“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” These opening words of the First Amendment are foundational to American law and society. As a congressman, it’s my constitutional duty to oppose any law that would infringe on an American’s right to practice their religion.
When you think about the Fourth of July, you likely think about memories of grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, spending the afternoon on the lake, hosting a backyard barbeque with friends or watching fireworks. This year, I hope you also take time to think about all that the day represents and the incredible freedoms we enjoy in America.
On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County. It’s a landmark decision, for several reasons. In their majority opinion, six justices wrote that sexual orientation and gender identity fell under the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1975.
With COVID-19 taking up so much of the news cycle, it can be easy to forget about those living with debilitating illnesses like ALS. Even as scientists continue researching a coronavirus vaccine and working to make the impact as small as possible on America, I believe we need to continue providing cutting-edge treatment and medications to those with chronic illnesses.
Some people say we’re products of our environment. I only hope that’s true for me. I’ve been blessed to spend my whole life here in the Natural State, hunting, fishing and enjoying the beauty of our wildlife. Since June is National Great Outdoors Month, I encourage you to use this time to explore new parks, lakes or hiking trails with friends and family.
Regulations and safety precautions surrounding COVID-19 had a dramatic impact on the U.S. economy. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, and Arkansan small businesses had to quickly adjust to reduced hours, curbside pickup or delivery services and a smaller workforce. Now, as states reopen, we are all watching to see what happens next.
Millions of small businesses across America have been impacted by COVID-19, and Congress created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to assist them through the crisis. As of May 23, 40,329 Arkansas businesses had received a total of $3,286,789,662 in PPP funds. These businesses have been able to use the forgivable loans to maintain payroll, cover operating expenses and more.
We are blessed to live in a free country, but that freedom doesn’t come without a price. Every year, Memorial Day is an opportunity for us to remember our fallen heroes and reflect on all that they sacrificed for our country. While many of us can’t gather in person this year, that shouldn’t stop us from taking time to honor the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.
When COVID-19 first began to spread, I don’t think any of us could have predicted just how catastrophic it would become. After more than two months of shelter in place protocols, almost 40 million Americans have lost their jobs and don’t know what the future holds.
With all eyes focused on COVID-19 relief efforts, it’s easy to lose sight of others in our health care system, those with chronic illnesses or underlying medical issues. One particular group in need of assistance is veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and are suffering from severe illnesses as a result.