This week the House passed a number bills aimed at improving access and decreasing costs for high-quality health care. Republicans’ vision for health care is to empower individuals and families with choices that meet their needs and budget. One measure to accomplish this aim is the expansion of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) which place control in the hands of the consumer. That’s why the House passed H.R. 6199, the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act and H.R. 6311, the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act this week. These two bills work together to expand HSAs. H.R. 6311 also delays Obamacare’s tax on health insurers for an additional two years to lower premium costs.
On Tuesday, the House also passed H.R. 184, the Protect Medical Innovation Act. Many medical device manufacturers in the Fifth District have reported how the medical device excise tax hinders medical innovation, costs jobs, decreases research and development, and slows capital expansion. A fundamentally flawed policy, the medical device excise tax was intended to pay for Obamacare’s massive costs to taxpayers. Instead, it burdens those taxpayers and innovators who are the back bone of our economy and forces them to pass off higher prices to consumers. As an original cosponsor of this legislation, I’m pleased to restore stability to the medical device industry so that it can direct future investments in our state and serve patients with greater ease going forward. Learn how this bill helps Cook Medical in Winston-Salem.
H.R. 951 Signed Into Law
On Monday, the president signed into law H.R. 951, legislation I introduced to provide a six-year extension to the deadline for commencement of the W. Kerr Scott Hydropower Project in Wilkes County, NC. Increasing energy availability and reducing reliance on non-renewable energy is an important goal for rural development and economic growth. As a strong supporter of renewable energy, I applaud Wilkesboro Hydropower’s aim to refurbish the W. Kerr Scott Dam into a source of hydroelectricity. Now that the project has been granted an extension to begin construction, my hope is that Wilkes County will see the Kerr Scott Hydropower Project underway in the near future.
Bipartisan Innovation Forum
Wednesday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce brought the wisdom of the world to Washington by inviting innovators from around the country to share their success stories of education and workforce development at the Bipartisan Innovation Forum and Showcase. We learned a lot from Chris Bare of Wilkes Community College who has spearheaded the partnership between Wilkes Community College and GE Aviation in West Jefferson to recruit over 100 new, qualified employees to meet GE's operations expansion in a county of just 27,000. Click here to read Chris’ testimony and watch a clip from the Forum.
Strengthening Career and Technical Education
Wednesday, the House sent the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act to the President's desk. As Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, I have been pleased and proud to work with Ranking Member Bobby Scott in urging Senate consideration of this bill over the last year. With more than six million unfilled jobs in this country due to an outdated approach to workforce development, this crucial legislation supports innovative learning opportunities and strong community partnerships. Most importantly, it addresses the problem of vacant jobs and workforce development needs where they exist—at the local level.
Across the Country & Across the Aisle
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to take part in a congressional exchange with my friend and colleague, Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA). As we toured the Fifth District, we discussed our shared passion for education and learned from many site visits including the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem State University, Forsyth Tech, and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Of course, some time was also spent showing Rep. Davis the craftsmanship and natural beauty of our state—something she can’t find in San Diego!
Better Off Now Special Order
Click here to learn how North Carolinians are Better Off Now thanks to Republicans’ Better Way Agenda.
North Carolinians in the Capitol
Music Maker Relief Foundation
Christians United For Israel
The Perry Family
What’s Coming Up?
Next month the House will hold a district work period. I look forward to traveling around North Carolina’s Fifth District and hearing from you!