One-Year Report

Letter From Senator Ossoff

On January 20, 2021, I took the oath of office to serve Georgia in the U.S. Senate.

Every day since, I’ve sought to serve our state with excellence, humility, and a relentless focus on results.

Here are some of those results:

In my first year, we passed a historic bipartisan infrastructure bill — long overdue, and the most significant American infrastructure investment in generations.

That bipartisan infrastructure bill — now law — will upgrade transit, rail, roads, bridges, seaports, and airports across Georgia.

It will make an unprecedented investment in broadband internet access for rural and low-income communities.

It includes provisions I championed to remove lead pipes from our drinking water systems. It will build an electric vehicle charging infrastructure across our state. And it invests in the resilience of Georgia’s coast, helping local communities prepare for storm surge, coastal flooding, and tropical storms.

COVID relief legislation we passed at the height of the pandemic delivered economic support to families and small businesses, reinforced Georgia’s hospitals and health clinics with hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency resources, rushed over $4 billion to Georgia’s public schools, and ensured lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines have been free and available to every Georgian.

The Senate passed my bipartisan bills to reduce violence, crime, and civil rights abuses in prisons and to help communities tackle the opioid epidemic. My legislation to help communities plan public transit systems passed Congress and became law. And the U.S. House passed my bills to supercharge American solar manufacturing and to make solar installations more affordable for families and businesses.

I intervened in an international trade dispute that threatened one of the most significant economic projects in Georgia history, brokering a deal between two Korean industrial titans to save the $2.6 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Commerce, Georgia, and the thousands of jobs it will create in our state.

And I’ve represented Georgia and our state’s values on the world stage, leading the Senate’s effort to accelerate a cease-fire during the brutal war in Israel and the Palestinian Territories last spring, and pitching further investment in Georgia to global manufacturers of cars, semiconductors, batteries, and clean energy technologies.

I have worked to advance the causes of civil rights and voting rights, authoring landmark voting rights legislation — the Right to Vote Act — that would establish the first-ever statutory guarantee of voting rights for American citizens. My bill empowers citizens to challenge in court any policy that diminishes ballot access for eligible voters, and I will keep fighting to ensure equal access to the ballot for every American voter.

I will continue to be a champion for those who serve and have served. I’ve worked to hold private contractors, the Pentagon, and the VA accountable for substandard housing, for environmental contamination that threatens the health of military families, and for incompetence in the service of Georgia veterans.

I have championed anti-corruption measures, leading the effort to ban stock trading by members of Congress — over the objections of some in my own party — and cosponsoring legislation to ban secret money from political campaigns.

Meanwhile I continue to refuse political contributions from lobbyists and from corporate PACs. I don’t work for them or for any political party. I work only for you.

My team and I have provided constituent service to thousands of Georgians — helping veterans secure the benefits they earned defending our country, helping seniors access Medicare and Social Security, helping small businesses access COVID relief, solving passport and visa problems for constituents, and more. We are here for you however we can help you.

These are challenging times.

COVID continues to take a terrible toll, disrupting our lives and our economy. Our polarized politics and culture threaten to overwhelm our commitments to each other as fellow Americans and human beings.

But we must and will work through these challenges together.

America remains on a journey toward fuller and fuller realization of our founding ideals, so long as we do not allow our political divisions to tear us apart.

It is an honor to represent you as we rise together to the challenges of our times.

Never hesitate to contact me however and whenever I can help you.

— Senator Jon Ossoff

Get Help From the Office

If you need assistance with any aspect of the Federal government — ranging from issues with the VA, Social Security, Medicaid, Passport delays, and more — you can reach our casework team from our website’s Services section, or call the Atlanta office at 470-786-7800.

Year in Review

Funding for Georgia:

$30 billion
from legislation

$1.74 billion
from grants

Correspondence with constituents:

28,720
calls

319,856
letters

Bills, resolutions, and amendments:

50
pieces of legislation sponsored

171
pieces of legislation

co-sponsored

2
bipartisan standalone bills passed the Senate

1
sponsored bill signed into law

6
co-sponsored bills signed into law

Constituent casework:

1,249
cases closed

$1,371,793
constituent savings

Events in-state:

Themes

A Historic, Bipartisan Investment in Infrastructure

For decades, America has neglected its infrastructure.

