WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), Chairman Emeritus Steve Pearce (NM-02), Chief Forestry Officer Bruce Westerman (AR-04), and Western Caucus Members Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), Bill Flores (TX-17), Trent Franks (AZ-08), Jason Smith (MO-08), Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statements after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 2910, the Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act (sponsored by Rep. Flores), and H.R. 2883, the Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act (sponsored by Rep. Mullin), with bipartisan votes of 248-179 and 254-175 respectively:

"I am proud to sponsor the Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act and see it pass with bipartisan support in the House today,” said Congressman Mullin. “By taking politics out of the approval process, we deliver certainty to what can often be a chaotic regulatory process. H.R. 2883 ensures that the construction of energy infrastructure across our borders follows a streamlined and transparent regulatory process each and every time. The passage of these energy bills today supports our country’s rapidly growing energy infrastructure and creates dependable, affordable energy for all Americans.”

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WASHINGTON – Today, the House passed H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 with a vote of 344-81. Upon passage, Chairman Thornberry (R-TX), of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement:

“For the 56th year in a row, the House has passed a bipartisan bill that prioritizes the men and women in uniform who selflessly volunteer to support and defend our nation. This bill takes the necessary steps to begin to rebuild and reform our military, including billions in additional funds to begin to close the dangerous readiness gaps our troops are facing.

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Washington, D.C.—Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the senior Republican in the United States Senate, introduced the Orphan Product Extensions Now Accelerating Cures and Treatments Act (OPEN ACT) of 2017. The OPEN ACT would build on the success of the Orphan Drug Act to provide incentives to increase market potential for companies that repurpose previously approved drugs for the treatment of rare diseases. Repurposing drugs is typically faster, cheaper, and safer than traditional drug development.

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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced $8,452,315 in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for housing programs across West Virginia.

“West Virginians understand the importance of helping our neighbors who fall into hard times,” Senator Manchin said. “This funding will ensure that communities across West Virginia have the resources needed to improve public housing, promote safe living environments, and help families, children, and Veterans keep a roof over their heads in times of need. Additionally, this funding will be used to provide counseling to tenants and homeowners to promote property maintenance and financial literacy.”

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WASHINGTON — United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that energy legislation released today in the Senate would re-affirm Congress’ commitment to ARPA-E and energy research and also support the Department of Energy’s plans to build the world’s fastest supercomputers which are essential to our national security and American competitiveness.

The bill released today—the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017—includes several provisions supported by Senator Alexander. If passed by the Congress, and signed into law by the President, it would be the first broad energy legislation in nine years.

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Data shows VA employees spent 1.1 million paid hours on union activities while veterans waited for medical care

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced the Serve Veterans First Act; legislation that will ensure no Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employee is paid for union or labor-organizing activities while veterans are still forced to endure wait times for VA medical care.

“The VA should not pay employees for union work while veterans are forced to wait for medical care,” said Flake. “The VA exists to serve veterans and their families, period. If that wasn’t apparent to some VA employees, the Serve Veterans First Act will make it crystal clear.”

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