Photo credit: UpstateNYer (CC-By-SA 3.0)
Photo credit: UpstateNYer (CC-By-SA 3.0)

There’s a lot going on. And as the news media goes through its reporting cycles and posts headlines, sometimes important issues before Congress get lost and don’t get the coverage they deserve.

Last week, two bipartisan bills (which could affect you or someone you know) were signed into law, and recently 14 bipartisan veterans bills were passed in the House of Representatives.

The Right to Try Act helps terminally ill patients access potentially life-saving or life-extending drugs. Currently, those who are terminally ill and have exhausted all treatment options may not qualify for experimental treatment for their illness.

The new pathway created by this legislation will allow patients to access experimental drugs in consultation with their doctor and the drug manufacturer. Across the country, 39 states have passed various Right to Try proposals and this national law will give patients access to drugs which have completed the first of three Food and Drug Administration clinical trials.

In addition, President Trump recently signed legislation into law to remove heavy handed and costly regulations which have forced many small community banks and credit unions in Iowa to close, lay off employees, or pass the burden on to consumers. Our Main Street banks and credit unions help small businesses access capital to invest in communities, but we are losing more than one community bank or credit union every day because of one-size-fits-all regulations.

That is why a bipartisan group in both the Senate and the House passed, and President Trump signed into law, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. This bill will provide relief from onerous regulations and give much needed relief to Main Street financial institutions and hardworking Iowans.

Another bill passed by the House last week was the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which supports our troops by giving them the largest pay increase in nine years and continues to rebuild the military after being underfunded over almost the last decade.

This bill helps fix the bureaucracy at the Pentagon and streamline the buying process for the Department of Defense so our troops can get the cutting edge technology and equipment they need to fight and win. Funding was included to fix and upgrade worn out equipment, restore our strength at sea, dominate in the air, and rebuild crumbling military infrastructure.

Despite a lot of headlines focusing on things other than the work of Congress, there is a fair amount of work getting done in a bipartisan way addressing issues important to Iowans. And I will continue to stay focused and work on the issues Iowans sent me to Congress to help fix.

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