today for a vote that will determine the future of internet access in the United States. Tell your Representative that if the FCC won't protect internet freedom for all Americans, then Congress must. Net neutrality must be protected. CALL 202-759-7766 » go.ourrevolution.com/page/content/protect-net-neutrality/ FCC Chair and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai is determined to carve up the internet into little pieces and give them away to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Verizon and Comcast. In turn, those ISPs would sell them back to the public for more money, increasing their profits while making us pay more for less internet freedom. We should be talking about how to expand internet access, not restrict it. People rely on the internet for education, employment, information, and connecting with one another. We cannot stand idly by while the FCC tries to take those freedoms away from us. Call Congress and tell them to protect net neutrality and internet freedom for all. CALL 202-759-7766 » go.ourrevolution.com/page/content/protect-net-neutrality/ If we come together and fight back against the FCC ruling, we can defeat the corporate lobbyists and special interests. Thank you for joining us today. In solidarity, Shannon Jackson Executive Director Our Revolution
· Thu, Dec 14 · sanders

Join Bernie today!
Friends, Senator Bernie Sanders is joining working men and women today at the Capitol to demand President Trump replace NAFTA with a new deal that puts people and the planet before corporations. Join Bernie and thousands of people across the country participating in today's #ReplaceNAFTA Day of Action by calling your Representative: CALL NOW>>>>>go.ourrevolution.com/page/content/nafta/ The time is now to implement environmental and climate provisions that meet fundamental international standards, to raise wages for all workers, and to put an end to the corporate incentives in NAFTA that outsource jobs and labor. In solidarity, The Team at Our Revolution
· Wed, Dec 13 · sanders

Net Neutrality
Friend, The FCC is voting Thursday on whether to repeal the "Net Neutrality" rule adopted in 2015. Three years ago, the FCC passed a landmark rule that prevents internet service providers from favoring some sites over others - slowing down connections or charging customers a fee for streaming or other services. It gave Americans equal access to all the content that's available on the internet - videos, social media, e-commerce sites, etc. - at the same speeds. But the recently appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, wants to abolish "Net Neutrality," and give telecommunications giants like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T the upper hand. His plan would: 1. Drive up prices for internet service. Broadband providers could charge customers higher rates to access certain sites, or raise rates for internet companies to reach consumers faster speeds. Either way, these prices hikes would be passed along to you and me. 2. Give corporate executives free reign to slow down and censor news or websites that don't match their political agenda, or give preference to their content - for any reason at all. Stifle innovation. Cable companies could severely hurt their competitors by blocking specific apps or online services. Small businesses who can't afford to pay higher rates could be squeezed out altogether. 3. Broadband providers claim that Net Neutrality rules actually hurts consumers because it discourages investment in their networks. Rubbish. Since Net Neutrality was adopted, investment has remained consistent. During calls with investors, telecom executives themselves have even admitted that Net Neutrality hasn't hurt their businesses. Watch the video - www.sandersinstitute.com/blog/why-we-must-protect-net-neutrality There's still time. Please help stop this corporate power grab over what we can say and do online. Robert Reich, Founding Fellow, The Sanders Institute DONATE » secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/sandersinstitute
· Wed, Dec 13 · sanders

[SPAM] Establishment media is noticing Our Revolution
Dear Friend, Since Our Revolution started, a little more than a year ago, local groups and people like you have cut through the noise of everyday politics and advanced a progressive agenda. together, we have uplifted new leadership and moved forward policies that directly benefit working families, not the billionaires and wealthy corporations. All of our hard work is gaining recognition. Just this past Monday, December 4, Politico's Playbook named Senator Nina Turner to their Power List, proclaiming her among the 18 to Watch in 2018. Like Senator Sanders said when they were together at the Protecting Working Families Rally in Reading, Pennsylvania, she is "undertaking a task which is perhaps the most important work that anybody in America could be doing. She is running all over this country creating political revolutions." www.politico.com/interactives/2017/politico-power-list/nina-turner/ The bedrock of this movement is the people, and you have helped show this country a brighter future. Together, we have grown to more than 500 local groups, and since 2016 almost half of our endorsed candidates were elected to public office. One of our endorsed candidates, Pramila Jayapal, who was recently elected to Congress, was also featured in the "18 to Watch in 2018" Power List. In a crowded field of Beltway influencers, media executives, and lobbyists, this recognition of Senator Turner is proof that the political elites are paying attention to our movement and are seeing the results of our hard work. The 2018 elections are fast approaching. Together, we can continue to bring the political revolution to all 50 states, but we need your support. Click below to find out the best way to get involved in your community today. In solidarity, Susan Sarandon GET INVOLVED » ourrevolution.com/thanks/
· Wed, Dec 13 · sanders

