Weekly Columns

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  • Life is Valuable
    Posted in Weekly Columns on October 4, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Abortion

    I want to begin this week’s column by acknowledging the horrific and senseless act of violence that occurred over the weekend in Las Vegas as a gunman shot and killed 59 innocent people and injured more than 500 as they attended the Route 91 Festival Sunday night. I am heartbroken and praying for the city of Las Vegas, all of the victims and their families. I would also like to again express my gratitude to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, first responders and the local authorities ... Read more

  • Framework for Tax Reform
    Posted in Weekly Columns on September 28, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Taxes

    As I’ve said time and time again, our tax code is in desperate need of an update. Over the last 31 years, when our last comprehensive tax overhaul took place, our tax system has remained largely unchanged. Worse, it’s become so complex that it’s hard for many Americans to navigate. For example, there are over 12 different overlapping tax benefits related to education alone, which means families are tackling 100 pages of instructions to manage tuition costs. An overhaul in our tax code is necessa... Read more

  • My Week in the First District
    Posted in Weekly Columns on September 20, 2017 | Preview rr

    This week, the House is out of session, which means I am home in East Tennessee doing what I enjoy most – listening to East Tennesseans’ views on the many issues facing our country. Learning about what our community needs – from tax reform to health care to immigration to taking care of our veterans – is critical to my work in Congress and to ensuring the views of East Tennesseans are being heard in Washington. I started the week in Sevier County with a number of our local officials to discuss e... Read more

  • We Will Never Forget
    Posted in Weekly Columns on September 14, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Defense

    Sixteen years ago this week, on September 11, 2001, America was attacked by radical Islamic terrorists. That morning will forever be seared into my mind as nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens were murdered in New York, Washington, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site in New York and pay my respects to those who lost their lives. It is an incredibly moving tribute and I encourage a... Read more

  • Hurricane Harvey
    Posted in Weekly Columns on September 6, 2017 | Preview rr

    My thoughts and prayers continue to be with those affected by Hurricane Harvey’s devastation as they work to rebuild. While my heart is heavy for the families who lost homes and, as of Tuesday afternoon, the 60 families who lost loved ones, I am encouraged by the unity our country displayed through this devastating natural disaster. President Trump, federal, state and local officials have worked tirelessly to ensure those impacted have the resources they need, and I’m proud Congress is acting qu... Read more

  • Thoughts on Charlottesville
    Posted in Weekly Columns on August 23, 2017 | Preview rr

    Last week, neo-Nazis, KKK members, and other white supremacists came together for a rally in Charlottesville at the heart of the University of Virginia’s campus, which led to the death of a 32-year-old counter protestor, Heather Heyer. We must be clear and unequivocal in rejecting and denouncing this hateful ideology. I am extremely saddened by these acts of violence, bigotry and hate that occurred last Saturday – my heart is still grieved. In order to move forward from this act of domestic terr... Read more

  • Reforming Our Tax Code
    Posted in Weekly Columns on August 10, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Taxes

    Think about life 31 years ago: most of us communicated solely by landline; the Internet wasn’t widely available, and certainly not for commercial purposes; and Oprah Winfrey was just beginning her talk show career. Life has changed a lot in the last three decades, but our tax code hasn’t kept up. According to the Tax Foundation, our tax code is more than 2.4 million words long, which is almost six times as long as it was in 1955; and nearly twice as long as it was in 1985. Every aspect of the ta... Read more

  • Standing with President Trump to Make America Secure
    Posted in Weekly Columns on July 27, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Budget, Defense

    Today, House Republicans continued our work to keep the promises we made to the American people by passing a bill to fund one of our most important obligations: national security. The Make America Secure Act includes critical national security priorities, including the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and important energy and water infrastructure needs. This package of appropriations bills will provide funding for the largest military pay increase in eight years; inc... Read more

  • Our Saving Problem
    Posted in Weekly Columns on July 20, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Education

    Our country has a saving problem. In 2015, the GAO found that 29 percent of Americans 55 and older have no retirement savings and no traditional pension. In fact, today, nearly 40 million working families haven’t saved a dime for retirement. Reliable access to affordable and accurate financial advice is more important now than ever with a larger portion of our population reaching retirement age every day. As I’ve noted several times before, the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) pu... Read more

  • Combatting Human Trafficking One Step at a Time
    Posted in Weekly Columns on July 12, 2017 | Preview rr

    Human trafficking is an appalling crime that impacts every region of our country, and its prevalence has been increasing. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the definition of human trafficking is “modern-day slavery” and “involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.” Did you know there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally? The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates this is the third-largest criminal acti... Read more