As we mark one year since the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, I remember the five lives lost and honor the 150 law enforcement officers injured during the insurrection.
It is thanks to the incredible service of the Capitol and Metro police that our Capitol is standing today. They not only saved my life and those of my staff and my colleagues, but our democracy, too. Their service and sacrifice cannot be overstated.
With the Capitol under siege one year ago, our nation faced the worst attack on our democracy in our lifetime. And yet, it stands today thanks to the strength and resiliency of the American people – in defiance of the horrors we witnessed that day.
Many of my colleagues who were on the House floor and in the House Gallery are still dealing with the effects of that fateful day. It is from them and their steadfast dedication to our nation, I find inspiration. One year ago, with tear gas still in the air, we all went back to the House Chamber to cast our votes to certify the election and ensure the peaceful transfer of power. And it was the same law enforcement officers who faced down those rioters head on who stood guard to make sure we were safe to do so.
I am proud every day – but especially on this day – to have the honor of serving in the U.S. House of Representatives and the ability to work every day to preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States.
You can watch yesterday’s discussion on the historical significance of January 6 with historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham here and hear my colleagues’ remembrances of the day here.
Updates from Rhode Island
$819k Federal Grant for New Program to Curb Opioid Crisis and Save Lives
The Justice Department has awarded the Woonsocket Police Department a three-year $819,109 grant to create a new diversion program aimed at connecting people who are struggling with opioid addiction to treatment rather than sending them to jail. Woonsocket’s Law Enforcement Assisted Deflection, Engagement, and Retention (LEADER) in Treatment program will be a partnership between the Woonsocket Police Department and the Community Care Alliance. Rhode Islanders are, sadly, all too familiar with the deep consequences of substance use disorders and addiction. This federal funding will enable the Woonsocket Police Department to develop a program that will put Rhode Islanders on a path to recovery instead of incarceration – saving lives and saving families.
Updates from Washington, D.C.
Working to Protect Medicare
This week, I joined Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and 49 of my colleagues in urging the Biden Administration to protect Medicare by ending a Trump-era privatization effort that has taken Traditional Medicare away from millions of seniors without their knowledge or consent. You can read our full letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Beccera and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure here.
Keeping Heating and Energy Prices Affordable This Winter
On Wednesday, the Rhode Island delegation joined with our colleagues in the House and Senate in writing to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Richard Glick urging the agency to use its authority to protect consumers from unfairly high energy costs. In our letter, my colleagues and I emphasized that the Federal Government has a responsibility to ensure that everyone has access to safe living conditions, and we cannot let corporate greed or a quest for profit get in the way of fundamental human rights. You can read the full letter here.
Additionally, I’m proud to report that thanks to the American Rescue Plan and annual appropriations legislation, Rhode Island is set to receive $52,689,518 for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), more than doubling our state’s typical funding. If you need access to this program, my office can help. You can call us at 401-729-5600.
Important Passport & Travel Reminder
As more Rhode Islanders and people around the world get vaccinated and boosted, we are seeing an increase in both domestic and international travel. With travel resuming, many folks are looking to renew passports and this uptick in requests has led to a backlog at the State Department. Turnaround time for expedited processing is now at 5-7 weeks and regular processing is taking 8-11 weeks from submission to receipt.
Before booking international travel, please remember to check the expiration date on your passport and plan accordingly. Passports last for 5 or 10 years depending on what age you were when you were issued your first passport. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.
You can learn more from the State Department here.
As always, I am here to serve you. If there is anything I can do, please call my office at 729-5600 or send me an email at David.Cicilline@mail.house.gov.
David N. Cicilline
Member of Congress