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CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON THE APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COUNSEL TO INVESTIGATE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT

May 21, 2017 at 7:58 pm

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement responding to the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters:

“I support Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein’s appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation into Russia’s alleged collusion and interference with the 2016 presidential election. While this is significant step towards restoring the trust and confidence back into the United States justice system, the next and most important step will be for Congress to establish a non-partisan commission that is completely independent of the administration.”

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP CAREFULLY ANALYZING PROPOSED USDA REORGANIZATION

May 15, 2017 at 7:53 pm
ALBANY, GA – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, is carefully analyzing the proposed reorganization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which was announced yesterday by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Among a number of changes, this proposed reorganization would move the Rural Development agencies to report directly to the Secretary of Agriculture, rather than to an Under Secretary.
 
"I am encouraged by Secretary Perdue’s recognition of the vital role rural America plays in providing food and fiber for America and the world," said Congressman Bishop. "To ensure rural America always has a strong advocate, Secretary Perdue has proposed reorganizing the Rural Development agencies to report directly to the Secretary and not through an Under Secretary. This is new territory, and I will be paying close attention to how this revised chain of command would impact our country’s rural communities. I will be analyzing these proposed reforms to ensure they would make Rural Development, and the other forward facing customer interaction arms of USDA, more streamlined, less onerous, and more responsive.”
 
Under the proposed USDA reorganization, the Department believes it would allow for a more direct line of communication between USDA leadership and the primary agency serving rural America. However, this change would also eliminate the Under Secretary of Rural Development position, a Senate confirmed post, which does raise some concerns.
 
Additionally, Secretary Perdue proposed establishing a new Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, which would oversee the Foreign Agricultural Service. Secretary Perdue also proposed a new Farm Production and Conservation mission area. This domestically focused mission area would house the Farm Service Agency, the Risk Management Agency, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. By combining these agencies under one organizational structure, USDA anticipates that it would be able to streamline program delivery for U.S. agricultural producers.  
 
Congressman Bishop looks forward to working together with Secretary Perdue, colleagues in Congress, and all rural and agricultural stakeholders to strengthen rural communities and ensure America can continue to produce and export the highest quality, the safest, the most abundant, and the most economical food and fiber in the industrialized world.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON THE FIRING OF FBI DIRECTOR COMEY

May 13, 2017 at 7:52 pm
ALBANY, GA – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement responding to the firing of FBI Director James Comey:
 
"I was shocked by the President's action to fire FBI Director James Comey during an ongoing investigation of his campaign's alleged improper ties with Russia. It is now clearer than ever that the active investigation should be undertaken by an independent, non-partisan special commission. This is the only way to restore the American people's trust and confidence in our justice system. I urge the President and Congress to support the creation of an independent, non-partisan commission."  

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT IN OPPOSITION TO HOUSE BILL SEEKING TO DISMANTLE THE AFFORDABLE CARE AC

May 8, 2017 at 6:17 pm
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement concerning his vote against the misguided legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which passed the full U.S. House of Representatives on May 4, 2017 in a vote of 217 to 213:
 
“I strongly opposed the House passage of the healthcare legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. This bill jeopardizes the healthcare of Americans across the country. If this legislation is also approved by the Senate and signed into law, it is anticipated that 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance. This bill eliminates guaranteed coverage for essential health benefits, including emergency room care, prescription drug coverage, preventative care and chronic disease management, ambulatory patient services, inpatient hospitalization, newborn and maternity care, pediatric care, mental health care and addiction services, lab services, as well as rehabilitation services. These essential health benefits are currently guaranteed for all insurance plans, and the removal of these guarantees would impact all Americans. This bill also leaves up to the states whether to protect those with preexisting conditions such as hypertension, asthma, a history of cancer, and many others. Should a state waive such protections, those with preexisting conditions would be forced to move to another state to obtain affordable coverage.
 
“With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the United States had joined the rest of the industrialized world in providing healthcare coverage for its citizens. The Affordable Care Act has guaranteed that the over 550,000 individuals with health insurance in the 2nd Congressional District of Georgia have access to essential health benefits. It has provided all policyholders with important consumer protections such as coverage for preexisting conditions and prohibitions on lifetime limits, and it has helped close the Medicare prescription drug donut hole.  
 
“Instead of working to improve on the progress we have made, the bill passed by the House yesterday turns back the clock. If it becomes law, it will roll back healthcare services for millions of Americans both in Georgia and across the country and dramatically increase uninsured rates and healthcare costs.
 
“I adamantly urge my colleagues in the Senate to reject this disastrous piece of legislation, and I call on the House, the Senate, and the administration to instead come together to improve the Affordable Care Act by fixing its flaws and by building on the great strides it has already made toward providing affordable healthcare to all Americans.” 

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP PLACES HIGH ON BIPARTISAN INDEX

May 1, 2017 at 7:10 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy unveiled their most recent update to the annual Bipartisan Index, ranking Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) as the 16th most likely U.S. Representatives to work across party lines during the 114th Congress. The Index is a non-partisan tool, ranking all 535 members of Congress on their willingness to reach across the aisle by evaluating legislation sponsorship and co-sponsorship data.

“It is an honor to be recognized on the Bipartisan Index, and I thank the Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy for recognizing the importance of bipartisan cooperation,” said Congressman Bishop. “If we are to serve our districts effectively, we must be willing to work across the aisle. We must focus on our common goals, instead of our narrow divisions. And we must recognize that solving the difficult issues facing our country will require a collaborative and deliberative approach to governance.”

“Despite the highly charged political environment of the past several years, Congressional bipartisanship did improve in the 114th Congress as compared to the 113th Congress,” said Lugar Center President Richard G. Lugar, who served for 36 years as a Republican senator from Indiana. “The Index shows that many senators and representatives raised their scores in the 114th Congress, so we are encouraged to see that even many lawmakers with strong ideological positions have found more common ground with their colleagues across the aisle. Cooperative efforts to address real challenges is what the American people want to see from their leaders, and we are hopeful it will be a growing trend during the 115th Congress.”

“Good policy requires effective politics,” said Edward Montgomery, dean of the McCourt School. “We are never going to solve the policy challenges we face without cooperation between our political parties. We are encouraged to see more members of Congress reaching out to work with those across the aisle. ”

The update to the Bipartisan Index measures bipartisanship during the full 114th Congress, including both 2015 and 2016. The data shows overall improvement in bipartisanship when compared to data for the 113th Congress (2013-14), which was one of the most partisan Congresses of the past 20 years.

For more information on the current and previous rankings, The Lugar Center, or Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, please click here.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP WELCOMES SENATE CONFIRMATION OF SONNY PERDUE AS AGRICULTURE SECRETARY

April 28, 2017 at 6:50 pm

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, released the following statement congratulating former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue on his confirmation as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture by a Senate vote of 87 to 11: 

“I welcome Sonny Perdue as the new Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Having known and worked with Sonny in his various capacities as a State Senator and Governor, I know firsthand his professionalism and his passion for rural America. The cooperative relationship we have developed over the years will prove a great asset as we work together to ensure our farmers, ranchers, foresters, agribusinesses, and consumers have the resources they need to prosper in today’s competitive and global environment.”

THE TRUMP BUDGET: A BAD DEAL FOR GEORGIA’S SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

April 22, 2017 at 12:49 pm
OP-ED BY CONGRESSMAN SANFORD D. BISHOP, JR.
Throughout my career in Congress I have maintained a reputation for working across the aisle to craft and enact sensible policies and sensible budgets on a bipartisan basis. My only litmus test has been whether a particular bill, budget, resolution, or other action will improve the lives of the hard working people of the Second Congressional District of Georgia. This principle has guided my actions since I was elected to Congress 24 years ago. And when analyzing President Trump’s 2018 Budget Blueprint with this metric, I am led to the inescapable conclusion that the President’s budget would be a recipe for disaster for our country and for the people of the Second Congressional District of Georgia.
 
This is a bipartisan conclusion. My colleague on the House Appropriations Committee and its former Chairman, Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), has himself expressed disappointment over the “draconian, careless, and counterproductive” cuts included in President Trump’s Budget Blueprint. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has stated that this budget is “dead on arrival.” House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) noted that the proposed budget “could hamper some vital work” of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) voiced concern over its “deep cuts that could damage efforts to combat terrorism, save lives, and create opportunities for American workers.”
 
Budgets reflect values. They reflect a prioritization of scarce resources. Although a President’s proposed budget is just the beginning of a lengthy negotiating process with Congress, it is nonetheless a signal of what that administration does and does not care about.
 
Unfortunately, this administration’s 2018 Budget Blueprint speaks loud and clear that it does not value rural communities nor their contributions to the United States. This budget seeks to eliminate vital programs and reduce resources for our workers, our farmers, our students and teachers, and our seniors. This budget would inhibit our nation’s ability to innovate in an increasingly competitive world, and would drastically curtail vital safety nets for our most vulnerable populations.
 
Georgia is an agriculture state with 42,000 farms, and agriculture contributes $71 billion annually to the state and national economy. Likewise, Georgia's 2nd Congressional District, which I have the honor of representing, is an agriculture district, leading the state in peanuts, cotton, pecans, fruits, and vegetables, as well as family-owned timberlands. Of the 29 counties in the congressional district, 26 are rural, with average populations of between 10,000 to 15,000 people. We are a major contributor to the $133 billion worth of agriculture products that the United States exports annually. And never forget that a nation is only as strong as its ability to feed its people. Our country does that and more due to agribusiness that emanates from rural communities in Georgia and across America.
 
By proposing a cut of over 20 percent to the USDA, it is clear that the current administration does not appreciate the role our agriculture sector plays in sustaining our quality of life, nor the vital role USDA plays in supporting both rural communities and the nation more broadly.
 
The President’s budget seeks to eliminate funding for rural infrastructure, cut staffing at USDA Service Centers, and reduce rural business assistance. Instead of creating efficiencies, such cuts would simply make it harder for everyone, and ultimately more difficult for our country to continue to produce the highest quality, safest, most abundant, and most economical food and fiber in the industrialized world. 
 
The President’s budget would cut funding for the Department of Education by 13 percent. It would end programs that provide support and training to frontline educators. It would eliminate Impact Aid, which provides assistance to school districts whose tax base is limited due to federally owned land, including military bases.
 
Most troubling, it would cut before and after school programs, as well as summer programs, which provide a vital educational support system for students, and are also often a key source of nutritional support. With the world growing increasingly more competitive, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) becoming increasingly important, eliminating such foundational programs for our students is a major step in the wrong direction.
 
The President’s budget proposes double digit cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It would completely eliminate the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), which supports small towns and cities across the nation. CDBG provides states and localities with the flexibility to target their own unique needs. Last year, this program funded $8 million in water infrastructure and neighborhood revitalization projects across the Georgia’s Second Congressional District alone. It also helps fund Meals on Wheels programs nationwide. Furthermore, CDBG is used to supplement FEMA assistance and help communities, such as Albany, rebuild after disasters. Under President Trump’s budget, this resource would disappear completely.
 
Such cuts would directly, dramatically, and negatively impact the people of the Second Congressional District of Georgia. Fortunately, as I noted earlier, the President must ultimately work with Congress to pass a budget.
 
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and the top Democrat on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, I look forward to working with the administration, and with my congressional colleagues on both sides of the aisle, to formulate a budget that protects and strengthens rural communities. It is imperative that we craft a budget that recognizes not only the importance of a strong national defense, but also the importance of strong communities, strong schools, and a strong agricultural base. 
 
U.S. Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. has represented Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District covering Middle and Southwest Georgia since 1993. A member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Bishop serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, and also sits on the Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veteran Affairs and the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. Congressman Bishop is ranked Number 13 on the Bipartisan Index created by the McCourt School of Public Policy and The Lugar Center. 

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF FORMER SOUTHWEST GEORGIA CONGRESSMAN DAWSON MATHIS

April 21, 2017 at 12:49 pm
ALBANY, GA – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) issued the following statement concerning the passing on Monday of former Congressman Dawson Mathis.
 
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my friend of long standing, former Congressman Dawson Mathis,” said Congressman Bishop. “He was a great representative for Southwest Georgia and Rural America and he served his community with distinction. Our nation has lost an exceptional public servant, and I have lost both a trusted friend and mentor. The people of the Second Congressional District are grateful for his service and extend their sincerest condolences to his family.”
 
Congressman Mathis passed away on Monday, April 17, 2017 at the age of 76. He previously represented the Second Congressional District of Georgia from 1971 to 1981. Prior to his service in the U.S. Congress, he was an anchor and news director for WALB-TV in Albany, Georgia from 1964 to 1970. 

BISHOP STATEMENT ON TRUMPCARE BEING WITHDRAWN FROM CONSIDERATION

March 27, 2017 at 8:08 pm

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) issued the following statement concerning the America Health Care Act, known as TrumpCare, being pulled from consideration on the House floor:

“Although I would have preferred to have had the opportunity to vote against this misguided legislation, I am pleased that my Republican colleagues have recognized the significant problems inherent in the TrumpCare bill. Now that this dangerous legislation has been pulled from House consideration, I am hopeful that we can instead come together to improve on the progress we have made with the Affordable Care Act.

“From the start, the TrumpCare bill has been a raw deal for the people of Georgia’s Second Congressional District, the State of Georgia, and the entire nation. It would have made health care less affordable and less accessible across the board.

“TrumpCare would have eliminated the vital Essential Health Benefit standards that were guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act. It would have allowed insurers to withhold coverage for outpatient care such as doctor’s visits for the flu, limited or eliminated coverage for costly emergency room visits, and left parents on the hook for tens of thousands in costs for newborn and maternal care, as well as pediatric care. It would have allowed insurers to cut coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services, physical therapy, and preventative services such as cancer screenings and vaccines.

“TrumpCare would have also slashed Medicare and Medicaid funding for seniors, and included cuts that would have negatively impacted rural health care, including already struggling rural hospitals and safety net providers.

“Most shockingly, TrumpCare would have led to the loss of healthcare for 24 million people nationwide, doubling the number of uninsured. This includes a loss of health insurance for 450,000 Georgia residents in the first year alone.

“It is for good reason that TrumpCare was withdrawn from the House floor. It was opposed by AARP, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, nurses and physicians, patients, consumer groups, and the citizenry at large. If we want to make America great again, we need to ensure that it is healthy. TrumpCare would have done the opposite.” 

BISHOP STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT’S PROPOSED FY18 BUDGET

March 20, 2017 at 8:10 pm

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) issued the following statement concerning President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Blueprint:

“Although I support a robust national defense and addressing our readiness needs, we must not do so at the expense of our non-defense programs and agencies.

“The President’s proposed FY18 Budget Blueprint would have a devastating impact across many sectors of our nation’s economy. By slashing much needed investments in agriculture, student aid, job training, economic development, and housing assistance, the budget blueprint is a far cry from the President’s promise to make America great. These cuts would directly harm Rural America and the farmers that cultivate our food. They would inhibit our nation’s ability to innovate in an increasingly competitive world, and they would drastically curtail vital safety nets for our most vulnerable populations.

“This budget blueprint is a recipe for disaster for our country.”

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON HOUSE REPUBLICAN HEALTHCARE PROPOSAL

March 11, 2017 at 8:58 pm

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement concerning the House Republican bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

“With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the United States joined the rest of the industrialized world in providing health care coverage for its citizens,” said Congressman Bishop. “In Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District, the implementation of the ACA has led to a 4.7% drop in the uninsured rate. It has guaranteed that the over 550,000 individuals with health insurance in the district, both public and private, have access to preventive services like cancer screenings and flu shots without any co-pay. It has provided all policyholders with important consumer protections such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and prohibitions on lifetime limits, and it has helped close the Medicare prescription drug donut hole.” 

