Mark's Weekly Update - 12 -18 -17

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Washington, December 18, 2017 | comments

Supporting Israel

As you may have read by now, President Donald Trump recently announced that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the true, undivided Capital of Israel. The United States will also be relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem.

There are times throughout the United States' history when our Presidents have sent the rest of the world a clear, powerful message of leadership and conviction. I believe this historic moment will be remembered as one of those times.

After 8 years of damage, constant undermining, and broken promises, the world will once again know that the United States stands, unwaveringly, alongside our ally Israel.

The photo below from AP really says it all.


The Israeli flag alongside the U.S. flag in Jerusalem (from AP)

Investigate the Investigators?

There is a growing body of questions surrounding the FBI that several House Freedom Caucus members are demanding answers on. Let’s outline a couple of them:

First, you may remember my op-ed from November in which I asked a simple question: why was President Obama’s FBI involved in the creation of and payments for the infamous fake Russian dossier, started by the DNC and Clinton campaign? Did the FBI dress up the Russian dossier as intelligence and use it to get a warrant for spying on political opponents in the Trump campaign? I encourage you to watch this video here where Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) questions FBI Director Chris Wray and outlines why it looks like that’s exactly what happened.

Second, there is an increasing amount of evidence that the FBI treated the Hillary Clinton investigation as a “special case,” and effectively gave her a pass. If that happened, it would be as wrong as it gets. Lady Justice wears a blindfold--and no American, regardless of wealth or political status, should be given a free pass under the law.

The notion that the FBI may be biased, that they potentially gave a prominent political figure a pass, or that they may have been involved in a political project at all, is concerning enough. But it’s even more concerning that they’re refusing transparency on these issues. These questions, among others, deserve and demand answers.

It’s time to investigate the investigators. Federal law enforcement officials deserve to be respected, but they are not above transparency and accountability when questions arise. It’s time for Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department to appoint a second special counsel to investigate.

I joined several fellow conservative members, including Jim Jordan (R-OH), Scott Perry (R-PA), Jody Hice (R-GA), and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) in a press conference on this issue—you can watch the full video here. I also appeared with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Hannity to discuss the issue, which you can see here.


Jim Jordan (R-OH) questions FBI director Wray in the Judiciary Committee



Speaking at a press conference on investigating the investigators


With Rep. Matt Gaetz on Hannity

Obamacare Bill with Senator Ron Johnson

I introduced a bill with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) to abolish the Obamacare Multi-State Plan program--a program that wastes over $10 million a year, crowds out competition in the healthcare market, drives up premiums, and creates a path toward a single payer system.

Section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to contract with at least two national health plans, one of which must be a non-profit plan, to compete directly with private plans in every state. These plans are called Multi-State Plans, or MSPs — and under current law, they are required to be available in all 50 states, as of 2017.

However, the program has failed to meet the Obama administration’s 750,000 enrollment projection or the 50-state statutory requirement. Only one state, Arkansas, has agreed to offer a MSP option in 2018, and it is likely that fewer than 2,000 Arkansans will participate. But the federal government is still funding the program at $10 million per year.

Our bill abolishes these plans, which were a poorly conceived portion of a poorly conceived bill. It’s the very definition of government waste. You can read more here.

Speech – Conservative Women’s Network

This week I had the honor of speaking at the Heritage Foundation’s ‘Conservative Women’s Network.’ It was a pleasure to interact with them—you can watch the full speech here.

If I had to highlight one principle of the speech, it would be this: Members of Congress need to hold their jobs in Washington, D.C. loosely, because the minute you start holding onto your title, job, or position too tightly as a politician, you don't make decisions in the best interests of your constituents.

Congress is not a career. It's a calling. If we all looked at it that way, we’d be a whole lot better off in the end.


Speaking to the Conservative Women’s Network

NC-11 Christmas Tree at the USDA

What an exciting moment for Western NC: the U.S. Department of Agriculture, led by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, is using a North Carolina Christmas tree this year--grown right in our district! The tree was delivered this morning from Buck’s Tree Farm in Mitchell County, owned by our very own Rodney Buchanan.

Thanks to Secretary Perdue for hosting us at the delivery!


With Secretary Sonny Perdue, delivering the Christmas tree from Rodney Buchanan

Team Meadows – Operation Christmas Child

Several members of Team Meadows were honored to serve with Samaritan's Purse this week, packing shoe-boxes for Operation Christmas Child! Thankful for the great work of my staff in our community.


Team Meadows working with Samaritan’s Purse


Team Meadows working with Samaritan’s Purse


Team Meadows working with Samaritan’s Purse

Congratulations, Cherokee and Hibriten High Schools

What a championship weekend it was for NC-11 football! Congratulations to the men of Cherokee High School and Hibriten High School on winning their State title games! What a run--we are all so proud of your hard work and outstanding performance this season. Well done!

Read about Cherokee HS’s win here and Hibriten HS’s win here.


Cherokee High School


Hibriten High School

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

If you missed it, this article in the Smoky Mountain News discusses my new bill with Congressman Jim Renacci (R-OH) to combat the Opioid Crisis.

Far too many families and communities have been devastated by this terrible epidemic--it's one of the main things brought up to me when I visit our great law enforcement teams back home. This bill doesn't contain all the solutions, but it's a start--and a direct result of constituents' input.

We can do better. We have to.

Congratulations to Lt. Daryl Cornett

Team Meadows was honored to present Lt. Daryl Cornett, of the Lenoir Police Department, with a Congressional Record honoring his service and congratulating him on his retirement from the force.

Thank you, Lt. Cornett, for all that you’ve done for our community!


Honoring Lt. Daryl Cornett

Happy Hanukkah from Team Meadows

Debbie and I would like to wish a healthy and happy Hanukkah to all those who began celebrating this week. May you and your family be blessed in the days and weeks to come.


Happy Hanukkah from Team Meadows

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