News Center

Friday, November 1, 2019

Making Progress

Dear friends,

This week, the Senate passed H.R.3055, which includes important funding for agriculture, transportation and other Georgia priorities. H.R.3055 incorporates the Senate’s fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills for the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Interior, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and environment and science-related federal agencies.

While our government funding measures have taken too long to pass the Senate due to partisan obstruction, I’m glad to see this measure move through to support critical government funding for our farmers, national parks, transportation and other areas that make a difference in Americans’ lives. You can read more about Georgia benefits in the legislation here.

However, we have much left to accomplish. Key Georgia priorities including our military bases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project need the assurance of full-year funding. I hope that leaders in the House and Senate will quickly resolve their differences so we can move forward with bipartisan appropriations bills, consistent with the terms they agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act this summer.

Rooting Out Terrorism

On Sunday, President Trump announced the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the top leader of the radical Islamic terror group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), following a raid on his compound carried out by U.S. special operations forces in Syria.

I applaud the heroic actions by our U.S. special operations forces and intelligence services to root out and eliminate the top leader of the oppressive Islamic State terrorist group. While the threat posed by ISIS and other transnational terrorist organizations in the Middle East continues to persist, we must remain committed to sustained American leadership, in conjunction with our allies and partners, in the fight against terrorism in this very unstable region of the world.

Advancing Bipartisan Health Priorities

On Thursday, two bipartisan public health measures that Democratic Senator Bob Casey and I introduced, the Over-the-Counter Drug Safety, Innovation and Reform Act and the Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act, passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.

The Over-the-Counter Drug Safety, Innovation and Reform Act would streamline and modernize the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) process regulating how over-the-counter medications are brought to market and monitored for safety and effectiveness. It would also speed up the current years-long approval process for new over-the-counter medications.

The Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act would strengthen existing efforts to improve prevention of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood. Currently, there are no nationwide standards for investigating and collecting data following an infant or child death.

Senator Casey and I have been working for a long time on overhauling our woefully outdated over-the-counter drug approval process to help innovative products get to the pharmacy shelf and to give consumers the most up-to-date safety information on these medications. I have also been honored to work with Senator Casey on ensuring we are employing every resource available to combat infant mortality and protect our youngest and most precious lives. I’m so glad to see each of these bills pass in committee, and Senator Casey and I will continue working with our colleagues to move them through the Senate.

In Other News

  • This week, members of my staff participated in a ceremony with several veterans of the Korean War at a Peace Medal Ceremony in Cobb County. More than 165 Georgia veterans of the Korean War were honored in a ceremony that paid tribute to their loyal and brave service during the war and related peacekeeping operations.
  • Also this week, former Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina sadly passed away after succumbing to complications of the tick-borne Powassan virus. My older sister died at a very young age from the fatal results of a tick bite. I was proud to both cosponsor a resolution to honor Senator Hagan’s service in the U.S. Senate, and to support the Kay Hagan Tick Act, which we passed Thursday in the Senate health committee to improve research, prevention, diagnostics and treatment.
  • Monday, Nov. 4, is the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, when 66 United States diplomats, military personnel, and civilians were taken hostage from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I’ve introduced a resolution commemorating their service to our nation, emphasizing the depth and nature of their sacrifices and suffering and supporting the designation of Nov. 4, 2019, as a national day of remembrance for these victims.

What’s on Tap?

When I return to Washington D.C. we will continue working on government funding measures. On Wednesday, Nov. 6, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing on pending nominations to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.