My office has been closely monitoring Hurricane Florence and everyone in the storm's path is in my prayers. To remain informed about the storm’s progress and safety precautions, please see the list of resources available on my website.
Power of the Purse
This unified Republican government has been working on getting Congress back to regular order, and this week, for the first time in over a decade, Congress sent a package of multiple spending bills to the president’s desk before the end of the fiscal year. The package contains $100 billion in veterans’ health care and military construction funding. It includes the largest budget in history for the VA to strengthen oversight at the agency and implement the VA Mission Act. Additionally, it allocates $44.64 billion to the maintenance of water infrastructure and our nuclear arsenal that reinforces our national security. Finally, it provides funding for the Legislative Branch to function properly, including vital oversight functions like the Government Accountability Office.
Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries
On Monday, the House also passed H.R. 6690, the Fighting Fraud to Protect Care for Seniors Act of 2018. Medicare cards that visibly contain beneficiary’s Social Security Number (SSN) make seniors more vulnerable targets of identity theft. Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is in the process of changing over to new cards that don’t contain beneficiaries’ SSN, additional technology can be explored to further protect beneficiaries and enhance their care. H.R. 6690 creates a pilot program to test the use of “smart card” technology in the Medicare Program and also reduce the estimated $40 billion of fraudulent or erroneous spending by the agency each year.
Remembering September 11th
The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of efforts started by 9/11 family members and support groups to establish the service day to honor victims and heroes of 9/11. In observance of this day, it was an honor to work alongside so many selfless local volunteers, excellent Habitat for Humanity staff, and Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Barbara Stewart at a local Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County build site. By remembering those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks 17 years ago with service to our communities, we strengthen our country and build the national solidarity that we need most in the face of tragedies.
The wonderfully patriotic people of Clemmons, led by the Clemmons Fire Department, held a commemoration/remembrance event at the Fire Department. The program stirs deep emotions in all participants every year. Special honored guests were World War II veterans. The 4th grade students from Clemmons Elementary School led the assembled group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
On September 14, 1891 John Hyman died. Born a slave, Hyman was the first black Representative from North Carolina to be elected to Congress, serving from 1875 to 1877. Read his biography here.
What’s Coming Up?
Next week, the House will hold a district work period. I look forward to traveling around North Carolina’s Fifth District and hearing from you!