Dear Friend,

While Memorial Day weekend brings millions of families together, we reflect on the people who have changed our lives for the better, including our brave war heroes and military veterans who gave the greatest sacrifice for our freedom. Over the last three decades, I have been honored to help the men and women who served in our Armed Forces. Whether it is securing veteran benefits, assisting our local D.A.V. chapters, reissuing lost war medals or tracking down old records, veteran case work has always been a top priority in my office. For years, I have worked tirelessly to get the Department of Veterans Affairs to reduce the backlog of veteran case work and medical care for our most prized citizens. 
On Wednesday, May 21st, I voted for the VA Management Accountability Act (H.R. 4031) to hold VA leaders responsible for the gross mismanagement at VA hospitals across the country. This legislation gives the VA Secretary the authority to fire and demote officials who are failing to do their jobs. I'm outraged by the lack of respect and assistance that our veterans are receiving from their own government. They deserve better. It's time to get rid of this appalling backlog of casework and ensure that our veterans get the attention and treatment they deserve. The legislation passed the House and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The forecast is poised for a beautiful holiday weekend to enjoy Lake Cumberland, the crown jewel of southern Kentucky tourism. The pool level is 20 feet higher than it has been in nearly a decade with the recent completion of the Wolf Creek Dam rehabilitation project. I worked diligently with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure there would be no further delays before the unofficial kickoff to the summer season this weekend. My wife Cynthia recently had the honor of attending the official ribbon cutting celebration at Lee's Ford Marina to signify 'Cumberland's Back.' So, invite all your friends and family members, and enjoy the unmatched fishing and boating opportunities on beautiful Lake Cumberland. 


On Thursday, June 5th, I will be visiting the London D.A.V. chapter to recognize the great work of our local veterans. 

Later that day, I will also be in Corbin to recognize local students who have been selected as Rogers Scholars, Rogers Explorers and UNITE Scholarship recipients for 2014. Stay tuned for more details. 


In a few weeks, a Corbin High School student will also be honored in Washington, D.C. for winning the 2014 Congressional Art Competition for Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District. Reagan Smith's watercolor "#Selfie #Uncentered" self-portrait was selected to represent our region. Reagan's artwork will hang in the U.S. Capitol building for one year in the Cannon Tunnel to be seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors this year.

Reagan Smith from Corbin High School
Winner of the 2014 Congressional Art Competition

If you would like to receive more frequent updates on what's happening in Washington, please send me an email, join my Facebook pagefollow 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!