Monday, February 3, 2020: I’ve always said that my favorite part of this work is interacting with students and that includes college students. This morning I have the pleasure of speaking at the Armstrong campus of Georgia Southern University to the health care systems and advocacy class, an undergraduate course that is discussing pharmaceutical policy and the rising cost of prescription drugs. Of course, this subject is an area that I am focusing on in Congress and I enjoy sharing information on bills that I have passed and am currently sponsoring, but more than anything I enjoy the questions from the students.
Afterwards, I head to our Savannah district office where I meet with a group lobbying on behalf of climate change and H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act which places a graduated fee on carbon and returns net revenue to households. My next meeting is with a group of health care advocates who are interested in developing policies and programs for a 21st century health care system followed by a meeting with a constituent who is interested in discussing sea level rise in Chatham County and the City of Savannah and shares with me details of a project she is working on studying the problem. After a meeting with my good friend Donna Camacho who does an outstanding job advocating for the Alzheimer’s Association, l have a conference call with leadership of JCB, Inc., to discuss tariffs that are being imposed on the company and could potentially impact the Savannah operation. Next, we have our weekly all district conference call to review last week’s activities in the district and what we have coming up this week.
Afterwards, I head to the Tiny House project in Savannah that is run by the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless (CSAH) and meet with director Cindy Kelley as she takes me on a tour of the now completed project that includes a tiny medical clinic. Next, I head to downtown Savannah to meet with attendees of the Southeastern Aeroculture Fair before heading to the American Legion Post 184 in Thunderbolt for the Savannah Veterans Council meeting where we honor Doug Andrews who is retiring after 6 outstanding years of service as Chairman of the Veterans Council of Chatham County. I have the privilege of participating in the program and present Doug an American flag flown over the US Capitol in his honor.
Tuesday, February 4, 2020: After an early morning flight to Washington, I’m back at the Capitol this morning and in the office in time to meet with constituents who are in town visiting this week. Next, we have our weekly DC staff briefing followed by a meeting with members of the Georgia Independent College Association where we discuss the College Affordability Act/Higher Education Reauthorization. After a meeting with members of the Georgia Narcotics Officers Association, I head to the House Chamber where I pay tribute to Long County Sheriff Deputy Sheldon Whiteman, who was killed in the line of duty a few weeks ago. Next, I head back to my office where I meet with my special guest for tonight’s State of the Union (SOTU) Address, Jaiden Thompson.
A student at Georgia Southern University, Jaiden is from Hinesville in Liberty County and has been active in Girl Scouts for many years. She started out as a Daisy and is now an Ambassador as well as a Gold Award Girl Scout. After spending some time with Jaiden and her Mother, we have a Skype interview with WJCL TV and then WSAV TV to discuss her visit today for the SOTU. Afterwards, we head to the Speaker’s Balcony in the Capitol for pictures before heading to Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitors Center (CVC) where Jaiden and I do an on-camera interview with WTOC TV in Savannah. Next, we head to the Senate where I have the opportunity to introduce Jaiden and her mother to Senator David Perdue (R-GA) and Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA). Once back on the House side of the Capitol, we attend Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) reception followed by the President’s reception before Jaiden and her mother take their seats in the House Gallery and I head to the House Chamber. After the SOTU address, I head to Statuary Hall where I have 3 on-camera interviews reviewing the SOTU address before heading to Emancipation Hall in the CVC where I have 2 more on-camera interviews.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020: I have a total of four radio interviews this morning to talk about the SOTU address beginning with Bill Edwards in Savannah, followed by Scott James in Valdosta, Bob Morgan in Jesup and Scott Ryfun in Brunswick. Afterwards, I head to the White House where I assist Jaiden and her mother in gaining entrance for a tour. Once back at the Capitol, I head to our weekly GOP Conference before heading to a hearing of the Select Committee on Climate Change on the health risks of climate change. Afterwards, I head back to my office where I meet with Gen. James Holmes, Commander of the Air Combat Command (ACC) to discuss Air Force issues.
Next, I head to the CVC for a member briefing on the Coronavirus with White House personnel and health agency heads before heading to the Russell Senate Office building where I speak to members of the Forest Landowners Association. After attending the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) weekly meeting, I head back to my office where I meet with the Pulp and Paperworker’s Resource Council followed by the Local Taxpayer Advocate and then the Truth Initiative, a group that works to prevent youth tobacco and opioid use. Afterwards, I head to the House Chamber for our first and only vote series of the day and remain in the Chamber where I pay tribute to Bonnie Duvall, the mother of one of my former staff members and a very special lady who passed recently. Before calling it a day, I have a phone conference with Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma who gives me advance notice of a Medicare announcement the department will soon be making.
Thursday, February 6, 2020: I’m up early this morning and headed downtown to one of my favorite events of the year, the National Prayer Breakfast, where over 4,000 people have gathered from all over the world to pray for our nation and our world. Joined by Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump, the keynote speaker this year is former American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks. As always, the service is most meaningful and inspirational. Once back at the Capitol, I head to an Energy and Commerce (E&C) Environment hearing on carbon capture, utilization and storage.
Afterwards, I head to the CVC to take a picture with a group of students from Godley Station School in Pooler in Chatham County before heading to the House Chamber for our first vote series of the day. After votes, I remain in the House Chamber where I speak on H.R. 826 dealing with Medicaid block grants. Next, I head to a Doctor’s Caucus meeting where we discuss a proposal by the Ways and Means Committee to address surprise billing before heading back to my office where I have a tele-town hall with my special guest, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) who served on the President’s House impeachment defense team. Later in the evening, we have our second vote series of the day and afterwards I stay in the House Chamber to pay tribute to my good friend Kevin “Catfish” Jackson.
Friday, February 7, 2020: I’m in the House Chamber early this morning as I pay tribute to long time City of Savannah attorney Jimmy Blackburn who recently passed.
Afterwards, I head to the rotunda in the Russell Senate building where I film this week’s edition of Buddy’s Briefings before heading back to my office for an on-camera interview with WSAV TV in Savannah to discuss President Trump’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday. After our last vote series of the week, I rush to the airport only to have a lengthy delay. Once I finally arrive in Jacksonville, I have a phone interview with WTOC TV in Savannah before heading to Waycross in Ware County for their annual Chamber of Commerce banquet. Although I am very late, I do make it to see most of those attending and then drive back to Pooler after a very busy week.