Foxx Report
The chemical attack in Syria earlier this week was a stark reminder that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad will stop at nothing to stay in power. The evidence of nerve agents used against his own people also proves that the dictator's word is faithless, as he previously agreed to disarm himself of his chemical arsenal. All of this has occurred because the United Nations has been completely ineffective in stopping the countless atrocities committed against the Syrian people. After six years of civil war, the United States and the international community can no longer stand aside while innocent men, women and children are murdered. The president's decisive but measured response to the chemical attack in Syria is an attempt to hold Assad accountable, and I am hopeful that the administration's new direction will chart a course to the end of the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from the prolonged conflict.

Protecting Affordable Health Care for Workers and Families

This week the House passed H.R. 1304, the Self-Insurance Protection Act, which reaffirms long-standing policies to ensure workers can continue to receive flexible, affordable health care coverage through self-insured plans. This legislation provides certainty for working families who depend on self-insured health care plans. Workers and employers are already facing limited choices in health care, and the least we can do is preserve the choices they still have. While there’s more we can and should do to ensure access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage, this bill is a positive step for workers and their families.

Congressional Review Act

Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congress may pass a resolution of disapproval to nullify, with the full force of the law, a federal agency’s rule or prevent the agency from issuing a substantially similar rule without congressional authorization. The House has passed 15 CRAs in 2017 with five coming from the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and 12 have been signed into law by President Trump.

This week President Trump signed a CRA into law that blocks an unlawful rule by the Obama Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This unlawful power grab, which violates the Occupational Safety and Health Act and fails to improve workplace safety, reflected a failed approach. For years, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which I chair, has urged OSHA to develop proactive policies that prevent injuries and illnesses before they occur. Regardless of who is in charge, we will continue to hold the agency accountable in the years ahead.

Committee Advances Bipartisan Legislation to Enhance Opportunity for Vulnerable Youth

On Tuesday the House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved H.R. 1809, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017. This legislation reauthorizes and reforms the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) to help state and local leaders better serve at-risk youth and juvenile offenders.

Everyone deserves an opportunity to make a change for the better, and that’s what the reforms in this legislation are all about. By enhancing accountability, oversight and prevention, the bill will help state and local leaders better serve at-risk youth in their communities. This bipartisan proposal will make a positive difference in the lives of vulnerable children across the country.

The committee also approved bipartisan legislation that updates the Missing Children’s Assistance Act to help the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) strengthen its recovery and prevention efforts. H.R. 1808, the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act, is an important step in making sure our country’s most vulnerable children receive the help, protection and support they desperately need. This legislation delivers reforms that have the potential to change and save lives. We will continue working to advance the bill in the House and do our part to reunite families and keep kids safe.

Preventing the Use of Tax-Free HSA Funds for Elective Abortion

Individuals with high deductible health insurance plans are eligible to open health savings accounts. Contributions to these accounts are tax deductible while the interest or other earnings on the assets in the accounts are tax-free. Participants can withdraw funds from the accounts on a tax-free basis to cover qualified medical expenses.

This week I introduced legislation to prevent health savings accounts from being used to fund elective abortion. Few things demean the sanctity of human life more than elective abortion. It is unconscionable to force millions of taxpayers who hold that view to provide tax advantages for abortion expenses, particularly when such advantages are barred for other controversial uses.

Congress has already established limits on withdrawals from health savings accounts by establishing qualified medical expenses. Certain procedures such as elective cosmetic surgeries have been excluded from eligibility. Similarly, H.R. 2019 removes elective abortion as a qualified medical expense.

5th District Congressional Art Competition

Do you know any talented high school artists living in North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District? Encourage them to submit entries for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition, which is a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize talented young artists and promote the valuable role meaningful art plays in our society.

As in years past, the online community will decide this year’s winner. Following the submission deadline, a photo of each student’s artwork will be posted on my Facebook page. The piece that receives the highest number of “likes” will win, and the artist will have the opportunity to travel to the U.S. Capitol for the installation of his or her work. Two runners-up also will be selected, and their artwork will be on display in one of my district offices. Online voting will begin on Monday, May 1, at noon and will end on Monday, May 8, at noon.

The deadline for entries is Monday, April 24, at 5 p.m. Visit my website to view guidelines for entering the competition.

What’s Coming Up?

Next week the House will hold a district work week. I look forward to traveling around North Carolina’s 5th District and hearing from you.

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