Statement after taking office

As we begin a new session of Congress, I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of New York and deeply optimistic that we can make progress on important priorities for our state and nation.

It is critical that we meet the needs of thousands suffering devastating health effects in the wake of September 11. Passing legislation to meet our responsibility to those affected by September 11 is one of my top priorities this Congress. As the new Chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health, I will also press for a more expansive test and clean-up program for 9/11 contaminants.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I will help ensure that there is stronger oversight in order to change our failed policy in Iraq. I will continue to fight for the homeland security funding New York needs and deserves, and fight to make sure funding is targeted to the areas of highest threat and to the unmet needs for rail, transit and port security.

This Congress will reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act and I will work to make sure New York has the full funding our children deserve. I will also work to achieve election reform to make sure every vote is counted and every vote counts and continue efforts to improve health care access, affordability, and quality, including enacting health information technology legislation, expanding access to health care for children, and renewing the pediatric rule which ensures that prescription medications are safe for children.

There are great challenges facing this new Congress and our nation and I believe that by working together we can meet them. It was my great honor today to raise my hand and take the oath of office as Senator from New York once again. I look forward to the opportunity to build on the record of progress we have built over the last six years and to continue to address the challenges we face.

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