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Sewell releases 2018 report

Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Selma, released her annual report detailing her accomplishments representing Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House o Representatives.

“I believe that transparency and accountability are central to the strength of our democracy,” Rep. Sewell said in a statement. “That’s why, each year, I’m proud to release my annual report, providing families in Alabama’s 7th District with an easy-to-follow guide to our work over the past year and our goals for the coming year.”

“For Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, 2018 was a year of new challenges and hard-fought victories,” Rep. Sewell stated. “Working together, we secured new investments in infrastructure, historic preservation, and for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We pushed back against harmful auto and agriculture tariffs, fought to restore federal voter protections, and defended funding for CHIP, Medicare, and Medicaid. Through it all, I was proud to stand side-by-side with Alabama’s working families and to be your voice in Congress.”

“Each year, I make it a top priority to spend time in all 14 counties of Alabama’s 7th District,” Sewell continued. “Over the course of 2018, we hosted 96 district events, including town hall meetings, workshops, seminars, and industry tours. Our focus is on bringing better opportunities and more resources to Alabama’s 7th District was also successful. This year, our constituents recovered $2.6 million in favorable benefits and received $1.1 billion in federal grants for Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.”

Sewell said that to boost jobs in the district she has: “Supported free and fair trade for our farmers and manufacturers and opposed trade barriers that would hurt our growing automobile industry”; “hosted a series of Project R.E.A.D.Y (Realizing Everyone’s Ability to Develop Yourself) workshops throughout the District to equip job seekers with tips on job readiness”; and “introduced the Workforce Development Tax Credit Act, to ensure that our tax code promotes apprenticeship training and creates an employer incentive to invest in human capital.”

“I am happy to report landmark successes in our fight to modernize infrastructure in Alabama’s 7th District, including important investments in local wastewater systems and in our waterways,” Sewell stated. “In March 2018, we were successful in advocating for the inclusion of an additional $1.8 billion in funding for water and wastewater infrastructure through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).”

In November 2018, USDA announced $23.4 million in funding to repair Uniontown’s existing wastewater treatment plant and install new infrastructure.

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“Working with Sen. Doug Jones and Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama we introduced HR5837, the Rural Septic Tank Access Act, a bipartisan bill to invest in the construction and repair of decentralized wastewater systems in underserved communities. In December 2018, the Rural Septic Tank Access Act was signed into law as a part of the Farm Bill. We also hosted a Health Fair with Sen. Jones in Lowndes County to provide health screenings and to raise public awareness about the health consequences associated with failing wastewater systems.”

“As the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) highlighted in a report this year, our fundamental right to vote is under attack,” Rep. Sewell claimed. “Since the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to gut the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, voter ID laws, cuts to polling places, reduced voting hours, and other voter suppression tactics have restricted access to the ballot box. To bring attention to our efforts to restore voter protections, I hosted a hearing in Congress with USCCR to share findings from their 2018 report with Members of Congress. To mark the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to gut the VRA, I organized a panel featuring voting rights experts who testified on the importance of restoring the vote. At the end of 2018, our bill, the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), had 192 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. As we begin the 116th Congress, we plan to hold hearings on the VRAA and pass this legislation in the House to restore fundamental voting rights for all Americans.”

“In 2018, we worked diligently to protect and strengthen quality access to health care in Alabama’s 7th District and across this nation,” Rep. Sewell said. “On the Ways and Means Committee, I continued to fight back against attacks on Medicare, Medicaid, the CHIP program, and the Affordable Care Act.”

Sewell said that she also worked to protect rural hospitals, worked to build support for a bill to increase Medicare reimbursements in Alabama, introduced the Rural Emergency Medical Center Act and fought for funding for community health centers that provide necessary primary care services.

“Alabama, which has the highest rate of opioid prescriptions in the country, is a battleground in our fight against the opioid epidemic,” Sewell added. “This year, legislation to combat this epidemic was passed and signed into law, including a bill we introduced. Our bill, called the Preventing Addiction for Susceptible Seniors (PASS) Act, helps prevent opioid abuse among seniors without limiting access to needed medications.”

“Our office motto, “Constituents First,” represents our commitment to ensuring that we are always ready to assist you and your family throughout the year,” Sewell said. “If you’re a constituent of Alabama’s 7th District and have an issue with a federal agency, please call my district office in Birmingham at (205) 254-1960, where we have caseworkers standing by to help.”

To read the full report, click here.

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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