In a chamber accustomed to receiving foreign dignitaries, His Holiness Pope Francis’ historic address stirred an energy and enthusiasm that I have rarely seen at the U.S. Capitol. Over 50,000 Americans from across the country gathered outside on the West Lawn to listen to his words and to catch a glimpse of him.
Pope Francis’ resounding message was the need to work together towards a more perfect union – the very foundation for which our great country was built – should serve as both an inspiration and a challenge for all her citizens.
His Holiness reminded us in a tone that was warm and sincere that Jesus Christ calls us to live by the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Mt 7:12).” He expounded, “This rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.”
His words echoed throughout the House Chamber and across our country, as he continued "If we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities…The Golden Rule reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”
Regardless of one’s faith, the unconditional compassion and acceptance edified by Pope Francis is universal and serves as a guiding light for all of us as we work toward peace and the betterment of our world.
With all that was going on today, I was honored that my guest to Pope Francis’ address continues to devote her life to the service of Jesus Christ and to the service of others: Sister Dorothea Sondgoreth of St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson.
As we were set to say goodbye, Sister Dorothea aptly stated what the Pope’s directive to all of us was, “Let us all go forth with gratitude and reflect on how we can better serve one another.”
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In the wake of the videos that exposed Planned Parenthood’s leadership brazenly discussing the harvesting and selling of fetal body parts, I applaud my colleagues for their hard work in continuing to end this horrible practice. As a father, I am troubled by the thought that there are children throughout our country that are sentenced to death before ever having the chance to experience the joy of life.
I, along with my Republican colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives voted this afternoon in favor of two bills aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood and to require a health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion to exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive.
While I am an advocate for protecting women's health and will continue to support efforts by community and faith based organizations who provide access to counseling for victims of sexual assault, I have never supported taxpayer funding for abortion and the only sensible solution to taxpayers is that funding be suspended until such time that we can ensure no taxpayer dollars are used in support of these appalling practices.
My position on abortion is clear: life begins at conception. I will continue to stand for the unborn and support legislation that prevents federal funding of this procedure.
As we enjoy this Labor Day with family and friends, please take a moment to be thankful for the contributions that each and every working American has made to the recovering strength and prosperity of our nation.
I believe in order to reestablish this nation’s economic success; job creation must be our utmost priority. Enabling businesses to hire hard-working Mississippians and Americans is the most obvious way to achieve that goal. Burdensome and outdated regulations continue to strangle business and stifle their growth.
If government steps out of the way, Americans companies will be allowed to innovate; creating significant expansion of the number of jobs and improving the overall health of our economy.
God bless and be safe,
Starkville – Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) released the following statement after learning that Henry A. "Hank" Moseley, the Congressman’s Special Assistant for Constituent Services, passed away earlier today:
"Sidney and I are incredibly saddened by news of the passing of Hank today. Hank was a dedicated, passionate public servant and a true gentleman; he cared deeply for everybody and lived to serve others.” Harper said.
Hank Moseley served as a Special Assistant for Constituent Services in the Starkville, Mississippi office and worked for both of Rep. Gregg Harper’s predecessors, Rep. G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery and Rep. Chip Pickering.
“My staff and I lost a dear friend and mentor today, and our Congressional delegation, our state and our country are all better off because of Hank's life. We will miss him dearly.”Read More
Congressman Gregg Harper to conduct live interview of World War II veteran Earl Derrington at first-ever Mississippi Book Festival
Library of Congress to Showcase Historic Mississippi Recordings
At the first-ever Mississippi Book Festival on Saturday, August 22nd, one of the highlights of the day will be a live interview conducted by Mississippi’s own U.S. Congressman Gregg Harper, vice chairman of the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress. Harper explained, “It is such an honor for me to serve on the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress, and I am so excited that the Dr. James Billington has chosen to send a Library team from Washington, DC be a part of this inaugural event in Mississippi! I will have the great honor of conducting an interview of decorated, ex-POW and World War II veteran Earl Derrington at 11:30 am on Saturday at the Mississippi Capitol building in Jackson. Please join me as visitors are welcome to attend this event.”
The Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP) collects, preserves and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. In addition to being able to witness the interview by Congressman Harper, Library of Congress staff will demonstrate for festivalgoers how to participate in this most extensive oral-history project in the United States by interviewing friends, family, coworkers and others who served in the U.S. military and submitting the recordings to the Library of Congress. VHP staff will provide field kits containing all the resources needed to submit a veteran interview to the project. The public will be able to watch this interview as it is being recorded and preserved for the Library of Congress at 11:30 a.m. in Room 103.
Library of Congress personnel will also be on hand with a booth in the Mississippi Capitol Rotunda. They will be distributing information as well as displaying examples of Mississippi cultural materials from its collections. Calling all teachers! The Library’s Educational Outreach division will share strategies for using the Library’s millions of digitized historical primary sources to support reading and literacy skills, and distribute information about professional development opportunities and primary-source sets for teachers. Teachers will be able to pick up materials and free educational resources and library services for the blind and physically handicapped. The booth will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Festivalgoers stopping by the Library’s booth rotunda can also listen to rare sound recordings of Mississippi musicians dating back to the 1930s.
"The Library of Congress is a rich treasure-trove of resources and programs for all Americans, free and accessible online," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "We are bringing Library experts, program information and also some examples of Mississippi culture to share with festivalgoers as Mississippi celebrates this first of what is sure to be many great gatherings of book-lovers."
The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (AFC), the world’s largest collection of ethnography materials, houses significant holdings from the Magnolia State, including field recordings, photographs and manuscripts. Festivalgoers stopping by the Library’s booth can experience rarely heard recordings, and view compelling, seldom-seen historic images documenting cultural life in Mississippi over the past two centuries. Highlights include materials dating to the 1920s by iconic Mississippi performers such as Son House, Mississippi John Hurt and McKinley "Muddy Waters" Morganfield. Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) administers the Library of Congress braille and talking-book program, providing free library service for people who cannot see to read regular print or use print materials because of a physical disability. NLS staff will provide information on how eligible Mississippians can use the program to obtain access to more than 65,000 titles of braille and talking books through their local NLS-cooperating library or through a new BARD mobile app that enables users to download talking books on their smartphones and tablets.
Congressman Harper concluded, “The public will be able to meet and hear from Mississippi authors such as John Grisham and former Governor Haley Barbour, as well as listen to historic sound recordings from our state’s music history. This will be an outstanding event, and something that folks of all ages and interests will not want to miss.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) today announced the introduction of the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act of 2015. This legislation would implement the bipartisan recommendation of the federal Commission on Long-Term Care that Congress require the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers, similar in scope to the national strategy developed to address Alzheimer’s disease.
This bipartisan legislation would require the development, maintenance, and updating of an integrated national strategy to recognize and support family caregivers. The bill would bring together relevant federal agencies and others from the private and public sectors, such as family caregivers, older adults and persons with disabilities, health care and Long Term Support Services (LTSS) providers, employers, relevant industries, state and local officials, and others on an advisory council to advise and make recommendations. The strategy would identify specific actions that government, communities, providers, employers, and others can take to recognize and support family caregivers.
“The importance of family caregivers can’t be overstated. In many cases, family caregivers help with activities such as eating, bathing, transportation, managing finances, and paying for services to help their loved ones,” Harper said. “This bipartisan legislation demonstrates that family caregivers are the most important source of support for many people with chronic conditions, disabilities, or functional limitations.”
“There is increasing need to come together to better understand the needs of our caregivers across America,” Castor said. “I am proud to introduce today, along with U.S. Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) the bipartisan RAISE Family Caregivers Act in the U.S. House of Representatives to create a much-needed National Family Caregiving Strategy with recommendations by experts related to support services, training, workplace policies and others to better support caregivers.”
“As a nurse for more than 40 years and a daughter of elderly parents, caregiving is something that I have dealt with both personally and professionally,” Black said. “For this reason, I know firsthand that caring for loved ones can be a difficult and stressful responsibility, especially when caregivers lack the resources and support necessary to provide family members with the care they deserve. I am proud to be a sponsor of legislation that will better prepare caregivers to fulfill the important role they play in our communities and enable our loved ones to continue living meaningful, productive lives.”
“This legislation will bring together a wide array of stakeholders, allowing Congress to create new and meaningful solutions to our nation’s caregiving crisis,” Rep. Lujan Grisham said. “American families deserve a comprehensive plan to address the issues faced by caregivers, their families and those receiving care.”
