WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Rice (SC-07) today introduced H.R. 1179, the Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act, legislation that would amend the Clean Water Act (CWA) to streamline the permitting process for infrastructure projects and hold special interest groups accountable for filing frivolous lawsuits. Under current law, it is too easy for special interest groups and the EPA to unnecessarily stall infrastructure projects, resulting in years-long delays and increased costs at taxpayer’s expense.
“There is layer after layer after layer of both governmental agency and public review before permits can be approved by the Army Corps,” said Congressman Rice. “Right now, red tape from federal agencies and frivolous lawsuits brought forth by obstructionists delay infrastructure projects and cost millions in taxpayer money. There has to be a test of reasonableness so these badly-needed infrastructure projects are completed in a timely manner with the lowest cost possible.”
Currently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the lead authority for wetlands permitting but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the ability to deny permits issued by the Army Corps at the last minute and with no prior involvement. The Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act removes this “veto authority” from the EPA, reducing the uncertainty applicants experience when filing for permits.
The Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act also amends the CWA to pardon prevailing parties from legal and court fees associated with challenging a permit decision and requires the losing party of the lawsuit to pay for the costs. This discourages the filing of frivolous lawsuits and holds obstructionists accountable for lengthy court proceedings that create unnecessary delays.
To view a copy of the legislation, please click here.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Rice (SC-07) today announced upcoming mobile office hours throughout South Carolina’s Seventh Congressional District. During these meetings, constituents can meet with members of Congressman Rice’s staff for help with issues involving federal agencies, including claims processing at the VA, Social Security benefits, obtaining passports and more.
For directions or additional details regarding mobile office hours, please contact the Pee Dee District Office at (843) 679-9781 or the Grand Strand District Office at (843) 445-6459.
Wednesday, February 22
Conway Mobile Office
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
County Complex Building
1301 Second Ave.
Conway, SC 29526
*Occurs the 4th Wednesday of every month
Tuesday, February 28
Johnsonville Mobile Office
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Johnsonville City Hall
111 W. Broadway Street
Johnsonville, SC 29555
Pamplico Mobile Office
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Pamplico Public Library
100 East Main Street
Pamplico, SC 29583
Wednesday, March 1
Coward Mobile Office
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Coward City Hall – Court Room
Coward, SC 29530
Timmonsville Mobile Office
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Timmonsville Library – Meeting Room
298 W. Smith Street
Timmonsville, SC 29161
Thursday, March 2
Hartsville Mobile Office
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Hartsville City Hall, City Council Chamber
100 E. Carolina Avenue
Hartsville, SC 29550
Darlington Mobile Office
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Darlington City Municipal Court Building – Old City Hall Council Chamber
400 Pearl Street
Darlington, SC 29532
Wednesday, March 8
Georgetown Mobile Office
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments Office
1230 Highmarket Street
Georgetown, SC 29440
*Occurs the 2nd Wednesday of every month
Florence, S.C.—Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07) released the following statement today in regards to the expansion of Harbor Freight Tools and their $60 million dollar investment in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District:
“I was thrilled to learn that Harbor Freight Tools has decided to expand in our district. This is good news for everyone- for Dillon County, Marion County, Marlboro County, the 7th district, and for South Carolina. This $60 million dollar investment in our community is a multi-county initiative and will create as many as 200 jobs, will spur economic growth, and bring an influx of capital to the district. I am proud to represent a right-to-work state that is consistently attracting new business and will continue to do so because South Carolinians, our business community, and our state’s leaders all share the same free market values.
“I will continue to encourage our pro-business climate and will continue to do everything I can to grow our community, create more jobs, and attract new business because when one community thrives, the entire state thrives. Thank you Harbor Freight Tools for your investment in Dillon, Marlboro, and Marion Counties; in our district; and in our state.”Read More
Washington, DC- Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07), issued the following statement on the President’s State of the Union Address today.
“It is no surprise that President Obama delivered another lofty, grandiose speech tonight,” said Rice. “The President is a gifted orator, and we have heard this type of rhetoric in every one of his State of the Union Addresses, but we have had enough rhetoric. It is time for leadership.”
