Friday, December 23, 2016
Billy Long outlines accomplishments of 114th Congress
At times congress is portrayed as Republican v. Democrat, but even in a partisan environment we can still find areas of agreement to advance important legislation. During the 114th Congress my colleagues and I have passed several transformative bills that will go on to help millions of people. I worked hard to make sure that the people of Missouri’s 7th Congressional District and the American people got the best deal possible.
Two of the most recent examples of this would be the 21st Century Cures Act and the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. Both of these bills had overwhelming bipartisan support.
The 21st Century Cures Act, which was led by Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) of the Energy and Commerce Committee, is a bill that will impact medical research for many years to come by addressing the 10,000 unknown diseases, with 7,000 of those unknown diseases being classified as rare.
Within this bill is a provision of mine that would allow further communication between drug manufacturers and health care professionals. After three years of bipartisan work on this bill, it was finally signed into law this December. This bill was very personal to me because I know what it’s like to have a loved one affected by a heartbreaking disease.
The WIIN Act, which was also signed into law this December,is a comprehensive water resources infrastructure bill that includes language that both Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and I worked on that involved the Table Rock Lake Shoreline Management Plan. After talking with constituents, it was clear to me that their voices weren’t being heard and something needed to be done. The language added within the bill would halt the plan by two years, lift the moratorium on issuing permits for new and existing docks and extend the public comment period.
The 114th Congress also worked hard to ensure our manufacturers have a level playing field to compete. The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, which was passed in December of 2015, strengthened the enforcement of our trade laws and set parameters to future trade deals that ensure our importation laws will not be changed. This legislation included Customs and Border Protection tariff evasion policy changes that I’ve been fighting for ever since I came to Congress.
Though 114th Congress has come to an end, I look forward to the work that my colleagues and I can accomplish in the 115th Congress. We’ve had a successful two years, and I know the next two can be even better.