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Posts from Rep. Joe Morelle

June 8, 2024

Announcing the Winner of the 2024 Congressional Art Competition 

Every year, the Congressional Institute hosts the Congressional Art Competition—a fun opportunity to uplift the artistic talents of our local students.

This year’s winner is Talia Favitta, a freshman at Greece Athena High School. Her work, entitled “Full Moon,” be displayed in the Capitol for one year and featured on the official Congressional Art Competition website. Talia’s art is captivating and moving, and I am proud to see her represent Monroe County in the halls of Congress. We are incredibly lucky to have such a vibrant community of artistic talent in Rochester and I am always impressed by the exceptional abilities of our local students. Click here to read more about this year’s Congressional Art Competition.

Honoring Our Veterans

As we marked the 80th anniversary of D-Day this week, I have been reflecting on the sacrifice and patriotism of our servicemembers. Our courageous veterans served our nation with pride, and it’s incumbent upon all of us to take every opportunity to support them and their families when they return home. This past weekend, I was honored to join the Monroe County American Legion at their annual convention to discuss our work together to fulfil this promise for veterans here in Monroe County. From healthcare, to housing, to crisis support, I’m working in Congress to secure the benefits these men and women deserve.

Working for You in Washington

Much of my time in Washington is spent meeting with stakeholders and organizations to understand how I can take action in Congress to support them. Here are a few of the groups I sat down with this week:

One of my top priorities in Congress is securing quality, affordable healthcare for everyone in our community. I met with local advocates from the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, the American Health Care Association, and the National Center for Assisted Living who are important partners in helping to make this goal a reality.

Community-based health centers like Trillium are critical to providing high-quality care, especially for our LGBTQ+ community. It was a pleasure to welcome President and CEO Jason Barnecut-Kearns and his team to Washington for an update on their efforts.

I was glad to meet with New York Hunger Solutions and discuss our work together to get reliable, nutritious meals onto more families’ tables and support life-saving programs like SNAP.

As the top Democrat on the Committee on House Administration, I’m leading the charge to protect every American’s fundamental right to vote. In these efforts to protect our democracy, I’m proud to have partners like Common Cause CEO Virginia Kase Solomón.

Supporting Innovation

Rochester has a long and proud history of leading the way in innovation—it’s why our region has been designated as a federal Tech Hub and continues to earn historic investments. I’m working to bring our talent and expertise to the forefront, which is why I met with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director Dr. Laurie Locascio.

NIST, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, does extraordinary work to advance leading-edge quantum technology, grow our economy, and enhance our competitiveness on the global stage. They are a key partner as we work to cement Rochester’s place as a national leader in science and technology, and I look forward to our continued work together.

June 1, 2024

Supporting Older Americans

Too many people lack access to affordable senior housing, resulting in many older members of our community being forced to leave the security of their families, loved ones, doctors, and routines to find housing that fits their needs. I’m working to change that and ensure older Americans can age in place in the communities they love.

On Tuesday, I was joined by Episcopal SeniorLife Communities (ESLC) President and CEO Lisa Marcello and Irondequoit Town Supervisor Andraé Evans to announce $1 million in federal funding I secured in Washington to support the creation of new affordable senior housing units in Irondequoit. Read more about this transformative project and ESLC’s work in our community: Congressman Joe Morelle Announces $1 Million in New Federal Funding to Support Local Seniors

Honoring Our Jewish American Neighbors

As we end our celebration of May as Jewish American Heritage Month, I had the privilege of honoring some special individuals who have had a profound impact on our Jewish community.

Since the first Jewish American immigrants arrived in 1654, their contributions have been integral to the fabric of our society—including the likes of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Hall of Fame MLB Pitcher Sandy Koufax, and iconic physicist Albert Einstein.

But it’s the people working behind-the-scenes and out of the spotlight who we sought to honor. Together with local Rabbis from across Rochester, we recognized five individuals whose hard work and selflessness has undoubtedly made our community a better place. Read more about our honorees: Congressman Joe Morelle Honors Local Members of Jewish Community During Jewish American Heritage Month

Bolstering Science and Innovation

I helped secure $99.4 million for the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics this past year to advance their critical work maintaining our nation’s nuclear stockpile, conducting advanced laser research, and pursuing nuclear fusion energy. This morning, I was able to join them for a celebration of their latest expansion and see firsthand how these dollars are being utilized right here in Rochester. In every beam of light harnessed at the Laser Lab lies our collective journey towards knowledge. I’m proud to continue serving as a strong advocate for the lab in Washington, and I cannot wait to see what they discover next!

Out and About in Our Community

It’s always great to visit with some of our local businesses, organizations, and community leaders.

Accessibility should never be an afterthought—especially when it comes to accessing potentially life-saving resources. Today, I was at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at RIT to discuss our joint work to improve access to emergency services and other important programs for our Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing neighbors. It’s disappointing many of these accessibility features are not already commonplace in our country, but NTID continues to serve as a model for how other communities can build themselves up through diversity, innovation, and inclusion. I’m grateful for our years of partnership, and I look forward to our continued work together on these important issues.

On Wednesday, I joined members of the Rochester Border Patrol station to honor Border Patrol’s 100th Anniversary and present them with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition. I’m grateful for everything our Customs and Border Patrol agents do to keep our community and our country safe, and I will continue leveraging my role on the House Appropriations Committee to secure the resources they need to advance their goals.

The Ibero-American Action League works tirelessly to provide opportunities for community engagement, academic support, and social-emotional services for the Latino community in Rochester. It was great to meet with students from their Changemakers group to discuss my continued support for their important mission.

Statement on the Conviction of Donald Trump

Yesterday’s conviction of Donald Trump makes crystal clear a fundamental truth of our democracy: no one—not even a former President of the United States—is above the law.

I am grateful to the jury of everyday Americans who demonstrated exactly how our justice system is intended to work. It is my hope this brings us closer to uniting our country and restoring America’s faith in truth, integrity, and accountability.

