Capitol Hill Updates

  • This week, Southwest Michigan Congressman Fred Upton held a hearing with some of the nation’s top health officials to examine the U.S public health response to the Ebola outbreak. Upton serves as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has broad jurisdiction over health issues. The bipartisan hearing focused on the role of U.S. public health agencies and their efforts to prevent the spread of Ebola within the United States.“We need all hands on deck. We need a strategy. And we need to protect the American people, first and foremost,” said Upton. “It’s not a...
  • Washington, D.C. - Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) issued the following statement in response to the death of the Ebola patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, and the subsequent infection of two healthcare workers within the United States:"To prevent the growing crisis in West Africa from leading to additional cases here in the United States, the U.S. government needs to immediately implement temporary travel restrictions to and from the West African countries experiencing Ebola outbreaks. Due to the unprecedented scope of this Ebola virus outbreak, and due...
  • Fact: a majority of Americans have consistently opposed closing our terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: ·         “Twenty-nine percent of Americans support closing the terrorist detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and moving its prisoners to U.S. prisons, while two in three (66%) oppose the idea.” (Gallup, 6/13/14) ·         “[J]ust 27% of Likely U.S. Voters think the prison for suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba should be closed. … Fifty-four percent (54%) disagree and say...
  • Though he may claim otherwise, it’s no secret that President Obama underestimated the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). But his first big mistake – one that led directly to the rise of ISIL and its expansion into Iraq – was the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country and the administration’s failure to negotiate a status of forces agreement (SOFA). In an excerpt from his upcoming book posted online at TIME with the title, “How the White House Misplayed Iraqi Troop Talks,” former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta discusses how the White House put a...
  • According to a Gallup survey released last year, Americans were more likely to name “dysfunctional government” as the most important problem facing the nation – more than the economy, unemployment, the deficit, and healthcare.And who can blame them? It’s government dysfunction that brought us to sequestration. To mortgaging our children’s future to pay for yesterday’s expenses. To regularly failing to even pass a budget.  Not much has changed since last year. If anything, even more situations have added to the public’s sentiments about dysfunction in...
  • The American people’s confidence in the president’s economic leadership has sunk to a new low. So what’s he doing about it?  According to the White House, he plans to give a speech in California about “the progress our economy is making.”Hmm.  That may strike many Californians as odd, given that their state’s unemployment rate has been stuck at 7.4 percent – well above the national average – for the last three months.As a matter of fact, in Los Angeles County, where the president will attend “an intimate dinner” at the home of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, average wages...
  • Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the statement below following the remarks made yesterday by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that bulk collection of data by the government is undercutting the American economy. Chairman Goodlatte: “I agree with Senator Wyden and the tech community that last year’s national security leaks have had a commercial and financial impact on American technology companies. As I stated when the House overwhelmingly passed the USA Freedom Act in May, American tech companies have...
  • Over the years, President Obama has talked a good game about addressing the national debt and saving entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security from bankruptcy: ·         “We’re going to have to take on entitlements, and I think we’ve got to do it quickly. … I’d like to do it in my first term as president.” (10/7/08) ·         “The real problem with our long-term deficit actually has to do with our entitlement obligations …. [W]hat we have done is kick this can down the road. We’re now at the...
  • WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement backing House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul’s (R-TX) plan to establish a blue ribbon commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the United States Secret Service: “Given the Secret Service’s proud history and the duties it is charged with, we are right to expect nothing but candor and clarity from its leaders, particularly at a time when Americans are as aware as ever that we live in a dangerous world.  Unfortunately, the Secret Service director’s appearance before...
  • I wanted to update you on our efforts to fix the VA. As you may know, we recently passed reforms to begin addressing the abuses that led to preventable deaths at hospitals around the country.  One thing this new law does is require a top-to-bottom, independent review of the VA’s health care system. That’s important because we can’t truly clean up this mess unless we know where all the problems are.  So I’ve sent a letter to the new VA Secretary, Bob McDonald, recommending that this audit be done by health care experts from the private sector – not government: The...