Mark's Weekly Update - 8-3-17
We hope to see you at my Town Hall event this Monday, August 7, at 6:00pm! I’m looking forward to having a great discussion on issues that many of you have been contacting my office about recently. You can find all the information in the photo below.
Speaking with constituents is a significant part of what helps me do my job of representing Western North Carolinians in Congress. If you can make it, I’d love to see you there.
Pray for Dr. Belcher
Please remember my good friend, Western Carolina Chancellor David Belcher, and his wife, Susan, in your prayers this week. Dr. Belcher just announced he is beginning new treatment after doctors recently discovered a recurrence of cancer.
The Belchers are dear friends, first class people, and beloved in the WCU community. Debbie and I wish them nothing but the best and are praying for strength for them both during this next phase of treatment! You can read Dr. Belcher’s full update here.
Veterans’ Solutions Seminars
Last reminder: My Veterans’ Solutions Seminars are this week! Our first session was this morning, and we still have two more to go. You can find all the information below or on my website here.
Nothing we do as an office is more important than serving our country's military heroes. If you or someone you know could use assistance in working with the VA, please come--we'd love to see you and help in any way possible!
House Freedom Caucus Urging Investigation of Lynch, Comey
It's time to investigate the investigators.
If Congress is seriously interested in transparency and holding our government accountable, we should appoint a special counsel to investigate the Obama Justice Department's handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation. Just because Secretary Clinton lost the election doesn't mean that the troubling activity by Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director Comey should go unaccounted for.
My colleagues Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and I are pushing a bill to require the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel for that investigation. We joined Fox & Friends last week to talk about it. The House Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA), has also officially called on AG Jeff Sessions to appoint a second special prosecutor in a letter. You can read more about that here.
We also discussed the latest healthcare news and the critical need for Congress to push forward until we keep our promise and repeal Obamacare while finding solutions to lower your costs. Watch the full video here.
Hearing on Free Speech
Last week, my colleague Jim Jordan (R-OH) led a joint subcommittee hearing on free speech in higher education--examining the increasing level of attacks on first amendment and free speech liberties on college campuses. Witnesses included Ben Shapiro and Adam Carolla, among others.
Obviously, there are several major legislative battles going on in Congress right now, but nothing is more fundamental to our nation than the right to speak freely and peacefully exchange ideas. Attacks on First Amendment rights cannot and will not stand. I'm grateful to my colleagues on the House Oversight Committee for addressing this topic, and I'm hoping we can commit ourselves to setting an example for honest and healthy debate about critical issues facing America. We the people would all be better off as a result.
Healthcare Reform Update
In light of the news from last week on the Senate and Obamacare repeal moving forward, I want to make sure I'm clear on my message moving forward.
Obamacare repeal is not optional. American families are hurting under this broken law, and it's on Congress to keep working until we deliver on our promise to the voters. Nothing else should be acceptable to you. I'm committed to working around the clock until we see it done.
You can read more of my thoughts on the issue here, but make no mistake: the Obamacare repeal effort is not over. While I’m extremely disappointed in the result from last week, Republicans made a promise for seven years to repeal and replace this disastrous law. There is no excuse--zero--for us to stop working until we get it done.
It was wonderful to welcome the Bowen family from Hendersonville and the Watkins family from Asheville to the office this week! Thanks to all of them for stopping by.
If you’re ever in Washington, D.C., please be sure to stop by Longworth 1024 and say hello!
The Watkins family