May 25, 2024

Safeguarding Our Elections

Earlier this year, an artificial intelligence (A.I.)-generated replica of President Biden’s voice was weaponized in a robocall urging New Hampshire voters not to participate in their upcoming primary election—an incredibly dangerous political stunt designed to suppress the vote. As the top Democrat on the Committee on House Administration, which has jurisdiction over federal elections, I’m leading my colleagues in the fight against this type of weaponized misinformation so we can safeguard every American’s right to free and fair elections.

As a part of my efforts, I was joined by Monroe County Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner Jackie Ortiz to announce legislation I’ve authored to establish much-needed regulations on A.I. usage in political and campaign materials. The A.I. Transparency in Elections Act is simple: it would require political ads created or altered by A.I. to have a disclaimer making clear they were manipulated—strengthening transparency and allowing voters to make a more informed decision on whether they can trust the information being shared.

Democracy demands honesty and transparency. I will keep working in Congress to pass this legislation ahead of one of the most important elections of our time. You can read more about my work on the Committee on House Administration and the A.I. Transparency in Elections Act here: Congressman Morelle Authors Legislation to Combat Disinformation and Protect Transparency in Federal Elections.

Securing Americans’ Right to Repair

For far too long, large corporations have hindered the progress of small business owners and everyday Americans by preventing them from the right to repair their own equipment. This week, I introduced legislation I authored to help level the playing field and put the power back where it belongs—in the hands of consumers.

The Fair Repair Act is about as common-sense as it gets. If you own something, you should have the right to get it fixed and do with it what you please.

If enacted, my legislation will help make technology repairs more accessible and affordable for items like cell phones, laptops, and more, giving individuals and families the autonomy they deserve. It also could save families up to $330 annually on electronics, amounting to around $40 billion nationwide. Read more about the Fair Repair Act and my work to secure everyone’s right to repair: Congressman Joe Morelle Introduces Fair Repair Act.

Embracing Our Spirit of Play

Everyone who has the opportunity to visit The Strong Museum knows it’s a national treasure, and they deserve the official designation to prove it.

I was recently at The Strong to announce legislation I authored to officially designate them as the “National Museum of Play” had passed the House of Representatives with wide bipartisan support. Now, I’m continuing my efforts to see this bill passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by the President. Click here to learn about how me and my friend Big Bird are working to make it happen.

Supporting Our Veterans and Military Families

This weekend, we observe Memorial Day and honor the courageous men and women who gave, in President Lincoln’s words, the “last full measure of devotion” to protect our nation.

As we reflect, let us also take this opportunity to recommit ourselves to service, in ways both big and small—because we cannot allow the sacrifices of our servicemembers to be for naught. It is incumbent upon all of us to demonstrate our gratitude through action and live up to the standard of service our servicemembers exemplified.

May God bless our troops, and may God bless America.

May 11 posts:

Celebrating Our Teachers

This week marked Teacher Appreciation Week—a time to celebrate the educators who work tirelessly every day to shape our children’s future. As the husband of a retired middle school teacher, I have seen firsthand the incredible role our educators play in serving the needs of our youth.

To me, the best way we can honor the work of teachers is to continue ensuring they have the resources they need to help students succeed. That’s why this week, I proudly announced legislation I authored to help support our educators as they adapt to the challenges of preparing our youth for an ever-advancing workforce. The Developing and Advancing Innovative Learning Models Act would create federal investments in the research and development of Innovative Learning Models (ILMs) and enable schools to adapt to modern educational needs. ILMs expose teachers to bundles of integrated tools, resources, and systems that can be used to maximize student potential.

Teachers are invaluable to our schools, our communities, and our families, and I will never stop working in Congress to invest in the tools they need to meet students where they are and ensure they are ready for their lives beyond the classroom. Read more: Congressman Joe Morelle Introduces Legislation to Support Teachers and Strengthen Our Education System

When Rochester Comes to Washington

Even during weeks in Washington, I’m always advancing our community’s interests by meeting with organizations who are doing important work to support our region and uplift Rochester families.

t is always a pleasure to spend time with my friends from the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester to discuss our work together strengthening resources for those fighting cancer—including my legislation, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act. We’re working to grow support for this important bill and provide much-needed access to medical care for individuals with metastatic breast cancer.

Our region is home to so many world-class wineries, and I’m committed to ensuring they have the support necessary to keep thriving. This week, I met with leaders from Finger Lakes wineries to discuss our work to support farmers, growers, and New York State’s agricultural economy.

Hearing from Experts in the Biden Administration

As a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, I hear directly from members of the President’s cabinet and other federal agency heads to learn how Congress can better support their work. This week, I had the opportunity to hear directly from the heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Commerce (DOC).

Tragically, fentanyl is killing Americans at record-high rates. On Monday, I had a meeting with DEA Administrator Anne Milgram to discuss our work together address the fentanyl crisis and ensure those battling addiction have the support and resources they need.

Later in the week, I had the opportunity to question Administrator Milgram directly about the dangers of fentanyl and the new tactics being employed by drug cartels, particularly on social media. Watch our exchange here.

On Wednesday, I heard from United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. We discussed Rochester’s recent designation as a Regional Technology Hub and how we can continue supporting innovation and growth in communities like ours. The future is bright for Rochester! Watch a clip from our exchange here.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I want to wish an early happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmothers, and mother figures in our community and across the country—especially to my own mother, Julie, and my wife, Mary Beth.

On this day and every day, you deserve our gratitude and celebration for all that you do. Please know my office is always here to help. Visit morelle.house.gov to learn more about how we can assist you and your family.

May 5 posts:

Fighting the Spread of Deepfakes

This Sunday marks one year since I introduced my Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act. Since then, we’ve seen numerous incidents where explicit, non-consensual deepfakes have gone viral—yet perpetrators have faced no consequences.

The time to enact change is now, and  passing my bill into law, would make the sharing of these images a criminal offense and create a right of private action for victims to seek relief.