In his first year, Senator Ossoff shaped and delivered the most significant infrastructure bill in generations.

That bill — now law — is upgrading transit, rail, roads, bridges, seaports, and airports across Georgia.

It is funding an unprecedented expansion of broadband internet access in rural and low-income communities.

It includes provisions Senator Ossoff championed to remove lead pipes from our schools and drinking water systems.

It will build an electric vehicle charging infrastructure across Georgia.

And it invests in the resilience of Georgia’s coast, helping local communities prepare for storm surge, coastal flooding, and tropical storms.

The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package passed in August included Senator Ossoff’s Local Transit Planning Support Act, which will boost funding for transit planning in low-income and low-density communities.

The bill includes $55 billion for clean water nationwide — the largest single investment in clean water in history, which Senator Ossoff fought hard to include — and support for broadband internet across Georgia. The bill will make historic investments in Georgia’s public transportation systems, delivering over $1.3 billion in the next five years to transit operators across the state.

After pushing the Biden Administration, Senator Ossoff also secured $16.4 million to expand the development of metro Atlanta’s renowned BeltLine greenway. He continues working to secure more funding for the BeltLine and other vital community projects through the appropriations process.

Economic Relief for Georgia Families

Senator Ossoff took office at a pivotal moment, with the pandemic at its worst and the economy reeling.

Senator Ossoff and his colleagues passed economic relief for families in Georgia and nationwide — including $1,400 stimulus checks and a historic tax cut for working- and middle-class families with children.

The COVID relief bill also delivered more than $4 billion for Georgia’s public schools to safely re-open, hundreds of millions of dollars to strengthen Georgia’s hospitals and clinics during the pandemic, and $140 million to spare Georgia families from eviction during the pandemic.

Making Vaccines Freely and Widely Available

In addition to economic relief, the COVID relief bill made COVID-19 vaccines free and available to all Americans. As the pandemic dragged on, widespread access to vaccines prevented countless cases of serious illness and reduced the risk of exposure.

Senator Ossoff inspected vaccination sites throughout Georgia to ensure they were running smoothly and had the capacity to serve Georgians who wanted the COVID-19 vaccine.

Direct COVID Relief for Local Governments

To keep teachers, police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers, and health professionals on the job, Senator Ossoff secured billions in emergency funds for cities and counties across Georgia to sustain vital public services during the pandemic, working with bipartisan local leaders to direct resources where they were most needed.

Senator Ossoff was a leader of the effort to ensure these resources went not to the largest cities and counties — but also to smaller cities, towns, and rural communities across Georgia.

Getting Our Kids Safely Back in School

The closure of schools due to COVID-19 was a tremendous burden on children and their families.

That’s why Senator Ossoff secured over $4 billion in emergency funding for Georgia’s public schools to help them reopen safely.

The Senator met with school administrators throughout Georgia to brief them on these new Federal resources, hear their concerns, and share how his office could help get children safely back in the classroom.

Senator Ossoff led the charge to secure funding to remove lead pipes from our public schools, which passed as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

He also helped secure $500 million in the bipartisan infrastructure bill to make critical upgrades at public schools in Georgia and across the country to make them safer and more energy efficient.

Leading on Voting Rights

Senator Ossoff has worked to advance Federal voting rights protections to ensure all eligible voters can conveniently access the ballot.

Senator Ossoff introduced several landmark voting rights bills in 2021:

The landmark Right to Vote Act creates the first-ever voting rights guarantee in Federal law — empowering citizens to challenge in court state or local policies that diminish ballot access.

The Voters’ Access to Water Act protects non-partisan, good-Samaritan volunteers who provide water to voters waiting in line outside polling places.

The Polling Place Protection Act protects election workers and polling places from various threats.

In October, Senator Ossoff chaired a historic U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021, which would restore key protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to ensure changes to voting laws do not disproportionately and negatively impact minority communities.

Supporting Georgia’s HBCUs and Colleges/Universities

Senator Ossoff is a champion for Georgia’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and delivered for them in his first year in office.