“Instead of working to improve on the progress we have made, House Republicans have proposed a bill that would jeopardize the ability of our citizens to lead healthy and productive lives. Their plan would eliminate a number of the vital protections provided by the ACA. Uninsured rates would rise, health care costs would increase, and millions of Americans both in Georgia and across the country would lose their access to important health care services. It makes little sense for Congress to be rushing headlong into this disastrous policy that could significantly impact so many lives.”

BISHOP STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS

March 4, 2017 at 12:44 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s address to a Joint Session of Congress:

“During his address, the President spoke of unity. He spoke of protecting our national security. He spoke of rebuilding our infrastructure, creating new jobs, strengthening our health and child care systems, and encouraging women in entrepreneurship. These are laudable goals and vital issues that must be addressed.

“However, the administration’s actions so far are not aligned with many of the promises we heard last night. The administration’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act would leave hundreds of thousands of Georgians without health care. The administration’s actions on immigration have stoked fear and chaos around the country and damaged local law enforcement’s ability to build in-roads with many of the communities they serve. The administration’s budget would slash funding for child care, food and nutrition, and education.

“Ultimately, rhetoric and action are two different things, and the devil is always in the details. I have not yet seen any detailed policy plans that will constructively address the vital issues discussed last night, nor have I seen a true willingness from the administration to transparently match its actions with its words of unity and bipartisanship.”

BISHOP PRAISES ARMY DECISION TO STATION A NEW SECURITY FORCE ASSISTANCE BRIGADE AT FORT BENNING

February 20, 2017 at 8:57 pm

WASHINGTON, DC –  Congressman Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (GA-02) praised the United States Army’s decision to add a Security Force Assistance (SFA) Brigade to Fort Benning. This brigade will add 500 positions to Fort Benning and is in addition to the 85 positions that were announced last on February 9.

“It is a great day for Columbus and Southwest Georgia,” said Congressman Bishop. “The addition of a Security Force Assistance Brigade further enhances the already vital role that Fort Benning has in global operations. The Army's decision underscores Fort Benning’s ability to efficiently develop and provide support for our foreign allies, and highlights Fort Benning’s role as a key national security asset."

The SFA brigade is the first of six newly established units responsible for security force assistance operations in support of U.S. Combatant Commander requirements. The 500 position team will train, advise, and assist U.S. allies with military operations. Standing up the brigade is essential to achieving the nation’s security policies and objectives.

Stationing the SFA brigade at Fort Benning aligns the unit with the Training and Doctrine Command's Maneuver Center of Excellence, which owns the Army's security assistance training mission. Last week, the Army announced that 85 positions would move to Fort Benning to support the SFA proponency office and the Military SFA Adviser Training Academy (MATA). The Army plans to activate the new brigade in October 2017. 

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP APPLAUDS SPECIAL MASTER RECOMMENTATION ON GEORGIA-FLORIDA WATER CASE

February 19, 2017 at 7:59 pm

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr (GA-02) applauds Special Master Ralph Lancaster, Jr.’s recommendation, issued on February 14, that the U.S. Supreme Court deny Florida’s request for a cap on Georgia’s water usage.

This recommendation derives from a 2013 lawsuit filed by Florida that seeks to limit Georgia’s usage of water from the ACF Basin, which includes the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint rivers. Ralph Lancaster was appointed as a special master by the U.S. Supreme Court to provide a recommendation on the case, and found that Florida had failed to show that a consumption cap was necessary.

“Florida’s proposed limit on Georgia’s water use is unfounded and would be devastating to Georgia’s agriculture economy," said Congressman Bishop. "I am pleased by Special Master Lancaster’s recommendation to deny such a cap, and I am hopeful that this recommendation will lead to an imminent conclusion to this dispute.”

The recommendation now goes to the U.S. Supreme Court for further consideration. 

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP WELCOMES NEW ARMY ORGANIZATIONS TO FORT BENNING

February 12, 2017 at 12:55 pm

FORT BENNING, GA – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., senior member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, welcomed the U.S. Army's announcement on Thursday, February 9, 2017 that Fort Benning in Georgia will serve as the home for two new army organizations under the Training and Doctrine Command's Maneuver Center of Excellence (TRADOC). These two organizations include the Security Force Assistance (SFA) proponency office and the Military Advisor Training Academy (MATA).

Designating both the SFA proponency office and MATA under Fort Benning’s Maneuver Center of Excellence supports the Army's preparedness in multinational operations. It also aligns the military training center with its operational component, which is already housed at Fort Benning.

“I am excited that the Army has designated Fort Benning as the home of the Security Force Assistance proponency office and Military Advisor Training Academy,” said Congressman Bishop, “Fort Benning is a premier installation for force development initiatives, and these added capabilities will further enhance Fort Benning’s national security profile.”

The SFA proponency office develops policy and doctrine designed to train brigade-level commands how to assist and sustain host or regional security forces in support of legitimate combined arms operations. The establishment of MATA institutionalizes the policy and doctrine and develops curriculum used to train the force. These organizations are initially expected to add 85 positions to Fort Benning and are a natural fit with TRADOC and the other capabilities currently present at the Fort.

The MATA is set to begin operations on October 1, 2017

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP AWARDED THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY’S HIGHEST CIVILIAN HONOR

February 6, 2017 at 8:46 pm

WASHINGTON, DC – On February 2, 2017, the Acting Secretary of the Army, Robert M. Speer, presented Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) with the Army Distinguished Civilian Service Medal. The medal was awarded to the Congressman for his work on the Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, which among many other provisions included full funding for military family housing construction. This honor is the highest form of recognition that can be given by the Secretary of the Army to civilians.

The Distinguished Civilian Service Award reflects extraordinary devotion to duty and extraordinary contributions to the effectiveness and efficiency of Department of the Army operations and the economy. To receive this award is considered extremely prestigious within the Department of the Army. 

“It is with great humility that I receive this award,” said Congressman Bishop. “I thank our service members and their families who have served and continue to serve our country. I have worked hard to ensure our Army personnel are provided the resources they need. However, they are the ones that tirelessly carryout the mission day-in and day-out, and it is important that we never forget or overlook their commitment and sacrifice in defense of our nation.”

"This award represents my appreciation for Representative Bishop's work in support of the Army and its Soldiers, Civilians and their Families,” said Acting Army Secretary Speer. “His efforts within the House Appropriations Subcommittee for MILCON/VA in support of the Army, will have lasting positive impact on the Army and its Soldiers. I am grateful for his friendship and steadfast support. I am confident he will continue to be a strong advocate for the U.S. Army and its Soldiers, Civilians, and Families."

Congressman Bishop is a longstanding defender of the nation’s armed services, and a strong supporter of the nine military facilities and bases located in Georgia, including Fort Benning, the Marine Corps Logistics Base, and Robins Air Force Base. He has worked to support service members and veterans, as well as the nation’s military construction needs, as a senior member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Constriction, Veteran Affairs, and Related Agencies, and he previously served as the subcommittee’s Ranking Member during the 111th through 114th Congresses.

Congressman Bishop also currently serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Military Family Caucus. Earlier in his congressional career, Congressman Bishop also served on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Full text of the award certificate can be found below:

 

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

THE HONORABLE SANFORD D. BISHOP, JR.

IS AWARDED THE

DECORATION FOR DISTINGUSHED CIVILIAN SERVICE

for distinguished service as a member of the United States House of Representatives and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs during the 114th Congress. Representative Bishop was a tireless public servant advancing congressional support for funding the Army to meet the rapidly evolving threats to our national security and ensuring Soldiers have what they need to succeed. His unwavering support to Army priorities was critical to the Army receiving the necessary resources to support combat, sustain the all-volunteer force, and improve the quality of life for Soldiers, Civilians, and Families. Representative Bishop’s focus on supporting the needs of our Soldiers and their Families specifically regarding improving their overall quality of life was integral to the Committee’s support for ensuring these needs were resourced by the Committee. His proven leadership, advice, and extraordinary insight into legislative matters produced a record of notable accomplishments that helped to make the Army stronger and more resilient. Representative Bishop’s distinctive accomplishments and unwavering commitment reflect great credit upon him, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States of America.

 

Washington, DC                                                       SECRETARY OF THE ARMY

SECOND FEDERAL MAJOR DISASTER DECLARATION ISSUED FOR COUNTIES IN GEORGIA

January 29, 2017 at 9:24 pm

ALBANY, GA – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) welcomed the federal major disaster declaration issued on January 26, 2017 for additional counties in Middle and Southwest Georgia impacted by major storms and tornadoes on January 22, 2017. This declaration is distinct from the January 25 declaration, which was in response to the storms that occurred on January 2, 2017. This new declaration opens up additional eligibility for federal disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

This second federal major disaster declaration specifically includes FEMA Individual Assistance for Berrien, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Turner, and Wilcox counties. FEMA Individual Assistance provides federal resources for impacted individuals and households, including financial assistance for temporary housing, home-repair, and damage to essential household items. This assistance also covers disaster-related childcare, medical, and essential vehicle expenses.

FEMA is still reviewing which counties will be newly eligible for FEMA Public Assistance under the new declaration. FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides resources for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.

Finally, the declaration provides statewide eligibility for FEMA’s hazard mitigation program, which provides grants for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

“This second, expanded major disaster declaration will be essential to providing much needed resources to those in Middle and Southwest Georgia that were impacted by the severe weather this month," said Congressman Bishop. "Georgians have always proven to be resilient, and this time will be no different. With FEMA’s assistance, we will work together to restore a sense of normalcy to our communities.”

Further information on eligibility for FEMA assistance, local resources, and the application process can be found at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) can call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are currently operational from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) seven days a week.

FEDERAL MAJOR DISASTER DECLARATION ISSUED FOR COUNTIES IN GEORGIA AS CONGRESSMAN BISHOP TOURS STORM

January 28, 2017 at 9:21 pm

ALBANY, GA – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) welcomed the major disaster declaration issued on January 25, 2017 by the President for counties in Middle and Southwest Georgia struck by major storms and tornadoes on January 2, 2017. The declaration opens up potential eligibility for federal disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The declaration was issued as Congressman Bishop toured storm damage in the City of Albany and Dougherty County.

The federal declaration specifically includes FEMA Individual Assistance for Dougherty County. FEMA Individual Assistance provides federal resources for impacted individuals and households, including financial assistance for temporary housing, home-repair, and damage to essential household items. Additionally, this assistance covers disaster-related childcare, medical, and essential vehicle expenses.

The declaration also provides FEMA Public Assistance for Calhoun, Dougherty, Early, Miller, Mitchell, Turner, and Worth Counties. FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides resources for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.

Finally, the declaration provides statewide eligibility for FEMA’s hazard mitigation program, which provides grants for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

“I am relieved to hear that the initial request for federal assistance has been approved by the President. Middle and Southwest Georgia have faced destructive storms and tornadoes twice this month, and federal resources will be vital for the region’s recovery,” said Congressman Bishop. “I urge the President to also approve the second request for federal assistance for those that were impacted by the tornadoes and storms that pummeled the area on January 22.” 

Earlier this afternoon, Congressman Bishop joined Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and officials from both the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and FEMA on an aerial survey of storm damage to the City of Albany and Dougherty County. Congressman Bishop later toured the damage to the Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) with Major General Craig Crenshaw, the top Marine commander for worldwide logistics and supply chain and distribution management, and Colonel James Carroll, the commanding officer for MCLB.

Governor Deal has formally requested an expedited major disaster declaration for the second round of storms that struck the region on January 22 for both Individual and Public Assistance. This request seeks Individual Assistance for Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth counties. The request also seeks Public Assistance for Atkinson, Baker, Berrien, Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Lowndes, Mitchell, Thomas, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth counties.

Further information on FEMA assistance and eligibility can be found here.

BISHOP STATEMENT ON SONNY PERDUE NOMINATION TO LEAD USDA

January 23, 2017 at 11:56 pm

Washington, DC - Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the 115th Congress, issued the following statement on the nomination of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

“I am pleased by the President-elect’s nomination of Sonny Perdue to lead USDA. I have a long working relationship with Governor Perdue since our time as members of the Georgia Senate, and I am confident in his ability to lead the Department. Governor Perdue, a trained veterinarian, is uniquely familiar with the importance of supporting farmers, ranchers, producers, and consumers, as Georgia boasts over 42,000 farms and an agricultural industry contributing over $71 billion annually to the Georgia and national economies. Further, having spent most of his life in Bonaire, Georgia, he knows firsthand the needs, hopes, and aspirations of rural America and will bring exceptional insight to the Department in that regard.

“The work carried out by USDA ensures our country remains an agriculture juggernaut, able to ensure food security both here and across the world. In addition to managing the nation’s farm programs, USDA is responsible for our nutrition safety nets, is the primary outlet of support for rural areas, and administers vital land conservation programs.

“These responsibilities are important not only for the nation’s economy, but also for our national security. Accordingly, as Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, I look forward to working closely with Secretary Perdue to ensure USDA has the necessary resources to successfully carry out its mission.” 

REP. BISHOP REINTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO CREATE GEORGIA’S FIRST NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK

January 18, 2017 at 10:57 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On January 13, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) reintroduced legislation to create Georgia’s first national historical park, entitled the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act of 2017. 

The legislation seeks to expand the current Ocmulgee National Monument from 702 acres to 2,800 acres, change the name of the park from “Ocmulgee National Monument” to “Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park” to increase name recognition, and authorize a resources study to include recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, and camping. During the 114th Congress, the previous version of the bill successfully passed unanimously through the House Natural Resources Committee and the full House of Representatives. The previous Senate version of the legislation passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee but was ultimately held up from full Senate consideration largely due to timing issues.

“The Ocmulgee Mounds are a true cultural and archeological treasure to the state of Georgia, and the creation of Georgia’s first national historical park will preserve the important legacy of the site’s past inhabitants for current and future generations,” said Congressman Bishop. “I am pleased to reintroduce this legislation with my Georgia colleagues in the House and Senate. The bill has received strong, bipartisan support in the past, and I am eager to see it enacted into law as expeditiously as possible.”

Due to its history and archaeological importance, expanding Ocmulgee National Monument to Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park will be a lasting memorial to how individuals relate to the land and other natural resources. This expansion and improvement will be a fitting tribute to the Native Americans who first came to this historic site during the Paleo-Indian period. The park also will generate tourist revenue for Macon, Georgia and the surrounding areas while educating visitors on the little known fact that different cultures have occupied this land for thousands of years. The mounds and earth-lodges that the Mississippians built to serve as formal council chambers when they arrived in Macon around 900 A.D. remain intact for all to see and appreciate.

Ocmulgee National Monument was originally authorized by Congress in 1934 to protect a fraction of the lands commonly known as the 'Old Ocmulgee Fields,' upon which certain Indian mounds of great historical importance are located. The legislation envisioned a large park of approximately 2,000 acres but local citizens could finance the acquisition of only 678 acres by the time it opened in 1936. Today, the Ocmulgee National Monument contains 702 acres. The role of the Ocmulgee National Monument is to "present a story of many stages of prehistoric cultural development, emphasizing the influences of agriculture, the Mound Builder period, and the relationship of these various cultures to each other and to life today."

The Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act enjoys support from the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee [Creek], and Seminole Nations), which represent over 500,000 Native Americans throughout the United States. The measure is also supported by Macon Mayor Robert Reichert, the Macon Chamber of Commerce, the Macon-Bibb Visitors Bureau, the Macon-Bibb Commission, the Macon-Bibb Economic Development Commission, and the Ocmulgee National Park & Preserve Initiative.

