I am pleased to inform you that starting this Veterans Day on Nov. 11, and lasting indefinitely, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has granted military veterans and Gold Star families free access to national parks and wildlife refuges, as well as lands and waters managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Ever since I was elected to Congress, I’ve served on the House Committee on Natural Resources. This committee oversees public land management, water resources, critical minerals and more. It also has jurisdiction over wildlife management, something that I am particularly interested in as an avid sportsman.
Our freedom isn’t free. It is fought for and earned by our veterans, and we owe each of them our thanks. This year on Veteran’s Day, I encourage you to take time and thank the veterans in your life for their service to America. I'm honored to have several family members who have served, including my grandfather, Andrew Westerman, who fought in World War II.
It’s no secret that spending time outdoors in Arkansas is an integral part of my life. Fishing in Lake Ouachita, rafting in the Ozarks, early morning duck hunting – these are memories that last forever. Much of this happens on Arkansas’ 2 million acres of public land, which is managed by the Department of the Interior (DOI).
If you’ve ever spent any time with me, you’ll know that I’m passionate about sound environmental policy. As a licensed forester and lifelong resident of the Natural State, I believe we have an unchosen obligation to steward our resources well and leave the world in better condition than we found it.
Every year I take a few days to thank some of the many men and women who work in Arkansas agriculture. This year in particular highlighted how important agriculture is to the economy and our daily lives. Without farmers and ranchers continuing to run operations during COVID-19, we wouldn’t have had food on our shelves or meat in the freezer.
It’s no secret that America’s health care system is broken. You don’t need to look any further than the recent presidential debate, where both candidates sparred over health care proposals and what should be done on a federal level. Many people are saying that Republicans don’t actually have a plan, but that simply isn’t true. U.S. Sen.
President Donald Trump issued a proclamation declaring Sept. 20-26, 2020 as National Small Business Week. “Our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses, which employ nearly half the private-sector workforce and create two-thirds of all net new jobs, are the key to propelling our economy to the prosperity levels America has enjoyed over the past three years,” the president wrote.
As wildfires burn across the West, many Americans have lost their loved ones, their homes and all their possessions. My prayers are with everyone who has been displaced or who is heroically fighting the fires, and I hope these blazes are quickly contained.
When COVID-19 hit the U.S. early this year, about one-third of Americans began working from home to limit contact with others and slow the spread of the virus. However, many people still had to keep their businesses operating in order to keep essential infrastructure in place. Because of their work, we could consistently rely on stocked grocery store shelves and a functioning supply chain.