Weekly Capitol Report
A few weeks ago my office in Rolla received a phone call from church members who expressed concern about the Park Service requiring permits for Baptisms in the rivers of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Yes, you read that correctly, the Park Service was actually requiring churches and pastors to get a permit in order to perform Baptisms.
Agriculture is the number one industry in Missouri. Our Eighth Congressional District is home to a great variety of agricultural interests. In the fertile Missouri Bootheel, we grow cotton, rice, corn, soybeans, wheat, peanuts and even raise catfish. In stark contrast to the Bootheel stand the Ozark Foothills where we have cattle, dairy and timber producers.
Last week I spent time working various jobs throughout our Eighth Congressional District on a Work-A-Day Tour. My goal in touring the district and working local jobs was to meet new people and to learn about the challenges families in our region are facing.
After days of heavy rains, many in our Eighth Congressional District are now dealing with flooding and the headaches that will come after the water recedes. I certainly wish the rain could have been spread out over the last several months instead of the last several days. In the coming weeks Missouri families will be working to clean up their homes, businesses, farms and communities.
Regulatory reform has been a top priority of mine since my days serving in the Missouri General Assembly. As a state lawmaker I passed legislation that requires a review of all state regulations every five years.
Nothing kills a job faster than a Washington regulation. When I ask farm families, small business owners and municipal leaders which federal agency poses the greatest threat to rural Missouri, they always give the same answer, the EPA. President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency seems to be focused on killing jobs and hurting our district’s rural economy.
A quality education can be the spark that ignites imagination and enables young people to pursue their highest dreams. I have always been a believer in local control of education.
By now I am sure you have heard the news that the Department of the Interior has rescinded the National Blueways designation in Missouri and Arkansas. This is a tremendous victory for common sense and it proves that Washington bureaucrats will listen to Missourians if we protest loudly enough.
Millions of Americans celebrate Independence Day each year with barbeque and brilliant firework displays amongst family and friends. Yet too often we forget the significance of the day and the brave Americans who risked their lives to found a visionary nation with freedom and equality for all.
This week the United States Senate passed a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. In my view, the Senate’s immigration bill does not adequately secure our borders and it grants amnesty to people who knowingly break the law. I do not support the Senate amnesty bill and I am working to ensure it does not come to a vote in the House of Representatives.