Dear Friend,

With the season of thanksgiving upon us, I first want to share my deepest gratitude for the support of the people of southern and eastern Kentucky who instilled their trust and confidence in me to serve another term as U.S. Representative for the Fifth Congressional District of Kentucky. If I can ever be of assistance to you, please stop by my office in Somerset, Hazard, Prestonsburg or DC, or give me a call at 1-800-632-8588. You can also click here to send me an email.

We owe our greatest gratitude to the men and women across the nation who have worn the military uniforms of the U.S. Armed Forces to protect this great Nation, secure our borders and protect our freedoms. On Veterans Day, I had the tremendous honor of speaking to local Veterans during a celebration at Texas Roadhouse in Somerset. World War II Veteran, Boyd Begley, was part of the glider infantry that silently landed in France on D-Day in 1944. His bravery during the Normandy invasion is the truest form of heroism, and Mr. Begley told me he'd do it again for our country. I salute Mr. Begley and all of our veterans. Let us continue showing our appreciation this holiday season for our men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. May God Bless America!

As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, I am tasked with leading the strategy to fund the federal government for the rest of the year and preparing a new spending plan for 2015. Let me be clear, I will continue to stand firm against amnesty and will continue to fight for more enforcement against illegal immigration at our borders. 

Click here to read my op-ed Our Election Mandate: Bring No-Nonsense Governing, Regularity to the Federal Funding Process (Roll Call, 11/17/14).

Last week, the House passed several energy-related bills that will rein in the Environmental Protection Agency, revise dysfunctional policies, and help us work towards job creation. We sent the following bills to the Senate for action, including: the Promoting New Manufacturing Act (H.R. 4795), the Secret Science Reform Act (H.R. 4012), and the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act (H.R. 1422). I hope the Senate will swiftly move these bills to the President's desk. 


On Monday, the SOAR Retreat was held in Manchester at the EKU Campus in the Stivers Building. It was Jared Arnett's first official meeting as the Founding Executive Director of SOAR. The Executive Committee took action on several important items including, support for legislation to develop the Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development Fund, a motion to support enhancements of whitewater rafting tourism at Breaks Interstate Park in Pike County, the announcement of the organization's first corporate sponsorships, and support to launch a campaign for a SOAR license plate. Governor Beshear and I also hosted a reception for local Mayors, Judge Executives, Sheriffs and State Legislators in the coalfields to help rally their involvement in the SOAR initiative. Read more here >>>

SAVE THE DATE: The next SOAR Summit is scheduled for February 16, 2015 at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville.


Governor Beshear and I also commended Chuck Fluharty and the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) for helping launch the SOAR initiative. Chuck served as the SOAR Interim Executive Director over the last year and guided our region through the organizational process of developing this wonderful grassroots effort to change the future of Eastern Kentucky. Thanks to Chuck and the RUPRI team for their efforts!


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