REP BISHOP SELECTED TO SERVE AS RANKING MEMBER OF HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE

January 17, 2017 at 10:53 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On January 13, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) was selected to serve as Ranking Member for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. In this role, Congressman Bishop will serve as the subcommittee’s lead Democrat. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture has funding jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Farm Credit Administration, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“Being selected as Ranking Member for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies is an honor and a privilege,” said Congressman Bishop. “In addition to supporting the USDA’s farm programs, the funding provided by this subcommittee serves as the primary conduit to assist rural America, and also supports the administration of our nation's food and nutrition safety net and conservation programs.

“Agriculture is the largest industry in Georgia, contributing $71 billion annually to the state’s economy and supporting one in seven jobs. More broadly, our nation is the breadbasket for the world, and we export over $133 billion worth of agriculture products. The strength of our agriculture sector not only supports our economy, but it also helps protect our national security by ensuring a robust food supply here at home and in countries around the world. I look forward to this new leadership role, and I promise to do my dead level best to continue serving the farmers, ranchers, producers, and consumers in Georgia and across this country.”

Congressman Bishop will also continue to serve as a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies.

“I am pleased to continue serving on the subcommittee that funds both our nation’s military construction efforts and the programs that care for our nation’s veterans,” said Congressman Bishop. “The work of this subcommittee is of significant importance to the State of Georgia, particularly as we face a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Georgia houses nine military facilities and bases, including Fort Benning and the Marine Corps Logistics Base in the 2nd Congressional District of Georgia, as well as Robins Air Force Base right next door. These facilities are of vital importance to the country’s defense posture, and I am committed to fulfilling my responsibilities for our military personnel, past and present, as we go forward through this Congress.”

Congressman Bishop will also remain a member of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, which has wide jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Executive Office of the President, and the nation’s independent agencies.

“Georgia companies handle over 70 percent of financial transactions in the U.S., giving the state the nickname ‘Transactions Alley’,” said Congressman Bishop. “As a member of the Financial Services Subcommittee and the Congressional Payments Technology Caucus, I have worked to protect our consumers and foster Georgia’s growing role as a financial transactions hub. I look forward to continuing this mission in the upcoming Congress.”

In addition to his subcommittee assignments, Congressman Bishop will continue to serve as Co-Chair of the Congressional Military Family Caucus, Congressional Peanut Caucus, and Congressional Working Forests Caucus, and will remain a member of a number of other caucuses addressing the needs of the people of the 2nd Congressional District of Georgia.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON STORM DAMAGE IN MIDDLE AND SOUTHWEST GEORGIA

January 3, 2017 at 8:10 pm

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement regarding Monday night’s storms in Middle and Southwest Georgia:

“My prayers go out to all those impacted by the terrible storms that swept through the Middle and Southwest Georgia region. The damage was significant, and my office stands open and ready to assist those affected.

“I would also like to note and applaud the ongoing work of our recovery personnel and our first responders. My team and I are working actively with local and county officials, the Governor’s office and state agencies, and with our federal partners to ensure Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District is provided every necessary resource to recover from the storm.

“Finally, I urge everyone to remain home as roadways are cleared, and I ask that we all lend a hand to any neighbors in need. Despite the significant work to be done, I am confident that we can come together as a community to recover and rebuild.”

BISHOP APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF 21ST CENTURY CURES ACT

December 8, 2016 at 9:53 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) applauds the passage of H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act, by both Chambers of Congress. Congressman Bishop voted in support of the legislation, which passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 by a roll call vote of 392-26. The legislation passed the Senate on December 7, 2016 by a vote of 94-5. This bipartisan legislation provides $6.3 billion over 10 years to fund innovative research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), modernize the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and help prevent and treat opioid addiction.

"This legislation represents a major bipartisan effort to enhance our country's medical research capabilities and find cures for cancer and other devastating conditions,” said Congressman Bishop. "Further, it recognizes the importance of treating opioid addiction as the national health issue it is, and will provide impacted communities, families, and individuals the necessary resources to treat this threat."

The legislation provides $4.8 billion to fund three major biomedical research priorities. This includes the Precision Medicine Initiative, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative (BRAIN Initiative), and the Cancer Moonshot, an initiative by Vice President Joe Biden to find a cure for cancer.

The 21st Century Cures Act also allocates $1 billion combat the prescription opioid epidemic by improving monitoring programs for prescription drugs, enhancing access to treatment and recovery programs, and training mental health care providers.

Finally, the 21st Century Cures Act addresses innovation and modernization within the FDA and provides $500 million over the next 10 years to streamline access to necessary drugs and medical devices.

The legislation is currently pending before the President and is expected to be signed into law shortly.

GEORGIA ENVIRONMENTAL FINANCE AUTHORITY AWARDS LOANS TO 12 GEORGIA COMMUNITIES

November 19, 2016 at 9:06 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) is proud to share that the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) has awarded loans totaling $26.1 million to 12 Georgia communities, including two in Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District. The loans will finance infrastructure improvements for water, sewer, and solid waste treatment plants throughout the state.

The City of Damascus in Early County received a $403,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan for improvements to the city’s water tank, including repainting and water main and leak repairs. The DWSRF loan is a federally-funded loan administered through GEFA that addresses health-related water supply and water conservation projects.

Fort Valley Utility Commission in Peach County received a $1,000,000 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan. This CWSRF funding will be used for a new oxygenation system at the Lanter Water Reclamation Facility. The new system is expected to improve the capacity of the facility from 1.7 million gallons per day to 2.2 million gallons per day. CWSRF loans are federally-funded loans administered through GEFA for projects that deal with water quality, conservation, and wastewater treatment, as well as repairs to sewer and storm water projects.

“Since 1985, the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority has diligently worked to preserve and enhance Georgia’s energy and water resources.” said Congressman Bishop.  “I am grateful for the agency’s attention and dedication to enhancing water infrastructure in Middle and Southwest Georgia.” 

GEFA has funded more than 1,500 projects and provided more than $3.5 billion in loans for water, solid waste, and sewer improvements since 1985. For the full list of communities awarded infrastructure loans, click here. For more information on CWSRF or DWSRF loans and how to apply, visit GEFA’s website.

USDA SURVEYS FARMERS TO DEVELOP POLICY & PROGRAM INCENTIVES

November 8, 2016 at 7:57 pm

On Tuesday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the next phase of its 2016 National Resources Inventory-Conservation Effects Assessment Project (NRI-CEAP). The USDA will be surveying 16,000 farmers and ranchers until February 2017 to document conservation and production practices. This survey will help USDA develop voluntary, science-based solutions and incentives for improving conservation at farms and ranches.

Over the past several months, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) initially reached out to 25,000 farmers and ranchers throughout the United States to determine eligibility to participate in the survey. USDA is now in the process of reaching out to eligible farmers to conduct in-person interviews.

“The survey will measure the environmental benefits associated with installing and using conservation practices on agricultural land,” stated NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer in USDA’s announcement on November 1, 2016. “Responses to the survey can directly benefit producers themselves by helping leaders focus on what producers need to install conservation practices that are best for their operations environmentally and financially.”

The survey specifically examines the implementation of conservation practices, use of nutrients and pesticides, as well as cropping and irrigation history and grazing patterns. The survey is being conducted in partnership with the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The results of the study will be used to direct USDA’s natural resource conservation policy and program development to help farmers and ranchers conserve farmland and natural resources more efficiently and effectively. The USDA has invested over $29 billion since 2009 to assist in conservation improvements.

More information on the USDA’s NRI-CEAP survey can be found here.

DISASTER ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR DROUGHT STRICKEN AREAS IN GEORGIA

November 2, 2016 at 5:32 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack, in accordance with Section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, sent a letter last week designating three counties within the State of Georgia as contiguous disaster areas due to recent drought conditions in Georgia and Alabama. These designated areas include Chattahoochee, Muscogee, and Stewart counties in Georgia.

“I am pleased that Secretary Vilsack recognized the need for drought assistance in areas of Southwest Georgia,” said Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. “However, based on concerns I have heard from farmers in the 2nd Congressional District of Georgia, I urge Secretary Vilsack to investigate whether these and additional counties in Middle and Southwest Georgia may themselves also qualify as areas of severe drought, which would open up additional resources for impacted farmers. My office is committed to ensuring that all counties experiencing drought conditions are receiving the appropriate level of assistance.”

Receiving a Secretarial contiguous disaster area designation allows farmers within Chattahoochee, Muscogee, and Stewart counties to be eligible for certain U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs. The main disaster assistance program triggered by the Secretarial designation is consideration for low-interest emergency loans. This type of designation also triggers access to Disaster Set-Aside (DSA) program, which enables producers with a direct loan from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to move one annual payment to the end of the loan if the producers are not able to make their payments on schedule.

Russell County in Alabama, adjacent to Chattahoochee, Muscogee, and Stewart counties in Georgia, received a primary natural disaster area designation due to severe drought conditions. Should any Georgia counties also independently meet enhanced primary drought designations (D2 to D4) as defined by the U.S. Drought Monitor, farmers may be eligible for additional assistance. This assistance includes access to payments from the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LSP) for grazing losses from drought-affected pastureland and cropland. Eligibility varies depending on time and conditions, but LSP assistance generally requires a drought designation of D2 (severe drought) for eight consecutive weeks during the normal grazing period. A designation of D3 (extreme drought) or D4 (exceptional drought) anytime during the normal grazing period also opens up eligibility for LSP assistance.

Background on USDA’s disaster assistance programs can be found here, and background on the U.S. Drought Monitor can be found here.

BISHOP CONGRATULATES COLUMBUS STATE ON NASA GRANT

October 10, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) congratulates Columbus State University on its $1.25 million Museum Alliance grant award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Columbus State University received the grant in partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Museum of Aviation Education Center in Warner Robins, and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.

These organizations will work with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, through the Innovation Mars Exploration Education and Technology program (IMEET), to educate high school students about the design and production of Mars exploration vehicles. The Kennedy Space Center will be in charge of the program, Georgia Tech will construct a curriculum, and Columbus State University will develop a two-week summer program that utilizes 3D printing technology to teach students about Mars helicopters and rovers. In addition, the funding will allow Columbus State University to hold workshops for local educators to hone their skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction.

“The possibility of a Mars landing by the year 2025 is an exhilarating notion,” said Congressman Bishop “I thank Columbus State University and the Coca Cola Space Science Center for their innovative leadership in science and space education, and I am thrilled that students in southwest Georgia will be at the forefront of this movement.”

The Coca Cola Space Science Center, owned and operated through Columbus State University, will host the summer programs established under this initiative. The University will be able to instruct 25 students and 15 teachers per year. For the first few years, the Science Center will work with the Muscogee County School District to recruit participants. As the program progresses, the participants will be selected by the Coca Cola Space Science Center from a larger base of students and teachers.

The NASA Museum Alliance is a group of more than 700 U.S. and 90 international museums, science centers, planetariums, observatories, park visitor centers, nature centers, zoos, aquariums, libraries, camps, and youth organizations. The Alliance works to engage NASA‘s resources with community educators, staff, and leadership. The Museum Alliance Grant awarded to Columbus State University was one of nine proposals that was selected out of 73 total applications. 

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP CELEBRATES THE OPENING OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY

October 3, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement today in recognition of the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture this Saturday, September 24:

“Today, I would like to take a moment to pay special recognition to an important, forthcoming moment in the American experience. On Saturday, September 24, the Smithsonian will be opening its 19th museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This museum will illuminate the dark pain of the past and also celebrate the tremendous progress of a dynamic people with a complex history.

“Built on the National Mall, upon what is colloquially referred to as America’s front yard, this museum has been a dream more than one-hundred years in the making. The initial discussions began in 1915 with the Grand Army of the Republic and the Committee of Colored Citizens – a civil war veterans group that called for a museum to honor Black veterans and the cultural contributions of the African American community. Over the following decades, the concept grew in fits and starts under the backdrop of the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War and the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, and the Civil Rights movement. It would not be until 2001 that legislation was finally signed into law that established a Presidential Commission tasked with putting together an implementation plan for the museum.

“Robert Lee Wright, Chairman of the Presidential Commission, and his team wasted no time in undertaking their charge. In 2003, the museum commission published The Time Has Come – a report that propelled legislation formally establishing the museum and that itemized all the administrative details necessary to transition the project from a creative vision to a materialized reality.

“This was no easy endeavor. Proponents of the museum fought through numerous congressional hearings. Consensus was often difficult to obtain. Debates were had over funding and location, and even over whether there was truly a need for this museum.

“As we move closer to Saturday, let us commemorate this crucial patch finally and dutifully being sewn into the quilt of American history. Though the seams may be laden by a past of injustice, let us recall the focal point of this momentous occasion. This museum acknowledges the vital role African Americans played in the evolution of this great nation, extols their cultural contribution to the American experience, and looks forward to the United States fully embracing equality and justice for every citizen.”

VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA SOUTHEAST RECIEVES $1,000,000 GRANT FROM U.S DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

September 16, 2016 at 4:18 am

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) is proud to share that the U.S Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) has awarded the Volunteers of America Southeast (VOASE) a $1,000,000 grant to provide and facilitate stable housing for veterans and their families facing the specter of homelessness.

“Volunteers of America Southeast has worked diligently to aid veterans and their families in acquiring housing and finding employment,” said Congressman Bishop. “They provide invaluable assistance to the veterans living in the 2nd Congressional District of Georgia and throughout the Southeast.”

This grant will provide veterans’ families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits. Founded in 1896, Volunteers of America is one of the country’s largest human service organizations and helps improve the lives of nearly 1.8 million people each year. VOASE is the second largest affiliate of Volunteers of America in the country and provides programs in Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama. VOASE serves over 2,000 people daily with their direct programs and 8,000 people annually through community outreach.

This grant was awarded through the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program, which provided a total of $300 million grants across the country. Over $6 million was awarded to non-profits working throughout the state of Georgia. These organizations included Volunteers of America Southeast, Action Ministries Inc., Decatur Cooperative Ministry Inc., United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Travelers Aid of Metropolitan Atlanta Inc., and Central Savannah River Area Economic Opportunity Authority, Inc.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP APPLAUDS ESSENTIAL AIR SERVICE FOR MIDDLE GEORGIA REGIONAL AIRPORT

September 11, 2016 at 4:24 am

MACON, GA – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) welcomes the Department of Transportation's determination to continue Essential Air Service (EAS) eligibility for Middle Georgia Regional Airport (MCN). This vital program connects small and regional communities across the country. EAS eligibility for Middle Georgia Regional Airport will help to ensure the airport can expand to include regular commercial services for Macon, Georgia and the surrounding region.

“This determination will allow Middle Georgia Regional Airport to increase their range of services,” said Congressman Bishop. “The airport is an important economic engine for the Middle Georgia Region, and I look forward to working with Middle Georgia Regional Airport, Macon-Bibb County, and the surrounding communities to continue to enhance economic opportunities.”

Middle Georgia Regional Airport is a city-owned regional airport located outside of Macon, GA. The airport is used for a number of aviation purposes, including aircraft maintenance and repair for large and small aircraft, aerial surveys, charter and recreational flights, and military training exercises. The airport provides approximately $200,000,000 in economic output for the local and regional economies.