“In his 2009 address to the nation, the President vowed to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term – last year we had a $1.1 trillion deficit,” Rice said. “In his 2010 address, Obama pledged that ObamaCare would allow Americans to keep their health insurance – earlier this month the Congressional Budget Office estimated that seven million Americans will be forced off their employer-based insurance due to ObamaCare. Then, in 2011, the President assured us that he would get rid of regulations that hurt job growth – but in 2012, over-reaching federal bureaucrats added more than $236 billion in new regulations. Finally, in last year’s address, Obama assured us that he would work to develop every source of American energy – the EPA’s proposed regulations on Coal Ash will cost more than $75 billion and countless jobs due to the closure of more than 300 coal power plants.”Read More
Washington, DC- Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07), was appointed by Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (PA-09) today to the following Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittees: Subcommittee on Highways and Transit; Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment; and the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. The Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will meet later today to formally approve Rep. Rice’s subcommittee assignments.
“I am pleased that Chairman Shuster appointed me to subcommittees that will have a direct impact on some of the most vital infrastructure issues in the Seventh Congressional District,” said Rice. “Serving on the Subcommittees on Highway and Transit, Water Resources and Environment, and Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, I will have a seat at the table to fight for the greatest infrastructure needs – I-73 and dredging of the Georgetown Port – in our district.”
“I look forward to working with Congressman Rice on the Committee,” said Chairman Shuster. “I know that South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District, like the nation, depends on an effective and efficient transportation network. I know Tom will be a tireless advocate as Congress works to address our critical infrastructure needs.”
“I am eager to work with Chairman Shuster on projects that are paramount to our nation’s competitiveness and will fight to make sure the infrastructure needs for the 7th District are addressed,” concluded Rice.
The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit has responsibility for the development of national surface transportation policy, construction and improvement of highway and transit facilities, implementation of safety and research programs, and regulation of commercial motor vehicle operations. Within this scope of responsibilities, the Subcommittee has jurisdiction over many U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) programs.
The foremost legislative product of the Subcommittee is the reauthorization of the Federal surface transportation programs. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)—the latest reauthorization of these programs—was enacted in the summer of 2012. MAP-21 reauthorizes Federal surface transportation programs through September 30, 2014, and builds on the foundation established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21) enacted in 1998, and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) enacted in 2005. This legislation represents an investment in the nation’s infrastructure that translates into safer travel, more efficient commerce, faster project approval and delivery, and the creation of thousands of jobs.
Issues and agencies under the jurisdiction of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee include:
The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment consists generally of matters relating to water resources development, conservation and management, water pollution control and water infrastructure, and hazardous waste cleanup. A number of agencies administer programs that address one or more of these issues; two agencies in particular, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), oversee the larger programs of concern to the Subcommittee.
Through its Civil Works Program, the Corps constructs projects for the purposes of navigation, flood control, beach erosion control and shoreline protection, hydroelectric power, recreation, water supply, environmental protection, restoration and enhancement, and fish and wildlife mitigation.
EPA has the primary responsibility for carrying out the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly known as the Clean Water Act. This act provides for a major federal/state program to protect, restore, and maintain the quality of the nation’s waters. Although EPA is responsible for carrying out the Act, significant parts of the program may be administered by the states if approved by EPA.
Issues and agencies under the jurisdiction of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee include
The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation has jurisdiction over the activities of the United States Coast Guard, including its duties, organization, functions, personnel, the Coast Guard Academy, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
The Coast Guard enforces the laws of the United States on waters under U.S. jurisdiction and on the high seas. The service’s many missions include search and rescue, illegal drug and migrant interdiction, oil spill prevention and response, maritime safety and security, maintaining aids to navigation, icebreaking, and enforcement of U.S. fisheries and marine pollution laws.
The Subcommittee also has jurisdiction over regulation of ocean shipping and the merchant marine, except as it relates to national security.
Issues and agencies under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee include:
For more information, visit http://transportation.house.gov.
Washington, DC- Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07), issued the following statement today after President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took their oaths of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol today, marking the 57th Presidential Inaugural Swearing-in Ceremony.
“It was a privilege to witness one of our country’s most revered ceremonies today,” said Rice. “Since 1789, Americans have gathered to observe our country’s peaceful transition of power which is paramount to maintaining the freedoms we hold dear. I congratulate the Obama and Biden families and wish them well throughout their next term.”