I’m particularly proud my legislationwas recently endorsed by a slate of new advocacy organizations: the National Organization for Women (NOW), Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), and the Joyful Heart Foundation. Each of these groups does vital work to fight back against sexual assault and exploitation, and I’m grateful to have their support. The legislation continues to gain bipartisan support from my colleagues in Congress—and I won’t give up until it’s passed into law.

Read More: Congressman Joe Morelle Announces New Support for His Legislation to Stop Deepfake Pornography

Combatting the Climate Crisis Here at Home

Every day, we’re seeing  more extreme weather events that tear our planet apart and an increasing number of species move closer to complete extinction as a result of our worsening climate crisis. We know it’s going to take serious, prolonged action to reverse these impacts—but thanks to the work of groups like Reconnect Rochester, our community is already well on the way to doing our part.

Today, I joined Reconnect Rochester and local leaders to voice my strong support for dedicated bike lanes across our community through their “Bike Spine” project. Not only is cycling instead of driving good for your waistline, but it also lowers greenhouse gas emissions, noise pollution, and keeps harmful chemicals from seeping into our environment. I was proud to help secure $3.2 million in federal Safe Streets and Roads for All grant awards to help support this project, and it’s truly inspiring to see the good that will come from this investment. I’m grateful for the work of groups like Reconnect Rochester for leading the charge to combat the climate crisis and create a safe, reliable, and robust transportation system for our cyclists, and I look forward to continuing my support for their efforts.

Around the Community

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend time with local groups who are doing incredible work in our community.

I was delighted to join volunteers at Mount Hope Cemetery for the second annual Daffodil Celebration. Bill Whitney and the Daffodil Project have planted over 35,000 daffodil bulbs and are continuing to work to beautify this historical landmark for all to enjoy.

Imagine RIT: the Creativity and Innovation Festival is a wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse at the creative spirit of tomorrow’s leaders. It was great to hear from students about the unique intersection of technology, the arts, and design taking place at RIT.

I joined artistic experts and curators from around the world at the Memorial Art Gallery for their inaugural lecture on South Asian art in Rochester. Thank you to the Dogra Art Foundation for their support of this event and their continued work to bring people together through creative mediums.

April 20 posts:

Upholding our Commitment to our Allies

Over the past weeks and months, we have watched in horror as our neighbors in Israel and Ukraine have come under attack from adversarial governments and extremist terrorist groups. America has a responsibility to stand as a global leader and support our allies in their efforts to protect their democracies.

My colleagues and I have repeatedly advocated for legislation to provide our allies with the tools, resources, and humanitarian aid they desperately need. We hope to soon pass a legislative package that demonstrates our strong commitment to standing up for our democratic values and fighting back against tyranny and terrorism in all forms. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress and the Biden Administration to support our allies abroad and find common ground on the problems we face here at home.

Honoring Our Veterans

I’ve heard time and time again from veterans in our community who are struggling to secure the benefits they’re rightly owed due to records lost through no fault of their own.  Our courageous veterans deserve better, which is why I’m co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation to make it easier for them to get the care they need.

The Fred Hamilton Veterans’ Lost Records Act opens additional application pathways for veterans whose military records were lost by the U.S. government, streamlining the process to receive Department of Veterans Affairs benefits. I’m proud to lead my colleagues in support of this important legislation, and I look forward to working with them to see it passed swiftly into law. Read more: https://morelle.house.gov/media/press-releases/congressman-joe-morelle-leads-bipartisan-effort-support-veterans

Supporting Higher Education

It’s always a joy to meet with my good friend President Mangelsdorf and the team from the University of Rochester. I’m grateful for their continued partnership as we work to expand access to higher education, support greater research opportunities in Rochester, and bolster healthcare for our families. They’ve been a steadfast partner in all these efforts, and our entire community feels the benefits of their dedication.

Uplifting Local Restaurants

This week, I welcomed New York State Restaurant Association members to Washington, including local restauranteurs Kelly Bush and Kelly Metras, for a conversation about how we can support our local restaurants and greater business community. During the COVID-19 crisis, I fought for our local restaurants, because I knew how important it was to help ensure they had the support to pay their employees and continue operating for our community. They are a critical piece of our local economy, and I remain committed to delivering the resources they need.

Continuing the Fight Against Cancer

National Cancer Institute Director Dr. Kimryn Rathmell joined me to discuss the transformative work happening at the University of Rochester’s Wilmot Cancer Center. The fight against cancer is deeply personal for me. I’m grateful for everything the NCI does to support individuals and families battling cancer, and together, we’re going to continue working to advance research and treatment and further support those fighting this devastating disease.

April 13 posts:

Celebrating the Total Solar Eclipse 

Monday’s Total Solar Eclipse was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I’ll never forget! It was great to spend the day at the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) with our neighbors.

My day began with NASA Astronaut Lee Morin, who I helped bring to Rochester to join our celebrations. Lee and I joined Good Day Rochester to talk about the Solar Eclipse, Lee’s work on the Artemis and Orion projects at NASA, and the importance of encouraging young people to embrace their imagination and sense of discovery.

Lee and I then had the opportunity to get a sneak peek of some of RMSC’s planetarium eclipse programming. Thank you to Planetarium Director Jim Bader and his team for the inside look!

Later in the day, Astronaut Morin joined me on stage to share stories about his experience as an astronaut, the importance of investment in science, and the future of space travel. It was an honor to host this discussion with him—I know I certainly learned a lot!

I got to go back to the stage with my partners in government for some eclipse-themed trivia. It was great to have an opportunity to put my decades of fascination with the cosmos to good use with some light-hearted trivia questions!

Despite the clouds, having the opportunity to experience totality together is a moment I’ll never forget!

Our eclipse celebrations would not have been possible without the dedicated work of people like Hillary Olson, Dan Schneiderman, and everyone at RMSC. I was honored to present them with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to acknowledge their incredible work! I’m grateful for all the RMSC team does to inspire curiosity and learning in our community, and I’m proud to continue my support for their efforts.

Honoring Rochester’s Legacy of Play

On Tuesday evening, I took to the House floor to lead debate on my legislation to designate The Strong as the “National Museum of Play,” which was later passed by the House of Representatives by a significant bipartisan margin.