 

ALMOST $9 MILLION IN FUNDING SECURED BY CONGRESSMAN BISHOP

August 18, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, is proud to share that a total of $8,906,763 comprised of repurposed Federal Highway Administration funding from unused Congressional directed funding originally secured by Congressman Bishop and 20% matching funding from Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) have been redirected to infrastructure projects in Middle and Southwest Georgia. The original “earmarks” are over ten years old and were either less than 10% obligated, associated with a completed project, or are no longer active.

“Our redirected funding allows GDOT to repair and rebuild very important highway projects throughout the municipalities and rural communities of Middle and Southwest Georgia,” said Congressman Bishop. “The construction will assist travelers, commuters, truckers, deliveries, and businesses get where they need to go, helping assure a productive, safe, and economically strong Georgia.”

Recent federal appropriations legislation places critical restrictions on projects eligible to be recipients of the funding, including being located within a 50-mile radius of the original project and a requirement that redirected funds be obligated within three fiscal years or be forfeited. $4,367,757 will be put towards the reconstruction and widening of the I-75/I-16 interchange project, greatly improving the safety of the freeway. County and municipal resurfacing and sign upgrade projects will increase productivity and accessibility for communities across Middle and Southwest Georgia.

 

Bibb County - $3,004,425

ORIGINAL Project: Second Street Bridge Replacement/Reconstruct ROW in Macon

Redirected Project: Construction I-16 @ I-75 Interchange; Est. Oct/Nov 2016

 

Bibb County - $500,738

ORIGINAL Project: Pierce Avenue bike lanes from Ingelside Ave. to Riverside Drive

Redirected Project: Construction I-75 Northbound from SR 19 to I-16 Phase II; Est. Oct/Nov 2016

 

Bibb County - $52,642

ORIGINAL Project: Study & report of new interstate linking Augusta, Macon, Columbus, & Montgomery

Redirected Project: Construction I-16 from I-75 to SR 87 & Interchange Phase I; Est. Oct/Nov 2016

 

Bibb County - $157,926

ORIGINAL Project: Study & report of new interstate linking Augusta, Macon, Columbus, & Montgomery

Redirected Project: Construction I-16 from I-75 to SR 87 & Interchange Phase I; Est. Oct/Nov 2016

 

Bibb County - $652,026

ORIGINAL Project: Study & report of new interstate linking Augusta, Macon, Columbus, & Montgomery

Redirected Project: Construction I-16 from I-75 to SR 87 & Interchange Phase I; Est. Oct/Nov 2016

 

Crawford County - $100,656

ORIGINAL Project: Revitalization Project for Roberta Walking Trail

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR 22 from SR 7 to Columbus Rd; Est. May 2017

 

Crisp County - $81,259

ORIGINAL Project: US 280/SR 30 widening from Flint River to SR 300 Conn

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR 300 from Old Coney Rd to SR 300 Conn; Est. April 2017

 

Crisp County - $200,295

ORIGINAL Project: Streetscape-Cordele

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR 300 from CR 29/Old Coney Rd to SR 300 Connector; Est. April 2017

 

Decatur & Miller Counties - $200,295

ORIGINAL Project: Streetscape-Bainbridge

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR 310 from Decatur County Line to SR1/US27; Est. Feb 2017

 

Dougherty County - $400,590

ORIGINAL Project: Streetscape-Albany

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR300 from SR520 to N of CR243/Branch Rd; Est. Nov 2016

 

Dougherty County - $43,031

ORIGINAL Project: Broad Avenue Bridge, Albany, GA

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR 91 from Baker County line to SR 62; Est. Nov 2016

 

Dougherty County - $81,259 

ORIGINAL Project: SR 234 widening from Eight Mile Rd to Lockett Station

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR 91 from Baker County line to SR 62; Est. Nov 2016

 

Dougherty County - $801,180

ORIGINAL Project: SR 133 Southbound lane bridge replacement over the GA/FL Railnet line

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR3 from Thomas County line to Dougherty County Line; Est. Nov 2016

 

TERRELL COUNTY - $801,180

ORIGINAL Project: Construction on U.S. 82 from Dawson to Alabama Line

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR 55 from Calhoun County line to SR 520/US 82; Est. July 2016

 

Macon County - $201,390

ORIGINAL Project: Sidewalks, light, landscaping in Montezuma

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR49 from SR90 to SR127; Est. Nov 2016

 

Marion County - $300,442

ORIGINAL Project: Sidewalks in Buena Vista

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR 355 from SR 137 to Talbot County Line; Est. March 2017

 

Miller County - $81,259

ORIGINAL Project: Reconstruct US 27 from Colquitt to CR 279

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR 45 from SR 1 to Early County line; Est. Mar 2017

 

Muscogee County - $1,205,540

ORIGINAL Project: Infrastructure Improvements at Statewide Military Bases

Redirected Project: Sign Upgrade Project on US 80 from Alabama State Line to SR 85; Est. FY17

 

Muscogee County - $40,630

ORIGINAL Project: Jogging and Bike Trails around Columbus State University

Redirected Project: Resurfacing of SR 85 from SR 22 Conn to SR 1; Est. Jan 2017 

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP FIGHTS TO PROTECT PECAN INDUSTRY

April 27, 2016 at 5:44 am

ALBANY, GA – Yesterday, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) successfully included language in the Fiscal Year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations Bill protecting pecan processors and one of Georgia’s largest industries. If signed into law, the bill would require the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to include pecans in its preliminary report, providing pecan processors with necessary figure estimates related to the overall size of the crop produced and cost of product. Pecan growers and processors depend on accurate and timely pecan inventory reports for making informed marketing decisions.

“Georgia’s Second Congressional District is one of the largest pecan producing Congressional District in the nation,” said Congressman Bishop. “I intend to fight for U.S. growers and processors to ensure they are provided with the information necessary to continue generating billions for pecan industry.”

“The Georgia Pecan Growers Association thanks Congressman Sanford Bishop for his efforts towards reauthorization of the National Agricultural Statistics Service funding for pecans,” said Jeb Barrow, President of the Georgia Pecan Growers Association. “The ready availability of reliable inventory information is especially helpful for smaller growers. This is a victory for small growers.”

“The US Pecan Growers Council and the 10,000 pecan growers and processors from the Carolinas to California would like to thank Congressman Sanford Bishop for his hard work with reauthorization of the National Agricultural Statistics Service funding for pecans," said Dr. Randy Hudson, President of the US Pecan Growers Council. "Without these reports the industry would be completely guessing as to the supply and demand for US pecans". 

Commercially produced in 14 states, pecans are the only native tree nut grown in the United States. Approximately 80% of the world’s pecan production is located in the United States. The U.S. pecan crop totaled 302.8 million pounds in 2012, a 12% increase from 2011. Georgia’s Second Congressional District produced over 100 million pounds of pecans in 2012.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP SUPPORTS FOUNDATION OF BRICK INDUSTRY, SMALL BUSINESS

March 18, 2016 at 1:05 pm

On March 3, 2016 Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) took to the floor of the U. S. House of Representatives to support small businesses in Georgia’s brick industry by working to pass H.R. 4557, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act. Co-sponsored by Congressman Bishop, H.R. 4557 was approved by a vote of 238 to 163 and goes on to the Senate for consideration:

A transcript of Congressman Bishop’s remarks in the U.S. House of Representatives is below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 4557, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns—or BRICK—Act. This legislation is important to preserving the viability of brick manufacturing facilities across the country.

Simply put, the BRICK Act pauses the EPA’s 2015 national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants until court challenges of the rule are resolved. I am very concerned that brick manufacturers in my district, as well as those in the districts of my colleagues, may be required to spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, to satisfy an EPA requirement similar to the EPA’s 2003 rule. A rule -- it should be noted -- vacated by the federal courts.

For example, Cherokee Brick and Tile, from Macon, GA, spent over $1.5 million to install controls in order to comply with EPA’s invalidated 2003 rule. Cherokee is a small family owned business, and as my colleagues with small businesses in their district can attest, $1.5 million is a very substantial sum that can cut heavily into a bottom line.

This rule impacts more than just Cherokee Brick and Tile in my state, but also General Shale and Pine Hall Brick among others. A basic material for home and building construction, bricks are more than just a figurative cornerstone in the United States’ construction industry.

Passing this legislation would guarantee the EPA would wait until its 2015 emission standards are reviewed by a court before implementing the rule, and before manufacturers across the country are needlessly required to spend millions of dollars.

I ask my colleagues to support H.R. 4557, the BRICK Act.

ADVISORY: USDA ANNOUNCES $18 MILLION TO SUPPORT RESEARCH, TEACHING, EXTENSION AT HISTORICALLY BLACK

March 10, 2016 at 6:07 am

FORT VALLEY, GA— Today, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack announced $18 million in grants will be available to strengthen research and teaching at historically black land-grant universities. The grants are available through the 1890 Institution Research, Extension, and Teaching Capacity Building Grants program administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

NIFA provides support to historically black colleges and universities designated as land-grant universities in the Second Morrill Act of 1890. The Capacity Building Grants (CBG) program supports agricultural science programs while strengthening the linkages among the 1890 universities, other education institutions, USDA, and private industry. The program focuses on advancing cultural diversity in the scientific and professional workforce by attracting and educating more students from under-represented groups. Grants are awarded in the categories of research, teaching, and extension with a focus on NIFA’s priority areas of sustainable bioenergy, food security, childhood obesity prevention, climate change, and food safety. Since 2009, NIFA has awarded more than $122 million in grants to support 1890 land-grant universities through the CBG program.

Applications are due March 31, 2016. Please see the request for applications for more information.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT REGARDING 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF GEORGIA FAMILY CONNECTION

March 2, 2016 at 4:02 am

 

“Our families are strengthened, our communities are more productive, our children are better nurtured, our seniors are wholly appreciated, and our future is brighter due to the work of Georgia Family Connection. Congratulations for 25 years of collaboration in enhancing the basic unit of our society – the family.”

Georgia Family Connection works to improve local decision making rooted in community priorities in all 159 counties in Georgia by bringing together more than 3,000 local and state-level partners committed to strengthening children and families.

Sanford Bishop to deliver 2016 Holmes-Hunter Lecture at UGA

January 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Article Written by: Stephanie Schupska

Athens, Ga. - U.S. Congressman Sanford D. Bishop Jr., who is serving his 12th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, will present the 2016 Holmes-Hunter Lecture Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. in the University of Georgia Chapel.

Bishop represents middle and southwest Georgia's 2nd Congressional District. He has served on the House Committee on Appropriations since 2003. The top Democrat on the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, he also serves as the co-chair of the Congressional Military Family Caucus.

He was first elected to Congress in 1992 after serving in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1977 to 1990 and in the Georgia Senate from 1991 to 1992.

Bishop graduated from Morehouse College in 1968 and from Emory University School of Law in 1971. He is an Eagle Scout, a 33rd Degree Mason (PHA), a Shriner, a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and a deacon and trustee of the Mount Zion Baptist Church of Albany.

He served in the U.S. Army, completing basic training at Fort Benning, entering Advanced Reserve Officers Training and receiving an honorable discharge in 1971.

The Holmes-Hunter Lecture honors Charlayne Hunter-Gault and the late Hamilton Holmes, who in 1961 became the first African-American students to enroll at UGA. Held annually since 1985, it focuses on race relations, social justice and education with implications for inclusion and diversity.

The lecture is one of UGA's Signature Lectures for 2015-16 and is sponsored by the Office of the President

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT REGARDING SYRIAN REFUGEE SITUATION

December 1, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement regarding the issue of Syrian refugees:

“First and foremost, our most pressing responsibility is to protect the American people. The brutality shown by ISIS during the recent attacks in Paris and Beirut exemplifies the necessity for vigilance across the Homeland as well as the urgency to proactively counter future terrorist threats to the United States. Ensuring all refugees seeking asylum on our shores continue to be subjected to the highest level of intensive screening in order to weed out those who would do us harm from those ‘tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be free’, our nation must remain a beacon of hope for those fleeing persecution, for future Americans, and for the rest of humanity.”

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP FIGHTS TO #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS

November 28, 2015 at 11:53 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) fights to bring back the 219 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram by co-sponsoring H.R. 3833, a bill requiring the United States to develop a strategy to defeat Boko Haram. Introduced by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24), the bill directs the Secretaries of State and Defense to develop a 5-year strategy to assist the multinational task force in defeating Boko Haram and to rebuild the region’s infrastructure to prevent the rise of another terrorist organization.

“It is an atrocity that the 219 Chibok schoolgirls have still not been returned home safely a year and a half after their abduction by Boko Haram,” said Congressman Bishop. “The United States must fight Boko Haram not only for their egregious violations of human rights, but for the security of the region and the world as a whole.”

Boko Haram, an ISIS-linked group, is responsible for using kidnapped girls as young as 10 as suicide bombers, the displacement of 2.2 million Nigerians, and the deaths of 15,000 people in the region since 2009.

H.R. 3833 directs the Secretaries of State and Defense to develop a joint 5-year strategy that would assist the Nigerian government, Members of the Multinational Joint Task Force to Combat Boko Haram, and other international partners in countering the regional threat of Boko Haram. The strategy should also help the Nigerian and neighboring governments with their efforts to address the complaints of vulnerable populations in areas affected by Boko Haram.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP ENCOURAGES PUBLIC COMMENT REGARDING SABAL TRAIL PIPELINE

November 28, 2015 at 10:49 am

ALBANY, GA – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (GA-02) encouraged interested stakeholders to take advantage of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers extension of the public comment period for Section 404 permits under the Clean Water Act with respect to the construction of the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for Section 404 permits, which are needed to encroach upon numerous “waters of the U.S.” (i.e. wetlands, streams, and rivers) that the pipeline would run through or under if Sabal Trail’s application is approved. Congressman Bishop was contacted by constituents and stakeholders concerned that the original thirty-day deadline was insufficient for the public to thoroughly review Sabal Trail’s application. In response, Congressman Bishop urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to extend the public comment period for Section 404 permits under the Clean Water Act with respect to the construction of the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline, and they responded. The new deadline to comment is December 11, 2015. “Given the potential impact of the project on Southwest Georgia, I urge the public to use the comment period extension to let your opinion be heard regarding the issuance of Sabal Trail Section 404 permit by the Corps of Engineers,” said Congressman Bishop.

THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ENDS ON DECEMBER 11, 2015. Comments can be submitted in writing to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District Regulatory Division Attn: Mr. Terry Kobs 1104 North Westover Boulevard, Suite 9 Albany, Georgia 31707-6626 Sabal Trail is a 465-mile gas pipeline (55 miles in Alabama, 196 miles in Georgia, and 214 miles in Florida) that will be capable of transporting up to one billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Much of the Georgia route of the pipeline with run through the Second Congressional District. To view the entire U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public notice regarding the Sabal Pipeline project, please click here. To view the joint public notice of extension, please click here. To read the FERC Environmental Impact Statement, please click here.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP ON FUNDING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY

November 21, 2015 at 10:51 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) supported the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report for Fiscal Year 2016. The agreement authorizes $515 billion, in discretionary base budget authority, including roughly $496.4 billion for the Department of Defense base budget and $18.6 billion for defense-related activities of the Department of Energy. However, the report would also authorize more than $89.2 billion for DOD overseas contingency operations. The Administration requested $50.9 billion. The report identifies the difference of roughly $38.3 billion as discretionary budget authority in support of base budget requirements.

“Passage of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act protects our bases, strengthens our military capabilities, and brings about a collective sigh of relief from service members and their families who have sacrificed so much to receive so little in return. Among our highest priorities as a nation should be the defense of our citizens and the values and freedoms we hold dear and the support and protection of those who so bravely put their lives on the line. Mission and family readiness at Fort Benning, the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Robins Air Force Base, and other bases in Georgia are vital to our national defense and to our communities, realities that this bill underscores in a very prominent fashion.”

