REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS LEADS PASSAGE OF NUCLEAR SECURITY INITIATIVES IN 2019 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., today helped to fulfill a core responsibility of the federal government, voting for the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), setting national security policy at the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
The Congressman, the chairman of the Range and Testing Center Caucus, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and the Subcommittees on Readiness, as well as Seapower and Projection Forces. In the annual authorization, which passed the House of Representatives on a wide, bipartisan basis, he successfully included measures to increase funding for hypersonic weapons development in the Aerospace and Defense Technology Corridor spanning Middle Tennessee, and to enforce an amendment he introduced last year, which requires the federal government to identify capability and funding shortfalls across the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
“During my visits to Arnold Air Force Base, Redstone Arsenal and the Y-12 National Security Complex, civilian and military personnel alike have underscored the need for a consistent commitment to high-tech defense research and testing. We must not simply keep pace with China and Russia, but instead must make sure the United States always has superior ability on the ground, at sea, in the air and in space,” said Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04).
He recently spoke on the House Floor in favor of fully funding the NNSA, responsible for military applications of nuclear science. Tennessee’s Oak Ridge/Y-12 complex plays an integral role in the field. In addition, the NDAA increases troop numbers, gives them their largest pay increase in nine years, and supplies military branches with advanced equipment and warfighting platforms. Over the past few years, high-profile naval and air accidents have highlighted the nation’s need to rebuild its depleted fighting forces, said Rep. DesJarlais.
“Leading from behind, the previous administration’s strategy, led to a deterioration of our military, while foreign adversaries took the opportunity to assert themselves across the globe. Russia, China and Iran advanced in their regions. North Korea and Islamic terrorism became more aggressive, filling the vacuum that our retreat from global leadership created,” said the Congressman.
“With a new Commander-in-Chief and Congress, working to Make America Secure Again, we are on a path to greater safety and prosperity for the American people. Today’s defense bill reaffirms our commitment to our friends and allies in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia, and partner nations depending on U.S. assistance to stop threats. National security is our government’s number-one duty,” said Rep. DesJarlais, “and I am honored to provide necessary resources to the brave men and women, including many Tennessee Volunteers, protecting the United States.”
The NDAA will move to the Senate for approval, before the President signs it into law.
REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS VOTES “YES” TO 2018 FARM BILL
WORK TO HELP TENNESSEE FARMERS, RANCHERS WILL CONTINUE DESPITE OBSTACLES, SAYS CONGRESSMAN
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., a member of the House Agriculture Committee, voted for the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, legislation to set federal farm policy, today. However, the bill, which included reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, failed to gain a majority of votes in the House of Representatives.
Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04), a member of the Subcommittee on Nutrition, overseeing the federal food stamp program, released the following statement:
“Many House members, our staffs, farmers and ranchers worked hard to improve federal farm policy, as well as the food stamp program, which makes up 80 percent of agriculture funding. I voted for today’s legislation, because it would have helped healthy, able-bodied adults to train and work in a growing economy, where an estimated 6 million available jobs await them. Those jobs require skilled workers, and the bill would have created more. Our work for them and taxpayers will continue. Our work for farmers and ranchers in the Fourth District will continue. The current farm bill contains important provisions, such as rural broadband development and education, pest control and an end to federal encroachment on farmlands, among others, that deserve our attention. Tennessee farmers and ranchers have mine.”Read More
REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS VOTES FOR VA MISSION ACT TO IMPROVE VETERANS’ HEALTH CARE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted for the VA MISSION Act last night. The legislation, which passed the House of Representatives on a bipartisan basis and the Senate will now consider, would allow veterans to seek health care outside the Veterans Administration, if they face time, distance or other difficulties obtaining quality care within the VA system.
“There are fantastic VA employees working hard to deliver quality care, and veterans in dire need of it. The aim of this legislation is to bring them closer together, without layers of bureaucracy too often protecting an outmoded system at the expense of those it serves,” said Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04). The President has pledged to sign the bill into law.
The Veterans Community Care Program would allow veterans confronting subpar care at a local VA facility or upon the recommendation of a physician, to seek private care, subject to some restrictions. However, the VA MISSION Act consolidates overlapping programs, eliminating complexity, and strengthens the appeals process for veterans. It would encourage choice among health care providers, including those operating under revamped Veterans Care Agreements, and inform employees and patients of new options.
