Weekly Columns

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  • Productivity in Congress
    Posted in Weekly Columns on May 31, 2017 | Preview rr

    All too frequently, I hear concerns from East Tennesseans that Congress is not accomplishing enough on their behalf. In the previous administration, while Congress would often pass good proposals, we didn’t have a partner in the White House working with us to get bills across the finish line. I’m pleased that already under President Trump, this trend is quickly being reversed. In the first 100 days, the House and Senate have passed 175 bills and 35 have already been signed into law. The work bei... Read more

  • Memorial Day: Sacrifice Through Service
    Posted in Weekly Columns on May 24, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Defense, Veterans

    Next Monday, May 29, is the day this year we set aside to observe Memorial Day; a solemn reminder of the sacrifice and loss our nation’s armed forces have endured since the founding of this great nation. For around 150 years, Americans have gathered to recognize and honor the sacrifices of the service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. Families, communities and churches across the country will come together to hold ceremonies to honor those who gave t... Read more

  • National Police Week: Defend, Honor, and Protect
    Posted in Weekly Columns on May 17, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Defense

    This week, May 15th through May 19th, marks National Police Week; it is a week in which we, as Americans, have an opportunity for all Americans to express appreciation and respect for our local, state and federal law enforcement officers. Every day, law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to keep our county and fellow citizens safe from harm, and keep the peace. I take every opportunity I can to thank law enforcement officers for the work they do. In recent years, their job has been... Read more

  • Hope for the American Health Care System
    Posted in Weekly Columns on May 10, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Health Care

    Last Thursday, Republicans in the House of Representatives took a giant step toward fulfilling our promise and President Trump’s pledge made to the American people that we would repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered, free-market health care. The House-passed bill, H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), will take away power from Washington bureaucrats and return it to the American people. I’ve been opposed to Obamacare from the start, in large part because as a doctor, I’... Read more

  • The Importance of Small Businesses
    Posted in Weekly Columns on May 3, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Jobs & Economy

    The American Dream is built on an individual’s ability to become entrepreneurs, take risks and build a small business that can thrive and grow. As we celebrate National Small Business Week, and as a former small business owner myself, I am aware of the many challenges these entrepreneurs face on a daily basis. It is estimated that 99 percent of all businesses with employees in the United States are small businesses, which further underscores their importance to our economy. That’s exactly why I ... Read more

  • Reflecting Back and Looking Forward
    Posted in Weekly Columns on April 26, 2017 | Preview rr

    This Saturday, April 29, 2017 – marks President Trump’s 100th day in office as the President of the United States. Since his inauguration, we’ve put forward policies that put America first; proposals to bring accountability to government; and rolled back harmful rules and burdensome regulations in order to enforce pro-growth policies. The American people spoke loud and clear that they sought a different direction for our country, and that’s why House Republicans are doing everything we can to wo... Read more

  • Hearing from East Tennesseans
    Posted in Weekly Columns on April 20, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Health Care

    I always enjoy being home in East Tennessee and hearing from constituents in the First District; over the last two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to do just that, meeting with many different constituent groups on a number of interesting topics. I’ve visited manufacturers in our district to hear how we can create policies that incentivize more job creation in the United States. I’ve visited schools to meet with our future leaders. I’ve heard from hotel operators how we can help promote tourism an... Read more

  • Simplifying Our Tax System
    Posted in Weekly Columns on April 12, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Taxes

    Every April, instead of enjoying springtime, Americans will spend countless hours on long tax forms and working through confusing tax rules. This year, Tax Day falls on April 18th with Easter and Emancipation Day affecting the federal holiday schedule. In their 2015 annual report to Congress, the Taxpayer Advocate Service found that, in fiscal year 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collected over $2.8 trillion dollars. In the IRS’s 2016 annual report to Congress, it is reported that taxpa... Read more

  • Addressing Veterans Crisis Line Shortcomings
    Posted in Weekly Columns on April 5, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Veterans

    When a man or woman in our armed forces takes their oath to support and defend the Constitution of our country, our country in turn makes a promise to them, first made by President Lincoln, to take care of them when they return from duty as they transition back into civilian life. The men and women who keep this country safe deserve the best care we have to offer. It is an honor to serve as Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which is why I am committed to ensuring our veterans... Read more

  • Strengthening the Nation's Energy Security
    Posted in Weekly Columns on March 29, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Energy

    This week, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) misguided, job-killing Clean Power Plan (CPP), a key component of the Obama administration’s war on coal. I was pleased with the president’s action because these regulations have been hugely detrimental to our region’s economy – from southwestern Virginia’s coal mining jobs to jobs at Erwin’s railroad depot being just two examples. Further, if left in place, the CPP could have incre... Read more