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

Hice in the House

Dear Friends,

Did you know that under current law the federal government can access any of your emails that are over 180 days old without a warrant? Last week, the House took action to modernize our privacy laws by passing H.R. 387, the Email Privacy Act, which would establish a uniform standard for issuing warrants to obtain the contents of communications in criminal and civil investigations. It would also clarify privacy rights for cloud computing services and maintain Congressional oversight authority in closing a loophole commonly exploited by some federal agencies.

This vital legislation updates our digital privacy laws to reflect the vast technological changes we've seen over the last 30 years while also ensuring that our law enforcement has the resources it needs to protect public safety in the digital age. I was proud to vote for H.R. 387 to protect Fourth Amendment rights for all Americans.  

Also last week, the House continued its aggressive crusade to roll back regulations issued by the Obama Administration. H.J. Res. 44 disapproves of a rule submitted by the Department of Interior relating to the Bureau of Land Management’s 2.0 Rule, which undermines state and local authority over land management and planning decisions. With the nullification of this overreaching regulation, state and local governments – not Washington bureaucrats and radical environment groups – will be empowered to best manage their public lands to ensure optimal use and good stewardship.

H.J. Res. 57 provides for Congressional disapproval of a rule containing multiple provisions which drastically expands the role of the federal government under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This rule ignores the intent of ESSA and interferes with what should be a state or local issue, requiring states to provide evidence of curriculum standards and bringing back federal test-based accountability – something ESSA was supposed to halt.

H.J. Res. 58 disapproves and nullifies the rule issued by the Department of Education that imposes new standards on teacher education and preparation and significantly expands the federal government’s involvement in the classroom. Simply put, parents, teachers, and school administrators are best suited to make the decisions about what is working and what is not within our education system.

Committee Action

In Fiscal Year 2016, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) reported a net loss of nearly $5.3 billion, marking a deficit for the tenth consecutive year. Last Monday, I questioned Postmaster General Megan Brennan in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing about the agency’s timeline for reform to reverse its massive losses. According to Brennan, delivery methods are a driving force behind the losses, and the USPS plans to begin testing new, eco-friendly vehicles within the next 18 months in order to address those issues.

A bill introduced by House Oversight and Government Reform leaders, H.R. 756 , the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017, would make reforms to keep mailing costs affordable for consumers, address unfunded liabilities of the USPS and encourage innovation, all without additional borrowing from the U.S. taxpayer. Click here to watch me question Postmaster General Megan Brennan.

Congratulations Dr. Price

On Friday, Dr. Tom Price was sworn in as the 23rd Secretary of Health and Human Services. As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Price has a tremendous understanding of healthcare and the damage Obamacare has caused. As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, he is exceptionally qualified to lead the agency charged with fixing our Nation’s broken healthcare system.

I couldn't be happier for my friend and now former colleague, and I look forward to working with Tom in this new role as we implement affordable, patient-centered healthcare solutions.

Go Dawgs!

On Tuesday, I welcomed University of Georgia President Jere Morehead to my Washington office where we discussed higher education legislation, the importance of federal investment in research, and new developments at the school.  

Last fall, UGA was named the 18th best public university by U.S. News and World Report and became the Nation's largest public university to ensure that all undergraduate students benefit from hands-on learning experiences, such as internships, research projects, or specialized study abroad opportunities. It is always great learning about UGA’s initiatives. Thanks for stopping by!

Congressman Hice with UGA President Jere Morehead

Supporting Law Enforcement

Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with some of Georgia’s finest law enforcement officers. These men and women go to work every day to make our communities better and safer places to live. On Tuesday, I met with officers from the Georgia Narcotics Officers Association (GNOA) to discuss drug enforcement issues related to our district and the Nation at large. 

