Harper and Langevin Praise Committee Passage of Kirk Bill to Improve NIH Research
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chairs of the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, today praised passage of the Enhancing the Stature and Visibility of Medical Rehabilitation Research at NIH Act by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). As the lead sponsors of companion legislation in the House, they commended Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) for championing this effort in the Senate.
“I am very encouraged to see progress being made on legislation that will advance the state of rehabilitation science at the National Institutes of Health, and improve the care provided to people with disabling injuries, illnesses and conditions,” said Langevin. “Millions of people across the country require medical rehabilitation to restore, maintain, or prevent deterioration of function, and this legislation will play an important role in the provision of that care. I look forward to its swift passage in the Senate and subsequent consideration in the House.”
“Rehabilitation research is absolutely essential in order to improve care and the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, chronic medical conditions and debilitating injuries,” said Harper. “This legislation will lay the foundation for a national network of partnerships between the NIH and clinicians. I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for their urgency in moving Senator Kirk’s legislation through the HELP Committee and look forward to its immediate passage in both the Senate and the House.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) issued the following statement in response to the news that the Mississippi State Legislature approved a $275 million incentive package for two major economic development projects, including a $1.45 billion Continental Tire plant in Hinds County, as well as an expansion of shipping operations by Topship, LLC, at the State Port of Gulfport:
“I applaud the incredible work by Governor Bryant and the Mississippi Development Authority in continuing to demonstrate why Mississippi has a trusted reputation for business. Companies from across the globe recognize and have confidence in our skilled and dedicated workforce,” said Harper. “This is a great development for Hinds County and for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. These are good-paying jobs that will help strengthen Mississippi and will ensure that our State remains internationally competitive. These companies could have chosen to expand at other locations, but the fact that they plan to grow in Mississippi speaks volumes about our business climate.”
“I thank the Mississippi State Legislature for their leadership and acting quickly to approve this agreement. When companies choose to expand or locate in our State, they show other companies around the world that we are open for business. Continental Tire and Topship, LLC, are valued members of our business community, and we look forward to having them in Mississippi for years to come.”
Washington DC - U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss) released the following statement this afternoon after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Congressional Review Act Resolution to disapprove of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule:
“The WOTUS rule is yet another example of federal overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency. WOTUS is opposed by many, especially our nation’s farmers, who justifiably fear federal regulation of their land. Additionally, thirty-two states are suing the federal government over the rule’s legality. The joint resolution passed by the U.S. House and U.S. Senate would void the WOTUS rule, ensuring that water regulation remains in the hands of the states where it belongs.”
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) issued the following statement this evening in response to President Obama’s final State of the Union Address:
“Since President Obama’s first address, Americans have been hoping that the seven years of promises for hope, change, and economic recovery were more than just rhetoric. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Tonight’s remarks were no different; a reiteration of failed policies that sounded more like a campaign speech than a State of the Union address.”
“Republicans have time and time again asked the President to work with Congress on solutions to the challenges facing our nation at home and abroad. Instead, the Obama Administration has resorted to the use of executive orders, government mandates, and new regulations over and over again.”
“In a world that is becoming more and more dangerous, President Obama should come to terms with radical Islam and understand it cannot merely be “contained” while we wait for the election of the next president, but it must be defeated. From Paris to San Bernardino, from Philadelphia to Istanbul, it is clear that the United States must lead in this fight. It is imperative that we have a plan to solve this problem today. And I urge the President to work with us – not against us – so we can do what is best for our country.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) announced today the submission of a bipartisan amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, led by Congressman Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Penn.), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) and signed by 207 members of the House and Senate in support of the religious nonprofits and charities challenging Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate, including Little Sisters of the Poor. The nonprofits’ challenge will be heard this year in the case of Zubik vs. Burwell.
The amicus brief argues that religious freedom is a fundamental guarantee of the United States Constitution and, more recently, of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), noting that “Despite RFRA’s command that the religious beliefs of all individuals and organizations be accorded the same deference, HHS has given the religious liberties of religious non-profits second-tier status.”
