In The News
When COVID-19 kept millions of Americans home, many of us spent our free time checking off home improvement projects that had been on our lists for years. Updated shelves, a new garden shed, maybe even an addition to the kitchen – there was more time than ever to do it yourself. It wasn’t just homeowners, either, as many restaurants constructed covered outdoor dining areas.
The two main benchmarks of environmental health are clean air and clean water. Healthy forests are critical for both. Unfortunately, years of catastrophic wildfires across the western United States have decimated many of our forests, turning critical wildlife habitats into ash and making it more difficult for trees to regenerate naturally.
A few years ago, I was approached by a young lady named Sara Kruzan who wanted to share her experience as a child sex trafficking victim who was sentenced to life in prison. Her story triggered a three-year-long, bipartisan push for juvenile sentencing reform that has the potential to save lives and show compassion for young people who have experienced unimaginable cruelty.
Anyone who lives in the Natural State knows that Arkansas is one of the nation’s greatest forest regions, and one of the country’s leading producers of timber, harvesting more than 24 million tons per year, worth an estimated $445 million to landowners.
We don’t often think about modernizing the way that we plant trees. For generations, the process has remained the same: A seed falls to the ground, germinates, grows, sprouts branches and leaves, pulls carbon from the atmosphere, and releases oxygen.
We are facing a crisis at our southern border. In fact, we’ve been facing a crisis there for years. We should be using every available resource to improve our immigration process, but in the meantime, we absolutely must equip our agencies with enforcement tools. If we don’t, our environment will suffer as a result.
America is at a crossroads. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults now say that protecting the environment should be a top priority for the president and Congress, marking the first time in recent history in which environmental protection rivals the economy among the public’s top policy priorities.
Last week, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Equality Act which redefines the word “sex” to include transgender individuals and subsequently deprives others from their First Amendment rights. During the debate of this bill, my Democrat colleague Congressman Jerry Nadler from New York declared that there was no place for God and religion in the discussion of the Equality Act.
America was founded on the ideal that all people are created equal and that we are all endowed by our creator with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. While our nation hasn't always lived up to this collective creed, we continually strive to make America a more just and equitable nation.