BladenOnline.com

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER’S STATEMENT ON U.K. TERROR ATTACK

 WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) had this statement after learning of tonight’s terror attack in Manchester, England:   “The horrific attack on families and children at the concert in the U.K. again demands the focus and determination of free loving peoples to unite together to eliminate the deadly threats to our way of life.  In his speech to 50 Arab nations, President Trump clearly conveyed the ominous threat of Islamic terrorists and the absolute necessity for global resolve to drive out this diabolic adversary.  We will continue to work with our allies in Parliaments throughout the world to utilize every tool of counterterrorism and military tactical efforts to win …..

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Bladen County proposed budget Public Hearing Notice

The proposed FY 2017-2018 Bladen County budget for all economic development activities has been submitted to the Board of County Commissioners for consideration.  The County of Bladen budget for economic development activities include: Bladen County Economic Development Commission Salaries, retirement, and healthcare costs for two full time staff members and one part time member are $198,336, a portion of which is reimbursed by Bladen’s Bloomin’ Agri-Industrial Inc.  Operating costs (advertising, telephone, utilities, memberships and dues, client entertainment, postage, copier costs, supplies, travel) are $22,095.  Bladen County will carry over to the 2016-2017 budget $144,000 that was allocated for product development in the FY16 budget.  The funds will also be allocated …..

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Bladen County commissioners keeping close eye on mental health issues

  The Bladen County Commissioners have been asking a lot of questions about mental health and getting answers. Some answers are leaving more questions. Eastpointe, the Managed Care Organization for Bladen County’s Mental Health, Behavioral and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Services provided the commissioners with a presentation of services and a Needs and Gaps report. The Eastpointe LME MCO Community Behavioral Health Service Needs, Providers and Gaps Analysis has a graph showing in the Fiscal Year 2015 the percentage of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse  Medicaid members [patients] served in Eastpointe’s area falls under the state average at about 5% served. The same report shows gaps of service in the six disability populations. All but two populations …..

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Tillis Co-Sponsors Back The Blue Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, co-sponsored the Back the Blue Act of 2017, legislation introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) that would increase the penalties for criminals who intentionally target law enforcement officers, and provide new tools for officers to protect themselves. “Last year was one of the deadliest years ever for law enforcement officers, a stark reminder that these men and women go to work every day not knowing whether they’ll return home safely to their families,” said Senator Tillis. “Our law enforcement officers risk their lives to protect ours, and the Back the Blue Act will enact new …..

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HURRICANE MATTHEW RECOVERY: SEEING THE JOB THROUGH

By Congressman Robert Pittenger Hurricane Matthew brought immense devastation to eastern North Carolina, with thousands forced from their homes, hundreds of damaged roads, destroyed farms, closed schools, and flooded businesses and community facilities. Just days after the storm, I toured Robeson, Bladen, and Cumberland counties, detouring around flooded sections of I-95, visiting evacuees at a Red Cross Shelter at South Robeson High School, speaking with Lumberton residents at a water distribution station on Farringdom St., and meeting with local officials in all three counties. Armed with that information, I returned to Washington to help secure $334 million in initial disaster relief funding. On Monday, I joined Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth …..

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Tillis Statement On The Selection Of Robert Mueller As Special Counsel

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement after former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed to serve as special counsel: “Robert Mueller is an excellent choice for special counsel, and I welcome his appointment. He has a well-deserved reputation for fairness and independence from political pressure, and I have confidence he will lead this investigation with professionalism and impartiality, taking it wherever the facts may lead. “The Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Burr, is currently conducting a bipartisan investigation, and I expect Director Mueller will work with the Committee to ensure their investigation can move forward unimpeded.” …..

