News from Representative Steve Womack‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

News from Representative Steve Womack

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WEEK IN REVIEW

ImageTo start off this week’s From the Front… I would like to thank all of the Arkansans who stopped by my Washington office during their visits to our nation’s capital, including the Palmer family of Pea Ridge, the Vaughn family of Rogers, the Miller family of Oakland, and the Sitton family of Oakland. I was also grateful to have my good friend Shannon Sidney - who is originally from Russellville - in town. He brought the Mater Dei Football Team, which he coaches, for a visit! Safe travels back to the Natural State…

The House convened and voted on a series of bills, including the First Responders Passport Act (H.R. 2229), the Southeast Asia Strategy Act (H.R. 1632), the Burma Political Prisoners Assistance Act (H.R. 2327), H. Res. 127, which emphasizes the importance of the United States’ alliances with Japan and the Republic of Korea, H. Res. 444, which reaffirms the United States’ commitment to promoting the safety, health, education, and well-being of refugees and persons displaced by war, the Burma Unified through Rigorous Military Accountability Act (H.R. 3190), which imposes sanctions against current or former officials who are responsible for or who supported serious human rights abuses in Burma, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (H.R. 1595), which prohibits a federal banking regulator from penalizing a depository institution for providing banking services to a legal marijuana-related business, the Homeland Security Improvement Act (H.R. 2203), the ImageSTEM Opportunities Act (H.R. 2528), the South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act (H.R. 335), the Cybersecurity Vulnerability Remediation Act (H.R. 3170), the Unifying DHS Intelligence Enterprise Act (H.R. 2589), the TSA Reaching Across Nationalities, Societies, and Languages to Advance Traveler Education Act (H.R. 3691), which requires the TSA to develop a plan to ensure that TSA material disseminated in major airports can be better understood by more people accessing such airports, the Trusted Traveler Reconsideration and Restoration Act (H.R. 3675), the Helping Families Fly Act (H.R. 3694), the Traveling Parents Screening Consistency Act (H.R. 3246), the Counter Terrorist Network Act (H.R. 3526), the Domestic and International Terrorism DATA Act (H.R. 3106), the U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act (H.R. 3525), and the Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act (H.R. 3722).

ImageThis week, we didn’t see House Democrats bring the vital USMCA to the floor - instead, we witnessed them move forward with impeachment. Since 2016, the one constant in federal politics has been the unwillingness of the Democrat party to accept that Donald Trump was duly elected as the 45th president of the United States. It’s all they can think about. They boycotted his inauguration, pushed the Russia collusion narrative for months, and spent millions of dollars on federal investigations, only to be told that there was no collusion, no smoking gun. Not satisfied, they brought in Special Counsel Mueller to testify before Congress. The conclusion didn’t change, and all that was had was a political sideshow.

The Democrats couldn’t accept that conclusion - it didn’t fit their impeachment agenda. So, it was time to fuel the next scandal: the Ukraine investigation. They alleged that President Trump told the Ukrainian government that their military aid from the U.S. would be tied to their willingness to investigate Joe Biden for political gain. That's not what happened. Anyone with a knowledge of Eastern Europe would know that Ukraine has a history of corruption. The reference to the Bidens was in the context of fighting corruption - not as a precondition of aid. It’s a reasonable concern to discuss, and, as we saw from the transcript that was released, there was no quid pro quo.

ImageBut those facts don’t matter as Speaker Pelosi - in a bid to appease the socialist left wing of her caucus - announced that they will move forward with the impeachment process.

Our nation faces serious challenges. The needs of families and businesses are being overshadowed by political distractions. The American people want to see us address the debt, work on drug pricing, pass appropriation bills on time, and bring the USMCA to the floor. Instead, the rest of this year will be focused on conspiracies and impeachment. I truly hope we can get back to the people’s business very soon.

MEETINGS

ImageIn between legislative business and the impeachment circus, I was able to have productive meetings with Arkansans to discuss issues ranging from education to national defense. On Monday, I met with representatives from McDonalds to discuss growing job opportunities. The next day, I sat down with Debbie Faubus-Kendrick, the Director of the Crawford County Adult Education Center. We had a great meeting discussing the importance of career and technical education and their Alternative Sentencing Program, where people on probation can work to earn their general education diploma. I was pleased to then welcome Seth Coulter, a physical therapist in Russellville, to discuss legislation that impacts his business and practice. I wrapped up the day by talking with the Head Start Association about the great and important work being done in early childhood education in the Natural State.

ImageOn Wednesday I spent the morning in a Budget hearing focused on our nation’s infrastructure. From the post roads outlined in the text of the Constitution to the development of the Transcontinental Railroad; from the creation of the interstate highway system to the evolution of our electric grid, Americans have continually shown that we are a nation of builders. Infrastructure is part of the core foundation that has created and moved the America we all know. During my remarks, I discussed how state and local authorities also need to have skin in the game if we are to keep pace with the needs of our communities. Arkansas has led the way on this front and made sure to make smart improvements. Whether it is through partnerships with states like Missouri to get funds to complete the critical Bella Vista ImageBypass, or Northwest Arkansas pooling resources to create and maintain what was just named the best airport in the state, Northwest Regional, or Governor Hutchinson’s highway funding plan, the message is clear: infrastructure cannot be built and maintained without continued state and local investment. After that, it was time for appropriations, where I joined a Transportation, Housing and Urban Development subcommittee hearing on how the FAA handles aviation certification. It was an important opportunity to delve into how the Boeing 737 Max crashes occurred, and how to make sure we prevent future incidents. As I reached the end of the day, I met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where I was updated on projects around the state of Arkansas.

In other good news, the United States and Japan signed a trade agreement at the UN General Assembly to expand market access for U.S. exporters. The deal will benefit Arkansas’s farmers, ranchers, and producers. Increased market access for U.S. agricultural products, including beef, pork, and dairy, will support our economy and businesses. It’s another step forward in modernizing our trade policies, and I’m pleased to see us negotiating from strength. Securing new trade deals, as well as passing proposals like the USMCA, is critical to leveling the playing field for hardworking Americans.

ImageOn Thursday, I had the privilege of hosting the Springdale Robotics team, Root Negative One, at the Capitol. This amazing team of high schoolers will be headed to Dubai to participate in a global robotics challenge in October. I wish the best of luck to these hardworking young adults, including Meghan Boen, Kathlyn Bowden, Isaac Brown, Charles Cassady, James Cassady, Abigail Herrera, Sara Manos, Catalina Peterson, Chase Rainwater, and Gregory Samuelson! Shoutout to Coach Richard Cassady as well! I then met Fermin Sandoval, a Rogers high school graduate who serves in the U.S. Marines, and I appreciated hearing about his service. He was hand selected to be in the Marine One squadron as part of the President’s detail team. I hope you will join me in thanking this patriot for his service!  

ImageI finished out the week meeting with Jessica Hesler of Springdale and Lisa Neihouse of Fort Smith, two STEM teachers, to discuss STEM research and the importance of preparing our students for 21st century jobs.

Next week, I will be back in the Natural State. I am looking forward to bringing one of my colleagues from across the aisle, Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-6), to show him everything Arkansas and the Third District have to offer. Remember to keep an eye on my website or check out my Twitter and Instagram pages to stay up-to-date with the latest news from the Third District and Washington. 

From the front...


Congressman Steve Womack
Arkansas Third District

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