Staying Connected
December 12, 2017 Live Town Hall on Wednesday The most intimate and central form of associational life is the family-an institution with primary responsibility for nurturing children and transmitting values, knowledge, aspirations, and skills to subsequent generations. A healthy family life is the foundation for a healthy associational life. Children can overcome the negative consequences of being raised in unhappy or unstable families, but many start out the game of life already behind in crucial ways. More profoundly, weakened family life portends a diminished ability of a people to promote and nurture the civil society and pro-social norms that facilitate happiness and prosperity. This week the Social Capital Project has released a new report titled Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage: The Rise in Unwed Childbearing. I look forward to discussing and answering questions about this important topic. Sign up to be part of this event and join the discussion. Join me in an upcoming Access Live event on December 13th at 5:00 p.m. MT. To receive a phone call at the time of the event, you can register online now. Those who want to stream the event live on their computer or mobile device can use this link when the event starts: lee.senate.gov/live I look forward to having you join me for this event. Washington, D.C. Office 361A Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C., 20510 Phone: 202.224.5444 Fax: 202.228.1168 Salt Lake City Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building 125 South State Suite 4225 Salt Lake City, UT 84138 Phone: 801.524.5933 Fax: 801.524.5730 St. George Office of Senator Michael S. Lee 285 West Tabernacle Suite 200 St. George, UT 84770 Phone: 435.628.5514 Ogden James V. Hansen Federal Building 324 25th Street Suite 1410 Ogden, Utah 84401 Phone: 801-392-9633 Fax: 801-392-9630 SaveSaveSaveSaveSave SaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSave Save This message was intended for: xxx You were added to the system October 2, 2015. For more information please follow the URL below: newsletter.senate.gov/p/iscdY5ioNv Follow the URL below to update your preferences or opt-out: newsletter.senate.gov/p/oscdY5ioNv To unsubscribe from future mailings, send an email to mailto:xxx?Subject=Unsubscribe&body=Please%20remove%20me%20from%20further%20mailings with "Unsubscribe" as the subject line.
· Tue, Dec 12 · lee

