Weekly Columns

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  • Let’s End Unwanted Robocalls Once and For All
    Posted in Weekly Columns on June 12, 2019 | Preview rr

    Every day, millions of Americans receive calls from unknown numbers. Thinking it might be someone they know trying to reach them, they answer but low and behold, it is a robocall. I too receive these countless unwanted calls that are not just annoying but harassment. Many of these calls are made by automated bots that target individuals in our district. In my first term in Congress in 2009, I was proud to support the Truth in Caller ID Act, which made the consequences of initiating spam calls se... Read more

  • Transforming the VA
    Posted in Weekly Columns on June 5, 2019 | Preview rr
    Tags: Veterans

    June 6th marks the one-year anniversary of President Trump signing the VA MISSION into law. This is also the official launch date of the VA MISSION Act’s community care program, a huge win for veterans that embodies President Trump’s commitment to serving them. The new community care program consolidates several previous Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs – including the Veterans Choice Program – into one new program used to refer veterans out into the community to receive their care u... Read more

  • Protecting Americans from Surprise Billing
    Posted in Weekly Columns on May 29, 2019 | Preview rr

    One of the most infuriating experiences for patients in our health care system occurs when they seek care at what they believe is a facility covered by their insurance, only to find out weeks later they were treated by an out-of-network physician – without the patient’s knowledge – and are now faced with a substantial surprise medical bill. Patients and families have endured financial stress and other hardships because of these costly bills, with surveys showing nearly 67 percent of Americans ar... Read more

  • We Are Free Because Of The Brave
    Posted in Weekly Columns on May 22, 2019 | Preview rr
    Tags: Veterans

    Memorial Day is our country’s most somber holiday, reminding us of the men and women who have died protecting the freedoms we hold dear. As a veteran myself, I believe every veteran who lived through combat and is still alive today feels a little bit of guilt when we think back on our fallen friends and fellow servicemembers. We do not get to choose what war or battle we fight - you are sent where you are needed. Some have served in dangerous places and incredibly difficult circumstances. Three ... Read more

  • Equal Justice for None
    Posted in Weekly Columns on May 15, 2019 | Preview rr

    All Americans agree that individuals should be treated fairly and with respect. As a small business owner, all I cared about was whether you could get the job done, and that’s a unifying principle we should apply when crafting our laws. The so-called Equality Act that House Democrats are bringing to the floor this week claims to be legislation implementing this principle. In reality, however, the legislation will have the effect of eliminating any acknowledgement of the legitimacy of biological ... Read more

  • Broken Promises: “Medicare for All”
    Posted in Weekly Columns on May 8, 2019 | Preview rr
    Tags: Health Care

    As a physician, my entire career has been dedicated to caring for patients. I came to Congress because I believed we needed – and still believe we need – health care reform that improves quality and lowers cost. Instead, I watched Democrats ram through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), making promises they could not keep. They promised “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it”– which ended up being branded the “Lie of the Year” by Politifact. They also promised you can keep your do... Read more

  • Listening and Learning in East Tennessee
    Posted in Weekly Columns on April 24, 2019 | Preview rr

    The most important part of my job is listening to and learning from East Tennesseans to ensure I effectively represent the First District. While in Washington D.C., I host regular telephone town halls and Facebook Live events to stay in touch with constituents, but nothing can replace face-to-face interactions through town halls and roundtables. Over the past two weeks, I had the opportunity to engage with constituents directly when I hosted several roundtables, held town halls and visited schoo... Read more

  • A New Tax Age
    Posted in Weekly Columns on April 17, 2019 | Preview rr

    I believe one thing all Americans can agree on is that no one likes Tax Day. April 15 is the day when hardworking Americans focus on how much of their salary has been taken by the government at the expense of more important priorities, such as saving up for retirement or for a child’s college tuition. Tax Day is also stressful for many Americans because of the complexity of filling out your taxes – so complex, in fact, that millions of Americans have had to rely on professional assistance to cor... Read more

  • House Democrats’ First 100 Days: Politics Over Policy
    Posted in Weekly Columns on April 10, 2019 | Preview rr

    Friday, April 12 marks the 100th day of the new House Democratic majority. In her speech accepting the Speaker’s gavel in January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated, “And I pledge that this Congress will be transparent, bipartisan and unifying; that we will seek to reach across the aisle in this Chamber and across the divisions in this great nation.” Unfortunately, the reality hasn’t matched up to the rhetoric. We have a divided Congress; therefore, we need to be working on a bipartisan basis to... Read more

  • Abortion Survivors Deserve Our Protection
    Posted in Weekly Columns on April 3, 2019 | Preview rr
    Tags: Abortion

    In the wake of the Roe v. Wade decision, some estimates show over 61 million successful abortions have been performed in the U.S. since 1973. The fact there are elected officials in places like New York and Virginia – and the U.S. House – who are working to extend the timeline of abortion availability right up until the moment of birth sickens me to my core. In my over 31 years of practice as an OB/GYN, I delivered nearly 5,000 babies and remember holding them in my hands and giving them to thei... Read more