And I’m not (just) referring to the SEC championship game.
This week, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), one of the most important responsibilities Congress has. This resolution dictates where and how taxpayer dollars will be spent to fund the military. Fortunately, this year’s bill was packed with wins for service members, their families, veterans, and Georgians.
Specifically, it allocated $858 billion for our military in FY23, more than $10 billion beyond what President Biden requested. This money will go towards combatting Biden’s inflation crisis by cutting costs at the commissary and raising service members’ wages by 4.6%.
It will empower military families by making it easier for spouses to start a business and giving parents the right to review their child’s school curriculum.
It strengthens the military health care system and expands mental health services and suicide prevention programs.
It also prohibits the closure of Savannah’s Combat Readiness Training Center, something I fought hard to maintain because right now, with Russia in Ukraine and China eyeing Taiwan, the worst thing we could do is pull back on our military readiness.
We should be opening up more Combat Readiness Training Centers, not shutting them down.
The NDAA also authorized funding for maintenance and training projects at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.
Oh - and that unconstitutional vaccine mandate for military service members? DEFUNDED!
I could go on and on about this bill, but long story short it will make life better for service members and their families, strengthen national security, and counter our adversaries’ aggression, particularly China and Russia.
We are blessed here in the First District with a strong military community. Every single branch of the military has a base or training center here. Thanks to the fantastic weather, low taxes, and high standard of living, a lot of military members retire here upon leaving the service.
To any veterans or service members reading this today, thank you. I didn’t have the honor and privilege of serving in the military, my opportunity to serve my country came in the form of public service, but I am committed to ensuring that our world-class troops have the world-class training and resources that they deserve.
And remember, bipartisanship still exists, even if you don’t hear about it in the news.
In this week's edition of Buddy's Briefing, we're celebrating the passage of the NDAA and the Christmas season!
Monday, December 5, 2022: I had a live interview with America Right Now on Newsmax on Saturday morning to discuss the upcoming Georgia Senate runoff election as well as recent revelations of the social media suppression of damaging stories regarding the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Later in the evening, I attended the grand opening of the newest boutique hotel in the First District, Oaks on the River, located on a riverfront bluff in historic Darien in McIntosh County. A signature project of local real estate developer Art Lucas of Lucas Properties, this “crown jewel of the Darien waterfront” will serve as the catalyst of what certainly will be much more development in this hidden oasis called Darien.
On Sunday, I flew back to Washington and had the honor of attending the 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honors where U2, Gladys Knight, George Clooney, Amy Grant, and Tania Leon were recognized for their contributions to American culture.
This morning, after an early interview on John Fredericks radio show to discuss tomorrows Georgia Senate runoff as well as House Republican leadership elections, I join our Savannah district staff virtually and welcome students attending our 8th Annual Academy Day interviews at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler. I am blessed to have an Academy Board consisting of veterans who attended our military academies, veterans who did not, and non-veterans, who perform the interviews of these great students on my behalf and make recommendations to me for nomination. As is always the case, we have outstanding candidates from our district, making the interview process even tougher.
Next, I spend most of the morning in my office catching up on paperwork and preparing for my Budget Chairman presentation. Later in the afternoon, I head to the House Chamber where I pay tribute to Larry Evans from Savannah, who has been recognized as one of Georgia Trend magazine’s 40 under 40.
Afterwards, I remain in the House Chamber and speak on the Data Mapping to Save Mom’s Lives Act before heading back to my office to join in on our all staff conference call.
Next, I have a phone interview with Bloomberg to discuss tomorrow’s Georgia Senate runoff election before heading to downtown Washington where I attend the Business Roundtable 50th Anniversary reception.
Tuesday, December 6, 2022: After joining in on a White House tour with our Washington staff this morning led by the beautiful First Lady of the First District, my wife Amy, I head back to the Capitol for our weekly Republican Conference before heading to the House Chamber for our first vote series of the day.