Update from Senator Bob Corker - December 12, 2017
Bob Corker - U.S. Senator, Tennessee *Fighting to Lessen the Debt Burden on Future Generations* On Friday, Senator Corker released the following statement. "My concern about the impact a rapidly growing $20 trillion national debt will have on our children and grandchildren has been a guiding principle throughout my time in public service. And during my 10 years and 11 months in the Senate, I have consistently fought for fiscal discipline in Washington. "I have authored comprehensive legislation to address America's debt crisis, including the Commitment to American Prosperity (CAP) Act and the Fiscal Sustainability Act. I also have taken some really tough votes against very popular policies, including appropriations bills, budget resolutions, defense authorizations, disaster funding, and even a veterans' bill. "But at the same time, I have consistently advocated for pro-growth tax reform. And in my view, these are not mutually exclusive priorities. "From the beginning of this debate, I have been a cheerleader for legislation that - while allowing for current policy assumptions and reasonable dynamic scoring - would not add to the deficit and set rates that are permanent in nature. "I worked closely with Senator Toomey to negotiate the budget agreement that paved the way for this legislation. And I have worked diligently over the past few weeks with Senate leadership and the White House to make improvements. "While I support a number of the provisions included in this legislation and continue to believe it would have been fairly easy to alter the bill in a way that would have been more fiscally sound without harming the pro-growth policies, unfortunately, it is clear that the caucus is in a different place. "This is yet another tough vote. I am disappointed. I wanted to get to yes. But at the end of the day, I am not able to cast aside my fiscal concerns and vote for legislation that I believe, based on the information I currently have, could deepen the debt burden on future generations. "I thank the administration, Senate leadership, and members of the tax-writing committee for working with me in good faith, and as I shared with President Trump when I called him a short time ago, I will take a close look at the product developed in conference before making a decision on the final legislation." *Supporting Tennessee Valley Authority Board Nominee* On Tuesday, Senator Corker introduced Jeffrey Smith at a Senate Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee hearing on his nomination to serve on the nine-member board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and called on his colleagues to swiftly confirm nominees for the four current vacancies on the board. "With over 9 million customers, TVA is the largest public power utility in the nation, and it is critical for the region that it remains a low-cost, reliable producer of electricity, not only for ratepayers but also for our state's business recruitment efforts," *said Corker*. "It is important that TVA has a full and well-qualified board, and without confirmation of these nominees, the board will lose a quorum at the end of the year. As deputy director of operations for one of the most prestigious research labs in the country, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Jeff Smith understands the importance of continuing TVA's mission." "I am confident that Jeff understands the needs of the Tennessee Valley and believe he will bring valuable experience to the TVA board," *concluded Corker*. "I wholeheartedly support Jeff's nomination - and the other nominees here - and believe their diverse backgrounds give them the necessary qualifications to support TVA's important mission... and I hope we will swiftly confirm these nominees." [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/112817-RB1-155.jpg] [link 1] **Click here [link 2] or on the image above to watch the senator's remarks.** *Tennessean Serving on Treasury Department's Community Development Advisory Board* Last month, Tennessee small businessman Clint Gwin, of Pathway Lending, was sworn in as a member of the U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Advisory Board. In this role, Mr. Gwin will help advise the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institution's (CFDI) Fund, which promotes economic development and revitalization in underserved and distressed low-income communities across the country. Mr. Gwin was nominated for this position by President Trump in October. "I am honored to be appointed by President Trump to the Community Development Advisory Board. I am also humbled by this opportunity to represent the more than 1,000 CDFIs from across the country that work tirelessly to provide capital to underserved urban and rural markets," *said Mr. Gwin*. "I am reminded on a daily basis at Pathway Lending of how federal financial policy impacts the businesses and communities we serve, and I look forward to working with the other members of the board to assist the CDFI Fund in supporting the expansion of economic opportunity across the country." Click here [link 3] to learn more about Mr. Gwin's role on the Community Development Advisory Board. [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/CDFI_Swearing-in_1.jpg] **Mr. Gwin (pictured far right) is sworn in by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.** U.S. Policy Toward Libya Should Prioritize the Elimination of Slavery* Expressing deep concern over recent reports [link 4] of slave auctions in Libya, Senators Corker and Ben Cardin, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Thursday urged President Trump to make elimination of slavery a priority for U.S. policy toward Libya. Trump met with Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj of the Government of National Accord (GNA) on Friday. "We are deeply concerned by reports that slave auctions are taking place in at least nine locations across Libya," *Corker and Cardin wrote. * "We therefore urge you to discuss strategies for eliminating slavery with GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj when he cities the Oval Office this week and to make the elimination of slavery within Libya an integral part of U.S. policy towards that country," *continued the senators.* "There are presently more than 27 million people enslaved worldwide," *concluded Corker and Cardin*. "This scourge on humanity knows no borders or boundaries. It is imperative that the U.S. continue to lead in the fight to end modern slavery." Click here [link 5] to read the full letter.
· Tue, Dec 12 · corker

Order by 12/15 to receive Our Revolution merch for the holidays!
Friends, Our Revolution opened our online store just in time for the holidays, and we want to make sure you have an opportunity to place your order to receive it in time! December 15 is the final day to receive your shipment by the end of the year. Visit our online store today and purchase our official, union-made merchandise before December 15! VISIT THE STORE » shop.ourrevolution.com/ Order by December 15 to Guarantee Delivery Before December 25 We're closing out the end of the year strong and gearing up for a 2018 full of activism, voter participation, and victories. Your purchase in the Our Revolution store supports our union vendors who make merchandise here in the United States. It also supports the 500 local groups that Our Revolution members have independently formed as our fundraising goes to the organizing efforts we need to win back 1,100 state and federal seats across the country. Help our grassroots organization grow even stronger while wearing the official uniform of the political revolution. Visit Our Revolution's online store before our end-of-year shipping deadline on Friday, December 15! VISIT THE STORE » shop.ourrevolution.com/ Thank you for your continued and generous support. I can't wait to see the Our Revolution t-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers at our events, on social media, and on the trail in 2018. In solidarity, Nina Turner President Our Revolution
· Mon, Dec 11 · sanders

Protecting NAFTA
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· Mon, Dec 11 · moran

