Crisscrossing County Lines
It is an honor to serve the thirty counties which make up the 8th Congressional District in southeast and south central Missouri. The best part of my job is getting to spend time with the hard-working families, farmers and business owners who make our district the greatest place to live in the world. Over the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to visit over twenty counties in our area and meet with the people who provide power, work on manufacturing lines, serve our country, care for our veterans, farm our land, teach our students and bring jobs to our area.
In New Madrid, I visited the power plant and talked to the folks there about the challenges they face as they work to provide power to Missourians. The New Madrid Power Plant was dealing with a major regulatory burden under the previous administration and are quickly seeing relief under President Trump - allowing them to continue their work to provide clean, affordable power to farmers, small businesses and families in Missouri.
During a stop in Caruthersville I visited Trinity Industries. Their facility in Caruthersville provides hundreds of jobs and can build 12 barges a week! But like me, they’re concerned about countries who cheat on trade and make it harder for American manufacturers to compete. SLP Lighting in Sullivan was another great opportunity for me to learn about how government burdens have been keeping our small businesses from reaching their potential. SLP Lighting is proud to be made in America, but like Trinity Industries, they are fighting an unfair trade system. The folks at Trinity Industries and SLP Lighting are why I wrote and passed the ENFORCE Act. This trade bill was signed into law and helps end unfair practices by allowing places like Trinity Industries to take real and meaningful action when foreign countries violate trade agreements.
I also dropped by several public Listening Posts throughout our area, including stops in Rolla, Farmington, Jackson, Poplar Bluff and West Plains, and heard from people who were concerned about healthcare, government regulations, the EPA and the federal tax code. At my Listening Post in Jackson and during my visit to the American Legion and VFW Post #99 in Salem, I heard from several veterans who needed help with their Veteran’s Benefits. Making sure the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) serves our veterans is one of my biggest priorities. Last year, I worked with the American Legion and VFW Post #99 to extend the VA clinic hours in Salem. If you or someone you know needs help from places like the VA – please reach out and let us know!
I was also able to visit several schools including Dexter High School, Jefferson High School in Festus, and Central High School in Park Hills. It is a tremendous honor to be able to nominate talented and brave young men and women to our prestigious United States military academies. During these school visits, I had the privilege of presenting several students at these schools with their hard-earned appointments to a military academy.
Thank you to everyone who made time to talk with me over the past few weeks. Whether it's a public listening post or visiting with farmers, families and small business owners in places like Dexter, Poplar Bluff and Sullivan, conversations like these help me better represent southeast and south central Missouri.