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Thank you once again for being part of this an effort by me and my team to stay in touch, engage with Alaskans from across all corners of our state, and keep you informed on the many issues before Congress. As you may know, we’ve seen a number of important successes for Alaska in the U.S. House this year, including the passage of four Alaska-focused bills.
This week, we saw the introduction of framework to update our nation’s aging tax code – a plan I believe has significant merit. Last time we tackled tax reform was 31 years ago under President Ronald Regan – legislation I voted for. Sadly, in that time we’ve seen a lot of changes and a massive growth in our tax code – much of which penalizes hardworking Americans and discourages economic growth. I believe we have to address this nonsense and work toward real, commonsense tax reform – reforms that help everyday Americans and small business owners. I’m pleased to see that this tax outline focuses on growth, allowing our middle class to keep more of their hard earned dollars; it broadens the base, and will bring jobs back to our soil.
Elsewhere, we saw efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare put on hold in the Senate. As you know, we passed efforts to repeal the ACA out of the House in May – a decision based on a fundamental belief that continuing these efforts in the Senate was far better than keeping the destructive policies of Obamacare. Overall, I still believe something must be done to address the downward spiral of Obamacare. It simply does not work, contrary to what some people may say. It continues to penalize young people and families in Alaska, especially small business owners. There are a lot of things I believe can be done in the area of healthcare, including addressing the costs of drugs and insurance overall. I know the Senate will be revisiting the issue of healthcare and I’m committed to remaining engaged on these important issues.
In Committee, this week we had a hearing on the national fisheries policy – specifically my legislation (H.R. 200) to update and reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Just as we did in 2006 – the most recent MSA reauthorization – Congress is working to ensure this law keeps pace with changes in our industry and that the Act is being implemented as intended by Congress. My legislation, which closely reflects our work in the 114th Congress, works to strengthen the MSA by giving our nation’s regional fisheries councils the added flexibility they need. As a father of the original 1976 legislation, my goal is to reauthorize the MSA with a focus on maintaining the species; ensuring they’re healthy, can sustain themselves and can continue to support coastal communities that rely on these fisheries.
As I said, it’s been a positive year in Congress so far – even in the face of certain setbacks. There is still much work to be done and I am fighting to ensure Alaska’s many priorities are reflected throughout our collective agenda. Thank you again for being part of this newsletter. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you throughout my travels.
Congressman for All Alaska
Below is the video version of this message.