The report institutes a minimal one-time increase of TRICARE Pharmacy co-pays and would implement a more robust financial benefit training program to improve the financial literacy and preparedness of service members. The report requires the Department to take into consideration the recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission and the Boston Consulting Group report on commissaries and provide an implementation plan to execute a cost-neutral system.

The report prevents the Department of Defense from conducting another round of BRAC. The measure authorizes funding for train-and-equip efforts in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine as well as $3.8 billion for the Afghan National Security Forces. The measure extends the administration's authority to train and equip Syrian rebels fighting both ISIS and the Assad regime and authorizes funding to help train the Iraqi Army in its fight against ISIS.

The NDAA conference report was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 370 to 58 and goes to the President for his signature.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP OPPOSES FAST-TRACK TRADE AUTHORITY

June 17, 2015 at 4:44 am

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the follow statement regarding his vote to deny the President “Fast-Track” authority to negotiate international trade agreements:

“Congress must have a meaningful role throughout the negotiating and approval process of any trade agreement,” said Congressman Bishop. “These agreements have a significant impact on many sectors of the nation’s economy. It is vital that Congress’ voice is heard loud and clear to ensure that any final trade pact protects workers rights, the environment, and jobs.”

“As a long-time proponent of the separation of governmental powers, I wholeheartedly believe that the Legislative Branch should not cede fast-tracking authority over trade negotiations to the Executive Branch,” concluded Bishop. “Voting against fast-track authority will not derail negotiations with our partners across the Pacific, but instead allow Congress to provide metered and thoughtful insight on one of the most important trade deals of our time.”

The “Fast-Track” trade authority was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives today by a vote of 219 to 211. Legislation implementing international trade agreements would be subject to a straight up-or-down vote in Conges, and no amendments would be permitted.

The legislation passed by the House today differs from the fast-track measure approved by the U.S. Senate on May 22, 2015. The Senate bill included fast-track negotiating authority as well as an extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which provides a number of benefits and re-employment services to the U.S. workers harmed by foreign trade. The House had a separate vote on TAA, which was defeated 126 to 302. Consequentially, the fast-track bill will only make it to the President’s desk if the U.S. Senate approves the measure approved by the House today.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP ON UNDERFUNDING NATIONAL SECURITY

May 23, 2015 at 4:16 am

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) opposed the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016.

“The budget caps, which Congress refuses to change, will be damaging to our national security. Today, the rubber meets the road,” said Congressman Bishop. “While the NDAA has never been perfect, the version offered by the Majority shortchanges our service members and the safety of our nation, effectively rejecting the opportunity to meet the challenges of our time, improve how our government allocates taxpayer resources, invest in the American people, and provide critical long-term certainty for our armed forces.”

But instead of giving our military and our budget certainty, Republicans are asking Congress to vote for a blatant, short-term, and irresponsible accounting gimmick amounting to tens of billions of dollars. As Defense Secretary Ash Carter testified last week, Republicans’ approach is “clearly a road to nowhere,” “managerially unsound,” and “unfairly dispiriting to our force.”

Based on the Republican Budget, the bill allocates $38 billion to the overseas contingency operations (OCO) account to pay for base budget requirements, using this gimmick to claim to be complying with the Sequester Cap on Defense

  • This bill is based on the Republican Budget, adding $38 billion to OCO to pay for base budget requirements, using this gimmick to claim to be complying with the sequester cap on defense. The effect of the Republican Budget is to lift the sequester on defense (using the gimmick of OCO), while keeping in place the sequester on non-defense.
  • Specifically, the bill authorizes $496 billion in discretionary funding for the base budget for the Department of Defense and $19 billion in discretionary spending for the defense-related activities of the Department of Energy in FY 2016 – totaling $515 billion.
  • However, the bill also authorizes $89.2 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding in FY 2016, which is $38.3 billion more than the President’s OCO request. The bill identifies the difference of $38.3 billion in discretionary budget authority in support of base budget requirements.
  • The total funding of $604.2 billion in discretionary spending for defense in the bill is equal to the President’s request.

The White House has promised a veto on the NDAA if passed with irresponsible levels of funding for our military. A number of human rights, civil liberties, national security, and religious organizations have also urged Congress to vote no on the current NDAA bill and pass a more responsible budget for our armed forces. Those groups include: American Civil Liberties Union; Amnesty International USA; Appeal for Justice; Bill of Rights Defense Committee; The Center for Victims of Torture; The Constitution Project; Council on American-Islamic Relations; Defending Dissent Foundation; Friends Committee on National Legislation; Human Rights First; Human Rights Watch; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; National Religious Campaign Against Torture; National Security Network; Reprieve; Win Without War.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP INVITES STUDENTS TO SEEK 2015 SERVICE ACADEMY NOMINATIONS

April 30, 2015 at 5:07 am

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) is strongly encouraging the young men and women from Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District to seek nominations to the United States service academies, which can provide an all-expense paid college education along with leadership training for military service to the nation. Nominations are available for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The deadline for submission of the nomination forms for 2016 high school graduates is October 30, 2015.

“It is a privilege and an honor to nominate exceptional young men and women to United States service academies,” said Congressman Bishop. “I highly encourage the bright and motivated students from Middle and Southwest Georgia to pursue this life-changing opportunity of distinction, education, and inspiration through future service to their community and their nation.”

Though the nomination process is competitive, top tier students from the Middle and Southwest Georgia have been able to receive fully-funded appointments to each of the military service academies. In the past year, William Butler from Fort Benning and Skyler Dexter from Upatoi received an appointment to West Point Academy; and Matthew Carter from Macon received an appointment to U.S. Air Force Academy.

Each applicant’s process begins by sending one personal letter to Congressman Bishop indicating his or her interest in joining the academy nomination process and to which academy he or she wishes to join. Eligible candidates for a Congressional nomination must be United States citizens, reside in the Georgia’s second Congressional District, and be between the ages of 17 and 22 on the year admitted.

To request an application packet and apply, candidates should contact Toni Pickel in the Albany office at 229-439-8067 or by email at toni.pickel@mail.house.gov. In order for applications to be reviewed and processed in a timely manner, applications must be submitted to the district office by October 30 of the student's senior year.

WORKING TO STRENGTHEN HEALTH CARE IN GEORGIA

April 16, 2015 at 11:29 pm

Voting in favor of the bipartisan package H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015​​, which will strengthen health care for older Americans, poor children, and families by permanently fixing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for Medicare physician payments, providing funding to pay Medicare Part B premiums, supporting community health centers, and extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years.

This vote ensures that doctors will be able to continue providing high quality health care services to our seniors and veterans without the threat of ever-larger fee cuts followed by short-term patches. Overall, the bipartisan legislation will restore clarity to our budget, stability to health care providers, and certainty to our seniors—a win for the dedicated physicians of Middle and Southwest Georgia who strive to provide outstanding services for their patients and a hopeful nod towards a Congress that can work together to get the job done for the American people.

In addition to replacing the broken SGR formula – which is used to determine annual Medicare physician fee updates – with fairer growth targets to keep doctors’ pay steady, the bill also promotes primary care by providing an extra growth allowance for primary care services that can keep patients healthier longer. H.R. 2 was approved by the House of Representatives with a vote of 392 to 37 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP WORKS TO STRENGTHEN HEALTH CARE IN GEORGIA

April 11, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Congressman Sanford Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) voted in favor of the bipartisan package H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015​​, which will strengthen health care for older Americans, poor children, and families by permanently fixing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for Medicare physician payments, providing funding to pay Medicare Part B premiums, supporting community health centers, and extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years.

“This vote ensures that doctors will be able to continue providing high quality health care services to our seniors and veterans without the threat of ever-larger fee cuts followed by short-term patches,” said Congressman Bishop. “Overall, the bipartisan legislation will restore clarity to our budget, stability to health care providers, and certainty to our seniors—a win for the dedicated physicians of Middle and Southwest Georgia who strive to provide outstanding services for their patients and a hopeful nod towards a Congress that can work together to get the job done for the American people.”

In addition to replacing the broken SGR formula – which is used to determine annual Medicare physician fee updates – with fairer growth targets to keep doctors’ pay steady, the bill also promotes primary care by providing an extra growth allowance for primary care services that can keep patients healthier longer. H.R. 2 was approved by the House of Representatives with a vote of 392 to 37 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STANDS UP FOR VOTING RIGHTS

April 6, 2015 at 5:13 am

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) committed to supporting voters throughout Georgia and across the country by serving as an original co-sponsor to H.R. 12, the Voter Empowerment Act of 2015. The bill would extend greater access to citizens at the ballot box, and would more effectively protect voter rights.

“By enhancing voter participation, this bill reflects the true character of the nation, holding leaders more directly accountable to the populations they represent,” said Congressman Bishop. “Modernizing voter registration will improve the integrity of the election system and, during this 50th anniversary of the monumental Voting Rights Act, will serve to advance the mission of equal rights for all Americans.”

“Even if the days of poll taxes, literacy tests, and brutal physical intimidation are behind us, disenfranchisement tactics that aim to suppress voter participation are alive and well. The Voter Empowerment Act eliminates such divisive barriers separating voters from the ballot box and takes advantage of modern technology to bring our elections into the 21st Century,” concluded Bishop.

In recognition of Women’s History Month during March of 2015

March 31, 2015 at 5:14 am

Throughout this Women’s History Month, please join me in honoring women who have gone above and beyond to inspire and advance our nation. For example, during the Revolutionary War, Deborah Sampson took a major risk by disguising herself as a male soldier and serving in the Continental Army. Her story is an inspiration to the brave women serving in our armed forces today.

Susan B. Anthony tenaciously fought for the women’s right to vote, helping push for equality with the eventual adoption of the 19th Amendment. As the first woman in space, Sally Ride opened the hatch for women to boldly explore and expand our knowledge of the final frontier. In present day, Aflac President Teresa White and Executive Vice President Audrey Tillman are role models for us all—serving with distinction as the first females within the highest ranks of Aflac’s executive officers.

Truly, outstanding women hold their place in the history books as visionaries and groundbreakers, but also inspire our lives as mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. It is my sincere hope that during this Women’s History Month, Americans will continue to reflect on the contributions all women have made to creating and enhancing the quality of life for all of humankind.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON ANNIVERSARY OF ‘BLOODY SUNDAY’

March 13, 2015 at 4:59 am

ALBANY, GA—Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement regarding the 50th anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday’, March 7, 1965. On that day, up to 600 civil rights activists marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and out of Selma, Alabama on U.S. Highway 80. Led by John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Reverend Hosea Williams of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Bob Mants of SNCC, and Albert Turner of SCLC, the peaceful protest met violence from a waiting line of state troopers and deputized civilians. The resulting brutality and bloodshed, broadcast on national and international media, bolstered the campaign to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“The 1965 Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March is one of the most seminal and pivotal events in America’s civil rights movement,” said Congressman Bishop. “The combined efforts of civil rights leaders, political leaders in the Johnson Administration, and our esteemed colleague, John Lewis, who put his life on the line when he crossed the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965 -- made the Voting Rights Act a reality. Not only are the events of Bloody Sunday a vivid memory from the past, but also a stark reminder that it is up to all of us to protect our sacred right to vote for future generations.”

Bishop Ensuring that Our Nation’s Veterans Have the Care and Services They Deserve

January 26, 2015 at 6:07 am

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), the Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (VA) met with the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald to discuss the status of the Veterans Affairs clinics in Columbus and Albany as well as challenges the VA will face in 2015.

“After today’s productive meeting with the Secretary McDonald, I believe that we have a way forward, ensuring that our nation’s veterans have the care and services they so rightly deserve. Secretary McDonald brings a wealth of experience and leadership from the corporate world, and after hearing his plan of action for this year, I am hopeful that we can turn over a new leaf and strengthen the VA for the future,” said Congressman Bishop.

“In addition to changing the management culture at the VA and ensuring that veterans get the timely care and consideration to which they are entitled, the Department needs to continue to address veterans’ homelessness, fully develop an integrated DoD-VA Electronic Health Records System, and eliminate the claims backlog. I look forward to working with Secretary McDonald to ensure that the VA has the resources it needs to address these important issues,” concluded Congressman Bishop.

At the meeting, a number of items were discussed that pertain to Middle and Southwest Georgia. Congressman Bishop discussed details surrounding the Columbus (GA) and Albany (GA) VA Clinics. Specifically, Congressman Bishop expressed serious concern regarding the potential location a proposed VA clinic in the greater Columbus area and discussed recurrent service concerns raised with the Albany VA clinic.

Secretary McDonald answered Congressman Bishop’s questions regarding the VA’s progress on recruiting doctors and nurses, particularly in rural areas. He also spoke about strategic changes to VA medical facility operations and administration. The Secretary outlined key challenges, opportunities, and goals for the future of the VA including addressing the integration of Department of Defense and VA electronic records as well as the outstanding backlog of veterans’ claims.

Bishop Supports Investing in America’s Education System

January 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm

 

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) issued the following statement regarding the White House’s recent proposal to invest in America’s education system by making community college free for responsible students for two years:

“I believe that this proposal is an excellent idea and commend the President for his timely action. Unfortunately, our nation has fallen behind in STEM education, and so our country needs to improve the quality and quantity of education for all Americans. Of course, the devil is always in the details, especially in our current fiscal climate. Nevertheless, the more emphasis we can place on education, especially technical education and job training, the better we will be able to remain competitive and maintain our status as a global leader.”

For more information regarding the White House’s America’s College Promise Proposal, please click here.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP CELEBRATES HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

October 1, 2014 at 5:35 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement today in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15:

“National Hispanic Heritage Month is an excellent opportunity for Americans to join together in celebration of the immeasurable contributions of the Latino community to our great nation.

“Latinos have helped build America from the ground up and continue to be an integral part of the fabric of this nation, whether it is by serving in the Armed Forces, opening a small business, caring for the ill, teaching young minds, or working day-to-day to build a better life for themselves and their families.

“Our nation is one of democratic ideals and noble values and we must continue to show the world that we are an open-minded and inclusive culture that lifts up all Americans to reach their greatest potential. Every day that we don’t act on immigration reform hinders our efforts to pursue enhanced innovation, greater job creation, faster economic recovery, and more secure communities.

“As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, let us look back to recognize the invaluable contributions of the Latino community, but let us also look forward to working together to keep the American dream in reach for all those who seek it.”

Congressman Bishop has received the Friend of Farm Bureau award for the 113th Congress.

September 18, 2014 at 4:37 am

Nine House and Senate members from Georgia receive AFBF award

 

By: Georgia Farm Bureau
9/17/2014 2:21:53 PM

  

The American Farm Bureau Federation has honored nine Georgia members of the U.S. House and Senate with the Friend of Farm Bureau Award for the 113th Congress.

Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson were honored, as were Reps. John Barrow (D-12th District), Sanford Bishop (D-2nd District), Jack Kingston (R-1st District), Austin Scott (R-8th District), David Scott (D-13th District), Lynn Westmoreland (R-3rd District) and Rob Woodall (R-7th District).

"Georgia Farm Bureau has long enjoyed strong relationships with the state's members of Congress, and we are blessed to have a group in Washington that understands agricultural issues and how laws affect farmers," said GFB President Zippy Duvall. "We'd like to thank each of them for their support, and the Friend of Farm Bureau Award is one way we do so."

