April 30, 2011

Dia de los Niños: Celebrating Young Americans

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Mr. MENENDEZ (for himself, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Reid of Nevada, and Mr. Lautenberg) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary:

S. Res. 152

Whereas many nations throughout the world, and especially within the Western hemisphere, celebrate ``Dia de los Niños'', or ``Day of the Children'', on the 30th of April, in recognition and celebration of their country's future - their children;

Whereas children represent the hopes and dreams of the people of the United States and children are the center of families in the United States;

Whereas the people of the United States should nurture and invest in children to preserve and enhance economic prosperity, democracy, and the American spirit;

Whereas according to the 2010 Census report, there are more than 50,000,000 individuals of Hispanic descent living in the United States, more than 17,000,000 of whom are children;

Whereas Hispanics in the United States, the youngest and fastest growing ethnic community in the Nation, continue the tradition of honoring their children on Dia de los Niños, and wish to share this custom with the rest of the Nation;

Whereas the primary teachers of family values, morality, and culture are parents and family members, and we rely on children to pass on family values, morals, and culture to future generations;

Whereas the importance of literacy and education are most often communicated to children through family members;

Whereas families should be encouraged to engage in family and community activities that include extended and elderly family members, and that encourage children to explore and develop confidence;

Whereas the designation of a day to honor the children of the United States will help affirm for the people of the United States the significance of family, education, and community;

Whereas the designation of a day of special recognition for the children of the United States will provide an opportunity for children to reflect on their future, to articulate their aspirations, and to find comfort and security in the support of their family members and communities;

Whereas the National Latino Children's Institute, serving as a voice for children, has worked with cities throughout the Nation to declare April 30, 2011, to be ``Dia de los Niños: Celebrating Young Americans'', a day to bring together Hispanics and other communities nationwide to celebrate and uplift children; and

Whereas the children of a nation are the responsibility of all of its people, and people should be encouraged to celebrate the gifts of children to society: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) designates April 30, 2011, as ``Dia de los Niños: Celebrating Young Americans''; and

(2) calls on the people of the United States to join with all children, families, organizations, communities, churches, cities, and States across the Nation to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies, including activities that--

(A) center around children, and are free or minimal in cost so as to encourage and facilitate the participation of all people;

(B) are positive and uplifting, and help children express their hopes and dreams;

(C) provide opportunities for children of all backgrounds to learn about one another's cultures and to share ideas;

(D) include all members of the family, especially extended and elderly family members, so as to promote greater communication among the generations within a family, enabling children to appreciate and benefit from the experiences and wisdom of their elderly family members;

(E) provide opportunities for families within a community to get acquainted; and

(F) provide children with the support they need to develop skills and confidence, and to find the inner strength and the will and fire of the human spirit to make their dreams come true.

(Senate - April 14, 2011)

April 29, 2011

Tiananmen Square - 8,000 days later

Remembering Tiananmen, 8,000 days later
June 3, 1989

April 28, 2011

Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day

S.Res. 137: A resolution supporting the goals and ideals of Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day.

From the Congressional Record in the Senate on April 7, 2011:

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Whereas the Take Our Daughters To Work Day program was created in New York City as a response to research that showed that, by the 8th grade, many girls were dropping out of school, had low self-esteem, and lacked confidence;

Whereas, in 2003, the name of the program was changed to ``Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day'' so that boys who face many of the same challenges as girls could also be involved in the program;

Whereas the mission of the program, to develop ``innovative strategies that empower girls and boys to overcome societal barriers to reach their full potential'', now fully reflects the addition of boys;

Whereas the Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Foundation, a nonprofit organization, has grown to become 1 of the largest public awareness campaigns, with more than 33,000,000 participants annually in more than 3,000,000 organizations and workplaces in every State;

Whereas, in 2007, the Take Our Daughters To Work program transitioned to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, became known as the Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Foundation, and received national recognition for the dedication of the Foundation to future generations;

Whereas every year, mayors, governors, and other private and public officials sign proclamations and lend their support to Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work;

Whereas the fame of the Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work program has spread overseas, with requests and inquiries being made from around the world on how to operate the program;

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Whereas Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day will be observed on Thursday, April 28, 2011; and

Whereas Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work is intended to continue helping millions of girls and boys on an annual basis through experienced activities and events to examine their opportunities and strive to reach their fullest potential: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) recognizes the goals of introducing our daughters and sons to the workplace; and

(2) commends all the participants in Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work for their ongoing contributions to education, and for the vital role the participants play in promoting and ensuring a brighter, stronger future for the United States.

