I am here with an update on my work to respond to the abhorrent terrorist attacks in Israel, as well as information on a new union contract for workers at Electric Boat, a Social Security COLA increase, and more. As always, thanks for starting your weekend here with me.
An Update on the Terrorist Attacks Against Israel
The barbaric, vicious terrorist attacks by Hamas on the country of Israel, which resulted in the slaughter of innocent civilians, has rightfully sparked tremendous revulsion in the civilized world. The United States stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel which, like any sovereign state, has the right to defend itself from an unprovoked attack.
The military operations to degrade Hamas’ ability to commit terrorist acts, as well as secure innocent hostages–some who are US citizens–will be extremely challenging. As US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said this week in Israel affirming the US-Israeli alliance, “it is so important to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians.”
While the House of Representatives is currently at an impasse, as a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am receiving regular briefings to stay updated on all happenings and ensure my office and I can assist residents in the Second District.
My office and I are actively working to ensure eastern Connecticut residents who have loved ones in the region are safely evacuated. Today, the State Department began arranging charter flights to assist U.S. citizens and their immediate family members who have been unable to book commercial transit and seek a safe means of departing Israel. Those in need of assistance should complete the crisis intake form through the State Department.
Many people have also contacted our office concerning the $6 billion humanitarian aid the United States pledged to Iran in exchange for American hostages. First and foremost, this aid is not in Iran’s hands–it’s being held within banks in Qatar–and not a single dime has been spent. Even if Iran had access to the assets, they cannot withdraw funds from this account like your typical banking account. It takes significant layers of approval, which the United States has an active role in reviewing, to access the assets. As Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo stated yesterday, the US has an agreement with the government of Qatar to keep those assets frozen.
Finally, if you are considering donating to organizations responding to the crisis, please be cautious of scammers who are attempting to exploit donors’ good-will. Please check out these helpful tips from the Federal Trade Commission and verify the organization you are considering through charitywatch.org.
As always, please reach out to my office at 860-886-0139 for additional assistance.
For more updates on the situation, please take a moment and watch a video update I shared yesterday.