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

Forging Ahead

Dear Friends,

Without question, no one is more committed to fully repealing Obamacare than I am. I’ve fought since day one to roll back the government takeover of our health care system, and last week, I spent countless hours working directly with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Speaker Ryan, and my Republican colleagues to make sure the American Health Care Act accomplished that.

While we ultimately did not vote on the bill, I am thankful to have a President that is willing to listen to input from Members of Congress, and I commend the Trump Administration and House leadership on their tremendous effort and good faith throughout the process. President Trump and Speaker Ryan noted in their press conferences that there is an extraordinary amount of important work and many opportunities ahead of us. We all know that Obamacare is failing and the American people are suffering because of it. I have already signed on to cosponsor a number of repeal and replacement bills, including H.R. 175, the Obamacare Repeal Act, sponsored by Representative Steve King (R-IA), which fully repeals Obamacare and relieves businesses and families of its burdens, and H.R. 1072, the Obamacare Replacement Act, sponsored by Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC), a free-market solution that increases competition and lowers costs. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has introduced legislation identical to H.R. 1072 in the Senate.

After more than seven years of bad policy, which nearly destroyed the health care market, we must be sure that every action we take to repeal and replace Obamacare is well conceived and properly executed. Postponing this vote affords Congress the opportunity to deliver real relief for the American people and will give us more time to develop a health care system that lowers premiums while increasing choice. Rest assured, this fight is not over.

As the conversation continues, I want to hear your thoughts and concerns about how we can improve health care in America. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to take the survey and share your thoughts with me.

Hice in the House

Many of you may recall the Environmental Protection Agency’s mining disaster in Colorado’s Animas River, a catastrophic spill in 2015 that caused the river to turn florescent yellow and forced small businesses to close up shop. As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, I’ve seen firsthand the failure of the federal government in trying to contain and reverse the damage caused by toxic waste and pollutants from abandoned mines, and I am dedicated to implementing comprehensive spill prevention methods.

To that end, last week, I introduced H.R. 1668, the Bureau of Land Management Foundation Act, alongside Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), to establish a new foundation to leverage private funding to help federal land management agencies clean up abandoned mines across the country. By using free-market, private sector principles, the charitable nonprofit will increase the pace and scale of cleaning up sites like Gold King Mine and other public lands. I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner to implement this comprehensive plan to improve conservation efforts.

On Wednesday, the House made progress towards fixing our Nation’s health care system by passing two important pieces of legislation. H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act, allows small businesses to band together across state lines and negotiate rates with health insurance providers. This will help make insurance plans more affordable and available for our small business owners and employees across America.

The House also passed H.R. 372, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act, by a vote of 416-7. This bill removes an exemption for health insurance under the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act, which currently exempts insurers from federal antitrust laws to the extent it is regulated by state law. This will ensure a level playing field for all health care industry participants – regardless of their state of origin – and restore competition within the health care industry.  

These bills take huge steps in lowering costs and barriers to access to health care for American families, and I encourage the Senate to act quickly to send them to President Trump's desk so they can be signed into law.

National Ag Day

Last Tuesday, we celebrated National Agriculture Day to recognize our farmers, ranchers, and growers for their role in providing safe, plentiful, and affordable crops and products. It is critically important to acknowledge how much we rely on agriculture for not only our food but also our textiles, apparel, and fuel. American farmers and ranchers are the heart and soul of our Nation, and they represent the determined, self-reliant character of our country. I am grateful for our agriculture sector and the valuable role it plays in maintaining a strong economy. 

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a confirmation hearing for former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, President’s Trump nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Sonny Perdue’s storied past serves as a testament to the leadership and expertise he will bring to the USDA. Not only has Governor Perdue lived and worked in agriculture his whole life, but he also understands the critical nature of maintaining healthy forests. As a fellow Georgian, I know firsthand that the expertise he will bring to the agency will be a boon to agricultural communities from coast to coast. He is undoubtedly the right man for the job, and I look forward to working with him closely as Secretary of Agriculture.

Spirit of Enterprise

Last week, I was humbled to receive the “Spirit of Enterprise” Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for my continued support of pro-growth legislation. The Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

This recognition reflects my commitment to reducing regulatory burdens while expanding economic opportunities for Georgia’s hardworking families and businesses. According to its scorecard, I received a 100% rating from the Chamber in 2016. Thank you, Suzanne, for presenting me with this award! 

Suzanne Clarke, Senior Executive Vice President for the U.S. Chamber, presents Congressman Hice with Spirit of Enterprise Award

District Connection: Service Academy Day & Congressional Art Competition

In coordination with Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue and the Georgia Congressional Delegation, I would like to invite 10th District students to a statewide Military Academy Day to familiarize themselves with the application and nomination process. This event, which is the largest in the Nation of its kind, will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2017, from 10:00-11:30 AM at Dobbins Air Reserve Base located at 1408 Dobbins Place, Dobbins ARB, Marietta, GA 30069. Guests should arrive as early as 9:00 AM to clear security and to visit information tables.