April 25, 2011

25th Anniversary of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

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Mr. LUGAR (for himself and Mr. Kerry) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations:

S. Res. 153

Whereas at 1:23 A.M. on April 26, 1986, during an experiment, a major explosion occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Unit 4, a RBMK 1000-type, graphite-moderated nuclear power reactor in Pripyat;

Whereas the initial explosion dispersed a stream of radioactive particles over nearby towns, farms, and eventually to many other countries;

Whereas 500,000 brave firefighters, engineers, technicians, and emergency workers worked for more than 6 months to minimize one of the worst civilian nuclear disasters in history;

Whereas radioactivity emanating from the Chernobyl disaster has been detected in Belarus, Poland, Russia, Scandinavia, and other areas;

Whereas since the disaster, serious health, environmental, and socioeconomic repercussions have been identified in many areas near the Chernobyl plant;

Whereas the Chernobyl Forum, an initiative by the International Atomic Energy Agency in cooperation with the World Health Organization, numerous United Nations agencies, and the governments of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, was launched in 2003 to examine the scientific evidence of human and environmental effects of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl;

Whereas the Chernobyl Forum's examination of the catastrophe has contributed to the understanding of the effects caused by the nuclear disaster;

Whereas the Chernobyl Forum found that more than 5,000,000 people lived in ``contaminated'' areas in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and other countries;

Whereas the lives and wellness of people in the affected areas continue to be impacted by the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear disaster;

Whereas the government of the United States, the people of the United States, and the international community have provided contributions to humanitarian organizations to address the effects of the Chernobyl disaster;

Whereas the Chernobyl Shelter Fund (CSF) was established in December 1997 by the G7, in cooperation with Ukraine;

Whereas the purpose of the CSF has been to construct a safe confinement over the damaged Chernobyl Unit 4 and to convert the site to a stable and environmentally safe condition;

Whereas the Nuclear Safety Account (NSA), supported by the United States and 16 other donors, finances the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility that allows for the decommissioning of Chernobyl Units 1 through 3;

Whereas April 26, 2011, is the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster; and

Whereas the ongoing crisis in Japan at the Fukushima nuclear power plant serves as a reminder to the United States and the international community of the need to make strong commitments to nuclear security throughout the world: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) recognizes the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the courage of the Ukrainian people in persevering to address the consequences of the disaster;

(2) commends efforts to mitigate the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, including the assistance that the United States and the international community have given to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund and the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility; and

(3) requests that the Secretary of the Senate transmit an enrolled copy of this resolution to the Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States.

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(Senate - April 14, 2011)

Citizenship Now!

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Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, for the past 8 years, Citizenship Now!, a project of the City University of New York and the New York Daily News, has conducted a citizenship and immigration call-in, which I have visited every time it has been held at the News headquarters in Manhattan, NY. On Monday, April 25, the ninth call-in begins, and it is anticipated that the volunteers who answer the telephone will handle the 100,000th call by Friday April 29. That means 100,000 families received information to help them get on the path to U.S. citizenship. Among the sponsors have been the NYS Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, CUNY Law School, Univision, and Radio WADO, with support from Verizon and Gristedes.

At the weeklong call-in, community paralegals, CUNY counselors, students, and other volunteers, supervised by experienced citizenship and immigration attorneys and Board of Immigration Appeals-accredited individuals, answer callers' questions. CUNY trains the volunteers at an all-day training conference that precedes the call-in, and all volunteers receive a comprehensive training manual. Whenever I visit the volunteers, I bring with me an expert staff person from my office who handles constituent inquiries from immigrants and their families. We fully appreciate the special and unique outreach effort this free public service provides.

The call-in provides an important safeguard weapon against scammers engaging in the unlawful practice of law. Callers who qualify for naturalization or another immigration benefit are referred to reputable non-for-profits. Many are referred to one of CUNY Citizenship Now!'s nine citizenship and immigration law service centers where they can get free application assistance and advice. The News features the photographs and biographies of the volunteers in print and on its Web site and runs stories about the people who are being served. When a caller wishes to contact a private attorney, she or he is referred to the New York City Bar Association referral panel and the American Immigration Lawyers Association referral service.

The CUNY/Daily News Citizenship Now! Project is by far the largest university-based immigration service program in the country assisting many thousands of individuals with citizenship and immigration law services each year, all at no cost to the applicants. This public service partnership deserves our recognition and appreciation for the superb efforts underway to help people in need. Thank you, CUNY, and thank you, New York Daily News.

(Senate - April 14, 2011)

April 24, 2011

Armenian Genocide

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Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I rise today to recognize the 96th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide--a tragedy that has left a dark stain on the collective conscience of mankind.

What has made this tragedy even more painful--particularly for the Armenian people--is the failure of successive U.S. administrations to acknowledge the deliberate massacre of the Armenians by its rightful name--genocide.

So today, I also rise to reiterate my call to President Barack Obama to finally right this terrible wrong.

In 2008, then-Senator Obama said:

..... the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable.

I could not agree more. And every day that goes by without full acknowledgement of these undeniable facts by the United States prolongs the pain felt by descendants of the victims, as well as the entire Armenian community.

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Countless experts have documented the atrocities that occurred between 1915 and 1923, when more than 1.5 million Armenians were marched to their deaths in the deserts of the Middle East, murdered in concentration camps, drowned at sea, and forced to endure unimaginable acts of brutality at the hands of the Ottoman Empire--now modern-day Turkey.

Yet successive U.S. administrations continue only to refer to the genocide by such terms as ``annihilation,'' ``massacre,'' and ``murder.''

