News from Representative Rouzer

   

Dear Friends,

The House continues to focus on the issues that matter most to the American people, such as the economy, infrastructure and national security.  Thanks to pro-growth tax policies that have been put into place and reform our Nation’s regulatory structure, our economy is booming, unemployment is at historic lows and revenue coming into the U.S. Treasury is at an all-time high. 

Just this past month, 223,000 jobs were added to the economy across various sectors and the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent – the lowest in half a century.  Along with the growth of our economy, small business optimism is at a record high with many small business owners reporting high expectations of earnings growth and hiring.  Record growth also comes with increasing wages and strong consumer confidence – which is experiencing the highest levels in months.  And, in April, the Federal Treasury experienced an all-time high demonstrating just how much our booming economy is benefiting all levels of government –federal, state, and local.

ROUZER LANGUAGE TO ADDRESS CAROLINA BEACH INCLUDED IN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

This week, the House passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018 designed to strengthen our country’s infrastructure by authorizing funding for locally driven investments, including the Carolina Beach re-nourishment project. 

The 7th Congressional District is fortunate to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States — a direct contributor to our state’s vibrant tourism industry.  As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I was pleased to be able to include language in the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) critical to the future of Carolina Beach. 

Carolina Beach in New Hanover County has benefited significantly from its federally authorized Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project, which reached the end of its 50-year federal authorization in 2014.  Language in this year’s 2018 WRDA bill requires that this support continue pending the results of the Army Corps’ study and the future availability of funding.  The language also ensures that Carolina Beach will be granted a full 15-year extension of funding starting at the time of initial construction pending a favorable report and further Congressional authorization (which cannot be granted until the report is complete).    

Our ports, beaches, inlets, and waterways are the lifeline of economic activity and job growth for our coastal communities.  I thank House Committee Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) for their help and support in prioritizing and addressing the unique, coastal needs of the 7th District.

TAKING CARE OF OUR MILITARY AND VETERANS

We are lucky to live in the greatest country known to mankind because of our courageous service members and veterans.  Taking care of our troops and veterans is a top priority of mine.  I’m pleased to share that the House passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to, once again, authorize and increase funding levels for the military and resources for our troops.

During the course of the past decade, our military has just been getting by – facing yearly cuts in funding that has harmed our ability to train and provide the equipment necessary for our troops to complete their missions in a safe and efficient manner.  These funding cuts have also made it that much more difficult to keep up and counter the emerging threats to our homeland.  As a result, we have had a serious readiness crisis that has resulted in four times as many deaths due to training accidents as compared to those killed in combat.  This is unacceptable.  Thankfully, that reality began to change this past year (2018) with a NDAA bill that authorized significant increases in funding for our men and women in uniform.  We are continuing to build on that progress with additional funding increases authorized under the Fiscal Year 2019 NDAA bill.   

The NDAA bill also included my language to provide greater flexibility to terminally ill veterans in the form of a waiver for those wishing to change their Survivor Benefits Plan.  This language was a result of a veteran in the 7th Congressional District, who is battling Parkinson’s disease and contacted our Wilmington office seeking help to modify the beneficiary for his plan.

Additionally, the House passed and the President just signed into law the Department of Veterans Affairs Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act, which makes critical reforms to veteran healthcare programs, providers, and access.

The VA MISSION Act makes vital reforms to ensure our nation’s heroes have timely access to the care and resources they have so bravely earned.  I am pleased the House Veterans Affairs Committee included my language to allow the VA to work with third party entities to help expedite and process electronic healthcare claims in an effort to improve the efficiency and turnaround of the claims process. 

Our veterans deserve the very best our country has to offer.  I applaud President Trump for his steadfast dedication in quickly signing this vital bill into law.

 



Sincerely,

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