Good evening and welcome to our Week-End Update.
Before I begin this week’s update, I want to take a moment to recognize the three Marines killed in a Taliban attack on Monday in Afghanistan. Two of those brave young men, Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman and Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines were reservists assigned to the 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, in Harrisburg. These brave young men made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms, liberty and nation. My heartfelt prayers and thoughts are with their families, loved ones and their brave souls during this difficult time.
As many of you know, the 9th Congressional District is home to Fort Indiantown Gap, the nation’s largest National Guard training center by training volume. That is why I knew my appointment to serve on the Veterans' Affairs Committee was so important. On Thursday, I again visited the Gap, something I have done often, and each time I visit I am in awe of the brave young men and women who selflessly serve our country and protect our families. If you get an opportunity to come across one of these brave soldiers or veterans out in public, please thank them for their service. We can never do that enough.
Last weekend, I enjoyed the beautiful spring weather at the Seltzer Gun Club Block Shoot with my good friend Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts Maria Casey. It was a great day to shoot and I was lucky to be surrounded by so many great supporters.
On Monday, I visited the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, for a briefing and tour. I also was honored to meet a handful of the many midshipmen from Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, I spoke on the floor in opposition to the Socialist Democrats’ latest big government plot to take-over control of the internet. The Democrat legislation would stifle economic growth and innovation - and cost hardworking Americans their jobs. The United States is the birthplace of the internet and the center of this booming industry because we keep government out of the way. Please click here to watch my comments.
It was great to join my House colleagues in passing bipartisan legislation that reforms and modernizes the IRS for the first time in decades. It puts taxpayers first and improves the IRS’ ability to protect our identities - particularly those of seniors - and combat fraud.
As a member of the Budget Committee, I attended a hearing during which Committee Democrats - instead of agreeing to and introducing a budget - considered legislation to increase spending caps. A spending cap increase is not a budget. A budget includes revenue, offsets, planning, is bipartisan, and has input from the White House… none of this happened. Nevertheless, their spending plan did not have Democrat Caucus votes for Speaker Pelosi to bring the bill to the floor. The Democrats could not even come to a compromise among themselves.
The Democrat Caucus was split… many in the Democrat Caucus wanted to reduce defense spending and others thought that increases to discretionary spending weren't enough... and when their Caucus is offering budget-busting legislation like the gan-Green New Deal, how could they ever agree on how much to increase spending?
On Wednesday, as a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, I attended a hearing with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. I highlighted the need to increase opportunities to offer education to prepare our students for careers in the trades and technical professions. I highlighted the Ben Franklin Science Research Institute program at Conrad Weiser School District to foster STEM education. Click here to watch the clip.
On Thursday, I was able to visit with constituents across Lebanon and Northumberland Counties. After spending lunch visiting Ft. Indiantown Gap, I made a trip to Northumberland County to conduct a series of meetings with Rep. Kurt Masser. I joined Rep. Kurt Masser at the Shamokin-Coal Township Joint Sewer Authority for a discussion on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unfunded mandates and the fact that these requirements and the costs associated with them far exceed their ability to pay for them. Rep. Masser and I also visited with Nate Richard at Richard's Scattered Acres Farms to discuss workforce issues and visited with Arcos, Inc. As much as Rep. Masser is a great legislator, he is a great friend to his constituents and to me.
Later, I attended a Northumberland County Meet the Candidates night. There were many committed and impressive candidates in attendance. Remember, there is no such thing as an off-year election, especially when your name is on the ballot. The individuals we elect for Judge, County Commissioner, County Row Office, Township Supervisor and School Board can have big influences on your daily lives. Study up on the candidates and choose wisely. I want to thank Northumberland County Chairman Caleb Shaffer for organizing such a tremendous event and for all those who attended for a great evening. I also would like to recognize State Senator John Gordner and Representatives Kurt Masser and Lynda Schlegel Culver for attending.
Today, before attending a Pennsylvania Society Lunch in Philadelphia, I started the day by appearing on Fox Business with Stuart Varney to discuss the House Democrats first 100 days. Today marks the 100th Day of Democrats controlling the House. Click here to watch my interview.
As for the Democrats' first 100 days, while some have described them as disappointing, I will describe them as the ultimate confusion of activity over accomplishment.
There has been lots of activity, but no accomplishment.
- For example, we started the year with a government shutdown all because Speaker Pelosi insisted on not spending one dollar to secure our borders. They said for months that there was not border crisis. Clearly they were wrong and because of their inaction it is now worse.
- The Democrat Caucus voted to support their signature piece of legislation, H.R. 1. As we updated you before, this legislation is a complete government takeover of the election process… federal, state and local.
- The Socialist Democrats have proposed the gan-Green New Deal. This is a plan that they talk a lot about, but when the vote came up in the U.S. Senate, and when the time came to put their money where their mouth was, Senate Democrats voted "present."
- During these 100 days, the House Democrat majority spoke openly about a complete government takeover of healthcare rather than coming to the table and working on solutions to lower premiums and deductibles.
- After spending years praising Robert Mueller’s acumen and thoroughness, they completely dismissed the findings of his two-year investigation, which exonerated President Donald Trump. Although the full details of the report are expected to be released next week, Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff, Chair of the Intelligence Committee, now wants to conduct his own investigation into the President. Seeing as Robert Mueller had unlimited and unfettered access to information, it would be impossible for Adam Schiff to put together as thorough of an investigation. Regardless, Congressman Schiff is still planning an investigation, one with an ending and conclusions, which I am sure he has already written. Such an investigation will have no credibility, except of course on Morning Joe.
Again, as I have expressed, there has been a lot of activity, but no accomplishments.
Unfortunately, if you really look objectively at what the House Democrat leadership has brought to the House floor in the last 100 days, what you will see it is a plan that can be defined as very socialistic. Each policy is about the consolidation of power for their Majority and increasing the size and scope of the Federal government.
The Republican leadership and the White House are focused on making our country great for as many people as possible. We are focused on building a stronger economy where wages continues to rise. We are committed to providing our service members with resources they need to ensure we remain the strongest military in the world, which benefits hundreds of other countries. We are focused on pro-growth policies, deregulation, and increasing transparency so that our government is more accountable to the people.
And "We the People" is what our government is supposed to be all about... we are a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The last 100 Days of Democrat control of the U.S. House has contradicted this idea. We the people must weigh in with our Democrat colleagues in the House and let them know that we expect accomplishment, not activity. In 2020, Americans will vote for candidates based upon who’s working on the right things for the people of our country.
The American people are watching - and with a Democrat House majority increasingly ignoring their needs, I believe we can take the keys and work with the Trump administration to produce results.
As a weekly update, our work on the stormwater fee issue continue throughout the District. We are continuing to work with the EPA to come to us to provide reasonable solutions. I am committed to this fight and continue to work in the interest of property owners.
Tonight, I am off to my son's lacrosse game and I am looking forward to spending some time with my family. Go Dallas High School Lacrosse!
Thank you for your continued support and see you soon,