The Strong is truly a one-of-a-kind destination for families of all ages, fostering lifelong learning, creativity, and discovery through play, and we are so fortunate to have it right here in our community. I’m proud to have led the effort in Washington to secure the national recognition they deserve, and I’m grateful to Congressman Langworthy for his partnership in this effort.

I know I’ll be back at The Strong very soon with my grandchildren, and I look forward to supporting their continued growth and success for years to come.

Read more: Congressman Joe Morelle Announces Passage of His Legislation to Designate the Strong Museum as National Museum of Play

Renewing My Commitment to Our Deaf Neighbors 

Here in Rochester, we’re especially proud of our vibrant Deaf and hard-of-hearing neighbors and the indelible mark they’ve made on our community—and as their representative in Congress, I’m always working to advocate on their behalf. We recently passed our government funding package for Fiscal Year 2024, where I was proud to secure over $92 million to allow the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology to continue offering their world-class services.

It is fitting that we celebrate this news during Deaf History Month, an important time to honor and celebrate the many contributions of Deaf and hard-of-hearing people everywhere. But it is also important to acknowledge the work still to do to secure the accessibility, equity, and opportunity our Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities deserve. Together, we can—and we will—build a more just and equitable society for everyone.

Watch my full video address marking Deaf History Month: Rep. Joe Morelle Celebrates Deaf History Month

Supporting a National Landmark

It is always great to spend time with Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden and discuss our shared love of the Library of Congress—and, of course, the St. Louis Cardinals! It was particularly special to meet with her and have the opportunity to thank her for all her incredible work during National Library Week.

As Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration, which has oversight of the Library of Congress, I’m committed to working with Dr. Hayden to ensure the Library has the resources it needs to continue its important mission.

Please know my office is always here to help. Visit morelle.house.gov to learn more about how we can assist you and your family.

April 6 posts:

Continuing the Fight Against

April is Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month, an important opportunity to renew our fight against cancer. I was honored to join 13Thirty Cancer Connect in support of their new initiative to address the needs of young people with cancer in Rochester. 13Thirty is an extraordinary organization that has played an important role in the lives of so many families facing a cancer diagnosis—especially my own. I’m grateful for everything they do and I’m proud to stand alongside them to uplift young people battling this devastating disease.

Honoring Our Vietnam Veterans

As a member of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, I had the honor of presenting Vietnam War veterans from the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 20 in Chili with honorary lapel pins and Certificates of Congressional Recognition on Monday. It was especially meaningful to host this event on the heels of Vietnam Veterans Day, celebrated on March 29. It is my hope that these pins serve as a constant reminder to our courageous veterans that we will never forget their service, sacrifice, and heroism.

This is the fifth Pinning Ceremony my office has had the privilege of hosting, and we look forward to honoring more of our local veterans in the future. If you know of a Vietnam War veteran who should receive this commemorative pin, please reach out to our office. Read more: Congressman Joe Morelle Honors Local Vietnam Veterans.

Calling All Local Young Artists! 

There are only a few weeks left to submit your art for the 2024 Congressional Art Competition! This competition is open to high school students in New York’s 25th Congressional District, and the winner will have the opportunity to have their artwork displayed in the United States Capitol for one year. This is an exciting way to celebrate the amazing artistic talent across Rochester, and I highly encourage students to participate. To learn more about the rules and guidelines for submissions, visit my website here. I cannot wait to see all the amazing art we receive from talented artists across our community!

Looking Ahead to Eclipse Day 

Monday’s total solar eclipse will be a once-in-a-lifetime event not just for our community, but for those traveling to Rochester to be in the path of totality. I am eager to welcome old friends and new friends alike to the Rochester Museum and Science Center for our celebration on Monday.

As we excitedly await the big day, there are a number of resources available to help people of all ages experience the eclipse safely and in style:

Many organizations in Rochester are stepping up to ensure the eclipse is an inclusive event for people of all abilities. Check out the resources available in Rochester here.

March 30, 2024 posts

 Expanding Healthcare for Our Veterans 
When I voted to pass the Honoring Our PACT Act almost two years ago, my goal was to ensure our veterans and their families have full access to the healthcare benefits they have rightfully earned from their service. Now, thanks to the work of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), we’re making this goal a reality—years ahead of schedule.
 
On March 5, the VA announced all veterans exposed to toxins or other hazards while serving in the military were now eligible to enroll directly in VA healthcare, opening critical healthcare services for thousands of veterans here in our community and millions more across the country. I’m grateful to the VA for their dedicated efforts to make these benefits available ahead of the timeline prescribed by the PACT Act, and I look forward to continuing my work with them to support veterans and military families.

To learn more about this new policy and see if you or a loved one is eligible to receive benefits, visit VA.gov/PACT. Read more: Congressman Joe Morelle Announces Expanded Healthcare Services for Veterans

 Hearing Directly from Our Neighbors 
It was great to be back home in Rochester this week and have the opportunity to visit with some of our local businesses, organizations, and community leaders.

It was a pleasure to visit with the team at Lake Beverage Corporation and get an update on their work as a distributor of beer, wine, and spirits across our region. In Washington, I’m proud to continue my support of family-owned small businesses like Lake Beverage and ensure they have the resources they need to thrive here in Rochester.

Dress for Success is an important resource for so many in our community, providing unemployed and underemployed women with the tools and support they need to achieve financial independence. I was grateful for the opportunity to meet with them and see firsthand the impact they’re having right here in our own backyard.

Brian Urquhart from Insulators Local 26 and the Rochester Building and Trades Council has been a steadfast partner in our efforts to strengthen worker’s rights, and it was a privilege to join friends in our labor community this week to celebrate his retirement. I presented him with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition honoring his years of dedicated work, and I wish him the best of luck in his next chapter!

