News from Representative Rouzer

   

Dear Friends,

   During the last district work period, I sat down with WECT News in Wilmington to discuss my thoughts on recent events, specifically keeping our schools and community safe from harm.  Among other things, I believe we must focus on ensuring our law enforcement community has the resources and tools necessary to identify and prevent threats, better address mental health issues, and taking common sense steps to improve security at our schools to better protect against those who want to inflict harm.  Gun violence in schools is the result of a number of factors and it will not be properly addressed by focusing on just one aspect.  I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch the video clip below for my thoughts on the steps we can take to bolster school safety and security and other issues related to gun violence.

Tax Day

   This past Tuesday, individuals and families across our nation filed their taxes under the old, broken, and complicated tax code.  For the very last time, Americans filed their taxes under an outdated tax code that took too much of Americans hard-earned money, sent good-paying jobs overseas, and was a drag on our economy.  Since the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in late December, the good news and benefits of tax reform keep rolling in.  Already more than 400 companies have passed on savings from the new law to more than 4 million American workers in the form of bonuses, pay raises, better benefits, more job opportunities and increased investments that will lead to more jobs.

   With the new code, we’re also seeing a historic level of consumer confidence, lower utility prices in many parts of the country because major utilities are passing those savings on to their customers, and a surge in confidence among small-businesses.  The economy continues to add hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and national unemployment numbers are at an all-time low. 

   Thanks to tax reform, 90% of American workers are beginning to see higher paychecks.  These savings enable families to better plan for the future, make that extra car payment, save for a house, retirement, child’s college education, or take that family vacation.  While this Tax Day brought with it the same old headaches, it is great to know this will be the very last year we will have to comply with an outdated and complicated tax code. 

   For more information on the tax law and its benefits, please visit https://fairandsimple.gop

Airstrikes in Syria

   This past weekend, President Trump announced that, in partnership with our Allies, we conducted airstrikes in Syria.  I applaud the Trump Administration for taking action against brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad.  This is not the first time his regime has deployed chemical weapons on defenseless civilians, including women and children. Russia and Iran are equally responsible for they are, if nothing else, financing Assad and keeping his regime propped up.  I'm pleased to see our President respond and lead our country and Allies in significantly degrading Assad’s chemical weapon capabilities. This sends a clear message to our enemies who engage in this despicable behavior.  I know every citizen joins me in saying a special thanks to all the brave men and women who serve our country and make it the greatest force mankind has ever known.

Veterans Credit Protection Act of 2018

   There are many veterans across the 7th District, and our country, who have had their credit destroyed, through no fault of their own, because the Department of Veterans Affairs was either significantly delinquent on paying their medical bills or simply did not pay outside providers at all.  In fact, the VA has a long history of delayed payments to outside service providers, especially for emergency medical treatment. 

   Because of this, veterans are forced to call congressional offices to help fix credit issues that are a direct result of the VA’s refusal to pay claims for emergency medical care.  After hearing from and assisting hundreds of veterans in my district, it became obvious that only a legislative solution will enable veterans to get their credit restored.   

   Just this past week, after many months of work, I was proud to introduce the Veterans Credit Protection Act of 2018 to address the backlog of payments, help restore faith in the VA, and give our veterans help in restoring their credit.  No veteran should ever have to decide whether or not to sacrifice their health and safety to avoid a potential financial burden if the VA fails to pay for a trip to the emergency room or for any other medical care.  My bill would ensure that no veteran will ever again have to worry about their credit being harmed because the VA was delayed in paying or did not pay their claim.

Taking care of North Carolina farm families

   As many of you know, North Carolina is blessed to be one of the most agriculturally diverse states in our great country.  Unfortunately, farm families throughout America have had to weather a 5-year recession in the agricultural sector, weather disasters and depressed prices all resulting in a 52-percent drop in net farm income. 

   Last week, I was proud to join members of the Agriculture Committee in unveiling H.R. 2 – the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill, to provide for a stronger safety net that a simple extension of current policy would not provide.

   The 2018 Farm Bill seeks to strengthen the farm safety net and makes other important improvements to current law that will benefit our rural communities, improve wildlife habitat, and enhance the environment. 

   Additionally, H.R. 2 streamlines and reduces regulatory burdens, significantly improves access to rural broadband, helps communities meet the challenges of the opioid crises, and maintains vital nutrition assistance for those who truly need it while increasing opportunities for these recipients to receive workforce training, get a job and improve their lives.

   The Farm Bill was reported out of Committee this past Wednesday.   It will now head to the full House for consideration and will most likely be brought up sometime in May.  

The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018:

  • Spends $112 billion less than what the 2014 Farm Bill was projected to spend;
  • Reauthorizes and strengthens the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) options through 2023;

  • Makes 35 improvements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by assisting those who struggle to put food on the table, while providing critical job training to help recipients learn the skills necessary to attain better-paying jobs and better futures for themselves and their families.  Under the Farm Bill, work capable adults (age 18-59) are required to either work or participate in work training for 20 hours per week in order to receive any benefit.  Excluded from these requirements are seniors, disabled individuals, those caring for children under six, or those who are pregnant;

  • Streamlines and reduces regulatory burdens;

  • Authorizes $1.1 billion in annual appropriations to provide broadband service to harder-to-serve rural areas to help promote jobs and economic activity in rural America;

  • Provides the Secretary of Agriculture the necessary tools to help combat the ongoing opioid crises;

  • Provides $450 million to enhance the USDA’s ability to identify, diagnose and respond to potential animal disease outbreak, including $150 million in year one to establish a new U.S.-only vaccine bank with priority for stockpiling Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine;

  • Strengthens the investment in locally-led, voluntary, incentive-based conservation on working lands to promote healthy soils, reduce erosion, provide cleaner air and water, and enhance wildlife and wildlife habitat; and,

  • Requires further research and development to create risk management products that work more effectively for farm families affected by hurricanes or other disasters.

This Farm Bill is the result of three years of legislative work, and I am proud to stand alongside my colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee to put forth this common-sense bill.  We have the safest, most affordable food supply in the world, and this farm bill will provide the stability and certainty that our farm families need so this outstanding record can continue.

For more information on the 2018 Farm Bill, please click here.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

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