(WTNH) – Congress finally has a new Speaker of the House and is back doing the work of the nation. Several of those measures are being led by our Connecticut delegation.

A report released by the select committee on the Modernization of Congress said House members should get reimbursed for cost-of-living expenses while in Washington D.C.

In a response late last year, Democratic members quietly changed House rules to allow lawmakers to be reimbursed for lodging, food, and other items.

According to an estimate based on current government rates, this could amount to a tax-free $34,000 pay bump. Rank-and-file members make $174,000 a year, but many of them maintain two homes. One in districts and one in Washington. 

Members have not gotten a pay increase for 14 years and regularly vote against the automatic cost of living increases. News 8 reached out to our delegation but did not hear a response back.

In the meantime, there are talks surrounding another package of aid to Ukraine.

The Defense Authorization Bill and spending package passed by Congress included more money. Congressman Joe Courtney from eastern Connecticut told News 8, our country’s military stockpiles including artillery, anti-aircraft missiles, and technology are depleted.

Congressman Joe Courtney from the 2nd District says, “Companies like Raytheon are suddenly realizing that if they want to replenish javelin missiles, they really have to scramble to get these production lines hot again.”

He said he has not seen this kind of depletion since World War two.

Courtney said it’s critical to help our own military but continue to find a balance when helping those fighting on the front line in Ukraine.

Congress is also hoping to further close the financial gap between the rich and the poor in the United States. “Sex in the City” actress Sarah Jessica Parker is lending her voice and story to a congressional project aimed at closing the financial gap.

The Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, Chaired by Congressman Jim Himes from Fairfield County put together a report and documentary on how to make it more affordable to live in the United States.

As the documentary opens the voice of Sarah Jessica Parker says “the American dream is out of reach for too many people.”

Congressman Jim Himes, Chair of the House Select Committee is front and center saying “In the Wealthiest country in the world most people are struggling economically in one way or another.”

The viewer is revealed to the narrator Parker on the big screen. “I’m Sarah Jessica Parker. Almost everyone has a story of economic challenges and hurdles. I know what that is like.”

“You know, Netflix or HBO isn’t going to distribute it, but we’re hoping that there will be continued interest in showing it around the country,” said Himes, who represents the fourth district. Several Universities will also hold watch parties for the documentary. 

Federal legislation on solutions from the report is pending.