WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., released the following statement, after the Trump Administration’s announcement today it would withdraw the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule, which the prior administration issued to expand federal authority over local waterways, potentially including puddles and drainage ditches, threatened private property rights, state law, and Tennessee’s agriculture industry:
“The Obama Administration set the record for new pages of rules and regulations, the Waters of the U.S. rule one of the worst examples. It was a federal land grab, pure and simple, threatening citizens’ property rights and state authority, as well as the Constitution’s separation of powers. The rule would have cost jobs and economic growth, especially in the agriculture sector. Tennessee has ample expertise to regulate natural resources within its borders and to promote environmental health.”
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump ordered the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers, responsible for implementing it, to review the rule. In Congress, Rep. DesJarlais, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, has voted to cancel it. A federal appeals court rejected the rule’s expanded definition of “navigable waterways” to include temporary bodies of water and even adjacent land.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Technical education and infrastructure are at the forefront of Republicans’ agenda in Congress and the White House.
President Trump issued an executive order last week to expand and improve federal apprenticeship programs in partnership with states and industries. This week, Republicans in the House of Representatives followed up with legislation to simplify applications for federal funding, grow vocational training in rural areas, and target in-demand manufacturing jobs.
Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., has voted for legislation to remove federal barriers to energy and other infrastructure projects – such as the Keystone Pipeline – that create high-paying jobs for technical graduates. Yesterday on the House Floor, he delivered a speech on the effectiveness of technical education in Tennessee, his home state, where Governor Bill Haslam led a successful effort to provide free technical education to those new to the workforce or re-entering:
Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04) recently visited the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Smyrna, one of many campuses in operation or soon to be. Franklin County in the Fourth District, a mostly rural area which he represents in Congress, celebrated the groundbreaking of another Applied Technology campus this week.
The Fourth District is home to General Motors, Nissan, Wacker Chemical, and other leading manufacturers requiring skilled employees, whose starting salaries are generally higher than the national average. According to the Department of Labor, 90 percent of apprentices – technical students whose education companies often sponsor – find immediate employment.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – New policies to train and equip the United States military emerged in the first subcommittee hearings of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) this week.
Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., a member of the Subcommittee on Readiness, as well as Seapower and Projection Forces, is working to increase troop readiness, bolster military research and development, and promote the latest defense technology.
The two subcommittees convened today to “mark up” their portions of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets annual defense priorities. The process entails debate and amendments, before the full committee considers the entire NDAA. Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04), who recently returned from Eastern Europe to discuss national security with NATO allies, represents a district at the heart of the Aerospace and Defense Technology Corridor spanning Middle Tennessee from Kentucky to Alabama.
It includes Fort Campbell, Arnold Air Force Base, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Redstone Arsenal, among other military and scientific facilities. “Our military is stretched thin and underfunded,” said the Congressman, explaining budget uncertainty in the midst of increasing foreign engagements endangers soldiers’ lives and also U.S. national security.
“Only three of 58 Army brigades are ready to fight. The Airforce is older and smaller than it’s ever been. The Navy is well short of the number of ships we need to protect American economic and security interests worldwide,” he said. “We’re asking fewer troops to do more with less, while adversaries such as Russia and China are rapidly developing their capabilities.”
The Readiness Subcommittee’s “mark,” which bipartisan members unanimously approved, contains several measures from Rep. DesJarlais, including more training for Remotely Piloted Aircraft operators and funding for Air National Guard projects in his home state.
The Congressman is a strong supporter of President Trump’s goal of 355 ships for the Navy, an increase of 80 to counter Chinese expansion. Modernizing procurement to save time and money is another top priority for the Congressman.
“Like every federal agency, the Department of Defense has overlapping layers of bureaucracy and outdated systems that create waste and inefficiency. The department is so large, some common-sense changes could save billions of taxpayer dollars,” said Rep. DesJarlais.
The Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces recommends multi-year, bulk procurements of warships to cut costs. Last month, HASC Chairman Mac Thornberry introduced legislation allowing the department to purchase non-military items, such as office supplies, on the open market rather than through complex federal bureaucracies. The proposal follows others, which became law in 2016 and 2017, to mandate major paperwork reductions and specialized acquisitions officers.
“The savings will accrue to our fighting men and women,” said Rep. DesJarlais.
Several GOP congressmen whose names were on a list found in gunman James Hodgkinson’s van are proposing and backing legislation that would allow members of Congress and others to carry a gun to protect themselves in the nation’s capital and across the country. Within hours of the shooting, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, leader of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus, introduced his own gun bill -- a broader measure that would allow anybody from states that allow residents to carry concealed weapons with a valid permit to exercise that right while in Washington. Rep. DesJarlais, a strong Second Amendment Supporter, supports Massie’s bill and will join as a co-sponsor.Read More
Tennessee lawmakers described the mood at the capitol after a fellow congressman was seriously hurt in a shooting just outside of Washington D.C. “People were shocked that this happened. I spoke with a number of my colleagues that were at the baseball field this morning and it was pretty chaotic. They said that there are lots of shots being fired and they were trying to take cover. They were just very grateful that there was someone there to return fire in the form of the security detail and capital police otherwise we are certain there would have been much more damage and probably several lives lost,” said DesJarlais.Read More
Members of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation on Wenesday urged President Trump to quickly approve Governor Haslam’s request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Tennessee to help 12 Tennessee counties -- Blount, Cumberland, Fayette, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Sevier, Shelby and Smith -- impacted by severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding beginning on May 27. The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and Representatives Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Scott DesJarlais, John Duncan, Jr., Chuck Fleischmann, David Kustoff and Phil Roe.Read More
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R LA, was shot during a practice baseball game on Wednesday morning. Several others including two law enforcement officers were also shot. Scalise’s injuries are believed to be serious but not life threatening. The congressman underwent surgery at a nearby hospital. Rep. DesJarlais, said he attributes lives being saved to the presence of Scalise's security detail.Read More
Representative DesJarlais, M.D., voted for the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 to improve employee accountability and protect whistleblowers at the VA. “During my listening tour across the Fourth District, Tennessee veterans spoke to me about federal health care’s broken promises,” said DesJarlais. “Tennessee heroes who put their lives on the line deserve to be at the front of the line for the best care. Unfortunately, a culture of mismanagement at the VA rewards poor performance, while preventing good employees from doing their jobs.”Read More
Congressman Steve Scalise, R-LA, is undergoing surgery after being shot at a baseball field in Alexandria, VA, on Wednesday morning. Rep. Scott DesJarlais was not at the field and is safe. He is not a member of the team.Read More
Rep. Scott DesJarlais, M.D., voted for and the House passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 1094), sending it to the President’s desk. “During my listening tour across the Fourth District, Tennessee veterans spoke to me about federal health care’s broken promises,” said Rep. DesJarlais. “Tennessee heroes who put their lives on the line deserve to be at the front of the line for the best care. Unfortunately, a culture of mismanagement at the VA rewards poor performance, while preventing good employees from doing their jobs.”Read More
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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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Only in Washington could a $71 billion increase be considered a cut. https://t.co/i9yiqB2vAL
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