In a personal speech on the Senate floor this week, Senator Coons shared his own first-hand account of the climate change impacts he has witnessed during trips to Glacier National Park in Montana, the Santa Marta Mountains in Colombia, and at home in Delaware. He urged his colleagues in Congress to take action now – to support clean energy and energy efficiency and back responsible limits on harmful carbon emissions – so we can change the course of our future and leave our children a healthier world. Read his full remarks here: http://1.usa.gov/SAoDDB
Tuesday, June 10 at 5:00 p.m. – The Senator will attend a reception in the Capitol honoring Delaware students selected for the U.S. Service Academies Class of 2018. SVC 201 Capitol Visitors Center, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. – Open to press.
Wednesday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. – The Senator will speak on the Senate Floor about climate change and the EPA’s new carbon pollution standards for power plants. Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. – Open to press who wish to sit in the Senate Gallery. Note: Exact time subject to change.
Wednesday, June 11 at 3:15 p.m. – The Senator will attend a Budget Committee meeting on the confirmation of Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget. 608 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. – Open to press. Contact Senate Budget Committee’s Eli Zupnick at 202-224-5398.
Wednesday, June 11 at 4:00 p.m. – The Senator will attend a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee markup of S.J. Res. 19, a constitutional amendment cosponsored by Senator Coons to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United and restore the authority to regulate campaign finance to Congress, individual states, and the American people. 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. – Open to press. Contact Judiciary Committee’s Jessica Brady at 202-224-7703
Wednesday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. – The Senator will speak at the Keystone Center’s 21st Annual Leadership Awards Dinner. Senator Coons will present the 2014 Keystone Leadership in Government Award to Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio). The Mayflower Renaissance, 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
Thursday, June 12 at 9:15 a.m. – The Senator will attend a Judiciary Committee business meeting. The Committee will consider bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Coons to reauthorize the Victims of Child Abuse Act and save Children’s Advocacy Centers for victims of child abuse. 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. – Open to press. Contact Judiciary Committee’s Jessica Brady at 202-224-7703.
Thursday, June 12 at 11:00 a.m. – The Senator will attend a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to examine regional implications of a nuclear deal with Iran. 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. – Open to press. Contact Contact Foreign Relations Committee’s Adam Sharon at 202-224-4651.
Thursday, June 12 at 6:15 p.m. – The Senator will speak at a reception hosted by Save the Children focused on national and global children’s priorities, including early childhood education initiatives and newborn child survival. 1 Constitution Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C.
Friday, June 13 at 10:00 a.m. – The Senator will visit manufacturers at Seaford’s Craig Technologies and Flow Smart, Inc. Craig Technologies produces high quality plastic components for a range of industries and Flow Smart specializes in custom plastic and metal parts for the pharmaceutical, biotech, and food processing industries. 103 Davis Drive, Seaford, DE – Open to press. Contact Brian P. Cunningham at 302-650-7858.
Friday, June 13 at 12:00 p.m. – The Senator will visit with owners of Georgetown’s Fat Daddy’s BBQ, known for its pulled pork egg rolls, ribs and baked beans. 13203 Seashore Highway, Georgetown, DE – Open to press. Contact Brian P. Cunningham at 302-650-7858.
Friday, June 13 at 1:30 p.m. – The Senator will visit with employees and tour OA Newton, a major manufacturer of material handling solutions and blend products for plastics processors, wood-composite lumber companies, and tire manufacturers. Senator Coons will join employees to learn more about the company’s manufacturing processes. 16356 Sussex Highway, Bridgeville, DE – Open to press. Contact Brian P. Cunningham at 302-650-7858.
Saturday, June 14 at 11:00 a.m. – The Senator will attend the annual Separation Day Parade, celebrating the historic 1776 decision by the Colonial Assembly to proclaim Delaware’s three counties – New Castle, Kent, and Sussex – independent of Great Britain, thus forming Delaware as the first state. Historic New Castle, New Castle, DE – Open to press. Contact Kim Burgmuller at 302-322-9801.
Saturday, June 14 at 5:30 p.m. – The Senator will attend the Delaware Nature Society’s annual Farm to Fork event at Coverdale Farms. Senator Coons will join attendees for a meal consisting of all organically grown foods straight from the farm. Coverdale Farms, 543 Way Road, Greenville, DE
Note: Schedule is subject to change.
