Today’s Congressional odds and ends

Eshoo recovering from surgery: Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, underwent a successful laparoscopic appendectomy at Stanford Hospital yesterday and is making a full recovery, her office reported this morning. There were no complications from the surgery, performed by Dr. Karen Whang. Eshoo, 68, will be working from home for the rest of the week, her office said.

Barbara Lee (Dec-2010)Lee praises flights to Cuba: Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, announced that Oakland International Airport has received authorization by the United States Customs and Border Protection to become the first Bay Area airport offering direct charter passenger flights to Cuba. The decision to allow scheduled flights to Cuba is part of a broader effort by President Barack Obama to reach out to the Cuban people for academic, religious, humanitarian and news-gathering purposes. “This new charter is another important step in moving beyond the outdated Cold War era policies of the past and turning to a new, productive page in U.S.-Cuba relations and hopefully will lead to more travel and exchange with Cuba,” Lee said in a news release. “I have always believed that people-to-people diplomacy is the one of the most effective ways for strengthening ties between two nations. I am hopeful that today’s announcement will lead to many more Bay Area residents taking advantage of the opportunity to directly engage with the Cuban people.”

Miller strikes back on health care: Republicans from the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee held a field hearing yesterday in Evansville, Ind., on “The Recent Health Care Law: Consequences for Indiana Families and Workers,” and Rep. George Miller – the committee’s ranking Democrat – fired back with a column published today in the local paper. “Unfortunately, the hearing was more of the same and ignored the positive impacts the Affordable Care Act will have on Hoosiers,” Miller, D-Martinez, wrote in Evansville’s Courier & Press. “This is unfortunate. The new law has begun to deliver real benefits for Hoosier businesses, families and seniors. You deserve the truth on what the law does. Despite all of the heated rhetoric, health reform succeeded and the sky has not fallen.”