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SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

mcconell

McConnell Highlights Senate Accomplishments Under Republican Leadership

Significant Wins For Kentuckians and Their Families
December 21, 2015

Last year, voters chose to end the dysfunction in Washington. They elected a Republican Senate to advance a common-sense agenda, and Kentuckians honored me with the opportunity to serve as Senate Majority Leader. I promised that under my leadership the Senate would work for the American people again, not the other way around.

One year later, I am proud to say the new Republican majority has done just that. We’ve passed important bills, many of which have become law, that will help empower

Senator Mitch McConnel (R-KY) photographed at the Capitol on December 2, 2008.  Photograph by Karen Ballard

Senator Mitch McConnel (R-KY) photographed at the Capitol on December 2, 2008. Photograph by Karen Ballard

people to achieve and succeed. And we’ve put bills on the president’s desk to distinguish what a working Republican Congress would be able to achieve with a different president.

As the Obama Administration’s War on Coal continues, we passed two bills to block the administration’s so-called “Clean Power Plan,” a plan that consisted of anti-jobs regulations aimed at ending the utilization of coal-fired energy plants. Although both of these bills passed the Senate and the House with bipartisan support, the president plans to veto them.

To help Kentuckians who are suffering from the War on Coal, I worked to pass an amendment to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that offers support to the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP), which works to train laid-off coal miners for new jobs. I also helped EKCEP secure an additional $7.5 million federal grant to further its mission.

Crucially, the new Republican Senate also passed the first repeal of Obamacare, coupled with a redirection of federal funds from Planned Parenthood to community health centers that provide health services for women, but no abortions. Unfortunately, the president is expected to veto this bill. But passing it is a significant symbolic victory which demonstrates that the Senate is listening to your concerns about higher costs and higher taxes, and is working overtime to repeal Obamacare. And we will continue this fight after this president leaves office.

I led the bipartisan passage of the Highway Bill, which is the longest-term highway funding bill in nearly two decades. It designates the Natcher Parkway between Bowling Green and Owensboro a part of the federal highway system to boost economic development in the region.

We came to the aid of our servicemembers and their families by getting the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed and signed into law. Its enactment allows construction to begin on a brand new, state-of-the-art medical facility at Fort Knox. The NDAA also includes funding for construction of a new special operations facility at Fort Campbell, and new school construction at Fort Knox. The appropriations bill I worked to pass provides an additional $75 million to advance construction of a new VA medical center in Louisville to serve Kentucky veterans.

Enhancing Kentucky’s economic outlook remains a top priority of mine. I secured language signed into law that will protect the transportation between states of legally grown industrial hemp. This helps pave the way for the future commercial development of this important agricultural commodity, which I believe will create jobs in Kentucky. I also supported $200 million to allow vital cleanup work to continue at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant and help support 1,600 jobs at the site.

Further, I worked to enact permanent tax relief for Kentucky small businesses and farms, and regulatory relief for rural and community financial institutions that provide so many Kentuckians with loans to operate their businesses.

Aside from economic matters, there are issues important to Kentucky families that I made a priority in Washington. There is a growing heroin and opioid epidemic plaguing our state, and too many babies are being born dependent on opioids. I am proud to have authored a bill signed into law to focus federal resources on preventing and treating these babies who deserve our protection and concern.

I worked to pass the Adoptive Family Relief Act, which will provide financial relief to Kentucky families who out of the goodness of their hearts have legally adopted children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but have been unable to bring their children home due to the DRC government’s suspension of exit permits.

Furthermore, I helped pass permanent tax relief for Kentucky’s low-income and working families, including a provision to improve section 529 savings accounts, to help Kentucky families save for college tuition expenses.

All of these achievements make 2015 a year of progress in Washington. The era of dysfunction is over. But more remains to be done.

As long as President Obama remains in the White House, he will veto legislation that could support jobs for our coal miners or repair our nation’s health care system. Next year offers us a chance to elect a Republican president who would sign these bills. We shouldn’t waste it.

In the meantime, Kentuckians should be glad to know that a promise made is a promise kept. The Senate is working again. And as Senate Majority Leader, I will continue to fight for them.

DoD Identifies Air Force Casualties

The Department of Defense announced the deaths of six airmen who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.  They died Dec. 21 of wounds suffered when their patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

Killed were:

Maj. Adrianna M. Vorderbruggen, 36, of Plymouth, Minnesota.  She was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 9th Field Investigations Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Staff Sgt. Michael A. Cinco, 28, of Mercedes, Texas.  He was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 11th Field Investigations Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.

Staff Sgt. Peter W. Taub, 30, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 816, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.

Staff Sgt.  Chester J. McBride, 30, of Statesboro, Georgia.  He was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 405, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Technical Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm, 45, of Bronx, New York.  He was assigned to the 105th Security Forces Squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York.

Staff Sgt. Louis M. Bonacasa, 31, of Coram, New York. He was assigned to the 105th Security Forces Squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York.

SOURCE:  Department of Defense

Command Senior Enlisted Leader Assignment

The Office of the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced the following assignment:

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael L. Cosper, currently assigned as the garrison command sergeant major, Fort Hood, Texas, has been selected to replace Army Command Sgt. Maj. David W. Carr as the command senior enlisted leader for Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

SOURCE:  Blacknews.com

JANICE L. MATHIS NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NEGRO WOMEN

Washington, DC — The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) recently announced the appointment of Janice L. Mathis as the Executive Director of the 80-year old non-profit organization. Before relocating to Washington, D.C., Ms. Mathis will serve out the year as Vice President of the Citizenship Education Fund (CEF), a position she has held since 2000.

Janice Mathis, with her broad-based experience as a lawyer, negotiator, advocate, administrator and team

Mathis, a noted lawyer, diversity advocate and administrator, hails from Athens, Georgia  Photo Courtesy:  Blacknews.com

Mathis, a noted lawyer, diversity advocate and administrator, hails from Athens, Georgia.  Photo Courtesy: Blacknews.com

builder, will serve NCNW well as we build on our legacy and pursue our forward-looking vision in the coming years, said Ingrid Saunders Jones, NCNW chair. Were pleased to have Janice on-board to lead this organization in our continuing efforts of advocating for African-Americans, increasing civic participation, strengthening public policies and developing new programs and partnerships.

Ms. Mathis is noted for her decades of work with Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. She served as General Counsel and Chief of Staff to the Rainbow PUSH coalition. She helped negotiate numerous diversity and inclusion pacts with Fortune 100 firms, served on the Coca-Cola and Georgia Power diversity advisory councils, orchestrated legislative-related efforts in Georgia and shareholder activism nationally. She campaigned for media decency and reform of the criminal justice system and led CEFs financial literacy partnership with Wells Fargo. She also was managing partner of Thurmond, Mathis and Pickett, a general practice law firm in Athens, Georgia.

We will miss Janice’s insight and strategic thinking, but we wish her and NCNW every success, commented Rev. Jackson. They have made a wise choice.

Mathis earned a B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and is a graduate of the Lumpkin School of Law at the University of Georgia. The National Council of Negro Women is a Washington, D.C.-based international non-profit organization making a difference in the lives of women, children and families throughout the world through research, advocacy, and community-based services and programs. The organization was founded on December 5, 1935 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, President Emerita, led the organization for more than fifty years before passing in 2010.

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