Healthcare Law: Bad News. On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled the President's massive health care bill to be constitutional. While that wasn't the outcome I was hoping for, it's now up to us to do the right thing. This law was bad the day it was passed, and it's still bad today. The Court's decision doesn't change that.
Transportation Bill: Good News. On Friday, the House voted on a major transportation package to fund our nation's infrastructure- and it passed. This was a major milestone! American businesses need a strong national infrastructure system to get their goods to market. Passage of this bill should have happened in 2009 when the previous legislation expired. Unfortunately, President Obama prevented previous congressional attempts at getting a bill passed, and his constant partisan sniping has made it harder to get a bill passed this time. Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate were able to overcome that hurdle and together, pass the bill.
Hultgren Bill Passes House: Good News. The transportation bill also included H.R. 3666, the Veterans Accelerated License Obtainment and Recertification (VALOR) Act, a bill I introduced last year. The VALOR Act would make it easier for veterans returning from combat with truck driving experience to get their commercial driver's license certifications. This legislation could go a long way to reducing the unemployment rate among our nation's veterans and I am glad it was included in the final transportation bill.
Student Loan Rates: Good News. Also on Friday, the House voted to extend the current student loan interest rates, which otherwise would have expired today- July 1. Instead, interest rates for new subsidized Stafford loan borrowers will be maintained at the lower interest rate of 3.4 percent through June 30, 2013. This was another major milestone for an issue that has caused a lot of partisan contention over the last few months, but Republicans and Democrats came together in agreement.
Holder in Contempt: Bad News. Attorney General Eric Holder has repeatedly refused to reveal Fast and Furious documents to Congress. On Thursday, the House voted to hold him in Contempt of Congress. House counsel will bring suit against Holder in district court but it is unclear if the court will compel enforcement of the subpoena. I did not take pleasure in this vote, but the family of Bryan Terry deserves some answers.
There's a lot going on in Washington, but I'm looking forward to working in the 14th district next week and being with my family for the Fourth of July. As always, call my office at 202-225-2976 or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube for the latest updates.