Healthcare Vote Friday morning’s vote was a disappointment for sure, as so many families are now still stuck dealing with rising premiums, sky-high deductibles and the lack of choice Obamacare has created. Looking ahead, it is imperative that we find solutions for the damage being caused by Obamacare. As one of the only senators to have legislation signed into law stopping a harmful provision of Obamacare from taking effect, I hope that my work on the PACE Act two years ago can provide a road map for the next step forward. While it might be tempting to say ‘let it fail’, that is the wrong approach for South Carolina families and people across our great nation. I wrote an op-ed in USA Today on how Obamacare continues to fail and why it is still important for us to ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable care.
Sanctions on Iran, Russia & N. Korea Before voting on health care early Friday morning, I supported legislation that will expand existing sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea. The Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act sends a strong and clear message to our adversaries that their actions will not be tolerated. The consistent provocations carried out by Russia, Iran, and North Korea have left us no choice but to increase financial sanctions intended to have a significant impact on their economies. I was glad to see the strong bipartisan and bicameral support behind this legislation, and hope that it will be effective in helping to foster peace and stability in some of the more dangerous regions around the world.
Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act Last week, I also joined a bipartisan effort to increase housing stability for foster youth aging out of care. The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act would grant priority preference for federal housing assistance to foster youth who are aging out of care and allow youth in foster care to apply for housing assistance at the age of 16, prior to aging out, which in many states occurs the day foster youth turn 18. Every year, I am given the opportunity to welcome young leaders from the Foster Youth Internship Program into my office. It is amazing to see them push forward towards their goals, in spite of many challenges, and so I am proud to introduce this Act with my colleagues in hopes it will help these youth prosper.
Lewis-Houghton Leadership Award Obstacles always precede opportunities, and in spite of our challenges, we should be hopeful. On July 25, I was honored to receive the 2017 Lewis-Houghton Leadership Award from John Lewis and The Faith & Politics Institute for conscience, courage, and compassion. It was quite the honor to be presented this award by John Lewis, a true American hero who helped make it possible for young African Americans like myself to try and make this nation live up to its full destiny. We in our nation today seem to be hopeless and frustrated, divided and sometimes scared of one another. It is the willingness to live out faith that is the solution. In the face of all of today’s challenges, I am reminded by Mr. Lewis and can agree that it is love that conquers hate. I believe our glorious nation has a lot of good years ahead of her. I’m hopeful because I have seen, I have read, I have experienced and I have witnessed an amazing love that cannot be conquered. You can watch me speak more about the honor below: