I met with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases this week about the coronavirus.

Rep. Carter and members of the Energy and Commerce Committee meeting with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases about the coronavirus

The agencies informed us that, at this time, the immediate risk to the American people from the coronavirus is low. While the risk is low, this is a rapidly changing situation and the CDC recommends taking some precautions including getting a flu shot and taking everyday preventative actions to stop the spread of germs. 

To find more information about the CDC's recommendations, visit the CDC's website by clicking here.

President Trump signed the USMCA this week. I was proud to support the trade agreement when it was before the U.S. House of Representatives.

The USMCA is a big win for American workers, farmers and families. The agreement is expected to create 176,000 new jobs, spur $68 billion in economic growth, create a new chapter on digital trade and expand agricultural markets.

I discussed this historic trade agreement in this edition of Buddy's Briefing. Click here to watch the latest episode.

fighting the opioid epidemic
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It is a schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

However, drug traffickers have been able to make small changes to fentanyl’s chemical structure, creating new variations of the substance called analogues. Because of how quickly the traffickers are able to modify the substance, most of these analogues are not on the schedule of controlled drugs and are therefore outside of the control of law enforcement.

The creation of analogues has outpaced DEA’s ability to schedule them. Fortunately, the Controlled Substances Act provides the Attorney General with the authority to temporarily place a substance in schedule I of the CSA for two years if it is found that such action is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. In 2018, the DEA used this authority to place fentanyl analogues and fentanyl like substances in Schedule I. This authority is only temporary, though, and the emergency scheduling order was set to expire next week. 

We worked this week to bring an extension to the Floor and I'm very glad that it passed. In one year alone, synthetic opioids like fentanyl claimed more than 32,000 American lives and we must do everything we can to stop it. 

from our nation's capitol CCLI
January 27, 2020:  On Saturday I attended the memorial scripture service for Darien City Manager Tim Sweezey, who died unexpectedly earlier this month.  The service was held in Darien at the Nativity of Our Lady Catholic Church.  I paid tribute to Tim in the House Chamber this week.  A link to my tribute can be found here.  Afterwards, I continued down the coast to Glynn County for the 2020 Brunswick Rockin Stewbilee held at Mary Ross Park in the downtown area.  Along with a car show, pooch parade and live music, various businesses and groups vied for the title of the best stew.  Thankfully, I was not a judge but I was a taster and it was all delicious.  Later in the evening, I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Richmond Hill High School JROTC military ball held at the City Center in J F Gregory Park. 

Rep. Carter with students at the Richmond Hill High School JROTC military ball
The Wildcat battalion, as they are known, is a group of the best and brightest students who participate in this program that’s mission statement is “to motivate young people to be better citizens.”  I’m back in Washington this morning and my first order of business is our weekly district staff conference call where we review issues in the district and preview what we will be doing this week.  Later in the afternoon, we have our weekly Washington staff briefing to discuss DC issues.  Afterwards, I head to an Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee member planning session held in the Library of Congress, where we hear from each subcommittee ranking member to review what we have done up to this point in the session and what we can expect for the remainder of the session.  Next, I head to our weekly Whip Team meeting in the Congressional Visitors Center (CVC) before heading to the House Chamber for our first vote series of the week.  After votes, I remain in the House Chamber where I deliver a tribute to the memory of long time Chatham County Coroner and Physician, Dr. James C. Metts, Jr.  As a practicing pharmacist for over 30 years in the Savannah area, I filled many prescriptions written by both Dr. Metts, Jr., and before him, his father, Dr. James C. Metts, Sr.  A link to my tribute can be found here.  Afterwards, I attend a meeting of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation caucus as we hear from speakers who describe the major risks, opportunities, and obstacles the U.S. faces over the coming year as it works to reduce nuclear threats from Russia, North Korea and Iran.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020:  I have yet another meeting with the E&C Committee this morning as we hear from Mary Neumayr, a former staffer of the E&C Committee who is now Chairperson of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).  CEQ is proposing to modernize the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) regulations and Mary is here to review the proposals with us.  Afterwards, I head to our weekly GOP Conference before heading to an E&C Energy and Environment Subcommittees joint hearing on the impact of wildfires on our power sector and the environment.  A link to my questions can be found here.  Next, I head to an E&C Consumer Protection and Commerce (CPAC) Subcommittee hearing on legislation to promote the health and safety of racehorses where one of our witnesses is Horseracing Hall of Fame Jockey Chris McCarron.  A link to my questions can be found here.  Afterwards, I meet with a group from the National Energy Institute (NEI) known as WIN (Women in Nuclear).  This impressive group of women managers includes members from South Carolina and Georgia. 

