Memorial Day
Posted by on May 28, 2018

Each year, Memorial Day is a time for Americans to take a moment to remember and honor those who paid the ultimate price in defense of the American ideal and our freedoms. Our obligation as American citizens is to ensure our children and grandchildren understand the true meaning of this commemoration. 

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, which has roots as far back as the years following the Civil War. The original name was based on the primary activity of the day – leaving flowers at cemeteries. After World War I, the focus expanded and the day paid tribute to those we lost in all our nation’s wars. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson officially designated Memorial Day as a national holiday by signing a presidential proclamation. As part of the designation, Waterloo, NY, where Memorial Day was reported first to be observed, was named the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

Since then, Americans have marked Memorial Day by attending remembrance services and visiting veterans’ cemeteries. One of the most recognizable yearly practices is to place an American flag in front of each of the roughly 400,000 headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. Here in New York, many of our local communities hold their own parades and other services to remember and honor our fallen soldiers. 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs keeps data on the number of casualties in each war our armed forces have fought beginning with the American Revolution. Since 1775, the VA estimates that 1.2 million American service members have perished defending our nation. No one understands these numbers more than the families who lost loved ones. The staggering number is a reminder that freedom isn’t free and that we should do all we can to support the men and women fighting to protect us from any threat. 

At 3:00 pm today, I hope you take a moment to stop and observe the National Moment of Remembrance with millions of fellow Americans. It is to our fallen heroes that we owe thanks for the lives we are able to live. Countless gratitude is owed to those who have perished defending the United States. Today, and every day, we must do our best to honor their memory and service.
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The Path Forward on CHIP
Posted by on January 17, 2018

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a critical tool for many New York families. This federal program provides health insurance funding for 350,000 children in our state through New York’s Child Health Plus Program.  Over the past twenty years, the program has provided check-ups, prescriptions and hospital care to low- to moderate-income children.  However, without Congressional action the program is projected to run out of funding in March, and this is unacceptable.

This past November, I supported a bill that passed the House of Representatives to re-authorize the program for five years. The legislation provided the necessary funding and long-term certainty for families which utilize the CHIP program.  The re-authorization also included funding for community health centers which are vital for providing primary care in rural and urban parts of our state.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, passing a re-authorization will save taxpayers’ money.  Without CHIP, the alternatives for those currently utilizing the program to find healthcare services for their children would cost more than the coverage of CHIP. So, in addition to CHIP being an effective and necessary program for children and their families, it also makes long-term budgetary sense.

This week, I expect a long-term re-authorization of the CHIP program to be added to the continuing resolution funding agreement. Please contact my office or check our website for further updates on this important issue.

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Live Town Hall
Posted by on April 12, 2017

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