WASHINGTON, D.C. – The entire Mississippi congressional delegation today praised the selection of Mississippi as the potential host to produce of the next generation of trainer aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.
U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Representatives Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), and Trent Kelly (R-Miss.) on Monday said the selection of Meridian by the Raytheon Company for its trainer aircraft production has the potential to expand the state’s role in aerospace manufacturing for years to come.
Raytheon plans to compete its T-100 Integrated Air Training System to be the Air Force’s choice for the next generation of trainers to replace the Eisenhower-era T-38 Talons to be used at pilot training facilities like Columbus Air Force Base. If selected by the Air Force, Raytheon would construct a multi-million dollar facility in Meridian. The Air Force is expected to issue a request for proposal in December, with selection of the new trainer in late 2017.
“New, cutting-edge training aircraft are critical to our national security, and I am confident that Mississippi workers can help provide those planes,” said Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense. “I look forward to this competition and I am excited that Meridian may play an expanded role in defense of our nation.”
“For more than 30 years, Raytheon has been a strong partner in our state, enhancing national security and providing jobs for hundreds of Mississippi families,” said Wicker, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It is no secret that our state is a leader in aerospace manufacturing and technology. This announcement has tremendous potential for Meridian and the future of the industry in Mississippi.”
“I am very pleased that Raytheon is growing its relationship with the State of Mississippi by building its T-100 training aircraft in Meridian. Mississippi’s talent base is as skilled and prepared for high-tech manufacturing jobs as any in the nation and this is further proof of that,” Thompson said.
Harper commented, “Raytheon’s proposal to build the T-100 in Meridian speaks volumes about our state, our pro-business climate and our people. I am excited to see how this proposed expansion advances our state and strengthens our nation’s defense in the years to come.”
“Today’s announcement proves what a crucial role Mississippi continues to play in our national security efforts. This partnership with Raytheon would be another opportunity for our state to offer our capabilities and workforce in helping serve the common defense of this nation at home and abroad,” Palazzo said.
“Our state continues to be a proven leader in advanced defense manufacturing.” said Kelly. “This is an exciting announcement that holds great potential for future job creation in our state.”
Members of the delegation have worked to promote Mississippi to Raytheon as the best candidate to host its trainer manufacturing facility. Raytheon already has an existing electronic systems manufacturing facility in Forest, which employs about 800 workers.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) received the Health IT Congressional Leadership Award on Wednesday evening from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Each year HIMSS honors Members of Congress whose efforts demonstrate a significant contribution to the positive transformation of healthcare through the use of information technology (IT).
A member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Harper is being awarded for elevating the discussion on telehealth within the Committee’s healthcare focus. During his tenure on the Committee, Rep. Harper has continuously championed and supported a number of bills, including the bipartisan Telehealth Enhancement Act and the CONNECT for Health Act, which are strongly supported by HIMSS and the health IT community.
Rep. Harper received the award during the National Health IT Week Partners Awards Reception at the American College of Surgeons Rooftop along with Congresswoman Matsui (D-CA).
Harper commented, “I am deeply honored to receive this award from HIMSS. The advancement of health technology has had an enormous, positive impact on the well-being of the people of Mississippi and I will continue to do everything I can to help lead the charge to ensure that high-quality care is provided through telehealth and other exciting initiatives.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and the House of Representatives voted this afternoon to override President Obama’s veto on the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA. This comes on the heels of the Senate’s vote to override earlier today, marking the first time that Congress has successfully overridden a veto during the Obama Administration.
The bill, S. 2040, allows victims and families of victims of terrorist attacks to bring legal claims against foreign states that aid and abet acts of terror that occur on U.S. soil. This would empower the families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. court for their suspected role in supporting the hijackers who carried out the strikes.
“If I have the choice between siding with a foreign country and standing up for the American people, I will always put America first,” said Congressman Harper.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart
Rep. Albio Sires
Rep. Gerald E. Connolly
Rep. Gregg Harper
“October 10, 2016 will mark the 105th National Day of Taiwan. As Co-Chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, we would like to congratulate the people of Taiwan on this occasion and wish them a Happy Double Ten Day.
There is much to celebrate this year with regards to Taiwan democracy and U.S.-Taiwan relations. This year, the world witnessed Taiwan’s third peaceful transition of power, and Taiwan’s first female president took office. U.S. trade in goods with Taiwan reached $66 billion last year making Taiwan our 9th largest trading partner, and the United States completed a $1.83 billion arms sale to Taiwan in accordance with the commitments made in the Taiwan Relations Act.