It includes measures to improve cost savings and efficiency at VA facilities and construction projects. Specialized management teams would deploy across the country to troubled facilities. Training and retention of skilled medical practitioners are another focus. The Veterans Community Care Program replaces the Veterans Choice Program, an early attempt by Congress to address abuse and mismanagement plaguing the VA, which news reporting exposed several years ago.
Many veterans waiting for health care died on long waiting lists, while VA employees collected performance bonuses. “The agency has made progress, but it’s been slow,” said the Congressman, who has voted for major reforms to VA hiring and firing, whistleblower protection, and the appeals process for veterans. “Fortunately, we will have a new Veterans Home in Bradley County and more options for vets who deserve timely and effective care.”
The Veterans Administration recently awarded a State Veterans Home Grant to Tennessee, allowing construction of a new veterans home in Cleveland, Bradley County, to move forward. The $26 million federal grant will complement existing funding from the state, local municipalities and private donors, who have been planning the home in Cleveland for years.
WARREN COUNTY STUDENT WINS FOURTH DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL ART COMPETITION
WINCHESTER, TN -- At Magnolia Hill Manor in Winchester this evening, Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., announced the winner of the 2018 Congressional Art Competition, Mary St. Clair’s “Colorless.”
St. Clair’s piece will hang in the United States Capitol with winning pieces from congressional districts across the country. Second and third place went to artwork by Bradley County High School’s Kelly Maney and Warren County High School’s James Ward, respectively.
“Colorless” by Mary St. Clair
“I enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of creative young people with unique perspectives,” said Rep. DesJarlais, “and I’m always impressed with the talent on display in Tennessee.”
“I wish I could give every student an award. They all deserve credit for their commitment and hard work. I’d like to thank each of them for participating and know great things await those who follow their passion and develop their skills,” he said.
Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04) also hosted a reception at the Manor for this year’s top ten artists. Art instructors from area schools, including Warren, Bradley and Franklin County High Schools, as well as Riverside Christian Academy, attended the event.
“Teachers deserve much of the credit. By encouraging their students’ personal expression, they’re helping to create confident adults with strong points of view. That many from across our district attended tonight’s event shows their own commitment to the future of our country,” he said. “Congratulations to Ms. St. Clair, especially.”
Rep. DesJarlais hosts the art competition, which is open to all high school students in Tennessee’s Fourth District, annually.
HOUSE ARMED SERVICES MEMBER REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS ADVANCES U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY IN 2019 DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., who represents the Aerospace and Defense Technology Corridor in Tennessee’s Fourth District, focused on nuclear security and advanced weapons development in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the House Armed Services Committee passed early this morning on a bipartisan basis. The latest NDAA sets national defense policy and is Rep. DesJarlais’ second since joining the Committee in the 115th Congress.
He is a member of the Subcommittees on Seapower and Projection Forces, as well as Readiness, overseeing many long-range weapons systems and training for troops, their housing, facilities and other services, including for their families. His constituents work at Arnold Air Force Base, Fort Campbell, Redstone Arsenal, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and more military and civilian research locations in Tennessee and neighboring states.
“The aerospace and defense industry, both military and commercial, is an important national security asset and jobs generator in our region,” said Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04). “Tennesseans in specialized fields are building next-generation rockets and aircraft, while others defending our country abroad are exploiting their high-tech inventions. Improving their safety and economic wellbeing are my responsibilities in Congress.”
Committee members approved Rep. DesJarlais’ bill language to increase funding for hypersonic fight research at Arnold Air Force Base, the center of a nationwide research and testing network, the Arnold Engineering Development Complex. The University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma is involved. The Russian government recently showcased its hypersonic missile technology, and China is rapidly developing hypersonic weapons of its own.
Members also approved the Congressman’s amendment to enforce another he championed last year. That amendment required the National Nuclear Security Administration to identify funding and capability shortfalls at the Y-12 nuclear facility near Oak Ridge, among others. Yet another amendment would help to ensure Russia fulfills its obligations under an arms control treaty with the United States.
