Congressman Patrick McHenry
December 14, 2014

Congressman McHenry Weekly Update

Voting to Keep the Government Open

This past week marked the final week in session for the 113th Congress.  One final piece of business to complete was passing legislation to maintain funding for the federal government.  On Thursday the House passed -- and I supported -- legislation to maintain funding of our government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Throughout the week, I heard from numerous concerned constituents who felt this legislation did not do enough to address President Obama's executive actions on immigration.  While I share your frustration -- and have strongly expressed my anger -- about the president's action, a government shutdown would not have stopped his action.  Instead, House Republicans have crafted an agreement that will ensure this issue is addressed come February when funding for the Department of Homeland Security will lapse.  At that time, Republican majorities in both the House and Senate can truly address this illegal action.  

Additionally the funding legislation passed Thursday includes a number of important changes including cuts to EPA funding and staffing, cuts that will drop the agency to levels last seen in the 1980s.  It also maintains the lowest discretionary spending levels in almost 10 years and prevents a taxpayer funded bailout of big insurance companies.  You can read about other important programs included here.  You can read my full statement on supporting the legislation by clicking the image below.

While I do not expect every person to agree with this vote, I felt it was the correct decision to maintain government funding while also leaving us better positioned to fight the President's illegal executive action.  As always, I welcome and encourage your feedback.  You can find phone and email contact information here.

Questioning Gruber on Obamacare Cancellations

On Tuesday morning the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing examining Obamacare's transparency failures.  While the hearing also looked into the Obama Administration's embellishment of Obamacare enrollment numbers, I directed my questions to Jonathan Gruber, a key architect of the law.  Specifically, I asked Mr. Gruber about President Obama's claim that "if you like your plan, you could keep it" and why it was that over 400,000 North Carolinians had their plans cancelled.  You can see video of our exchange by clicking the image below:

You can read more about my line of questioning to Mr. Gruber from the Asheville Citizen-Times and Real Clear Politics.

Proud to Support

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives took an important step to both insure against the losses from a devastating terrorist attack and protect the American taxpayers by passing a reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act or TRIA.  This important program, first enacted in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, provides a government backstop for the losses from terrorist attacks on the American homeland.  This year's reauthorization also makes important reforms to ensure the American people are not left on the hook for the bill.  You can see my full statement in support of passage here and can click the image below to see my floor speech on the bill which passed with wide bipartisan support.

What I Have Been Reading

Local Pearl Harbor survivor vividly recalls "Day of Infamy"

​The Gaston Gazette 

A week ago today marked the 73rd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks that led to American involvement in World War II.  As we remember all those who lost their lives on that infamous day, take a moment to read the amazing story of Gene Reinhardt, a Belmont resident who was stationed in Hawaii on that fateful morning. 

Highland Brewing wins small business award

​The Asheville Citizen-Times

Congratulations to Asheville's Highland Brewing Company on being named the 2014 small business of the year by ​Business NC Magazine.​  This is a tremendous honor for Highland and its founder Oscar Wong, who previously was named the North Carolina Small Business Person of the Year in 2012, an award given by the US Small Business Administration.  

​Start-Ups Turn to the Crowd for Financing

​The New York Times

One of my main priorities for the upcoming 114th Congress will be full implementation of the crowdfunding portion of the JOBS Act, a section of the law I authored in 2012.  As this article outlines, crowdfunding has tremendous potential to allow small businesses and start-ups to raise important capital that is not readily available through your typical channels like a bank or venture capitalist.  

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