This is not only an affront to the memory of the victims and to their descendants, but it does a disservice to the United States as it seeks to stand up to those who are perpetrating violence today.

In a recent speech President Obama eloquently said:

Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.

The United States is not a nation that turns a blind eye to atrocities, and that is why it is so important that we finally acknowledge the Armenian genocide for what it was--genocide.

As I have said, genocide is only possible when people avert their eyes. Any effort to deal with genocide--in the past, present, or future, must begin with the truth.

So this April 24, as we pause to remember the victims and to honor the countless contributions Armenian Americans have made to our great country, I hope that the U.S. finally stands on the right side of history and calls the tragedy of 1915-1923 by its rightful name.

(Senate - April 14, 2011)

April 23, 2011

National Adopt A Library Day

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Mr. WEBB (for himself, Ms. SNOWE, Mr. COCHRAN, and Mr. WARNER) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

S. Res. 155

Whereas libraries are an essential part of the communities and the national system of education in the United States;

Whereas the people of the United States benefit significantly from libraries that serve as an open place for people of all ages and backgrounds to use books and other resources that offer pathways to learning, self-discovery, and the pursuit of knowledge;

Whereas the libraries of the United States depend on the generous donations and the support of individuals and groups to ensure that people who are unable to purchase books still have access to a wide variety of resources;

Whereas certain nonprofit organizations facilitate the donation of books to schools and libraries across the United States, in order to extend the joy of reading to millions of people in the United States and to prevent used books from being thrown away;

Whereas as of the date of agreement to this resolution, the libraries of the United States have provided valuable resources to individuals who are affected by the economic crisis by encouraging continued education and job training; and

Whereas several States that recognize the importance of libraries and reading have adopted resolutions commemorating April 23 as ``Adopt A Library Day'': Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) designates April 23, 2011, as ``National Adopt A Library Day'';

(2) honors the organizations that facilitate donations to schools and libraries;

(3) urges people in the United States who own unused books to donate such books to local libraries;

(4) strongly supports children and families who take advantage of the resources provided by schools and libraries; and

(5) encourages the people of the United States to observe ``National Adopt A Library Day'' with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

(Senate - April 14, 2011)

April 21, 2011

PowerTalk 21 Day

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Ms. KLOBUCHAR (for herself and Mr. Vitter) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

S. Res. 157

Whereas the goal of PowerTalk 21 Day is to encourage parents and caregivers to embrace their important role in influencing the decisions of the young people of the United States about drinking alcohol;

Whereas high school students who use alcohol or other substances are 5 times more likely to drop out of school or believe good grades are not important;

Whereas teen alcohol use kills about 6,000 people each year, more than all other illegal drugs combined; and

Whereas 74 percent of kids say that their parents are their primary influence when it comes to decisions about drinking alcohol: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) designates April 21, 2011, as ``PowerTalk 21 Day'';

(2) recognizes the importance of parents talking with their teens about alcohol; and

(3) urges all people of the United States to join in the efforts to raise awareness of the importance of parents and teens talking together about alcohol in order to reduce the risks and dangers posed to teens and communities by underage drinking.

(Senate - April 14, 2011)

April 18, 2011

National County Government Month

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Mr. COONS. Mr. President, I rise to recognize the contributions made each day by our Nation's 3,068 county governments and the men and women who serve in county government. They are tireless public servants whose daily efforts to ensure that local government works for all Americans are honored during National County Government Month, which takes place each April.

As a former county executive for New Castle County, DE, I know that county governments are responsible for providing essential services important to our communities. New Castle County provides critical services in public safety, land use, parks and libraries, sewers, and economic development. Many other counties provide a broad range of services, such as maintaining roads, bridges, and water systems, and operating airports and other transit, and delivering critical health care services. Counties provide law enforcement, courtroom, and jail services, schools, and numerous social services for children, seniors and families, and often serve as the first lines of defense for emergency response and preparedness.

Since 1991, the National Association of Counties, or NACo, has encouraged counties across America to highlight their programs and services in order to raise awareness of the important role county governments play in our national life. National County Government Month is a great opportunity to recognize this.

The National County Government Month theme for 2011 is ``Serving Our Veterans, Armed Forces, and Their Families.'' NACo president Glen Whitley, county judge for Tarrant County, TX, is urging all counties to honor and to thank their residents who have served or are currently serving our Nation in the military. In addition, Judge Whitley is urging counties to showcase their many important services to America's veterans, military serv ice mem bers, and their families, such as those relating to physical and mental health, housing, employment, and the justice system.

In New Castle County, as in many counties across the country, we felt the impact of the call to duty on serv ice mem bers and their families, as county employees many in our public safety community deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with units of the Reserve and National Guard. I am pleased to join Judge Whitley and county officials across the country in honoring serv ice mem bers and veterans and highlighting the important services county governments provide.

National County Government Month also provides the Senate with an opportunity to acknowledge that county governments with the help of the National Association of Counties are working together to restore the partnership among all levels of government to serve communities across America better. We in the Senate share our constituents with county government officials and face common challenges. It is incumbent upon us to recognize the men and women who work tirelessly within local governments and provide essential services directly to our constituents. They deserve our sincerest gratitude.

