Amy and I wish you and your family a happy and blessed Easter!
THE MUELLER REPORT
I am glad the special counsel’s report was released this week. Taxpayers deserve to know where their tax dollars have gone over the last two years.
I plan to continue reviewing the report, but it’s time for Congress to move on. After years of a special counsel investigation, Congressional investigations and millions of taxpayer dollars, it has again been confirmed that there was no collusion and no obstruction. The report states, “the evidence was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.”
It’s past time for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to stop chasing a collusion conspiracy that simply doesn’t exist. It’s time to move on. The American people deserve better.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY
As a pharmacist for more than 30 years, I have witnessed some of the greatest advancements in the history of medicine. I’ve seen prescription medications save lives. However, I’ve also seen addiction to them ruin careers, families and lives.
According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health, six million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study found that a majority of the abused drugs were obtained from family and friends.
Prescription medications have become the target of theft and abuse and it’s important that we all play our part by safely disposing unused medications.
Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This day provides a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of excess prescription drugs.
Together, we can end the opioid epidemic that is plaguing our nation.
FROM OUR NATION’S CAPITOL CCVII
Monday, April 15: The military has a strong presence in the First Congressional District as we are home to Fort Stewart Army Base, Hunter Army Airfield, Kings Bay Naval Base and Moody Air Force Base as well as Coast Guard stations in Savannah and Brunswick. Today is Army Day at Fort Stewart and I’m excited to visit this great facility that plays such an important role in our country’s defense. Covering over 280,000 acres, Fort Stewart is the largest Army installation east of the Mississippi River and, along with Hunter Army Airfield, is the Army’s world-class training and military armored power projection combination on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. Today, along with other community leaders, I am treated to a static display of combat vehicles including tanks, Bradley, JLTV and Paladin.
Each of these great fighting machines is accompanied by a talented and dedicated crew of soldiers who explain to us the intricacies of the machines and their individual responsibilities. While these precision machines are certainly impressive, they pale in comparison to the expertly trained professional soldiers in charge of operating them. Our country is certainly fortunate to be served by such outstanding individuals.
Afterwards, we head to the tank and Bradley simulators where I have the opportunity to operate these fighting machines (at least in a simulator sense) including firing rounds at enemy targets. Afterwards, I have a phone interview with Fox 28 TV in Savannah to discuss the recent renaming of a creek near Skidaway Island to Freedom Creek. Next, I head to Screven Elementary School in Wayne County where I have the opportunity to meet with two 3rd grade classes that have recently been learning about the three branches of government. After explaining my responsibilities to these bright young minds, I answer some very inquisitive questions that they have. Without question, interacting with students, whether it be high school or 3rd grade is one of the most rewarding parts of being a member of Congress. My next stop is in Jesup where I visit EAM Corporation, a division of Domtar, a company that makes a wide variety of pulp, paper and personal care products from copy paper to baby diapers.
After a tour of this impressive facility I head to Wayne Memorial Hospital in Jesup where I have my third roundtable discussion on rural maternal mortality. The experiences and input offered by Dr. Jeff Harris and the other fine professionals at this site is most helpful for our information gathering on this important subject.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019: I’m honored this morning to be invited to offer opening remarks at the Chatham County Hurricane Conference being held on Hutchinson Island this week. Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), under the leadership of Director Dennis Jones, hosts this regional conference every year and the attendance continues to increase. It is also an opportunity for me to congratulate Chatham County for becoming the first Hurricane Strong Community in the U.S.
Afterwards, I head to Thunderbolt where I meet with Ernie D’Alto, general manager of Thunderbolt Marine, Inc. (TMI) and he gives me a tour of this massive facility. Located on the Wilmington River, TMI has over 750 feet of available floating dock space and performs refit and repair on vessels from 25’ to 200’ with a marina that offers a number of amenities.
Later, I head to downtown Savannah where I meet with Chatham County Commission Chairman Al Scott to discuss the homeless situation in our community and report the findings of the homeless roundtable that I hosted a few weeks ago with area stakeholders. As I head back to our Savannah district office, I have a phone interview with freelance writer Ben Goggins to discuss my recent visit to the Cockspur Lighthouse. Once at our Savannah office, I meet with a constituent concerning an issue with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before meeting with the Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition of chief executives from different areas of the health care system. Next, I head to the Fresenius Dialysis Clinic on Victory Drive in Savannah for a tour and to learn more about the fine work they do at this facility. Of particular interest is the home based therapy that is being offered by this and other groups for dialysis patients.
Wednesday, April 17: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency within the United States government that regulates interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable and is responsible for broadband access. The committee I serve on in Congress, the Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee, has legislative jurisdiction over the FCC. One of our major initiatives on the committee has been to assure broadband access to rural areas. The FCC is directed by five commissioners and today I am honored to be hosting one of those commissioners, Brendan Carr, for a tour of rural South Georgia to meet with stakeholders and gain their input. We leave the Savannah airport this morning and fly to the University of Georgia campus in Tifton where, along with Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), we meet with those involved in precision agriculture.
We hear from various commissions including pecan, peanut, and cotton as well as extension service agents on the importance of broadband availability in today’s agriculture environment. Before leaving Tifton, I have a phone interview with the Christian Science Monitor to discuss offshore energy exploration and my recent request to the Department of Interior that the coast of Georgia be exempted from future exploration. Next, we fly to Statesboro in Bulloch County and meet with stakeholders and hear how having access to a rural next generation network assists in local government and economic development.
After going on-site and observing a fiber splicing (where I offer my expert assistance) we head to Guyton where we meet with city officials there and go on-site to observe the process where a trunk line is being laid.
Thursday, April 18, 2019: I’m back in Savannah this morning and at the studio of WTOC TV where I do a live on-set interview to discuss the Mueller report that is set to be released later this morning. Afterwards, I head to Brunswick High School in Glynn County where I have a student town hall with a group of 9th graders who have recently been studying the U.S. Constitution. I have often said that interacting with students is the most rewarding part of serving in Congress and today reminds me why. The questions and observations that these young people pose renews my confidence in the next generation and justifies my belief that our nations’ greatest times lie before us. Next, I head to our Brunswick office where I meet with a constituent who has recently moved to the District followed by a meeting with members of the Glynn County African American Chamber of Commerce.
After my final meeting with the Executive Director of Newpoint Partnership, a non-profit that provides transitional housing to Christian men being released from Georgia state prisons, I head to the Glynn County Courthouse Annex where I meet with members of the Board of Commissioners as well as staff to discuss FEMA disaster reimbursement.
On my return trip home, I have a phone interview with WSAV TV in Savannah to discuss the Mueller report that was released earlier today and then have a live phone interview on the same subject with BBC World News.