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Gregg Harper: Week in Review

Dear Friend, we've just completed another week in our nation’s Capital, and it was a busy one to say the least. I want to share with you some highlights from the week, including a few legislative updates, as well as some pictures that I think you will enjoy:

Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act

 This week, the House passed the Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act (H.R. 4607). This bill amends the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996. The vast growth of bank regulation following the enactment of Dodd-Frank has made it significantly harder for community banks and credit unions to serve their customers. Under this new legislation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Credit Union Administration will now have to review their regulations on a regular basis to eliminate duplicative, outdated, or irrelevant regulations. This common sense public accountability will modernize and improve regulatory reviews for our small community banks and credit unions.

The Blocking Regulatory Inference from Closing Kilns Act (BRICK Act)

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Blocking Regulatory Inference from Closing Kilns Act (H.R. 1917), a bipartisan bill that helps small businesses by delaying a regulation on manufacturers of wood heaters. The first phase of the Environmental Protection Agency’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for wood heaters took effect in 2015. The regulation reduced emissions with minimal problems; however, the second phase of these standards is scheduled to take effect in 2020, and it is proving to be very difficult for manufacturers to meet that deadline. The extension voted on will not remove any regulations. It simply provides more time for businesses to comply with much stricter requirements. Specifically, this bill helps Hardy Manufacturing in Philadelphia, MS.

You can watch my statement on the House Floor here.

The Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment Act (SENSE Act)

The House of Representatives passed the Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment Act (H.R. 1119). The SENSE Act will ensure environmentally beneficial coal refuse-to-energy facilities put at risk by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules continue to operate and perform important cleanup activities in Pennsylvania and other areas of the country. Coal refuse-to-energy facilities are unique in that they have been developed to recycle coal refuse – the aboveground waste product from coal mining – and use it as an energy source to generate affordable, reliable electricity. Unfortunately, and despite the environmental benefits, EPA has imposed emissions limits that are not achievable for these coal refuse-to-energy facilities. Unfortunately, an estimated 1,200 direct and 4,000 indirect jobs in economically distressed areas could be impacted if nothing is done.

Examining U.S. Public Health Preparedness for the Response Efforts to Seasonal Influenza

The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, of which I'm honored to chair, held a hearing examining seasonal influenza and the effectiveness of this year’s influenza vaccine. We also explored why this year’s vaccine had reduced effectiveness against one strain of influenza type A, called H3N2.In Case You Missed It

Mississippi State University was awarded a $7.0 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant this week.

This grant will allow Mississippi State to develop the Hightower Road Corridor Project, a multi-million dollar expansion project to include a north-south passage that incorporates sidewalks, bike lanes, transit shelters, improved traffic signals, and street lighting on the eastern perimeter of campus.

I expressed my strong support for this project last October in a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

For more information, you can read this article.

Constituent Highlight

I was thrilled to lead my 10th Capitol tour for Fragile X Advocacy Day. This special group comes to Washington, D.C. every year to raise awareness, fund research, and open doors for the future.

We had productive meetings this week with supervisors from across the state, including Adams County, Clarke County, Oktibbeha County, and Madison County. We discussed economic development and infrastructure needs.


Adams County Board of Supervisors

Clarke County Board of Supervisors

Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors
Commissioners from Mississippi’s levee boards came to Washington this week. We discussed the importance of investing in flood control infrastructure as we prepare for rising floodwaters in Mississippi.
Jerry Dattel of Hattiesburg, Jon Graef of Brandon, Maria Harbor of Ridgeland, Erik Hearon of Ridgeland, and Merle Flowers of Desoto County, were in Washington with the AIPAC Conference this week.

I enjoyed meeting with Dr. Scott Crawford of Jackson and Brandi Denton Gatewood of D’Iberville, who were in Washington representing the Alabama-Mississippi Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

God Bless,
Gregg Harper

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