After a Memorial Day weekend full of patriotic events across the district last weekend, I headed back to Washington to vote on legislation and work on some exciting new projects.
Wednesday night was an important vote for me on the House floor. I'm proud to share that the Food and Drug Administration Reform Act, which included my provision to help combat prescription drug abuse, passed in the House. Specifically, the bill requires HHS to report its recommendations within one year on ways to educate people and identify best practices to achieve interoperability for state prescription monitoring programs. Last week, the Senate passed its version of the legislation, and a final version is expected to land on President Obama's desk in July.
More than 30,000 Americans are dying each year from prescription drug abuse overdoses. We've come a long way through awareness efforts back home and legislative efforts in Washington, but our work is only beginning, and I won't stop fighting against prescription drug abuse until the tragic statistics are reversed.
I was also pleased to meet this week with constituents from Palm Desert, the Storton family, who were in Washington on vacation. It was great to catch up with them -- Alexander had previously worked in my Palm Desert office and was telling me about his plans to attend law school next year. It's always encouraging to have the support of people back home, and to get the opportunity to meet with them while I'm working in DC.
Meeting with the Storton family of Palm Desert
I ended the week with my Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade hearing on the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2012 this morning. The hearing was quite timely. It began immediately following the Bureau of Labor Statistics' release of the May Jobs Report, which showed that the economy grew a mere 69,000 new jobs -- much less than the 150,000 that are needed each month to stay on pace with population growth -- and the unemployment rate climbed to 8.2%. While the announcement of any new jobs is welcomed, May marks the fourth straight month of slowing job growth made even slower by the president's failed policies. It also marks the 40th consecutive month that unemployment has been at or above 8 percent under President Obama.
To me, manufacturing growth in America is vitally necessary to grow our troubled economy. Statistics show the manufacturing sector was the hardest hit in terms of job losses during the Great Recession. But we can and will reverse this trend, especially through the work of two of my colleagues in Congress, Rep. Lipinski and Rep. Kinzinger, who have introduced the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2012, H.R. 5865, which calls for two Presidential reports to Congress outlining a strategy for promoting growth, sustainability and competitiveness in the manufacturing sector. This strategy will include short-term and long-term goals for improving U.S. manufacturing as well as recommendations for action. The second bill we discussed during my hearing, H.R. 5859, repeals an obsolete provision in the United States Code, requiring motor vehicle insurance cost reporting. We must get rid of burdensome regulations and needless paperwork that hinders job creation and business development if we want to turn our economy around for the better. Both of the bills we today are a step in the right direction, and as Chairman of the Subcommittee, I plan to bring them up for favorable consideration in the very near future.
As always, thank you for your encouragement and support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if there's anything my staff and I can help with.
Have a blessed weekend!