As Independence Day celebrations get underway, it’s an important reminder of our nation’s proud history, rich heritage and of the many sacrifices made by the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. I encourage you to take time this week and reflect on the invaluable blessings of freedom and liberty that we enjoy as citizens of the United States.
NEWS ON THE HILL
Like many Americans, last week I was surprised and alarmed by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. “Obamacare” is terrible news for working families and seniors in southern and eastern Kentucky. It taxes hardworking families, cuts Medicare, increases health care costs, and discourages small businesses from hiring new workers. We need to get rid of this misguided law once and for all and work to actually reduce medical bills for all Americans with common-sense solutions. Rest assured that I will continue to fight to repeal this job-killing law and work to provide families with the option to make their own decisions on health care; not to blindly accept those dictated by Washington bureaucrats.
While the Court has been busy this past month, Congress has been equally hard at work on a number of legislative matters including passage of important road, bridge, and highway legislation. On June 29th, my colleagues and I passed a two-year extension of our nation’s surface transportation programs. This means nearly $1.3 billion in funding is authorized to help Kentucky make much needed improvements to our state road network over the next two years. New and improved roads in our region, and the jobs that come with them, have long been a priority of mine and I’m pleased to see the Congress working together in a bipartisan manner to pass this important piece of legislation.
Our region has been an easy target for President Obama's war on coal. With the number of laid-off miners in the region teetering at over 2,000 this year alone, there is no question that southern and eastern Kentucky is suffering from overreaching EPA regulations, cheaper natural gas prices and a push for cleaner power. Earlier this month, the EPA held three hearings in Kentucky on its objections to 36 surface mining 402-permits in the state. Although I couldn't be there, my staff presented my statement for the record. Click here to read. Rest assured, I’m working hard to fight the President’s anti-coal agenda.
On a lighter note, our young people have had a lot to celebrate this summer. I had the pleasure of awarding our region's first-ever Congressional Award Gold Medal to Don Combs from Pikeville. Click here to read how Don earned the honor, and how your students can apply.
In addition, three of our high school graduates received Military Service Academy Appointments. Two young men from Somerset and one from Corbin will make their way to the Naval and Air Force Academies this fall. It was a pleasure to nominate them for this high honor. Keep reading >>
Last week, I also had the pleasure of inviting UNITE's President and CEO, Karen Kelly to the U.S. Capitol to present an overview of the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit. In conjunction with the event, I also presented her and the UNITE team with a much deserved tribute for their efforts to highlight the nation's prescription drug abuse problem on a national stage. Keep reading >>
If you're visiting Washington, DC during your summer vacation, please make plans to stop by my office in the Rayburn House Office Building. It's always nice to see my friends from Kentucky.
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!