Reflecting on 2021 and looking forward to 2022
Published 12:40 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2022
BY REP. DIANA HARSHBARGER
As 2021 draws to a close and we look forward to 2022, I wanted to reflect on some of the things I have done as your representative in Washington and how I plan to serve you in the new year.
First and foremost, I have stood up for our East Tennessee values against the radical agenda of President Biden and Speaker Pelosi. I have voted against their big government socialist spending bills and have used my voice to speak up for unborn children against the pro-abortion democrats.
Early in my term, I secured a win for both East Tennessee and our national security. In January, I requested the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reaffirm the critical infrastructure designation for Neopharma in Bristol. Neopharma is the only domestic turn-key facility to allow for the full production of penicillin and is critical to our domestic supply chains and ending reliance on adversaries like China. CISA reaffirmed the designation in February, underscoring the significance of the facility and the jobs it stands to create right here in East Tennessee toward ensuring the resilience of our antibiotic supply.
In September, I scored a legislative win when my DHS Contract Reporting Act passed the House of Representatives. This bill requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide a public daily report of all DHS headquarters and component contract awards over $4 million dollars and will give Congress and the American people better insight and oversight into how DHS supports its mission. This means the American people will have a clearer picture of how much taxpayer dollars are being spent on the self-inflicted Biden Border Crisis. It currently awaits action in the Senate, and I’m hoping common sense prevails there and it passes soon.
While I’ve had many busy weeks in D.C., I have never lost focus on what every member of Congress’ priority should be — serving YOU. To honor and thank our local Vietnam War Era Veterans, I partnered with the Vietnam War Commemoration to hold 12 commendation ceremonies to give these heroes the welcome home they deserve. Additionally, I held 12 “coffee with your Congresswoman” events and my office held over 100 mobile office hours events in the district to help constituents with their problems with federal agencies.
Going forward into next year, I promise that I will continue to fight for our values and stand up to President Biden and Speaker Pelosi. This includes continuing my opposition to the authoritarian vaccine mandates Biden is forcing upon American workers, advocating for policies to secure our borders, and fighting to protect innocent human life at all stages.
I will also continue to fight to lower the costs of prescription drugs. Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), or middlemen who negotiate drug prices, need more transparency. They are a main reason as to why prescription drug prices are high, and with greater accountability and transparency around these shadowy organizations, we can drive down costs. My PBM Accountability Study Act would be a catalyst for doing just that, and I will continue to build support for this critical legislation.
Serving my friends and neighbors in East Tennessee in Washington has been the honor of a lifetime and I look forward to what the next year will bring for us.
(Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger represents Tennessee’s First Congressional District. She is a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Homeland Security.)