Ukrainian Pilot Freed by Russians

May 25, 2016

Urkaine Member of Parliament and Fighter Pilot Nadiya Savchenko has been released by Russia and has safely returned to Ukraine. Savchenko was captured in July 2014 in Eastern Ukraine and illegally transported to Russia where she was tried on trumped-up charges and sentenced to 22 years in prison. She endured interrogations, solitary confinement, and forced psychiatric evaluations at the hands of the Russians.

Rep. Levin introduced a resolution, passed by the House of Representatives last September, that called for the release of Nadiya Savchenko. Since her imprisonment, Savchenko has come to represent the spirit of an independent Ukraine, and Rep. Levin and other Members of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus welcomed her release in this statement

Smart Traveler Enrolment Program (STEP)
My office sometimes receives calls from anxious family members trying to locate a loved one who is traveling abroad when disaster has struck; or when someone has lost their passport in a foreign country.  The State Department assists us in locating people but it is easier as well as faster, to get in touch with someone who has listed their contact information with the State Department before they travel abroad.  When you make your travel arrangements you can enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to keep themselves informed and have access to country specific information while traveling.

When you create an account in STEP, you will:

  • Receive important information from the State Department about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
  • Help the U.S. Embassy in the country you are vacationing contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
  • Help your family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

Need help with a federal agency?
Rep. Levin understands how difficult it may be for a constituent to navigate the federal government when seeking assistance with benefits or other services. If you need assistance with a federal agency such as Social Security, the VA, or securing a passport, staff at Rep. Levin’s Roseville office would be happy to help. Please call us at 586-498-7122.

Rep. Levin Joins the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus 
Rep. Levin joined the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus this week.  The caucus is dedicated to protecting our democracy by ensuring that the fundamental right to vote is safeguarded for all Americans.  Following the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby v. Holder decision, which dismantled key provisions of the original Voting Rights Act, 33 states have implemented laws that make it difficult for traditionally disenfranchised communities to exercise their right to vote.

Rep.Levin and House Democrats strongly support H.R. 2867, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015.  The measure would update, correct, and strengthen the original  landmark civil rights legislation.  

Service Academy Nominations Open
Each year Rep. Levin has the privilege of nominating a limited number of students from the 9th Congressional District to the United States Service Academies: West Point, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Merchant Marine Academy.  This year’s application period opened on May 15th for those who are currently high school juniors.  To request an application, please contact Rep. Levin’s Service Academy Coordinator, Keith Nelson at 586-498-7122.  Interested applicants will receive a packet which includes; the application, information sheet outlining requirements and an overview of the nomination process.  Completed applications are due at the district office by Friday, November 18, 2016.  Once applications are received, students will be notified of an interview with the nomination selection committee in mid-December.  To learn more about the Service Academy nomination process and to view frequently asked questions, please click here.

On the Floor of the U.S. House this week: The House will consider the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2576), debate again legislation disguised as an effort to combat the Zika virus but serves to weaken environmental protections under the Clean Water Act, and bring up an alternative to the Senate-passed Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012) that re-packages controversial and non-controversial bills previously passed by the House into one measure.  The House also continues consideration of funding bills for the upcoming fiscal year, taking up the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5055).  We will also debate the Clarifying Congressional Intent in Providing for D.C. Home Rule Act (H.R. 5233).  This is a controversial bill that would repeal a District of Columbia referendum that allows the District to implement its own local budget after a 30-day congressional review period.