I encourage all of my colleagues and all Americans to celebrate April as National County Government Month with their home counties and to recognize the important role county governments play in their communities and the critical services they provide.

(Senate - April 14, 2011)

April 17, 2011

Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Bay of Pigs

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen) for 5 minutes.

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs operation.

On April 17, 1961, the anticommunist patriots of Brigade 2506 were determined to help their homeland and their loved ones who were living under a repressive regime. Even though the operation was not successful, the dedication and the commitment that these brave individuals illustrated during the conflict was exceptional. During the operation, one hero was asked if he wished to be evacuated, and he said, ``I will never leave this country.'' These individuals showed a strong sense of heroism as they were up against the repressive regime's armed forces.

President Ronald Reagan was a longstanding supporter of individuals taking action to free themselves from oppressive socialist and communist regimes. When referring to the Bay of Pigs, President Reagan stated, ``By supporting courageous freedom fighters around the world, we're shining a light on the path out from communism.''

These heroes reached the beaches of Playa Giron to fight against communism in Cuba that was being supported by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The evil empire made a strong push into Cuba that became a national security threat to the United States.

A strong Soviet Union presence in Cuba led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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The intrusion cemented the dangers of the Soviet Union having very close ties to the Cuban regime. Democracy and liberty of the people in the Western Hemisphere were in severe jeopardy as the communist forces were looking to expand their control. But the will of freedom-loving people who seek a better future will not be deterred by the evils and the power of communism. The protection of human rights and freedom of expression are fundamental necessities under a free society.

As the spread of communism crumbled during the Cold War, democracies throughout the Western Hemisphere flourished in open societies. However, the United States must remain vigilant that history does not repeat itself.

At this moment, Russia is currently infiltrating the Western Hemisphere by joining forces with antidemocratic tyrants such as Chavez, Ortega, and Morales. Recently, reports have indicated that Russia has sold $15 billion worth of weapons and military equipment to Chavez. In addition, senior Russian military officials have mentioned the possibility of establishing refueling bases for Russian bombers in Cuba. Russian activities in the Western Hemisphere raise serious concerns as they are arming rogue regimes that are counter to the interests and the security of our beloved Nation.

The veterans of the Bay of Pigs symbolized this struggle between communism and freedom. The brave Brigade 2506 patriots decided to risk their very lives in order to liberate an oppressed society. These men fought courageously on that historic day. They came from many backgrounds, but all of them cared about freedom and liberty for the people of Cuba.

Even though the Bay of Pigs operation was not successful, their call to serve rose again to protect our Nation from enemies abroad. Many of these veterans continued to serve the United States by joining our Armed Forces and fighting with honor during the Vietnam War.

I would like to acknowledge all individuals who consistently are working toward fulfilling the dreams of a free Cuba, which is the dream of the veterans of Brigade 2506 who aspired and fought for a free and democratic Cuba.

I would also like to recognize the veterans of the Bay of Pigs who are with us today in the gallery. Gentlemen, thank you very much for your sacrifice and your commitment for a free Cuba and a strong United States.

(House of Representatives - April 13, 2011)

April 16, 2011

Global Youth Service Days

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Ms. MURKOWSKI (for herself, Mr. Begich, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Udall of Colorado, Mr. Akaka, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Levin, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. Cochran, Mrs. Murray, and Mr. Coons) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

S. Res. 156

Whereas Global Youth Service Days is an annual campaign that celebrates and mobilizes the millions of young people who improve their communities each day through community service and service-learning programs;

Whereas the goals of Global Youth Service Days are--

(1) to mobilize and support young people to address the needs of their communities, their countries, and the world through community service and service-learning;

(2) to mobilize and support schools and organizations to provide meaningful opportunities for youth engagement;

(3) to educate the public, the media, and policymakers about the year-round contributions of young people as community leaders;

(4) to recognize and celebrate young people as community assets, resources, leaders, and problem-solvers; and

(5) to inspire and sustain a lifelong commitment to service and civic engagement;

Whereas Global Youth Service Days, a program of Youth Service America, is the largest service event in the world and the only service event dedicated to engaging young people ages 5 through 25;

Whereas, in 2011, Global Youth Service Days is being observed for the 23rd consecutive year in the United States and for the 12th year globally in more than 100 countries;

Whereas Global Youth Service Days provides an opportunity for young people to position themselves as assets, resources, active citizens, and community leaders through the application of their knowledge, idealism, energy, creativity, and unique perspective to improving their communities by addressing a myriad of critical issues, such as childhood obesity, illiteracy, hunger, environmental degradation, public safety, and disaster preparedness;

Whereas, in 2011, thousands of participants in schools and community-based organizations plan to hold Global Youth Service Days activities as part of a Semester of Service, an extended service-learning campaign launched on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, in which young people spend the semester addressing a meaningful community need connected to intentional learning goals or academic standards over the course of at least 70 hours;

