| Year In Review
As this year comes to an end, I wanted to take the time to reflect on the 115th Congress (2nd year). This past year, our economy saw record numbers, Congress passed significant legislation to combat the Opioid Crisis, and we continued to improve the new tax law. This is only to name a few of our accomplishments. In this newsletter, you will find a month-to-month highlight of major accomplishments made.
In the 116th Congress I look forward to working to surpass the numbers outlined in the graphic below and supporting the interests of Arizonans.
Member of Congress
Ways and Means Hearing on "The Opioid Crisis: The Current
Landscape and CMS Actions to Prevent Opioid Misuse."
Myself at the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing.
During this hearing, Ways and Means members spoke about the multiple pieces of legislation that we could put together to help combat the Opioid Crisis. This package we all discussed during the hearing later became H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act.
Included in the package, I proposed legislation that supports a prior authorization standard in Medicare. H.R. 4841. This legislation was later included in the H.R. 6 package to help move pharmacies and doctors away from faxing the prior authorization forms and encourage them to communicate in real time through electronic means.
The bill consists of two main ideas: to prevent the delays caused by the current system of non-electronic/real time prior authorization requests so that Medicare patients receive prescriptions as soon as possible, and by making the process electronic, there will be an improved oversight in the system to ensure patients are only receiving approved medications.
ASU Law Blockchain Event
Speaking to students of ASU Law at the Blockchain Summit
This February I joined ASU Law students for a conference on "Blockchain and the Law" to discuss how government can better support emerging technologies.
As a co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, this issue has become a fixation of mine. There are so many technologies being developed that I believe can create a disruption in government processes. Arizona is a state that has become very accepting of new businesses in the technology industry. I look forward to working with stakeholders in the technology field that have the same fixation on creating a revolution.
This March, our DC team wanted to create a time during the week were all staff and I were in one spot, at the same time. With unknown vote schedules, and staff meetings all throughout the day, we set aside an hour for Arizona groups to join our team for an Open House.
We have come to really appreciate the time allotted to connect with Arizonans on their legislative priorities. Below are a few photos from my meetings with these groups.
If you are in Washington, D.C. and your group would like to discuss legislative priorities, email Schweikert.Scheduling@Mail.House.Gov for more information.
Two Constituent groups above that came to one of our Washington, D.C. open houses!
| Joint Select Committee on Multi-Employer Pensions
At the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Pensions
This year, I was selected to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Pension Plans. It was an honor to serve on this committee and to take a deep dive into this complex issue.
In April, the committee held a hearing titled "The History and Structure of the Multiemployer Pension System" with two witnesses Mr. Barthold from the Joint Committee on Taxation and Mr. Goldman from the American Academy of Actuaries.
To watch the full committee hearings, click here.
H.R. Subcommittee Hearing on Jobs and Opportunity: Local Perspectives on the Jobs Gap
This April, the Ways and Means H.R. Subcommittee welcomed two Arizonans to testify. Mrs. Connie Wilhelm and Mr. Brian Potaczek came to speak about Arizona's labor shortage. Mr. Potaczek was a part of the criminal justice system and towards the end of his time serving he joined a program that provides training for skilled labor jobs to prior offenders.
It was a pleasure to have some Arizonans join me in the hearing room. I look forward to seeing programs like this bring success to our community.
Visiting with Mr. Potaczek after the hearing. To watch the full hearing click here.
| CODEL trip to South Korea
Representative Tom O'Halleran and I meeting troops in South Korea.
This May, a handful of my colleagues and I had the opportunity to visit South Korea to see the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea and discuss with troops on the ground the day to day operations and concerns at the border.
During the trip we visited US forces Korea (USFK) troops, the leadership team at Osan Air Base, and the 25th Fighter Squadron.
As the Holidays near, my team and I would like to thank all of the men and women protecting our country during this season.
Trip to the U.S.-Mexican Border
This May I took a trip down to the U.S. Mexico border with Representative McSally and Secretary Nielsen. During our visit we met with border patrol agents and Arizona stakeholders to discuss how to keep America's borders secure and safe.
I thank all of the men and women border patrol agents working to keep our country safe.
Picture at the Nogales Border with Secretary Nielson and Representative Martha McSally.
| Congressional Baseball Game
A picture of myself at the Congressional Baseball team practice.
This year, I joined my colleagues in the annual Congressional Baseball game at Nationals Park. During the spring and early summer, we all arose before sunrise and work hours to get practice in. Although we suffered a loss, I thoroughly enjoyed spending some time outside of the Capitol with my colleagues.
A photo with my Fall 2018 Washington, D.C. interns
My Scottsdale and Washington, D.C. offices offer internships throughout the school year and summer.
