I hope your day is going well. Mine has been busy given we kicked off our Lowcountry Listening Tour yesterday and continued early this morning in Summerville, but things continue to happen in Washington.
The Planned Parenthood issue has certainly been in the press lately, and I think it’s worth touching on regardless of where one may stand on the issue of abortion. At the foundational level, this issue is about the increasing ways in which the sanctity of our country being “a nation of laws” is under siege.
Yesterday, there were two important votes of note. The first, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Accountability Act offered by Representative Jeff Miller passed by a vote of 256 to 170, and I voted for it.
Often, I’ll hear from business owners – of both large and small businesses – that they are drowning in the constant addition of new federal rules and regulations...averaging at 10 new regulations a day! These costs are affecting the very livelihood of Americans, hurting job growth nationally, and raising compliance costs without congressional approval.
Our Founding Fathers intended for us to be a nation of laws and not men. The idea behind this was that while kings could be capricious, the law was not. It was steady and constant and applied equally to the rich and the poor. This has been one of the cornerstones of what made America exceptional.
Over the past week, I have heard from many people at home regarding their interest in H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. It would create a voluntary uniform national labeling standard to certify a product contains no genetically engineered ingredients while preventing states from imposing their own labeling requirements.
The tragedy of Chattanooga and the five marines who died tragically did not represent the first recruitment center that’s been attacked here in the homeland. In 2009, a similar attack occurred in Little Rock, Arkansas that killed one serviceman and wounded another.
Monday morning’s decision by the United Nations and the European Union to endorse the Iran nuclear deal was significant for the way it sets them on a path to end all previously-imposed UN and EU resolutions banning and sanctioning Iran’s nuclear activities. It’s equally significant for the way it isolates Congress.
I will come back to the bigger issues at play in Washington tomorrow, but it is worth pausing for a moment to note that yesterday, the Cuban flag was raised over its embassy in Washington for the first time in more than 50 years. In a few weeks, it appears that the US flag will be raised over the US Embassy in Cuba in return.
Today, the House voted on the Highway Transportation Funding Act of 2015, a bill that offers a short-term answer to the highway funding problem by authorizing $8.1 billion in spending through December 18. This short-term funding patch was made necessary by two problematic factors, one of which I have tried to address – the other a part of a larger turf battle in Washington.