Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) applauded passage of H.R. 5293—the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2017.
“As our nation faces unprecedented threats at home and abroad, we must ensure our military men and women have the necessary funding for mission success. The Department of Defense Apportions Act prioritizes military training and readiness while also meeting the needs of our troops at home by funding a 2.1% pay raise, $450 million for medical facility upgrades, $407 million for medical research and $296 million for sexual assault prevention and response.
“The recent terrorist attack in Orlando is a grim reminder that the world we live in is not inherently safe and we must have the personnel and capabilities to respond and protect our national interests. Soldiers from Ft. Campbell are always tasked with responding to threats to our security around the globe. We would be putting their lives in increased danger by reducing their numerical strength and not providing them with the training they need. That is why this legislation is so critically important,” Blackburn said.
Click here to learn more about how this piece of legislation will fund our nation’s military.
Though President Obama can’t so much as utter the words “radical Islamic extremism,” the House has been acting to combat radicalization in America and to enhance counterterrorism efforts.
Last week, House Republicans unveiled a plan to keep Americans safe. This proposal includes more than 67 detailed policy recommendations, including several specifically focused on defeating radical Islamic terrorism at home and abroad. It discusses the importance of countering extremist ideology by amplifying countervailing views from former radicals and the need to push back against the surge of online radicalization. It also calls on the president to present a clear strategy to defeat ISIS.
In addition, below is the list of national security bills that have passed the House this Congress.
Bills to Address Terrorist Radicalization in America
HR 4401 – Amplifying Local Efforts to Root out Terror (ALERT) Act: “Scales-up” efforts to counter radicalization and terrorist recruitment nationwide by allowing the government to better use existing fusion centers to reach out to communities (Rep. Loudermilk) – Passed by voice vote
HR 4820 – Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act: Requires DHS to use the testimonials of former extremists to fight back against terrorist recruiting of Americans (Rep. Fleischmann) – Passed 322-79
HR 4407 – Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act: Establishes the central counterterrorism decision making body at DHS and sets the procedures for issuing terrorism alerts (Rep. Katko) – Passed 389-5
Other Counterterrorism Bills
HR 4239 – Tracking Foreign Fighters in Terrorist Safe Havens Act: Increases intelligence community focus on foreign fighter travel to/from emerging terrorist safe havens (Rep. LoBiondo) – Passed 423-0
HR 4408 – National Strategy to Combat Terrorist Travel Act: Requires a U.S. national strategy on combating terrorist travel—for the first time in a decade—and requires future administrations to put forward regular action plans for fixing U.S. vulnerabilities to terrorist infiltration (Rep. Katko) – Passed 392-0
HR 4402 – Foreign Fighter Review Act: Requires top-to-bottom Administration review of instances where Americans became foreign fighters; requirement to identify and close security gaps (Rep. Hurd) – Passed 397-0
HR 4314 – Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act: Quickly equips U.S. allies and high-risk countries with key counterterrorism tools (e.g. watchlisting/screening) for stopping terrorist travel and allows Administration to suspend foreign aid to countries who don’t close security gaps (Rep. Zeldin) – Passed 371-2
HR 4403 – Enhancing Overseas Traveler Vetting Act: Authorizes DHS and State to develop and provide new watchlisting/screening technologies to foreign governments (Rep. Hurd) – Passed by voice vote
HR 4240 – No Fly for Foreign Fighters Act: Requires comprehensive review of the terror watchlist to ensure past weaknesses have been fixed and to identify other vulnerabilities. (Rep. Jackson-Lee) – Passed by voice vote
Additionally, the terrorist attack in Orlando has called into question the vetting process. The FBI twice investigated the Orlando shooter. This reveals vetting is nearly impossible and begs the question of how the government can honestly say it’s adequately vetting Syrian refugees. Our openness to refugees” is not how we will defeat the Islamic State (ISIS). That is delusional. This is why I filed H.R. 4218 last December to suspend the admission of refugees to the United States.
HR 4218 - To suspend the admission to the United States of refugees, and for other purposes: Provides that no funding shall be made available for refugee resettlement operations until the following four conditions are met: 1. Congress passes a joint resolution approving the President’s refugee resettlement plan; 2. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provides a report to Congress scoring the long term cost of any refugee resettlement proposal; 3. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) submits a report identifying terrorist and criminal activity of refugees admitted into the U.S. since 2001; and 4. President Obama submits a report to Congress of the prior year’s cost of admitting refugees and proposes offsetting spending cuts to pay for his resettlement agenda.
Today Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) received the “Hero of Main Street” award from the National Retail Federation for her support of legislation critical to the retail industry. Blackburn is part of a bi-partisan group honored for their support of a wide range of issues including international trade, infrastructure investment, tax reform and labor issues.