Whereas Global Youth Service Days engages millions of young people worldwide with the support of the Global Youth Service Network of the Youth Service America, including more than 200 national and international partners, 100 State and local lead agencies, and thousands of local schools, afterschool programs, youth development organizations, community organizations, faith-based organizations, government agencies, businesses, neighborhood associations, and families;

Whereas, in 2011, Youth Service America intends to distribute more than $1,000,000 in grants to more than 800 projects led by young people, including State Farm GYSD Lead Agency and Good Neighbor grants, UnitedHealth Heroes grants, Sodexo Youth and Lead Organizer grants, Disney Friends for Change grants, Learn and Serve America STEMester of Service grants, NEA Youth Leaders for Literacy grants, and MLK Semester of Service Lead Organizer Grants;

Whereas high quality community service and service-learning programs increase--

(1) the academic engagement and achievement of young people;

(2) the workforce readiness and 21st century skills of young people;

(3) the civic knowledge and engagement of young people;

(4) the intercultural understanding and global citizenship of young people; and

(5) the connectedness and commitment of young people to their communities; and

Whereas section 198(g) of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12653(g)) recognizes Global Youth Service Days as national days of service and calls on the Corporation for National and Community Service, other Federal agencies and departments, and the President of the United States to recognize and support youth-led activities on the designated days: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) recognizes and commends the significant contributions of young people of the United States and encourages the continued engagement and support of young people dedicated to serving their neighbors, their communities, and the United States;

(2) designates April 15 through 17, 2011, as ``Global Youth Service Days''; and

(3) calls on the people of the United States to observe Global Youth Service Days by--

(A) encouraging young people to participate in community service and service-learning projects and to join their peers in those projects;

(B) recognizing the volunteer efforts of the young people of the United States throughout the year; and

(C) supporting the volunteer efforts of young people and engaging them in meaningful community service, service-learning, and decision-making opportunities as an investment in the future of the United States.

(Senate - April 14, 2011)

April 15, 2011

National Autism Awareness Month

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(Mr. SIRES asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. SIRES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize National Autism Awareness Month and to express my support for ongoing efforts across the Nation that are devoted to improving the treatment of those individuals with autism, and their families.

Today, one in 110 children is affected by autism, and my home State of New Jersey has the highest rate of autism in the country. With the help of treatment and support centers, the lives of individuals and families affected by autism are improving every day. I am proud that such a facility exists in my district.

The Center for Autism at The North Ward Center provides the highest quality of care to individuals and families in the greater Newark area. Under one roof, the center offers a seamless and comprehensive range of services for the lifespans of individuals with autism, treating the whole person and the whole family, focusing on strength-based interventions. The center represents a one-stop approach in relieving the burden on already stressed families dealing with autism.

The Center for Autism at The North Ward Center in Newark is only one example of how concentrated care can greatly better the lives of individuals and families affected by autism.

(House of Representatives - April 14, 2011)

Month of the Military Child

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(Ms. JENKINS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Ms. JENKINS. I have the honor and privilege of representing Fort Riley, home of the Big Red One; Fort Leavenworth, host to the Army Command and General Staff College; the 190th Coyotes out at Forbes Field; and nearly 12,000 National Guard and Reserve members.

With this strong military presence comes a large number of military families and children. I rise today in recognition of April as the Month of the Military Child. This is a time for all my colleagues to applaud the strength, sacrifice, heroism, and continued resilience shown by the children of our service men and women.

Kansas is proud to have more than 33,000 children with at least one parent serving in the military, and this month we recognize that when parents serve in the military, their children also serve.

I will continue to do everything I can to support not only our men and women in uniform but their children who sacrifice equally for our country.

(House of Representatives - April 14, 2011)

Financial Literacy Month

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Illinois (Mrs. Biggert) for 5 minutes.

Mrs. BIGGERT. Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize this April as Financial Literacy Month.

Each year my good friend and fellow chair of the House Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus, Mr. Hinojosa, and I work to bring Financial Literacy Month to Capitol Hill. In that effort we are joined by our longtime Senate allies, Senator Akaka and Senator Enzi.

Traditionally, we have offered a resolution as a way to showcase the latest trends in financial and economic literacy. This year, however, the House is taking an understandable break from debating commemoratory resolutions in order to focus attention on pressing items like the budget.

Nonetheless, I want to take a brief opportunity today to encourage my colleagues to take part in this year's Financial Literacy Month. It's a time when nonprofits, educational institutions, financial organizations, government agencies, and others work together to protect consumers and prepare our children to prosper in today's sophisticated marketplace.

For example, from April 17 through 23, America's credit unions will hold National Credit Union Youth Week, which focuses on teaching young Americans about the benefits of setting goals and saving to reach them. In a parallel effort, the American Bankers Association Education Foundation held Teach Children to Save Day on April 12. It's an annual event during which America's banking professionals have volunteered to teach money skills to 4 million young people.

Madam Speaker, this is a trend we should applaud, one that I encourage my colleagues to participate in by joining the Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus. Members and their staffs can also join us this Friday in the Cannon Caucus Room from noon to 3 for a Financial Literacy Day Fair featuring information and constituent outreach materials from 55 of the Nation's leading financial literacy organizations, including the Jump$tart Coalition, Junior Achievement, and the Council for Economic Education.