1. LATEST POLICY
Passed by Congress -- “Buy America” provisions in WRRDA
Congress recently passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The bill includes provisions introduced by Sens. Brown (D-OH) and Merkley (D-OR) that ensure American-made iron and steel are used in federally-funded water infrastructure projects when available and competitively priced. “For our economy to continue adding jobs, we must ensure American taxpayer dollars are used to support manufacturers and workers at home, not overseas,” Brown said. “I thank my colleagues for passing legislation that will strengthen our economy and infrastructure while benefitting Ohio manufacturers." "If we don’t make things in America, we won’t have a middle class in America,” Merkley said. “Today’s news is a huge victory for the principle that American tax dollars should support American jobs.”
More: Brown press release
Secretary Pritzker announces first 12 Manufacturing Communities
Commerce Secretary Pritzker announced the first 12 communities that will be designated Manufacturing Communities as part of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Initiative. The program is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities by supporting the development of long-term economic development strategies. The 12 communities were selected from 70 that applied based on the strength of their economic development plans, the potential for impact in their communities, and the depths of their partnerships across the public and private sector. The Manufacturing Communities will receive coordinated support for their strategies from eleven federal agencies with $1.3 billion available in federal economic development assistance. The communities will also receive a dedicated federal liaison at each agency to help them navigate available federal resources. “The 12 Manufacturing Communities announced today represent a diverse group of communities with the most comprehensive economic development plans to attract business investment that will increase their competitiveness,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
More: Commerce press release | White House fact sheet
Introduced -- Defend Trade Secrets Act
Senators Hatch (R-UT) and Coons (D-DE) introduced the Defend Trade Secrets Act to help combat the loss of an estimated $160 billion to $480 billion each year in the United States to the theft of corporate trade secrets. The bill empowers manufacturers and other companies to protect their trade secrets in federal court by creating a federal private right-of-action. “The intellectual property that drives the U.S. economy has never been more valuable, or more vulnerable,” Senator Coons said. “American companies are losing jobs because of the theft of trade secrets every day. This bipartisan bill will empower American companies to protect their jobs by legally confronting those who steal their trade secrets. It will finally give trade secrets the same legal protections that other forms of critical intellectual property already enjoy.”
More: Hatch press release | Coons press release
Hearing -- Judiciary hearing on trade secrets
Manufacturing leaders testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism on the need for urgent action to combat trade secret theft and protect American manufacturing jobs. The witnesses urged Congress to pass the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which empowers companies to defend their trade secrets in federal court and recover stolen intellectual property before it is sold to competitors. Pursuing trade theft cases in state courts results in “a whole lot more expense,” said Doug Norman, Vice President and General Patent Counsel for Eli Lilly, as well as “a whole lot more risk, because we may not be able to isolate and seize the stolen materials as quickly.”
More: Coons press release
2. OTHER NEWS
News -- Landrieu urges BASF to build plant in Louisiana
Sen. Landrieu (D-LA) wrote to BASF urging the company to locate its new propylene facility in Louisiana, where it would create thousands of high-paying jobs and fuel the revival of manufacturing. “Louisiana is at the center of a global manufacturing renaissance and a natural gas boom, made possible by extraordinary and swift advances in technology to locate, capture and produce natural gas,” Sen. Landrieu said.
More: Landrieu press release
News -- Baldwin testifies before International Trade Commission on behalf of Wisconsin manufacturers
Sen. Baldwin (D-WI) testified before the International Trade Commission (ITC) on behalf of a Wisconsin manufacturer, Felker Brothers of Marshfield. Sen. Baldwin appeared to highlight the importance of the stainless pipe industry. The manufacturer is a petitioner in an antidumping investigation on imports of welded stainless pressure pipe from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. At the ITC hearing, Baldwin focused on the challenges that Felker and the industry have faced from unfairly traded imports.
More: Baldwin press release
News -- Brown calls on administration to protect steel manufacturers
Sen. Brown joined Northeast Ohio workers at a rally to call on the Obama Administration to protect Ohio steel manufacturers and the jobs they support. Outside of the U. S. Steel facility in Lorain, Brown and local steelworkers urged the Commerce Department (DOC) to crack down on countries that unfairly dump their steel in the U.S. market, threatening American jobs and competitiveness. A recent report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), supported by Sen. Brown, finds that a surge in imports is putting half a million U.S. manufacturing jobs at risk.
More: Brown press release | EPI report
News -- Schumer, Gillibrand announce manufacturing grants to University of Rochester and SEMATECH Albany
Sens. Gillibrand (D-NY) and Schumer (D-NY) announced grants for the University of Rochester’s New York Photonics Manufacturing Initiative and SEMATECH Albany from the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The grants will strengthen the nation’s optics, photonics and imaging manufacturers, and support SEMATECH’s Semiconductor Supply Chain Roadmapping initiative, respectively.