The Friend of Farm Bureau Award, established in 1996 for the 104th Congress, is given to individuals who have supported Farm Bureau issues, as demonstrated by their voting records, and who were nominated by their respective state Farm Bureau and approved by American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors, which selects the issues used to measure the voting records of nominated legislators.

Additional criteria included number of bills each member sponsored or co-sponsored relating to Farm Bureau priority issues, specific leadership role in Congress on those issues and how accessible and responsive that member is to Farm Bureau members and leaders. Georgia Farm Bureau also has the opportunity to provide reasons why a specific member of Congress should receive the award.
GFB will present the plaques to each of the recipients.

Chambliss and Isakson will each receive the award for the seventh time, dating back to their service in the House of Representatives. Kingston is also being honored with the Friend of Farm Bureau Award for the seventh time. This is the fifth Friend of Farm Bureau Award for Bishop, and fourth each for Barrow and David Scott.

"As the leading industry in Georgia's vibrant economy, supporting our agriculture community has always been a top priority of mine," Isakson said. "I'm proud to join Georgia Farm Bureau to represent such hardworking Americans, and I will continue to make decisions that strengthen our agricultural economy while also protecting its legacy."

Four Georgia members of Congress received the award in 2012, six in 2010, nine in 2008, 12 each in 2006 and 2004 and 11 in 2002.



Read more: http://www.gfb.org/gfbnews/GFBNewsMoreInfo.asp?RecordID=5028#ixzz3Evp6uxwv

NO LABELS AWARDS THE “PROBLEM SOLVER SEAL OF APPROVAL” TO SANFORD D. BISHOP, JR.

July 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm

July 8, 2014

Contact: Caroline Schuette

caroline@nolabels.org

Phone: 202.588.1990

Washington, D.C. - No Labels – a national movement dedicated to a new politics of problem solving – has awarded the Problem Solver Seal of Approval to Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA) for his embrace of No Labels’ National Strategic Agenda for American success.

“Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. has been in Congress for 11 terms and he’s shown a commitment to bipartisan problem solving since the very start,” said No Labels Co-Founder Tom Davis. “We welcome his support of the National Strategic Agenda, and look forward to working with him to define and build support for the agenda in the months and years ahead.”

No Labels’ National Strategic Agenda calls for America’s political leaders to commit to a new governing process that can enable us to meet four key national goals:

  • Grow 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years
  • Secure Medicare and Social Security for another 75 years
  • Balance the federal budget by 2030
  • Make America energy secure by 2035

“Disagreements over specific policies or politics aren’t the only causes of perpetual gridlock in D.C.,” said Davis. “Our leaders also haven’t defined a shared vision about what our country’s goals are. We simply can’t move forward until our leaders decide together where they want to take us.”

“Creating jobs and ensuring America's future remain at the top of my agenda,” said Bishop. “As my colleagues and I continue to fight through gridlock in order to work for realistic and practical solutions to our nation's issues, I am proud to stand with No Labels as a Problem Solver.”

Though the National Strategic Agenda articulates a number of ambitious goals, the specific policies to achieve them will be decided in the year ahead in a series of meetings across the nation with members of Congress, state and local government leaders, members of the business and non-profit community and citizens. Rep. Bishop will be participating in this process.

More than 80 members of Congress have endorsed the National Strategic Agenda. For more information about No Labels and its campaign for a National Strategic Agenda, contact Caroline@NoLabels.org.

Winners of the 2014 Congressional Art Competition

May 5, 2014 at 10:15 am

May 2, 2014

ALBANY, GA – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) announced the winners of the 2014 Congressional Art Competition. The very talented Savana Harris, from Lee County High School in Leesburg, Georgia, won first place in this year’s competition. Her beautiful piece of artwork entitled “Keeping Identity” was done in graphite and will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

“The level of creativity and dedication demonstrated by students was very impressive. I am proud of all the artists that took part in this year’s Congressional Art Competition and I would like to commend the outstanding work that our schools are doing to enable young people to realize their potential,” said Congressman Bishop. “The judges had a difficult job in picking a winner this year, but I am happy to congratulate Ms. Savana Harris as the first place award recipient and look forward to unveiling her piece of artwork in the U.S. Capitol next month.”

The competition was open to high school students from Georgia’s Second Congressional District. The works of art were judged by a panel of two independent judges: Mr. John DiMino, Asst. Professor/Art Director at Darton State College; and Art Instructor Michael Mallard, also from the Darton State College Art Department.

Since 1982, the Congressional Institute has sponsored a nationwide high school visual art competition each spring to recognize and encourage artistic talent across the nation. Each participating Member of Congress selects a winner from his or her Congressional district and the artwork is displayed in the United States Capitol for one year.

First Place

Savana Harris
Lee County High School (Leesburg, GA)

Graphite – “Keeping Identity”

Second Place

Ronnita Whipple
Central High School (Macon, GA), 12th Grade

Untitled

Third Place

Abbie Hutchins
Deerfield-Windsor (Albany, GA), 12th Grade

Colored Pencil– “Scarf Girl”

Honorable Mention

Cheyenne Brown
Lee County High School (Leesburg, GA)

Colored Pencil– “Our Country”

Congressman Bishop Announces $248,000 USDA Grant For Fort Valley State University

December 26, 2013 at 12:26 am
Congressman Bishop Announces $248,000 USDA Grant For Fort Valley State University Article | November 12, 2013 - 8:00pm Special to the Metro FORT VALLEY, GA – Last week, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement announcing the awarding of a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assist Fort Valley State University (FVSU) in Georgia. Multiple grants were awarded throughout the United States through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) 1890 Capacity Building Grants Program. The NIFA granted $248,300 to Fort Valley State University for the Fort Valley State University Rural Sustainable 4-H Technology and Obesity Prevention Project. “I am very grateful for these NIFA grants and the positive impact they will have on our youth in Southwest Georgia,” said Congressman Bishop. “I commend Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the NIFA, for their commitment to improving food programs and agricultural technology initiatives in our communities. Research and education are important in strengthening our nation’s economy.” “Congressman Sanford Bishop Jr., while engaging and inspiring young minds about local Georgia community issues, reminded us of the need and significance of the Rural Sustainable 4-H Technology and Obesity Prevention Project,” said Woodie Hughes Jr., FVSU’s interim 4-H program leader. “The goals are to include volunteerism in the training. Each graduate will be encouraged to recruit and mentor a youth from their community. The evaluations and recommendations from this project will be useful to policy makers and program administrators interested in expanding the reach of youth volunteer and service programs to disadvantaged populations that are currently underserved and/or underrepresented.” 1890 Capacity Building Grants are used to promote quality teaching, research and extension programs that focus on food and agricultural sciences through the building of institutional capacities of the 1890 Land-Grant Institutions. The 12 participating young leaders, from four selected Georgia counties, will receive training in volunteerism, foods and nutrition, leadership, and civic engagement programs at the FVSU Agriculture Technology Center. They will learn to implement childhood obesity prevention programs in their communities, research sustainable technology and efficient use of natural resources, and promote extension education programs. The Rural Sustainable 4-H Technology and Obesity Prevention Project will give youth access to a national network of established programs, the collective experience and knowledge of professionals, and a peer-to-peer model of instruction for youth to serve their communities. The project will officially begin January 2014.

Congressman Sanford Bishop reacts to the passing of Nelson Mandela

December 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) issued the following statement regarding the passing of anti-apartheid leader, activist, and former South African President Nelson Mandela. "Dr. King was my most admired hero until I learned of the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. His courage, discipline, humility, and dignity in the face of his life's struggles inspire me daily. His faith in God and commitment to the principles of freedom and justice for all are reflected in his favorite scripture from the Apostle Paul found in the 8th Chapter of Romans; ‘Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' He would not be separated from his principles of justice for all, no matter the cost. The world is truly a better place because of the example of his life. I send my deepest sympathies to his family and to the people of South Africa."

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP SUPPORTS DOMESTIC ENERGY PRODUCTION

November 23, 2013 at 8:26 am
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop (GA-02) supported two measures that will increase domestic energy production, create jobs, and reduce the high cost of energy for consumers: H.R. 2728, the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act; and H.R. 1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act. Congressman Bishop voted in favor of both bills. “I have always held a long-standing commitment to lessening our dependence on foreign energy imports and decreasing energy costs, often working across the aisle to place dollars back in the pockets of hardworking Americans across our great nation,” said Congressman Bishop. “The passage of H.R. 2728 and H.R. 1900 are positive steps toward ensuring that the U.S. stays on the forefront of energy production and that new well-paying jobs continue to be available for industrious Americans.” H.R. 2728, Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act: Rejects a one-size-fits-all federal regulation process by allowing states with carefully devised state-specific rules for energy production take into account the state’s unique geography and energy production considerations when enforcing regulations on hydraulic fracturing of land for energy exploration, circumventing a costly and burdensome implementation of an unnecessary set of new regulations. H.R. 2728 passed 235 to 187. H.R. 1900, Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act: Sets deadlines for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve or deny a pipeline construction certificate within 12 months of receiving a complete application for a natural gas pipeline. If a decision has not been issued within the required time frame, approval will be automatically granted. This measure will codify existing regulations and bring certainty to businesses planning pipeline projects. H.R. 1900 passed 252 to 165. - See more at: http://thealbanyjournal.com/2013/11/congressman-bishop-supports-domestic-energy-production/#sthash.CkMtUaCT.dpuf

Bishop: “Congress has been dysfunctional”

July 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm

By Staff Reports (Columbus, GA) Nearly 80 Democrats and Republicans from the House of Representatives and the Senate have joined forces.   

The coalition known as "No Labels" is focusing on getting out of the gridlock that congress faces.
 
The group's theme, "stop fighting and start fixing" is aimed at bridging the political aisle to solve some of Washington's biggest problems.

Georgia Congressman Sanford Bishop recently joined the group on Capital Hill and tells WLTZ NBC38 the problems facing the nation today aren't limited to one political party.

Sanford Bishop:"Congress has been dysfunctional. We've got the Senate controlled by Democrats, and the House controlled by Republicans, but it seems as if we are not able to get anything done as a Congress. There are a number of us who feel that it is very very important that we look beyond labels, that we look beyond partisanship and parties to address the solutions that our country faces. The problems that we face and the solutions to those problems are not Democrat or Republican problems, they are American problems, and the solutions will be American solutions."

According to their mission statement, No labels promotes its politics of problem solving in three ways by organizing citizens across America, providing space for legislators who want to solve problems and by pushing for common sense reforms.

BISHOP STATEMENT REGARDING NSA DATA GATHERING

June 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm

“There are bad actors in the world and I believe the American people want our government to have the necessary tools, with appropriate oversight, to protect our families and communities from those who would do us harm. While we value the right to privacy, it must be balanced against the need to protect us from violent attacks on our people and our infrastructure,” said Congressman Bishop. “Where our nation draws the line between national security and personal privacy is a very important discussion that we, individually and collectively, should continue in order to protect the checks and balances provided to the three branches of government by our Constitution.”

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP CONTINUES FIGHT FOR STUDENTS

June 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm

 

SUPPORTS LEGISLATION FOR LOW STUDENT LOAN RATES 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, many students across the nation are burdened with rising student loan debt. In an effort to keep college loans affordable, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) has signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 1595, the Student Loan Relief Act of 2013, which would extend the current subsidized Stafford student loan rate of 3.4% for two years. If action is not taken, the interest rate will double to 6.8% on July 1, 2013 due to the expiration of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act enacted in 2007 and extended for one year in 2012. The 2007 legislation overhauled federal student aid programs by reducing interest rates on the popular Stafford loan program, which help undergraduate and graduate students pay for their education.

“Millions of undergraduate and graduate students in Georgia and across the nation are in urgent need of relief so that they can continue to afford their education,” said Congressman Bishop. “It is imperative that Congress does all that it can to assist students with one of the largest hurdles they face throughout the education process, and help ensure that they will continue their studies andpursue their dreams.”

It is vital that Congress ensure that millions of college students do not face higher loan rates, which would drive younger Americans deeper into debt. While a comprehensive solution is needed to address student loans rates, H.R. 1595 will provide the time needed for Congress to address a long-term solution to student borrowing rates while still protecting our students from higher interest rates.

 

Congressman Bishop joins effort to delay USPS closures

May 23, 2013 at 12:54 pm

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP JOINS BIPARTISAN EFFORT TO DELAY POSTAL PROCESSING FACILITY CLOSURES

By / May 23, 2013 / 0 Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop (GA-02) asked the United States Postal Service to stand by its original commitment to keep postal processing facilities open until next spring. In late March, the Postal Service unilaterally decided to accelerate closure of about fifty mail processing facilities across the country.

“We urge you to recognize the disastrous impact that the elimination of overnight delivery standards and closings of Area Mail Processing Centers and other facilities across the country would have on local and national unemployment,” the bipartisan group of members wrote. “The USPS is a major employer around the country and employs over 500,000 workers. With an unacceptably high unemployment rate, it would be particularly inopportune for the USPS to close facilities.”

Forty-six Members of Congress joined Congressman Bishop in detailing the harm these closures would have on their local economies. The letter advocates a comprehensive approach to postal reform that ensures the Postal Service will stay financially solvent for many years to come.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

Patrick R. Donahoe

Postmaster General

United States Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza SW

Washington, DC 20260

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe,

We write to urge you to maintain operations at all mail processing facilities as originally reported to allow Congress to take action on postal reform legislation. We believe it would be imprudent of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to close or eliminate processing of mail, at any facility, ahead of schedule as installations were committed to remain intact until spring 2014.

We understand that the USPS cannot sustain itself under its current system, and we agree it is up to Congress to act. However, management’s unilateral decision to advance the closing of mail processing centers around the nation would severely limit Congress’ ability to take action.

In addition, we urge you to recognize the disastrous impact that the elimination of overnight delivery standards and closings of Area Mail Processing Centers and other facilities across the country would have on local and national unemployment. The USPS is a major employer around the country and employs over 500,000 workers. With an unacceptably high unemployment rate, it would be particularly inopportune for the USPS to close facilities.

Again, we urge you to follow through on your original time frame to allow Congress time to develop comprehensive postal reform legislation that would take meaningful steps to create a financially sound future for the USPS, while leaving intact the important services Americans rely on and expect. It is critically important the postal service not preempt Congressional action by unilaterally moving forward with elimination of overnight delivery, allowing for major shutdowns across the country of mail processing facilities.

Thank you for your consideration of this critical issue. We look forward to continuing our work to create a more stable fiscal future for the USPS while also upholding this essential service for our communities, states, and the country.

Sincerely,

Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.

Rosa L. DeLauro

Ron Barber

Earl Blumenauer

Mo Brooks

G.K. Butterfield

Tony Cárdenas

Judy Chu

Yvette D. Clarke

Steve Cohen

Peter DeFazio

Donna Edwards

Keith Ellison

Elizabeth Esty

Sam Farr

Pete P. Gallego

Raúl M. Grijalva

Janice Hahn

Alcee L. Hastings

Brian Higgins

Jim Himes

Jared Huffman

Hank Johnson

William Keating

Barbara Lee

Carolyn B. Maloney

Edward J. Markey

Betty McCollum

James P. McGovern

Michael H. Michaud

Bill Pascrell, Jr.

Donald Payne, Jr.

Gary Peters

Bobby L. Rush

Tim Ryan

Loretta Sanchez

Jan Schakowsky

Adam B. Schiff

Allyson Y. Schwartz

Robert C. “Bobby” Scott

Albio Sires

Terri Sewell

Niki Tsongas

Juan Vargas

Marc Veasey

Maxine Waters

Peter Welch

Bishop opens third Congressional office

Web Team May 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm

MACON, Ga. – On Monday, U.S. Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, (D-Ga.), will hold a ribbon cutting and open house to announce the opening of a new district office in Macon.