You deserve a raise
A message from US Senator Todd Young <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/SenYoung/Todd_Young_Ba nner_logo2.png> Saving Veterans Lives The Veterans Crisis Line is a critical tool that can help save lives. Like all government programs, we must continue to rigorously evaluate its effectiveness and ensure our veterans are receiving the care they need. That's why I introduced the Veterans Crisis Line Study Act of 2017 <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx op=13243.9085102.5550842.189397&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fwww.yo ung.senate.gov%2fnewsroom%2fpress-releases%2fyoung-donnelly-introduce-bi partisan-bill-directing-va-to-study-veterans-crisis-line&redir_log=11084 5126284963> last week, which aims to ensure that the Veterans Crisis Line is effectively serving veterans in distress. Uniting Families More than 200 American families remain in heartbreaking adoption limbo trying to bring their children home from Ethiopia. In order to help, I led a second bipartisan letter <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx op=13243.9085102.5550842.189397&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fwww.yo ung.senate.gov%2fnewsroom%2fpress-releases%2fsenators-young-klobuchar-an d-blunt-lead-bicameral-bipartisan-letter-to-ethiopian-prime-minister-on- adoptions&redir_log=036215403141139> signed by 112 members of Congress urging the Prime Minister of Ethiopia to unite these children with their adoptive families. I hope we are able to welcome home new Hoosiers very soon. <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/SenYoung/Screen_Shot_2 017-06-19_at_3.57.00_PM.png> This Weekend In Indiana Friday afternoon, I spoke at the Indiana Farm Bureau convention <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx op=13243.9085102.5550842.189397&report_id=&redirect=https%3a%2f%2fwww.yo ung.senate.gov%2fnewsroom%2fpress-releases%2fphotos-senator-young-speaks -to-indiana-farm-bureau&redir_log=280509144495728> about the importance of Indiana's agriculture industry. Our Hoosier farmers contribute so much to our tables and our economy, and they deserve our support. I recently hosted agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue at the Indiana State Fair to provide a firsthand look at Indiana's vibrant farming community. As the current farm bill nears expiration in September 2018, I will continue traveling the state, hosting roundtables and visiting farms to ensure Indiana's needs are reflected in the bill. <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/SenYoung/IMG_1248.JPG> On Saturday, I visited with Indiana's Naval Reservists for the last drill of 2017. I'm grateful for their service. <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/SenYoung/24852498_2156 378714387581_5948755200515248561_n.jpg> This weekend, I also witnessed 97 young men and women graduate from the Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy. Through hard work and determination, these students got their lives back on track and they should be very proud of what they have accomplished. <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/SenYoung/24991084_2157 071810984938_2070758106568149970_n.jpg> You Deserve a Raise
· Mon, Dec 11 · coats

Finally, Unity and Reform
Friends, Over the past year, I and seven other members appointed by Senator Bernie Sanders participated in the DNC's Unity Reform Commission. While it was not an easy process, we worked to make much needed, and long overdue, changes to how the Democratic Party operates. In yesterday's final Unity Reform Commission meeting, we sent the DNC key recommendations including: Reducing the number of unpledged "superdelegates" in the presidential nominating process by 60 percent. Electoral reforms and a process for rewarding states that have same-day registration, same-day party change, open primaries, and other measures that increase civic participation. Commitment to reevaluating allocation formulas so primary and caucus winners receive more pledged delegates. Commitment to reexamine the primary calendar, and offer incentives to states to ensure the calendar is appropriately spread out so voters in each state receive the necessary exposure to the candidates. Steps toward financial transparency and oversight, the creation of an Ombudsman Committee, and strengthening the conflict of interest provision. These recommendations are a start and our discussion of these topics over the past year have brought new voices to our side. Members of the political establishment have also joined the call for reform. Senator Tim Kaine, who was Secretary Clinton's running mate in 2016, has come out in favor of eliminating superdelegates from the presidential nominating process. This is a good start, but there are still far too many who resist change and seek to uphold the status quo. Donate $5 to Our Revolution and help us continue the fight to open the Democratic Party to all people. CONTRIBUTE » secure.actblue.com/donate/or-dnc Our Revolution is building solidarity with grassroots organizations across the country. Just last week, Senator Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution president Nina Turner held rallies across Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania rallying Americans against the GOP tax bill. These efforts are critical, but the Unity Reform Commission must affect change here in Washington if our organizing efforts are to be successful in the long term. We are fighting for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice. The Democratic Party needs everyone, regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, country of origin, language, or socioeconomic status, to be deeply involved in order to change the course of this country. That's why we are calling for an end to superdelegates, open primaries and caucuses, same-day registration, and more transparent, fair, and accountable leadership at the helm of the DNC. Make a $5 contribution to Our Revolution as we work in Washington to bring real, meaningful reforms to the DNC this weekend. CONTRIBUTE » secure.actblue.com/donate/or-dnc Your generous support helps build the foundation upon which the people of this country can champion the issues that brought our movement together. Thank you. In solidarity, Jim Zogby Our Revolution Board Member DNC Unity Reform Commission Member
· Mon, Dec 11 · sanders