“Tennessee has seen firsthand how low taxation and light touch regulation results in positive economic growth. In Congress, I’ve led the fight to ensure policies enacted at the federal level bring similar growth to jobs and businesses across America. I’m proud to support legislation that protects the 624,616 jobs the retail industry provides in Tennessee,” Blackburn said.
“Congressman Blackburn has shown through her support that she cares about retailers big and small, and values the role these businesses play in communities across the country,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Congressman Blackburn is an advocate for her thriving Main Street and to the long-term growth the retail industry -- our nation’s largest job creators and the catalyst for continued growth and opportunity for our nation’s economy.”
The Hero of Main Street award was created by NRF in 2013 to recognize members of Congress for support of the retail industry’s public policy priorities. Eligibility is based on NRF’s Retail Opportunity Index, bill sponsorship and advocacy to advance the industry’s priorities. The “heroes” have supported policies and initiatives defined by NRF that recognize the contributions of the retail industry, and have worked to encourage a “vibrant, sustained and healthy” retail sector.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.
In addition to providing the needed funding to fight Zika, the House is taking action today to get rid of unnecessary and duplicative government regulations that stand in the way of killing disease-ridden mosquitoes. The President and Administration should work with us on protecting mothers and children from Zika. Below is an update on the House's progress from the office of Speaker Paul Ryan:
In the midst of a Zika threat, the federal government should not be making it harder for people to kill the mosquitoes that could carry it. That’s one thing we should all agree on—but that’s not how the Obama administration sees it.
Yesterday, the Obama administration came out in opposition to the House’s latest effort to fight Zika at its source. This flies in the face of a major recommendation from the Center for Disease Control for fighting Zika: “vector surveillance and control”—a huge part of which is spraying mosquitoes.
This is serious stuff—we’re not talking about annoyances at your summer barbecue. Mosquitoes are the carriers of life-threatening exotic diseases, among which are the Zika and West Nile viruses. Beyond the personal danger, the treatment of Americans with mosquito-borne illnesses also costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year.
But leave it to Obama's EPA to make a bad situation worse. Onerous new EPA regulations have completely hamstrung mosquito control activities. Despite the fact it’s already regulated, these duplicative permitting requirements have made it extremely expensive and nearly impossible for districts to control mosquito populations. Pile on litigation from extreme environmental groups, and simple paperwork violations for example that can cost $35,000 per day, according to the American Mosquito Control Association.
It’s simply too much for small businesses. Leonard Felix of Olath Spray Service Inc. in Colorado testified before the House Small Business Committee, saying he was forced to shut down his business because of the costs and fear of frivolous lawsuits. Dean McClain of AG Flyers in Wyoming shuttered his mosquito control services because of the EPA’s requirement.
We cannot be passive in our fight against Zika—and we take the the CDC's recommendation seriously. Following earlier action to provide needed funding, today the House will consider H.R. 897, the Zika Vector Control Act, which clarifies congressional intent for use of pesticides to prevent diseases and eliminates overlapping permitting regulations—tearing down these barriers to killing mosquitoes.
Unfortunately, it looks like the CDC’s recommendation is less persuasive to the White House than these litigious, deep-pocketed environmental groups. Yesterday, the Obama administration said it “strongly opposes” the House bill, calling it “unnecessary.”
The House has already passed multiple bills that provide resources to the federal government for Zika treatment and vaccine-development efforts. But, if we’re not getting at—and killing—these root carriers, then it’s going to be less effective at stopping Zika than throwing a Band-Aid on that bug bite in a swamp.What could be more necessary than killing potentially disease-ridden mosquitoes in the midst of a Zika threat? It seems like the administration is putting the pockets of environmental interest groups ahead of the public. We hope the administration reverses this disturbing position and supports H.R. 897. The health of the public is at stake. Read More
In April 2016, Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was joined by twenty-one of her colleagues in sending a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairwoman Edith Ramirez asking her to investigate the Clinton Foundation’s nonprofit charitable status in light of pending scandals. In her letter, Blackburn explained that the Clinton Foundation might not have spent its money on charitable work and failed to disclose money it was getting from foreign governments. To read the full letter, click HERE.
Today, Congressman Blackburn received a mailed response from FTC chairwoman Ramirez dismissing the claims and stating in part, “When the Commission can establish that an entity claiming to be a charity is in fact operating to profit itself or its members, i.e., is a ‘sham charity,’ the Commission can bring an enforcement action against the entity for making deceptive representations to donors.”
In response, Blackburn states, “The lack of transparency by the Clinton Foundation raises issues of deception and false claims. In our letter, we lay out a number of reports that have put the Clinton Foundation on a ‘Watch List’, questioned its transparency and accountability, and found it to be an ‘atypical business model.’