The United States Congress once again enacted legislation directing the Administration to develop a strategy to help Taiwan secure greater participation in international organizations. This is something Congress has done previously, specifically with respect to Taiwan’s inclusion in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It is of vital importance that the United States continues to push for Taiwan’s inclusion in ICAO. Airports in Taiwan handle large cargo and passenger volumes, and for the sake of passenger safety and international security, Taiwan must be allowed to participate in ICAO.
We would like to use the occasion of Taiwan’s National Day to reaffirm the strength of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship and our continued commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act and Six-Assurances. It is an honor and privilege to support this vital relationship, and we look forward to joining the people of Taiwan in celebrating their 105th National Day.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), along with Congressman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), announced that the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport will receive a $3.38 million airport improvement grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The award, which is made up of $1.44 million in formula funding and $1.93 million in discretionary appropriations, will facilitate continued runway rehabilitation and outdated lighting replacement.
“The efficient and safe operation of an airport requires consistent facility maintenance. I’m pleased the Federal Aviation Administration has committed additional resources to enhance safe aviation operations in Jackson,” Cochran said.
"The Jackson Airport stands to benefit from upgrades to its runway and lighting," Wicker said. "These infrastructure improvements are critical to upholding important aviation standards, giving the capital area access to the safest air service possible."
Harper commented, “The Jackson-Evers International Airport is an important economic and transportation resource for Central Mississippi and throughout the state. I am pleased to see these funds invested in improving the airport’s existing infrastructure and connecting the people of Jackson to cities across the United States and abroad.”
This grant will supplement a $13.8 million grant awarded in July for runway rehabilitation and wildlife hazard assessments at the Jackson airport.
House Admin Congratulates Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress
WASHINGTON – Committee on House Administration Chairman Candice Miller (R-MI), Ranking Member Robert Brady (D-PA), and Joint Committee on the Library Vice-Chairman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) issued the following statement congratulating Dr. Carla Hayden as the 14th Librarian of Congress:
“We congratulate Dr. Carla Hayden as she marks the beginning of her service as the 14th Librarian of Congress. As Dr. Hayden works to lead the Library into the future, our Committee looks forward to working with her and her staff to keep the tradition of collecting, preserving, and offering a vast collection of educational resources. Additionally, we extend our gratitude to David Mao who served as Acting Librarian, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to the Library’s mission during the past year.
“Today is a historic day for the Library; an institution which stands as a steadfast symbol of learning and democracy. We wish Dr. Hayden the best in the days and years to come.”
Washington, D.C.-The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading advocate for small businesses, today awarded Congressman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) with its biennial Guardian of Small Business Award for his outstanding support of America’s small business owners in the 114th Congress.
“Many elected officials claim that they are champions of small business, but our Guardian Award shows our members and other small business owners who is really fighting for them,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Based on his voting record, Rep. Harper is one of the most reliable advocates for small business in Washington.”
The Guardian of Small Business is NFIB’s most prestigious award. It is reserved for lawmakers who vote consistently with NFIB on the key issues identified by small business owners. NFIB tracks the votes of every member of Congress. House members and Senators who vote with NFIB members at least 70 percent of the time are eligible for the Guardian Award.
Harper received a 100 voting record during the 114th Congress.
“NFIB is honored to present Rep. Harper with this award,” Duggan said.
JACKSON – Congressman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) has been presented with the Friend of Farm Bureau Award for his outstanding work in the 114th Congress. This is the fourth consecutive time that Mississippi Farm Bureau has honored Harper for his strong commitment to the farmers of Mississippi.
“We are pleased to recognize Congressman Harper with our Friend of Farm Bureau Award and are grateful for the many things he does for Mississippi agriculture,” said Mississippi Farm Bureau President Mike McCormick. “The congressman and his staff have been very supportive of our farmers by attending Farm Bureau events and listening to farmers’ concerns.”
Harper serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he is a member of three subcommittees: Environment and the Economy; Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade; and Energy and Power.
The state’s senior House Republican also sits on the select Committee on House Administration, a special appointment made by House Speaker John Boehner. Additionally, he serves as vice chairman of the Joint Committee of the Library of Congress and chairman of the Joint Committee on Printing
Congressman Harper was cited for his support for his work on America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act; (H.R. 1105): Death Tax Repeal Act; (H.R. 2353): Highway and Transportation Funding Authorization; (H.R. 2146): Trade Promotion Authority; (H.R. 1599); Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act; (H.R. 2029): Consolidated Appropriations; (S.J. Res. 22); Senate Resolution of Disapproval on EPA/Corps WOTUS rule; & (H.R. 2406); Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act.
“I am so honored to receive this award from my longtime friends at the Mississippi Farm Bureau,” said Congressman Harper. “I have always fought to defend Mississippi’s dedicated farmers and strengthen our important agricultural industry. I look forward to continuing to support this important organization and our farmers in the future.”