Madam Speaker, too many Americans continue to enter the workforce unprepared to handle money, buy a home, or save for retirement. According to the Jump$tart Coalition's most recent survey, our high school seniors are now scoring lower on financial literacy than they have during any years since 2000; and yet, according to a 2009 survey from the Council for Economic Education, only 34 States require school districts to include personal finance in their education standards for students K-12.

These are troubling numbers, and that's why we must work together to give Americans the tools they need to prepare against economic uncertainty, recognize deceptive practices, build credit, and make dozens of other day-to-day financial decisions. These are skills that everyone must learn to prosper in today's complex marketplace, and that's what Financial Literacy Month is all about.

So I encourage my colleagues who are interested in learning more to join us this Friday from noon to 3 in the Cannon Caucus Room for our annual Financial Literacy Day Fair.

(House of Representatives - April 14, 2011)

April 15 could just be another spring day

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Woodall) for 3 minutes.

Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, you've heard it a lot of different ways this morning. Our challenge is not that we tax too little. Our challenge is that we spend too much, and we're taking steps to make that happen. But we do tax incorrectly. We do tax in a way that challenges the patience, the tolerance and the intellect of millions of Americans every year. We're coming up on that.

One week from today is Tax Day, April 15, that day that folks dread year after year after year after year. One of the things that makes Tax Day so complicated is the exceptions, the exemptions, the loopholes and those special favors that get written into the Code year after year after year after year.

I want to associate myself with the comments from the previous speaker, the gentleman from California. And we've talked about the very serious--the very serious--discussion of the budget that's been going on in the Budget Committee. I'm pleased to be a member of the Budget Committee.

Bloomberg came out with a report this morning, $2.9 trillion in special tax breaks, loopholes and exemptions erased in that budget. Not that taxes go up for Americans, but that taxes get simpler for Americans and fairer for Americans by taking away $2.9 trillion in special favors and special exemptions.

There's a proposal that goes even further, and I want to mention it now a week out from Tax Day, and that's H.R. 25, the Fair Tax. It's a bill that started with only two cosponsors, one Democrat and one Republican. It grew to two Democrats and two Republicans, and then it grew to four Democrats and four Republicans. Now there are 60 cosponsors in the House, five in the United States Senate, the most widely cosponsored fundamental tax reform bill in this Congress.

And it does this: It abolishes income taxes and replaces them with consumption taxes, because the power to tax is the power to destroy. And what we destroy in this country is productivity. We're the only OECD country on the planet that doesn't have a consumption tax, the only one that punishes our producers instead of taxing our consumers. And it eliminates not $2.9 trillion in loopholes as the budget does, but 100 percent of every corporate loophole.

We've heard it on this floor again and again: Loopholes for oil companies, loopholes for this company. It eliminates every single corporate tax break in existence today. And it eliminates them for individuals as well in favor of a simple, low-rate personal consumption tax.

On Tax Day, we talk about the income tax. The largest tax 80 percent of American families pay is the payroll tax. Everybody in here who's got a job has seen that FICA line. You may not add it up, but it is the largest tax that 80 percent of Americans pay. And there is not a single bill on this floor that deals with that except the Fair Tax, which abolishes that tax so you get to keep what you earn so that nobody touches your paycheck before you do.

As you finalize your tax forms over the next 7 days on your way to April 15, I want you to think about what could be different. I want you to think about how, with the passage of H.R. 25, April 15 could just be another spring day.

(House of Representatives - April 8, 2011) - Fair Tax

April 14, 2011

Roe & Roeper 1-Year Anniversary

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(Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, what started out as a small pirated radio show of two men running from the law under a bridge and turned into a successful empire today, the Roe & Roeper Show has entertained many people for a long time. Today it's reached its whole 1-year anniversary.

While many radio shows struggle to increase listenership, the majority of drive time listening Illinoisans tune in to Roe & Roeper from 2 to 6 every weekday. In addition to providing cutting-edge news, listeners tune in to hear entertaining and informative exchanges between Roe & Roeper and their callers.

But both come with a very unique and admirable trait that makes the show a success. Roe Conn has a strong level of dedication to his community, and was recently honored as the 2010 Chicago-area recipient of the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award for unwavering support of law enforcement in general. Richard Roeper is a fellow Redbird alumni of Illinois State University, and has led an outstanding career as a columnist, critic, and show host, covering topics ranging from politics to media and to entertainment.

On WLS's Roe & Roeper's 1-year anniversary, I'm honored to take this time to recognize two successful individuals who provide an outstanding show on a daily basis, but also two men whom I'm proud to call friends. Congrats, gentlemen. Here's to another year.

(House of Representatives - April 13, 2011)

In Memory of Sidney Harman

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(Mr. DREIER asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

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Mr. DREIER. Madam Speaker, I was very saddened this morning to hear the news of the passing of the husband of our former colleague Jane Harman.