Why was the President pushing a shopping cart?
Dear Friend,  It’s been an exciting few days—both for Utah and the nation. On Monday, I accompanied the President on his visit to Salt Lake, where he announced his decision to scale back the national monuments at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. This long-awaited executive order was the culmination of months of hard work and close coordination with the White House, and it all started when I met with the President in the Oval Office back in January. During the President’s first week on the job, I asked for his help in fixing the disaster at Bears Ears—and boy, did he come through.   Watch some of the President's Remarks from his Utah Visit!  The President’s action reins in decades of federal overreach and gives Utahns a much-needed voice in the debate over public lands. As I stood by the President during Monday’s signing ceremony, I was humbled when he formally recognized my leadership on this issue by giving me the same pen he used to sign the executive order. For years, we have been fighting against federal overreach, and this week, we scored a significant victory. Of course, Monday wasn’t all Bears Ears. We were also able to set politics aside during a special visit to Salt Lake City’s Welfare Square. There, I introduced the President to LDS leaders, who explained the ins and outs of the church’s humanitarian program. The President was blown away by the sheer magnitude of the church’s humanitarian efforts, and he even said that the highlight of his trip was pushing a shopping cart through the Bishop’s Storehouse to fill a food order.
· Sat, Dec 9 · hatch

[SPAM] Latest From Lamar
Latest from Lamar, Notes from the Senate Desk *This week, I urged Congress to deliver a very good Christmas present to thousands of Tennesseans by passing bipartisan legislation to lower health insurance premiums by 18 percent.* On Wednesday, I was in Nashville, and I went to Chick-fil-A on Charlotte to get some chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and waffle fries. As I was about to leave, a lady walked up to me and said, "My name is Marty. I'm a self-employed farmer. And the year before Obamacare started, my monthly insurance premium was $300. Next year, it's $1,300, and it's very hard for me to afford." I said, "I guess you're one of those Americans who work hard, and you don't get any government subsidy to help you pay for your health insurance." She said, "That's exactly right. I have to pay for the whole thing myself." I said, "Well, Marty, I've got a Christmas present for you if Congress can pass by the end of the month legislation that would lower your premiums in 2019 by 18 percent" -- that's according to Avalere, which is one of the leading health consulting firms in the country and made that announcement earlier this week. Marty isn't alone - the average Tennessean has seen premiums rise 176 percent over the last five years and an additional 58 percent this year. So a very good Christmas present for Marty and men and women like her across this country would be for this Congress, before the end of the month, to pass legislation I worked on with Sen. Murray as well as the Collins-Nelson legislation, which will lower premiums by 18 percent. *Ensuring that Tennesseans benefit from 21st Century Cures and we can hear more stories like Nashville resident, Doug Oliver's* When Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, we hoped to unleash medical innovation and give people more access to life-changing treatments and cures, so more Tennesseans could experience medical miracles. On Thursday, the Senate health committee - which I chair - held an oversight hearing to hear from Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about the implementation of 21st Century Cures and progress being made in unleashing biomedical innovation. At that hearing, I told the story of Doug Oliver, a Nashville resident who regained his sight after participating in a clinical trial*. *In 2007, Doug began to have trouble seeing and was declared legally blind. After moving to Nashville, his doctor at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute told him that while there were no cures, Doug could search online for a clinical trial. Doug found a regenerative medicine clinical trial in Florida, where doctors took cells out of the bone marrow in his hip, spun them in a centrifuge, and then injected them into his eye. Three days later, he began to see. His eyesight eventually improved enough to get his driver's license back--and enough that he became an effective advocate for more support for regenerative medicine, which we included in the 21st Century Cures Act. Cures added $30 million to support regenerative medicine and an accelerated pathway for these treatments at FDA - so we can hear more stories like Doug Oliver's. A law is not worth the paper it's printed on if it is not implemented properly, and I intend to ensure 21st Century Cures is implemented properly. In October, the committee held an oversight hearing on the electronic health records provisions in the law and will meet on Wednesday to continue our oversight on the law's mental health provisions. *Earlier this year, Doug gave me the cane he'd used while he was blind as a memento*. He said: "I don't need it anymore."* On Tuesday, I chaired a confirmation hearing for four of President Trump's nominees who will serve in important positions at the Department of Education and Department of Labor. These nominees are well-qualified and have broad support. One position - the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health at the Labor Department - was especially interesting to me. My father was the safety director at a plant in Alcoa, Tennessee, and he later served on the first Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. So I grew up seeing my father's pride when the plant went a long number of days without an accident, which instilled in me the importance of workplace safety. The nominee for this position, Scott Mugno, spent 18 years in Memphis, and he and his wife raised their two daughters there. Remember birthdays. *#245 in Lamar Alexander's *Little Plaid Book ** Contact Information: Website: www.alexander.senate.gov/public/ Office Location: Washington, DC Office 455 Dirksen Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 Phone: (202) 224-4944 | Fax: (202) 228-3398 Privacy Policy: www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/privacypolicy Unsubscribe: alexander.enews.senate.gov/mail/util.cfm
· Sat, Dec 9 · alexander

