On Wednesday, the House passed an important bill to combat unwanted robocalls by increasing penalties for illegal robocalls and implementing a nationwide caller authentication system at no cost to consumers. Thanks to the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, Americans will be able to trust that the number they see on their caller-ID is actually the person calling them. The bill also requires the FCC to recognize the burdens of adopting new technology to authenticate caller-ID information and to address the barriers that carriers face, especially in rural areas. I am pleased that this bill also includes a provision I worked on to protect consumers from “one-ring” scams. The Pallone-Thune TRACED Act provides the teeth needed though to finally get unwanted robocalls off our phones and crack down on the bad actors behind these terrible nuisances.
While still more work needs to be done to confront our nation’s challenges with opioids, I am pleased to report that our state is working to stem the tide and has witnessed a drop in opioids overdoses. Surry County and its healthcare professionals, first responders, and addiction counselors deserve special recognition as contributing to the county witnessing a drop of over 75% in opioid-related emergency room visits within the last year.
This progress comes as we implement one of the most significant bills that Congress passed last year, the comprehensive SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. I helped introduce that legislation with bipartisan colleagues and I am glad to report that the bill is achieving its goal in stemming the tide of addiction by improving prevention and public health efforts, enhancing treatment and recovery programs, and providing communities more tools in their fight.
After a review of its report, it is no surprise that the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee’s report continues to attempt to smear the President and overturn the will of the electorate. The “conclusions” of this report were written at the beginning of this process and a written report does not change the fact that this has been an unprecedented, unfair process from the beginning. I encourage everyone to review the Republican report as well which clearly demonstrates the evidence presented throughout this process does nothing to prove these allegations. Once again, I urge that instead of investing further time and attention on this unwarranted impeachment process, Democrats should work with Republicans, including President Trump, to address the real issues facing American families.
Our soldiers and veterans are some of our finest citizens and we owe a great deal to those who have sacrificed to protect, uphold, and defend America and her interests. Unfortunately, those who have answered the call to serve and defend our freedoms are increasingly being targeted based on their veteran status. According to a recent AARP survey, 78 percent of U.S. veterans have been targeted by scams specifically crafted to exploit their service history.
Fortunately there are an array of services available for veterans who believe they are the target or victim of an online or phone scam. In 2017, AARP and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service launched Operation Protect Veterans to reach out to veterans and warn them of the sophisticated schemes and scams. Veterans can also contact their local veteran service organizations or visit the federal government’s MilitaryConsumer.gov website for additional resources. I also encourage veterans who believe they are the victim of a scam to file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.
It was meaningful to participate with the American Red Cross in their Holiday Mail for Heroes program this week, sending thank you cards to our servicemembers during this special season. All are encouraged to join in the Red Cross’s efforts to bring some warmth to servicemembers’ hearts during period when family separation is particularly difficult.
East Bend’s Small Town Christmas Celebration is always a treat to participate. For more information on the event, see this article in the Yadkin Ripple.
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks’s heroic refusal to give up her seat sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Nearly a year after the boycott began, the United States Supreme Court ruled the city’s segregation law unconstitutional. A young pastor, Martin Luther King Jr, emerged as the leader of the victorious civil rights activists, and in spite of the personal danger, King and other civil rights activists persevered in their vital endeavors for equality.
Next week, the House will debate the appropriate preservation and protection of our nation’s waters and related ecosystems by considering H.R. 729, the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act.
If you haven’t already, please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up with my work in Congress and goings-on in the Fifth District. Have a blessed weekend.