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9th Congressional District Convention to be held

The 9th Congressional District of the North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) is pleased to announce our 2017 District Convention. The 9th Congressional District includes the counties of Anson, Bladen, Cumberland, Mecklenburg, Richmond, Robeson, Scotland, and Union. The convention will be held on Saturday May 20, 2017 at the Robert L. and Elizabeth S. Cole Auditorium and Community Center, on the campus of Richmond Community College, at 1042 W Hamlet Ave, Hamlet, NC 28345. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and we will gavel to order at 11 a.m. Lunch may be purchased at the meeting via a food truck. “I’m so excited by the overwhelming turnout at our recent Democratic events around the district. There has been so much interest from both long time and new Democrats!” said Cynthia Wallace, …..

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Bladen County Opiate Related Deaths go from 0-5

In the past ten years opioid addictions have turned into a crisis. North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper reported on new data released on May 16th, showing a sobering local impact of the opioid crisis. In 2015, there were more than 1,100 opioid-related deaths, a 73 percent increase from 2005 according to the newly released data. Bladen County Opiate related deaths went from 0 in 2005 to 5 Opiate Related deaths in 2015. “Opioid addiction is devastating families across the nation,” said Governor Cooper. “This is a uniquely challenging crisis for our communities and will require a new level of collaboration between law enforcement, treatment-providers, and those in recovery. I am …..

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Thom Tillis doing well after Capital Challenge 5K

Background information Senator Tillis has been released from the hospital and is doing very well. He became dehydrated and overheated during today’s ACLI Capital Challenge and collapsed. Several good Samaritans, including Capitol Police, immediately provided assistance to the Senator, including chest compressions. The Senator was taken to the hospital, and doctors found the episode was caused by overheating. He was released after receiving a clean bill of health.  Senator Tillis is incredibly grateful to the good Samaritans who assisted him at the race and the medical professionals at the hospital.   Share:

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ROUZER ANNOUNCES NC-07 ART COMPETITION WINNER, STUDENT AT TOPSAIL HIGH SCHOOL

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Rouzer announced Jocelyn Artman, an 11th grade student of Topsail High School, the winner of the NC-07 Art Competition.  Artman’s entry, entitled “Hidden History,” is a depiction of a post-World War II Watch Tower used for missile testing located in Surf City, North Carolina using water color and acrylic paints.  Artman’s artwork demonstrated and reflected this year’s Art Competition theme, “What I Love Most About North Carolina.” “It is an honor to announce Topsail High’s Jocelyn Artman as the winner of the 2017 Art Competition,” said Rep. David Rouzer. “Jocelyn’s artistic talent is inspiring and she is well-deserving of this once in a lifetime opportunity.  Every time I go …..

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Scars earned and lessons learned

By Jefferson Weaver On my right arm, there are two parallel knife scars. On my left jaw, under my beard, is another, unrelated knife scar. The origins of all three have no real bearing here, except that I learned some lessons in both situations. I reckon I could, were I vain, have them removed, but it would accomplish nothing. A few thousand dollars in surgery wouldn’t erase what happened, and might marginalize the good that came about in each case. The scars – and both the good and bad memories that led to them — are part of my own history. My family in New Orleans is more than a …..

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Sen. Thom Tillis: ‘I’m fine’

Sen. Thom Tillis issued a video statement on his Twitter account Wednesday from the hospital saying, “I’m fine,” after collapsing  during a race in Washington, DC. View his statement here: https://mobile.twitter.com/SenThomTillis/status/864839398575280136/video/1 Sen. Tillis was competing in the ACLI Capital Challenge Three Mile Team Race held in Anacostia Park in Washington, D.C. The proceeds from the race go to charity. According to reports, he was leading his own team in the race. He is a junior Senator from North Carolina. He was elected to the US Senate in November 2014 and prior to being elected to the US Senate, Tillis served in the North Carolina General Assembly. Share:

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Congressman Pittenger’s statement on Sen. Thom Tillis

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) had this statement after learning Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) required CPR and was rushed to a hospital this morning: “This is very unsettling news, and I am praying that Senator Tillis makes a full recovery.  To Susan, their children, and Senator Tillis’ staff, I think of 2nd Thessalonians 3:16:  ‘now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.  The Lord be with all of you.’” Share:

