Congressman Marsha Blackburn – Ret. SGM Cristobal Melendez-Claudio from Spring Hill, received the Congressional Gold Medal

Congressman Marsha Blackburn –  Ret. SGM Cristobal Melendez-Claudio from Spring Hill, received the Congressional Gold Medal

This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington
Fellow Americans –

We kicked off the week with our 3rd Annual Leadership Summit on the Campus of Austin Peay University. Around 100 of our district’s brightest high school students, chosen by their respective schools, joined me for a day of teambuilding activities and motivational speakers. Dr. Alisa White, President of Austin Peay State University, provided words of wisdom on what it means to lead and joined me in welcoming Kelly Gilfillan, CEO of Home Page Media and Robert Hartline, CEO of Mobile App, to discuss with students ways they disrupted their respective markets to build better outcomes for their businesses. We had a fantastic time. Here are some fun pictures from the day.

Once back in D.C., I had the opportunity to meet with and celebrate some of the accomplishments of fellow Tennesseans. Ret. SGM Cristobal Melendez-Claudio from Spring Hill was in D.C. this week to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, awarded to the US Army 65th Infantry Unit which he served in, the “Borinqueneers”. His bravery and service to the United States as a Borinqueneer is a remarkable testament to his character. I was honored to host him and share in the celebration with his family as he was awarded the highest civilian honor the U.S. Congress can present. His sacrifice to protect our country can never be repaid, but will always be remembered.

More than 200 musicians and songwriters from all over the country, and several from Tennessee, came to D.C. to meet with lawmakers and support me in pushing my legislation, the Fair Pay Fair Play Act, which would ensure the intellectual property of artists can no longer be exploited by Big Radio without compensation. Many music creators struggle to make ends meet even when they write a hit song because of a quirk in the copyright law. All radio platforms should be treated the same when they use music to draw in listeners and earn billions in revenue. The playing field needs to be leveled and this is long overdue. Read more about their visit, here.

From hacks at OPM to Target, our country has become all too familiar with cybercrime. Conservative estimates are that cybercrime costs consumers $100 billion annually and 508,000 U.S. jobs. We need to find a practical way forward to do more to protect a person’s online persona. Our data does not stop at state borders and neither should the amount of protection it receives change at the state line. A single national standard will ensure that someone’s data in Tennessee receives the same level of protection as their relative in Texas. Read my op-ed here to learn more about legislation I’ve introduced to address this problem.

Terrorists have said that they would take advantage of refugee programs and they have. The reality is that we must suspend the refugee resettlement program because it is endangering the American people. This week I joined Tomi Lahren on The Blaze to discuss my legislation that would ensure no funding shall be made available for refugee resettlement operations until certain conditions are met. Watch by interview by clicking below.

Today the House voted on important legislation that would prevent rate regulation of broadband internet access. H.R. 2666 codifies pledges from FCC Chairman Wheeler and President Obama to not engage in rate regulation. Chairman Wheeler said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March 2015:  “This is not regulating the Internet. Regulating the Internet is rate regulation, which we don’t do,…”  YET – The FCC doesn’t support this bill. The government wants to regulate broadband Internet access rates in order to control the placement of content or whether content gets placed at all. The House passed this legislation to oppose the Obama Internet takeover by a vote of 241-173.

As tax day approaches on Monday, you may notice one box, b, on line 5, that will permanently be on your return. It equates to more money back in your pocket. Read more about my 12 year fight to permanently allow deductibility of state and local sales tax here.

This coming Wednesday the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, which I chair, will hold a hearing on the pricing of fetal tissue. The release of videos last summer raised the question of whether abortion clinics and middleman tissue procurement businesses were profiting from the sale of baby body parts, organs and tissues. Pursuant to H. Res. 461, the Select Investigative Panel has subpoenaed the business and accounting documents of several organizations to determine if they were in violation of 42 USC § 289g-2, which prohibits the transfer of any fetal tissue for valuable consideration that exceeds the reasonable costs associated with the procurement. This hearing will further examine information about the pricing of tissue and whether abortion clinics and middleman businesses were making a profit from the transfer of fetal tissue in violation of federal law. When questions are being raised about the possibility that a federal statute has been violated, Congress has a duty to the taxpayers to find the facts and get to the bottom of what is actually going on. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted. A live webcast will also be available at the same link on the day of the hearing.

Have a great weekend,


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