Jun 21 2013
This week is National Small Business Week, an opportunity to recognize and highlight the contributions of our nation's small businesses – the engine of our economy. One of my top priorities in Congress is to get government out of the way so that North Texas small businesses can grow, invest, and hire new workers. Throughout the Obama Administration, small businesses across the country have been unnecessarily burdened by an onslaught of new government rules, regulations, and taxes. The most egregious example of this is the President's health care law.
The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on Wednesday stating that ObamaCare implementation is behind schedule and experiencing challenges. This report confirms what we’ve known all along: the massive government takeover of health care is an implementation nightmare and is devastating America's small businesses. Delays and missed deadlines create even more uncertainty for small businesses who are already struggling to understand this extremely complicated law.
Recent headlines also highlighted the harsh reality of the President’s health care law, noting that it is forcing employees to cut hours and phase out full-time work in order to avoid paying benefits under the mandate. Low-income workers are hurt most by this because it reduces the amount of full-time work available and cuts employee’s hours. In fact, a recent poll found that 41% of businesses have frozen hiring because of ObamaCare. Another 19% have reduced the number of employees in their business as a specific result of ObamaCare.
The devastating impact of ObamaCare on small businesses is just one of the many reasons that I am committed to repealing the damaging law. ObamaCare is harmful for our economy, our health care system, and North Texas families. I will continue to fight for a full repeal of ObamaCare and will continue to update you on my efforts.
VA Backlog Meeting
As you may remember, I recently joined my Texas Congressional colleagues in sending a letter to the Department of Veteran Affairs urging them to remedy the unacceptable backlog of disability claims for our country's veterans. To build on those efforts, I joined several members of the Texas Delegation on Tuesday morning in a meeting with Veterans Benefits Administration Under Secretary Allison Hickey.
Congressman Pete Sessions with the Texas Delegation at the VA briefing
During our meeting, we discussed the VA backlog issues specifically in Texas and how we can work together to address the current problem and fulfill the promises made to our veterans. I will keep working to ensure that we can alleviate the backlog and will keep you updated on this important issue.
Texas Leadership Forum
I was delighted to join Today Foundation President Gary Griffith in hosting Texas students participating in the Texas Leadership Forum's "American Leadership Institute" this week. The Texas Leadership Forum (TLF) gives select students from the Dallas area a unique perspective of leadership, business, community involvement, and the federal government throughout the year and ends with a conference in Washington, DC.
Congressman Sessions with TLF Students
One of my favorite parts of the program is the time I get to spend with the students in my office to discuss various issues that are important to them – ranging from education and economic policy to the role of government. It is always inspiring to hear their questions and to discover the perspectives and aspirations of young citizens in my district. I applaud their perseverance and dedication to learning that has enabled them to advance in their community and excel in the Texas Leadership Forum.
To learn more about the Today Foundation and the Texas Leadership Forum, visit http://todayfoundation.org/.
When I am in Washington for legislative business, I also get the opportunity to meet with constituents from the 32nd District while they are visiting DC. This week I was pleased to visit with several North Texans who were meeting with elected officials to discuss the issues that are most important to them.
On Tuesday, I enjoyed meeting with Leanza Bethel, a bright student from Garland. Leanza attended Garland High School and is now studying at American University in DC. She recently received a Boren Scholarship, which provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad. I was pleased to hear about Leanza’s plans to study to India for a year and wish her the very best in her endeavors.
Congressman Sessions with Leanza Bethel in his DC office
Children’s Medical Center
On Thursday, I was honored to receive a visit from Sydney Mayrell, an exceptionally brave six-year-old from Dallas, with her mom and staff from the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. They were visiting the U.S. Capitol as a part of the Children’s Hospital Association’s annual family advocacy day and to stress the importance of children’s health care to their elected officials.
Congressman Sessions with Sydney Mayrell in his DC office
Sydney was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer when she was only three years old. After a 54-week treatment plan, which included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, she will now be in a survivor program at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. At just six years of age, Sydney continues to astonish her family and teachers every day and is continuing her pursuit to become a ballet-loving, rock climbing surgeon. To learn more about Children's and their work, visit http://www.childrens.com/.