FULL FUNDING FOR SHEP
I am excited to announce we have secured full capability funding to keep the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) on track.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2020, recommending more than $130 million in federal funds for SHEP. This is great news for the project and it is the third year in a row SHEP will receive full federal funding from the Trump administration pending Congressional passage of the annual appropriations bill.
I want to thank President Trump, OMB Director Mulvaney and Acting Director Vought and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James for the highest budget request for SHEP to date. This again proves their understanding of the critical importance of this project for America and the need to keep it on time and on track.
We have fought tirelessly for this federal support and we will continue this work until it becomes a reality. With a benefit to cost ratio of 7.3 to 1, there is no time to waste.
FORT FREDERICA EXPANSION SIGNED INTO LAW
This week, President Trump signed my measure to expand and protect Fort Frederica National Monument into law.
I am thrilled that this legislation finally crossed the finish line this week. This measure took a lot of hard work and was years in the making. This new law will both preserve and expand the history and legacy of this landmark for Georgians and visitors for many generations to come.
The legislation, the Fort Frederica National Monument Boundary Expansion Act, will increase the maximum number of acres that may be included in the monument from 250 acres to 305 acres. Due to current statute, legislation is required to expand the authorized boundary and remove the 250-acre limit established by Congress. It also allows the National Park Service to acquire, by donation or purchase, the land and interests within the monument only from those willing to sell additional land for inclusion.
FROM OUR NATION’S CAPITOL CCII
Monday, March 11: Yesterday, I visited with Scott Lobaido at VFW Post 660 in Savannah as he kicked off his Veterans Suicide Awareness exhibit tour. Scott is an artist from New York who has put together a display featuring a theme with the number 22 that is intended to bring attention to the number of veterans who commit suicide every day.
This morning I take an early morning flight to Washington and, once back at the office, finally have a few hours to get caught up on work before we have our weekly staff briefing mid-afternoon. Afterwards, I meet with Amanda Raines, a psychologist from Louisiana, to learn about her work as an addiction counselor with the Veterans Authority (VA). Next, I head to our weekly Whip Team meeting before heading to the House Chamber for our first vote series of the week. After votes, I stay in the Chamber and pay tribute to former Bryan County Commissioner Carlton Gill from Richmond Hill who passed recently. Next, I head to Statuary Hall for a live TV interview with Fox News to discuss climate change and my appointment to the Select Committee on Climate Change.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019: My first meeting this morning is with members of the Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee to discuss our upcoming agenda for each subcommittee. After our weekly GOP Conference, I head back to my office where I call Dalton Malone from Pierce County High School to inform and congratulate him on receiving an appointment to the Air Force Academy. Next, I meet with Mason McClintock from Bacon County who is visiting Washington to participate in the Legacy Awards for 4-H students from across the nation.
Afterwards, I have a TV interview with C-SPAN to record a segment on what books I am currently reading and, once I’m finished, I call Conner Jacobsen from Benedictine Military School in Savannah to inform and congratulate him on his appointment to the Naval Academy. Next, I have a meeting with Philips Health Care to learn of the exciting things they are doing for the future and afterwards meet with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology. Then, I head to an E&C Health Subcommittee hearing on the fiscal year 2020 budget where we hear from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar. Next, I head to the Capitol steps to take a picture with students from Hancock Day School in Savannah who are visiting this week.
After heading to the House Chamber for our first vote series of the day, I remain in the Chamber and deliver a tribute to Jamie Parker, editor of Bryan Now, who passed recently. Next, I meet with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) before meeting with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Coastal Resources Division. Afterwards, I have a phone interview with the Associated Press to discuss funding for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) and efforts to locate the Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Travis Field in Savannah. Following a meeting with my good friend, Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach, I have a facetime interview with WTOC TV in Savannah to discuss funding for SHEP followed by a phone interview with WJCL TV in Savannah on the same subject. My final commitments of the day are phone interviews with the Savannah Morning News and the Georgia News Network to discuss SHEP funding and the Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron efforts.
Wednesday, March 13: I begin today with an E&C Health Subcommittee hearing on lowering the costs of prescription drugs. Afterwards, I have an E&C Environment Subcommittee hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) management of certain chemicals. Next, I head to the House Chamber for our first vote series of the day before heading back to my office for a phone interview with WSAV TV in Savannah to discuss SHEP funding. My next meetings are with Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals, National Association of Convenience Stores, Credit Union National Association and National League of Cities.
Continuing with a slew of office meetings this afternoon, I meet with Southern Cotton Growers followed by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. After heading to an E&C Consumer Protection and Commerce (CPAC) Subcommittee member meeting with former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Jon Leibowitz, I head back to my office where I meet with the American Society of Civil Engineers and with Ray Debbane with Weight Watchers.
Thursday, March 14, 2019: Our special guest at our Doctor’s Caucus meeting this morning is the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) representing the Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) to discuss prescription drug pricing. Afterwards, I head to an E&C CPAC Subcommittee hearing on “Enhancing Vehicle Technology to Prevent Drunk Driving.”
Next, we have our first and only vote series of the day and afterwards I head to the airport and fly to Atlanta where I have meetings in the afternoon. Later in the evening I head back to the airport and fly home to Savannah.
Friday, March 15, 2019: After a meeting at our Savannah District office with a constituent to discuss health care issues, I head to Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah where I meet two of my colleagues, Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI) and Rep. Larry Buschon (R-IN) who are in town for a visit and tour of the facility.
Later in the afternoon, I head to Madison Square in downtown Savannah where I participate in the Sgt. William Jasper Memorial procession and ceremony as the St. Patrick’s Day festivities are in full swing.
Saturday, March 16: I’m up early on this special day in Savannah as I join the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshall Jerry Counihan for a swing through the many breakfast celebrations this morning. After visiting the parade committee breakfast we visit the Sinn Fein Society, Fenian Society, Clan Na Erin and Fine Gael Society breakfasts before heading to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist where we celebrate mass.
The luck of the Irish is in full swing today as the weather is beautiful, the crowd is enormous and the excitement is high as the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Parade gets under way just after 10AM and continues on until the last unit finishes around 2:30 P.M.
As my wife Amy and I walked the entire length of over three miles on the parade route, we witnessed Savannah at its best. As the “Hostess City of the South” welcomed visitors from all over the world, families and friends gathered together and celebrated our cities Irish heritage, reminding us all of how much we have to be thankful for and how blessed we are. Erin Go Bragh!