Democratic Members Urge Relief for California Guard Members

Nov 2, 2016

After reports that the Department of Defense was requiring thousands of California National Guard soldiers and veterans to reimburse enlistment bonuses years after they were incorrectly paid, Rep. Levin joined nearly 200 bipartisan Members of Congress to request that the DOD halt the overpayment collections and waive all future repayments. The DOD announced that it would halt collection of repayments, however whether soldiers and veterans will have to eventually repay bonuses remains unclear.  The letter asks the DOD to determine if it has the authority to waive those repayments and if not, inform Congress so legislative action can be taken to assist soldiers and veterans. You can read a copy of that letter here

Honor a Veteran on Friday, November 11th 
Veterans’ Day is Friday, November 11th.  On this day, we come together in our communities and as a nation to thank and honor the brave men and women who have served our nation.  If you know someone who has served in the United States Armed Forces, be sure to thank them for their service on November 11. Rep. Levin also encourages residents of the 9th District to attend one of the many events being held in the district on Veterans’ Day. Click here for a list of events taking place this year.

Rep. Levin Welcomes Stryker Lethality Rollout Ceremony
On October 27, 2016, Rep. Levin spoke at the U.S. Army’s Stryker Lethality Rollout Ceremony held at General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights. He was joined at the event by Army Vice Chief of Staff General Daniel Allyn, Senator Debbie Stabenow, and General Dynamics Land Systems President Gary Whited. 

The prototype Stryker project introduces an upgraded 30mm automatic cannon, more than twice the caliber of current machine guns mounted on existing Strykers that will give them more range, power, and safety for service members.  The upgrade came after a request by the Army and an appropriation from Congress to bolster America’s fighting vehicles after the Russian seizure of Crimea and the conflict in Ukraine. As a Co-Chair of Congressional Ukraine Caucus, Rep. Levin is a strong supporter of the project because its goal is to protect the men and women serving the United States. 

Rep. Levin Addresses Local Students
Rep. Levin participated in the 2016 Youth Voices Day hosted by the Oakland County Teen Prevention Collaborative PEEPS. Over 100 high school students from many Oakland County communities came together in Royal Oak on Saturday the 29th to discuss issues facing teens today. Participants spent the eventful day working with youth advocates and gaining tools needed to avoid substance use and combat stress, anxiety, and depression. Students left the event empowered with the skills and knowledge to make healthy choices. If you would like to learn more about drug prevention in your community, visit my website to find information about your local community coalition.

Obama Administration Releases Report Highlighting Opportunities to Strengthen Climate Change Resilience
On October 31, 2016, the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience released a report outlining actions federal agencies, communities, and stakeholders can take to strengthen efforts to build climate resilient communities across the country.  The report comes at a time when communities across the United States, not just on the coasts, are experiencing the impact of climate change, such as extreme weather events, intense heat waves, and changing precipitation patterns.  The report serves a guide for continued coordination among federal agencies in climate resilience efforts as well as a tool for stakeholders to continue working with federal agencies on resilience priorities.  You can read the report here.

Coinciding with the report’s release, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced a public-private partnership, Resilience Dialogues.  This online tool has been developed to connect community leaders and organizations with experts and resilience practitioners as they pursue resilience planning and respond to climate change.  You can visit this new online tool here.

Rep. Levin Advocates for Great Lakes Priorities in Water Resources Bill
This week, Rep. Levin joined 30 other Great Lakes Members in sending a letter to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in support of retaining key Great Lakes provisions in the final version of the Water Resources Development Act. In September, both the House and Senate passed different versions of this legislation, which is intended to address the needs of our nation’s water infrastructure.  Both chambers will now work to finalize this legislation for consideration.

Provisions the letter asks to be included in the final bill include: reauthorizing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for five years, authorizing projects to restore fish and wildlife ecosystems, authorizing states to use drinking water funds to implement source water protection programs, providing funding to replace critical water infrastructure in communities that have had their water contaminated by lead, and other relief efforts. These provisions are important to supporting the health and prosperity for the Great Lakes Region.

Health Insurance Open Enrollment Began This Week and Runs Through January 31, 2017
Open Enrollment for 2017 health coverage began November 2nd and runs through January 31, 2017.  During Open Enrollment, you can shop for health coverage that meets your budget and health care needs.  If you need new coverage or want to change plans, or would like to find out if you qualify for tax credits to help offset the cost of insurance, Open Enrollment is the time to do it.  This year, it is estimated that 70% of those enrolling in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace during Open Enrollment are projected to be eligible for savings that allow them to purchase health insurance for less than $75 per month.  During the last Open Enrollment period, more than 345,000 Michigan residents selected a healthcare plan on

Be sure to enroll by December 15th if you want new coverage that begins on January 1, 2017.  If you are currently enrolled in a plan, but your plan is changing or you want to change plans, enroll by December 15th to avoid a lapse in coverage. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact my Roseville office at 586-498-7122.