I am grateful every day to serve the people of South Carolina’s Second District. Although Republicans are not currently in the majority and were forced to deal with a false impeachment inquiry, I was able to work with my Republican colleagues to fight for our pro-job, pro-family, and pro-America agenda.
As a conferee of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference committee, I worked to secure important wins in the final NDAA including a long-time initiative of mine to repeal the Widow’s Tax. This legislation achieved the largest number of cosponsors, 383, of any bill in Congress this year due to dedicated Gold Star Wives and veterans service organizations. Repealing the Widow’s Tax is personal to me. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph “Trane” McCloud was the military fellow in our office in 2003 and was then killed in Iraq on December 4th, 2006. His wife, Maggie, and their three children have always been on my mind and in my heart as we fought for repeal of the Widow’s Tax. The fact that we will “axe Widow’s Tax” before the new year is a huge accomplishment not only for me, but for the 65,000 families affected by this unfair offset.
The NDAA also included crucial funding for Savannah River Site (SRS) with full funding for the plutonium pit mission, providing an additional $25 million for the Risk Management operations account, and funds payment in lieu of taxes. The NDAA also supports a well-deserved 3.1% pay increase for our servicemembers.
During the first session of the 116th Congress, I also championed protections for Right to Work States, like South Carolina. I introduced H.R. 2571, the National Right-to-Work Act, which would repeal federal provisions that allow employers to automatically enroll employees to join a union.
As co-Chair of both the Taiwan and Bulgaria Caucuses, I wrote letters to political leaders in Taiwan and Bulgaria urging them to purchase American F-16 block 70 aircraft, which are produced in Greenville. I am grateful for the opportunity to bring more jobs to South Carolina.
I also doubled down on support for Israel, reaffirming our enduring friendship. I was the lead Republican on the United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act. This bill authorizes $3.3 billion annually in funds to be authorized for Foreign Military Finances for Israel through 2023.
This bill also expands cooperation in science and technology, energy, water, agriculture, and cybersecurity by authoring funding for existing and new cooperative programs. I will continue promoting a strong U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship as Ranking Member on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
I also voted against the hoax impeachment put forth by House Democrats. This attempt by House Democrats to overturn the votes of 63 million Americans is sad and completely unwarranted. I will continue to stand with our duly elected President. It is disgraceful that Democrats wasted tens of millions of tax payer dollars for a Russian Hoax and now a Ukrainian Hoax.
I could not be more thankful to serve the Second District of South Carolina in Congress. I strive to work for my amazing community and enjoy the people I represent and serve. I will continue working tirelessly for the Second District in Congress to promote jobs and families. My office for the Second Congressional District of South Carolina is open to serve you. We have offices in Aiken, North Augusta, Barnwell, and West Columbia that are always open for the community to provide many helpful resources. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve you in Congress.