Thursday, October 18, 2018


New York, NY - October 18, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Rep. Adrianno Espaillat (D-NY, 13th) released the following statement in response to President Trump’s tweet, this morning, threatening to end USAID support for Honduras.

“President Trump is the epitome of ‘man's inhumanity to man’ as he threatens, yet again, another policy that would devastate individuals fleeing poverty and violence in Honduras, their home country, in search of a better life here in the United States,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13).

“First, the President separated children from their families, in some cases only months old, orphaned, and now this. The Trump Administration has continuously put forth policies aimed against immigrant communities and against vulnerable women, men, and children seeking asylum in the United States. Our nation is the land of hope, freedom and opportunity.

“I vow to continue to fight the hate-based rhetoric and anti-immigrant policies from this administration and will champion our efforts to protect the rights of people seeking protection from persecution and asylum here in the United States,” he concluded.

President Signs Peters, Risch, Evans Bill Helping Small Businesses Access Patent Protection

Washington, D.C. - October 18, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- President Donald J. Trump has signed into law legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and James Risch (R-ID), Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee and Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-02) aimed at helping small businesses safeguard their intellectual property with expanded education on obtaining and protecting patents. The Small Business Innovation Protection Act will build upon existing outreach programs run by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), to better inform small businesses on domestic and international intellectual property protections.

“Michigan’s small businesses are creating some of the most innovative goods and services in the world, but many have difficulty navigating the domestic and international patent system with limited resources and expertise,” said Senator Peters. “Under this new law, entrepreneurs who can’t afford a team of patent lawyers will have more assistance in protecting their intellectual property so they can continue to grow their businesses here at home.”

“Idaho has become a hot-spot for tech start-ups, filled with new ideas to grow their small businesses,” said Chairman Risch. “Now these innovative entrepreneurs will have easier access to information on protecting their intellectual property as they navigate the market and manage their businesses, earning back the money they spent on their inventions and creating more jobs. This was truly a bipartisan, bicameral effort and I’m glad the President has made it law.”

Congressman Dwight Evans, D-PA, who introduced the legislation in the House as H.R. 2655, thanked Sens. Peters and Risch for their collaboration and said, “We know that small businesses are critical to job creation and the overall economic strength of our country, both in the middle neighborhoods in cities like Philadelphia, and in the new and growing tech-based economy. Creating and supporting their growth is essential to helping entrepreneurs prosper.”

“Small businesses drive American innovation and job creation, and intellectual property is often the ‘secret sauce’ that give them an edge when they’re fledgling companies,” said Frank Cullen, Vice President of U.S. Policy, U.S. Chamber Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC). “This legislation will help small business owners better understand the important role IP plays in their company’s success, and in turn, help them better leverage and protect those key assets. We commend Sen. Gary Peters and Sen. Risch, as well as all those who supported this measure, for helping make our nation’s small businesses more competitive by increasing IP educational programs and resources at the Small Business Administration and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.”

U.S. intellectual property is estimated to be worth over $5 trillion, and sixty percent of all U.S. exports are driven through intellectual property-intensive industries. Patent protection helps innovators recoup the cost of research and development, profit off their inventions, hire new employees, and bolster their local economy.

Small businesses that do not register in foreign markets, such as China, receive no intellectual property protections. The Small Business Innovation Protection Act will help educate small businesses on the need and resources available to best secure an international patent.

The Small Business Innovation Protection Act directs the SBA and USPTO to maximize current intellectual property education and training programs in order to reach more small businesses. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Require the SBA and USPTO to develop partnerships in order to develop high quality training relating to domestic and international intellectual property protection by leveraging existing training materials developed for small business and inventor education, which may be conducted in person or online; and
  • Require the SBA and USPTO to enter partnerships in order to increase the effectiveness of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) by providing training that addresses small business concerns related to domestic and international intellectual property protections which may be conducted in person or online.


    Washington, D.C. - October 18, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chair Emeritus of the Committee, called on Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno to ensure that Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange is removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and handed over to the proper authorities. The bipartisan letter to President Moreno follows the recent news that Mr. Assange’s Internet access at the embassy has been restored.

    “Many of us in the United States Congress are eager to move forward in collaborating with your government on a wide array of issues, from economic cooperation to counternarcotics assistance to the possible return of a United States Agency for International Development mission to Ecuador. However, in order to advance on these crucial matters, we must first resolve a significant challenge created by your predecessor, Rafael Correa – the status of Julian Assange,” the members wrote in their letter.

    Read the letter by clicking HERE

    Diaz-Balart Cosponsors Legislation Supporting Specialty Crop Growers

    Washington, D.C. - October 18, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL, 25th) joined Congressmen Carlos Curbelo (R-FL, 26th) and Al Lawson, Jr.(D-FL, 5th) as an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Trade Agriculture Improvement Act. The bill would make it easier for our Florida agriculture industry to combat unfair trade practices internationally. Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio have introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

    “This bipartisan bill will help Florida's farmers, ranchers, and growers remain competitive. Agriculture is one of Florida's leading industries, employing thousands of people and contributing $12.2 billion to our state economy. I am grateful to be working with Reps. Curbelo and Lawson on this legislation that protects our specialty crop growers, and the jobs and economic impact they create in Florida. Our state is home to some of the best produce and livestock, and I am proud to represent and advocate on behalf of these thriving farms, groves, and ranches,” said Diaz-Balart.

    “Congress and the Administration are well aware that our growers have suffered more than most under the original NAFTA. Years of harm from unfair trading practices such as dumping and subsidies have caused family farms that have operated for generations to close their doors. Without relief, Florida’s specialty crop industry will continue to suffer and shrink. We appreciate the efforts of Congressman Diaz-Balart in joining Reps. Curbelo and Lawson in their strong support of Florida specialty crop growers,” said Mike Stuart, President of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association.

    DeLauro Statement on Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Raw Chicken

    Washington, D.C. - October 18, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT, 3rd) released the following statement after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that a strain of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella has been found in contaminated raw chicken products, causing 92 people illnesses across 29 states, including Connecticut.

    “Five years ago to the day, I wrote a letter with my former colleague, the late Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, to CDC and USDA regarding their mismanaged investigation and lack of action in response to an antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella that contaminated chicken products across the country. 634 were infected across 29 states. Now, five years later, CDC has informed the public of another outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in chicken that has been going on since January. It has already affected 92 people, 21 of which have been hospitalized. That is completely unacceptable.”

    “The federal government and the poultry industry need to take this problem seriously. Déjà vu is not an acceptable policy for dealing with food safety. We need to be proactive. People’s lives are on the line. That is why Congress needs to act on the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which would ban the use of medically important antibiotics in food animal production unless they needed to treat livestock illness. The overuse of antibiotics in the livestock sector only makes this problem worse, and it is long past time we deal with the problem head-on, instead of going through the same issues over and over again.”

    Earlier this year, DeLauro assumed sponsorship of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which Congresswoman Louise Slaughter championed during her time in Congress. DeLauro is the lead Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for funding the CDC and a senior Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittees responsible for funding USDA and FDA.