Sidney Harman lived to, as the report came out, the ripe young age of almost 93. He was an amazing individual. I knew of him because of his great work in an organization called BENS,Business Executives for National Security. He also very famously took on the responsibility of what he described as an American icon, Newsweek magazine, when he made the decision to ensure that it would continue to thrive. And he has done a phenomenal job.

And I'd like to say that our thoughts and prayers are with our former colleague Jane and the entire Harman family. The world is a greater place for Sidney Harman having lived and a lesser place for his passing.

(House of Representatives - April 13, 2011)

Remembering the 1-Year Anniversary of the 2010 Poland Presidential Plane Crash

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Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Foreign Relations Committee be discharged from further consideration and the Senate now proceed to S. Res. 135.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The clerk will report the title of the resolution.

The legislative clerk read as follows:

A resolution (S. Res. 135) remembering the 1-year anniversary of the April 10, 2010, plane crash that claimed the lives of the President of Poland Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and 94 others, while they were en route to memorialize those Polish officers, officials, and civilians who were massacred by the Soviet Union in 1940.

There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The resolution (S. Res. 135) was agreed to.

The preamble was agreed to.

The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

S. Res. 135

Whereas, on April 10, 2010, the President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and a cadre of current and former Polish statesmen, military officers, family members, and others departed Warsaw by plane to travel to the Russian region of Smolensk;

Whereas the purpose of the delegation's visit was to hold a ceremony in solemn remembrance of the more than 22,000 Polish military officers, police officers, judges, other government officials, and civilians who were executed by the Soviet secret police, the ``NKVD'', between April 3 and the end of May 1940;

Whereas more than 14,500 Polish victims of such executions have been documented at 3 sites in Katyn (in present day Belarus), in Miednoye (in present day Russia), and in Kharkiv (in present day Ukraine), while the remains of an estimated 7,000 such Polish victims have yet to be precisely located;

Whereas the plane carrying the Polish delegation on April 10, 2010, crashed in Smolensk, tragically killing all 96 persons on board;

Whereas Poland has been a leading member of the transatlantic community and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an Alliance vital to the interests of the United States, and Poland's membership in the Alliance has strengthened NATO;

Whereas the Polish armed forces have stood shoulder-to-shoulder and sacrificed with airmen, marines, sailors, and soldiers of the United States in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and around the world;

Whereas Poland has been a leader in the promotion of human rights, not just in Central Europe, but elsewhere around the world; and

Whereas the deep friendship between the governments and people of Poland and the United States is grounded in our mutual respect, shared values, and common priorities on nuclear nonproliferation, counter ter rorism, human rights, regional cooperation in Eastern Europe, democratization, and international development: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) remembers the terrible tragedy that took place on April 10, 2010, when an aircraft

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carrying a delegation of current and former Polish officials, family members, and others crashed en route from Warsaw to Smolensk to memorialize the 1940 Katyn massacres, killing all 96 passengers;

(2) honors the memories of all Poles executed by the NKVD at Katyn, Miednoye, Khakriv, and elsewhere and those who perished in the April 10, 2010, plane crash;

(3) expresses continuing sympathy for the surviving family members of those who perished in the tragic plane crash of April 10, 2010;

(4) recognizes and respects the resilience of Poland's constitution, as demonstrated by the smooth and stable transfer of constitutional authority that occurred in the immediate aftermath of the April 10, 2010, tragedy; and

(5) requests that the Secretary of the Senate transmit an enrolled copy of this resolution to the Ambassador of Poland to the United States.

(Senate - April 13, 2011)

Remembering Sidney Harman

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Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, it was with great sadness that I first received word of the passing of a remarkable man and friend, Sidney Harman. Sidney Harman led a life of passion and commitment, the kind of existence that most of us aspire to. His interests were vast and varied and his sense of possibility unparalleled. With business acumen equal to his mastery of the sciences and his love of the arts, Sidney embraced challenges and faced life head on.

I had the pleasure of knowing Sidney throughout his career as a businessman, entrepreneur, public servant, and philanthropist. He left his distinctive mark on every project he involved himself with and brought his progressive ideas to bear at a critical time in our nation's history. His ability to innovate never waned, creative solutions were a forte of his and he applied them with confidence. His most recent endeavor, to purchase Newsweek and merge it with the online publication the Daily Beast less than a year ago, was initially met with trepidation by print news professionals but has since led to growth for both publications, a typical outcome for a venture championed by Sidney.

Sidney's commitment to the betterment of young lives and society as a whole was evident in his philanthropic pursuits and his involvement with institutions of higher education. In recent years he taught classes in medicine, law, economics, and various other disciplines at the college level. Over the course of his life he supported educational organizations with generous donations. He understood that education is the foundation of a prosperous society and that the enlightenment of young minds is crucial to the success of a nation such as ours.

Along with his wife Jane, Sidney made a home and life here in Washington, DC, and devoted himself to the city and its legacy. A generous supporter of the National Symphony Orchestra, theFolger Shakespeare Library and the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Sidney had a significant impact on the vibrant cultural and artistic scene in the Nation's Capital.

