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Friday, September 20, 2019

Business week

Dear friends,

This week as we confirmed a number of nominees to several ambassadorial, Treasury Department and State Department positions in the Senate, I was also glad to welcome representatives from chambers of commerce across Georgia to Washington!

I sat down with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, the Douglas County Chamber, the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, and the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce to discuss top priorities and other issues affecting these communities and our state. As a businessman, working with, and for, our chambers of commerce and those they represent has always been a privilege.

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce honored me with its Business Champion Award on Wednesday for my support of free enterprise policies throughout my career. As a public servant and a businessman, I’ve found the Georgia Chamber to be a true partner, and I’m proud to receive this award as I complete my time in elected office serving our state in the U.S. Senate.

Holding the VA accountable

Last week, I was horrified by the news that a veteran under the care of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility was bitten more than 100 times by ants in his room. I immediately spoke with VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne and later with Secretary Robert Wilkie to demand answers. I also spoke to the veteran’s daughter to offer my deepest condolences and any assistance I could provide to her or her family.

I believe veterans in Georgia need to be reassured the VA is doing everything in its power to ensure an incident like this never happens again, and I am thankful that the VA has acted quickly to investigate.

In Other News

  • Also this week, the U.S. Air Force celebrated its 72nd birthday, and I met with Colonel Paul R. Birch and eight airmen from the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing from Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia.
  • The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., reopened to visitors on Thursday! If you are planning a trip to D.C., take a look at how you can experience a bird’s eye view of the city from the newly renovated top of the monument.
  • I’m so pleased to share that my wife Dianne is the official sponsor of a new U.S. Navy ship, the USS Savannah. Today, Dianne and I participated in a “keel laying” ceremony, which marks the official beginning of the ship’s construction. Dianne comes from a Navy family, and we’re very proud of this new ship that will serve our armed forces and represent the historic city of Savannah. 

What’s On Tap?

Next week, I will chair a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the VA’s decision-making process to determine eligibility for benefits for veterans whose illnesses were caused by exposure to toxic hazards while on active duty.