District Update |December 29, 2019                                                                                 

Dear Friend,

I hope you all had a relaxing week spent with friends and family celebrating the holidays. As we all begin to create our new years resolutions, I wanted to reflect on this year's many accomplishments and our country's tremendous growth and success. While I have been intensely frustrated with the partisanship consuming much of Washington, D.C., I wanted to use this week's newsletter to highlight an accomplishment from each month of 2019. 

Here is a look back on this year.



This year, I made it a priority to speak on the House Floor each week about the policy solutions we must be implementing to keep our government promises. We are often so consumed by the 'news of the day' here in Washington, D.C., that we forget about creating policy to resolve our debt and pay for our promises like Social Security and Medicare. 

These financial burdens are going to be left for our future generations if Congress does not begin to future-proof our policies. Whether it is solutions for healthcare, our environment, immigration, or other policy areas, we must utilize technology to help solve our problems. If you would like to watch past floor speeches, click here



The SECURE Act, bipartisan legislation to help Americans better save for retirement, was introduced by the Ways and Means Committee in February. This legislation makes some of the biggest changes to our country's retirement system that we've seen in over a decade by better preparing our retirees to be financially secure.

I was proud to support the SECURE Act, which was signed into law at the end of December. Passage of this legislation was a great step in the right direction for Arizonans and Americans saving for their retirement, and I will continue to push for policies that encourage financial security.



In March, the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing focused on our nation's infrastructure and the need for action. During the hearing, I discussed the importance of smart technology in infrastructure, for example, how mass transportation will change in the coming years.

I am interested in whether we will be seeing autonomous vehicles helping with mass transportation and how cities infrastructure will change with the technology revolution around us. 

Working to improve our infrastructure has been discussed all year long, however, Congress has not yet made any meaningful changes. I am hopeful that Congress will draft bipartisan policy in 2020 that will address our country's infrastructure. To watch me speak during the hearing, click here. I begin speaking at 2:13:30.



Congress has made real progress this year ensuring our water resources are protected by passing the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan (DCP). This plan passing in April is great news for Arizona farmers, tribes, and all water users across the state. 

As you know, Arizona depends upon the Colorado River for water along with several other states. Even in a year of high rainfall, it is important that users of the Colorado River be responsible with water management, as Arizona has always been. The Drought Contingency Plan was a great example of states working together to address extreme water challenges, without the federal government imposing a one size fits all solution.

There is still much work to be done to address access to water. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Arizona and other Southwest states to ensure our water supply is plentiful. 



In May, the Ways and Means Committee had the pleasure of welcoming U.S. Olympic track and field star Allyson Felix to testify on the racial disparities in the maternal mortality crisis. The United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world, and African American women are 3-4 times more likely to experience pregnancy-related deaths than Caucasian women. 

This is completely unacceptable, and I am pleased to say my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee have taken action to increase awareness and find ways to decreases risks and rates of maternal mortality for women in America. 

To watch the Ways and Means hearing, click the photo above. I begin speaking at 1:49:20.



In the beginning of 2019, Congress was split on passing legislation to secure our border. In June, we finally passed a critical humanitarian aid package that gave our border security agents the resources necessary to keep migrant children and families safe and healthy.

Being a border state, Arizona knows the importance of strong border security to prevent crime and illegal drugs from coming into our communities. There is still much work to be done to secure our border, and Congress is still not spending enough time on working together to do so. 

I will continue to advocate for strong border security that protects our homeland and providing the resources necessary for migrants legally coming to the United States. I look forward to working with all of my colleagues in 2020 on this issue and keeping Arizona families safe. 



Millions of Americans across the country this year have received incessant robocalls, including scam phone calls asking for personal and financial information. 

Congress worked together on this issue to introduce legislation in July to help deter the phone scam calls plaguing our constituents through the 'Stopping Bad Robocalls Act.' This legislation would require phone carriers to implement phone authentication technology for their customers and help prevent these calls from pestering Americans. 

The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act passed both the House and the Senate this year with strong bipartisan support, and is waiting to be signed into law.



I hosted a Valley Fever roundtable with Congressman Greg Stanton to create an open discussion on how we can raise awareness, have better detection, and to discuss treatment or a possible cure for Valley Fever.  There is no cure or preventative vaccine currently in existence for Valley Fever, but medical professionals are cautiously optimistic about a drug called Nikkomycin Z, which has been studied in small safety trials and could become an option for treatment. 

We heard from many different voices including patients, advocates, and doctors who are all working to spread awareness about Valley Fever and how we can help doctors in Arizona diagnose this disease first-hand. Working to provide funding for research and a potential cure has been one of my top priorities as a Member of Congress. I have introduced legislation called the FORWARD Act which seeks to provide increased funding for research and a long-term cure for Valley Fever patients. Now, we must get the legislation passed and signed into law.

I held a Facebook Live during the roundtable to record our discussion. Click here to watch the video posted to my Facebook page, and if you have not liked my page to receive additional updates from me, be sure to do so! 



We received excellent news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the U.S. unemployment rate had fallen to 3.5 percent in September 2019, marking a historic 50-year low. This is welcome news for our labor market as it will benefit all Americans. We now have more jobs in our economy than workers to fill them, and are currently experiencing one of our country's longest economic expansions.

Headed into the new year, our labor market remains strong and the unemployment continues to hover at a historically low rate. It has been a priority of mine to not only highlight this incredible economic success, but to push for policies that will continue to encourage a healthy economy.     



In October, we passed the Protecting Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, the PACT Act. This legislation will protect animals from inhumane treatment and punish those who choose to exhibit such repulsive acts. During my time in Congress I have worked hard to ensure animals are protected from inhumane treatment, and I am pleased to see this legislation take a previous law one step further to protect our animals. 

In 2020, I will continue to work to protect animals from inhumane treatment. Arizona is home to so many beautiful animals and I look forward to preserving their rights from any inhumane treatment. 



I had the opportunity to hear from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in the Joint Economic Committee's annual hearing to discuss our "Economic Outlook." 

As the Senior House Republican member of the committee, I asked the Chairman to elaborate on our country's current economic success, and how we can keep the economy on an upward trend. He discussed how we've seen overall wage growth, increased labor force participation and high consumer confidence, all of which have contributed to the positive outlook for our economy.

To continue on this path, he said that Congress must focus on creating policies that promote fiscal responsibility and encourage increased labor force participation. As part of this, Congress must take action to properly address the opioid crisis, provide skills training and internships for jobs, and find ways to get younger, prime-aged workers into our economy.

To listen to my full discussion with Chairman Powell click the photo above.



Before ending the year, Congress finally passed the United States, Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). This trade agreement was a much needed update to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that was passed into law over 20 years ago. 

We have worked tirelessly to get this modernized trade agreement across the finish line, and while it took longer than we all expected, I am pleased to see the USMCA finally be passed to help strengthen our trading relationships across North America.

Arizona knows the importance of trade with its neighbors. While we are expecting many updates including strengthening our cross-border trade, creating better protections for intellectual property, and small business friendly de minimis thresholds, the economic impact this agreement will have is going to be incredible. 

I look forward to seeing the benefits of this trade agreement being implemented and moving on to the next policy proposal that will further grow our economy,

I appreciate you taking the time to read this newsletter reflecting on 2019. We are all so lucky to call the beautiful state of Arizona our home, and I feel blessed to represent you in the United States Congress. 

I hope you all have a safe and happy new year and look forward to communicating with you more in 2020!




                                                                           David Schweikert

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