I have dedicated my life to serving our country. From over 30 years in the U.S. military, to Rotary, to the State Senate, and now in Congress, I am wholly committed to the people of South Carolina. I have fought for jobs, our military and veterans, and families during my time in Congress. Through numerous administrations and different challenges, I have continued to focus on what is most important.
Through my work in Congress, jobs in South Carolina’s Second District have grown and unemployment rates have reached record lows. Legislation, such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, have stimulated business growth in South Carolina through tax cuts and deregulation. As a right-to-work state with a strong manufacturing workforce, South Carolina continues to attract foreign and domestic investment. In Congress, I will continue to introduce and support right-to-work laws in addition to federal funding for the expansion of the Port of Charleston.
Even as we face unprecedented times, I am working for our small businesses. Last month, I joined over 200 of my colleagues in signing a petition to bring a bill to the House floor that will extend the Paycheck Protection Program in a way that will help our small businesses the most during this pandemic. And this month I was named a Guardian of Small Business which is awarded to members of Congress who vote with small business on related legislation. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and I am grateful to work for small businesses in South Carolina.
Ever since Obamacare was put into place, I have worked to repeal its harmful taxes and regulations that destroy jobs. I have successfully helped to get rid of the Medical Device Tax, the Health Insurance Tax, the Cadillac Tax, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and the Federal Individual Mandate Tax Penalty.
This year, the Creating Hope Reauthorization Act passed the House with unanimous, bipartisan support. I am grateful to be a cosponsor of this important legislation which allows for lifesaving treatments to be made more readily available for our nation’s children.
As a veteran, a military father, and Senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I truly know how important our military and veterans are to our country. I spent years fighting to repeal the unjust ‘Widow’s Tax’ and last year, my legislation, with 383 co-sponsors, finally ‘axed’ the ‘Widow’s Tax.’ This is a big win for military spouses, families, and servicemembers who for years have been victim to this unjust offset. Following this win, on average, surviving families will receive an increase of $12,000 per year, with a total benefit of $5.7 billion for military families.
This year my bill, the Body Armor for Females Modernization Act was included in the National Defense Authorization Act. This bill works to reduce injuries to all of our brave servicemembers by ensuring they have the right equipment from day one. I represent Fort Jackson which trains more than 60 percent of all women entering the Army each year. Women deserve the proper fitting personal protective equipment from the start of their military service – not just when deploying. Benefits of appropriate equipment will improve overall combat effectiveness while increasing our military’s readiness.
Most recently, I introduced the Parris Island Protection Act. The recent report that the Marine Corps is considering closing Parris Island is shocking and disappointing. The unique value of the base and its facilities cannot be replicated. I introduced this legislation which ensures that Parris Island will not be closed by barring the use of federal funds to close or realign the base. South Carolina has welcomed recruits from around the country for over a century, and to close Parris Island would not only be detrimental to South Carolina, but also to the Marine Corps. I will continue working with the Marines and my colleagues in Congress to ensure that Parris Island remains a vital asset to our military.
I am also committed to fighting the Global War on Terrorism. Last July, the House passed the United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act, which I introduced. This bill expands and enhances the U.S.-Israel relationship and provides justice to victims of Palestinian terror. We must continue to protect the United States from terrorism and keep American families safe.
I am grateful to represent the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken and Barnwell, as the only member of Congress to have worked there, which plays a vital role in our national security and nuclear non-proliferation. Over the past few years, I’ve worked closely with the Department of Energy to start hot operations of the Salt Waste Processing Facility at SRS. This year, the award-winning mission was launched and is a leader in expediting the remediation of radioactive waste to create a safe future for South Carolina.
I also fought for funding for the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC) which will be an innovation hub for manufacturing, fostering modern industrial practices, advancing new technologies, and training the future manufacturing workforce with a focus on chemical and materials manufacturing.
Working for the people of South Carolina, I am grateful to be able to help the people of the Second District with constituent services. This year alone, our office closed out over 1,000 casework cases, which means over 1,000 people in the Second District were assisted with their issues with federal agencies. I am always grateful to serve the amazing people of South Carolina’s Second District.
As I continue my service to the Second Congressional District, our state, and our nation, I will continue to make it my priority to build a strong national defense, promote jobs, and support the American family. I am continuously inspired by the citizens of the Second District as I visit with local schools, businesses, and community events. If our office can ever be of assistance to you or your family, please don’t hesitate to contact us.