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

Remember

Dear Friends,

Although Memorial Day has passed, remembering the fallen shouldn’t happen just one day of the year. For many, every day is a reminder of the parent, child, sibling, or loved one that sacrificed their life to fulfill an oath to defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

We, as a Nation, are forever grateful for their service and the critical role they have played in building a more just and stable world, and we must remember to show our continued support to those who help keep our country free and prosperous. This Memorial Day, I was heartened to join U.S. Navy sailors from Georgia aboard the nuclear-powered supercarrier, U.S.S. Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), to pay respects to those who have courageously given all to defend America.


Congressman Hice thanking Georgia sailors aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)

I also want to extend my most sincere condolences to the loved ones of Loganville native, Etienne J. Murphy, an Army soldier who died last week at the age of 22 while serving in Al-Hasakah, Syria. Spc. Murphy was an infantryman assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield and was on his first deployment.

His awards and decorations include the Parachutist Badge, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, and Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal with Campaign Star. Spc. Murphy has been posthumously awarded the Army Commendation Medal.

To all who have died in order to protect our freedom, we honor you, your bravery, your courage, and your dedication. To the family and friends of all of our fallen heroes, we join you in mourning your loss and will keep you in our prayers.

Spc. Etienne J. Murphy
(Photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense)

Hice in the House

Last week, the House, with my support, passed several measures to help prevent America's children from being abused or exploited. These bills are part of a broader initiative to confront human trafficking, a horrific crime that has sadly spiked by 35% in the U.S. in the last year alone. Among the bills passed were:

  • H.R. 1862, the Global Child Protection Act of 2017, which closes loopholes in current law that allows child predators to go unpunished for their abuse of children overseas;
  • H.R. 1842, the Strengthening Children’s Safety Act of 2017, which enhances penalties for sex offenders who fail to register in the national sex offender registry when they have a prior state conviction for a violent crime;
  • H.R. 1761, the Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017, which amends existing law to ensure appropriate punishment for child predators, regardless of intent; and
  • H.R. 1973, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act of 2017, which extends the mandatory reporting requirements of suspected cases of child abuse to national governing bodies to ensure that reports are immediately made to local or federal law enforcement authorities.

On Wednesday, I voted to support our veterans with the passage of H.R. 2052, the PRIVATE Act, a bill that amends the Uniform Code of Military Justice to insert a new article prohibiting the wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual images and subjecting any person in violation to punishment by court-martial. The House also unanimously passed H.R. 467, the VA Scheduling Accountability Act, which requires VA medical center directors to certify annually that their facility is in compliance with the scheduling directive and prohibits VA medical center leaders from receiving awards or bonuses if its medical center fails to certify compliance with the scheduling order.

Additionally, prior to its passage, I delivered remarks in support of H.R. 1293, legislation sponsored by my colleague, Representative Dennis Ross (R-FL), which grants the Office of Personnel Management the ability to get the necessary information relating to the use of “official time,” a practice by which federal employees are legally permitted to conduct union-related activities – during the work day – instead of performing their jobs. Simply put, the American people deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent. Click here to watch my floor speech.

Updates from Cadets & Midshipmen

Cadet Calli McMullen, who was the first female student from Georgia Military College Preparatory School to receive a fully qualified appointment into any U.S. Service Academy, was recently named the Army Athletic Association’s top Athlete of the Week for her performance on the Women's Track and Field team. Thus far, Callie has won two Patriot League Championship titles, broke two Army West Point school records, won Rookie of the Meet at the Outdoor Patriot League Championship, and won the Women's Performance of the Year during the 2017 Black Knight Awards ceremony.

She has also been fully engaged in academics, ending this semester with a 3.36 GPA! Some of her favorite classes were Chemistry, Psychology, English, and Military Movement, and she has declared to be an Environmental Science major with a focus in Environmental Engineering. This summer, she will be attending Air Assault School where she will learn how to rappel out of a helicopter. Keep up the great work, Calli! A video message from Calli can be found here.


2016-2017 Black Knight Award Winners
(Cadet Calli McMullen pictured far right)

Another impressive individual that I had the great fortune of nominating to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2015 was Christopher Lumley. Midshipman Lumley has maintained a 4.0 GPA, making his academic order of merit 1st out of 1150, and he has selected Astronautical Engineering as his major. Chris also discovered Jiu-Jitsu this year and has been an active member of the Academy’s team.


Christopher Lumley holds flag while participating in a Parade of Naval Academy Midshipmen

I also had the privilege of nominating Midshipman Luke Udell of Covington for an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. This academic year, he took Calculus I and II, Chemistry I and II, Naval History, American Government, Cyber Operations, Literature, Seamanship, and Leadership. He also took courses to accomplish the physical mission of the Academy. Midshipman Udell has declared his major to be Systems Engineering.

Additionally, Luke has been heavily involved in the Naval Academy Drum and Bugle (D&B) Corps, playing on the drumline that provides musical support for the Brigade of Midshipmen at parades, sporting events, and pep rallies. For the upcoming semester, he has been selected to be the Public Affairs Officer and trucking navigator for the D&B Corps. This summer, he will spend a month aboard a destroyer or cruiser to gain fleet experience and will be heading to Alaska to partake in a month-long training course at the National Outdoor Leadership School.

When asked about his experience, Midshipman Udell said that “coming to the Naval Academy has been a huge blessing and a great honor” and while “some days were tougher than others, I have survived and thrived nonetheless.”


Midshipman Luke Udell at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland

Calli, Chris, and Luke are all leaders with exceptional talent, and it is inspiring to see young people with such passion serve our country. I wish them all the best in their academic and military careers.

Visiting Washington, D.C. 

Are you planning a trip to Washington, D.C. this summer? My staff would be happy to help you plan a memorable and educational trip to our nation's Capital and reserve tours of the U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress, White House, and many other D.C. attractions. Visit my website for more information and to fill out the online request form. After submitting the form, a member of my staff will be in touch to help you complete the process.


The Sosebee family of Dacula enjoying a trip to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
 
The Week Ahead
Over the next several days, Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform, of which I am a member, House Ways and Means, and House Financial Services Committees will participate in a Congressional Delegation (CODEL), where we will visit military installations throughout East Asia, meet with foreign officials and military leaders to discuss priorities and projects, and interact with deployed armed servicemembers who are conducting operations in Japan and South Korea.

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

WGXA Fox Macon – 5/29 

House OKs Bill Calling for Yearly ‘Official Time’ Reports
Bloomberg BNA – 5/24
The Official Time Reform Act (H.R. 1364), introduced by Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) March 6 and sent to the House floor by the oversight committee in a 23-17 vote on March 10, would prevent federal employees who spend 80 percent of their work time during the course of a year on union duties from getting credit for that time for purposes of their retirement benefits. Federal employee unions strongly oppose the Hice bill.

Georgia officials react to Manchester attack
11 Alive News – 5/23
Georgia U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson said he is "appalled" at the bombing at a Manchester concert that killed 19 people and left around 50 others injured. According to NBC News, the explosion, which U.K. investigators suspect was the work of a suicide bomber, happened Monday night at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. “Our hearts and prayers are with all those affected by the heinous attack in #Manchester tonight. We, as a Nation, stand in solidarity with our allies in the U.K.” -- U.S. Rep. Jody Hice

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