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Honorable Mark Sanford

Representing the 1st District of South Carolina

I’ve fallen a bit behind this week in offering updates on what’s happening in the House and what we’re voting on, so I wanted to take a minute to remedy that!

Oct 24, 2015
Blog Post

I’ve fallen a bit behind this week in offering updates on what’s happening in the House and what we’re voting on, so I wanted to take a minute to remedy that! In particular, there were two votes I’d like to explain: the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act and the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act.

The first bill, which passed the House yesterday by a vote of 240 to 189, dealt with the partial repeal of Obamacare. This is another attempt to repeal this law, as the House has already voted 61 times to do so, and I have joined consistently in that effort. If we can do so, it will help reduce spending and give Americans back more choice in healthcare. Top-down government solutions won’t work.

Full repeal is my position on Obamacare, and as such, I don’t think we should tinker around the edges. This bill was a little unusual, so I wrote about it a little while ago: “Without getting too much into the procedural weeds, reconciliation is a special legislative process that is needed to get the bill voted on in the Senate and passed with a simple majority of votes. I would have preferred to completely repeal Obamacare, but that would have caused the bill to be deemed ‘out of order,’ and this would allow the Senate Democrats to block the bill from getting an up or down vote in the Senate.”

Reconciliation gives us the chance to lay out our plan for getting a repeal bill through the Senate and would have the effect of reducing the deficit by $130 billion.

Thursday night, I also voted yes on a bill, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, which passed by a vote of 254 to 177. The bill is intended to help America become a better producer of “rare earth minerals,” or special compounds that have unique properties. They’re crucial to making cell phones and other advanced technology.

The US has some of best mineral resources in the world…so, we’re lucky there. But red tape, which I’ve long supported cutting down, stops us from being a leader here. In fact, we currently rely heavily on China for these minerals instead of using the resources we have at home. By reducing the amount of time it takes to start up mines, we are supporting our jobs and economy and not foreign ones.

Right now, it takes seven to ten years to get approval for a new mine, but ten years ago, the iPhone didn’t exist! What that tells me is that there’s a way to streamline the permitting approval process, so we don’t have to hold up people who want to dig for an entire decade. The other party thought this was a step too far, but I disagreed. Accordingly, I voted yes.

I think I voted right on these two. What do you think?