I hope everyone is very well. The following is our Week-End Update.
On Monday, I was in Washington, D.C. for meetings at the Pentagon. I met with the Acting Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, among other military officials to better understand our current military operations, and learned first hand the vision and challenges of each branch of our military.
On Capitol Hill this week, the Education & Labor Committee reviewed legislation regarding public school infrastructure. As part of the Committee's review of this legislation, I introduced and offered an amendment to allow Opportunity Zones to be utilized for school projects. This amendment passed with bipartisan support. I did however vote "No" on the underlying bill that called for billions of dollars of new spending. However, the bill did pass the committee because the GOP is in the minority. This was a very expensive new spending bill. I did believe that if the bill did get passed it would have at least one element that included the private sector that was removed from public sector spending. With the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate and because of the White House, the odds are very low that this bill will become law.
In the Veterans' Affairs Committee, we received updates from the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans - and it was a great honor to hear their perspective on the VA and meet with their representatives from Pennsylvania. In addition, we held a hearing on the future of the VA healthcare system, during which VA Secretary Robert Wilkie testified before our panel - Secretary Wilkie's testimony was very impressive and reiterated President Trump's commitment to provide the best care for our nation's veterans. We must do everything we can to ensure our veterans receive the support they need and this is why I am on the Veterans Affairs Committee. Here is me pictured with two members of the Pennsylvania American Legion, William B. Whitmoyer, District 17 Commander, and William J. Smith, Chairman of Veterans and Rehabilitation.
At a Budget Committee hearing on the recent Tax Cuts legislation, I questioned the positions of left-wing academia and the false belief that raising taxes on hardworking Americans is the interests of Americans. The data shows that our economy has reaped benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that lower taxes and allowing individuals to keep more of their own money helps to stimulate the economy. Click here to read an article in Forbes about the hearing and my comments.
On the floor, I voted against H.R. 8, legislation that would have placed firearm restrictions on law-abiding citizens. If we want to stop violence, we need to stop violent criminals from getting firearms - and not turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals for properly exercising their constitutional rights.
I attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with my wife Shelley. It was a great experience and I enjoyed the company of so many great conservative leaders. I am pictured with my wife Shelley and Matt Schlapp, Chairman of the American Conservative Union.
In the District, we had a major event in Schuylkill County last night. I want to thank U.S. House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney for visiting Schuylkill County yesterday. Congresswoman Cheney is a leader in our Party. I had the opportunity to introduce her and she gave an inspiring address at the Schuylkill County Republican Committee Lincoln Day Dinner. Her message painted a clear picture of what we are facing in Washington, D.C. under the “leadership” of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Cheney absolutely broke down their awful socialist agenda, including the gan-Green New Deal, saying:
“It’s absolutely crazy,” Cheney said of the proposal, which has included suggestions about restricting air travel and banning the use of fossil fuels. “Who’s going to make the decision about where you can fly? You cannot be for the people if you think the government should take power from the people.”
Congresswoman Cheney is a leader in Congress and is key to helping the Republican Party present a solid and unified message to the public. She is also a key supporter of President Trump and is certainly someone whose opinion on issues I respect greatly.
Today, I attended a meeting of business leaders for breakfast in Luzerne County. Tonight, I am attending the Montour County Republican Committee Annual Gala. Tomorrow, I am attending the Luzerne County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.
In News you won’t hear in the mainstream media…Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning to push H.R. 1 next week, which introduces changes to our electoral system that vary from the absurd to downright dangerous to our democracy. Some of its provisions include:
* Using your tax dollars to publicly finance campaigns
* Takes away state and local control of elections
* One week voting periods
* Same day registration
* Allows convicted felons to vote
* Requires automatic voter registration without proof of citizenship
The legislation would also weaken the voting system of the American people by increasing the election system’s vulnerability and fails to implement the necessary checks and balances regarding who is registering to vote.
In other news, this week, I wrote a letter to Amazon’s president and CEO urging him to locate his company’s HQ2 headquarters in the 9th Congressional District. Our area is in close proximity to much of the population of North America, has access to major interstates and is home to some of the hardest-working people in our country. The 9th District is truly the distribution hub of North America and perhaps the world. I believe from a business perspective that our District is the ideal location for them to locate their fulfillment and service center headquarters. We will continue to pursue and encourage them for these reasons. Click here to read my letter to Amazon.
I am continuing to work on the stormwater fee issues. Our goal is to not have these mandates paid by the individual property owners. There is much more to be done with regard to this issue and we have additional meetings next week.
Thank you for your continued support and see you soon,