Capitol Connection E-Newsletter

Washington, May 24, 2013 -

Congressional Freight Panel to Hold Field Hearing in San Bernardino
I am pleased to announce that the special freight transportation panel on which I serve will be conducting a field hearing next week in the 31st District. As the home to numerous distribution centers, warehouses, trucking companies and Colton Crossing, one of the busiest railroad crossings in the United States, freight transportation plays a large and growing role in the Inland Empire economy. According to the Southern California Association of Governments, freight movement is expected to triple in our region within three decades. While this is a positive development, this growth will present challenges for our region in the form of increased traffic and stress on our transportation infrastructure, including highways, railways, and ports. 

The panel’s field hearing, which will be focused on how these challenges facing freight transportation in Southern California will impact the nation, will convene at 1:30pm on Thursday, May 30th at the Historic Santa Fe Depot, located at 1170 West 3rd Street in the City of San Bernardino. Space is limited and seating is first-come-first served, so please plan accordingly. I look forward to this important hearing on the future growth and potential obstacles facing this vital segment of our regional and national economies.

Commemorating Memorial Day
With the observance of Memorial Day coming up this Monday, it is important that we take the time to remember the more than one million men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our great country. Each Memorial Day, we are reminded that the freedom we enjoy and take for granted comes at a great and painful cost. In honor of their service and sacrifice, I encourage everyone to participate in this year’s National Moment of Remembrance, which calls on all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3:00pm local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died. By defending our country both at home and abroad, our nation’s military continually secure our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. On this Memorial Day, I hope you will join me in honoring the sacrifice made by those who have given their lives to spread the blessings of liberty and lay the foundations of peace.

Rep. Miller Introduces Bill to Ensure Consumers Have Time to Settle Medical Debt Before It Impacts Their Credit Scores
Every year, families in San Bernardino County and across the country are hit with confusing and costly medical bills. While the personal and financial toll of dealing with a medical emergency or serious illness is tough enough, our nation’s complex and broken healthcare system frequently inflicts additional pain on these families by reporting unpaid medical debt to the credit bureaus, even if they never knew the debt existed or are disputing the bill.

Minor billing and processing errors for medical services can have major consequences for your ability to access affordable credit. Unpaid medical debt that is reported to credit bureaus – regardless of whether it is under $100, erroneous, or disputed – can shave up to 100 points off your credit score. This means you can be denied access to credit or be forced to pay higher interest rates and fees when you seek to buy or refinance a home or purchase a new car. 

This week, I was proud to introduce legislation that will ensure consumers have time to resolve medical billing questions and potential errors before medical debt can be reported to the major credit bureaus. Specifically the legislation would delay the ability of a debt collector to report medical debt to a credit bureau if the consumer notifies the debt collector that they did not know the debt existed, are continuing to work with an insurance company to resolve the issue, or have applied for financial assistance.

This common sense proposal will help to ensure that your access to credit will not be impacted because of a medical billing error, a slow insurance company, or simply because you have sought financial assistance to settle the debt. With our economy still recovering, it is critical that creditworthy consumers are able to access the financing they need to enter the housing market, refinance their homes, or access other credit-based products and services.

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