Apart from the Senate holding confirmation hearings to seat Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s outstanding nominee to the Supreme Court, Congress has been out of session for most of October. While I take pride in representing the 1st Congressional District in Washington, I have enjoyed the opportunity to be back at home and gathering feedback from my constituents on moving America forward.
Listening to the needs of my constituents is critical to every vote I take in Washington. October was a valuable opportunity for me to do just that, in communities from the far eastern end of my congressional district to the far western region bordering the Mississippi River – and many places in between.
My schedule has included having coffee with constituents and local officials, touring small businesses, and announcing new federal investments that will help improve our rural economy. One of many stops I made was at the Madisonville Regional Airport in Hopkins County, which recently received $500,000 in federal funding to construct a new hangar for an aviation training program. I wrote a letter of support to help move this project along and am excited to see the positive impact it will have on education and economic development in Western Kentucky.
When traveling to all corners of my district, I hear about the need to expand broadband access in rural areas. In the modern economy, it is essential that our citizens have access to quality internet, especially at a time of working and learning remotely.
That is why I have been so pleased to work with local and federal officials to secure resources to expand broadband in Western and South Central Kentucky. I am honored to have appeared at events with officials from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to announce significant federal investments to bring internet access to several of our rural communities. While we have a long way to go, these investments are a strong first step to ensuring that rural homes, schools and businesses have access to reliable internet service.
As we recover from the economic damage brought about by COVID-19, I have been honored to visit with some of the businesses and workers at the backbone of our economy. Just a couple of the stops I’ve made include Novelis, an aluminum factory in Todd County, and TPG Plastics in Calloway County. Both stops gave me a front row seat to the quality manufacturing businesses contributing to our economy in the 1st Congressional District.
I have also had the opportunity to travel around my home area of Monroe County with Senator McConnell to thank health care workers for the selfless contributions they have made during this pandemic. Senator McConnell and I made stops at the hospital in Monroe County, as well as in Clinton and Cumberland Counties, to thank these workers and announce federal funding to help combat the coronavirus.
I have also used this Kentucky work period to closely monitor other challenges facing our communities. For example, I traveled to the far west portion of Kentucky in Hickman County to monitor erosion damage at Columbus-Belmont State Park. While in the area, I also spoke to regional economic development leaders about improving the Purchase Region’s economy and took part in the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual advocacy conference. At this event, I had the opportunity to introduce my good friend and President Trump’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft.
Discussions for another stimulus package to help our economy are ongoing in Washington. While I would like to see a targeted aid package that would help schools reopen, protect small businesses from frivolous lawsuits, and assist vulnerable industries and individuals, my constituents continue to tell me that the most helpful action from the government would be to safely reopen the economy.
As the 2020 election draws near and our nation continues to confront the challenges of COVID-19, I will continue representing the interests of my constituents and do whatever I can to help during this time of great need. Please reach out to my office with your thoughts on any issue, or to request assistance in dealing with a federal agency.