Let the American People Decide
This week, President Obama announced his nominee to the fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States. He nominated federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland.

Since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia I have continuously said there should not be an appointment to fill the seat until there is new leadership in the White House. 

For eight years, President Obama and his administration have ignored the Constitution, the rule of law and the balance of power. Confirming a nominee from this Administration could fundamentally alter the balance of the court with someone who shares that view.  The next Justice could even have a bigger impact on our political process than the next President.  

Senate leadership has said that they will wait to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice until there is a new President in the White House next year.  I strongly support their decision and urge them to stand strong.

Rather than railroading through a last minute appointment, l believe this should be the decision of the American people. Each candidate for President should put forward what they are looking for in a judge or the kind of person they would nominate. Then let the American people decide at the ballot box.

From our Nation's Capitol LVII
Monday, March 14, 2016:  I’m back in Washington today and I begin with our weekly staff meeting.  This is going to be a very busy week with many committee meetings including two in the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform dealing with the Flint, Michigan, water crisis.  Afterwards, I meet with school officials from Liberty, Long and Camden counties as we discuss the importance of the Impact Aid Program. 

Congressman Carter with school officials from Liberty, Long and Camden counties
This program disburses Impact Aid payments to local schools and educational agencies that are financially burdened by federal activities and that have large areas of land that are owned by the federal government or have land that has been removed from the local tax rolls by the federal government.  Before heading to our weekly Whip Team meeting where we review the bills we will be voting on this upcoming week, I meet with Ms. Brenda Westberry from Savannah who is in Washington this week to run a half-marathon at the spry age of 70.  Next, I head to the House Chamber where we have our first and only vote series of the day that includes a vote on H. Con. Res 75 that expresses the sense of Congress that the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria include war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016:  Once a month the Doctors Caucus of the House of Representatives meets and this morning we hear from Dr. Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist and professor at the Stanford University Medical Center, whose latest book is Reforming America’s Health Care System: The Flawed Vision of ObamaCare,in which he offers his suggestions of how to fix our country’s  health care system.  Next, I head to a meeting of Georgia and South Carolina Airport Commissions that is being hosted by the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport Commission where they are discussing many issues including the upcoming FAA Reauthorization Bill.  Before heading to our weekly Republican Conference meeting, I stop by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce offices to receive the “Spirit of Enterprise” Award for my support of the pro-growth and job creation legislation this past year. 

Congressman Carter receiving the "Spirit of Enterprise" Award
Next, I head to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee where I present budget requests for the First Congressional District for the FY17 budget. My first of many committee meetings today is with the Committee on Education and the Workforce where we have the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Dr. Sylvia Burwell, testifying today on the policies and priorities of HHS.  Afterwards, I head back to my office to meet with Georgia postmasters, including Ola Mae Ross, the retired postmaster from Waresboro, and Mike Swain, the retired postmaster from St. Marys.  My next meeting is with the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR), where we have a hearing on the Federal Administration of the Safe Drinking Water Act in Flint, Michigan. As was the case with the first meeting earlier this month, the hearing room is overflowing with residents and journalists.  A link to my questions can be found here.  Next, I head to the House Chamber where we have our first vote series of the day and I stay to deliver a one minute speech honoring my good friend, Georgia State Senator Tommie Williams, who is retiring this year after 18 years of service.  After speaking during general debate in support of H.R. 4596, the SENSE Act, I head to a OGR subcommittee hearing on the accountability and transparency reform at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).  Next, I do three phone interviews with the press about the President's flip flopping announcement today to not open up the Atlantic Coast for offshore energy exploration.  After heading back to the House Chamber for our second vote series of the day, I return to my office where I meet with three members of the Canadian Parliament who are visiting the Capitol this week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016:  There’s no better way to start a day than to meet with a constituent visiting from home and this morning I am delighted to meet with Dr. Lorna Jackson from Savannah.  Dr. Jackson is a dentist who practices at Curtis Cooper Primary Health Care and is the wife of my good friend State Senator Lester Jackson who I served with for five years in the Georgia State Senate.  Afterwards, I head to a pre-meeting with the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson prior to his testimony before the Committee on Homeland Security (CHS) in regards to the FY17 budget immediately afterwards.  Next, I head to OGR for a hearing on Afghanistan and the oversight of the Defense Department’s Infrastructure projects. 

Congressman Carter with representatives from Diversity Health Center
Afterwards, I return to my office to meet with representatives from the Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Growers Coalition followed by meetings with Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Gabbert and then representatives from Diversity Health Center and other Federal Qualified Health Centers in the district.  Next, I head to the House Chamber to vote after which I head to an OGR Subcommittee hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard.  A link to my questions can be found here.  While walking back to my office, I happen to run into the greatest college running back ever, University of Georgia legend Herschel Walker, who wanted to get his picture taken with me (ok, maybe vice versa).  My day ends with more constituent meetings followed by a keynote speech to Rite Aid pharmacists who are visiting the Capitol.

Congressman Carter with Herschel Walker
Thursday, March 17, 2016:  Like any good Savannahian, I would rather be downtown at the greatest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world, but since I can’t today, I wear my green blazer which draws lots of comments from my colleagues.  After addressing the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition, I head to the House Chamber where I deliver a one minute tribute to this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Grand Marshal, Mike Foran.  A link to my speech can be found here.  Next, I head to our second OGR hearing this week and third this month on the Flint, Michigan, water crisis.

Congressman Carter with General Dynamics Chairman and CEO Phebe Novakovic
After our first vote series of the day, I meet with General Dynamics Chairman and CEO Phebe Novakovic and then return to the House Chamber for our second and final vote series of the day.  My last meetings of the day are with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores board of directors, Leigh Ann Williams from Georgia Southern University and my good friends from Concerted Services based out of Waycross.