“It is not the government’s place to determine what a person’s religion requires, and the government cannot justify trampling religious beliefs when it has readily available alternatives to accomplish its goal,” said Harper. “HHS’s enforcement of the contraceptive mandate against religious non-profits exceeds its statutory authority. This administration continues to put themselves on the wrong side of our nation’s long and cherished history of religious liberty and tolerance.”
Today, House Republicans set a tone for 2016 that reaffirms that the life of the unborn is precious and that Americans should no longer be punished by Obamacare.
The House will send to the President’s desk a bill that repeals and replaces Obamacare and defunds Planned Parenthood while providing additional funding for community health centers to ensure women have access to quality care. By the use of reconciliation (ironically the same budget tool that was utilized to help pass Obamacare in 2009), the House passed H.R. 3762 – the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act by an overwhelming margin.
In December, the Senate amended and passed H.R 3762, repealing new spending programs — including the premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion. The bill also eliminates the penalty for individuals and employers who decline to purchase Obamacare coverage and sets up a transition period for Congress and the next president to replace the health care law with a proposal that reduces costs for families and the federal government.
This legislation sends a clear message to the American people and the White House – that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America should not be supported by the American taxpayer. For far too long Planned Parenthood has been involved in morally objectionable and possibly illegal activities. Today’s vote is a continuation of the ongoing commitment House Republicans have made to protect the unborn and end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood.
Using this budget reconciliation process to stop taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is the preferred strategy of the March for Life and Susan B. Anthony List, as well as the National Right to Life Committee, the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization.
Additionally, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that repealing Obamacare will reduce the budget deficit by $516 billion over the next decade.
With the House of Representatives starting a new session this week, we have a chance to make good on a number of long-standing commitments and set a new and better course for our country.
God Bless, Gregg Harper Member of Congress
Dear Friend, For the last seven years, President Obama has used his executive orders to dodge the legislative process. It looks like his eighth and final year in office will be no different.
As a new year begins, the president is launching a new attack on the Second Amendment. He has completely missed the mark on this issue. The Second Amendment guarantees the right of law-abiding American citizens to bear arms and defend their families, and it is unimaginable that the president would seek to infringe upon this right given to us by our founding fathers. It is puzzling and frightening to me that the president seems to be more concerned with restricting law-abiding Americans than he is with putting an end to fundamentalist Islamic terrorists.
While it is possible that steps such as increasing the number of prosecutions for crimes committed with a firearm could help reduce gun violence, limiting the Second Amendment right of law-abiding American citizens is not the answer. I firmly believe that law-abiding American citizens have the right to own firearms, and I am committed to ensuring that the Second Amendment is not infringed upon.
God Bless, Gregg Harper Member of CongressRead More
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus, let us remember that the holiday season is also about family and the love we share for each other. It’s about gathering together to share in the traditions that we hold dear, not only as a family or a community, but as a nation. As we do that, let us not forget to express our gratitude to the men and women who serve or have served our country in the protection of our freedoms.
And as we celebrate the most important reason—the Christ child who was born in a stable and brought forgiveness and peace, take a moment to help the people around you who may be having a difficult time and please extend your generosity.
Scripture reminds us in 1 John 4:9, "In this way the love of God was revealed to us; God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him."
I, along with Sidney, Livingston, Maggie, and my Congressional staff, wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
God Bless, Gregg Harper Member of Congress
MISSISSIPPI VETERANS DESERVE MORE MISSISSIPPI’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION UNITES IN STRONG OPPOSITION TO THE APPOINTMENT OF SKYE MCDOUGALL TO TOP REGIONAL VETERANS’ AFFAIRS POST
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Gregg Harper, R-Miss., Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., Trent Kelly, R-Miss., along with U.S. Senators Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., yesterday issued a letter to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald vehemently opposing the appointment of Dr. Skye McDougall to be the Network Director for the South Central Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care Network.
In Mississippi, McDougall would be responsible for the network’s headquarters in Ridgeland, the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi, and the Jackson Regional Benefits Office. The Mississippi delegation urged the secretary to rescind the appointment and replace the candidate with someone more qualified. They cited McDougall’s testimony to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, in which she misled members of Congress about the extent of wait times for veterans to receive care in Southern California and the VA’s recent efforts to place her in other parts of the country.