Rep. DesJarlais praised President Donald Trump for his efforts to counter adversaries’ weapons programs: “We’re working together, along with Defense Secretary James Mattis, to modernize the U.S. nuclear enterprise and reduce the risk that foreign threats acquire or deploy destructive capabilities. This defense authorization, when it becomes law, will help us to fulfill our promise to Make America Secure Again.”
REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS SUPPORTS PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DECISION TO WITHDRAW FROM DANGEROUS IRANIAN NUCLEAR DEAL
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement in support of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an Obama-era agreement among several nations to lift sanctions on Iran, in exchange for a pause of its nuclear weapons program:
“The Iranian nuclear deal was a bad deal for the United States, which is why the Obama Administration bypassed the American people’s representatives in Congress to pursue it, never a formal treaty under our Constitution. In addition to clear constitutional problems the deal created, it released billions of dollars the Islamic regime is spending to fund its military, terrorism, and human catastrophes in Syria and also Iran, where democratic protestors experience daily political persecution and violence. Far from making the world a safer place, the agreement increased Iranian aggression in the region, sparked a nuclear arms race there, and sent a message of appeasement to threats such as North Korea.
“Not only has Iran already violated the terms of Barack Obama’s weak agreement, the regime has flagrantly violated U.N. resolutions restricting its ballistic missile tests and taken more American hostages, while others remained imprisoned. President Trump rightfully withdrew from the JCPOA, and we will work together to hold Iran to account for its nuclear program, terrorism and attacks on our allies.”
Rep. DesJarlais (TN04) is a former member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who has voted to sanction Iran, North Korea and Russia, a key supplier of Iran’s nuclear program.
REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS, STUDENTS, TEACHERS PARTNER TO PROMOTE TENNESSEE TECHNICAL EDUCATION
CLEVELAND, TN -- Today, Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., visited major employer Wacker Chemical in Charleston, Bradley County, culminating a busy week in which the Republican representative also toured vocational programs supplying advanced manufacturers across Tennessee’s Fourth District with skilled employees.
“It was a pleasure meeting the dedicated students at Warren County High School, Motlow Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, producing graduates who will find high-paying jobs in our state’s surging manufacturing sector,” said Rep. DesJarlais. “I’m thrilled so many Tennesseans are passionate about science and technology, have the knowledge to create exciting new products, and are having success in their chosen fields.”
“Tennessee is a technical education leader, and in Congress, I’m working to propel us to even greater heights.”
Rep. DesJarlais visits students at Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Warren County
In Congress, Rep. DesJarlais voted for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which would grow vocational training in rural areas, target in-demand manufacturing jobs and simplify federal grants. He voted to increase funding for career and technical education grants and is an original co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation, the DOE National Labs Jobs Access Act, to create apprenticeship programs at the Department of Energy.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he supports the local aerospace and defense industrial base. His work on the House Agriculture Committee includes rural education and development. “The economy is strong. However, an impediment to continued job growth is the skills gap. Hundreds of thousands of jobs requiring improved technical education remain unfilled,” said Rep. DesJarlais.
“I’m glad to see students training in robotics, welding and more. Wacker Chemical has an excellent partnership with community colleges.”
At today’s event in Charleston, Rep. DesJarlais received recognition for his work to save jobs in Bradley County. He recently helped to produce a unanimous decision at the International Trade Commission that stopped a potential disruption to Wacker’s supply chain.
The Congressman addresses business leaders and educators at Wacker
REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS HELPS TO SECURE FED FUNDING FOR BRADLEY COUNTY VETERANS HOME
COMMENDS AREA OFFICIALS, VOLUNTEERS WHOSE YEARS-LONG EFFORT PAYS OFF
CLEVELAND, TN -- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a State Veterans Home Grant to Tennessee, allowing construction of a new veterans home in Bradley County to move forward. The $26 million federal grant will complement existing funding from the state, local municipalities and private donors, who have been planning a home in Cleveland for years.
However, without a clear explanation, the VA rankings system placed their request for help below others from around the country. Throughout the process, Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., has been a steadfast supporter of the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, Bradley County commissioners, and state legislators, all of them working together to produce a favorable result, he said.
