Congresswoman Norton’s Weekly eNewsletter

Norton Announces Selections for Community Project Funding in D.C.

Norton today announced the 15 District of Columbia community project funding requests that she submitted for the fiscal year 2023 appropriations bills. Norton received 39 requests. Members of the House were allowed to submit up to 15 requests, and the Committee on Appropriations established narrow criteria for eligible projects. Norton regrets that she could not submit many worthy projects. Community project funding was formerly known as earmarks.

Norton will learn which, if any, projects many receive funding when the committee releases its appropriations bills. For projects to receive funding, they must be included in the version of the appropriations bills that are signed into law.

Full statement here.

Norton Announces Markup of Her Bill Requiring Federal Bureau of Prisons to Provide Information to D.C. on Returning Citizens

Norton announced today that the Committee on Oversight and Reform will mark up her bill that would require the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to provide information to the District of Columbia on individuals convicted of felonies under D.C. law in BOP custody at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11th. BOP houses individuals convicted of D.C. Code felonies, but BOP contends that federal privacy laws prohibit it from providing any information on these individuals to D.C.

“Thank you, Chairwoman Maloney, for marking up this important bill,” Norton said. “Individuals convicted of D.C. Code felonies face significant and unique reentry challenges because BOP will not provide any information on these individuals to D.C., and because these individuals are housed hundreds or even thousands of miles from the District, their families and their loved ones.”

Under this bill, D.C. would know the health and other needs of individuals convicted of D.C. Code felonies before they are released from BOP custody. Individuals convicted of D.C. Code felonies are the only individuals required to be housed by BOP for violations of non-federal laws.

Full statement here.

Norton Introduces Bill to Establish National Effort to Promote Healthy Lifestyles through Nutrition and Exercise

Norton today introduced the Promoting Healthier Lifelong Improvements in Food and Exercise Act, or the LIFE Act, to encourage exercise and healthy eating habits nationwide. The bill would provide $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat obesity and sedentary lifestyles in three ways: conducting national education campaigns about how to recognize and address overweight and obesity; training health professionals to recognize the signs of obesity early and to educate people concerning healthy lifestyles; and developing intervention strategies to be used in everyday life, such as in the workplace and in community settings. This initial funding would be for a pilot program to develop best practices and give the country a coherent national strategy for combating overweight and obesity.

Reducing overweight and obesity rates has been a priority for Norton in Congress. Although the LIFE Act applies nationally, she notes that the District of Columbia has higher rates than many jurisdictions of conditions related to overweight and obesity, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

In her introductory statement, Norton writes: “Changes in nutrition are equally critical because more than half of all young people consume too much fat, a factor in the increase of overweight youth. Data also show an increase in unhealthy eating habits for adults and no change in physical activity… I urge support for this important bill to mobilize the country before entirely preventable health conditions, which often begin in childhood, overwhelm the nation’s health care system.”

Full statement here.

Norton, Beyer Write Capitol Police Board on Lack of Response to Letter Requesting Use of Body and Dashboard Cameras

Norton and Representative Don Beyer (D-VA) wrote the Capitol Police Board (Board) last week requesting a response to their September 2021 letter calling for U.S. Capitol Police officers to use body and dashboard cameras.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Board has not implemented this policy, or even had the courtesy to respond to our letter, despite repeated inquiries from our offices to the Board regarding the status of a response,” the members wrote.

The members have introduced the Federal Police Camera and Accountability Act, which would require all uniformed federal police officers to use body and dashboard cameras. The bill passed the House as part of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021.

Full letter here.

Postal Service Responds to Norton Letter on Undelivered and Delayed Mail in D.C.

Norton today released the response she received from the United States Postal Service (USPS) to her April 28, 2022, letter about undelivered and delayed mail throughout the District of Columbia and her office’s difficulty in receiving timely responses from USPS. In its response, USPS apologized for the delays in responding to her office and said D.C. postal officials recently implemented new procedures to avoid future delays in responding, including a new platform to track congressional inquiries. The response also noted that USPS in D.C. recently made a push to substantially reduce the number of outstanding congressional cases, bringing them nearly current.

“I am pleased USPS responded to my letter on mail delivery issues and my office’s difficulties in getting responses to cases we opened on behalf of constituents,” Norton said. “When I sent the letter, my office had approximately 130 mail cases open, many of which had been open for nearly a year. We have been able to resolve and close nearly 75% of those, bringing the current total down to 26 open cases. I will be watching to ensure that USPS maintains this level of responsiveness.”

Full letter here.

Norton to Introduce Bill to Combat Helicopter Noise in D.C.

Norton, co-chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus and a member of the Subcommittee on Aviation, today announced that she will introduce a bill that would require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to submit recommendations to Congress on how to reduce helicopter noise in the District of Columbia. This will be the third bill Norton has introduced this Congress to combat helicopter noise in D.C.

“Even though the District of Columbia has the most restricted airspace in the country, I hear from D.C. residents almost daily about the negative impact of helicopter noise on their lives,” Norton said. “The noise can harm health and quality of life, and helicopters can even harm the structural integrity of homes. While I recognize the need for helicopters in D.C., the Federal Aviation Administration and Congress must do more to mitigate the harm to D.C. residents. I will continue to work with federal agencies that fly helicopters in D.C. and on legislation to reduce helicopter noise in D.C.”

In making its recommendations, the bill would require the FAA to consider altitude, frequency of flights, flight paths, flight timing, types of helicopters, operating procedures, and pilot training, among other factors. The bill would require the FAA to submit its recommendations to Congress not later than 180 days after enactment.

Full statement here.

Norton Announces Committee Passage of Her Bill Requiring Federal Bureau of Prisons to Provide Information to D.C. on Returning Citizens

Norton announced that the Committee on Oversight and Reform today passed her bill that would require the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to provide information to the District of Columbia on individuals convicted of felonies under D.C. law in BOP custody. BOP houses individuals convicted of D.C. Code felonies, but BOP contends that federal privacy laws prohibit it from providing any information on these individuals to D.C.

“Thank you, Chairwoman Maloney, for prioritizing the markup of this important bill,” Norton said. “Individuals convicted of D.C. Code felonies face significant and unique reentry challenges because BOP will not provide any information on these individuals to D.C., and because these individuals are housed hundreds or even thousands of miles from the District, their families and their loved ones.”

Under this bill, D.C. would know the health and other needs of individuals convicted of D.C. Code felonies before they are released from BOP custody. Individuals convicted of D.C. Code felonies are the only individuals required to be housed by BOP for violations of non-federal laws.

Full statement here.

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