 Tax Season Reminders 

The deadline to file a 2023 federal tax return or request an extension is April 15, 2024, which is just around the corner. While the lead up to the tax deadline can certainly be stressful, there are a number of resources available online and right here in our community to help make the process easier. Here are some helpful tools and tips:

  • The IRS Free File tool is available here
  • New York State was chosen for the IRS’s Direct File pilot program, which allows eligible New York State residents to file their 2023 federal tax return directly with the IRS. To find out more information—and see if you or your family is eligible—visit directfile.irs.gov 
  • Tax season often brings about many scammers and other bad actors, and it is important to stay vigilant. If you believe you or someone you know is the victim of a scam, you can file a claim here
  • For folks 50 and older, AARP offers assistance with tax filings. Visit their site here to make an appointment! 
  • Empire Justice’ CASH program is accepting tax preparation appointments for Tax Year 2023. Click here to complete their survey, schedule an appointment, or learn more about their available services. 
  • For additional information on the above deadlines, as well as helpful tips for making the filing process easier, please visit this page on the IRS website

If you have a more complex tax-related question, the IRS Office on East Avenue is a resource accessible to you. Visit their site here to get more information about in-person tax help.

Happy Easter! 

From my family to yours, I wish everyone who celebrates a Happy Easter. May it bring joy, peace, and blessings to all.

Warmest personal regards,

Joe Morelle New York’s 25th Congressional District

March 23, 2024 posts

Touring a Washington, D.C. Landmark 

One of my duties as the Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration is to ensure our nation’s landmarks have the resources they need—and one of my favorites happens to be located right next door to the Capitol: the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. This week I received a tour of the building’s famous dome and learned about how we can support the library’s operation for decades to come—all while taking in some breathtaking views of the Capitol and the National Mall.

Strengthening Early Detection Screenings for Cancer 

In June of last year, my colleague Representative Brian Fitzpatrick and I introduced the SCREENS for Cancer Act: bipartisan legislation to help ensure life-saving cancer screening services are more accessible to more people. On Wednesday, after months of dedicated work, our legislation was favorably reported out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, setting it up for a potential vote on the floor of the House of Representatives later this year.

This is an important step forward in our efforts to fight back against cancer and prevent more families from experiencing the pain of a cancer diagnosis. For me, it’s also a way to honor the memory of my daughter, Lauren, by ensuring all women have access to the cancer screening services they need—regardless of income. I look forward to working alongside my colleague, Rep. Fitzpatrick, to build on this momentum and bring our legislation to the House floor for a vote.

Read more: Congressmen Morelle, Fitzpatrick Push for Legislation to Strengthen Resources for Early Cancer Detection

Meeting with New York State Faith Leaders 

I was grateful to be invited by my colleague Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to attend an important discussion with faith leaders from across the state, including many from Rochester.

It is when we come together in conversations like this, to listen and learn, that real progress can be achieved. It was a privilege to hear from these leaders and the congregations they represent about how we can work together to create meaningful solutions to the problems our families face.

I am committed to using my role in Congress to address these challenges by supporting individuals from the ground up—by strengthening affordable housing, education, and job opportunities; by ensuring everyone has access to quality healthcare and childcare; and by working to keep our neighborhoods safe through common-sense gun reform. Through our continued work together, we can—and we will—improve the lives of everyone who calls our community home.

Funding the Government and Delivering for Our Community 

This week, my House colleagues and I voted to pass legislation containing the final six appropriations bills Congress must enact every fiscal year. This action builds on legislation I voted to pass a few weeks ago to fully fund the federal government for Fiscal Year 2024. While we have completed our work on this legislation in the House, the bill must still be passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President to avoid a government shutdown.

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’m proud to have helped craft this legislation which takes steps to lower the cost of living, protect women’s rights, reinforce America’s global leadership, and help better protect our communities from violence. This legislation also prevents the enactment of harmful policies proposed by House Republicans, including measures to restrict women’s reproductive freedoms and make devastating cuts to K-12 and higher education programs across the country.

I’m glad my colleagues and I can now shift our attention to next year’s government funding package. You can count on me to continue working to deliver the best results for Rochester’s families, businesses, and educational institutions throughout this process.

Read more about this appropriations package: Congressman Joe Morelle Takes Action to Fund Federal Government, Deliver Additional Support for Rochester

Looking Ahead to April 8th!

The upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8th has captivated the attention of our community and our country—and as a science enthusiast, I find it particularly fascinating. In the days leading up to this once-in-a-lifetime event, I’m trying to learn everything I can about what to expect before, during, and after the eclipse. Through this pursuit, I was connected to Dr. Grant Tremblay—a University of Rochester AND Rochester Institute of Technology graduate—who works as an astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I had the pleasure of hosting him in Washington for a conversation about solar eclipses, space and the cosmos, and the importance of sustained government investment in science and technology.

Watch my full conversation with Dr. Tremblay on my YouTube channel here.

March 16, 2024 posts

Safeguarding Reproductive Freedom

Women’s History Month should be a time to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of women. But sadly, it is being overshadowed by a continued assault on women’s fundamental rights and freedoms. The recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling affording frozen embryos the same protections as children is the latest attack on reproductive health, jeopardizing the future of in vitro fertilization (IVF) services for thousands of women.

We know National Republicans won’t stop with Alabama, which is why this week I announced my co-sponsorship of the Access to Family Building Act to establish federal protections for IVF. This legislation would create a federal right to access assisted reproductive technology services—such as IVF—and create a private right of action for individuals and healthcare providers in states that have limited access to assisted reproductive technology.

Whether it’s restricting access to IVF, enacting abortion bans, or cutting funding for family planning services, it’s clear extremists across the country will stop at nothing to control women’s healthcare freedom. I’m fighting back, because I refuse to accept a world where lawmakers determine when and how a family can grow.

To learn more about how I’m fighting to protect women’s rights, read here.

Marking National Working Moms Day

Tuesday marked National Working Moms Day, an important time to honor and celebrate the essential work mothers do for their families, their jobs, and their community. Moms are superheroes, but too often they are forced to choose between their career goals and caring for their children.

