Congressman Mark Sanford
January 21, 2017                                View Online
Weekly Review
January 19:

Plan To Repeal And Replace Obamacare
: A quick ‘thank you’ to the many at home across the Lowcountry who joined in our Telephone Town Hall on Tuesday night. The call was a simple, yet important step in the two-way communication that’s vital to representative government. Indeed, one of the most pronounced messages sent was that many were concerned with what happens next with regard to healthcare.

In that vein, I joined with Dr. Phil Roe and several of my colleagues from the Republican Study Committee (RSC) a few weeks ago to introduce the American Health Care Reform Act of 2017, which fully repeals and - just as important - fully replaces Obamacare.

My point in raising this is that it's yet another example of some of the concepts that will be advanced in what comes next in a replacement bill. The House has moved over the last few weeks from simply repeal...to repeal and replace based on so many making their voices heard - as they did last night on this issue. The Department of Health and Human Services projects that premiums for insurance plans purchased through Obamacare exchanges will rise by 29% in South Carolina this year. To put these rising healthcare costs in context, keep in mind that real household income is down by 21% since 2000.

Here are some highlights of the Republican Study Committee plan.




January 17
:

Mattis Nomination Moves Forward
: On Friday, the House voted on S. 84, a bill that would exempt General James Mattis from the current requirement that military officers be retired for seven years before serving as Secretary of Defense. I voted in favor of the bill, and it passed by a vote of 268 to 151. The waiting period, originally ten years long, became law in 1947 with the idea that having a civilian in charge of the Department of Defense would protect against the military growing stronger than the people it protects. The idea of civilian control goes back to the early days of our republic when George Washington gave up his military rank upon becoming president.

Three years after the waiting period was signed into law, Congress voted to issue a waiver allowing General George Marshall to serve as Secretary of Defense, even though he hadn’t yet retired from the Army. General Marshall had a record of success as a commander during World War II and as a diplomat in the years immediately following the war. President Truman nominated Marshall to the post to help turn things around, and in 1950, Congress granted a waiver for Marshall to serve as Secretary of Defense. This was the first and only time a waiver has been granted since it went into effect. Read more.


January 16
:

Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: As we mark the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. today, it’s important to remember both the famous words he spoke and the messages behind them. In this vein, I’d like to leave with you one thought on the power of dreams.

His was to see racial equality in America, and he dedicated his life to that hope. But as is the case with all dreams, they are works in progress. The tragedy of what occurred at Mother Emanuel AME Church is a reminder of the degree to which there is still work to be done in fulfilling the dream of Dr. King.

On the other hand, the response of the victims’ families and the response of the Charleston community at large was inspirational for the way that it spoke to how far we have come in some respects to living in line with the ideals of Dr. King.

I think the picture below that was captured a few days after the tragedy is a visible reminder of what we’re all seeking to memorialize and live in honoring the dream and life of Dr. King. It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come and still how far we have to go. This is true not just in realizing his dreams that we commemorate today - but in realizing each of our own dreams.




     

 
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