The Second District includes 29 middle and Southwest Georgia counties, including the areas of Macon and Bibb County, which were added to the District in the new reapportionment plan that went into effect this year.

The Macon office will focus on providing services to constituents in Bibb, Crawford, Taylor, and Peach counties. The other two offices are located in Albany and Columbus.

BISHOP ADVOCATES FOR A STRONG FORT BENNING

April 29, 2013 at 6:55 pm

 

BISHOP ADVOCATES FOR A STRONG FORT BENNING

By   /   April 25, 2013  /   0 Comments

 
 

Special to the Journal

COLUMBUS, GA – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, submitted comments to the United States Army’s listening session at Fort Benning regarding the Army’s 2020 Force Structure Realignment. After the listening session, community feedback will be considered by Army Senior Leaders prior to any final decisions on base drawdown.

Rep. Sanford Bishop

“For the past seventy years, Columbus and Phenix City have supported Fort Benning’s mission to train and prepare our service members for the call to duty. Providing services, community, and opportunity, we are as intricately woven into the lineage of Fort Benning’s support to our military as any tank, battalion, or maneuver center has ever been,” said Congressman Bishop. “Certainly, I can personally attest to the pride we hold in our ability and willingness to serve our armed forces in this capacity, and these communities look forward to many more years of united service to the nation.”

To view Congressman Bishop’s letter to Army Leadership, please click here.

Background:

In January 2013, the United States Army released a final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment, which reviews and analyzes the impact of an anticipated force-wide restructuring plan. The Army has completed this analysis in an effort to ensure that vital national defense capabilities are maintained in a climate of budgetary constraints as U.S. missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming to an end. Consequently, the Army is beginning a process to reduce their total active end-strength from 562,000 to 490,000 by 2020 as part of the military’s overall budget reduction.

As part of this drawdown, plans are being laid to deactivate eight Army Brigade Combat Teams. The Army has announced two of the deactivated brigades will come from units stationed in Europe, while the remaining six will come from twenty-one U.S. installations home to Brigade Combat Teams, possibly including Fort Benning, Georgia.

Domestic sites being considered for force reduction also include: Fort Bliss, TX; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Carson, CO; Fort Drum, NY; Fort Gordon, GA; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Irwin, CA; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Lee, VA; Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Fort Polk, LA; Fort Riley, KS; Fort Sill, OK; Fort Stewart, GA; U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii; and U.S. Army Garrison Fort Wainwright, AK.

In order to view the entire Environmental Impact Statementplease click here. In order to view the Environmental Impact Statement sections that reference Fort Benning, please click here.

To view Congressman Bishop’s actions regarding the extension of the PEA and urging the public to comment, please click here.

Prior to the close of the PEA’s public comment period, Congressman Bishop submitted his own comments in a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack echoing many of the concerns that have been raised and urging the Army to continue to support a strong Fort Benning. To view the letter sent to the Army, please click here.

 
 

Bishop encourages young researchers to ‘pick up the mantle’

April 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm

ALBANY, Ga. -- Albany State University held its spring 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium Monday, with U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr., D-Albany, urging those in attendance to always remember the contributions research have made to the country.

Research has touched every facet of our lives," Bishop said. "I am here to encourage the next generation to pick up the mantle of research and make like better for all of us. Just think about the possibilities ..." Twenty-eight students gave oral and poster presentations to showcase their research about national issues, including economics, crime, education and health disparities. "ASU's undergraduate research program allows student researchers to hone their research, critical thinking, and leadership skills while working closely with faculty mentors in their areas of research interest," said Vanessa McRae, assistant director of the Center for Undergraduate Research. Later during an off-stage interview, Bishop talked about recent events in Boston and funding for the air control tower at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.

"The events in Boston were sudden and tragic," Bishop said. "But I was pleased that law enforcement were able to to their jobs so quickly and so well." When asked if he wanted to see the surviving bomber tried in criminal court or as an enemy combatant, Bishop replied, "I don't think it will really matter how he will be tried. What's important is that he will be brought to justice." Federal prosecutors on Monday charged Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with carrying out last week's bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and injured more than 200 were injured in the blasts. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that Tsarnaev, a naturalized citizen of the U.S., would be tried in the civilian court system, where he could face the death penalty.

In regard to the Albany airport tower, an early victim of sequestration cuts, Bishop said he was pleased by the Federal Aviation Agency's decision to continue funding the contract towers until June 15. "Never say never, but I think the resulting outcry from 149 communities to be affected by tower closures made the FAA rethink its position," Bishop said. "What happens after June 15, I cannot say. But this goes beyond an economic issue, it is also a major safety issue."

Ga Rep. Sanford Bishop: ‘Our country and I stand with the city of Boston’

April 19, 2013 at 7:38 am

 

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (R-Ga) released a statement on Tuesday sending his “thoughts and prayers” to all residents of Boston while praising the response teams and civilians for their courage and kindness.

“My deepest thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Boston as they, and our nation, cope with the aftermath of the bombings at the Boston Marathon,” said Bishop in a press release. “America’s willingness to stay strong in the face of terror was evidenced yesterday, not only by the immediate reaction of police and first responders to the scene, but also by the numerous heartwarming acts of kindness exhibited by residents of Boston directly following yesterday’s acts of violence.”

It is still unknown who is behind the Boston Marathon bombings, but the authorities established it was a terrorist attack and have begun a “worldwide investigation.

At this point, three people are dead and 176 injured. The two bombs went off Monday, right before 3 p.m. on Boston’s 238th annual Patriot’s Day at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon.

“The bombing in Boston reminds us that it is our duty to remain vigilant against threats of terrorism against the United States, especially because we are repeatedly reminded that the lives of families and innocents are in danger,” said Bishop. “Our country and I stand with the city of Boston as the authorities work towards uncovering and bringing to justice those responsible for this tragic incident.”

Congressman Bishop represents Georgia’s 2nd congressional district.

BISHOP COMMENDS GEORGIA LEADERS FOR IMPLEMENTING VETERAN AND MILITARY SPOUSAL LICENSING BIL

April 16, 2013 at 8:41 am

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), founding Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Military Family Caucus, commended the Georgia General Assembly and Governor Nathan Deal for working together to pass and sign into law House Bill 188, which allows veterans who have gained military certification in a trade specialty to apply for an immediate Georgia trade license, with the possibility of bypassing the usual application and testing process. The same opportunity is offered to military spouses who have a professional license from another state.

“This law is a huge step forward for Georgia in carrying out our responsibility of ensuring our veterans are able to find work,” said Congressman Bishop. “Moreover, military spouses are on the front lines supporting our service members but face many challenges of their own, including frequent moves and disruptions in employment. The very least we can do is help alleviate the burden of those whose professions require state licenses by paving an easier and faster road for them to continue practicing in their professions here in Georgia.”

About 35% of military spouses are employed in professions that require state licenses or certification, such as teaching or nursing. They also are ten times more likely to move across state lines than the general population. House Bill 188 was signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on Monday, April 8, 2013.

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP FIGHTS TO CLOSE PAY GAP BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN

March 23, 2013 at 8:50 am

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) tookaction to force an up-or-down vote by signing a discharge petition to bring up H.R. 377, the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill would help close the gender pay gap by closing loopholes in and strengthening the nearly 50 year old Equal Pay Act, including providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work.

(File photo)

“Congress must heed the voices of America’s women and bring up the critically important Paycheck Fairness Act for a vote,” said Congressman Bishop. “Equal pay is not simply a woman’s issue. It is a family issue. With families increasingly relying on women’s wages to make ends meet, we simply cannot afford to wait any longer.”

Despite the fact that the Equal Pay Act will mark its 50th anniversary in June, women earn only $.77 for every dollar earned by men, amounting to a yearly gap of just over $11,000 between full-time working men and women, according to a report from the American Association of University Women. The $11,000 missing from women’spaychecks could purchase for a median family 89 more weeks of food or more than 3,000 additional gallons of gas or more than one year of rent.

Congressman Bishop concluded, “Frankly, it is unconscionable that in 2013 we are still debatingpaycheck fairness. Women have the right to be treated equally, and so there should be no delay in achieving an America where women are truly being paid what they deserve.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act was introduced on January 23, 2013, but Congress has failed to schedule a hearing or a mark-up on the bill. The bill currently has 192 cosponsors, including Congressman Bishop. A discharge petition requires the House of Representatives to consider specific legislation once a majority of Members of Congress (218) have signed the petition. 

Bishop advocates for extension of public comment period on brigade withdrawl

February 20, 2013 at 5:01 am

 

Bishop advocates for extension of public comment period on brigade withdrawl

 

In response to a letter sent by Congressman Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, the Army has granted an extension of 30 days to the public comment period for their Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment.
 

“As you know, this decision [whether to inactivate a brigade at Fort Benning or other installations] will have a tremendous impact on my district in Southwest Georgia,” wrote Congressman Bishop. “It is important all of our local leaders have adequate time to view, assess, and comment on the data provided in the report to ensure the greatest accuracy possible.”

In January 2013, the United States Army released a final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment, which reviews and analyzes the impact of an anticipated force-wide restructuring plan. The Army has completed this analysis in an effort to ensure that vital national defense capabilities are maintained in a climate of budgetary constraints as U.S. missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming to an end. Consequently, the Army is beginning a process to reduce their total active end-strength from 562,000 to 490,000 by 2020 as part of the military’s overall budget reduction.

As part of this drawdown, plans are being laid to deactivate eight Army Brigade Combat Teams. The Army has announced two of the deactivated brigades will come from units stationed in Europe, while the remaining six will come from twenty-one U.S. installations home to Brigade Combat Teams, possibly including Fort Benning, Georgia

Domestic sites being considered for force reduction also include: Fort Bliss, TX; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Carson, CO; Fort Drum, NY; Fort Gordon, GA; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Irwin, CA; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Lee, VA; Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Fort Polk, LA; Fort Riley, KS; Fort Sill, OK; Fort Stewart, GA; U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii; and U.S. Army Garrison Fort Wainwright, AK.

In making a final determination, the Army will consider environmental issues; socioeconomic impact (reduced employment, income, regional population, and sales); as well as operational (military value); cost, strategy and geographic distribution; investment and regeneration; and soldier and family quality of life.

“It cannot be understated how important Fort Benning, its service members, and support staff are to the community and economy of the greater Columbus region,” said Congressman Bishop. “Given the potential impact of the PEA on Fort Benning and the surrounding area, I would urge anyone concerned about the potential loss of a brigade to submit a public comment. It is vital that the details of the PEA are accurate, and we must continue to do all that we can to support our soldiers.”

In order to view the entire Environmental Impact Statement, please click here.

In order to view the Environmental Impact Statement sections that reference Fort Benning, please click here.

Downtown Columbus named ‘renaissance’ area by Georgia Trend magazine

February 9, 2013 at 11:56 am

 

There was a time when being lumped in with Hinesville, Ga., was not a good thing. And, truth be told, Hinesville might have thought the same about Columbus.

But the little burg by Fort Stewart must have been undergoing the same transformation Columbus has over the last quarter-century or so.

Georgia Trend magazine has listed Columbus as one of the state's top eight "renaissance cities" in its most recent issue.

"These eight downtowns are bustling with shops, restaurants, art and activity," the headline on the magazine's website declares.

Columbus is listed alphabetically with Blue Ridge, Dahlonega, Decatur, Hinesville, Roswell, Savannah and Statesboro. The cities are not ranked.

The section of the article describing Columbus mentions the RiverWalk, the RiverCenter, the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, the Carson McCullers and Ma Rainey homes, whitewater, Columbus State University's downtown presence, and, of course, the renaissance downtown has seen over the past 20-plus years.

"We're experiencing a renaissance in business growth and quality of life," Mayor Teresa Tomlinson is quoted as saying. "Columbus has become this outdoorsy, hip place with sophisticated cultural attractions."

The article also points to Fort Benning, TSYS and Aflac providing jobs and a more stable economy than many cities enjoy.

"Columbus has gone from being a manufacturing and military town to a city that also has an international impact and tourism appeal," Tomlinson said. "These changes might surprise some people."


Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2013/02/05/2372313/downtown-columbus-named-renaissance.html#storylink=cpy

Georgia drought areas can receive assistance

February 5, 2013 at 10:54 am

23 counties in Georgia have been named primary or contiguous natural disaster areas due to a recent drought. Farm operators are now eligible to be considered for emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) for the next eight months.

Multiple counties are considered to be primarily affected by drought. They include: Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Colquitt, Effingham, Jenkins, Miller, Screven, and Seminole counties.

Baker, Brooks, Burke, Candler, Cook, Decatur, Early, Emanuel, Evans, Liberty, Mitchell, Thomas, Tift, and Worth counties are designated to contiguous disaster counties.

To learn more about FSA disaster assistance loans for farmers, please click here

Congressional Chicken Caucus Re-organized for 113th Congress

February 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Here’s a release from the National Chicken Council:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 4, 2013 – Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR) and Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) announced on Friday members of the bipartisan Congressional Chicken Caucus in the 113th Congress. Crawford and Bishop founded the Chicken Caucus in 2012 and will continue serving as co-chairs of the caucus in the 113th Congress.

“I want to thank Representatives Crawford and Bishop for their steadfast leadership and for once again taking the lead in organizing the Congressional Chicken Caucus,” said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown. “As it did in the 112th Congress, the caucus will continue to give a united voice to the chicken industry as we navigate many issues in the two years ahead.”

The bipartisan caucus will consist of members devoted to the various issues affecting the United States chicken industry, and will also provide a platform to discuss the role of government in addressing current and future industry challenges.

“Working with caucus members, I plan to be a strong advocate for the 6,000 Arkansans who work in chicken production,” said Rep. Crawford.

“I look forward to continue working with the Congressional Chicken Caucus in creating a forum where chicken producers, processors, consumers, and retailers can provide members of Congress with their thoughts and suggestions on how to sustain and improve our poultry industries,” added Rep. Bishop.

To date, members of the Congressional Chicken Caucus include:

Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR), Caucus Co-Chairman
Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Caucus Co-Chairman
Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI)
Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA)
Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD)
Congressman Tim Griffin (R-AR)
Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA)
Congressman Gregg Harper (R-MS)
Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC)
Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-MS)
Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-TN)

Companies involved in the production and processing of chicken provide 1,049,800 total jobs, including 25,000 family farmers, that pay $49.1 billion in wages to families throughout the country, generate over $205.5 billion in annual economic impact and about $17.9 billion in taxes.

Congressional Peanut Caucus members named

February 1, 2013 at 10:58 am

U.S. Representatives Martha Roby (R-Ala.) and Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.) have announced the re-formation of the Congressional Peanut Caucus for the 113th Congress.

The group of 17 lawmakers representing states with significant peanut farming and production will work together to ensure that peanut interests have a voice in Congress and that peanut issues are taken into account in agricultural legislation.

Roby and Bishop will again co-chair the group. “We saw last Congress what a difference it makes when members from peanut-producing states team up to ensure our interests are considered on equal footing in agriculture legislation,” Roby said.

Members of the Congressional Peanut Caucus are:


• Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) co-chair


• Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.) co-chair


• Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.)


• Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.)


• Rep. George K. Butterfield (D-N.C.)


• Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.)


• Rep. Michael Conaway (R-Texas)


• Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.)


• Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.)


• Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.)


• Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.)


• Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.)

• Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.)


• Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.)


•Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.)


• Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.)


• Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.)