Congress Moves to Conference Committee on Tax Reform
Richard Burr, US Senator North Carolina id="content_main"> Congress Moves to Conference Committee on Tax Reform This week, Congress has continued moving forward on tax reform. Both the House and the Senate voted to go to a Conference Committee to reconcile the differences in the bills each chamber passed. Once that process is complete, each chamber will vote to finally bring tax relief to the millions of Americans who need it. I will keep working to ensure that our new tax code will be simpler and fairer. I'm confident my colleagues on the Conference Committee will produce a final reform bill that will unleash our economy and get Americans back to work again. As the Conference Committee completes its work, I will also remain focused on completing the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections. I've said it before - we will finish our work once we've exhausted the list of people we need to talk to. Our committee is dedicated to getting this right and sharing as much as we can with the American people.
· Sat, Dec 9 · burr

The Scoop: VA Hiring Practices, Tax Reform, Immigration Policy
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· Sat, Dec 9 · grassley

Six Months In: Thank You!
Friend, "Polarizing hostile discourse will only breed more division while, at the same time, making real debate over issues less likely." -James Zogby, Sanders Institute Board Chair The mission of the Sanders Institute is to revitalize democracy by actively engaging individuals, organizations, and the media in the pursuit of progressive solutions to economic, environmental, racial, and social justice issues. To commemorate our first six months of operation, we have designed a limited-edition Sanders Institute t-shirt that highlights our primary tenets - Civil Discourse / Progressive Ideas / Informed Electorate. BUY A LIMITED EDITION SANDERS INSTITUTE TEE » represent.com/thesandersinstitute We choose to believe in more than just angry tweets and doomsday headlines. We choose to be a part of a movement where we talk to people even if we don't agree with them. We choose to educate ourselves about what really matters. Together we have published research papers, op-eds, videos and articles on bold ideas, as well as organized media coverage for Progressive champions. The journey has just begun. Wear a t-shirt, spark a conversation. Thank you for being a part of the movement. Jane O'Meara Sanders DONATE » secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/sandersinstitute
· Sat, Dec 9 · sanders

