Preserving the Carolina Coast

On Tuesday, I wrote to the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, to convey the opposition of the people of South Carolina to seismic blast-testing off the South Carolina coast. In this letter, I reminded Secretary Ross that every coastal community and Governor McMaster are strongly opposed to any offshore seismic blast-testing. The testing risks damaging the $20 billion tourist industry along our beautiful coastline. I will continue to urge Secretary Ross and all other relevant stakeholders to listen to the voices of South Carolinians as he evaluates requests for permits to conduct offshore seismic blast-testing. To read the entire letter, visit my Facebook link.

Pee Dee and Grand Strand Winning

In Florence, the S.C. Ports Authority (SCPA) announced that S.C. Ports make a $7.1 billion annual impact and create 25,000 jobs in the Pee Dee region. The Inland Port Dillon opened last Spring and is operating with more than 30,000 rail moves per year. They hope to continue growth over the next five to six years. Their hope is to expand to 100,000 rail moves in one day. Currently, the Pee Dee accounts for nearly 11% of the Port's impact statewide.

This week the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area was ranked the most desirable place to live in the United States. This ranking was published in USA Today using data from The U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis. USA Today cites the influx of new residents in the area and that the cost of living remaining lower than the national average as reasons for this top ranking. I would like to congratulate those in the community that make Myrtle Beach great and I am excited to see that the area is getting the national recognition it has so long deserved. 

95% Sales Tax? What?

Tuesday night, House Ways and Means Committee held a mark-up for H.R. 3. During this mark-up, I warned fellow committee members of the outcome of the 95% sales tax on pharmaceutical companies. While I am in full favor of reining in the skyrocketing price on prescription drugs, a 95% sales tax is absurd. Obamacare raised the price of prescription drugs by taxing pharmaceutical companies. Democrats are now trying to push through a bill that would again tax the same companies to fix the problems created by Obamacare and are expecting a different result. We are in the rare position of having the Administration, Democrats, and Republicans working toward bipartisan solutions to rising drug prices, but they are now being thrown in the trash because Speaker Pelosi mandated that the Democrats pass H.R. 3 instead. A link to a video of my comments to the 95% sales tax is attached.

95% Sales Tax Video

Access to Audiologist

The House Ways and Means Committee also passed legislation using my audiology bill language that begins to address modernizing outdated Medicare policy. This is very important to many people in our communities that may suffer from hearing loss. Current Medicare reimbursement policy still requires seniors to obtain a physician’s order before seeing their audiologist. This unnecessary step limits access to care and increases health care costs. H.R. 4618 takes the first step in beginning to address this issue. I will continue working hard on providing Medicare beneficiaries direct access to an audiologist for audiology services.