In honor of working moms and the sacrifices they make every day, I announced steps I’m taking to ease one of the biggest burdens facing families: childcare. I’m sponsoring

legislation to finally make childcare accessible and affordable for everyone, proving the support working families deserve. Read more here.

Continuing the Fight to Combat AI-Generated Deepfakes 

I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability titled “Addressing Real Harm Done by Deepfakes.” The hearing underscored what I have long believed: deepfake pornography is dangerous, abusive, and requires our immediate action.

Over the past year, we’ve seen everyone from celebrities like Taylor Swift to young teenagers victimized by explicit deepfakes. My legislation, the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act, would finally address this and make the sharing of non-consensual deepfakes a federal crime.

My bill continues to gain support in Washington, and I’m going to fight tirelessly to pass it into law and prevent more people from experiencing the emotional and reputational harm caused by deepfakes. Read more about this week’s hearing and my ongoing efforts to combat deepfakes: Congressman Joe Morelle Participates in Oversight Committee Hearing on Dangerous AI-Generated Deepfakes.

Announcing the Congressional Art Competition 

This week, I announced the opening of the 2024 Congressional Art Competition for high school students in New York’s 25th Congressional District! The winner of this annual competition will have the opportunity to have their artwork displayed in the United States Capitol for one year. This is an exciting opportunity to celebrate the amazing artistic talent across Rochester, and I highly encourage students to participate. To learn more about the rules and guidelines for submissions—as well as where to send your artwork—visit my website here. I cannot wait to see all the amazing art we receive!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

Wishing everyone in our community a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Sláinte!

March 8, 2024 posts

March 8, 2024     Dear Markus,     Yesterday evening, I was honored to be in the House Chamber to receive President Biden’s State of the Union Address. We are at a critical juncture for the future of our nation, and in his remarks, President Biden outlined an agenda that rises to this moment and advances our shared democratic values.    My goal has always been to seek practical solutions to the problems our families face. That’s why my colleagues and I have dedicated ourselves to reducing prescription drug costs, improving access to affordable high-quality healthcare, and creating job opportunities. It is also the reason we are committed to safeguarding the fundamental freedoms every American is entitled to, from reproductive rights to voting rights to the right to remain safe from gun violence.    As we look towards the future, I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to continue delivering for the people of Rochester and every hardworking American. You can read my full statement on the President’s State of the Union Address here and read more about my week below. 

Rep. Morelle and Alexis Vogt pose together in Rep. Morelle's office
 Spotlighting Innovation in Rochester 
For each State of the Union Address, I have the privilege of bringing a guest, and this year, I was honored to highlight a dedicated partner in our efforts to advance Rochester’s position as a global leader in innovative technologies: Dr. Alexis Vogt, Endowed Chair & Professor of Optics at Monroe Community College.    Dr. Vogt has been a leader in the high-tech optics field for years, and her work has helped propel our region to the forefront of the innovation economy—including helping to secure our recent designation as a Regional Technology Hub. I was proud to have her as my guest to the State of the Union Address and showcase the vital work she is doing to invest in the future of our workforce and our economy.    Read more about Dr. Vogt, her efforts, and her many contributions to the field of optics in Rochester: Congressman Joe Morelle Names Monroe Community College Professor Alexis Vogt as Guest to State of the Union 
Rep. Morelle speaks at the Great Lakes Breakfast event
  Collaborating with Local Partners 
This week, I had the opportunity to meet with organizations who are doing important work to support our community. Here are a few of the groups I met with:
Rep. Morelle meets with Seanelle Hawkins of the Urban League of Rochester
 I joined a bipartisan group of colleagues for an important discussion about the Great Lakes and our work to strengthen shoreline communities like Rochester. From protecting against flooding to supporting tourism, I’m committed to helping our lakeside communities flourish. 
Rep. Morelle meets with students and educators from the Rochester School for the Deaf
 The Urban League of Rochester continues to invest in communities of color by supporting workforce development, community safety, voting rights and more—driving transformational changes in our neighborhoods.    It was a privilege to host them in Washington, and I look forward to our continued work together. 
Rep. Morelle meets with members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
 Rochester is home to a vibrant deaf and hard-of-hearing community, and we’re truly fortunate to have world-class resources like the Rochester School for the Deaf available to support them.    I’m proud to stand with them and advocate for the equity, accessibility, and opportunity our deaf and hard-of-hearing neighbors deserve. 
I met with members from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to discuss their work to ensure everyone has access to high-quality, equitable maternity care. Together, we’re working to reduce healthcare disparities and support pregnant women and families.
An Update on Federal Government Funding
 This week, my House colleagues and I voted to pass legislation containing six of the twelve appropriations bills Congress must enact every fiscal year. This legislation is a critical step towards fully funding the federal government and makes important strides to improve community safety, uplift families, strengthen our economy, bolster investments in innovation, and more. In addition, included in this bill is $11.5 million in funding I helped secure as a part of the Community Project Funding process for 15 programs and organization in Monroe County.    As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’m proud to have helped craft this legislation which not only delivers for our communities but prevents the enactment of harmful policies proposed by House Republicans, including measures to restrict women’s reproductive freedoms and reduce law enforcement’s ability to combat gun violence.    Over the coming weeks, I’m looking forward to continuing my work with Leader Jeffries and my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee to complete the process of fully funding our federal government. I will continue to share updates as these proceedings continue.    Read more about the Appropriations Package: Congressman Joe Morelle Votes to Enact Funding Package to Invest in Our Community, Safeguard Critical Programs      Please know my office is always here to help. Visit morelle.house.gov to learn more about how we can assist you and your family.    Warmest personal regards,    Joe Morelle  New York’s 25th Congressional District 