The letter reads in part: “It is well documented that on March 13, 2015, Dr. McDougall misled Members of the United States House of Representatives when she testified to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs that wait times for veterans to receive care at VA facilities that she oversaw in Southern California averaged only four days. In actuality, the wait times were at least ten times longer. In view of her deplorable record in the VA system and her questionable testimony to Congress, Dr. McDougall has proven to be, at the very least, untrustworthy as it relates to the vitally important task of providing for the health care needs of our veterans.”
“It seems that the Department of Veterans affairs has been ‘hopscotching’ Dr. McDougall around the country - from Southern California to New Mexico and from Arizona to Mississippi - searching for a soft landing for her. We are determined to see to it that her soft landing is not in Mississippi.”
The letter concludes: “Given Dr. McDougall's track record and the VA's ongoing effort to earn back the trust of veterans in Mississippi and across the country, we strongly urge you to rescind this se lection and, instead, appoint a senior leader who will work to provide the best possible service for our veterans.”
FULL TEXT OF LETTER
December 15, 2015
The Honorable Robert A. McDonald
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Re: Mississippi Congressional Delegation Opposition to the Appointment of Dr. Skye McDougall
Dear Secretary McDonald:
We, the undersigned members of the Mississippi congressional delegation, write to express our disappointment in the selection of Dr. Skye McDougall to be the Network Director for the South Central Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care Network. In Mississippi, Dr. McDougall would be responsible for the network’s headquarters in Ridgeland, the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi, and the Jackson Regional Benefits Office.
It is well documented that on March 13, 2015, Dr. McDougall misled Members of the United States House of Representatives when she testified to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs that wait times for veterans to receive care at VA facilities that she oversaw in Southern California averaged only four days. In actuality, the wait times were at least ten times longer. In view of her deplorable record in the VA system and her questionable testimony to Congress, Dr. McDougall has proven to be, at the very least, untrustworthy as it relates to the vitally important task of providing for the health care needs of our veterans.
It seems that the Department of Veterans affairs has been “hopscotching” Dr. McDougall around the country – from Southern California to New Mexico and from Arizona to Mississippi – searching for a soft landing for her. We are determined to see to it that her soft landing is not in Mississippi.
Mississippi veterans deserve more. In recent years, Mississippi veterans have suffered due to mismanagement in the VA system including, but not limited to, understaffing of essential care stations, problems in meeting established health care standards, and prevalent medical errors leading to serious harm to our veterans and, in some cases, death. The VA system in Mississippi is making progress in addressing recent problems but we believe the appointment of Dr. McDougall would only impede this progress and exacerbate existing issues.
Given Dr. McDougall’s track record and the VA’s ongoing effort to earn back the trust of veterans in Mississippi and across the country, we strongly urge you to rescind this selection and, instead, appoint a senior leader who will work to provide the best possible service for our veterans.
We thank you in advance for your full consideration of our request.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), today praised passage of S. 611, the “Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Act,” by the House of Representatives. The bill –would help small and rural communities comply with “safe drinking water” regulations. Rep. Harper and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) introduced companion legislation to Senator Roger Wicker’s S. 611 earlier this year.
The Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act would authorize the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make grants available that provide technical assistance and compliance training to assist these communities in meeting national water quality standards.
“Without these services, safe and clean water for rural communities and small municipalities throughout Mississippi would continue to be put in jeopardy,” Harper said. “This bill provides smaller communities – the exact areas intended to be reached by this program – with the necessary resources to fulfill federal clean water laws. I commend the hard work by Senator Wicker in helping to drive this legislation through the Senate and I am happy we are one step closer to signing this bill into law.”
Under the bill, $15 million will be directed to rural water technical assistance funds.
307 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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Had a fun time recording a segment of #NatchezHistoryMinute for the Natchez National Historical Park to celebrate Adams County's founding and
Great visit with University of Mississippi Chancellor, Dr. Jeffrey Vitter, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Mississippi
This morning, I was so honored to join the celebration of the historic signing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in the #LibraryofCongress.
Inspiring afternoon listening and sharing our personal stories at the Jewish Disability Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.
Very grateful for the opportunity to visit with Dr. Ryan McGaughey and his wife, Rebecca, of Jackson this afternoon.