U.S. Congressman Jody Hice | E-Newsletter
U.S. Congressman Jody Hice

Tele-Town Halls

Dear Friends,

I'd like to thank all of you who joined our Tele-Town Hall event last Wednesday night! With more than 8,000 constituents tuning in, we discussed critical issues that are on everyone’s mind – Obamacare, the President’s executive orders, immigration, Russia, and much more. During the call, I asked three poll questions on three different topics: defense spending, Obamacare, and a physical barrier on the southern border. And the results are in! 

Hice in the House

Last week, I introduced two bills I’d like to call to your attention. The first – H.R. 1047, the Fairness in Firearms Testing Act – will help restore accountability to firearms testing. The second – H.R. 1149, the Nuclear Family Priority Act – is a reform to our immigration system.

As many you of know, I firmly believe that our Second Amendment right to bear arms is one of the most fundamental and basic rights established in the Constitution, allowing Americans to have the ability to protect themselves, their families, and their property. Part of the protection of this right is ensuring that the agencies responsible for the testing of firearms, such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), have clear guidelines in place. Due to a lack of uniformity, and occasionally unfair procedures for firearms testing, many firearms manufacturers could face added pressures of fines, license revocation, and even jail time as a punishment for routine clerical errors.

My bill, H.R. 1047, the Fairness in Firearms Testing Act, would require the ATF to make video recordings of the testing and examination of firearms and ammunition and would prohibit the agency from editing or erasing these recordings. This will ensure that video documentation – often used by gun makers to contest and review testing decisions – exists and brings greater uniformity and transparency to this process. Safeguarding our Second Amendment rights is of the upmost importance, and I will continue working to preserve our Constitutionally-protected rights.

Meanwhile, H.R. 1149, the Nuclear Family Priority Act, would take crucial steps forward to reform an antiquated immigration selection process by addressing the phenomenon known as “chain migration.” Today, chain migration allows one immigrant to serve as the basis for dozens or even hundreds of other legal immigrants in a 15-year period simply due to extended family ties. This trend has caused legal immigration into the United States to spike from around 250,000 per year in the 1950s and 1960s to the more than 1 million annually.

My legislation would reduce the number of family-sponsored immigrants by eliminating the extended family visa categories for adult siblings and adult children, thereby ending chain migration and allowing us to prioritize nuclear families by limiting this group to the spouses and minor children of both naturalized citizens and lawful permanent residents. The Nuclear Family Priority Act would ensure immediate families can stay together while also protecting the interests of our Nation.

The Fairness in Firearms Testing Act and the Nuclear Family Priority Act are both practical and commonsense solutions, and I am proud to introduce these two pieces of legislation.


Congressman Hice introducing legislation to restore accountability to firearms testing and reform our immigration system

Committee Action

Last Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing to discuss the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) 2017 report outlining high risk and inefficient programs. These government operations are among the most vulnerable to waste, fraud, and abuse. The list includes 34 areas of high risk to the federal government and includes three new areas: (1) the 2020 Decennial Census; (2) Improving Federal Programs that Serve Tribes and Their Members; and (3) U.S. Government's Environmental Liabilities. Click here to watch me question Mr. Gene Dodaro, the Comptroller General at the GAO, about the agency’s report. 


Congressman Hice examines waste, fraud, and abuse in an OGR hearing

 The use of “official time,” a practice by which federal employees are legally permitted and paid to conduct union-related activities – during the work day – instead of performing the jobs they were hired to do, has resulted in staggering losses at the expense of the American taxpayer. Last week, in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I examined this abuse at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  

In a recent audit of the VA, GAO found that it could not accurately track the amount of time its employees spend on official time at the VA agency-wide. With our veterans and their families still waiting far too long to obtain their rightfully earned benefits, the practice of “official time” has no place at the VA. Click here to watch me question Ms. Kimberly McLeod, Acting Executive Director for the Office Labor Management Relations at the VA, about the agency’s work on official time.


Congressman Hice examines the use of “official time” at the VA in OGR hearing

True Blue Award Winner

Advancing the values of faith, family, and freedom is a task that I take seriously as your representative in Washington. On Thursday, I was honored to receive the “True Blue” Award from Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins. This award is given annually to Members of Congress who consistently support pro-life and pro-family legislation in their service to the country. I am proud to have scored a perfect 100 percent on this year’s scorecard, and I remain committed to standing up for life, family, marriage, and religious liberty. Thanks for presenting me with this award!


Congressman Hice with FRC President Tony Perkins

Special Olympics

On Wednesday, I met with friends and leaders from the Special Olympics International (SOI) to learn about the positive impact the organization has on students with intellectual disabilities. During the meeting, I met Michael Holland, a Douglasville, Georgia native, who told me about his journey from being a mute six-year-old child to a Georgia Delegate for SOI. He attributes his confidence and success to the programs within the Special Olympics. His story is truly inspirational. Thanks for coming by!