March 1, 2024 posts

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Today marks the start of Women’s History Month—a time to honor the many women who broke down barriers and pioneered change in the fight for equality. From Susan B. Anthony to my dear friend Louise Slaughter, I’m constantly inspired by our community’s rich history of fighting for women’s rights.    As these rights continue to come under threat across the country, it’s more important than ever to remain vigilant in our efforts to protect the freedoms all women deserve. Read more here about how I’m working to protect reproductive healthcare, expand voting rights, secure equal pay for equal work, and more. 
Markus Triple-Negative Breast Awareness Day
Every year on March 3rd, we recognize Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Day: a time to come together, raise awareness, and recommit to supporting those impacted by this devastating disease.    For me, this day is personal. My daughter, Lauren, battled Triple-Negative Breast Cancer for two years with incredible strength and tenacity.    While Triple-Negative Breast Cancer only accounts for 10-12% of breast cancers, it disproportionately effects younger women and women of color and accounts for nearly 25% of breast cancer deaths annually. Lauren passed away in 2017, but I remain committed to doing everything I can in Congress to support others facing this diagnosis—which is why this week I proudly introduced a resolution to honor Triple Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Day, foster greater public awareness and understanding of TNBC, and encourage the early detection and prompt treatment of this disease.    To the thousands of men and women battling triple-negative breast cancer: my heart is with you and your families, this Sunday and every day. I remain committed to working for greater education, research, and action to end cancer as we know it. 
Update on Governmental Funding
Yesterday, I cast my vote in favor of another short-term funding bill to avert a catastrophic government shutdown. This is the fourth instance in the past seven months where I’ve supported such a measure, and while it is far from a perfect solution, I believe this will bring us closer to reaching a final bipartisan spending agreement soon.    In the coming weeks, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee to debate and pass full-year appropriations bills. I will continue to provide updates as the situation progresses. 
Continuing the Fight for Equity

This weekend, I’m heading to Selma, Alabama to join leaders from across the country for this year’s Selma Jubilee, a commemoration of the 59th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches, Bloody Sunday, and the signing of the Voting Rights Act. These events were pivotal to advancing the civil rights and voting rights movements. 

I’m humbled by the opportunity to visit a community so steeped in history and reflect on the events that have been catalysts for change and progress. I look forward to meeting with leaders and discussing how we can continue working towards full equity, equality, and justice for every American.

Feb. 25, 2024 posts

 Honoring the Late Congressman John Lewis 
 This week we celebrated what would have been Congressman John Lewis’s 84th birthday. John Lewis dedicated his life to the fight for racial equality, standing up for disadvantaged people everywhere and remaining relentless in his pursuit of justice. He was a champion of civil rights—and our nation is a better place because of him and his efforts.   His passing in 2020 was a tragic day for us all, but his legacy lives on through the work we do to advance the causes he held so dear. In his honor, I am proud to cosponsor and lead the fight to enact H.R. 14, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The right to vote in free and fair elections is the bedrock of our democracy, but sadly, it has come under attack. Just over ten years ago, the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) and unleashed a wave of discriminatory state laws targeting voters and restricting voting access. The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would undo many of these restrictive policies and restore the VRA to its full authority.   As the Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration—which maintains oversight over federal elections—I’m committed to using my role to continue John Lewis’s efforts. Together, we honor the legacy of this trailblazer and continue the fight to help bring America closer to its foundational promise.

 Looking Forward to the Solar Eclipse 

In just a few weeks, on April 8, Rochester will be in the center of a Total Solar Eclipse—for the first time in nearly 100 years! This is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime event not just for our community, but for those traveling to Rochester to be in the heart of the path of totality. I cannot wait to welcome neighbors and tourists alike to the many events taking place at the Rochester Museum and Science Center and across our community.   Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson once said: “The day we stop exploring is the day we commit ourselves to live in a stagnant world, devoid of curiosity, empty of dreams.” Here’s to making sure that never happens by continuing to explore, discover, and celebrate the wonders of space together.   Click here to learn more about events happening in our community and where you and your family can witness this once-in-a-lifetime event!

 Tax Season Resources for Our Community 

The deadline to file a 2023 federal tax return or request an extension is April 15, 2024, which just under two months away. While this time of year can certainly be stressful, there are a number of resources available online and right here in our community to help make the process easier, including: The IRS Free File tool, which is available here. New York State was also chosen for the IRS’s Direct File pilot program, which allows eligible New York State residents to file their 2023 federal tax return directly with the IRS. To find out more information—and see if you or your family is eligible—visit directfile.irs.gov. Tax season often brings about many scammers and other bad actors, and it is important to stay vigilant. If you believe you or someone you know is the victim of a scam, you can file a claim here. For folks 50 and older, AARP offers assistance with tax filings. Visit their site here to make an appointment! Empire Justice’ CASH program is accepting tax preparation appointments for Tax Year 2023. Click here to complete their survey, schedule an appointment, or learn more about their available services. For additional information on the above deadlines, as well as helpful tips for making the filing process easier, please visit this page on the IRS website. If you have a more complex tax-related question, the IRS Office on East Avenue is a resource accessible to you. Visit their site here to get more information about in-person tax help. As more resources become available to our community, I will continue to provide additional updates. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact my office or visit morelle.house.gov to learn more about how we can assist you and your family.   Warmest personal regards,   Joe Morelle New York’s 25th Congressional District

Feb .18, 2024 posts

Fighting for Greater Accessibility 

This past weekend, many of us here in Rochester were excited to watch our own Daniel Durant perform an American Sign Language (ASL) performance of the Star-Spangled Banner during the Super Bowl pre-game show. Sadly, Daniel and the other two ASL performers were never shown during their performances, a decision which alienated millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans.

Rochester is the proud home of a large and vibrant deaf and hard-of-hearing community, and as the representative of this community, I’ve continually fought to expand understanding and accessibility for our deaf neighbors. After seeing this blatant disregard for accessibility by the NFL and CBS, I knew I had a responsibility to act. On Monday, I sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Goodell and CBS President Reisenbach calling out this unacceptable decision and urging them to be more intentional about displaying ASL interpreters in future broadcasts.

The NFL and CBS have failed to live up to the standards of equity, diversity, and inclusion they claim to value, and I hope they take the necessary steps to do better in the future. Read more: Congressman Joe Morelle Calls Out NFL, CBS for Failure to Broadcast American Sign Language Performances During Super Bowl LVIII

 Pushing for Action on Deepfakes 
Over the past few months, I’ve updated you on my ongoing efforts to combat explicit deepfakes, which are spreading across the internet like wildfire and targeting everyone from celebrities like Taylor Swift to young teenagers.
 