“Tennesseans held up our end of the bargain. We gathered our required share of funding and kept pressure on the VA, which finally made the right decision,” said Rep. DesJarlais (TN04). “We wish it had happened sooner, but this is good news for our constituents, a large portion of whom are U.S. military veterans. There will be over 100 beds in a modern facility for those who need long-term care.”
Rep. DesJarlais is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, as well as the Agriculture Committee, overseeing military and rural health programs. “Brave men and women defend our country abroad, returning home to their families and friends in Tennessee. These patriots, who sustain physical and mental scars in battle, should receive the best care possible, as close as possible to their loved ones” he said.
“I’m proud to represent them and their caretakers in Congress.”
HOUSE PASSES REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS' BILL TO HELP PRESERVE JAMES K. POLK HOME IN COLUMBIA
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the House of Representatives passed Congressman Scott DesJarlais’ bill to study the feasibility of placing the President James K. Polk Home and Museum in Columbia, Tennessee, under protection of the National Park Service. An Interior Department study would be a major step towards helping the charity that maintains the property to preserve and expand it.
“After speaking with city leaders and volunteers, who lend their time and energy to the historic landmark, I offered legislation to supplement their efforts at the Polk Home. Our eleventh president is a national hero with Tennessee roots, who had enormous influence on the direction of our country. Without him, the United States might not look like it does today, a strong and prosperous nation spanning a continent,” said the Congressman.
"The outcome was not always certain. The aim of my bill is to help more people understand Polk’s importance and to preserve his legacy.”
With the exception of the White House, the eleventh president’s home is his only surviving residence. Polk was an ally of Andrew Jackson, the first president from Tennessee, and he greatly expanded the United States during his single term. Many historians consider him the most successful pre-Civil War president, the only Speaker of the House to ever serve in that role.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn co-sponsored Rep. DesJarlais’ James K. Polk Presidential Home Study Act (H.R. 443). Senator Lamar Alexander sponsored companion legislation in the Senate. “I’d like to thank my colleagues for persisting in this good cause and look forward to Senate approval and ultimately the President’s signature,” said Rep. DesJarlais (TN04). He and Rep. Blackburn each represent portions of Columbia.
The House approved their measure on a bipartisan basis.
HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE MEMBER REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS ADDRESSES SYRIA STRIKES
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee member Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., released the following statement, after President Donald J. Trump announced United States military strikes on chemical weapons facilities in Syria.
“The President took necessary measures against dictator Bashar Assad, doing Russia and Iran’s dirty work in Syria. Their chemical weapons program and attacks on civilians are violations of international treaties and also our consciences. I will continue to work with President Trump, the Secretary of Defense and my partners in Congress to protect Americans and support our allies. Right now, Tennesseans are taking great risks to keep our country safe. I am grateful for their service.”
413 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Scott DesJarlais represents the Fourth Congressional District of Tennessee, which includes Marshall, Bedford, Rutherford, Moore, Lincoln, Franklin, Marion, Grundy, Sequatchie, Warren, Van Buren, Bledsoe, and Rhea counties. Also included are portions of Maury and Bradley counties.
As a resident of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, Scott ran for office because he wanted to bring common sense and hometown, conservative values to Congress. Throughout his first term in Congress, Scott built a proven track record of fighting for policies that that will return fiscal discipline and accountability to Washington, reduce the size of government and create and environment that will help to strengthen our nation’s economy and create jobs.
Scott earned degrees in Chemistry and Psychology from the University of South Dakota and went on to receive his Doctor of Medicine from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine. Scott moved to Tennessee almost two decades ago to practice medicine at the Grand View Medical Center in Jasper, TN.
As a doctor, Scott understands the importance of an efficient, well run health care system and believes that health care decisions need to be left to patients and their physicians – not bureaucrats in Washington. Rep. DesJarlais has been an outspoken advocate for the repeal of President Obama’s health care legislation.
Congressman DesJarlais serves on three committees that allow him to directly address and influence many issues important to the Fourth District, as well as shape how the overall federal government functions.
Scott and his wife Amy, have three children: Tyler, Ryan and their little sister Maggie. The DesJarlais family are active members of the Epiphany Episcopal Church in Sherwood, Tennessee where Amy grew up.
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