The Laudable Pursuit: A Big Win for Utah’s Rural Communities
December 08, 2017 "to elevate the condition of men--to lift artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance, in the race of life." --Abraham Lincoln Chairman's Note: A Big Win for Utah's Rural Communities President Trump won the White House for many reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason is that rural Americans are sick and tired of rich coastal elites telling them how to live their lives. President Trump may not be able to fulfill all of his campaign promises, but he has already delivered for Utah's rural communities by coming to our state and limiting President Obama's Bears Ears National Monument and President Clinton's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Make no mistake: President Obama's Bears Ears monument was a project pushed and funded by wealthy East and West Coast liberals. The Hewlett and Packard foundations, as well as the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, gave tens of millions of dollars to supposedly "grassroots" Native American groups to campaign for a new monument. But local Native Americans-the people who actually live near Bears Ears and use the land-did not take the money. "The whole tone of it seems like the tribes are generally being used as pawns for the environmental groups to get what they really want," Blue Mountain Dine' Vice President Byron Clarke told the Deseret News. "They are being played. It is somewhat insulting." "It seems pretty clear that the federal government over time tends to close down access," Clarke later told me. "So just as a local user of the land, I have to ask myself what's wrong with how we are using it right now? We can go hunt now, we can go fishing and cut wood now and it's pristine." Clarke is right. The federal government does restrict access to land where a national monument has been declared. That is the entire point of the Antiquities Act: to preserve cultural treasures on federal public land by restricting access to the land. That is also why the Antiquities Act requires that monument designations be "confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and maintenance of the objects to be protected." Neither President Clinton nor President Obama respected that limitation. Instead of responsibly working with local communities to identify just the protections needed to preserve cultural sites in San Juan and Garfield counties, they made million acre designations that were designed to transform the economic life of surrounding residents. "Creation of jobs for tourism will be a benefit to the community versus those that could be lost by some of the mineral and energy jobs," Clarke told me. "I think for a lot of Navajos we are skilled people, we have skills other than restaurant workers and gas station attendants. We are engineers. We are heavy equipment operators. We are welders. Those are good jobs rather than the tourism type jobs which tend to be seasonal." Ranching families also are hit hard by the restrictions that come with monument designations. After land-use restrictions at the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument kicked in, Garfield County ranchers could no longer bring water in to their cattle. Their ability to fence in water resources and maintain roads was also limited. Many families were forced to signigicantly reduce their herds, sometimes by half. The corporations pushing for monument land-use restrictions, like Patagonia and REI, claim that the monuments will create tourism jobs for the residents of Garfield and San Juan county. And they are right: the monuments do create tourism jobs. But at what cost? Moab resident Jon Kovash warns in the High Country Times that "Tourism also brings sprawling growth, crappy jobs, even-higher rents and home prices, and an increasingly unmanageable crush of visitors and traffic." Maybe the rich coastal liberals and their corporate pals are right. Maybe tourism is the answer for economic development in rural America. But shouldn't that choice be made by the residents who live there? Shouldn't the people who actually live near the land decide how best to use it? And maybe, just maybe, the same people who used land restrictions in their own cities to create sky-high housing prices and crushing inequality shouldn't be in the business of telling other people how to use their land. More needs to be done to protect Utah's rural communities from future Democratic presidents. We need Congress to give Utah the same Antiquities Act protections that Alaska and Wyoming have. But until then, President Trump's monument reductions are a good first step. Utah thanks him. The Case for Expanding the Child Tax Credit youtu.be/kRKqjruJ7mI Click here to watch video Issue in Focus: The Wrong Man for Colombia President Trump recently nominated Joseph MacManus to become the next U.S. Ambassador to Colombia. At a time when the U.S.-Colombian relationship is vital to regional security and stability, both countries deserve better. The argument against Mr. MacManus has two parts. First, MacManus does not appear to share the president's belief in an America First foreign policy. If the president wants his objectives to be accomplished around the world, it is critical that his political appointees to the State Department share his commitment to the task. What is MacManus committed to? It is hard to say for certain, but his background is cause for concern. MacManus is a career bureaucrat at the State Department who served as executive assistant to then-Secretary Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi disaster. He also worked as a top diplomat for then-Secretary John Kerry in implementing the Iran nuclear deal. A long career in diplomacy normally would be considered a positive qualification for a job at the State Department-but not when that career is tied to some of America's most egregious foreign-policy blunders. Second, MacManus does not have the expertise in Latin American affairs that we should demand for this sensitive position. All but one of the past six ambassadors to Columbia had previous experience as an ambassador. The exception, outgoing Ambassador Kevin Whitaker, spent practically his entire career in Latin American diplomacy, rising to the position of deputy assistant secretary for South America before becoming an ambassador. By contrast, MacManus's experience in Latin America is limited to a period of time spent as a public diplomacy officer in Mexico and El Salvador. Political unrest is increasing across Latin America. From the growing authoritarian power of Maduro in Venezuela, to contested elections in Honduras, to the fragile peace deal between the Colombian government and FARC rebels, the United States is more reliant on Colombia than ever before. The nation is a strong ally-and it is our only NATO partner in the region. We give Columbia nearly a billion dollars in foreign assistance every year. Given the stakes, we should not roll the dice on a Foggy Bottom bureaucrat with a dubious track record. Washington, D.C. Office 361A Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C., 20510 Phone: 202.224.5444 Fax: 202.228.1168 Salt Lake City Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building 125 South State, Suite 4225 Salt Lake City, UT 84138 Phone: 801.524.5933 Fax: 801.524.5730 St. George Office of Senator Michael S. Lee 285 West Tabernacle, Suite 200 St. George, UT 84770 Phone: 435.628.5514 SaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSave Save Save Save Save Save Save SaveSave SaveSaveSave SaveSave Save This message was intended for: xxx You were added to the system October 2, 2015. For more information please follow the URL below: newsletter.senate.gov/p/is3Al0hoNl Follow the URL below to update your preferences or opt-out: newsletter.senate.gov/p/os3Al0hoNl To unsubscribe from future mailings, send an email to mailto:xxx?Subject=Unsubscribe&body=Please%20remove%20me%20from%20further%20mailings with "Unsubscribe" as the subject line.
· Fri, Dec 8 · lee