Immediately upon taking office, Senator Ossoff sat down with Senate leadership and demanded that HBCUs receive unprecedented support.

The Senator’s efforts delivered $250 million in grants to Georgia’s HBCUs, a lifeline and a historic long-term investment for these vital institutions.

Tens of millions of dollars went directly to student financial aid and debt relief.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee unanimously passed his bipartisan legislation in August to boost cutting-edge cybersecurity education programs at HBCUs.

Senator Ossoff demanded that the Department of Education make historic Morris Brown College eligible again for Federal financial aid. Just days later, the Education Secretary announced he would do so.

Senator Ossoff held a public town hall at Savannah State University to hear directly from students and have an open discussion about how he can best serve them in the U.S. Senate.

At Albany State University, Senator Ossoff met with students and the community about legislation he is championing to finally secure equal pay for Black women.

He hosted Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to Fort Valley State University to meet with Black farmers and outline their work to finally deliver decades-overdue support.

The American Rescue Plan also brought over $1 billion to Georgia’s colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education, of which $600 million went directly to student financial aid.

Supporting Georgia’s Small Businesses

Senator Ossoff led a successful effort to extend the deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program relief funding for small businesses that were hit hard by the pandemic. This helped ensure Georgia businesses could keep their doors open and protect their employees.

The COVID relief bill also ensured other small businesses got the support they needed, including restaurants and live venues.

In his first year in office, Senator Ossoff’s office helped Georgia small businesses directly with casework to secure over a million dollars to small business owners in Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) needed to keep them afloat during the pandemic.

Keeping Georgia Families Safe

In March, Senator Ossoff pressed FBI Director Christopher Wray to determine and assess the forces driving the increase in violence across Georgia, and he followed up to hold him accountable a few months later.

Senator Ossoff also secured a key commitment from the Deputy Attorney General to address the causes of the violent crime waves in Georgia and nationwide.

In the summer, Senator Ossoff secured pledges from several top law enforcement agency nominees to personally visit Georgia and coordinate efforts between Federal and local officials to distribute resources and knowledge to address the rise.

In July, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation backed by Senator Ossoff to provide more funding for services and programs to help victims of violent crime and increase funds available for thousands of victim service providers nationwide, including programs that serve victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, and child abuse.

Supporting Georgia’s Military Families and Veterans

In his first year in office, Senator Ossoff inspected many of Georgia’s military installations, meeting with both senior commanders and junior enlisted personnel.

Hearing serious concerns about the state of housing for military families, Senator Ossoff has worked to hold private contractors and the Department of Defense accountable for housing conditions at Georgia bases.

Senator Ossoff has championed Georgia’s veterans, holding VA leaders accountable and co-leading legislation to ensure combat veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned.

Senator Ossoff demanded answers from Atlanta VA leadership over lost mail, broken phones, and and barriers to care, then cosponsored bipartisan legislation to hold the VA to higher standards.

Senator Ossoff has co-led legislation to improve veterans’ mental health care, reduce veteran homelessness, and address food insecurity for servicemembers.

Supporting Georgia’s Immigrant Communities

Senator Ossoff is a champion for Georgia’s immigrant communities— his mom is an immigrant herself.

He is working to protect DREAMers and to establish a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are vital contributors to our communities and otherwise follow the law.

As Senator Ossoff has said, millions of hardworking immigrants in communities across America deserve the dignity and protection of citizenship.

In spring of 2021, Senators Ossoff and Reverend Warnock stood together with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in Atlanta after the tragic murders of eight Asian Americans to demand justice and condemn anti-Asian hate.

Senator Ossoff then helped pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which strengthens Department of Justice enforcement of COVID-19-related hate crimes against Asian-Americans.

At a July Judiciary Committee hearing, Senator Ossoff pressed Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the treatment of immigrant farmworkers in Georgia in nationwide and supporting stronger policies to protect them from low wages, discriminatory practices, and inhumane working conditions.

Senator Ossoff is working to reunite families divided by the Korean War. He co-sponsored the bipartisan Korean War Divided Families Reunification Act, which would establish a process to reunite Korean Americans separated from their families during the Korean War.