More: Gillibrand University of Rochester release | Gillibrand SEMATECH release
News -- Harkin announces economic development funding for Iowa
Sen. Harkin (D-IA) announced that three Iowa regions were awarded grants through the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to help establish comprehensive economic development strategies in their region.
More: Harkin press release
News -- Shaheen opens Southern New Hampshire Regional Economic Development Center
Sen. Shaheen (D-NH) joined members of the New Hampshire congressional delegation in opening the Southern New Hampshire Regional Economic Development Center, which will help support small manufacturers with counseling, pre-loan packaging, assistance in finding a location, alternative financing, and employee training. Sen. Shaheen supported REDC’s grant application to the Economic Development Administration, and in April of 2012 announced REDC’s selection for a $432,000 grant which made the new center possible.
More: Shaheen press release
News -- Cardin tours Maryland manufacturers
Sen. Cardin (D-MD) launched a Made in Maryland Job Tour, touring a number of Maryland manufacturers. Among the manufacturers he toured was HunterDouglas, where 860 employees manufacture high end, custom window fashions.
More: Cardin press release
News -- Coons tours local manufacturer
Sen. Coons (D-DE) visited WhiteOptics, a manufacturer of raw materials for LED lighting. While there, the Senator took the opportunity to address questions on how protecting trade secrets can help encourage innovation.
More: Coons blog post
News -- President Obama meets with manufacturing leaders
The President met with manufacturing leaders to announce a forum to attract more American and foreign companies to create jobs in the U.S. “We have made enormous strides over the last several years not just recovering from a Great Recession, but taking advantage of and now marketing the advantages of doing business in the United States — whether it’s low energy costs, an incredibly productive workforce,” the President said.
More: Detroit News
News -- NIST announces award to MTConnect to promote advanced manufacturing
NIST recently announced an award for MTConnect, “an open, royalty-free standard intended to foster greater interoperability between manufacturing devices and software applications.” "This is the promised land," says Doug Woods, president of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and a champion of MTConnect.
More: IndustryWeek | NIST announcement
News -- Production of new Ford Transit Van launched at new Kansas City plant
Ford recently launched production of the new Ford Transit Van at its Kansas City Assembly Plant. With 2,000 new jobs at the plant supported by a $1.1 billion investment, Ford is now more than 75 percent toward its goal of creating 12,000 jobs in the United States by 2015. In addition to the Transit Van, the Kansas City Assembly Plant produces the Ford F-150, and employs 4,878 workers on three crews.
Report -- “The all-of-the-above energy strategy as a path to sustainable economic growth”
The White House recently issued a report detailing how an all-of-the-above energy strategy can help fuel economic growth. Energy prices are of particular importance to manufacturers, and have helped fuel the U.S. manufacturing renaissance in recent years.
More: White House
News -- Commerce Department honors manufacturers for export success
Commerce Secretary Pritzker honored 65 U.S. exporters at the 2014 President’s “E” Awards. The 52nd anniversary of the awards, the “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for significant contributions to increasing American exports.
More: Commerce Department
Senator Coons, who earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry, live-tweeted Sunday night's episode of the Fox science show, Cosmos, which focused on the greenhouse effect and its impact on our climate. Take a look at what he had to say:
Looking forward to tonight’s important episode of @COSMOSonTV at 9pm on FOX. The science of climate change and the impacts of inaction.— Senator Chris Coons (@ChrisCoons) June 1, 2014
NEW CASTLE, Del. – Senator Coons journeyed from the Senate floor to the factory floor Thursday to visit with local manufacturers at New Castle’s WhiteOptics, LLC. The award-winning startup develops and manufactures state-of-the-art materials used to improve the lighting quality and energy efficiency of LED and fluorescent lighting products. Nicole Steele from the Alliance to Save Energy, where Chris is a Congressional Vice Chair, also joined the tour.
WhiteOptics’ innovative materials, developed and assembled at their Quigley Boulevard facility, are used by some of the nation’s leading LED manufacturers, including GE and Cree. During the visit, Chris had the opportunity to meet with employees and try his hand at some of the manufacturing work performed at the facility –from sheering metal to slitting and packaging film.
“In a few short years, WhiteOptics has developed a cutting edge, highly efficient lighting product here in Delaware that’s being sold across the United States and to markets around the world,” Chris said. “Meeting with the team behind this innovative startup is a reminder of just how inventive, creative, determined, and capable American manufacturers are.”
