May 31, 2017

It was a privilege to honor those who have sacrificed their lives. We owe it to them to protect our great nation.


This past weekend we spent time honoring those who selflessly gave their lives while serving in the Armed Forces and protecting our liberties and freedoms that make our country so special. There were many ceremonies held including at the VA Medical Center, Forest Lawn Cemetery and Memorial Park; all three at which I spoke about the sacrifice of these lost heroes who were uniquely special and had big dreams and aspirations for their future. 

I was also invited to attend Christ Community Church’s Memorial Day Weekend Service and visit the “Remembering our Fallen” display in their lobby, which features the stories of veterans who gave their lives for our country. Another great way to share the stories of these heroes is by recording their stories and submitting them to the Veterans History Project at The Library of Congress. There are over 100,000 histories in the collection that are preserved and made available for generations of Americans to come. Visit to join the project. 

Finally, I’d like to send congratulations to John Lang and The Great American Flag Project on completing this world record plastic brick American flag this past weekend! I enjoyed getting to work on it with John, his family and friends, and I am proud of what it represents.

While we honored those who gave their lives this past weekend, there are never enough words, wreaths or ceremonies we can share to thank those men and women, as well as their families. But, these actions certainly show that we are placing their families first.

Click the picture above to watch my floor speech encouraging the passage of the "400 Years of African-American History Commission Act".


This past week, my colleagues and I made great strides in reforming our government, reforming our Veterans Affairs system, and enacting legislation to ensure the wholehearted protection of our children.

This past Friday, I introduced H.R. 2665, the Accountability for Congressional Pay Act. This legislation mandates a pay cut for all Members of Congress in any term following a deficit. Their pay will be cut equal to the percentage of deficit spending in our federal budget, up to 15 percent. We have a unique opportunity to link Congressional pay to our ability to balance the budget. We should take all strides necessary to ensure that we pass a balanced budget. I am proud to have introduced this legislation alongside my colleagues Rep. Jack Bergman (MI-1) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI-8). I hope this shows my commitment to driving down our $20 trillion deficit. 

On the floor, we passed H.R. 2452, The PRIVATE Act, to protect our troops from non-consensual sharing of private, intimate media by other military members. I was an original cosponsor of this legislation which increases protection for our heroes who are victimized by creating a Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) article that defines an individual’s right to privacy when it comes to consensual sharing of intimate media.

I also voted to streamline scheduling in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs by voting in favor of H.R. 467, the VA Scheduling Accountability Act, to ensure that each VA medical facility annually certifies that it is in full compliance with all provisions and regulations relating to scheduling appointments for veterans’ hospital care and medical services. 

Two other bills I proudly voted for this week are meant to help safeguard our children from predators and abuse. I voted in favor of H.R. 1973, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act of 2017, to address the issue of sexual abuse of minors participating in amateur athletic organizations. This legislation strengthens the civil remedies for victims of sexual abuse, and clarifies the duties of national athletic governing bodies when dealing with allegations of sexual abuse. H.R 1973 would mandate the required reporting of child and sexual abuse, strengthen the provisions of Masha’s Law, and allow victims to file law suits against their abuser in an unchallenging fashion.

Lastly, I voted in favor of H.R. 1761, Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017, to criminalize the knowing production of visual depictions or live transmissions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. This legislation would make it a criminal act to knowingly engage in the following acts; (1) persuading a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for capturing an image or transmitting a live visual; (2) producing or causing a sexually explicit visual of a minor; (3) transmitting or leading to the transmission of a sexually explicit visual of a minor; (4) having a minor assist in anyone else engaging in sexually explicit conduct; and (5) transporting a minor with the intent to be used in the production of a sexually explicit visual. I believe both bills vital to protecting the future and safety of our children. 

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