PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNS DEFENSE BILL INCLUDING REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS’ WORK TO STRENGTHEN NATIONAL SECURITY
SOUTH PITTSBURG – Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, included measures in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which President Donald Trump signed into law today, that will improve hypersonic flight research, reduce barriers to hiring cybersecurity and other skilled personnel at the Defense Department, and help to enforce Russia’s cooperation with a nuclear arms control treaty, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04), who represents Middle Tennessee’s Aerospace and Defense Technology Corridor, released the following statement regarding the bipartisan NDAA, annual legislation that sets national security policy:
“Middle Tennessee is home to advanced research centers and manufacturers, supplying U.S. military and commercial enterprises with state-of-the-art equipment. My constituents are developing and deploying the next generation of technology to defend America. This law gives them, including many brave soldiers serving in harm’s way, more resources to protect themselves and the rest of us. It gives troops a pay raise, and very importantly, secures our economy against predatory Chinese trade practices. It builds on the President’s proposal to create a new Space Force to counter foreign threats wherever they may be. I’m proud to do my part in Congress, where national security is my highest priority.”
REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS FIGHTING FOR LOW-COST, QUALITY HEALTH CARE FOR TENNESSEANS
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, REPUBLICAN CONGRESS SOLVING OBAMACARE PROBLEMS, SAYS DOCTOR
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Obamacare’s medical device tax threatens to increase patients’ health care costs and prevent life-saving innovation. Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., voted this week to permanently eliminate the tax, also threatening American jobs, and to expand tax-exempt Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
“Democrats promised Obamacare would reduce costs and improve health care access for Tennesseans,” said Rep. DesJarlais, a doctor. “Just the opposite happened. Millions lost the insurance and doctors they liked. The law forced them into unaffordable government plans with high premiums and deductibles. Unable to afford higher prices, many chose to pay a penalty rather than participate.
“Especially in rural areas, Obamacare resulted in hospital closures, because of consolidation. Only the largest medical providers are able to cope with complex regulations. Small businesses unable to cope shed employees and benefits, contributing to a part-time, low wage economy,” he said.
Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04) has voted to repeal and replace Obamacare with free-market reforms that would lower health care costs, expand patient access and improve quality, such as eliminating federal mandates and taxes, increasing economic opportunity, and encouraging responsible saving.
He and Republicans in Congress repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The mandate compelled Tennesseans to buy expensive insurance or pay a fine. Tax reform is creating more job opportunities and take-home pay for Tennesseans, explained Rep. DesJarlais. “More people are earning an income and gaining insurance coverage,” he said.
“The average family will save over $2,000 this year, not counting bonuses and other benefits companies are offering. Next year, Obamacare’s penalty will be gone. The Trump Administration has made other important changes.”
Rep. DesJarlais mentioned an executive order instating Association Health Plans, permitting small businesses and other organizations to join across state lines to negotiate better terms with insurance companies, as large companies do. Bills to expand HSA contributions and allowable expenses, including over-the-counter medicine, passed the House of Representatives today. A bill to permanently eliminate the medical device tax passed yesterday.
“Adding taxes to medical devices Tennesseans need to survive makes no sense. Encouraging families to save for health costs makes a lot more. I voted to remove Obamacare’s restrictions on simple drug purchases today,” said Rep. DesJarlais, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, overseeing rural health initiatives. “Dozens of Democrats joined Republicans in our effort.
“I hope more help us to make progress for the sake of our constituents, suffering Obamacare’s consequences.”
HOUSE AG COMMITTEE MEMBER REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS LEADS SIGNIFICANT WELFARE REFORM IN FARM BILL, SUPPORTS TENNESSEE FARMERS AND RANCHERS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives made significant reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in agriculture legislation that passed by a narrow margin. Congressman Scott DesJarlais, a member of the House Agriculture Committee and the Subcommittee on Nutrition, which oversees the federal food stamp program, provided a crucial vote to help farmers and ranchers in his rural district.
“The 2018 farm bill contains programs that support Tennessee farmers and ranchers, as well as the rural communities they call home. It develops rural broadband and makes changes to the food stamp program to ensure it remains for those who truly need it. With training for the modern economy, where almost 7 million jobs are waiting for them, more able-bodied Americans will re-enter the workforce,” said Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04).
As the economy has improved, food stamp rolls should have declined by a much higher figure, said the Congressman, but skewed incentives are locking healthy, working-age adults in poverty. “Broad eligibility standards, poor data-keeping and automation for administrative functions requiring human attention are inflating food stamp numbers,” said Rep. DesJarlais.
