U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers | For Immediate Release
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U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers

Update From Hal: January 2014

Dear Friend,

January kicked off, what is proving to be, a productive new year in Congress and in Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District.

For the first time in three years, our country is operating with an actual budget for fiscal year 2014. As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, I helped author and shepherd the bipartisan Omnibus package for federal government spending. For an overview of provisions that will help Kentucky and our eastern Kentucky coalfields, click here >>>

In addition to coal-specific provisions in the Omnibus bill, I am also pushing back on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new greenhouse gas emission standards for power plants. I cosponsored the Electricity Security and Affordability Act (H.R. 3826) and cosigned a letter requesting a 60-day extension of the comment period on regulations for new power plants. Nearly 90 percent of electricity in some states is powered by coal, so the EPA should allow those consumers more time to respond about the possibility of losing affordable energy rates, as well as the impact on job creation and long-term economic growth. 

Lake Cumberland, TOURSEKY.com

When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a delay in raising the water level on Lake Cumberland this summer to protect the Duskytail Darter, a small federally endangered fish, I let officials know that I expect the matter to be handled quickly. Continuous delays on the Wolf Creek Dam project have created costly inconveniences for the tourism industry in and around Lake Cumberland for nearly a decade and this is disappointing to say the least. However, we need to let lake enthusiasts know that Lake Cumberland will be ready for boating, fishing and other recreational activities this summer. Read my official statement >>>

On Wednesday, the House passed a five-year Farm Bill that protects crop subsidies for farmers, increases assistance for food banks, while removing waste from the food stamp program, and saves the country about $23 billion over ten years. 

Earlier this week, in the President's State of the Union speech, he said this will be a 'year of action.' Here in southern and eastern Kentucky, we are certainly ready for policies that will help revive our rural region and our struggling coal communities. Read my entire response to the SOTU >>>

The SOAR initiative: Shaping Our Appalachian Region is off to a great start in 2014 as well. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack joined Governor Steve Beshear and me at the Pine Mountain State Resort Park to present the official SOAR Summit Report and to announce the expansion of the USDA's StrikeForce into four new states, including Kentucky. Learn more here>>> 

(Photo Courtesy: Kentucky Office of Creative Services)

In Frankfort, Governor Beshear and I also announced a plan to expand high-speed, high-capacity broadband access across Kentucky, beginning with phase one in eastern Kentucky. Our region's new "Super I-way" will reduce the geographical barriers for businesses and families. Currently, Kentucky ranks 46th in high-speed broadband Internet availability. Nearly a quarter of the Commonwealth’s population -- 23 percent -- have no access to broadband. Learn more >>>

(Photo Courtesy: Kentucky Office of Creative Services)

A few days earlier, a portion of southeastern Kentucky was designated as one of the President's first five Promise Zones, a new revitalization project through the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for distressed communities. In concert with SOAR, Governor Beshear also announced his proposal to extend and four-lane the Mountain Parkway by 2020. Learn more >>>

I had the privilege of visiting one of the newest counties in Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District this month as well, Lincoln County. I spoke to members of the Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) about federal spending, our new budget for 2014 and the impact of this year's legislation on Kentucky farmers. 

It was also a pleasure to deliver more than 100 books to the Lincoln County Public Library from the world's largest library, the U.S. Library of Congress. The books are made available from the federal library's surplus supply. So far, I have delivered books to nine libraries across our region. Read more>>>


Last week, I made a rare trip to the Georgia State Capitol with Operation UNITE to announce that the 2014 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit will be held in Atlanta April 22-24, 2014 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. We announced that actor/director/producer Matthew Perry, famous for his role on the sitcom Friends, will be a keynote speaker at this year's summit. At the news conference, we were joined by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl, and Gainesville resident, Dallas Gay who lost his grandson to a prescription drug overdose. Learn more about attending the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit.


If you would like to receive more frequent updates on what's happening in Washington, please send me an email, join my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, or subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thank you to everyone who has dropped by to share your opinion -- let's keep the dialogue going!


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Washington, DC
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