Update From Hal: April 2015
Apr 17 2015
Spring is a beautiful time to drive along the Redbud-lined roads in southern and eastern Kentucky and to see the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom in Washington, D.C. If you're planning a visit to our Nation's Capitol, please visit my office and allow us to help you book some of the most educational and historical tours you've ever taken.
Spring is also a reminder of PRIDE Spring Cleanup activities across the region. If you want to participate in a cleanup event or organize your own, visit http://kypride.org for more information. KET recently featured PRIDE on Kentucky Life. ?Click the video to watch it online.
On April 6-9, I joined Operation UNITE for the fourth annual National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Atlanta, Georgia with a record-breaking crowd of nearly 1,400 attendees. The #RxSummit is now the largest collaboration of professionals from a wide spectrum dedicated to saving lives and addressing the prescription drug abuse epidemic across the country. I appreciate the federal, state and local leaders who are rising as champions for more action in this arena. I also applaud the work of Operation UNITE to dream big and continue leading this important national discussion. Read more below:
Rx Drug Abuse Summit News: Federal Leaders Advance Efforts to Curb Drug Abuse at National Summit
Rx Drug Abuse Summit News: Drug Fight 'an American Issue'
Rx Drug Abuse Summit News: Reducing Overdose Deaths a Top Concern in Drug Effort
On Capitol Hill
The 114th Congress is off to an effective start thus far. As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, I am pleased to be working with the new Senate, with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell at the helm. We are working diligently to pass funding bills under regular order. In fact, the Appropriations Committee released two 2016 funding bills this week for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, as well as Energy and Water Development.
In light of tax season, I am also working with my colleagues to pass critical legislation to simply the tax code and make it fairer for hard-working Americans. The House passed the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 (HR 1105) and the State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act of 2015 (HR 622). Both bills will restore certainty and fairness for taxpayers. Read more >>>
Last month, I also signed onto several pieces of critical legislation that are gaining momentum, including the Black Lung Benefits Resolution (H. Res. 167) which would preserve eligibility and benefits contained in the original Black Lung Benefits Act in the event of any repeal of the Affordable Care Act that might impact Black Lung benefits. I also voted for the ?Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (HR 2) to improve physician payments, extend the Children's Health Insurance Program through fiscal year 2017, among other improvements. This critical legislation passed the U.S. Senate this week and now will head to the President for his signature. Click here for a full summary of HR 2.
Finally, in March, I also joined more than 235 of my colleagues in sending a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to support the sale of ammunition for one of the country's most popular sporting guns, the AR-15 rifle. Click here to read the letter.
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!