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act of 2015 outlines that there will be 18 months for the development of an initial strategy, followed by annual updates of the strategy. The bill would improve the collection and sharing of information, including related to evidence-based or promising practices and innovative models regarding family caregiving; better coordinate, maximize the effectiveness, and avoid unnecessary duplication of federal government activities to recognize and support family caregivers; assess federal programs around family caregiving; and address disparities and meet the needs of the diverse caregiving population. Development of the national strategy will require no new funding and the Advisory Council will sunset in 15 years.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) issued the following statement after the Obama administration announced a final agreement on nuclear negotiations with Iran:
“After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress, I said that America and Israel should have a shared goal to do whatever is necessary to prevent the threats we face from Iran and radical Islam. Instead of making the world less dangerous, this ‘deal’ emboldens Iran – the world’s largest sponsor of terror – by helping stabilize and legitimize its regime as it spreads even more violence and instability in the region. I believe that instead of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, this deal is likely to fuel a nuclear arms race around the world.
The House of Representatives will review every detail of this agreement very closely, but I won’t support any agreement that jeopardizes the safety of the American people and all who value freedom and security.”
Each year on the Fourth of July, Americans across the country come together with friends and family to honor the anniversary of our nation’s Declaration of Independence. Before the cook-outs start and the fireworks flare, we reflect on the great sacrifices of our nation's founders, our incredible freedoms, and so many other reasons that make Independence Day a unique day of celebration and gratitude.
Today, we also remember that freedom isn’t just a privilege, but an obligation that must be cherished and protected. We should never forget to thank the brave men and women in our Armed Forces who are often away from their families, and who risk – and too frequently make – the ultimate sacrifice, so that we may live free.
As we celebrate, let us take time to be thankful for our families and to love our neighbors. As it is written in Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord...." May God bless you and your family, and may He continue to bless the United States of America.
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U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) released the following statement today after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling, which in effect establishes the federal exchange subsidies under Obamacare as constitutional:
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States is simply disappointing. This ill-conceived and poorly written law has been patched together by an Administration more concerned with saving face than providing quality health care for all Americans. I will continue to work to repeal and replace this arduous and expensive law and to forge a conservative alternative that ensures patients and doctors are the real decision makers.”Read More
UPS CEO Applauds Rep. Gregg Harper for Support of Trade Promotion Authority
Urges Congress to Continue to Work Together for Final Passage
Washington, D.C. – June 22, 2015—UPS, a global logistics provider and leading advocate for global trade, commends U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (MS-3), and the bipartisan group of House Members who voted to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), as part of the "The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015." UPS strongly encourages Congress to continue to work together for final passage of this critical legislation.
“By supporting Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), Rep. Harper has shown his commitment to bolstering the Mississippi economy and businesses, large and small,” said David Abney, UPS CEO. “Expanding trade is vital to the U.S. economy and to UPS, opening new markets for our customers and creating more opportunity for American businesses and job seekers.”
TPA is critical to ensuring that Congress has an opportunity to help shape trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership, and Trade in Services Agreement, during their negotiation and that an up or down vote is taken once they are completed. TPA is a vital step toward enabling our country to determine the rules of trade going forward with other countries, ensuring fair competition and breaking down barriers to growth.
Each day, UPS alone handles six percent of U.S. GDP and two percent of global GDP. Global trade, therefore, is important to the future of UPS and our more than 350,000 employees in the United States and 2,807 employees in Mississippi. The trade agreements that TPA will help facilitate are essential for the growth of UPS and our customersRead More
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Great day for participating in the ground breaking for the new Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Center in Meridian! http://t.co/LCYH8rywFp
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Another year and the Congressional Internship Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities continues to grow. We have had over 120
Glad that I got to visit with Drew and Morgan Hegi of Madison, as well as well as Christina Treppendahl, and her children Atticus and Henri Kate
As the Co-Chair of the Taiwan Caucus, I want to congratulate Taiwan as it commemorates it's National Day honoring the start of the Wuchang Uprising
It's a great day when you get to visit with one of Brookhaven's finest families. Bill & Theresa Sones with their granddaughters Chloe & Sarah
Thankful to spend a little time last week touring the U.S. Capitol with this group from First Baptist Church of Madison.