Congressman Hice meeting with GNOA members

Later in the week, I joined Trooper First Class (TFC) Jason Fletcher of the Georgia State Patrol for a ride-along to witness firsthand a day in the life of one of these brave officers. I have the utmost respect for the level of dedication present in our law enforcement, and I am proud to reaffirm my commitment to the fine men and women in blue, black, and brown protecting us across the country. Thank you all for your service and your bravery. 

Congressman Hice with TFC Jason Fletcher during the ride-along

Sergeant First Class Tracy English, TFC Jason Fletcher, Congressman Hice, and Corporal Richard Thacker before patrol ride-along

The Week Ahead

The House will consider the following pieces of legislation:

H.R. 609 - To designate the Department of Veterans Affairs health care center in Center Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, as the "Abie Abraham VA Clinic"
H.R. 512 - WINGMAN Act, as amend
H.R. 244 - HIRE Vets Act, as amended
H.R. 974 - BRAVE Act
H.R. 428 - Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act (Subject to a Rule)
H.J.Res. 42 - Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to drug testing of unemployment compensation applicants (Subject to a Rule)
H.J.Res. 66 - Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by States for non-governmental employees (Subject to a Rule)
H.J.Res. 67 - Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by qualified State political subdivisions for non-governmental employees (Subject to a Rule)
H.J.Res. 69 - Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the Department of the Interior relating to Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska (Subject to a Rule)
H.J.Res. 43 - Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project recipients in selecting subrecipients (Subject to a Rule)

As always, I encourage you to contact my office with any questions, comments, or concerns. Keep track of my work in Washington on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram




What is the Free Speech Fairness Act?
Deseret News- 2/7
The day before President Trump used his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast to promise a repeal of the Johnson Amendment, a bill was introduced in Congress to effectively do that. It has not yet been scheduled for debate or a vote.

Reviving our free speech rights
Walton Tribune – 2/11
Since 1954, the IRS has unfairly and indiscriminately used the Johnson Amendment — a provision in the U.S. tax code — to censor and target 501(c)(3) organizations and their leaders through the threat of investigations, costly fines, or loss of tax-exempt status. Introduced by Sen. Lyndon Johnson, the amendment was formulated behind closed doors and deprived of proper checks and balances. As a result of the Johnson Amendment, hundreds of houses of worship and nonprofits have become victims of an unconstitutional restriction on their right to free speech. 

3 Questions for U.S. Rep. Jody Hice on the Free Speech Fairness Act
Alliance Defending Freedom- 2/7
We sat down with U.S. Representative Jody Hice (R-GA) to ask him a few questions about the Free Speech Fairness Act, which was introduced in the House and Senate last week.

Stop the IRS from Penalizing Tax Exempt Organizations for Speech
Family Research Council- 2/7
Last week, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Representative Jody Hice (R-Ga.) introduced H.R. 781, the Free Speech Fairness Act of 2017, in the House and Senator Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced the companion bill, S. 264 in the Senate, to roll back the Johnson Amendment. The very next day, at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump reiterated his desire to see the Johnson Amendment repealed. Thus, now is the time for you to urge your Senators and Representative to co-sponsor the Free Speech Fairness Act.

Houston's Real Patriots Didn't Deflate Profits
Patriot Post – 2/7
As I said on CNN over the weekend, this has nothing to do with money being expended on political campaigns. And it certainly doesn’t mean that churches will become the new arm of the Republican Party — or either party. As Lankford, Scalise, and Hice pointed out, “Every American should be able to speak freely about their conscience and convictions — no matter what their job is.”

Stars Are Named at Two High Schools
Monticello News – 2/9
Mrs. White became aware of Wyatt’s interest in a naval career in one of his early essays during his first year with her; in turn, she shared her father’s time as an instructor at the Naval Academy until December 1941 when he was stationed at Banana River, Fla., as a flight instructor. She has seen in the following years Wyatt’s determination to pursue his dream and come closer to its realization; recently the Hon. Jody Hice awarded him with a Congressional Nomination, one of the prerequisites to an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.