I recently was proud to announce that the 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion will be restationed at Fort Stewart, bringing 492 soldiers and their families to the post. The 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion’s mission focuses on rapidly deploying worldwide to engineer, install, operate, maintain and defend in support of full-spectrum operations. The 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion is the U.S. Army’s contribution to the Global Information Grid.
Having arrived in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 9, I squeezed in some meetings with the National Homebuilders Association and the Natural Products Association. I also had the opportunity to catch up on some reading and prepare for the week.
Feb. 10 began with more meetings as we received visitors representing PCCA, a company that supplies resources for independent compounding pharmacies; Delta Airlines; and the Georgia Canola Producers. I also met Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-North Carolina, to discuss future legislation coming before the House. During the afternoon bills debate, I presided as speaker pro tempore. Although I previously have presided over special orders and managed the floor during the presentation of bills, that was my first opportunity to preside over the debate of bills.
Later that afternoon, I was on the floor preparing to vote when the parliamentarian approached and asked if I would preside over votes. I jumped at the opportunity and now am proud to be the first freshman of the 2015 class to preside over all of the regular floor procedures.
The day ended on a somber note as the House observed a moment of silence for Rep. Alan Nunnelee of Mississippi who died last week. I had met this fine man on a number of occasions and will remember him fondly.
On Feb. 11, after a morning conference meeting, I headed to a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting, where witnesses testified on the threat of foreign fighters and homegrown terrorists.
Later in the day, I met with a number of groups, including the Fruit and Vegetable Growers, Southern Company and Technology Association of Georgia. I also had an Education and Workforce Committee meeting, during which attendees spent a full 10 hours marking up House Resolution 5, the Student Success Act. I had the opportunity to speak on the House floor in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline bill, which the House passed with my support. The bill went to the president for his action.
Feb. 12 was full of hearings. I had three committee meetings, where three witnesses were questioned. Two meetings were through the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the other was through Education and Workforce. The first hearing was with members of a panel appointed to review the workings of the Secret Service in response to the incident last year where an intruder scaled a fence and was apprehended inside the White House. The second hearing was with a panel of educators and parents regarding the sharing and/or selling of student information to outside groups or companies for public use.
In between hearings, I met with representatives from Pfizer, the Pulp and Paperworker’s Council, and federal-prison workers. During session, we passed H.R. 644, the Fighting Hunger Incentive Act.
I started Feb. 13 with yet another hearing, this time with the OGR committee to question officials with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority regarding safety and security issues with D.C.’s Metro system in light of last month’s fire, which killed a passenger.
Afterward, I headed to the floor for the only votes of the day. We passed H.R. 636, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act — a bill that does just what the title indicates and is essential to making certain that our small businesses have an opportunity to succeed.
Without question, the highlight of my week was the opportunity to welcome students from Richmond Hill High School and their chaperone and teacher, Russ Carpenter, to the Capitol. After braving the brutal cold and having a picture taken with this fine group of young people, I addressed them before they went on a tour of the Capitol, led by Capitol Visitors Center guides.
Call Carter at 912-352-0101 or 202-225-5831 or email email@example.com.