Senator Marsha Blackburn outlined her priorities in Congress in a speech to the Chattanooga Rotary Club on Thursday.
The first bill in the Senate that she helped pass, working alongside Senator Lamar Alexander, she said, is a bi-partisan resolution about vaccines. Some of the blame for the upticks of diseases that we had considered were gone, is because of misinformation spread across the Internet she said. The resolution encourages parents to talk to medical professionals about vaccinations.
Working on communication and technology issues to get high speed Internet and broadband into underserved areas is a priority because so much depends on it now.
There will be a focus on data centers in these regions.
Online privacy is also a matter of concern to help people protect themselves. She said the government is working to get one set of rules for the whole internet.
Moving the V.A. toward electronic health records is in process. She said it is so wrong to have to chase records that in some cases end up getting lost.
Ahead of us, said Senator Blackburn, includes work on across the board cuts on discretionary spending. The government takes too much of your money, she said, and the goal is a spending reduction of five percent. With the country $22 trillion dollars in debt –our kids and grandkids can not afford it, she said.
There is also a push to open up health insurance across state lines which has bi-partisan support she told the Rotary Club members. Getting more federal judges on the bench is also a priority, along with the judges; confirmation is also needed for cabinet appointments, ambassadors and cabinet secretaries.
Of interest specifically to Chattanooga, she said that the EPA is suggesting a re-write for WOTUS (Waters of the United States) which would clarify the authority between federal waters and state waters. Among other things, the EPA is looking at issues concerning standing water on farms and the difficulty of handling waste water.
The Chickamauga Lock is another project she said she is working on closely with Senator Alexander, to make sure that the project stays on track. She said this not only affects Chattanooga and Tennessee, but also 17 other states. Congressman Chuck Fleishman is leading the effort in Tennessee.
The research and technology issues that take place at Oak Ridge are important to both the state and our nation, she said, and federal budgeting will have an effect. Hypersonic capabilities that are being worked on at Oak Ridge will have a significant importance in both flight and weapons in the future, and Oak Ridge will be critical for this.
She said that for decades Russia has tried to interfere in our elections and she is glad that some people are recognizing that is a problem. Social media is the means being used now, and meetings have been held with providers to plan for policies during the 2020 election. It is important to pass security legislation and focus on cyber security for personal security, as well.
Other issues of importance facing the country are looking at whether we are tilting toward freedom or socialism, she said. People she speaks to in Tennessee are ready to move on from the Mueller report, having already spent 22 months and $30 million on it, she said, “What more are you going to find out?” Tennesseans are more interested in the “story of their lives,” such as how to help VW and Oak Ridge and keeping jobs, economic growth, reducing regulations, rebuilding the military, and how to keep Tennessee free and productive.
Ms. Blackburn has served in public office since 1998 when she was elected to the state senate. In 2002 she became a U.S. Congresswoman from Tennessee and was in that position until she won the U.S. Senate seat in 2018.