Senator Ossoff also co-sponsored legislation to protect immigrants who have served in the U.S. Military and put their lives on the line in defense of our country.

Leadership on Clean Energy and the Environment

Senator Ossoff’s vision is for Georgia to lead the nation in clean energy and renewable energy technologies. He introduced and advanced legislation to supercharge domestic solar manufacturing and make it more affordable for families to install solar panels and energy efficient technologies at home.

His Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, which has passed the House of Representatives, will create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs in Georgia and nationwide and accelerate the transition to clean energy and American energy independence.

In spring of 2021, Senator Ossoff negotiated a deal between two South Korean companies to save a $2.6 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Commerce, Georgia, that will create thousands of Georgia jobs. As a trade complaint threatened the plant’s future, with the two sides at odds, Senator Ossoff stepped in to bring the companies back to the table and reach a settlement.

Senator Ossoff stood up to protect Georgia’s precious natural habitat and environment. This spring, he surveyed the Okefenokee Swamp and met with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials. With a titanium mine proposal near the wildlife refuge posing a danger, Senator Ossoff urged greater scrutiny of the project and later called on the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore Federal oversight over the swamp and protect it.

Holding the Executive Branch Accountable

When he was elected, Senator Ossoff pledged to work for the people of Georgia, not any political party.

He’s worked to hold the Executive Branch accountable and gotten results.

Alongside several of his colleagues, Senator Ossoff pressed the Biden Administration for information on the severe testing shortages and delays as the Omicron variant spread.

Alongside Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, Senator Ossoffcalled on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to change a policy keeping thousands of Black families living on inherited land from receiving disaster aid — and weeks later, FEMA did.

In numerous hearings, Senator Ossoff has held the Executive Branch accountable for oversight, including demanding answers from the FBI and DOJ on the rise of violence, and from the Bureau of Prisons on their failures to protect the civil and human rights of staff and those incarcerated, and about their severe staffing shortages.

Senator Ossoff then introduced bipartisan legislation to reduce violence and civil rights abuses in America’s prisons, which later passed the U.S. Senate.

When rural hospitals across Georgia hospitals were in desperate need of Federal assistance to help keep Georgians healthy, Senator Ossoff led the charge to call on the Department of Health and Human Services to release more money for rural hospitals — and they did. Senator Ossoff helped secure over $300 million.

Leadership Abroad

In August and September, Senator Ossoff met with heads of state and key political, diplomatic, and military leaders in the Middle East and Greece during a congressional mission focused on strengthening U.S. national security, Middle East peace, and international cooperation.

Senator Ossoff and the delegation held high-level bilateral meetings in Beirut, Lebanon; Jerusalem, Israel; and Ramallah in the West Bank; Tunis, Tunisia; Athens, Greece; and U.S. Naval Support Activity Souda Bay in Greece.

In November, Senator Ossoff led an economic delegation to South Korea to secure more international investment in Georgia. He met with the leaders of Hyundai Motor Group, Kia Corporation, and SK Group to urge further economic investments in Georgia.

While in the Republic of Korea, he also inspected U.S. and South Korean troops along the border between North and South Korea — also known as the demilitarized zone, or DMZ.

Supporting Peace in the Middle East

In May 2021, as war in Israel and the Palestinian Territories took hundreds of lives and threatened to spiral into a regional conflict, Senator Ossoff led the Senate effort to accelerate a cease-fire.

He recruited dozens of Senate colleagues to the effort, helping expedite negotiation of a ceasefire agreement to save civilian lives and reduce the risk to U.S. national security interests in the region.

Assisting Georgians in the Afghanistan Evacuation

Senator Ossoff mobilized his office to assist constituents who needed help during the August 2021 evacuation of Kabul.

Working closely with the Department of State and the Department of Defense, Senator Ossoff was able to assist Americans and Afghans who had supported U.S. military operations who sought urgent evacuation from Afghanistan. His efforts helped re-unite dozens of Georgia families who feared they would lose their loved ones in Afghanistan to Taliban reprisals.

Recruiting a Strong & Diverse Judiciary

In March, Senators Ossoff and Warnock formed a historic Federal Nominations Advisory Commission to review applicants for open Federal judicial, U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Marshall positions in Georgia.

