During the month of August, when Congress adjourns for its state work period, you can find me traveling across Mississippi. This August will include stops in nearly two dozen counties, where I will join civic group meetings, tour small businesses, and sit down with local officials. Not all of these stops are formal events. Often, the best opportunities to hear from Mississippians directly happen over a plate lunch or at the grocery store or at a local high school football game.
One particularly insightful conversation recently happened in Grenada with some of our state’s wounded warriors. We put our heads together to come up with ways to deliver better veterans’ services to North Mississippi. These American heroes know better than anyone what is needed.
Before traveling to Grenada, I had joined state and local officials for the dedication of the North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Kilmichael. The cemetery, which will provide a final resting place for thousands of Mississippi’s veterans, is a reminder of the honor and care owed to the brave Americans who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedom.
Other visits with Mississippians this month have produced candid conversations, often about pressing issues like health care. I share Mississippians’ concerns about the failing Obamacare system and the financial burdens it has put on many families. Like many of my Senate colleagues, I am still determined to achieve true health-care reform, which means repealing and replacing Obamacare. The status quo is unsustainable.
In Mississippi, health-care solutions are moving forward despite legislative setbacks in Washington. That includes the steadfast work of our community health centers, which not only keep our communities healthier but also make them stronger. Earlier this month, I joined Mantachie Rural Health Care as it kicked off National Health Center Week with an appreciation event for law enforcement, educators, clergy, and other public servants in Itawamba County. I also recently visited T1 Telehealth in Canton, where I learned about innovative telehealth efforts to improve the health outcomes of patients in our underserved populations. Through advancements in telehealth, Mississippi is changing the way we think about health care and the quality services that are available to patients, no matter where they live.
I am visiting with a number of small business leaders and major employers across the state – in Olive Branch, Grenada, Jackson, Laurel, and Biloxi, to name just a few locations. These conversations with our state’s job creators have reaffirmed the need for tax cuts and the rollback of excessive regulations. Earlier this year, the Republican-led Congress worked quickly to repeal 14 harmful rules of the Obama Administration. Eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic overreach can help keep the economy growing and unemployment down.
Career training is important to this success. Businesses want to hire workers that meet their needs and the technological demands of the 21st century. I will have the opportunity to see firsthand how our state is equipping young Mississippians for successful careers during my meetings at technology-based educational centers in Horn Lake, Water Valley, and Vicksburg.
These events and meetings in August – as well as during the state work periods throughout the year – are important to my role as your U.S. Senator. My job is to ensure that your voice is heard when legislation is considered that could affect our communities, schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. I cannot do that without hearing directly from the people I serve. For information about contacting my office closest to you, please visit wicker.senate.gov.