06/10/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/10/2021 14:54
I am so excited to get to see everyone in person again!
Thinking back to where things were exactly one year ago, it's nothing short of amazing that tomorrow Illinios will end all COVID-19 restrictions. I remember last year talking with you on telephone town hall calls, Zoom gatherings, indeed any conceivable way to stay connected. I promised we would get through the pandemic together. With the help provided by President Biden's American Rescue Plan, today more than 50% of Americans are now fully vaccinated, businesses are open and our kids will hopefully have a memorable summer before returning to fully opened schools. Sending out a big thank you to all the heroes of the pandemic who tirelessly worked to keep us healthy, to sustain us day in and day out, and to ensure our security and safety at home and throughout our communities.
You might also have noticed that I haven't sent a newsletter yet this month. I've actually been on a reduced schedule the past two weeks following a medical procedure. But I am pleased to share that I am well, fully back at work and, like the rest of the state, on the road to a full recovery.
Though slowed, I have been able to get around the district a bit the past couple of weeks. We commemorated Memorial Day in Grayslake and Libertyville, celebrated the winners of this year's Congressional Art Competition in Waukegan and recognized a record-setting class of new Service Academy appointees in Deerfield. Of course, like so many of you, I've spent countless hours in Zoom rooms and other virtual platforms as well. Again, it will be such a welcome change to do everything in person again.
Shifting to more national news: Although not in session, Congress continues to hold virtual committee hearings. This week, the House Foreign Affairs committee heard from Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and the Ways and Mean Committee from Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Bacerra. Both hearings addressed the Biden Administration's priorities and budget request for fiscal year 2022.
Finally, last week I began circulating a resolution to censure Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for her reprehensible and antisemitic comments comparing masks to gold stars during the Holocaust. These comments dishonor not just the House of Representatives, but also the memories of millions murdered by Nazis during the Holocaust, and the American and Allied nations who fought the Nazis in defense of Democracy. I hope that members of both parties will join my censure resolution.
Keep reading for more information on what's happening in Washington and around the district.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON
Statement on Rep. Ilhan Omar's Comments Equating the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban
Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided. Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one's intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.
The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups. My colleagues and I urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.
Calling for Stronger Ethylene Oxide Monitoring
After years of the Trump administration ignoring the EtO problem, the EPA needs to urgently take all necessary and appropriate steps to protect our communities from the risk of ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen. That's why I introduced bipartisan legislation that would require the EPA to immediately update its EtO standards based on the science and guided by public health.
I also led a letter alongside Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth asking the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) asking that the agency conduct a timely health consultation report and assessment to inform constituents about the risk posed by EtO.
Supporting Veteran Entrepreneurship
Our veterans served our country with honor, and they deserve our support as they transition from military to civilian life. Many of the leadership, problem solving, and communications skills learned in the armed forces translate well to entrepreneurial and business success.
I'm proud to work with my Republican colleague, Congressman Roger Williams, on the Boots to Business program. This program does crucial work helping veterans start and grow businesses, and I'm proud to work with my colleague Congressman Roger Williams on this bipartisan effort to ensure this program can continue serving veterans in our communities.'
AROUND THE TENTH
Honoring the 2021 Congressional Art Competition Winners
Last Friday I hosted the winners of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition to showcase and discuss their work. We had 37 students from 12 schools across the district send in submissions this year interpreting the theme, 'Unity.' Above I am pictured with Waukegan High School student Kate Salinas, whose piece, Together, won first place in the competition. Congratulations to Kate and all of the other winners of this year's 2021 art competition! View all submissions on my Facebook page.
Sending off Military Academy Appointees
Last Saturday I celebrated this year's class of 2025 military academy appointees. 12 students from the Tenth District were offered a military academy appointment, making this year's class the largest ever during my time representing the district. As the father of a young, now reserve Navy Lieutenant, I know the pride of the parents of all these amazing young people as the embark on a career of national service and leadership. Thank you to the selection committee for their support and insight during the nomination process. I wish this year's class great success in their studies and their subsequent service to our nation.
Congratulations to this year's appointees: Dayne Smoter, Emmeline Bae, Corianna Jensen, Eleanor K. Bosacoma, Apollos Burcham, John 'Jack' Arne, Michael Lee, Tejas Chakravarthy, Ryan Kim, Owen Hodges, Kayla Gibbons and Halbert Kim.