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Sen. Thom Tillis collapses

North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis collapsed Wednesday morning during a race in Washington, DC. According to reports he was taken from the scene by ambulance after CPR was administered.  Several reports indicated Sen. Tillis was revived and breathing as he was taken from the scene. It is not immediately known which hospital he was taken to for treatment. He was competing in the ACLI Capital Challenge 3 Mile Team Race. The race is touted as drawing competitors from all over Washington, DC. According to WECT, Sen. Tillis was leading his team in the race and the proceeds from the race go to charity. Sen. Tillis, 57, is a junior senator from …..

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Mental Health top discussion for Bladen County Commissioners

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners meetings lasted for over four hours Monday evening. Mental health and substance abuse has been a topic of many discussions the commissioners have reported and yesterday the topic took a large majority of the time. Commissioners noted the lack of mental health and substance abuse services in Bladen County and the importance of finding solutions to these concerns. Eastpointe, Bladen County’s managed care organization for substance abuse, mental health and intellectual and developmental disabilities was represented with three staff members and three of their network providers at the commissioners meetings. One important thing to take away from the presentation according to Chairman Charles Ray …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER TOURS ROBESON COUNTY, PROVIDES UPDATE ON DISASTER RELIEF FUNDING

LUMBERTON – This afternoon, Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey took Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) on a tour of communities still recovering from Hurricane Matthew.  Congressman Pittenger also met with Lumberton City Manager Wayne Horne as part of his continuing effort to respond to local needs and share firsthand updates with Washington.   “As your Congressman, I am actively engaged in securing additional funding and assistance to help those in need.  The process requires significant data before federal funds can be allocated, and I am committed to seeing it all the way through to assist hurting families,” said Congressman Pittenger.   Congressman Pittenger also provided updates on federal disaster relief funding …..

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Tillis, King Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter Urging Homeland Security, Labor Departments to Help America’s Small Businesses In Need of Seasonal Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Angus King (I-ME) and Congressmen Andy Harris (R-MD-01) and Bill Keating (D-MA-09) have led a bipartisan, bicameral group of 87 Members of Congress in sending a letter to the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Labor urging them to take immediate action to ensure that small and seasonal businesses across the nation are able to get the workers they need to operate during the busy summer months. In the letter, the Members of Congress emphasized that small and seasonal businesses need to begin hiring workers immediately in order to be ready for the fast-approaching summer months and urged Homeland Security Secretary John …..

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You Decide: What Divides Us On Taxes?

By Dr. Mike Walden North Carolina Cooperative Extension It was a hot, humid day in 1985. President Reagan was appearing at Reynolds Coliseum. I was in the audience. The arena was not yet air-conditioned. Despite huge fans that had been brought from Ft. Bragg, everyone was sweating. As the President stepped to the podium he mentioned the warmth in the building and promptly removed his suit coat. As if on cue, all the dignitaries on the stage also removed their coats! The purpose of President Reagan’s visit was to promote his tax proposals being considered by Congress. Now, a little over thirty years later, another president – President Trump – …..

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Tillis: Senate Successfully Reduced Regulatory Burden To Help Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) spoke on the Senate Floor about the Senate’s recent success in repealing 14 burdensome regulations under the Congressional Review Act.   “What we were trying to do is eliminate the duplication and the cost associated with layering regulations on top of regulations,” said Senator Tillis. “If we look at the regulatory burden on businesses, on homeowners, on state and local governments; there’s a smart right-size way to implement regulations, and there’s a costly, complex wrong way to implement regulations. I’m proud that we were able to get 14 resolutions of disapproval completed. What we ended up doing through this action over the past …..

