Attacks in Brussels, Belgium It is heartbreaking to see so many innocent lives taken, and we stand with the people of Belgium today. Terror groups and Islamic terrorists value death above life, and we have seen the manifestation of their values over the past six months in San Bernardino, Paris and now Brussels.
We must redouble our efforts to build partnerships around the world to tackle the scourge of terrorism, and to keep innocent people everywhere safe. This includes looking at our own vulnerabilities, and improving our own visa and refugee systems to ensure terror groups are not able to extend their footprint in America. The United States must step up and lead we are seeing the tragic consequences of what happens when we don’t.
Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage Over the weekend, I co-hosted the Faith and Politics Institute’s 2016 Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to South Carolina. The three day trip across the state included, but was not limited to, visits to the Zion and Trinity United Methodist Churches, South Carolina State and Claflin Universities, and Mother Emanuel in Charleston.
Ahead of a wonderful service at Mother Emanuel yesterday morning, we also got the opportunity to spend time with the families and survivors of last June’s tragedy in Charleston. They spoke with us at Circular Congregational Church about how this past year has affected their lives. I was deeply moved by their courage and willingness to forgive. Their strength is admirable and has touched our community in a tremendous way.
Without a doubt, South Carolina has a provocative history and the pilgrimage helped to highlight it. However, instead of focusing on suffering, the pilgrimage focused on the indomitable spirit of South Carolinians. A community comprised of lesser people would have allowed these incidents to break them; however, instead of seeing each tragic moment in history as an impenetrable wall, the people of South Carolina relied on their faith and their love of mankind to help them pick up the pieces and move forward. Their example is one that we should strive to imitate.
It was truly a blessing to be part of such a momentous occasion and I hope that all the members of Congress who participated in the pilgrimage will take what they learned here back to Washington, D.C.
Sixth Anniversary of the Not So Affordable Care Act Last week, as we approached the sixth Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, I questioned witnesses in the Senate Finance Committee regarding the failures of Obamacare. There is no doubt in my mind that this act has been detrimental to the public and especially hard on the middle class. The fact that many Americans have lost up to 25% of their income due to the reduction of their work hours cannot be ignored. Some states have even seen an increase of more than 25% in healthcare costs, with 2 states shouldering the burden of a 35% increase in their healthcare costs.
To me, it is obvious that the Affordable Care Act has failed to make healthcare-as its name implies-affordable. It is not right that Americans will have to accept a subpar healthcare system, that unashamedly rations healthcare, and pay more for it. I will continue to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act every chance I get.
Family Research Council (FRC) Action ’True Blue Award’ Recipient This past week, I attended FRC Action’s annual True Blue Award ceremony and received the True Blue Award for my commitment to passing laws that support faith, family values and freedom. I was honored to receive this prestigious award and hope to earn it again in the years to come.
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