Representatives from all five service academies will give presentations regarding their requirements and expectations for admittance. I encourage all students in grades 8 – 12 who are interested in attending one of America’s service academies to attend this free event. To learn more and register, please click here.

What: Military Academy Day 2017
Who: America’s Service Academies representatives and Students in grades 8-12
When: Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 10:00-11:30 AM
Where: Dobbins Air Reserve Base
1408 Dobbins Place
Marietta, GA 30069

Another exciting opportunity for students is the 2017 Congressional Art Competition, and the deadline is right around the corner. This annual nationwide competition gives students in grades 9 – 12 the chance to compete for the honor of having their artwork displayed in our Nation’s Capitol for one year. The winner will also be awarded a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a reception honoring other student winners from across the Nation.

For complete details on this year's competition, including information about how to submit a piece of artwork, please click here. If you know any students that might be interested in participating in this year's competition, please share details with them! All entries must be submitted to one of my District offices by Thursday, April 6th. 

Congressman Hice with Morgan Fields, 2015 Congressional Art Competition 1st Place winner
The Week Ahead

This week, the House will consider the following pieces of legislation:

H.R. 1117 - To require the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to submit a report regarding certain plans regarding assistance to applicants and grantees during the response to an emergency or disaster
H.R. 1214 - Disaster SAVE Act, as amended
H.R. 654 - Pacific Northwest Earthquake Preparedness Act of 2017
S.J.Res. 34 - Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services (Subject to a Rule)
H.R. 1430 - Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act of 2017 (Subject to a Rule)

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.




Shining lights on shady practices (op-ed)
The Hill – 3/20
Every year, the federal government spends millions of man-hours and hundreds of millions of precious taxpayer dollars on a little known practice referred to as “official time.” Under current law, federal employee union members use official time to conduct union activities during the workday, even if it is completely unrelated to their regularly assigned agency duties. Some federal employee union members engage exclusively in union business instead of doing the job they were hired to do, all while collecting full pay and benefits from taxpayers. For most Americans, spending significant time at work doing something unrelated to our jobs would be a fireable offense, but for federal unions, it is business as usual.

Rep. Jody Hice receives ‘Spirit of Enterprise’ Award
Access WDUN – 3/21
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today honored Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA) with its annual Spirit of Enterprise Award, given in recognition of his support for pro-growth policies in the second session of the 114th Congress. “Reducing regulatory red tape and focusing on pro-business principles will help create jobs and grow our economy,” Hice said. “Now more than ever, we need to implement policies that create space for businesses to flourish and hire more workers. I am humbled to receive the Spirit of Enterprise Award and will continue fighting every day to fuel economic opportunity for Georgia’s hardworking families and businesses.”

Congressman Hice invites students in art competition
The News-Reporter – 3/23
Congressman Jody Hice has announced that he invites students in grades 9-12 to participate in the 2017 Congressional Art Competition. The winning artist will receive roundtrip tickets to attend a national reception in Washington, D.C., and his or her artwork will be on display for one year in the U.S. Capitol.

Bipartisan bill would form nonprofit to help mine cleanups
E&E Daily – 3/23
A bipartisan measure to create a nonprofit that would help the Bureau of Land Management clean up the nation's toxic mining legacy re-emerged yesterday in the House. Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), along with House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources ranking member Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), introduced H.R. 1668, the "Bureau of Land Management Foundation Act." The House passed the bill last year, but the Senate never took up the measure. It would leverage private dollars to tackle intractable BLM issues like wild horses and the estimated 500,000 abandoned mines dotting the nation (E&E Daily, July 6, 2016). Hice said the problem became "abundantly clear" after the 2015 Gold King mine spill turned rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah yellow. "By replacing substandard federal regulations with private sector policies and procedures, the Bureau of Land Management Foundation will increase the pace and scale of cleaning up contaminated water at abandoned mine sites across the nation," he said in a statement. 

Jon Richards, a fixture in the Gwinnett political community, dies
Gwinnett Daily Post- 3/26
Jon Richards, a political writer well-liked member of the community, died Sunday after a brief battle with cancer. He was 61. GeorgiaPol.com editor Charlie Harper, for whom Richards worked as a political blogger and the site’s editor-in-chief, said he wants mourners to not focus on the years cut short, but the fact that Richards made the most of the years he had with us. Congressman Jody Hice was one of many who took to social media to express their condolences. “Today is a sad day for Georgia. Rest In Peace, Jon Richards. You will be sorely missed, friend. Lifting the Richards family up in prayer,” Hice tweeted.