It's been another busy week on Capitol Hill.
My time has been divided between work in the House Armed Services Committee on the Defense Authorization bill, votes on the floor and introducing legislation I've been working on for a little while now.
On Wednesday, I spent all day in the House Armed Services Committee room - improving our plan to provide service-members with the resources they need. One of my amendments responded to the U.S. Navy's plans to allow same-sex marriages on bases by chaplains. It clarified the military's marriage solemnization policy, ensuring that it is consistent with existing law. You can read more about that here. We didn't finish up until the early hours of the next morning.
On Thursday, the House approved H.R. 1231, legislation which essentially lifts the President's ban on new offshore drilling. This measure will require the Administration to move forward on American energy production in areas estimated to contain the healthiest oil and natural gas resources. It establishes a production goal and is designed to put domestic energy back in the pipeline. Another bill, approved on Wednesday, would require the Department of the Interior to meet certain benchmarks for approving permit applications or restarting permits that have been suspended since the President declared a six month moratorium on domestic energy development more than a year ago. The Administration's own estimates show that this moratorium has cost up to 12,000 American jobs. Together, these bills will help put Americans back to work and drive down the cost of fuel.
On Friday, I introduced the Spending Priorities Act. This measure sets up a statutory spending plan in case of a federal funding emergency. If the U.S. Treasury spends up to the debt limit, my bill would provide stability by demonstrating to America's citizens and creditors that we will meet our obligations, first by paying the principal and interest on our debt, second by paying our service-members and protecting our national security, and third by paying Social Security benefits to our seniors. Prioritizing these commitments is the right thing to do in an emergency funding situation, even if we do not have the resources to fund other activities.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you about these or any issues on your mind. Email me if you would like a response or feel free to leave a comment on Facebook.