Ellen Holland, Michael Holland, Congressman Hice, and Ben Collins during the Special Olympics International visit to Washington last week

Signing Ceremony

On Friday, I congratulated Anna Jerald, a senior at North Oconee High School, following her appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. As one of our Nation’s most promising students, Anna’s accolades speak for themselves – captain and two-time varsity letter winner in track and field, Georgia Hunter Jumper Association’s Equestrian State Champion, and award winning student in chemistry. 

Upon graduation, she will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Anna – I’m so proud of you, and I’m excited for the great things ahead. Congratulations again!


Scott Jerald, Cristy Jerald, and Anna Jerald with Congressman Hice at her Service Academy signing ceremony

The Week Ahead

When I’m not working in D.C., I'm traveling to one of the towns in the twenty-five counties across the Tenth Congressional District of Georgia. This week, I’ll be meeting with constituents and learning about the issues most important to you, visiting local colleges and universities, touring community businesses, and honoring our veterans at a special event.

As always, it is an honor to represent you. Please contact my office with any questions, comments, or concerns. Visit my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for more updates about my work in Washington on your behalf. 

Sincerely, 

 
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TOP NEWS

Caution from many Georgia Republicans as reports swirl about Trump, Russia
Atlanta Journal Constitution- 2/15
Meanwhile, Rep. Jody Hice, R-Monroe, said Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo were best positioned to advise Trump on Russia. “Moving forward, I urge my colleagues in the Senate to focus on confirming and fully staffing the White House and the national security agencies with qualified individuals who can chart the best path forward for our nation,” Hice said.

Unreliable data sparks broader debate over official time at VA
Federal News Radio – 2/16
About 90 nurses, three addiction therapists, 13 nursing assistants and three pharmacists were among those at VA who spent 100 percent of their normal work hours on official time, said Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.).  “I see no positive outcome in having to hire two people for the work of one,” Hice said. “Not that people doing union work don’t accomplish some good, but positive outcomes?”

WATCH: Former UGA DE Quentin Moses’ life honored at U.S. House of Representatives
Dawg Nation
Quentin Moses’ memory lives on. This week has seen an outpouring of emotion after the former Georgia defensive end died in a house fire on Sunday in Monroe. A celebration of life was held in Moses’ honor on Wednesday at Reinhardt University, and his funeral is set to take place Saturday afternoon in Athens. He was 33. On Thursday, the tributes continued. Rep. Jody Hice, who represents Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, honored Moses at the U.S. House of Representatives.

Republicans seek to repeal D.C. assisted-suicide law
Washington Times – 2/13
Rep. Jody B. Hice, Georgia Republican, said the law is a symptom of society’s increasing disregard for human life. “It’s amazing to me how we have become a society that so trivializes life, as though it’s something that is not important or something that can be snuffed away,” Mr. Hice said. “This bill, the dignity bill, is not about sick and dying. At the end of the day, it’s about legalizing suicide. It’s an enormous step toward normalizing euthanasia. It’s a huge step toward a continued march of trivializing life.”

Hice gets look at GSP’s duties
Walton Tribune – 2/15
Georgia State Patrol Sgt. 1st Class Tracy English greeted Rep. Jody Hice with a warm handshake Friday morning. Hice and constituent service representative Ben Stout arrived at the Georgia Department of Public Safety Post 46 for a walkthrough of the facility and a ride along with one of the post’s 12 troopers. English and Hice took the first couple of minutes to discuss the latest political goings-on in Washington, the loss of one of GSP Sgt. Tony Henry in Florida while on his motorcycle and how hard it is to be a cop in today’s society.

Legislation Would Curb Restrictions on Political Speech in Churches
The Daily Signal – 2/14
Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., was a pastor for 25 years before serving in Congress, which is one reason he favors doing away with the Johnson Amendment. The law threatens the tax-exempt status of nonprofits, including churches, for engaging in certain political speech. “For too long, the IRS has used the Johnson Amendment to silence and threaten religious institutions and charitable entities,” Hice said in a public statement. “As a minister who has experienced intimidation from the IRS firsthand, I know just how important it is to ensure that our churches and nonprofit organizations are allowed the same fundamental rights as every citizen of this great nation.”

Giving CPR to U.S. health insurance system (op-ed)
Atlanta Journal Constitution – 2/20
As members of Congress, we work every day to be the voice of Georgians in our nation’s capital. While we represent different areas, one message we hear as we listen to constituents is resounding: Obamacare has hurt their loved ones and livelihoods and it must go. In 2007, President Obama said, “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.” As many predicted at the time, this has turned out to be an empty campaign promise for Georgia families.

North Oconee’s Anna Jerald signs appointment papers to attend United States Military Academy
Athens Banner Herald – 2/17
North Oconee senior Anna Jerald said she has always felt the call to serve others. Since she was in the second grade, she has known she wanted to attend the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. On Friday morning at the North Oconee fieldhouse, Jerald was joined by her family, friends, coaches and Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., as she signed her appointment papers to attend the United States Military Academy.


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