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Congressman Rob Woodall

Representing the 7th District of Georgia

District Connection - 8/12/2019

August 12, 2019
E-Newsletter Archive
Taking Steps to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION MOVES ONE STEP CLOSER TO MAKING SAFE IMPORTATION OF DRUGS A REALITY

As many of you know, the Trump Administration has undertaken several efforts to lower drug prices for all consumers. From working with Congress to close the doughnut hole a year early for brand-name Medicare Part D drugs to banning “gag clauses,” which prohibit pharmacists from disclosing cheaper drug options to consumers, I can assure you that Congress and the Administration are committed to achieving lower drug prices.

However, despite the steps we’ve taken to increase competition and choice in the name of driving down drug prices, the cost of prescription drugs are still incredibly expensive. That’s why I am pleased the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced an action plan for the safe importation of prescription drugs. The HHS Secretary established a working group to study the importation of drugs from foreign countries, and the group has been working for a year on a plan to allow targeted and safe importation in the future.

I’ve long believed individuals should be able to import a controlled number of drugs from abroad for their own personal use, and this action plan represents a step forward toward lower drug prices, increased competition, and innovation and increased standards for patient care.

 

REP. WOODALL TO LANIER ROTARY CLUB: “DO NOT LOSE FAITH IN SELF-GOVERNMENT”

The Lanier Rotary Club is where our friends and neighbors come together to share ideas and solve problems.

Thank you for inviting me to be your guest speaker! I thoroughly enjoyed answering your questions about what is happening in Washington and how I can be an advocate and resource for my 7th District bosses.

When you look at the kind of leaders that our community has in the Lanier-Forsyth Rotary and across the district, it is easy to understand our success tackling local problems and concerns. We have a common purpose in improving our community and serving our neighbors. Congress sometimes looks like it has lost that common purpose, but my message is that it has not. Of course there are issues of disagreement. There were in the summer of 1787 when the Constitution was drafted, and there have been every day since. How we respond and progress despite those disagreements determines our success. My commitment to you is to pursue that common purpose with my voice and your voting card in Congress each day.

 

Rep. Woodall speaks with the Lanier Rotary Club about developments in foreign affairs

 

From Northside Hospital, Rep. Woodall gives an update of what is happening in Washington, D.C.

 

REP. WOODALL MEETS WITH LOCAL BROADCASTERS

85 years ago, the Georgia Association of Broadcasters was founded to represent the interests of Georgia’s local television and radio stations.

Today, their membership is comprised of more than 500 radio and television broadcasters who reach over 95 percent of Georgia’s population.

Thank you for inviting me to be the first Congressman at your “Congressional Meet and Greet.” I enjoyed meeting with veteran broadcasters who cover the important issues that matter to our communities. As I said in our meeting, local broadcasters serve a special need in our Republic, a need that national broadcasters cannot fill. The public airwaves are exactly that—for the service and benefit of the public. Americans have more media choices than ever before, and that is wonderful progress. But that progress does not change the stewardship responsibilities that we have for our public resources, including our airwaves. You can count on me to continue to defend local control of our local resources.

 

CONSTITUENT SPOTLIGHT: RESPONDING TO THE CRISIS IN VENEZUELA

While much attention on Capitol Hill is focused on domestic policy, news continues to develop around the globe. Last week, we addressed the protests in Hong Kong. This week, I’d like to answer questions from folks about what is going on in Venezuela.

Beverly from Lawrenceville:

Dear Rep. Woodall, I have recently spoken to someone who is a former resident of Venezuela and who has made me aware of the ongoing deplorable conditions in that country. I am writing to ask if there is not something our country can to do assist the people there who are suffering?

Leigh from Suwanee:

We support the measures taken by the Trump administration to weaken the Maduro regime of Venezuela while at the same time providing increasing humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people. We strongly request stronger measures to be taken by the American government to lead to the removal of the dictator Maduro from his illegitimate power over the suffering Venezuelan people. The epic humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has reached American shores. Things will continue to worsen as long as Maduro clings to power in Venezuela. We do not think that American military intervention would currently be supported by many American allies to remove the brutal Cuban intelligence forces which orchestrate and implement their puppet Maduro's destruction of the economy, medical system and society of Venezuela. However, all efforts short of military intervention by the U.S. are now necessary to build an alliance to forcefully remove Maduro and his backers from power. We ask that you take a public stance towards this goal.

 

For a short period of time, there was a glimmer of hope that the conflict in Venezuela could be peacefully resolved through peace talks that have been ongoing since May. Unfortunately, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced last week that his government would withdraw from those talks.

The tragic situation in Venezuela strikes a chord with all those who believe in democracy and human rights. To answer Beverly in short, there are absolutely ways our country can help the people of Venezuela, and the good news is that we are taking steps to do so. As Leigh described, there are measures that the U.S. can take to weaken the authoritarian regime of Nicolas Maduro, and President Trump did just that by placing new sanctions on the property and assets of the Venezuelan government and of any individuals who assist Venezuelan officials affected by the sanctions.

For more than a decade, the U.S. has had sanctions against the Venezuelan government for drug trafficking, antidemocratic actions, and other assaults on democracy and the rule of law, but these new sanctions put Venezuela amongst the likes of Iran, North Korea, and Cuba. These sanctions will further cripple the Maduro regime’s ability to further subject the people of Venezuela to his tyranny.

That said, the Trump Administration did include an exemption to the sanctions to allow for the Congressionally approved $17.5 million worth of humanitarian aid for the people of Venezuela. With increased sanctions and pressure against the Maduro government, as well as increased efforts to deliver relief for the Venezuelan people, it is my hope that peace talks resume and a democratic resolution is found soon.

 

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SEEKING STUDENTS FOR ADVISORY COUNCIL

Our student population consists of bright, impassioned young people who are leaders among their peers. We rely on their good ideas as their feedback allows us to evaluate what we are doing right and how we can improve. This collaborative dynamic is particularly important in the classroom, and the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is looking to bring students to the table to be a part of these important discussions as it looks for ways to build upon our continued scholastic success. GaDOE is currently seeking middle and high school students to serve on its 2019-20 Student Advisory Council. Students interested in applying must complete and apply by August 31st. I am sure we will all be hearing of State School Superintendent Woods’ and the Advisory Council’s good work as this year moves forward.

 

HONORING OUR HEROES

I hope you will all join me in applauding the City of Norcross for joining cities throughout Georgia and across the nation to participate in the Purple Heart Trail. This program is a symbolic and honorary trail meant to pay tribute to Purple Heart recipients. The Purple Heart is given to service members who have lost their lives or been wounded in the line of duty.

As I’m sure you noticed this past week, whether you were driving by or visiting historic downtown, Norcross was lit in the color purple to pay homage to these servicemembers and their great sacrifice. It is a great honor to live in a community focused on recognizing those who have given the most in the defense and support of our freedom.

 

Sincerely,

Rob Woodall

Member of Congress