News Center

Friday, October 27, 2017

Improving our economy

Dear Friends,

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Senate-passed budget, paving the way for Congress to continue its work on tax reform. I participated in several meetings this week in the Senate Committee on Finance to work on our comprehensive tax reform proposal that will help improve our economy by fixing our broken tax code, provide relief to hardworking Americans and help keep jobs here in the United States.

I appreciate the commitment by Congressional leaders to move tax reform through regular order, and I look forward to continuing our work to advance tax reform in the coming weeks.

Devastating Opioid Crisis

On Thursday, President Trump declared a nationwide public health emergency to address the opioid crisis we are facing.

Across America, communities and families are dealing with the devastating effects of the opioid crisis, and drug overdose deaths are on the rise. It is critical that we do everything we can to combat this tragic epidemic.

I will continue to work alongside the president and my colleagues here in Congress to address this epidemic and provide support to all those fighting against opioid addiction.

In a letter to the administration earlier this fall, I, alongside my Republican colleagues on the Finance Committee, requested information about actions the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is taking to prevent opioid abuse among Medicare providers and beneficiaries.

As chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, we have also taken steps to help our veterans avoid over-prescription of these types of medications, including holding hearings and passing the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act to address the opioid crisis and quality pain care for veterans.

Another Veterans Bill Passed By the Senate

It was a great week for our veterans! On Wednesday, the Senate passed the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation I introduced to increase veterans’ disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This bill will adjust veterans’ benefits to keep up with the rising costs of living.

I look forward to the president signing it into law very soon, making this the seventh piece of legislation signed into law this year from our Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

On Wednesday, our committee voted to approve Melissa Sue Glynn to serve as VA assistant secretary for Enterprise Integration, Cheryl L. Mason to be chairman of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and Randy Reeves to be VA undersecretary for Memorial Affairs. Dr. Glynn, Ms. Mason and Mr. Reeves each bring unique experience to the positions for which they have been nominated, and I am confident that they will do well in their future roles at the VA. I hope the Senate will follow suit and confirm these three nominees so they can get to work serving our nation’s veterans.

Other News:

  • On Monday, the Senate passed the supplemental funding measure for hurricane and wildfire relief and recovery. This legislation assists with recovery from recent disasters, including Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The supplemental funding will be distributed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program. I remain committed to doing all I can to provide federal assistance to fully support hurricane recovery efforts for affected states and territories. Our office continues to work closely with Governor Deal, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

  • I’m pleased the Senate voted this week to overturn a harmful Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule that discourages consumers and companies from settling their differences outside of the courtroom. It baffles me that this discriminatory rule against consumers was issued despite the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s own study showing that consumers who participate in arbitration procedures receive significantly more on average than consumers who participate in a class action suit. With this vote, the Senate delivered a win for consumers and job creators instead of helping trial lawyers. This was the 15th time this year that Congress has voted to help remove burdensome regulations that add to costs and harm American jobs and wallets.

What’s on tap?

Next week, the Senate is expected to vote on judicial nominations, and we will continue work on tax reform to help American jobs and families.                                       


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