First District congresswoman says 2022 was a year of both battles, victories

Published 1:58 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2023

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As the representative of Tennessee’s first congressional district, 2022 was a year full of worthy policy battles, victories for East Tennessee, and further connecting with my constituency, or as I say, my friends and neighbors.
This year, Republicans were outnumbered in the House and Senate, and a career liberal sat in the Oval Office. Our struggles to lower government spending, protect our borders, defend the family unit, and protect the unborn were battles fought uphill, both ways, in the snow!
Egregious leadership failures by the Biden administration and the Democrat party have forced Tennesseans to compromise their safety, financial security, livelihoods, and even our childrens’ innocence.
President Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate put small businesses in impossible positions to keep their labor force, forced our doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to compromise their educated beliefs or face punishment, and stripped our heroes in the military of their livelihoods for noncompliance.
I was one of the first members of Congress to vocalize my loathing of ANY blanket mandate. After countless letters to the President and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and pleading for relief on behalf of the American people, freedom-lovers have finally earned a win. Republicans eliminated the COVID vaccine mandate for our military, but our fight is not over.
Now, more than ever, our nation needs strength within our front lines of defense. Our national security was jeopardized the instant Joe Biden unraveled the border security measures President Trump implemented to protect our border states, strike down powerful Mexican cartels, and lower our drug overdose rates across the country.
I co-led the Border Security Act to bring back Trump-era security policies and support our Border Patrol with the technology and resources they need. I also championed bills to increase transparency on threats crossing our border, reserve state’s rights to defend their citizenry from the danger of cartels, finish border wall infrastructure, and stop overdoses of illegal fentanyl analogues that have been smuggled through the southern border into our neighborhoods.
As a mother and a grandmother, there is nothing more near and dear to my heart than protecting the success of our future generations. It breaks my heart to see educators, politicians, healthcare providers, and adults that should be trustworthy, putting our children in the crosshairs of a political agenda.
First, the Biden administration labeled parents “terrorists,” then supported violence toward the Supreme Court Justices that ruled to protect the unborn by overturning Roe v. Wade. The White House even had the audacity to promote the mutilation of minor’s bodies with sex-changing operations.
I joined my friend, Congresswoman Margorie Taylor Greene, to introduce the “Protecting Our Children’s Innocence Act,” which would make administering “gender-affirming care” to minors a felony. If the mothers and fathers in Congress refuse to stand up for our children, then who will come to their defense?
I have a message of hope for freedom-loving folks: House Republicans have a common sense plan for meaningful change and you can expect us to deliver this coming year.
The Commitment to America Plan is built on four pillars: An Economy That’s Strong, A Nation That’s Safe, A Future That’s Built On Freedom, and A Government That’s Accountable. We have a lot of work to do in Washington, but fighting for Tennessee is where my heart is.
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is staying connected with the voters who trust me to represent them. This year, I hosted 21 “Coffee with your Congresswoman” events to provide a legislative update and to hear what matters most to East Tennessee directly from the source. Thank you, to the thousands of you who attended! My district staff worked tirelessly to remain accessible to you by hosting 110 mobile office hours across 11 counties in the first district and attending fairs, festivals, and community events on my behalf.
My offices in Kingsport and Morristown moved mountains to help with federal agency related issues, ranging from IRS hold-ups to VA claims. For example, just this year my team has helped close 468 Veterans Affairs claims, helped 59 East Tennesseans receive their U.S. passport, and played a role in returning over $1 MILLION to small businesses and households here in the first district.
This year, my office has stayed busy working for you and we have so much in store for this upcoming Congress! It is an honor of a lifetime to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives and I look forward to another year of fighting for East Tennessee, my home.
(Diana Harshbarger represents Tennessee’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives)

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