Thompson Times Thanksgiving Newsletter
In 1621, the early settlers of Plymouth Colony and the Wampanoag Tribe broke bread together to celebrate the blessings received from the previous year, including a successful harvest. The gathering is the origin of our modern Thanksgiving Day tradition.
Since that historic meal, generations of families across the country have gathered around the dinner table to celebrate our many blessings. The varied dates of Thanksgiving from state to state were finally made a national holiday officially by President Lincoln in 1863.
This Thanksgiving, we also take the time to thank the men and women of America's Armed Forces, most especially those serving overseas and away from their families here at home.
I hope that you find the following updates from Washington, D.C., and across the 5th District informative and helpful. My wife, Penny, and I, along with our entire family, wish you and yours a happy, safe, and blessed Thanksgiving.
Veterans Day in Warren: On November 11, I had the opportunity to serve as the Keynote Speaker for the Warren Veterans Day Ceremony, in Warren, PA, as the community joined together to pay tribute to the generations of brave men and women who have joined the ranks of our military to serve their country. Following the formal ceremony, I had the honor of promoting U.S Army 1st Lt. Tim Shelby to captain, with the assistance of Shelby’s wife, Warren native Shallin Munksgard Shelby, and her grandfather, Jerry Reichard.
We have a solemn obligation to honor the promises made to active duty personnel and veterans alike, and to support our American heroes, not only on the battlefield but when they return home.
In this light, I also made reference to my role in advancing policy reforms to support both our military and veterans, including efforts to improve access to health care services through the expansion telemedicine across the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Thompson Leads Pennsylvania Delegation Effort on Controversial Waters of the U.S. Rule: On November 14, I, along with U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and seven additional Members of the Pennsylvania Delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives, voiced strong concerns with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) proposed “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule that would dramatically expand the scope of federal authority over water and land uses in the United States. In a letter to EPA and USACE, we outlined concerns specific to our home state and those of Pennsylvania residents, including private landowners, counties, municipalities, farmers, foresters, among so many others who will be negatively impacted if this rule is allowed to be fully implemented.
Solutions to Help Working Families: On November 17, the Senate passed S. 1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, which is part of the House Republicans’ package of bills to empower families at work and home. The legislation, which represents a bipartisan agreement between the House and Senate to reauthorize the Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, passed the House with unanimous support in September and was signed into law on November 19. The Child Care Development Block Grant is a federal and state partnership, which provides a lifeline for working families throughout the commonwealth. A significant victory for working families all across our country, the reforms included in this legislation will offer greater access to high-quality care in safe environments.
USDA Food Safety Tips for Cooking Thanksgiving Turkeys: Thanksgiving is the largest meal many cooks prepare each year. Getting it just right, especially the turkey, brings a fair amount of pressure whether or not a host is experienced with roasting one. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is issuing food safety recommendations on how to properly prepare a turkey to make sure yours is both delicious and safe to serve.
In The News:
Courier Express: Dam project will bring jobs to area: “Over 50 job seekers and businesses attended Thursday's open house event in which contractor Layne Christensen talked about the $132 million, four year long, East Branch Dam project and the supply chain and employment needs the company has and is looking to fill locally...“For individuals seeking employment and local small businesses interested in opportunities, this is an open forum for those individuals and companies to gather information and have their questions answered,” said U.S. Rep Glenn “GT” Thompson, whose office played a pivotal role in organizing the event…” (Courier Express, November 21, 2014)
Penn Live: Thompson Reacts to President's Immigration Order: "The President has been playing politics with immigration for the past six years and his Executive Order is the latest installment of a short-sighted attempt to address this issue. The President had two years where his party controlled the Executive Branch and both chambers of Congress, yet did nothing. We agree, the immigration system needs an overhaul, but moving unilaterally is not going to achieve that end. Rather, this action will serve to estrange the Legislative Branch, which is responsible for passing and changing the laws of our country. The President's actions show that he is more focused on partisan politics than working with Congress to address the true need for reform…” (Penn Live, November 21, 2014)
Centre Daily Times: New VA clinic on track to open in March: "The new Veterans Affairs clinic, near the Nittany Mall on East College Avenue, is almost completed...the biggest expected area of expansion will be in telehealth...U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson has been working on expanding telehealth for veterans for several years. His work includes the Servicemembers’ Telemedicine and E-Health Portability Act, which was signed into law in 2011, and the Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support Act, which is still under debate. “While more must be done to remove barriers and expand access, it has been encouraging to witness the VA utilize technological advancements to improve care services for our veteran population,” stated Thompson..." (Centre Daily Times, November 26, 2014)