VICKY'S VIEW: Feeding America - Farm Bill Moves Forward
I’m happy to report that the House passed a Farm Bill this week to ensure our farmers and ranchers have the ability to keep providing food for America. This bill strengthens safeguards for our food supply and improves public/private risk management programs that are vital to American agriculture. It will also reauthorize and strengthen Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs, maintain crop insurance, and provide a safety net for farmers who are affected by unfair foreign trading practices. It would also establish new programs to protect the health of the nation’s livestock and improve assistance for specialty crops.
I was particularly pleased that a provision I authored to expand rural broadband was included in the final bill. My provision would free up more capital for broadband providers to use in rural areas and it would increase the speed requirements for the internet these providers supply to rural communities. Additionally, this Farm Bill would make a historic investment in getting able bodied working adults the skills they need to succeed, while modernizing SNAP requirements to help impoverished Americans rise out of the poverty.
Now that the House has passed its version of the bill, the Senate is expected to take up their version of the Farm Bill next week.
Opioid Abuse: Congress Continues Crackdown
Click here or on the image above to see what the House is doing this week to combat opioids.
The legislative crackdown on opioid abuse that the House of Representatives’ launched last week continued this week with more than a dozen additional bills designed to combat the scourge of opioid abuse.
I want to share with you some of the bills that my colleagues and I passed:
- H.R. 5590, The Opioid Addiction Action Plan, requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop an action plan to recommend changes to the Medicare and Medicaid programs to enhance the treatment and prevention of opioid addiction;
- H.R. 5773, amends the Social Security Act to require Medicare prescription drug plans to establish drug management programs for at-risk beneficiaries and to require electronic prior authorization for covered part D drugs;
- H.R. 5676, the Stop Excessive Narcotics in our Retirement (SENIOR) Communities Protection Act, would lead to the suspension of payments to a pharmacy under the Medicare prescription drug benefit and Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans pending the investigation of a credible allegation of fraud by the pharmacy;
- H.R. 5775, amends the Social Security Act to require Medicare Advantage plans and part D prescription drug plans include information on the risks association with opioids;
- H.R. 5762 authorizes a Joint Task Force to use the Department of Homeland Security’s border security operations to detect, interdict, disrupt, and prevent opioids from entering the United States illegally;
- H.R. 6110, helps close gaps in care for pain management and to help expand access to non-opioid alternatives while expanding addiction treatment for those suffering from mental or behavioral health issues.
This bipartisan legislation, passed this week, bring to more than 50 the number of bills passed this month in the effort to fight opioid abuse. This is not the end of the effort to address the opioid epidemic. But clearly, we are headed in the right direction.
Photos of the Week
On Tuesday, I was pleased to meet with Alzheimer’s Association advocates from the Show Me State to discuss legislation and research of Alzheimer’s disease.
It was great meeting with the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies in my DC office on Wednesday, thank you for visiting!
I enjoyed meeting with Sustainable Ozarks Partnership in my office on Wednesday about the Fort Leonard Wood four county region of the district and ways we can collaborate to support the Fort.
Thursday morning I participated in an important Armed Services hearing about our adversaries’ theft of U.S. technology and intellectual property. In the hearing we discussed the breadth of this problem and how we must modernize to prevent it moving forward.
A Dose of Good News
The good news about the tax reform plan passed six months ago keeps coming! The National Association of Manufacturers' (NAM) quarterly outlook survey, published this week, finds 95.1 percent of manufacturers surveyed said they have a positive outlook for their companies – a record high in the past 20 years.
The survey also found that among medium-sized manufacturers, 95.8 percent of those surveyed have a positive outlook.
This optimism isn’t only good for Americans in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers are also projecting wage growth to rise at its fastest pace in 17 years.
The Good News about #TaxReform