Weekly Columns

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  • Confronting School Violence
    Posted in Weekly Columns on March 14, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Second Amendment

    Today, school systems around the country – including the First Congressional District – will commemorate School Safety Day. Wednesday marks the one month anniversary of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and my heart breaks for the victims and their families. Schools should be safe havens for our children, which is why I strongly supported legislation passed by the House this week to provide school systems with additional tools to help keep students safe. As a father and grandfathe... Read more

  • Energy Independence, American Jobs & National Security
    Posted in Weekly Columns on March 7, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Energy

    Americans are some of the smartest shoppers in the world. We will drive across five lanes of traffic just to save two cents a gallon on gas. I always say that the economic issue that affects people in the First District most is the price of a gallon of gas. The price of gas affects so many things in our everyday life, including food and transportation. More broadly, the cost of energy – whether that’s gas prices, electricity or other utilities – has a huge impact on Tennessee families, which is ... Read more

  • Securing Our Retirees' Future
    Posted in Weekly Columns on February 28, 2018 | Preview rr

    For decades, millions of American workers have relied on multiemployer pension plans as they saved toward retirement. Unfortunately, the multiemployer pension system as currently structured is broken, and about one million Americans are participating in pension plans that are not expected to be solvent when these employees reach retirement age. Further, research has found that the vast majority of Americans have less than $1,000 saved for retirement. Workers deserve a secure and stable retiremen... Read more

  • Investing in America’s Veterans
    Posted in Weekly Columns on February 21, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Veterans

    One of the greatest privileges I’ve had since coming to Congress is chairing the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Over the last year, we’ve made great strides toward reforming the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but there is still hard work ahead. One of the most important items on our agenda is ensuring veterans get access to timely care, regardless of whether that care is at a VA hospital or a facility in the community. As the Committee works to improve the quality and timelines... Read more

  • Making Progress on the Opioid Crisis
    Posted in Weekly Columns on February 14, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Health Care

    Families all across the nation are struggling to cope with the devastating impact the ongoing opioid epidemic is having on their communities. Recent studies have shown that every day, at least three Tennesseans die because of opioid-related overdoses. In fact, last December the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that highlighted life expectancy in the U.S. had fallen for the second year in a row, a significant factor being the rash of opioid overdose deaths. The o... Read more

  • The Bipartisan Budget Act
    Posted in Weekly Columns on February 9, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Budget

    This week, the House and Senate reached a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on a long-term budget. While this agreement is by no means perfect, it is a huge step forward on a number of important fronts. Over the last 8 years, our national defense budget shrunk to the point that there were fears our defense capabilities had been degraded to unsafe levels, leaving our troops in harm’s way. With more of our troops being killed in training accidents than combat, half of our aircraft carriers remain un... Read more

  • President Trump’s State of the Union Address
    Posted in Weekly Columns on February 1, 2018 | Preview rr

    Tuesday evening I had the privilege of attending President Trump’s first State of the Union address, and I was proud of the accomplishments he touted and am ready to get to work on much of the agenda he outlined. During the president’s address, he outlined his strategic vision to build a safer, stronger and prouder America. I look forward to working with him in the next year to deliver results for East Tennesseans. The president started by talking about the positive benefits we are already seein... Read more

  • Setting the Record Straight on Tax Reform
    Posted in Weekly Columns on January 24, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Taxes

    My top priority in Congress is working to grow our economy, create jobs and increase prosperity for working families. For my first four terms in Congress, I saw a federal government that discouraged private business and set up unnecessary roadblocks for job creation. When President Trump was elected, I was excited to work on getting the economy moving again, which is why I was proud the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The law lowered tax rates across the board for... Read more

  • Defending the Sanctity of Life
    Posted in Weekly Columns on January 17, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Abortion

    As an OB-GYN who has delivered nearly 5,000 babies, I strongly support the sanctity of life. I have seen firsthand that life is a precious and beautiful miracle that begins at conception, and I am honored to stand with the pro-life community. This week, thousands of pro-life activists will make their way to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life to mark the sad anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision; a misguided ruling on abortion that forever changed our country. The first Mar... Read more

  • A Stronger America for Future Generations
    Posted in Weekly Columns on January 10, 2018 | Preview rr

    This week I had the privilege and honor of joining President Trump on Air Force One to travel to Nashville where the president addressed the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention. In person, President Trump is very engaging. He has a strong sense of what he wants to accomplish for the American people, and his agenda aligns very well with what we prioritize in East Tennessee. During our trip, we were able to discuss several issues of importance with the president, including how we are workin... Read more