The 2021 Commission was composed of a diverse group of attorneys, judges, civil rights leaders, and criminal justice reform advocates, all of whom bring a wide array of experience to advise the Senators.

The 2021 Commission was led by Judge Leah Ward Sears, the former Chief Justice of Georgia’s Supreme Court and the first African American female Supreme Court Chief Justice in the country.

In September, President Biden accepted the Senators’ recommendations and nominated Victoria Marie Calvert and Sarah Elisabeth Geraghty to serve on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Calvert would become the second Black female judge for the Northern District of Georgia and the first former Federal public defender to become a district court judge in Georgia.

Geraghty would become the first civil rights attorney to become a district court judge in Georgia.

Senator Ossoff introduced them at their hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and secured bipartisan committee support for their confirmation.

In November, President Biden once again accepted the Senators’ recommendation and nominated Ryan K. Buchanan, with a strong counterterrorism and national security background as a federal prosecutor, to serve as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

Working Across the Aisle to Deliver for Georgia

During his campaign, Senator Ossoff pledged to work with anyone interested in advancing Georgia’s interests, regardless of party. In his first year in office, he introduced several pieces of bipartisan legislation and shepherded some through Senate passage.

The Prison Camera Reform Act of 2021 and the Rural Opioid Abuse Prevention Act, both introduced with Senator Grassley (R-IA), have already passed in the Senate, a big accomplishment for a first-year Senator.

The Cybersecurity Opportunity Act with Senators Tillis (R-NC), Scott (R-SC), Cornyn (R-TX), and Rounds (R-SD) passed committee and continues building momentum.

Senator Ossoff also introduced the HELPERS Act, supporting more affordable homeownership for first responders and teachers with Senator Rubio (R-FL), and the HBCU National Security Innovation Act with Senator Scott (SC) to help prepare HBCU students for job opportunities in the national security field.

Senators Ossoff and Scott (SC) also jointly — and successfully — called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to change a policy keeping thousands of Black families living on inherited land from receiving disaster aid.

In-State Casework Highlights

Every day, caseworkers in our State Office help Georgians navigate government bureaucracies to get the services, resources, and benefits they are having trouble securing on their own. Here are just a few examples of how Senator Ossoff’s staff can cut through red tape and get you what you need.

If you need assistance with any aspect of the Federal government — ranging from issues with the VA, Social Security, Medicaid, Passport delays, and more — you can reach our casework team from our website’s Services section, or call the Atlanta office at 470-786-7800.

* * *

Immigration

When a Georgian contacted Senator Ossoff’s office in November 2021 for help expediting a travel document so they could care for their father-in-law recovering from COVID-19, they had been waiting nearly a year for an update. Within one month, the office was able to get the documents approved by USCIS.

Veterans, Servicemembers, and Military Families

A disabled veteran had been relying on others for transportation while struggling with the VA to get an electric wheelchair and have a lift installed on their truck. They contacted Senator Ossoff’s office in July 2021, and by September, the chair was delivered and the installation completed, restoring their independence.

Small Businesses 

A small business owner contacted Senator Ossoff’s office for assistance with a SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan modification increase. The office was able to get the SBA to approve $300,000 in funding for the loan modification, which supported 12 employees’ salaries and helped draw down the company’s debts. The business owner shared that Senator Ossoff’s office was more successful than any other congressional office they had asked for assistance.

Social Security

A Georgian was unable to apply for Social Security retirement benefits on their deceased spouse’s record without a copy of their marriage certificate. After they engaged with Senator Ossoff’s office in September 2021, they were able to get the marriage certificate within one week and had a successful appointment with the Social Security Administration the following week.

Georgia Department of Labor

A single parent did not receive approved State unemployment payments for five months in early 2021. They contacted Senator Ossoff’s office for help, and staff were able to get the Georgia Department of Labor to deposit the payments in full in their account within one week.

Taxes and IRS

A schoolteacher and small business owner only received the first of two 2021 stimulus checks and requested assistance from Senator Ossoff’s office. After opening an inquiry with the IRS, the office was notified that the check had been processed and received.

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