We are now accepting applications for Summer 2019! Applicants should be motivated, detail oriented, display a strong work ethic, and interact well with constituents. In addition, applicants should have a interest in the legislative process and the function of Congress.
Strong ties to the sixth district of Arizona or the state of Arizona are preferred, but not required. Priority is given to current college students, but recent high school graduates with exceptional credentials may be considered.
|The FORWARD Act
This July, I joined Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, as co-chairs of the Valley Fever Task Force, to introduce H.R. 6562, the Finding Orphan-disease Remedies With Antifungal Research and Development (FORWARD) Act. The FORWARD Act is designed to strength endemic fungal disease research and help bring new fungal diagnostics, antifungal treatments, and eventually a fungal vaccine to patients.
This legislation also represents a breakthrough for medical research; Section 9 of the FORWARD Act establishes a blockchain pilot to ensure Valley Fever researchers have access to robust clinical data without compromising patient privacy.
The graphic below provides a concise description of how the pilot will operate, ensuring data accessibility and security. I am proud to sponsor this legislation, which will support Arizona and other states in their continued efforts to fight endemic fungal diseases, including Valley Fever!
Blockchain/FORWARD Act graphic to visual the process.
|Remembering Senator John McCain
The Arizona delegation pictured above in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
On August 25, 2018, we lost a great man, a great leader and a great voice for our home state of Arizona. Throughout his long and distinguished life, Senator McCain personified honorable service to one’s nation. There is no question that with his passing, Senator McCain will serve as a shining example to all who endeavor to a life of service to America.
|Meeting with Chairman Jerome Powell
Chairman Jerome Powell and I in my office.
This September I had the pleasure of welcoming Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell into my office for a meeting. We had a fascinating conversation including the importance of the United States long term growth and the stability of our labor force.
Click the photo above for a link to watch me speak during the Ways and Means Mark-Up on Tax 2.0
This September, the House passed Tax Reform 2.0 which included three bills:
- H.R. 6760 Protecting Families and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018: This legislation would make the individual and small business tax cuts permanent, as they are now set to dissolve in 2025.
- H.R. 6757 Family Savings Act of 2018: Helping to expand access to savings vehicles and helps local businesses expand their ability to provide retirement plans for their employees as well as have better access for employees to use those retirement plans.
- H.R. 6756 American Innovation Act of 2018: This legislation will support new ventures by supporting their start-up costs and capital that is incurred when opening to create innovation.
These three pieces of legislation locked in tax cuts for middle-class families and show continued support for small businesses. By continuing to work on tax reform, we will ensure our tax code will never fall behind global competitors again.
| H.R. 6 SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act
I am very proud of this bi-partisan, bi-cameral package Congress passed for the President to sign into law. My contribution to the package, which is mentioned above in the January subheading, is H.R. 4841, the Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act of 2018.
As we enter 2019, I look forward to seeing how this package has helped the Opioid crisis in America.
|Arizona Delegation Meeting
From left, Rep. Andy Biggs, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Debbie Lesko, Rep.-elect Greg Stanton, Senator Kyl, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, and Rep. Paul Gosar.
This November, Congresswoman Lesko invited the Arizona delegation to her office for a breakfast to discuss how we can all work together for Arizonans next Congress.
"Championing American Businesses" Bill
In November, my colleague Congressman Michael McCaul and I introduced the 'Championing American Businesses Through Diplomacy Act.' This bill prioritizes economic and commercial diplomacy at the Department of State and U.S. missions throughout the world, allowing U.S. businesses better access to markets abroad.
Here are a few key points the bill seeks to address:
· Authorizes in statute the Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs, setting in statute their responsibilities to promote and support U.S. economic and commercial diplomacy;
· Streamlines and combines two commercial diplomacy guides – the Investment Climate Statement and the Country Commercial Guide, respectfully produced by the Department of State and Department of Commerce – into one annual guide for each country focused on critical information that businesses rely upon when assessing whether to do business in a particular country;
· Requires Ambassadors and their Embassies to submit a report to the Department of State of the specific actions they took in the year prior of how they are aided businesses achieve market access, while assessing levels of private-sector commercial competition from other strategic competitor nation-states;
· Requires the Secretary to report to Congress general commercial diplomacy trends, as well as assessments of commercial activity in strategic areas from competing nation-states that threatens U.S. national security; and
· Places further emphasis on training our diplomats on matters of commercial diplomacy.
As we wrap up this year, my team and I wish you and your
family a joyous holiday season, a Merry Christmas, and a
Happy New Year. I look forward to working with you all in 2019 to best support Arizona.