Dear Friend,

As we reflect upon what we're thankful for this holiday season, I want to express my appreciation for my family, our dear friends across southern and eastern Kentucky, and our military service men and women, along with the law enforcement community, for protecting our homeland and preserving our freedoms. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan appointed me to a task force to address the Syrian refugee crisis. In one of our first efforts, we worked to develop the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, which already passed the House and now heads to the Senate for consideration. The legislation will protect Americans from ISIS and other terrorists by halting the President's plans to allow thousands of refugees to settle in the United States until the nation's top security officials unanimously certify that the individual does not represent a security threat to the U.S. Read more>>>

In an effort to save lives from the threat of drug addiction, my colleagues and I are urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to encourage doctors to prescribe safer painkillers. The same powerful opioids that doctors routinely prescribe are now available with abuse-deterrent formulas that can't be crushed, snorted or injected. On Friday, we sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, requesting a review of current labeling of those painkillers to ensure that physicians have the guidance they need to prescribe them and to improve patient access. Read more>>>

Earlier this month, Congress passed critical life-saving legislation in response to the growing epidemic of drug withdrawal in newborn babies. In Kentucky alone, nearly 1,000 infants suffer from painful withdrawal symptoms each year, and experts believe many more are never reported. With those innocent babies on my mind, I cosponsored and voted for the Protecting Our Infants Act, requiring a coordinated national effort to identify, treat and prevent prenatal drug abuse. The bill now awaits the President's signature. Read more>>>

It was a blessing to spend time with my Pastor, Dr. French Harmon and my friends from Somerset First Baptist Church in Washington, DC earlier this month. During the visit, they participated in a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery by placing a cross at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Read more on how your group can participate in a wreath laying ceremony>>>

The 2015 Congressional App Challenge is underway for high school students interested in coding. The winning app from Kentucky's 5th Congressional District will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol, along with winners from across the country. Students interested in participating can register online at congressionalappchallenge.us. The deadline to enter an app is January 15, 2016. Click the logo for details.


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