Here is a quick update with the latest in what is happening in Washington. As always, please let me know whenever I can be of assistance. Keep in touch and remember to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Also, for updated information check out my virtual office and encourage your friends and family to sign-up for my monthly e-newsletter, the Aderholt Address.
Robert B. Aderholt
Member of Congress
Tornadoes in Oklahoma
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Oklahoma and across the Midwest who have been affected by the tornadoes that struck last week. We are all deeply saddened by the devastation, destruction, and loss of life that has been suffered.
Alabamians know all too well the devastation that these storms can bring. April 27, 2011 is a day most Alabamians will never forget. Simply said, that day changed our lives and our communities forever. As our neighbors in Oklahoma start to rebuild, we understand first-hand their needs and struggles. Though there is still ongoing recovery work happening in our own state, we have an opportunity to come together as a nation to help our neighbors in their time of need.
Relief efforts on the ground are underway and I know--like Alabamians-- Oklahomans' faith, strength and resiliency will see them through this terrible tragedy.
IRS Targeting Conservative Groups
Recently, we learned that for over 18 months the IRS allowed agents to improperly target conservative groups for extra scrutiny when applying for tax-exempt status. This action is completely unacceptable and beyond that, illegal.
I appreciate that the President agrees that this is unacceptable and has called for the immediate resignation and replacement of IRS Commissioner Steven Miller; however, there are questions that remain unanswered and many pieces to this puzzle that need to be put together so we can get the complete picture.
Beginning earlier this month with the House Committee on Ways and Means and continuing with the Senate Finance Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the hearing process is underway and Congressional investigators will be on the job until the puzzle is complete and those responsible are held accountable.
Protecting American Jobs
House Republicans remain committed to implementing policies that help our economy grow and allow small businesses to do what they do best, create jobs.
In keeping that commitment the House recently passed H.R. 45, legislation to fully repeal the President's health care law. Last month's jobs numbers suggest that the new health care law is already impacting hiring patterns, as small businesses are cutting back workers hours and also freezing hiring any additional workers. Simply put, this legislation appears to be a job killer and repealing the law in its entirety means we can move forward with a commonsense approach that will decrease burdens, lower costs and protect American jobs.
Additionally, last week the House passed. H.R. 3, legislation to build the Keystone XL pipeline. This private-sector infrastructure project will bring an estimated 20,000 jobs, add $20 billion to our nation's economy and provide greater energy security to America. For the last four years this project has been held up in the regulatory review process by the Administration. This legislation, however, would clear the roadblocks preventing construction of the pipeline and will help get our economy moving again.
Both pieces of legislation now await action in the Senate. I hope my colleagues in the Senate will get to work and pass these bills, joining the House in protecting American jobs.
4th District Art Competition
This year's 4th Congressional District Art competition at Northport City Hall was a great success. Student artists from across the district submitted over 175 entries, making our judges job especially challenging.
All of the artwork submitted exhibited the incredible talent and creativity of the students in the 4th District. I was able to personally present the awards to the student artists in Northport. The categories were painting, drawings, collages, prints, mixed media, computer graphics and photography.
This year's "Best of Show' went to Mason Holcomb of Guntersville High School. His artwork will be displayed for one year in the Capitol as part of an exhibit entitled "An Artistic Discovery." Mason has also been invited to the national exhibit opening in Washington, DC, this summer, including events such as an opening reception and ribbon cutting ceremony.
I am proud of all of our student artists, whether they placed in the competition or not, it is impressive to see their talent on display and to have the honor to recognize them for their achievements.