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E-Newsletter for March 28, 2003

March 28, 2003

Dear Friends,

This week, the House of Representatives began consideration of the President's request for a supplemental appropriations bill to cover the initial cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As I attend briefings with Defense Department officials and watch the events unfold on TV, I am more determined than ever to ensure that our brave men and women serving overseas receive every penny they need to finish this war decisively. If you're looking for ways to demonstrate support for our servicemembers, I encourage you to check out my website to take advantage of easy ways to let our troops know you're behind them. In just a few clicks, you can send email messages, sign an online thank you card, or contribute to the purchase of a care package. While we support our troops in Iraq, we also have an obligation to strengthen our defense against terrorist attacks on the homeland. On Thursday, I attended committee hearings on the status of efforts to improve airport security and the Administration's Bioshield proposal to produce and stockpile vaccines to protect Americans against bioterrorism. The head of the new Transportation Security Administration has pledged to make the passenger screening system more efficient to cut down on wasteful spending and unnecessary travel delays. Also, my homeland security subcommittee told Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson that we would work with him to quickly and carefully implement Project Bioshield so that we're better prepared to deal with an attack involving anthrax, botulinum toxin, smallpox, plague, or any other agent. On Wednesday, I participated in a news conference with Representative Pete Sessions and others to voice support for ensuring that the airline industry, which affects so many sectors of our economy, doesn't bear an unfair amount of the cost of the war in Iraq. Airlines can be a tremendous engine for economic growth, but not if they're grounded on the runway. On an issue that hits close to home for many communities, the House of Representatives approved overdue legislation to create a nationwide Amber Alert system. Such a system may not have prevented Elizabeth Smart from being held captive for nine months, but I firmly believe that her recovery is powerful evidence that if you get the information to the public, miracles can happen. What's on Tap for Next Week? Next week, the House Appropriations Committee will continue consideration of the President's wartime spending bill, as well as a budget for next year that will spur the economy and meet our domestic priorities. As always, I enjoy staying in touch with you.

With kind regards,

Kay Granger