MCCONNELL COLUMN/Bringing KY Priorities to Washington

Mitch McConnell

During the month of August, I traveled across Kentucky meeting with constituents to hear their concerns, to update them on the Senate’s business and to ask how I can assist them in Washington. I value the time I spend with my fellow Kentuckians, and these conversations at home help me serve my constituents in Washington.

I had the opportunity to visit with many hardworking men and women throughout the Commonwealth and discuss their industry-specific concerns. At the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), I spoke with workers about the airport’s incredible growth for both passengers and freight shipment. Earlier this year, I contacted the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to support CVG’s application to enhance its air cargo operations at the facility. I’m pleased to see CVG attracting new airlines and investments, helping to drive the Northern Kentucky economy.

I also welcomed U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to Louisville to discuss tax reform, which represents the single most important action we can take to put our economy back on the right track. We met with community and business leaders to discuss the legislative process for tax reform and to hear constituents’ priorities as Congress develops tax relief legislation. After our productive conversation, I joined Secretary Mnuchin, Governor Matt Bevin and U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie on a tour of the gold vaults at Fort Knox becoming the first civilians in more than 40 years to go inside. I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump, his team and my colleagues in Congress to fundamentally rethink our tax code to make taxes lower, simpler and fairer for families and small business and to help provide more opportunities for American workers.

Combating the scourge of opioid addiction is one of my consistent priorities in Washington. I participated in a substance abuse roundtable in Louisville with healthcare professionals and community leaders to hear about their experiences working with those struggling with addiction. I also spoke with them about “Jessie’s Law,” which recently passed the Senate with my support.  This legislation will allow addiction history to be included in patients’ medical records to help medical professionals make better-informed treatment decisions. Additionally, I shared updates regarding Congress’ efforts to bolster treatment and recovery services and to strengthen law enforcement tools through federal laws like the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act, which I helped shepherd through Congress last year. I continue to engage with officials in the Trump Administration on the challenges of opioid addiction as we tackle this national epidemic from all sides.

During the State Fair, the Kentucky Farm Bureau hosted its annual Country Ham Breakfast, which is always a great event attended by hundreds of farmers and farm families from across the Commonwealth. Farmers suffered repeated regulatory assaults form the previous Administration, and I am proud to work with the Trump Administration to repair the damage.  I am also very appreciative of the importance of international trade to the Commonwealth’s farmers, and I will continue to engage the Administration on ways to promote free and fair trade policies that bolster Kentucky exports. I will keep the concerns of Kentucky’s farmers, including the death tax, in the foremost of my mind as Congress continues to work on tax reform and the 2018 Farm Bill.

At a coal stakeholders meeting in Henderson, I heard from miners and community members.  We discussed my work with the Trump Administration to overturn Obama-era regulations that would have made coal too expensive to mine or use. In Congress, I will continue to support miners and their families from regulatory attacks on their livelihoods.

In Lexington, I visited a local non-profit organization dedicated to serving the city’s homeless population with a special focus on veterans. I admire their mission to help homeless veterans achieve economic self-sufficiency, and I was grateful to learn more about what I could do in Washington to help veterans. Our nation is indebted to those who put their lives at risk to protect our liberties, and I am grateful that organizations are serving those who have served us.

As the Senate returns to its legislative work, I am honored to continue to serve as Kentucky’s voice in Washington. The conversations I had across the Commonwealth during this state work period will help guide me in my work. Moving forward, I hope you will share your thoughts with me through my website (mcconnell.senate.gov), by scheduling a meeting, writing a letter or calling my office.

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