Next, I meet with Majority Whip-elect Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) to discuss my Budget Chairman run before heading off Capitol Hill to meet with representatives from the American Health Underwriters.
Once back in my office, I speak virtually to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology regarding various legislative proposals related to health equity and access to care.
Next, I head to a Select Committee on Climate Change hearing before heading to the House Chamber for our second vote series of the day and remain in the House Chamber afterwards to pay tribute to Kate Haslam of Savannah who has been recognized as one of Georgia Trend magazine’s 40 under 40.
After returning to my office for a meeting with staff, I head back to the House Chamber later in the evening and speak during a special-order celebrating Bible Week.
Afterwards, I head back to my office and have a phone interview with WTOC-TV to discuss todays Georgia Senate runoff election results.
Wednesday, December 7, 2022: Today begins with a virtual interview with A Starting Point podcast to discuss America’s electric grid and its potential vulnerability followed by a meeting with staff to discuss my run for Budget Chair.
Afterwards, I escort two of our fine interns who are finishing up their work this week on a tour of the House Chamber before taking pictures with them on the steps of the Capitol Plaza.
Once back in my office, I have a virtual interview with Fox-28 news in Savannah as we discuss the results of yesterdays Georgia Senate runoff election before joining in on our all staff conference call.
Next, I meet with a constituent who represents Sibros, an industry leader in assisting Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) with software to collect data to improve product design and other initiatives.
After heading to the Capitol to film this week’s edition of Buddy’s Briefing in front of the Capitol Gingerbread House, I head back to my office where I meet with Rx Savings Solutions followed by a meeting with Natural Products Association.
After meeting with leaders from Southern Company off Capitol Hill, I return to the House Chamber for our only vote series of the day and afterwards remain in the House Chamber where I pay tribute to Takeita Tollman from Savannah on her being recognized as one of Georgia Trend magazine’s 40 under 40.
Thursday, December 8, 2022: After our weekly Doctor’s Caucus meeting where we discuss plans and initiatives for next year, I head to a members’ meeting of the Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee where we also discuss plans for next year.
Afterwards, I head to downtown Washington where I speak at the Energy Transition Intelligence Forum before heading back to the House Chamber for our first vote series of the day.
Next, I head back to downtown Washington where I speak at the American Telemedicine Association’s (ATA’s) EDGE 2022 Policy Conference before heading back to my office where I meet with a constituent from Savannah to discuss an exciting opportunity to turn Georgia into a technology state.
Afterwards, I head to the House Chamber for our second and final vote series of the day and remain in the House Chamber where I pay tribute to Ross Shepard of Savannah for being chosen as one of Georgia Trend magazine’s 40 under 40.
After returning to my office, I have a virtual interview with One America News (OAN) to discuss the country’s Amoxicillin shortage and how it can be resolved as well as be prevented in the future.
Next, I head to the airport for my return trip home and once I’ve landed in Savannah, I head straight to a meeting with my colleague and good friend, Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS) who is set to tour Gulfstream tomorrow.
Friday, December 9, 2022: I’m up bright and early this morning and headed down to beautiful Jekyll Island in Glynn County where I am honored to be the keynote speaker at the Brunswick-Golden Isles annual Grits & Issues meeting.
Afterwards, I head to St. Marys in Camden County and during the drive have a phone call with Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) to discuss my run for Budget Chair.
Once in Camden County, I attend a virtual tour and presentation of the PEMB-USA expansion project planned for the St. Marys Airport Industrial site. PEMB-USA is a veteran owned and faith-based business that manufactures pre-engineered metal buildings and steel structures in the low-rise, non-residential construction market.
Later in the afternoon, I head to the Brunswick Housing Authority for a tour of some of their units and an update on their work with Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
After a great and informative visit, I head to the aforementioned Oaks on the River Boutique Hotel in Darien for our district staff Christmas dinner before heading home to Pooler to end a very busy week.
Click here for this week's vote sheet in the House.