Congressman Lynch's Lunch Bucket Bulletin - 4/14/17
April 14, 2017
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This week, I returned from a bipartisan congressional delegation to Iraq and Kuwait. As the lead Democrat on the National Security subcommittee, this fact-finding oversight mission allowed us to review recent operations in Iraq and the ongoing effort to defeat ISIS. Alongside Reps. Dennis Ross (R-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Neal Dunn (R-FL), and Bob Latta (R-OH), we met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jabouri, and Iraqi Minister of Defense Erfan al-Hiyali to discuss the recent U.S. airstrikes in Syria and the U.S. and Iraqi joint efforts to retake the City of Mosul in northern Iraq.
We arrived in Iraq shortly after the U.S. carried out a missile strike in Syria in the wake of the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack, which killed more than 80 civilians. All civilized nations should be unanimous and unequivocal in our opposition to the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians and children. While the U.S. missile attack against the Assad regime airfield in Syria was a tactical and limited response, it is an unmistakable demonstration that the wanton, barbaric and mass extermination of innocents will not be tolerated. Now, moving forward, we must stand united and resolute with freedom-loving countries around the globe to demand that the Assad regime answers for its crimes against humanity. Our allies in the region were very supportive that the United States government took action and were in unanimous opposition to the use of chemical weapons. We were also in strong agreement that we must work together to get rid of ISIS and keep this our top priority.
In Kuwait, I visited the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve at Camp Arifjan to speak with deployed service members, including a squadron from Massachusetts, to ensure they have the resources and equipment they need. I also reviewed the humanitarian effort to provide medical care to those injured on the ground.
I was pleased to see that moral is high among our troops and was honored to have the opportunity to speak with Sergeant John Tsohandaridis, a member of the Canton Fire Department. Sgt. Tsohandaridis is currently deployed to Iraq and Kuwait as a part of a Helicopter squadron conducting rescue and recovery operations in connection with the ongoing effort to defeat ISIS and liberate Mosul. Sgt. Tsohandaridis had high praise for the Canton Fire Department and the Town of Canton for supporting his decision to serve. I am very proud of the courageous work that Sgt. Tsohandaridis is doing in Iraq. He is a wonderful reflection of the Town of Canton and he is widely respected by his fellow soldiers and our Iraqi and coalition partners. I look forward to following up with the families of the troops who call Massachusetts home to give their families an update on their sons and daughters and thank them for their service and sacrifice.
Earlier today, I had the chance to speak with the Environmental Business Council of New England to discuss the progress of climate change adaptation and resilience at the federal level and in the 8th Congressional District. The serious challenges posed by global climate change cannot be effectively addressed by using a piecemeal approach, but rather require a full spectrum response which grapples with the near-term challenges anticipated in the next 30 years while re-engineering the way we live so that we actually shift the sustainability curve over the next century, buying time, so to speak, for future generations to undo the damage sustained during previous generations. While there may be partisan debates over climate change in Washington, D.C., we cannot stand by while our local communities face the devastating impacts of severe weather and rising sea levels. I will continue to work closely with my mayors and local elected officials in the 8th Congressional District to identify additional investments we can be making in our area to promote resilience. And I will continue to advocate at the federal level, along with my colleagues from the Massachusetts delegation, for a strategic, nationwide approach to strengthen America’s ability to adequately respond to the increasing challenges of climate change.
Each spring, our office holds a Congressional Art Competition for interested high school students in the 8th Congressional District. The winner will have his or her work displayed in the United States Capitol for a full year alongside contest winners from congressional districts nationwide. I am so proud to have the artwork of last year’s winner, Jailton Teixeira of Brockton, representing our District in Washington, D.C. The deadline for submission for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition is approaching on Friday, April 28. If you know a high school student who may be interested in participating, please direct them to our website for more information.
Thank you for keeping in touch with our office and for keeping me informed about the issues that are important to you and your family.
God bless you and God bless these United States of America.