Weekly Columns

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  • Fighting for the Constitution
    Posted in Weekly Columns on March 16, 2016 | Preview rr

    In 2014, President Obama took executive action to make sweeping changes to our immigration system. Most notably, these actions would allow up to 5 million illegal immigrants to stay in the United States. Now, 25 states are standing up to the president’s executive amnesty and this week House Republicans are taking an unprecedented step to stand with these states and protect our Constitution from President Obama’s reckless agenda. Last February, the United States District Court for the Southern Di... Read more

  • Brick MACT Sets Dangerous Precedent for Future Rulemaking
    Posted in Weekly Columns on March 9, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Energy

    Since 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working to regulate air pollutants from the brick and clay ceramics manufacturing industries through the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rule. It is estimated this rule could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs around the country, and is especially consequential to General Shale, whose corporate headquarters is located in Johnson City. Commonly referred to as Brick MACT, the first final rule was promulgated by the EPA in ... Read more

  • School-Based Asthma Management Programs Needed to Protect Students with Asthma
    Posted in Weekly Columns on March 2, 2016 | Preview rr

    Did you know that nearly 7 million schoolchildren across the U.S. have asthma? According to the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, students miss 14 million days of school every year because of asthma. As a grandfather, physician and a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, I find this statistic staggering. I believe it is my duty to ensure that school staff and administrators have the tools and training necessary to assist students who have asthma so they can recei... Read more

  • Out of Control Spending: How We Stop
    Posted in Weekly Columns on February 24, 2016 | Preview rr

    In my column last week, I highlighted some of the reasons our country has amassed a national debt totaling more than $19 trillion. This week, I want to discuss some ideas and policies I believe we can and should implement to cut spending, grow our economy and get our country back on track. As I covered in my last piece, our debt is the result of lawmakers from both parties – Republicans and Democrats – recklessly and irresponsibly spending your tax dollars. That’s why I’m proud to support H.J.Re... Read more

  • Out of Control Spending: How We Got Here
    Posted in Weekly Columns on February 17, 2016 | Preview rr

    I want to begin this week’s column by noting my thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family, friends, colleagues and loved ones of Justice Antonin Scalia. I had the honor of meeting Justice Scalia on more than one occasion, and I always found him to be respectful and thoughtful. Our country has lost a great constitutional conservative, and Justice Scalia’s death will have a huge impact on the future of our nation. As we are in the midst of a presidential campaign, I believe the Senate sh... Read more

  • President Obama’s Budget: A Mountain of Debt, Regulation & Taxes
    Posted in Weekly Columns on February 10, 2016 | Preview rr

    President Obama unveiled his proposed $4.1 trillion budget for fiscal year 2017 this week, and it’s clearer than ever the president’s priorities don’t align with those of the American people. His proposal increases spending by more than $2 trillion, never balances and raises taxes by $3.4 trillion over the next 10 years. President Obama said that this budget is about looking to the future, but the only thing that would move forward under this proposal is the skyrocketing debt owed by future gene... Read more

  • Protecting Life
    Posted in Weekly Columns on January 27, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Abortion

    Last week, thousands of pro-life activists made the trip to D.C., despite an impending blizzard, for the March for Life on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. Each year, I’m so proud of the dedication of the pro-life community and even prouder to support the pro-life movement. As an OB-GYN who delivered nearly 5,000 babies, I will always be a strong supporter of the right to life. I’ve seen with my own eyes through the lens of an ultrasound that life is a precious miracl... Read more

  • The Second Amendment Doesn’t Stop at the State Line
    Posted in Weekly Columns on January 20, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Second Amendment

    On December 22, 2015, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia would stop honoring concealed carry permits from 25 states, including Tennessee. This is absurd, especially for the law-abiding Tennesseans who cross into Virginia often for work or other reasons. This will be particularly confusing for permit holders and law enforcement in Bristol, where you can literally stand in the middle of State Street and have one leg in Virginia and one in Tennessee. ... Read more

  • The State of the Union
    Posted in Weekly Columns on January 13, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Jobs & Economy, Energy, Health Care, Second Amendment

    Tuesday evening President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address. This speech was different than other State of the Union addresses given by President Obama because he didn’t really get deep into any specific policy proposals or ask Congress to act. In this year’s address, like those in the past, the president said some things I agreed with and also some things I disagreed with. The president did call on Congress to put partisan politics aside and work together, which we all agree ... Read more

  • President Obama is Wrong on Gun Control Executive Actions
    Posted in Weekly Columns on January 6, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Second Amendment

    Tuesday morning, President Obama formally announced his plan to unilaterally expand gun control laws. Unsurprisingly, the president has again overstepped the boundaries and power of his office. While we all want fewer senseless acts of violence to occur in our communities, the president is choosing to punish lawful gun owners and restrict their Second Amendment rights rather than address the actual causes of mass murders - such as the need for improved mental health care and the growing threat o... Read more