Dear Friend, During the past three weeks, the new House Republican majority hit the ground running passing a number of key bills along with the start of many oversight hearings to come. Below you will find an update from this past week, including my thoughts on President Biden's State of the Union Address, the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee's first hearing, and more. If you received this newsletter from a friend, and you would like to continue receiving these updates, you can subscribe here or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
February 12, 2023
During the past three weeks, the new House Republican majority hit the ground running passing a number of key bills along with the start of many oversight hearings to come.
Below you will find an update from this past week, including my thoughts on President Biden's State of the Union Address, the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee's first hearing, and more.
If you received this newsletter from a friend, and you would like to continue receiving these updates, you can subscribe here or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
My Thoughts on the State of the Union Address
This past week, President Biden delivered his second State of the Union address to Congress. I anticipated the President would gloss over the negative impacts of his failed policies in my interviews prior to his speech, and he proved my prediction right. The State of the Union address demonstrated just how out of touch this Administration and Democrats in Congress are with the needs of Americans in North Carolina and across the country. For 21 straight months, real wages have declined.
In the past two years, President Biden's policies have resulted in a weakened economy and record high inflation, a wide-open southern border, an alarming rise in crime, and an all out assault on American production of oil and gas. Meanwhile, massive amounts of fentanyl supplied by China are being brought across the border to kill Americans, and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan demonstrated such weakness and stupidity that every adversary of America in the world is on the march.
The new House Republican majority is working to address these shortcomings, but to change course we need the cooperation of the Democrat majority in the Senate and the White House. Such is life in a divided government, but a divided government also means that bad policies won’t see the light of day in this Congress — a reversal of the past two years when all kinds of bad policy passed and was signed into law.
Regardless of the obstacles, I remain committed to helping families, seniors, students, farmers, our job creators and small businesses as well as the communities of Southeastern North Carolina.
This Week in DC
Welcoming Lumbee Tribal Chairman John Lowery to DC
I was honored to welcome Lumbee Tribal Chairman John Lowery as my guest for the State of the Union. For generations, the Lumbee Tribe has fought for the federal benefits that come with federal recognition. The State of the Union provided Chairman Lowery an opportunity to meet a lot of members of Congress and other dignitaries to help with that cause.
The Lumbee Tribe consists of 55,000 members, making it the largest Native American tribe east of the Mississippi River and the ninth largest tribe in the nation. Members of the Lumbee Tribe reside primarily in Robeson, Hoke, Cumberland and Scotland counties. In 1885, the State of North Carolina formally recognized the Lumbee Tribe. In 1956, Congress recognized the Lumbee Tribe as an Indian Tribe when they enacted the Lumbee Act, but the bill unfairly denied the tribe any federal services and benefits associated with such recognition.
It's an honor to represent the many members of the Lumbee Tribe who have called Robeson County home for three centuries. As Robeson County is new to the Congressional District that I represent, I look forward to spearheading the effort during this new Congress to achieve their full benefits as a federally recognized tribe. To highlight our work, Chairman Lowery and I joined Spectrum News ahead of the State of the Union.Click here to watch our interview.
Leading the Subcommittee on Water Resources & Environment
As I’ve said before, there’s no greater example of bureaucratic overreach than with the regulatory nightmare of complying with and understanding the definition of a “water of the United States (WOTUS).” For the purposes of what the Clean Water Act covers, this definition is crucial. It is used for determining a number of applications under the law, including state and tribal water quality certification programs, pollutant discharge permits, and oil spill prevention and planning programs. President Biden's new definition, once again, places unnecessary burdens on the communities, farmers, businesses, and industries who rely on clean water and clarity of the law.
I was proud to lead my colleagues during this week's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment hearing to discuss how the Biden Administration’s WOTUS rule will negatively impact various sectors of the economy and Americans all across the country.
In areas like North Carolina’s Seventh District, where storms can be frequent, water often lingers in areas that shouldn’t be classified as wetlands. This inconsistency of the law’s interpretation and the ever-changing status of the weather promises years of headaches and legal wrangling. Stakeholders affected by the WOTUS Rule echoed these sentiments, urging the Administration to rescind its rule.
Condemning the Chinese Communist Party’s Espionage
On Saturday, January 28, a Chinese spy balloon was detected entering U.S. territory near the Aleutian Islands off of Alaska. Instead of taking decisive action before the Chinese Communist Party-controlled balloon invaded our skies, President Biden waited days and allowed it to cross the entire continental United States. On Saturday, February 4, the balloon was finally shot down off the coast of Myrtle Beach, not far from Southeastern North Carolina, but not before all the data it collected had been transmitted back to Communist China.
This is just another way the Chinese Communist Party is testing the Biden Administration. This surveillance balloon should have been shot down at the first opportunity. Instead, the Biden Administration allowed the balloon to float over the country in the vicinity of our most sensitive military bases with the capability of picking up sensitive communications. This week, I proudly voted in support of H. Res. 104, which condemns the Chinese Communist Party for its use of a high-altitude surveillance balloon over United States territory.
Preventing Non-Citizens from Voting in U.S. Elections
Voting is a constitutional right only American citizens should hold. Yet on November 21, 2022, the DC Council passed a bill allowing illegal immigrants to vote in DC local elections. To make matters worse, this legislation makes no exception for foreign nationals or diplomats. This means representatives from other countries, including people working at the Chinese or Russian embassies, can vote in DC elections.
Under the Constitution, Congress, not the City Council, has ultimate authority over the laws governing our nation's capital. To condemn the city's egregious proposal, the House exercised our constitutional authority and passed H.J. Res. 24 with bipartisan support. The resolution is the first step toward preventing the law from taking effect and expresses disapproval toward DC’s policy allowing non-citizens to vote. Election integrity is foundational to our republic.
This Week's Good News Story
Congratulations to Wilmington's own Captain Wilbur Jones Jr. on being presented The Order of the Long Leaf Pine at the Wilmington City Council's Meeting this week. As featured in WECT, Mayor Saffo presented the award on behalf of Governor Roy Cooper for Jones' "enduring dedication to the city of Wilmington and the state of North Carolina, making him worthy of the high honor of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.” Jones is a veteran, an author, and a historian, and he has written seven books on Wilmington's World War II history.
According to the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society, North Carolina governors "reserve their highest honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine award, for persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments."
I’m extremely proud of this achievement for Captain Jones, who I worked with to designate Wilmington as America's first World War II Heritage City. Our community and state are extremely fortunate to have Captain Jones leading the fight to preserve and honor the City of Wilmington for her legacy and contributions during the war.
"A splendid storehouse of integrity and freedom has been bequeathed to us by our forefathers. In this day of confusion, of peril to liberty, our high duty is to see that this storehouse is not robbed of its contents." — Herbert Hoover
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