Rep. Carter with Chris Evans
Once back in my office, I meet with staff to prep for a book interview I will be doing on C-SPAN tomorrow before heading to a Whip Team member meeting where we discuss the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and Iran legislation that the Democrats are introducing.  Next, I head back to my office for a meeting with my good friend, Pete Robinson from Atlanta to discuss issues in the district before heading to the House Chamber for our first and only vote series of the day.  I remain in the House Chamber after votes to deliver a tribute to Savannahian Jamie Durrence who has recently been named President of the Georgia Restaurant Association.  A link to my tribute can be found here.  Once back in my office, I meet with none other than Captain America himself, Actor Chris Evans, as I film a video for his website, A Starting Point.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020:   I am happy this morning to join my good friend, Rep. French Hill (R-AK) as we hold a pharmacy town hall with members of the Georgia and Arkansas Pharmacy Associations.  Once back in my office, I meet with the CEO of Nostrum Pharmaceuticals before heading to an E&C Health hearing on improving safety and transparency in America’s food and drugs.  A link to my questions can be found here

Rep. Carter moderates a discussion with Sally Pipes
Afterwards, I have a conference call with members of the Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding before heading to the House Chamber to speak on legislation regarding fentanyl analogues.  A link to my comments can be found here.  Next, I head to a meeting of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) before heading to an on-camera interview with WSB Atlanta regarding the fentanyl legislation.  After attending an all member briefing in the CVC on the Coronavirus, I head downtown to C-SPAN where I moderate a TV interview with author Sally Pipes whose book “False Premise, False Promise” details the fallacies of the various Medicare for All proposals.  Later, I have a phone interview with Capitol Forum to discuss a letter I signed, along with other members of the Doctors Caucus, regarding orthodontics administered without a doctor.  After a late vote series, I remain in the House Chamber where I honor James Gregorius who is retiring from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynnco after 30 years of service.  A link to my tribute can be found here.

Thursday, January 30, 2020: I’m in the House Chamber first thing this morning as I memorialize Darien City Manager Timothy Sweezey, who unexpectedly passed earlier this month.  A link to my tribute can be found here

Rep. Carter at Savannah/Chatham Day
Afterwards, I head to an E&C briefing on the coronavirus outbreak before heading to the Agriculture Committee hearing room to film this week’s edition of Buddy’s Briefings.  After our last vote series of the week, I have a phone interview with WJCL TV in Savannah to discuss the coronavirus before heading to the Airport where I fly to Atlanta and head to the State Capitol to participate in Savannah-Chatham Day.

Friday, January 31, 2020:  After getting back to Savannah at 1:00 a.m. this morning and getting a few hours of sleep, I have a phone conference with Ambassador Robert Lighthizer to discuss World Trade Organization (WTO) tariffs that are impacting businesses in the First District.  After a phone interview with WSAV TV in Savannah to discuss my guest for next week's State of the Union (SOTU) address, Jaiden Thompson from Hinesville, I head to Blackshear in Pierce County for the dedication and ribbon cutting of their new high school.  I am honored to join Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in addressing the crowd and celebrating this great occasion for this wonderful community.  Afterwards, I head to Sea Island in Glynn County where, along with Governor Kemp, I have the pleasure of welcoming participants to the annual Weekend for Wildlife event.

Click here for this week's vote sheet in the House.