NEWS ON THE HILL
After nearly four years of failing to consider and pass a budget resolution, House Republicans are demanding action from the Senate. On Jan. 23, I joined my colleagues in the House to pass the No Budget, No Pay Act which withholds congressional salaries unless a budget is passed by May 19, 2013. Passing a budget is the basic responsibility of Congress. The House has done this hard work in each of the last two years; however, the Senate has failed to make these tough decisions for nearly half a decade. It is simply unfair for hard-working families and small businesses in Kentucky to contend with the realities of budgeting, while Washington recklessly spends outside of their means. It is high time for the Senate to get serious about overspending and the President be held accountable for $1 trillion a year deficits.
In other news, I recently joined U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (WV-03) to re-launch the bi-partisan Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. The caucus raises awareness of drug abuse while encouraging innovative and effective treatment, prevention, law enforcement and research policy solutions. With the help of fellow policy makers, I am confident that we can continue to make a difference in fighting drug epidemic. I also recently sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Hamburg urging hydrocodone combination prescriptions be reclassified as Schedule II drugs. This action would further restrict drugs like Vicodin and Lortab, from falling in the hands of abusers.
In April, Congressman Rahall and I will also be attending the second National Rx Drug Abuse Summit hosted by Operation UNITE in Orlando, Fla. Last year, 750 professionals in healthcare, law enforcement, and treatment attended the event, putting UNITE on the national stage in the fight against drug epidemic. For more information about this year’s event, visit nationalrxdrugabusesummit.org.
NEWS IN THE DISTRICT
One of my top priorities for southern and eastern Kentucky is finding more job opportunities for our families, especially after more than 2,000 coal miners in our region were laid off last year. I helped launch the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED) more than 25 years ago to spur job growth and strategically attract businesses to our rural region. Thus far, they can account for creating and sustaining more than 10,000 jobs across southern and eastern Kentucky. A few days ago, I had the privilege to join leaders in Pulaski County to announce a partnership that will grow and retain jobs in our region. Summit Aviation is now manufacturing the protective Faraday cage that will be used in the U.S. Navy’s MQ-8C Fire Scout, an unmanned helicopter assembled by Northrup Grumman Corporation. The Faraday cage protects the helicopter’s electrical components from lightning damage and electromagnetic interference (EMI). I’m proud to have Summit Aviation in southern Kentucky.
On Jan. 15, I was proud to reintroduce legislation (H.R. 1289) to commemorate the historic Civil War site, Mill Springs Battlefield. The bill directs the National Parks Service to evaluate the possibility of incorporating the land into the national parks system. In 1862, the Battle of Mill Springs was the first significant victory for the Union Army in the west and blazed a trail for Union troops to move from Kentucky into Tennessee. The Mill Springs Battlefield is a treasured part of our region and I hope we can preserve it for generations to come.