“As the President took his Oath of Office with his children by his side today, I am reminded of why we are here in Washington,” Rice said. “We are here to fight for a better tomorrow for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come. I look forward to working with the President and Vice President on bipartisan solutions to solve Washington’s biggest problems, so future generations will have every opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”
Washington, DC- Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07), issued the following statement today in response to President Obama’s press conference.
“I find it interesting that President Obama says that the debt ceiling shouldn’t be used to negotiate reductions in deficit spending,” said Rice. “When then Senator Obama was asked to raise the debt ceiling he refused to do so, saying that an increase in the debt ceiling constituted ‘a sign of leadership failure.’”
"Once again, the President has shown a failure in his leadership by refusing to discuss spending cuts or outline any sensible solutions to remedy our financial situation," Rice said. "Instead, he demanded another blank check from American taxpayers. When will the President realize that we cannot afford to kick this fiscal can any further down the road. Washington’s reckless spending habits threaten the future of this country and I will not stand by and allow the Democratic majority in Washington to keep piling debt onto our children and grandchildren."
The swearing-in ceremony for new Congressman Tom Rice, R-S.C., and other members of the 113th U.S. House began about noon Thursday, Rice said late Thursday afternoon, with the formal oath-taking happening about 3 p.m.
In the two hours after that, Rice took his first four votes as the first representative of South Carolina’s new 7th Congressional District. The first, he said, was to vote for the reelection of John Boehner as Speaker of the House. The other three involved House rules.
The vote on Boehner was closer than Rice thought it would be. The overall experience? “I’m in awe of the responsibility,” he said. “I’m in awe of the honor, of the privilege of representing the 7th District.”.
The Sun News asked Rice several questions. His answers:
1. If you had been in the 112th Congress, how would you have voted on the fiscal cliff compromise?
I would have voted against it. This fiscal cliff is just the latest in a series of continuing “emergencies” that will continue until we address the underlying issues, the major one being overspending. The problem with what we’re doing by just being totally reactionary is that we have no plan. People don’t know what to plan on. Until we do that, I think business is going to be at a stalemate.
2. The current debt ceiling will need to be raised by March or federal budgets must be cut to keep the debt within the current limit. Do you support raising the debt ceiling, cutting federal budgets or something else?
I’m not going to vote to raise the debt ceiling until we have a credible plan in place to get our spending under control. Congress and the president didn’t take the time available to work on this plan in the last 1 1/2 years because there was an election coming up. I hope we can get out of that phase and get into a more proactive phase.
3. The fiscal cliff compromise delays mandated federal budget cuts - sequestration - until March. What do you think should be done?
I think we need to find ways to cut our spending. The Republican Congress has passed alternative cuts. We’ll have to look at that pretty hard and figure out what we can do.
4. An August poll by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found that 82 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing. That is an all-time high. Do you see that improving in the next two years and why or why not?
It’s not just Congress. It’s the president. As long as people focus on political things instead of what’s important to the country, I don’t see numbers improving.
This article was authored by Steve Jones and originally appeared in The Sun News on January 3, 2013.
Washington, DC- House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), today named Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC), Chairman of the Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Subcommittee for the 113th Congress.
“As a businessman and tax attorney, Congressman Rice is a great fit for the Committee, and I’m very happy to welcome him,” Graves said. “Small business owners are facing major challenges, and it’s a real benefit that Tom Rice has the knowledge and background to contribute from day one.”
The Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Subcommittee evaluates the operation of the financial markets in the United States and their ability to provide needed capital to small businesses. In addition, the Subcommittee reviews federal programs, especially those overseen by the SBA, aimed at assisting entrepreneurs in obtaining needed capital. Since tax policy plays an integral role in access to capital, this Committee also examines the impact of federal tax policies on small businesses.
“I am honored to receive the appointment as Chairman of the Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Subcommittee,” said Rice. “As a tax attorney for 28 years and small business owner, I understand the challenges entrepreneurs encounter when launching a new business venture. Together, my colleagues and I will work to limit government overreach, enact serious tax reform, and lower the cost of doing business in America, so our small business owners—America’s economic engine—can compete in our economy and the global marketplace.”