My greatest sympathies are with Jane, his children Barbara, Daniel, and Justine, and all of Sidney's extended family. Sidney touched the lives of many and there is no doubt he will be long-remembered for his innovative mind, his good humor, his energetic outlook, and his years of service.

(Senate - April 13, 2011)

April 1, 2011

April 2011 - National 9-1-1 Education Month

S.Res. 118: A resolution designating April 2011 as "National 9-1-1 Education Month"

SRES 118 ATS

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. RES. 118

Designating April 2011 as `National 9-1-1 Education Month'.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 30, 2011

Ms. KLOBUCHAR (for herself and Mr. BURR) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to


RESOLUTION

Designating April 2011 as `National 9-1-1 Education Month'.

Whereas 9-1-1 is nationally recognized as the number to call in an emergency to receive immediate help from police, fire, emergency medical services, or other appropriate emergency response entities;

Whereas in 1967, the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recommended that `a single number should be established' nationwide for reporting emergency situations, and other Federal Government agencies and various governmental officials also supported and encouraged the recommendation;

Whereas in 1968 the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) announced that it would establish the digits 9-1-1 as the emergency code throughout the United States;

Whereas 9-1-1 was designated by Congress as the national emergency call number under the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-81);

Whereas section 102 of the ENHANCE 911 Act of 2004 (47 U.S.C. 942 note) declared an enhanced 9-1-1 system to be `a high national priority' and part of `our Nation's homeland security and public safety';

Whereas it is important that policy makers at all levels of government understand the importance of 9-1-1, how the system works today, and the steps that are needed to modernize the 9-1-1 system;

Whereas the 9-1-1 system is the connection between the public and the emergency response system in the United States and is often the first place emergencies of all magnitudes are reported, making 9-1-1 a significant homeland security asset;

Whereas more than 6,000 9-1-1 public safety answering points serve more than 3,000 counties and parishes throughout the United States;

Whereas dispatchers at public safety answering points answer more than 200,000,000 9-1-1 calls each year in the United States;

Whereas a growing number of 9-1-1 calls are made using wireless and Internet Protocol-based communications services;

Whereas a growing segment of the population, including the deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and individuals with speech disabilities are increasingly communicating with nontraditional text, video, and instant messaging communications services and expect those services to be able to connect directly to 9-1-1;

Whereas the growth and variety of means of communication, including mobile and Internet Protocol-based systems, impose challenges for accessing 9-1-1 and implementing an enhanced 9-1-1 system and require increased education and awareness about the capabilities of different means of communication;

Whereas the ability to communicate through voice, text, data, and video conferencing provides an opportunity for the Nation's 9-1-1 system to adopt next generation applications and services, greatly enhancing the capabilities of 9-1-1 services;

Whereas numerous other `N-1-1' and 800 number services exist for non-emergency situations, including 2-1-1, 3-1-1, 5-1-1, 7-1-1, 8-1-1, poison control centers, and mental health hotlines, and the public needs to be educated about when to use such services in addition to, or instead of, 9-1-1;

Whereas international visitors and immigrants make up an increasing percentage of the population of the United States each year, and visitors and immigrants may have limited knowledge of our emergency calling system;

Whereas people of all ages use 9-1-1 and it is critical to educate people on the proper use of 9-1-1;

Whereas senior citizens are at high risk for needing to call 9-1-1 and many senior citizens are learning to use new technology;

Whereas thousands of 9-1-1 calls are made each year by children who are properly trained in the use of 9-1-1, which saves lives and underscores the critical importance of training children about 9-1-1 early in life;

Whereas the 9-1-1 system is often misused, such as through the placement of prank and non-emergency calls;

Whereas misuse of the 9-1-1 system results in costly and inefficient use of 9-1-1 and emergency response resources, and such misuse needs to be reduced;

Whereas parents, teachers, and caregivers must be educated about 9-1-1 in order to play an active role in 9-1-1 education for children;

Whereas there are many avenues for 9-1-1 public education, including safety fairs, school presentations, libraries, churches, businesses, public safety answering point tours or open houses, civic organizations, and senior citizen centers;

Whereas parents, teachers, and the National Parent Teacher Association contribute significantly to the goal of educating children about the importance of 9-1-1 through targeted outreach efforts to public and private schools;

Whereas the United States should strive to host at least 1 annual educational event regarding the proper use of 9-1-1 in every school in the Nation;

Whereas the people of the United States deserve the best education regarding the use of 9-1-1; and

Whereas programs to promote proper use of 9-1-1 during `National 9-1-1 Education Month' may include--

(1) public awareness events, such as conferences and media outreach;

(2) training activities for businesses, parents, teachers, school administrators, and other caregivers;

(3) educational events in schools and other appropriate venues; and

(4) production and distribution of information about the 9-1-1 system, designed to educate people of all ages on the importance and proper use of 9-1-1: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the Senate--

      (1) designates April 2011 as `National 9-1-1 Education Month'; and

      (2) urges Government officials, parents, teachers, school administrators, caregivers, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and the people of the United States to observe `National 9-1-1 Education Month' with appropriate ceremonies, training events, and activities.