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Tillis issues update on federal funding for NC for Hurricane Matthew recovery

Recently the US congress appropriated more than $6 million to North Carolina to assist with the Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts. Late last year, Senator Tillis worked with the North Carolina delegation to secure more than $334 million for the recovery effort, which will be used to help rebuild homes, roads, and infrastructure. Additionally, the federal government has provided the state of North Carolina with more than $750 million in assistance, funding that did not require Congressional authorization. Below is the statement from Senator Tillis’ office below, as well as breakdown of the federal assistance that North Carolina has received, which does not include the estimated $6 million authorized in the …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR COOPER’S HURRICANE MATTHEW LETTER

WASHINGTON – This afternoon, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), who has been actively engaged with local leaders on Hurricane Matthew funding needs since October 2016, issued this statement in response to Governor Cooper’s letter: “Currently, federal administrators are finalizing nearly $200 million in disaster relief funding for North Carolina.  At the same time, I’m working quietly, behind-the-scenes, directly with Appropriations Chairman Frelinghuysen and Senator Tillis to secure additional funding available in current FY2017 appropriations, and we have already laid the groundwork for additional funding in FY2018. “While my team and I have had extensive and ongoing contact with local officials regarding their needs, prior to late last week, my office had …..

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Tillis Statement On James Comey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey: “Throughout his career, Director Comey has served the nation with distinction, and I have found him to be professional and responsive during my interactions with him. While Director Comey has faced criticism from both Republican and Democratic elected officials, it is my belief he attempted to lead the FBI to the best of his ability given the difficult circumstances before him and the hyperpartisan political climate that exists in Washington.” Share:

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER GREETS NORTH CAROLINA MILITARY PERSONNEL IN JAPAN

WASHINGTON – This morning, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) met with North Carolina military personnel while visiting Yokota Air Base in Japan. Congressman Pittenger was at Yokota Air Base to meet with Major General Charles Chiarotti (USMC), Deputy Commander of United States Forces Japan, and other leaders, to discuss regional security concerns, including North Korea and China.  Later in the day, he was scheduled to meet with Members of Japan’s Diet. “Tar Heel pride!  Thank you to these brave women for defending our freedom so far from home,” said Congressman Pittenger.   Congressman Pittenger serves as Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance. Share:

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Bladen County Democratic Party announces upcoming meeting and update from convention

Contributed photos and information The Bladen County Democratic Party County Convention was held on Saturday, April 8th in the Bladen County Courthouse Superior Courtroom. The featured guest speaker was Christian Cano, Democratic candidate for the 9th Congressional District. Bladen County Democratic Executive Officers were elected as pictured: Chairman Ben Snyder; 1st Vice Chair Althea Weaver; 2nd Vice Chair Patsy Sheppard; 3rd Vice Chair Cristin Hursey; Secretary Janet Hall; and Treasurer Iris Martin. The next Bladen County Democratic Party meeting will be held on May 11th, with the Democratic Women meeting at 6:00 p.m. and the Democratic Party meeting at 7:00 p.m. All registered Democrats are urged to attend this very …..

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Democratic Women of North Carolina held their Region 9 Meeting

Contributed photos and information On Saturday, April 29th the Democratic Women of North Carolina held their Region 9 Meeting in Warsaw. Region 9 consists of Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, New Hanover, Pender, Robeson, and Sampson Counties. Each county has a chapter of Democratic Women of NC, and all nine chapters sent delegates to the regional meeting. A warm welcome was offered by Elaine Farrior, President of Democratic Women of Duplin County and Francisco Rivas-Diaz, President of the 7th District North Carolina Democrats. The president of each county chapter was recognized, and the Pender County Chapter was recognized as the newest chapter in the state and was awarded the attendance …..

