Dear Friend, This past week, House Republicans passed legislation to keep the government operating while the House and Senate continue to work on Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills. Extending funding until mid-January for one set of appropriations bills and early February for another set prevented a harmful shutdown and keeps an irresponsible, bloated combo of appropriations bills all rolled into one from being jammed on us by the Senate right before the Christmas holiday. I also led my colleagues in the North Carolina delegation on a letter requesting answers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the agency's recently revealed decision to approve GenX imports from the Netherlands to the Chemours Fayetteville plant. More information about this can be found below. 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.
November 20, 2023
This past week, House Republicans passed legislation to keep the government operating while the House and Senate continue to work on Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills. Extending funding until mid-January for one set of appropriations bills and early February for another set prevented a harmful shutdown and keeps an irresponsible, bloated combo of appropriations bills all rolled into one from being jammed on us by the Senate right before the Christmas holiday.
I also led my colleagues in the North Carolina delegation on a letter requesting answers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the agency's recently revealed decision to approve GenX imports from the Netherlands to the Chemours Fayetteville plant. More information about this can be found below.
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.
Avoiding a Government Shutdown Before the Holidays
Government shutdowns are never a good way to run the country. For it to happen just before the busy Thanksgiving holiday would make one even more disruptive to everyone during the holiday season affecting passports and the TSA, for example. It would have also stopped the flow of funding to our military since the Fiscal Year 2024 Defense Appropriations bill has not yet been agreed upon by both chambers of Congress and signed into law.
House Republicans have been working to put our nation on a much more responsible fiscal path by passing each individual appropriations bill to fund the federal government. When passing these one by one, we have more leverage to cut out wasteful spending and attach conservative policy riders to push back on the Biden Administration's radical agenda.
So far, the House has passed seven of the twelve annual spending bills funding more than 75 percent of Discretionary government spending. In comparison, the Democrat-led Senate has only passed three appropriations bills comprising only 17 percent of the Discretionary spending total.
(This is a good place to stop and state this reminder: Discretionary spending accounts for roughly 25% of the total federal budget. The other 75% is Mandatory Spending, also known as Entitlement Spending, and it is this spending that drives the debt just simply because it is the vast majority of all spending.)
The two-month CR passed this week allows the federal government to operate into the new year and prevents a bloated all-in-one appropriations package from being jammed on us right before the holidays as typically happens. Thousand-page end-of-the-year appropriations packages are not the way to govern, and this additional time will better enable the House and Senate to complete its work while ensuring the government remains open to provide vital services (meaning defense of the homeland, passports, etc.) for the American people. Between now and when the CR runs out, House Republicans will continue working to pass the remainder of the appropriations bills for FY 2024 and then negotiate with the Senate and White House to get these measures passed and signed into law.
While some believe shutdowns save money, the reality is shutdowns of any length cost taxpayers billions more than keeping the government operating because of all the contracts in place that are broken and then must be renegotiated as well as the many other extra costs incurred with a shutdown. Plus, unlike previous years when Defense Appropriations had been passed, a shutdown of Defense could be catastrophic above and beyond the extra cost given the threats we face on the world-stage.
By passing a CR, we avert a shutdown while proceeding with our work to negotiate the best spending packages that can be achieved in a divided government.
Requesting Answers from EPA on Their Decision to Approve GenX Imports
This week, I asked the EPA for additional information regarding their decision to allow Chemours to import foreign GenX waste to their Fayetteville facility that has been the source of extensive water contamination for years. Senator Thom Tillis and Rep. Richard Hudson joined my effort to get more information.
We all — and rightfully so — have questions about the presence and impact of these chemicals. I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress along with state and local officials to help ensure families in Southeastern North Carolina have access to safe drinking water. Click here to read the full letter.
Meeting with Cub Scout Pack 226 in Wilmington
I enjoyed spending time with Cub Scout Pack 226 in Wilmington! The values taught by the Scouts are critical to the survival of our republic. If everyone lived by the Scout Oath and the Scout Law, this world would be a much better place. They had great questions ranging from the role of government in our communities to the ice cream of choice for Members of Congress! (I told them chocolate, by the way.)
Updates from the IRS: The IRS recently announced an increase in the contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans, as well as the federal government's Thrift Savings Plan. The limit on annual contributions to an IRA has also increased. Click here for the list of changes to contribution limits for 2024.
Veterans Dental Clinic: The ECU School of Dental Medicine Community Service Learning Center in Robeson County will be hosting a Veteran Smiles event on January 19, 2024 where qualifying veterans can receive reduced or no cost dental care. Eligible veterans cannot currently have a dental insurance plan and must be eligible to receive care at a Veterans Administration facility. For more information, contact the clinic at (910) 737-6457 or (252) 737-7500. The clinic is located at 600 Country Club Road in Lumberton, NC 28360.
This Week's Good News Story
For this week's good news story, I'm recognizing Linwood Hedgpeth, former Whiteville High School head baseball coach and University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) middle infielder, for being inducted into the UNCP Hall of Fame. According to the NR Columbus, "Hedgpeth was an all-region baseball player for the Braves from 1961–1965. Following his playing career, Hedgpeth amassed a 438–118 record as a high school head coach, including a 225–55 record at Whiteville from 1980–1990. Hedgpeth claimed five NCHSAA 2A State Championships, three at Whiteville (1983, 1985, 1989) and two at Hallsboro High School (1975, 1978). Hedgpeth also led Hallsboro to seven conference championships and a 2A state runner-up finish in 1974." Congratulations, Linwood!
“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all praise.” – Governor of the Plymouth Colony, William Bradford
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