BISHOP HONORED FOR SUPPORT OF DEFENSE BUSINESS COMMUNITY

Rep. Sanford Bishop October 8, 2012 at 7:59 am

 

BISHOP HONORED FOR SUPPORT OF DEFENSE BUSINESS COMMUNITY

By   /   October 4, 2012  /   No Comments

 
 

Staff Reports

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member on the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veteran Affairs, and Related Agencies as well as the Co-Chair of the Congressional Military Family Caucus was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the American Logistics Association (ALA).

“There can be no mistake that the continuation of the PX and commissary programs is vitally important to military families and our veterans,” said Bishop. “I applaud you for your hard work ensuring these programs continue their successful partnerships with America’s leading manufacturers. These programs serve as a good example of a public/private partnership that works for the common good, a model we should all strive to support.”

“Congressman Bishop stands tall among the staunchest advocates in Congress for the military and their families,” said Pat Nixon, President of the American Logistics Association. “It is our privilege to recognize him with our most prestigious award. He is a friend of the industry and a supporter of robust job creation, especially for military families and veterans. We salute and value his dedication, service, and passion for our military and our nation.”

Comprised of nearly 250 manufacturers, military sales brokerage firms, suppliers, and distributors, The American Logistics Association is a trade association that serves as a central resource and representative voice for businesses and organizations who participate in the military marketplace. Already a heavy employer of returning

Congressman Sanford Bishop receives the Distinguished Service Award from the American Logistics Association (ALA)

military service members, the American Logistics Association and their member organizations have pledged 25,000 jobs by 2014 for veterans and their families in support of the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative.

The ALA Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual or individuals deemed by the ALA Board of Directors to have made during his of her career lasting contributions so truly significant that, in the opinion of the ALA Board, they will influence the cause of military resale, MWR/Services and subsistence achievement for all time. Gauged by such a measure, ALA believes the individual will have earned this distinguished honor in pursuit of the defense of this country.

Healthy eating habits succeed in Dougherty Co. schools

October 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm

 

Albany,GA -

Once pizza and chips is now salad and wheat bread sticks. For the first time in 30 years the USDA made substantial reforms to school lunch and breakfast programs through The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

"Children eat a lot of the foods that they consume at school and where better to start improve the health of youngsters than in our lunch rooms," says US Congressman, Sanford Bishop.

Bishop and USDA representatives visited Lincoln Elementary to make sure kids are getting their fruits and veggies. Dougherty County school leaders say they are in full compliance.

"What we've learned is our primary schools, the students are doing really well, they really love the fruits and vegetables," says Dougherty County School Nutrition Director, Blaine Allen.

When asked if they liked salads, nearly all of the kindergartners at one lunch table raised their hands. Experts say introducing children to healthy eating, can impact what foods they choose the rest of their lives.

"When you eat salad every day, it gives you energy, and healthy, and strong," says kindergartner, Chloe England.

$14 billion was spent last year providing fresh fruits and vegetables for kids in schools, but officials say the payoff is tremendous.

"We spent about $150 billion in treating obesity related illnesses and diseases so when you think about it the amount that we invest in healthy and nutritious meals, it's far less than what we invest to take care of those obesity related diseases," says Southeast Region Director for Food Nutrition Services, Erin Swanson-Hall.

And the lunch room workers say the more healthy options they offer, the more they see students pick food that is good for them.

Allen says the county is in 100 percent compliance with the new regulations, an achievement that he says is hard to do.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

Author- Taylor Sanders

House Dems Launch a Voting Rights Application

July 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

 

 

By Alicia M. Cohn

 

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) this week is unveiling his next step in the battle over voting rights in the form of a pop-up Web application that informs people where to vote and how to register.

 

Hoyer and Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.), the ranking Democrat on the House Administration Committee, sent a letter to colleagues dated Monday to introduce the new application and encourage members to use it, specifically recommending sharing it through social media. The letter urges that it is the "responsibility" of elected leaders to help inform constituents about the democratic process.

"In the last year, we have witnessed a nationwide assault on American citizens' constitutionally-guaranteed right to vote," they wrote. "Aside from the unnecessary, expensive, and ineffective new Voter ID laws, we have also seen targeted purges of eligible, registered voters from state rolls. Little has been done to educate the public about these actions. As a result, there are thousands of eligible voters at risk of being turned away from the polls while attempting to make choices about their federal representation."

The new app marks a concerted attempt by Democrats to counteract what they see as the negative push at state level by Republicans to implement voter ID laws -- for instance, in Texas and Wisconsin -- and purge voting rolls, as in Florida. The Justice Department has acted to blocked many of those attempts on the grounds they violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965, legislation that sought to end racially discriminatory voting practices, but advocates such as Florida's Republican Gov. Rick Scott say the DOJ is "stonewalling" state attempts to protect voting rights for legal voters by weeding out illegal ones.

Hoyer and Brady have advocated for the Voter Empowerment Act to modernize and reform the voting process.

“As we approach a pivotal presidential election, the right to vote is under assault from a series of punitive laws and targeted voter purges in states across the country," Hoyer told The Hill in a statement. "To combat this assault, Democrats have developed an app to give Americans critical voter eligibility information so voters are empowered and know their rights. Information is the most powerful weapon we have to fight against voter intimidation and deception. In the months to come, I will continue working with my Democratic colleagues to ensure that all Americans have the most up-to-date information on registration requirements and how and where to exercise their most fundamental right.”

President Obama has his own voting registration initiative, GottaVote.org. That website is a one-stop shop for voter registration that detects where a viewer is located in the United States and offers information on how to get registered and when to vote.

The goal of both tools is to forge a simple path to educating eligible voters on how to vote. Hoyer's app goes one step further than Obama's in seeking to find potential voters where they are. It is embed-able and can be shared on other websites. It is also accessible on smartphones.

The app provides a pop-up process that walks users through the eligibility requirements and state-by-state how-tos for registering to vote. For those who are already registered, but don't know where or how to vote or are confused by deadlines such as those for mail-in ballots, the app provides links to the relevant information, including the opportunity to add a reminder to Outlook calendars.

The app is customized for all 50 states and six territories, according to Hoyer's office. It was developed by staff in Hoyer's office as well as the Democratic Office of the Committee on House Administration.

 

http://www.democraticwhip.gov/VotingRights%20%20

News Jobs coming to Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District

June 28, 2012 at 10:39 am

Tractor Supply Co. to build $50 million distribution center in south Bibb. 

 

Patience paid off in a big way Monday as fast-growing Tractor Supply Co. picked Bibb County for a new $50 million distribution center that will bring 200 new jobs.

The 650,000-square-foot facility -- about three times the size of the Sara Lee distribution center, its neighbor in the I-75 Business Park -- could open by fall 2013.

The large project is just what local leaders envisioned when they ran water, sewer and other utilities to undeveloped areas of the 489-acre park off Hartley Bridge Road.

“Because of the economic downturn, we could have divided the land up for smaller companies,” said Cliffard Whitby, chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority. “We chose to hold on for a bigger project.”

While area economic developers were being patient, Tractor Supply officials had an urgent need for a new distribution center to replace its leased, outgrown center in Braselton. The Tennessee-based company plans to build 95 new stores next year and possibly as many the following year, and the I-75 Business Park was the “ideal location,” said Gregory Sandfort, the company’s president and chief operating officer.

“That growth means we need infrastructure,” Sandfort told a crowd of about 200 gathered at Monday’s announcement. “This facility will be our second-largest. It will be the latest and greatest in technology. ... We want to be up and running in a year.”

Sandfort said the company needed a building closer to the Port of Savannah and closer to interstates. And, he said, “we want a community that wants us there.”

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle praised the teamwork of Macon and Bibb officials, as well as efforts to develop the area’s work force.

“They made a significant investment, and they really came together as elected officials,” Cagle said. “Macon and Bibb County have taken a very significant step forward.”

The I-75 Business Park is a joint development of the industrial authority and the Macon Water Authority. Officials just finished $3.2 million in infrastructure upgrades, paid in part by a federal disaster grant after the 2008 Mother’s Day tornadoes. The grant was awarded for economic stimulus, and it was used to expand water and sewer service and to erect a 1-million-gallon water tank on the other side of Hartley Bridge Road.

Officials also built a three-lane road into the undeveloped area of the park. The road is now named “Tractor Supply Boulevard.”

“That was the final piece of the deal,” the industrial authority’s Whitby said with a grin.

Sandfort also said an incentives package offered to the company was key to its coming to Bibb County. He called it a “win-win for both sides of the table.”

The company will get a 15-year tax abatement that amounts to about a 70 percent savings, said Kevin Brown, the industrial authority’s attorney. The longer term was given “to get them ramped up,” Brown said.

The new distribution center will be four stories tall, and the building itself will occupy 16 acres.

The Bibb County Commission also allocated for the project the use of up to $3.9 million in special purpose local option sales tax money that had been earmarked for economic development.

“Without the water authority and the county working together, the industrial authority would not have been able to get this company here,” Whitby said.

Earlier Monday, the industrial authority approved an inducement package to finalize the deal that included the transfer of authority-owned property in the park to the company. The authority has about 180 acres remaining in the park.

Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart said the project never would have happened if voters had not passed the SPLOST.

“These are your pennies at work,” Hart said. “When you cooperate and work together, people tend to look differently at your community.”

State incentives included job tax credits, investment tax credits and Quick Start job training for employees, said Gretchen Corbin, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Local officials also rolled out a big welcome Monday. The announcement came under a big, air-conditioned white tent pitched at the end of Tractor Supply Boulevard. A catered lunch featured a spread of peeled shrimp, smoked chicken wings, fresh fruit and more. And, of course, sweet tea.

“This is another example of how Macon -- and Middle Georgia -- has really established itself as a true logistics hub,” said Pat Topping, senior vice president of the Macon Economic Development Commission.

Topping said the July 31 sales tax referendum for regional transportation projects could make the midstate even more attractive to new industry.

“We’ll see more logistics, but not just that, more manufacturing companies,” he said.

Tractor Supply Co. has more than 1,100 stores in 44 states and promotes itself as the country’s largest farm and ranch store chain. It has a half-dozen stores in Middle Georgia, including Macon, Byron, Dublin and Milledgeville.

“Tractor Supply Co. is one of those places I can get lost in for hours,” said Lt, Gov. Cagle. “It’s got everything a man wants.”

To contact writer Rodney Manley, call 744-4623.


Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2012/06/25/2073094/industrial-authority-oks-deal.html#storylink=cpy

 


Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2012/06/25/2073094/industrial-authority-oks-deal.html#storylink=cpy

Georgia Peaches Arriving Early By Josephine Bennett

May 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm

MUSELLA, Georgia  —   By Josephine Bennett

Georgia grown peaches (GPB file photo)
Georgia grown peaches (GPB file photo)

Georgia's peach crop is coming in early. The state's namesake fruit will be in stores by the weekend.

Peach farmers began picking their crops this week. The mild winter hastened their arrival and the lack of rain over the winter means they’ll be smaller than average but sweeter.

Musella Peach farmer Robert Dickey has 1,000 acres of trees in Crawford County. He says he’s cautiously optimistic about having enough workers, including legal migrant laborers, to pick them. 

“We do hire a lot of college and part time and seasonal people. It’s the only way we can get them harvested otherwise.”

Dickey says they’ll be picking several varieties through August. Georgia farmers sell nearly 60-million dollars in peaches a year.

Addressing Obesity

Rep. Sanford Bishop February 14, 2011 at 11:27 am

I want to speak to you about childhood obesity and its devastating impact on our communities.

This issue is critical to African Americans, where 18 percent of black high school students are obese, compared to 10 percent of whites; and 19 percent of black high school students are overweight, compared to 14 percent of whites.

Overweight and obese teens are at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, arthritis, and breathing problems; and our children are disproportionately impacted.

In a recent report, “Too Fat to Fight,” over 100 retired generals and admirals wrote that obesity among children and young adults has increased so dramatically that it threatens not only the Nation’s health, but the future of our military.

First Lady Michelle Obama and a White House Task Force on Obesity issued a report with recommendations for reversing the obesity epidemic – setting goals, benchmarks, and measurable outcomes to tackle this crisis one child, one family, one community at a time.

Five goals must be implemented right away.

First, Giving Children a Healthy Start on Life by assuring prenatal care; breastfeeding; limiting TV time; quality child care settings; nutritious food; and ample opportunity for physical activity.

Second, Empowering Parents and Caregivers to make healthy choices for children through improved food labeling and menus; and reduction in the marketing of unhealthy products to children.

Third, Providing Healthy Foods for all school meals, upgrading nutritional quality of other foods sold; improving nutrition education and the overall health of the school environment.

Fourth, Improving Access to Healthy, Affordable Food by eliminating urban and rural “food deserts;” lowering the prices of healthier foods; making food products healthier, and reducing hunger.

Finally, Getting Children More Physically Active through quality physical education, recess, and more recreational opportunities.

All of us must join together to ensure that our children and our communities are healthy. Our nation’s future depends on it!

The Military Coalition announces support of a Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act.

January 19, 2011 at 11:37 am

I’m proud to announce that The Military Coalition, a consortium of over 30 uniformed services and veterans associations, has announced their strong support and full endorsement of H.R. 333, the Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act.  

As the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veteran Affairs, I introduced H.R. 333 to allow disabled veterans to receive the full amount of compensation they earned serving their country.

When a veteran receives income from multiple sources, such as from the VA and the Department of Defense, it is known as concurrent receipt.  Under current law, many veterans are barred from collecting their VA disability compensation if they also receive military retirement pay, and face a dollar-for-dollar offset despite having earned both benefits while serving their country.  

The Military Coalition has for years looked after the interest of our nation’s service members, veterans, and military families and I am proud to have their support on this vital piece of legislation.

Veterans who have been injured during their service to our country have rightfully earned their military retirement pay and VA disability benefits, and it is unjust that our current policies effectively tax these Americans, taking money right out of their pockets. These policies must change and I look forward to working with the Coalition to pass this bill.

About the Giffords Shooting

Rep. Sanford Bishop January 10, 2011 at 11:35 am

The horrific shootings in Arizona continue to be top of mind for all of us. Vivian and I are deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, her staff, and her constituents. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were maliciously attacked and their families.  May the Grace of God be with them during this difficult time.

This incident was particularly disturbing because Rep. Giffords was doing what we all try to do each weekend – rush back home to be with our families, and get out and listen to the people we represent in order to make better decisions in Washington on their behalf.

This despicable act gives us all pause now. I certainly would like always to be accessible for dialogue with constituents, but under the current circumstances there must be a balance between accessibility and security.

I remain one of Congress’ most staunch supporters of the Second Amendment, and I intend to do whatever is necessary to protect and defend my family, my staff, and my constituents. Going forward I, and my staff, will use common sense and utilize law enforcement wherever appropriate.

Ultimately we will all have to depend on the grace and mercy of God for protection as we endeavor to do His will and serve our constituents.

Vote to Block Medicare Payment Cuts to Doctors

Rep. Sanford Bishop December 7, 2010 at 11:28 am

Just wanted to let you know that I voted to prevent scheduled cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors and  maintain the current Medicare rates doctors are paid through 2011.  Absent this action by Congress, the rates were scheduled for a 25% reduction on January 1.

These cuts would have adversely impacted the access to health care of millions of senior citizens in Georgia and across the nation because many doctors have threatened to stop treating Medicare patients if the cuts are enacted. Congress, however, still needs to work towards a permanent solution to prevent any further uncertainty for patients and physicians.

The legislation, Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act, is completely offset and does not add to the federal budget deficit.