I’m tired of the continued inaction in Washington on this deeply disturbing trend. This week, I called on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to immediately take action on my legislation, the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act, so we can finally make the sharing of non-consensual deepfakes a federal crime.
 
Read my letter to Chairman Jordan: Congressman Joe Morelle Calls On House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to Take Action on Deepfake Pornography
 Welcoming Rochester to Washington 
This week, I had the opportunity to host organizations from across New York State who are doing important work to support our community. Here are a few of the groups I met with this week:
 

Community health centers are the unsung heroes of our healthcare system, helping ensure underserved communities can access the medical services they need. On Wednesday, I met with representatives from community health centers across New York State to discuss our continued work together to improve healthcare outcomes in our state. I’m proud to continue my work in Congress to help get them more support and resources so they can reach even more people in our community

It’s simple: reproductive care IS healthcare, but sadly, far too many women in this country cannot access the services they need. It was great to spend time with Physicians for Reproductive Health, an organization committed to advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. Together, we’re continuing the fight against a national abortion ban and helping ensure reproductive healthcare is accessible for all.

 Honoring Two Rochester Icons 

This week marked the birthdays of two Rochester icons: Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. These two famous Rochesterians were on the frontlines of the fight for equality, and their profound legacy is still felt to this day. As we remember and honor these two leaders, let us recommit to continuing down the path they blazed for us—renewed in our commitment to achieve true equality for all.

 Showing Our Appreciation for Our Veterans 
Our office celebrated Valentine’s Day by delivering homemade valentines to the Veterans Outreach Center, who will be sharing them with local veterans. Thank you to everyone who sent in cards from far and wide to help show our appreciation for the many brave veterans in our community!
 
Please know my office is always here to help. Visit morelle.house.gov to learn more about how we can assist you and your family.

Feb 10 posts

 Supporting Our Educational Institutions 
 Joe Morelle meets with local college and university leaders
It’s always great when I can meet with leaders from some of Rochester’s world-class higher education institutions! This week, I was joined in Washington by my good friends Nazareth University President Dr. Elizabeth Paul, Rochester Institute of Technology Associate Vice President of Government and Community Relations Maya Temperley, and others to discuss our ongoing efforts together to increase educational accessibility and ensure our students have everything they need to thrive. I’m grateful for our partnership and look forward to continuing our work together.
 Welcoming Our Athletes to Washington 
 Rep. Morelle meets with members of New York State’s Special Olympics delegation
On Tuesday, I was honored to welcome members of our New York State Special Olympics delegation to Washington for their annual Special Olympics Hill Day.   The dedication these athletes display is an inspiration to us all, and I cannot wait to watch them compete in their respective events. Best of luck!

Posts from February 2, 2024

 Advocating for Greater Online Protections 
 Reb. Morelle speaks with Poppy Harlow on CNN
The recent incident involving AI-generated explicit images of Taylor Swift was appalling and shined a stark light on why we must take immediate action to address this disturbing trend. My legislation, the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act, would finally make the non-consensual sharing of deepfakes illegal and establish both civil and criminal penalties.   On Tuesday morning, I joined Poppy Harlow and Bill Mattingly on CNN This Morning to talk about my bill. Deepfakes don’t just happen to celebrities—they’re happening to women and girls everywhere, every day. We need to put a stop to this, which is why I’ll continue working to get my legislation signed into law.   Watch my conversation with Poppy Harlow here.
 Supporting Local Pet Owners 
 Rep. Morelle, local leaders stand at Rochester Emergency Veterinary Services
Since the closure of Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services in 2023, I have been actively working with partners in our community to identify practical solutions to meet the needs of Rochester pet owners. Just before Christmas, I joined County Executive Adam Bello to announce new funding for a group of local veterinarians to open a new emergency clinic—and today, we got to celebrate its grand opening.   Pets are beloved members of our families, and I’m going to continue my efforts to help ensure they can always receive the care necessary to live happy, healthy lives.   Read more: Congressman Joe Morelle and Community Leaders Celebrate the Grand Opening of Rochester Emergency Veterinary Services   To learn more about Rochester Emergency Veterinary Services and their hours, click here.
 Strengthening Our Manufacturing Industry 
 Read more: Congressman Joe Morelle Announces Passage of Legislation He Authored to Protect America’s Manufacturers
This week in Washington we passed the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, a bipartisan bill designed to help uplift individuals, families, and businesses alike. One of the hallmark provisions in this legislation is the restoration of an expanded Child Tax Credit—a benefit that will positively impact an estimated 36,000 children right here in our community. While the measures passed were not quite as extensive as I would have hoped, this is still an important step forward in providing much-needed support for families.   I’m also particularly proud this legislation includes provisions I authored to protect our manufacturing community by ending a harmful tax hike. These changes will allow for greater investment in manufacturing firms, strengthening many of the businesses and organizations which make up the backbone of our economy.  
 Honoring Black History Month 
 
February is Black History Month, a time to honor the many Black leaders who have been catalysts for change in our community, our country, and across the world.   While Black History Month should always be a celebration of how far we’ve come, it’s also an important reminder of the work still necessary to achieve true equality for every American. As we commemorate this month, let us continue to reflect on the past and recommit to our work to build a more just and equitable society for all.
 Valentines for Veterans 
Help spread some love to the brave veterans across our region by participating in Valentines For Veterans! Send in valentines or homemade cards to our office by February 13th and help us show our gratitude for their service—past and present.
How to participate:
Grab your art supplies or write a note to a local veteran.
Please mail or drop off your valentines at our office at 255 East Ave, Suite 150, Rochester, NY 14604.
Questions? Please email brooke.strausbaugh@mail.house.gov
 
Please know my office is always here to help. Visit morelle.house.gov to learn more about how we can assist you and your family.   

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