325 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
A resident of Horry County since the age of 4, Tom Rice has a deeply rooted connection to the Grand Strand and Pee Dee areas. Tom entered Congress with a commitment to spur economic development, a drive to implement real tax and spending reform, and a passionate belief that limited government will better serve the needs and growth of the Seventh Congressional District of South Carolina by protecting its unique entrepreneurial spirit.
Tom serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means where he works to advance bold solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing our country. With his experience as a tax attorney, accountant, and businessman for over 25 years, Tom is uniquely qualified to serve on Ways and Means and work as an advocate for real solutions to benefit residents of the Seventh District and the country. He understands the challenges Americans are facing in relation to our tax code and will use his experience to enact serious tax reform, create more jobs to get people back to work, and restore America’s competitiveness with the rest of the world.
After graduating from high school in Myrtle Beach, Tom attended the University of South Carolina where he earned a Masters in accounting and a law degree. Tom then went to work for the worldwide accounting and consulting firm Deloitte & Touche in Charlotte and earned his CPA certificate. In 1985, Tom returned to his home town of Myrtle Beach to practice Tax Law with the Van Osdell Law Firm, and in 1997 he established his own practice- the Rice & MacDonald Law Firm.
Before being elected to the United States Congress in November 2012, Tom was the Chairman of Horry County Council where his main focus was job creation. By reviving the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, Tom increased jobs in the area through his ability to build consensus with county council and community leaders. Tom worked to implement an effective government by strengthening the council’s relationship with the various municipalities and legislators in order to develop a more unified strategy. Under Tom’s leadership, Horry County Council put in place a lean Six Sigma plan for quality, customer service and efficiency that is still thriving today. Tom strived to shape Horry County Council into a more efficient governing body focused on constituent service. He plans to further that charge in the United States Congress, working towards a more efficient federal government.
Tom has been fortunate to serve his community through many charitable and civic organizations including the Myrtle Beach Haven Homeless Shelter (President), Boy Scouts, Grand Strand Sertoma Club (Secretary, President), Ocean View Foundation (President), Trinity Episcopal Church (Vestry), YMCA, and York Place. He has had the opportunity to sit on several community advisory boards as well, from the Horry County Probate Court Advisory Committee and the Myrtle Beach Board of Zoning Variances (Chairman), to the Blue Ribbon Committee to Study Emergency Services for the City of Myrtle Beach, and the SC Department of Natural Resources Conservation Education & Communication Advisory Board. Tom also participated in Leadership Grand Strand VIII- a community education initiative designed to develop future business leaders for the coastal area.
Tom has been the recipient of numerous certificates and awards for his professional achievements. In 1994 he was awarded, and continues to hold, an AV (Preeminent) legal rating by Martindale Hubble. From 1994 until 2009, he was certified by the Supreme Court of South Carolina as a specialist in Tax Law, Estate Planning, and Probate Law, and has been included in Best Lawyers in America since 2006.
Tom and his wife, Wrenzie, were married in 1982 and reside in Myrtle Beach. They are the proud parents of three grown sons- H.T., Jacob, and Lucas. In his free time Tom enjoys fishing, hunting, golfing, and spending time with his friends and family.
It was a pleasure meeting with Gamecock Economic Society students from USC! Smart group of students who will help m… https://t.co/hlnIc4sNa9
Retweeted by RepTomRice
My bill would cut red tape, stop the unnecessary delay of infrastructure projects, & save taxpayers money https://t.co/JyuDI9JK7u
The employees at Stanley Black & Decker in Cheraw work hard and they do it with pride, manufacturing made in the US… https://t.co/Ex9nX9VLhm
U.S. manufacturers like Nucor Steel in Darlington are vital to our country's ability to compete in the world- they… https://t.co/67jKPcVeBS
More South Carolinians had their plans cancelled by Obamacare than have signed up for it. When major provisions of Obamacare went into law in
It was a pleasure to meet with Gamecock Economic Society students from the University of South Carolina! Smart group of students who will help
Infrastructure is fundamental to our district, state, and country's ability to compete in the world. There must be a sense of reasonableness
Touring the Black and Decker facility yesterday in Cheraw was incredible! At this plant, 55% of the employees are women and they average only
Florence is on a roll! With steady industrial investment and the resulting job creation, its economy is doing well. Downtown Florence is being