More Money in Your Pocket
The Lonestar Weekly The Lonestar Weekly About For Texans Issues Newsroom Contact More Money in Your Pocket Last week the Senate took a major step towards simplifying our antiquated tax code for the first time in more than three decades This is the jumpstart our economy needs to bring jobs back and leave more money in the pockets of hardworking Texans. Click here to watch my latest tax reform video. A family of four in Texas making the median income will see their taxes cut by thousands of dollars - money they can save or spend on what they want instead of handing it over to Washington. And for Texas small businesses, this bill means less time trying to navigate the tax code and more time creating jobs. Next, the House and Senate will meet to resolve the differences between their two tax reform bills. I look forward to being part of that conversation. There's still work to be done, but I'm grateful for the effort to get this over the goal line in the Senate, and I look forward to getting tax reform to the President's desk by Christmas to deliver on our promise of pro-growth tax reform for the American people. 517 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington, DC 20510 Main: 202-224-2934 Fax: 202-228-2856 Get Assistance This message was intended for: xxx You were added to the system October 8, 2015. For more information please follow the URL below: newsletter.senate.gov/p/iWt_TJhoN1 Follow the URL below to update your preferences or opt-out: newsletter.senate.gov/p/oWt_TJhoN1 To unsubscribe from future mailings, send an email to mailto:xxx?Subject=Unsubscribe&body=Please%20remove%20me%20from%20further%20mailings with "Unsubscribe" as the subject line.
· Thu, Dec 7 · cornyn

Facing deportation
Friends, I was just as American as anyone else. In high school I ran track and field, I went to prom, and I applied to college. Like many seniors in high school applying for financial aid, I realized I would need to know my Social Security number (SSN) to qualify. I asked my mom for my SSN and she told me I didn't have one--she told me that I was undocumented. At 24, I went to court in Baltimore every month to find out if I was going to be deported. I had to show my student records, I had to get affidavits from my friends and I had to show I had no criminal record. But when the judge saw my parents enter the courtroom I watched him change his mind about me. I was only able to beat deportation because both of my parents were disabled, allowing me to qualify for cancellation of removal. During my last deportation hearing, the judge granted my protection. I was lucky, but there are still 800,000 Dreamers who need permanent status. Call your Senators today and urge them to vote for a clean Dream Act. CALL 844-847-3222 » go.ourrevolution.com/page/content/defend-daca/ With my back against the wall for so much of my life, I learned to rely on my natural gifts and figure out what I could do to make ends meet and survive. I put myself through college on the small amount of money I made as a freelance designer and what my mom could spare from her disability checks. I did all of this while facing deportation. Now, I use my talents as Our Revolution's Head Graphic Designer to advocate for progressive change, including immigration justice. Every Dreamer has the right to experience the same thing that I am now experiencing. I am fighting for a clean Dream Act because I don't want anyone else to experience the fear of deportation hearings. There should be a clear approach for people like me who came here at a young age, who have clean records, who want to provide for their families and who are upstanding citizens. I was brought to America when I was three years old from Nigeria. My parents raised me to be a good person, to treat others with kindness and respect, and to stand up for what is right. I need you to stand up for what is right too. Call your Senators and urge them to vote for a clean Dream Act. CALL 844-847-3222 » go.ourrevolution.com/page/content/defend-daca/ In solidarity, Sam Adaramola Graphic Designer Our Revolution
· Thu, Dec 7 · sanders

Tax Reform Is a Win for Missourians
Roy Blunt, US Senator for Missouri Dear Unity, Since 1986, Missourians have struggled under a complicated, broken tax code [link 1]. That has to change. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, which the Senate passed [link 2] last week, will provide a much-needed tax cut for hardworking families and help make our country more competitive. It is a win for families, workers, and businesses. But you don't have to take my word for it [link 3]. Here's what Missouri job creators told the National Association of Manufacturers about what tax reform means to them: - "More business! Bringing work back to the U.S. will increase order rates, inventory, and development. This will create growth for DT Engineering." - *Jim Sheldon, owner of DT Engineering in Lebanon* - "Tax reform will unleash investment not just from us, but our customers." - *Mike DeCola, owner of HBM Holdings in St. Louis* We have a historic moment right now to provide real tax relief for Missourians. We can't let this moment slip by. [image = blunt.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/One_Step_Closer_Tax_Reform_Graphic-01.png] This week, my Senate colleagues and I voted to start negotiations with the House of Representatives on a final bill. This puts us one step closer to getting our pro-growth tax cut legislation to the president's desk. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act will not only jumpstart a new era of growth and opportunity, it will make a real difference in the lives of families, workers, and small business owners in our state. These reforms will mean Missourians can keep more of the money they earn, allowing them to save for an emergency, start a college fund, or simply enjoy a meal out once in awhile. And, this bill will help businesses expand [link 4], create more jobs, and strengthen our economy, paving the way for more opportunities and better-paying jobs in the future. I'm looking forward to seeing this bill signed into law and, instead of hearing stories from Missourians about how the tax code is holding them back, hearing how an updated tax code is helping them achieve their American dream. To stay updated and join the conversation on tax reform, be sure to follow me on Twitter [link 5], Facebook [link 6], and Instagram [link 7]. Sincere regards, [image = blunt.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/RDB_Signature.jpg]
· Thu, Dec 7 · blunt