Memorial Day Recap: Honoring Fallen Veterans in Grayslake and Libertyville
Since my first year in Congress, Memorial Day has been a very important event on my calendar. It is a time for our nation to unite to honor the memories of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, and to also reflect on these heroes lives. This year I had the privilege to hear Ellen Dimock share the moving story of her son, U.S. Army Ranger Joey Dimock, who lost his life in Afghanistan in 2010. He was a remarkable young man, with a zeal for life, love for family and devotion to country. Since his loss, Ellen and their incredibly strong Gold Star family have tirelessly worked to help Lake County veterans in need.
Let us keep Joey, and all like him in our hearts. His is a debt we will never fully repay, but we can honor his memory by supporting Gold Star families and living up to the ideals he died defending.
After the ceremony in Grayslake, I joined the Libertyville chapter of the American Legion for donuts and coffee. I had an inspiring conversation with Retired Navy veteran Eugene Leonard (above), who is also the dad of two Navy officers.
Meeting with new Libertyville Mayor Donna Johnson
Last week I had a wonderful meeting with the new mayor of Libertyville, Donna Johnson. Mayor Johnson's election was historic, as she is the first person of color and the second woman to hold the post in Libertyville. During our meeting we discussed her vision for the village and how my office and I can support the village.
Honoring Pride Month
My late grandmother, Molly B, long ago taught me love is love and everyone is equal. This Pride Month, let us celebrate our own LGBTQ+ family and friends and our country's progress toward equality, while also reflecting on the work still left to do.
I was proud to pass the Equality Act with my colleagues in the House earlier this year, and I hope the Senate quickly follows our example. Equality means that no one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love, and we must never stop working toward that goal.
If You're Traveling Internationally Soon, Remember to Check Your Passport Expiration
As more and more people get vaccinated, travel is starting to pick back up again. My office has received an uptick in calls asking to expedite passport renewals lately. If you plan to travel internationally, remember to check the expiration date on your passport before you go. Passports last for 5 or 10 years depending on what age you were issued your first passport. It can take 6-8 weeks to renew a passport, so make sure to plan ahead.
IRS to Start Distributing Child Tax Credit Payments in July
The American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to $3000 per child ages 6 - 17 and $3600 per child age 6 and under through the end of 2021. The IRS will begin distributing CTC payments in July. The only thing you have to do to start receiving CTC payments is have filed your 2020 tax return.
Apply for Lake County COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program
Lake County renters who face financial hardship related to COVID-19 can now apply for the new Lake County Federal Emergency Rental Assistance (FERA) Program, which provides help for individuals paying rent and/or utility bills.
To qualify for help, residents must: pay rent in Lake County, have a COVID-related financial hardship, be at risk of homelessness or housing instability, meet income guidelines based on household size, and provide appropriate documentation.
VA to Readjudicate Veteran and Survivor Claims for Agent Orange Exposure
Veterans who were previously denied service connection for Agent Orange exposure will have their claims automatically readjudicated by the Veterans' Administration, without having to file a new claim. This review also applies to eligible survivors of Vietnam-era veterans. Learn more here.
Low-Income Households Can Now Apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit
The Emergency Broadband Benefit helps struggling families with the cost of Internet service. If you are enrolled in Medicaid or SNAP benefits, have lost a job or seen your income reduced in the last year, or make 135% below the federal poverty level, you may qualify to receive $50/month for your broadband service.
Small Business Relief: Applications Now Open for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
The American Rescue Plan established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) for small businesses struggling during COVID. Applications for both programs are now open.
Small Business Community Resources
The Illinois Small Business Development Center is offering training programs through TAD (Training Assessment and Development) and BizHub through funding from the CARES Act passed last year.
FEMA Providing COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
Beginning today, FEMA will start accepting applications for financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to COVID-19. The assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application. Please find more information at FEMA's COVID-19 Funeral Assistance website or call 844-684-6333 for help.
Like you, I too am disturbed by the rising number of hateful attacks our country has seen over the past year, especially recent anti-Asian and antisemitic incidents. We need to call out hate no matter where we see it, wherever and from whomever is raises its ugly head.
As Elie Wiesel said, 'Action is the only remedy to indifference: the most insidious danger of all.' Hate is hate, and we must eradicate it at all costs. I will continue doing everything I can in Congress to stand with Jewish Americans and fight antisemitism.
As always, I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and well.
Bradley S. Schneider
Member of Congress