Mark's Weekly Update - 10-19-17
Speech at Family Research Council’s “Values Voters Summit”
Last week I was honored to speak at the Family Research Council's "Values Voters Summit"--speaking just before President Donald Trump! It was great to see the President—he sends his best wishes to the people of North Carolina and remembers your voices well from the campaign season. How encouraging it is to have a President that has not forgotten the men and women who put him in the White House.
Bipartisan Tax Reform Efforts
A tax reform update: my House Freedom Caucus colleague, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and I are in conversations with some of our Democrat colleagues to see if we can find some common ground on tax principles.
We're committed to seeing if we can work across the aisle to get something done--making our tax code simpler, fairer, and better for middle class families is a bipartisan issue. We’re very hopeful about where some of the discussions might lead in the coming days. Ultimately, this isn’t about party or politics—it’s about delivering results to the voters who put us in office.
You can read more about our discussions here. I also joined Dana Perino on her new Fox News show, ‘The Daily Briefing,’ to discuss progress on tax reform, along with other issues like healthcare and trade. You can watch the segment here.
Support for Vice-President Pence
As you may have seen on the news, Vice-President Pence chose to leave the Indianapolis Colts-San Francisco 49’ers game after players chose to kneel during the presentation of the flag and the singing of our national anthem.
I support Vice President Pence’s principled stand on supporting the flag. He and President Trump are right—the national anthem is a time to honor our Flag and Veterans, not a time to make a political statement.
The President Keeping Promises
For those of you that may be feeling discouraged about not enough getting done in Washington, I want to reassure you that even while Congress may be fumbling, the President is working relentlessly to keep his promises to you in several crucial areas.
Number one, this week the President announced he will not re-certify the Obama Administration's 'Iran Nuclear Deal—an ill-advised agreement that gave Iran an estimated $100 billion, accelerated Iran's nuclear proliferation, and handed over every U.S. bargaining chip to the Iranian regime. The deal will now be sent back to Congress, which can restore sanctions or make changes to the law.
The President is right to send this back to Congress and force us to do our jobs--to develop a comprehensive strategy on how to proceed with Iran using diplomacy rather than ineffective appeasement. You can read my statement on the Iran Deal here.
Number two, the President signed an executive order that will roll back some Obamacare restrictions and allow for more flexible, cheaper insurance plans. The executive order expands association plans, increases the number of health insurance options, and allows small businesses to band together to purchase insurance across state lines—allowing for a system that gives greater flexibility at a better price.
These changes are a positive step, but there is still more work to be done. Congress would do well to follow the President’s lead and renew our push to keep our seven year promise to repeal Obamacare. Failure on that end should not be an option. You can read my statement on his executive order here. You can also watch my Fox Business interview on this issue here.
Third and finally, the President kept his long-held promise to reverse President Obama’s ‘birth control mandate,’ which forced employers to provide birth control and potential abortifacients to their employees regardless of religious convictions they may hold.
This is a significant win for religious freedom in the U.S. and reaffirms the long-held principle that private companies should not be forced to engage in conduct that violates their religious beliefs or moral convictions. Once again, the President kept his promise. You can read more about it here.
Congress needs to get its act together, and I believe we will—but be assured that your voice is being represented in Washington. We will keep pushing forward until we keep all of our promises to you.
Farm City Day
I really enjoyed stopping by "Farm City Day" last weekend at Jackson Park in Hendersonville, N.C.! They always say “if you ate today, thank a farmer”—and for good reason. This is a great event celebrating some of NC's farmers and most famous farming traditions. Thanks to our great farmers for all they do for our community.
United South and Eastern Tribes
It was great to welcome the United South and Eastern Tribes to Cherokee, NC last week! They were incredibly gracious and the special events throughout the day were fantastic. Thanks to everyone who said hello!
With some of the Miss Cherokee Award winners