In the long history of our great Republic, neither Congress nor those who serve there have ever been held in high regard. And, if polling is to be believed, the institution and its members have never been more unpopular than they are today.
Last week, Congress made significant progress on critical legislation that supports our common defense and ensures protection of U.S. interests around the world. While much work remains in the days and weeks ahead, I am proud that lawmakers in both chambers are one step closer to completing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the sixtieth year in a row.
During the first couple weeks of July, the House Appropriations Committee, on which I serve, met for a marathon of legislative markups. Specifically, we worked through the 12 annual bills that fund the federal government. While I am always encouraged to see this critical process moving forward in Congress, the bills as written provide a false sense of accomplishment.
Enshrined in Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution is the mandate that the nation’s population get counted every 10 years. Since 1790, this undertaking, known as the U.S. Census, has occurred at the start of every decade.
This year, Independence Day comes at a time of great crisis and unrest for our country. But while the events of our day are troubling, remember that our nation was first born out of and found its footing in crisis. Throughout our great history spanning nearly 245 years, Americans have continually overcome even the most difficult challenges.
Following the reprehensible treatment and tragic death of George Floyd, there has rightly been a national outcry against what took place both under the watch of and at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis – a clear and despicable violation of the solemn oath police officers take to serve and protect their fellow citizens.
After local and national economies were effectively forced to close in response to coronavirus this spring, communities across the nation are continuing to slowly and cautiously reopen. While it is encouraging to see businesses opening back up and Americans returning to work, it’s important to keep in mind that life as we know it is not yet back to normal.
June marks Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, which serves as a reminder of the need to slow down, prevent and ultimately cure terrible diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans are suffering with some form of dementia, and it is estimated that one in every three seniors die as a result.
Americans tend to think that we’re either the best or the worst at everything. And while I agree that the United States hasn’t been the absolute best in the world in terms of coronavirus response, our nation has certainly fared better than most advanced countries and remains far from the worst in terms of dealing with COVID-19.