Eric Teather, WhiteOptics’ founder and CEO, joined Chris and Nicole at the facility, and discussed some of the challenges his startup faces as it seeks to grow and create new jobs in Delaware. As an innovative, early-stage company, intellectual property protection – including protection of the trade secrets the company uses to manufacture its products – is a chief concern for WhiteOptics.
Trade secrets are often referred to as the “secret sauce” that makes companies work. In April, Senator Coons introduced the bipartisan Defend Trade Secrets Act to empower companies to protect their trade secrets in federal court. The bill creates a federal private right-of-action, to give trade secrets the same legal protections that other forms of critical intellectual property already enjoy. The legislation has been endorsed by a broad range of small and large manufacturers.
“For a small startup business, being able to act on your own, through your own attorney, promptly, is going to make a lifesaving difference,” Chris said. “When the NSA, and the FBI, and the Department of Justice are saying that American manufacturers are the subject of intentional, directed cyber-hacking designed to steal trade secrets every day, we ought to be doing more to strengthen the legal protections available to them.”
Monday, May 26 at 11:30 a.m. – The Senator will speak at a Memorial Day ceremony hosted by the Clarence Vinson – John Chason Memorial Post 3238. He will offer his remarks in support of our veterans, and remembrance of those soldiers we have lost but not forgotten. Clarence Vinson – John Chason Memorial Post 3238, 166 Old Camden Road, Camden, DE – Open to press. Contact Commander Lucky DuFresne at 302-363-9004.
Monday, May 26 at 2:00 p.m. – The Senator will deliver remarks at the official dedication of the Kent Vietnam Veterans’ UH-1 “Huey” helicopter. Former Huey pilot, John R. Sabanosh, Sr. will be the keynote speaker. Kent County Veterans Memorial Park, South Little Creek Road, Dover, DE – Open to press. Contact Dave Skocik at 302-736-8500.
Thursday, May 29 at 9:30 a.m. – The Senator will tour New Castle-based company WhiteOptics, LLC and will assist on the factory floor with some of the activities routinely performed at the Quigley Boulevard facility including sheering WhiteOptics Metal, slitting and packaging film on the slitter/rewinder, loading reflector parts onto the spindle coater and preparing specialty materials for the batch hopper. WhiteOptics, LLC, 243-G Quigley Blvd., New Castle, DE – Open to press. Contact Brian P. Cunningham at 302-650-7858.
Thursday, May 29 at 11:00 a.m. – The Senator will deliver remarks at the Drive for Autism Delaware Golf Tournament luncheon. DuPont Country Club, 1001 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE. Contact Carla Koss at 302-224-6020.
Friday, May 30 at 10:30 a.m. – The Senator will deliver remarks at the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs annual Memorial Day services. Bridge War Memorial, Delaware Memorial Bridge, New Castle, DE –Open to press. Contact John Knotts at 302-272-8920.
Friday, May 30 at 1:00 p.m. – The Senator will don hardhat and tool belt and join volunteers to assist with Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County’s newest construction project, Cooper’s Run. Carter and Vandever Streets, Wilmington, DE – Open to press. Contact HFHNCC Director of Communications Leon Tucker at 302-652-0365 x108.
Friday, May 30 at 6:00 p.m. – The Senator will march in the Wilmington Memorial Day Parade. Delaware Avenue and Woodlawn Avenue, Wilmington, DE – Contact Cassie Cathell at email@example.com.
Saturday, May 31 at 9:00 a.m. – The Senator will deliver the keynote address at the American College of Trial Lawyers Regional Conference for the Third Circuit. He will share his insights on issues important to the legal community. Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE – Open to press. Contact David McBride at 302-571-6639.
Note: Schedule is subject to change.
Senator Coons was one of 50 senators to write to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday urging the league to change the name of Washington's team, the Redskins.
"Now is the time for the NFL to act," the senators wrote. "The Washington, D.C. football team is on the wrong side of history. What message does it send to punish slurs against African Americans while endorsing slurs against Native Americans?"
Civil rights organizations and Tribes across the nation have called on the Washington football team to change its name. Other prominent national organizations in support of a name change include the NAACP, National Council of La Raza, American Association of People with Disabilities, the ACLU, National Organization for Women, and the Anti-Defamation League.
The senators urged the NFL to follow the example of the National Basketball Association in sending a clear message against racism in sports. The Senators pointed to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s swift decision to ban Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling from the league for his racist comments about African-Americans attending basketball games.
Read the letter below:
In addition to the 49 senators who signed this letter, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida sent a separate letter to Commissioner Goodell urging a name change.
