Even with Republicans controlling both wings of Capitol Hill and President-elect Donald Trump ready to move into the White House, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., had a busy first week in his latest term. Hastings was first elected to Congress in 1992.
On Wednesday, Hasting brought out a proposal urging the secretary of Homeland Security giving Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian nationals who fled that nation and are unable to return due to the impact of Hurricane Matthew.
“Today, I am proud to continue my efforts to help the people of Haiti build a strong and vibrant democracy,” Hastings said as he unveiled his proposal. “Hurricane Matthew inflicted terrible and substantial damage on an already hurting Haiti, and we must do all that we can to ensure that the people of Haiti, and the country itself, are placed in the strongest position possible to achieve the country’s fullest potential.
“When Hurricane Matthew made landfall, Haiti had still not fully recovered from the 2010 earthquake, which was responsible for the deaths of over 200,000 Haitians, and incredible structural damage and a horrific cholera epidemic,” Hastings added. “It is time to let the people of Haiti know that this Congress recognizes the hardships they have faced and that we stand with them as they work to recover and rebuild. I urge my colleagues to support this resolution, and I can only hope that its passage will send a clear message that now is the time to act and lend Haiti this much needed helping hand.”
Hastings also brought out 15 proposals on Tuesday, the first day of the 115 Congress.
“As the 115th Congress begins, I plan to hit the ground running on these proposals, and will introduce a number of other important bills throughout the coming year,” Hastings said. “As I have always said, I will work with anyone, Democrat or Republican, and hope to get these bills passed in the coming Congress.
“The Republicans may control Congress and the White House, but I will not stop advocating for these critical measures, which reaffirm Congress’ responsibility to the American people and our country’s responsibility to be a global leader. I also intend to keep a keen eye on the incoming Administration and the Republican majority to ensure that they always have the best interests of the American people in mind,” Hastings added.
Hastings launched bills on grant programs for the homeless, letting tax players designate overpayments on their income tax go to the Disaster Relief Fund, ending corporal punishment in schools, urging the State Department to battle terrorism in Tunisia, giving gun victims more ability to sue gun manufacturers, granting the U.S. Education Department authority to assist families of teachers killed while performing their duties at school and other issues.