The Friend of Farm Bureau Award is given at the end of each Congress to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate who were nominated by their respective state Farm Bureaus and approved by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Board of Directors.
PEARL – U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS), Gov. Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) announced today the award of a $250,000 post-disaster grant to Wilkinson County to assist residents with repairing homes damaged by flooding in early August. Damage assessments, conducted by MEMA and local officials, show three homes were destroyed, 23 with major damage and 58 others with minor damage in Wilkinson County, primarily in the town of Crosby. The damage did not meet the threshold for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Stafford Act. This assistance is being provided by MEMA to the newly formed non-profit Community Based Recovery Committee (CBRC) in Wilkinson County with remaining funds from the Alternative Housing Pilot Program (AHPP) awarded to Mississippi by FEMA following Hurricane Katrina. The requirement of the original AHPP grant is that the funds must be used for on-going housing needs as a result of the disaster. "As we have seen in the aftermath of last month’s flooding, federal disaster assistance programs are generally restricted to state boundaries. When storm systems affect multiple states, people are often refused federal aid simply because their home sits across a state line from their neighbors," said Rep. Harper. "Many Mississippians, particularly those in the Crosby community, were as badly impacted by the recent flooding as the people of Louisiana—however our state’s total damages were not sufficient enough to trigger federal assistance. As a result, the state of Mississippi has stepped up to respond to this disaster," continued Harper. "I am pleased that these Mississippians will be able to rebuild their homes and begin the healing process all thanks to Director Smithson and the great team at MEMA." Gov. Bryant explained, "Under the direction of Lee Smithson, MEMA has shown its willingness to go the extra mile to help our residents get back on their feet after a disaster. This method ensures that every penny will go toward the repair of homes in Wilkinson County." Wilkinson County, through the CBRC, will use 100% of the funds from this grant for affordable home ownership, materials and supplies to repair flood-damaged homes, and rental assistance for low and moderate-income people with on-going housing needs. "Prior to this initiative, there was never a source of funding to buy building materials for residents who did not qualify for federal assistance," said MEMA Executive Director Lee Smithson. "I am extremely proud of my staff for thinking of a creative solution to help those affected by this disaster." The National Weather Service reported more than 15 inches of rain fell in southwest Mississippi during August 11-13, 2016.
HARPER, COCHRAN, WICKER ANNOUNCE $10 MILLION GRANT TO UPGRADE NATCHEZ RAILWAY
Natchez Railway Bridge Upgrades Could Spur Economic Growth in Southwest Mississippi
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), with Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), today praised the award of a $10 million federal transportation grant to the City of Natchez to upgrade bridges on the Natchez railway.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the City of Natchez the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funding to upgrade five structurally-deficient bridges along the Natchez railway between Natchez and Brookhaven. Cochran, Wicker and Harper supported the Natchez application for federal funding.
“Improved service along the railway would stimulate economic development at the Natchez-Adams County Port and Industrial Park, in neighboring Franklin and Lincoln Counties, and across Southwest Mississippi,” said Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “There is intense competition for TIGER grants, and I am very pleased that Natchez has successfully secured this funding.”
"South Mississippi will see substantial benefits from this TIGER grant,” Wicker said. “Increasing the productivity and safety along the Natchez railway promises to boost economic growth throughout the entire region. I am pleased that these grants are being used to address critical gaps in rail service in our state.”
“This grant is an investment in Southwest Mississippi that will increase the traffic base, boost production and provide additional job opportunities,” said Harper. “More importantly, this grant assures cost effective, reliable and safe rail service for the citizens and businesses of Adams, Franklin and Lincoln Counties.”
The bridge repair work would represent a major step toward maximizing the potential of the railway. The improvements would permit railcars that meet the 286,000 pound industry standard and allow trains to travel at 25 mph over the repaired bridges. Trains are currently limited to lighter loads and must travel at 10 mph over the bridges.
The Natchez award is funded through FY2016 transportation appropriations, including $500 million overall for TIGER discretionary grants or National Infrastructure Investments. Under Cochran’s leadership, the Senate Appropriations Committee in April approved $525 million to support TIGER grants in FY2017.
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The growth and success of the American manufacturing sector starts with ensuring that US manufacturers don’t face burdensome regulations.
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Thank you @MECStateChamber for a great event and for having me speak this morning. Mississippi is the best place to do business.
Raytheon’s proposal to build the T-100 in Meridian speaks volumes about our state, our pro-business climate and our people. I am excited to
It was an honor to speak to my friends at the Mississippi Manufacturers Association this morning during their Environmental and Safety Conference.
It was great speaking to the young leaders in BSA Troop 229 and Cub Scout Pack 239 about citizenship in the nation. #BSA
Deeply Honored to receive the Health IT Congressional Leadership Award from my friends at HIMSS.