Monday, May 19 at 10:00 a.m. – The Senator will attend a job fair in Sussex County hosted by the Delaware Congressional delegation. More than 70 employers will be on hand hiring for more than 800 jobs. This is the delegation’s third job fair this year and 17th since 2011. Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, 229 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE – Open to press. Contact Brian P. Cunningham at 302-573-6054.
Tuesday, May 20 at 2:15 p.m. – The Senator will attend a Foreign Relations Committee business meeting. The committee will consider S. Res.426, a resolution introduced by Senator Coons supporting the goals and ideals of World Malaria Day, as well as several nominations. S-116 U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. – Open to press. Contact Foreign Relations Committee’s Adam Sharon at 202-224-4651.
Wednesday, May 21 at 8:30 a.m. – The Senator will co-host the Congressional Child Survival Prayer Breakfast. SR-325 Kennedy Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, May 21 at 11:30 a.m. – The Senator will meet with the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce to share updates on his work in Congress and key issues of interest to the business community. U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center, Washington, D.C. – Closed to press.
Wednesday, May 21 at 11:30 a.m. – The Senator will attend a Judiciary Committee hearing on FBI oversight. FBI Director James B. Comey, Jr. will testify. 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. – Open to press. Contact Judiciary Committee’s Jessica Brady at 202-224-7703.
Wednesday, May 21 at 12:00 p.m. – The Senator will preside over the Senate until 2:00 p.m. Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. – Open to press who wish to sit in the Senate Gallery.
Thursday, May 21 at 2:15 p.m. – The Senator will chair a joint hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs and Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs to examine the escalating international wildlife trafficking crisis, focusing on ecological, economic and national security issues. 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. – Open to press. Contact Ian Koski at 202-224-5042.
Wednesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. – The Senator will attend the Senate Leadership Dinner honoring the Spouses of the Senate. United States Botanical Garden, Washington, D.C.
Thursday, May 22 at 9:30 a.m. – The Senator will attend a Judiciary Committee business meeting. 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. – Open to press. Contact Judiciary Committee’s Jessica Brady at 202-224-7703.
Thursday, May 22 at 10:00 a.m. – The Senator will attend a Senate Appropriations Committee markup of Agriculture, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs bills. 106 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. – Open to press. Contact Appropriations Committee’s Vince Morris at 202-224-1010.
Thursday, May 22 at 6:00 p.m. – The Senator will speak at the Global Child Nutrition Foundation’s "A Possible Dream" Gala honoring USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah as a champion of child nutrition. Ronald Reagan Building and Int'l Trade Center, Rotunda Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C.
Note: Schedule is subject to change.
On Wednesday, during National Police Week, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) honored Senator Coons for his work on behalf of police officers across the country. That afternoon, the Senator recognized National Police Week in a speech on the Senate floor.
As the co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, Chris has continuously fought to ensure we uphold our obligations to the officers who serve our communities. In partnership with Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, Chris has been a leader in pushing to reauthorize the federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership. The Partnership, which brings together state, local, and federal authorities, equips officers with bulletproof vests that, since 1987, have saved the lives of more than 3,000 officers. On May 7, Chris spoke on the floor about the program’s importance and called on Republicans stop blocking the law’s passage. And on Wednesday, Chris participated in a hearing on the program where Delaware Capitol Police Sergeant Michael Manley and Corporal Steve Rinehart, whose lives were saved by protective vests purchased by the Partnership, were in attendance.
Then later in the day, Senator Coons joined with Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to introduce the bipartisan Fairness for Fallen Officers Act of 2014, which would close an unintended loophole in the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program and ensure families of fallen officers receive the benefits they deserve. Currently, families of officers who die of climate-related injuries, such as over-exertion, could potentially endure years of administrative and appeals processes in order to access death and education benefits. The Fairness for Fallen Officers Act of 2014, would address this shortcoming by adding fatal climate-related injuries to the list of injuries eligible for benefits under the PSOB program.
During the award ceremony, FLEOA’s National President, Jon Adler, presented Chris with a commemorative plaque. They were also joined by FLEOA Executive Vice President, Nate Catura, and FLEOA Representative, Chris Granberg.
Here are links to the written testimony submitted by the witnesses at Thursday's Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs hearing on the Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram. The links below open indidual PDF files.
The Honorable Robert P. Jackson
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State For African Affairs, Department of State
The Honorable Earl Gast
Assistant Administrator For African Affairs, U.S. Agency for International Development
Ms. Alice Friend
Principal Director For African Affairs, Department of Defense
Ms. Lantana Abdullah
Project Manager, Search for Common Ground, Jos, Nigeria