“The good news is that millions of people are finding better paying jobs and leaving government dependency programs. The better news is that we can help millions more to lead productive lives in a growing economy, while preserving assistance for the needy.
“Eighty percent of Americans agree with Republicans’ education and training efforts in the farm bill,” he said. In the 115th Congress, Rep. DesJarlais has seen first-hand the impact career and technical education can have on his constituents in Tennessee’s Fourth District and has voted to streamline vocational training grants to states, in addition to his work to improve work requirements in SNAP.
REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS SUPPORTS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ASSOCIATION HEALTH PLANS ANNOUNCEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., an advocate of patient-centered health care, who has voted to repeal Obamacare and replace it with free-market reforms that would lower insurance costs and increase consumers’ choice of plans, released the following statement in support of the Trump Administration’s announcement yesterday of a new rule allowing small businesses to create Association Health Plans:
“Republicans have made major headway repealing the worst Obamacare rules, providing more affordable alternatives to Tennessee families and small businesses. The latest change allows Association Health Plans across state lines, one employers and employees have been advocating for years, ever since Obamacare began raising taxes, fees, and insurance costs. Patients lost their doctors. Hospitals closed.
“The law raised premiums to pay for expensive mandates and subsidies, while limiting individuals’ choice of coverage and providers. It exempted big businesses, while punishing Mom and Pop. We're giving small businesses and entrepreneurs freedom to create better options for an estimated four million people. And we'll keep working to improve results for Tennesseans.”
Under the finalized Department of Labor rule, self-employed entrepreneurs, small businesses, trade associations, and other organizations may now join together across state lines to increase their bargaining power and negotiate lower rates for employees and their families, just as large businesses do. The rule will take effect this fall.
ADDICTION TREATMENT AND LAW ENFORCEMENT FOCUS OF REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS IN CONGRESS
DOZENS OF BILLS TO SOLVE TENNESSEE’S OPIOID CRISIS PASS HOUSE THIS WEEK
WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a week in which the House of Representatives focused solely on solutions to the country’s opioid crisis, Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., voted to improve veterans’ addiction treatment, prevent childhood trauma and illness as a result of parental drug abuse, and to stop shipments of narcotic chemicals across U.S. borders, among other votes to help his home state of Tennessee conquer its drug epidemic.
Tennessee’s opioid-related mortality rate is higher than average. The rate in Grundy County in the Fourth Congressional District is particularly high, said Rep. DesJarlais, who represents parts of Appalachia, a region experiencing the worst of the crisis, according to the Appalachian Regional Commission. “Nearly every demographic is suffering, but residents of Appalachia, including East Tennessee, and also the Rust Belt are suffering in great numbers,” he said.
“Drug overdoses as well as suicides have increased, and the rising figures are tied to declining economic fortunes in depressed rural areas. In addition to strengthening addiction treatment and law enforcement, growing job opportunities is very important. Reversing the decline of American manufacturing and encouraging small businesses will provide hope to people who in despair have turned to drugs,” said Rep. DesJarlais.
Although prescription opioid-related deaths have been declining nationwide, fentanyl and other opioids have become responsible for more and more fatalities, he explained. “Doctors and patients are working together to reduce to the availability of prescription opioids to non-patients, but Chinese labs and Mexican gangs are counteracting our efforts, flooding the U.S. with heroin, fentanyl and copycat drugs even more dangerous.”
Mexico is the primary source of illegal heroin and fentanyl in the United States. “Cartels traffic Chinese fentanyl along the same routes they use to smuggle heroin and other drugs across our insecure Southern Border,” said Rep. DesJarlais. “China ships fentanyl and components directly to dealers in the U.S. through our mail system.”
“This week, I voted to secure the postal system. I have voted to build a wall on the southern border, to add more border agents, and to increase penalties on repeat immigration offenders who traffic drugs for Mexican cartels. Stronger border and immigration enforcement are crucial parts of our strategy to stop the opioid epidemic and save lives in Tennessee.”
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.”
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.
Retweeted by desjarlaistn04
Some FBI/DOJ officials perfectly comfortable leaking false info from illegal warrants/wiretaps but when President w… https://t.co/lhW5hkpMfo
Retweeted by desjarlaistn04
Because Democrats refused to cooperate w/ Republicans to pass middle-class tax cuts, boosting income and strengthen… https://t.co/Jk7isb99HM
Retweeted by desjarlaistn04
Retweeted by desjarlaistn04
Declassifying Obama Admin FISA applications going through LEGAL process — as opposed to leaking products of fraudul… https://t.co/9IqNLpmxIJ