Monday, August 5, 2019: On Saturday I had the privilege of attending South University’s Safety-Net Conference held at their campus in Savannah and interacting with the presenters and attendees. The goal of this yearly gathering is to provide current evidence-based data in counseling and other disciplines as well as networking with area mental health providers. The Licensed Professional Counselors Association (LPCA) of Georgia is one of the largest State Counseling Associations and its members play an important role in delivering mental health services to our communities. This morning I have an early morning phone conference with the Army Program Executive Office that oversees contracts to inquire about a request for proposal (RFP) that is past its scheduled release date. Afterwards, I head to downtown Savannah for a meeting with Dr. Todd Groce with the Georgia Historical Society to learn more about the exciting expansion of Hodgson Hall that will nearly double the archive space for the organization. Next, I head to the weekly meeting of the Savannah Rotary Club where I am honored to be the keynote speaker today. Before the meeting starts, I meet with the local television stations to address the mass shootings that took place in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH, this past weekend.
Organized in January of 1914, the Savannah Rotary Club is one of the oldest Rotary Clubs in Georgia and has sponsored the formation of eight new Rotary clubs in Georgia including in Augusta, Brunswick, Hinesville and others. Over the years the club has been involved in numerous service projects for the community and remains today one of the most active Rotary clubs in the state. Later in the afternoon, I have a phone conference with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IV Recovery Division Director to discuss their upcoming site visit regarding a sea wall project. Next, I head to Tybee Island where I participate in a press conference with Tybee Mayor Jason Buelterman and other Tybee officials as the Mayor announces that the City of Tybee has been approved by FEMA for a Hazard Mitigation Grant of $1.16 million to elevate from the floodplain 12 residential structures that were damaged during Hurricanes Mathew and Irma. Tybee applied for this grant in January of 2018 and our office has worked closely with FEMA and Tybee officials to move this grant forward. The importance of this grant and raising these residential structures from the floodplain cannot be overstated. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on the Environment and the Select Committee on Climate Change, I have consistently stressed the importance of resiliency to fight our changing climate. The City of Tybee still has another, larger grant that they have applied for with FEMA that includes another 49 residential properties to be raised.
Tuesday, August 7, 2019: It’s always good to be at Fort Stewart and today I’m honored to be on post to join the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), Marne Chapter, to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. AUSA is the Army’s professional association that offers support for soldiers and their families and is the voice for the Army on Capitol Hill. I have worked with AUSA in Washington and found them to be a trusted and credible resource in advocating for the issues most important to soldiers and the Army. The number one responsibility of the federal government is to provide for the common defense and we can only do that through a strong military. After briefly addressing the group I have the honor of introducing the keynote speaker, Gerald O’Keefe, who currently serves as Director of Grant Thornton LLP, a Global Public Sector company focusing on Security and Defense, and previously served as the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army at The Pentagon. After the business meeting has concluded we enjoy a cake to celebrate this special occasion that is appropriately cut in half with a sword.
Rep. Carter Speaks at the celebration of AUSA’s 50th Anniversary
Wednesday, August 7, 2019: I’m honored today to be the keynote speaker at the monthly meeting of the Savannah Area Republican Women (SARW), as I bring them up to date on issues in Washington, including legislation that we have recently passed dealing with robocalls and surprise billing. Already this year we have had over 30 billion robocalls in our country, a figure that averages out to be almost 90 per person. Almost everyone who has visited an emergency room or had surgery has gotten a bill from a provider for a service that, unbeknownst to them at the time of service, was not covered by their insurance company. Both of these pieces of surprise billing legislation were passed out of the committee that I serve on, the Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee. Later in the afternoon, I meet with members of the Georgia Health Care Association, the state’s largest association of long term care providers, who are in Savannah this week. Much of my pharmacy career was spent as a nursing home consultant and provider and I know first-hand the outstanding job this great group of professionals do in providing quality care to some of our most vulnerable citizens.
Friday, August 9, 2019: After making a back and forth trip to Charlottesville, VA, to take care of grandbabies, I’m back at work this afternoon beginning with a meeting in Savannah with the Georgia Association of Broadcasters (GAB) including representatives from all four television channels in the Savannah area as well as my good friend Butch Hubbard of WIFO-FM radio in Jesup. GAB is the trade association that represents the interests of Georgia’s over-the-air radio and television licensees who reach more than 95% of Georgia’s population every week. While they do a great job of presenting fair and balanced coverage of local news, perhaps their greatest value is the emergency weather coverage that they provide to keep our citizens informed. Afterwards, I head to the Carpenters Local 256 in Garden City to tour their training center and learn more about the Southeastern Carpenters Training Trust, one of the top carpenter and millwright apprenticeship and journeyman upgrade training programs in the nation. The training is based on a $200 million program developed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters International Training Fund and provides everything from safety and technical skills to communication and leadership skills. Next, I head to our Savannah district office where I meet with representatives from the Arthritis Foundation to discuss access to care issues that face the arthritis community and afterwards meet with representatives from the American Diabetes Association. More than 30 million Americans are currently living with diabetes and the number continues to climb at a rate of approximately 1.7 million new diagnoses each year. A big part of our discussion in Congress on prescription drug pricing has focused on the high cost of insulin and access for diabetics.