“The FTC’s response is inconsistent with their mission and precedent. It appears they took the easy route of sending back a form letter rather than truly investigating an issue that is of compelling public interest. The allegations swirling around the Foundation are very serious and should be thoroughly vetted. This is an issue of fairness and accountability that needs to be addressed,” Blackburn said.
To read the FTC’s full response, click HERE.
Recent reports have suggested that Facebook is limiting when it displays stories from conservative outlets in its trending news panel. This issue should be of concern to everyone who values free speech. The American people are fatigued with liberal elites trying to either sequester or elevate information in order to push an ideology.
The Energy & Commerce Committee, where I serve as Vice Chair, will have Facebook come in to brief us on their approach to trending. We have their guidelines now and are reviewing that document. You can read them for yourself here: Facebook's Trending Review Guidelines
217 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Growing up, Marsha Blackburn learned that the promise of our nation depends on each generation of Americans working hard to leave the country a better place than they found it. As a small business woman, author, mother, grandmother, and Member of Congress, Marsha Blackburn has dedicated her service to the sacred obligation all citizens have to their communities: making Tennessee and America a better, more prosperous, and freer place.
Congressman Blackburn began her elected service career in 1998 as a Tennessee State Senator. Blackburn’s Senate career was marked by her commitment to fiscal common sense and government accountability. She became known to her constituents for holding “budget school” in her district and across the state; identifying waste and offering solutions for a state in a budget crunch.
While serving in the Tennessee Senate, Blackburn led a statewide grassroots campaign to defeat a proposed state income tax. She earned the reputation as a champion of anti-tax and government reform issues, frequently appearing on local talk radio and even earning the attention of national publications like the Wall Street Journal and conservative groups such as Americans for Tax Reform.
Blackburn’s reputation for focusing on individual freedom and free enterprise boosted her from the Tennessee Senate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Blackburn was first elected to represent Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District in 2002, quickly becoming a leader in Congress and a leading voice advocating for a small, efficient federal government that is accountable to its citizens. She is regularly praised by good government groups like the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Farm Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council and the American Conservative Union. She has been named a Taxpayer Hero by Americans for Tax Reform each year she has served in Congress. In 2007 Blackburn received the Conservative Leadership Award from the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.
Congressman Blackburn is often selected by her colleagues to lead the charge for common sense reform. In February 2010 she was selected to represent conservative views on health care reform at the President’s Blair House Summit. She has served on the majority and minority whip teams since her election in 2002, and holds a seat on the vital Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over health care, energy regulation, and telecommunications issues. In 2006 the Independent Electrical Contractors recognized her as their Lawmaker of the Year.
Marsha has earned a special reputation as a bi-partisan leader and policy expert on telecommunications issues and intellectual property rights. She has strong ties with Tennessee’s recording industry and the songwriters and performers who make it great. In 2003 Blackburn founded and serves as Chairman of the Congressional Songwriters Caucus to give the nation’s creative community a voice on Capitol Hill. In 2007, she was awarded the Congressional Grammy by the Recording Academy; the White Hat award from the Nashville Songwriters Association and in 2008 received the Platinum Award from the RIAA.
In 2012, Health IT Now presented her with the HITN Innovation Award for her work in support of innovative solutions to our most pressing healthcare problems. Marsha has also been honored by the Family Research Council and the Susan B. Anthony list for her pro-life, pro-family work. And recognized by the Association of Children’s Hospitals and the American College of Radiology for her leadership on healthcare issues. In April 2013 at the “Women Run The World” Half Marathon in New York City, More Magazine recognized Blackburn for her service in government by honoring her as one of 10 women who are making a difference in the world.
Blackburn was selected to serve as Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the 113th Congress where she will continue to serve on four critical Subcommittees: Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade (CMT); Oversight; Health; and Communications and Technology. She serves on the House Budget Committee and is a founding member of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee. Blackburn is also a member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board.
Marsha and her husband Chuck live in Williamson County, Tennessee. They have two children, Mary Morgan Ketchel and Chad Blackburn; and two grandsons. Blackburn is a native of Laurel, Mississippi and graduate of Mississippi State University.
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Here's how my legislation will lower the cost of health insurance, save taxpayer $$ and increase transparency. https://t.co/v5UabbQ2T6
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Terrorism will not prevail. We stand with our ally #Turkey in the face of this heinous attack.
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The Plan Verification and Fairness Act is a narrow, practical way that we can lower the cost of health insurance, save taxpayer dollars immediately
My heart aches for the victims and families in Turkey. We will not allow terrorism to prevail.
Democrats' misguided priorities stand in the way of ensuring Americans are protected from #Zika.
Abortion clinics are more concerned about their bottom line than the health & safety of women and unborn children. Disappointing that #SCOTUS
As if 19 trillion in debt is not enough of a burden for this Administration to pass on to young Americans.