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NC Gov. Cooper proposes more education funding for support personnel in Bladen County

NC Gov. Cooper announced a proposed budget for flexible spending, in a press release. Governor Cooper’s budget proposal, Common Ground Solutions for North Carolina, allotted $20 million in flexible funding for schools to hire additional instructional support personnel—teaching assistants, assistant principals, nurses, behavioral support staff and others. “To succeed, we must make sure our kids have the support they need,” said Governor Cooper. “My budget recommends investments in support personnel like teaching assistants and nurses, who help our students in every facet of their education. I urge the General Assembly to make this investment.” In the new budget Bladen County would receive $58,468 for support staff. In addition the press release …..

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Tillis Statement On Confirmation of Heather Wilson As Secretary Of The Air Force

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, applauded the Senate’s confirmation of Dr. Heather Wilson as Secretary of the Air Force: “We are at a time when we need strong leadership in the Air Force, and I have confidence Dr. Wilson is up for the task,” said Senator Tillis. “I look forward to working closely with Secretary Wilson to ensure that we provide adequate Air Force support for airborne operations at Fort Bragg and the deployment of new KC-46 tankers to Seymour Johnson.” Share:

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Sonny Perdue Sworn in as 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by fellow Georgian and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas in a brief ceremony on April 25 at the Supreme Court building. Perdue grew up on a dairy and diversified row crop farm in Bonaire, Georgia. Being uniquely qualified as a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator and governor of Georgia, he has experienced the agriculture industry from every possible perspective throughout his life. As secretary, Perdue says he will champion the concerns of farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers, and will work tirelessly to solve the issues facing our farm families. Perdue’s policies as U.S. …..

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Tillis Urges Trump To Prioritize Democracy, Human Rights In U.S. Foreign Policy  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) joined a bipartisan group of 15 senators, including Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), in urging President Trump to prioritize advocacy for democracy and respect for human rights in the administration’s foreign policy agenda.   U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Edward Markey (D-MA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) also joined the effort.   “America has long been a leader in supporting individual rights,” the senators wrote. “It was more than 240 years ago …..

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REPUBLICANS DELIVER ON PROMISE TO REPEAL OBAMACARE

Seven years ago, President Obama and fellow Democrats mounted a government takeover of health care.  The results have been disastrous.  Premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed.  In the 9th Congressional District, constituents have exactly one option for health care coverage on the Obamacare exchange.  Since 2013, you have asked me for relief, and on Thursday, my House Republican colleagues and I delivered. The American Health Care Act protects those with preexisting conditions, lowers premiums, brings more competition to the individual health insurance market, makes the biggest reform to entitlement programs in history, and protects the unborn by defunding Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, we’ve seen Democrats resort to scare tactics and falsehoods to …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER APPLAUDS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

 WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) had this statement on President Trump’s Executive Order on Religious Liberty:   “Historically, America has been a haven for those seeking religious freedom.  Yet under President Obama, the federal bureaucracy became increasingly hostile to religious organizations and ordinary Americans seeking to quietly live out their faith.  President Trump’s warranted executive order affirms our Constitutional right to religious freedom, pushing back against regulations used to muzzle Americans of all faiths.”   Congressman Pittenger serves on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which monitors human rights and religious persecution in China.  He is also host of a weekly Capitol Hill Bible study and a Member of the …..

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Tillis Statement on FY17 Omnibus, H-2B Provision

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) voted in favor of the FY17 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which funds key national and North Carolina priorities Senator Tillis has championed, including a pay raise for servicemembers, an increase of Afghan Special Immigrant Visas, and a provision that could result in an H-2B returning worker exemption.   “While not perfect, this bipartisan legislation takes key steps to bolster our national security, including increasing defense spending to rebuild our military and providing more funds to help secure our border,” said Senator Tillis. “I’m pleased that the omnibus gives the Department of Homeland Security flexibility to implement a returning worker exemption …..

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ROUZER STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT

  WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Rouzer released the statement below following the passage of the American Health Care Act:   “Today, the House of Representatives acted to reverse seven years of disastrous health care policy by repealing as much of Obamacare as allowable under the rules of Budget Reconciliation.  Not only does the American Health Care Act create more choices fostering more competition, it expands the use of health savings accounts, reforms Medicaid by maximizing state flexibility, and protects the most vulnerable by prohibiting insurance companies from denying or rescinding coverage, or increasing premiums, for those with pre-existing conditions.  Further, this legislation repeals every tax in Obamacare and makes the most significant …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER VOTES TO REPAIR AMERICA’S BROKEN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

 WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) voted to repeal Obamacare and repair America’s broken healthcare system through the American Health Care Act.   “One size fits all, big government programs just don’t work.  They aren’t American,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “95 out of 100 North Carolina counties have just one choice for insurance under Obamacare.  Next year in Iowa, thousands of families could have no choice as the last insurer is close to pulling out.  This is what Democrats are fighting to preserve?   “The American Health Care Act restores your right to choose the health plan best for your family.  We include sustainable protections for pre-existing conditions, common sense …..

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U.S. HOUSE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES PITTENGER-McSALLY BILL TO BLOCK “CONGRESSIONAL HEALTHCARE EXEMPTION”

WASHINGTON – Prior to voting on the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation co-sponsored and introduced by Congressman Robert Pittenger to block the so-called “Congressional healthcare exemption.”   H.R. 2192, To Amend the Public Health Service Act to eliminate the non-application of certain State waiver provisions to Members of Congress and congressional staff, written by Congresswoman Martha McSally (AZ-02), strikes a technicality in the American Health Care Act which inadvertently gave Congress an exemption from certain elements of healthcare reform.   “We were elected to serve, not be served,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Even though this exemption is just a technicality based on …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER VOTES TO END BANK BAILOUTS, INCREASE PENALTIES ON WALL STREET, ENCOURAGE ECONOMIC GROWTH

  WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Financing, voted to approve the Financial CHOICE Act.   “In 2010, President Obama’s Dodd-Frank financial reform appeared to many as a lifeline.  The evidence shows it has done more harm than good,”explained Congressman Pittenger.  “The Financial CHOICE Act ends taxpayer-funded bailouts of big banks, creates even tougher penalties for Wall Street fraud, and creates accountability for Washington bureaucrats who currently answer to no one.   “Smart regulations are always necessary for an orderly economy, but Dodd-Frank swung the pendulum far into over-regulation.  That slowed down the economy and made it …..

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Congressman Pittenger’s Statement on the National Day of Prayer

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) issued this statement after participating in a Capitol Hill observance of the National Day of Prayer: “Today we celebrate the freedom we enjoy as Americans to pray and worship openly, without fear of arrest or oppression.  Many of our forefathers did not enjoy this freedom, and sadly, even today, many around the world suffer religious persecution. “On this National Day of Prayer, please join me in asking God to give wisdom and courage to our leaders, protection for the troops who defend our freedoms, safety for the brave law enforcement officers who serve our communities, and strength for our dedicated teachers. “Isaac Watts’ great …..

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Weddington High School Senior Wins 2017 Congressional Art Competition

WASHINGTON – Emily Decker, a senior at Weddington High School, is winner of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition.  Her graphite drawing, titled “Realization,” was judged best entry in a selection process that included professional artists, community input, and Congressman Pittenger’s staff. Dr. Naomi Lifschitz-Grant, assistant professor of art at UNC Pembroke, remarked that “Reflections” is a “compelling composition,” makes “complex use of the medium,” and “created a variety of tones and values.” Lucas Krenzin, a professional fused glass artist from Monroe, said “I particularly like (Reflections) because of the story or the question I think it is asking.  The man is looking at his own hands with what looks like …..

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Congressman Pittenger: Bipartisan Funding Bill Includes Important Pro-life Protections

WASHINGTON – As a pro-life leader on Capitol Hill, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is working to secure passage of important pro-life protections in the FY2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill and set the stage for further legislative efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. “In addition to extending the Hyde Amendment, the bipartisan funding bill includes specific provisions to keep your tax dollars from being used to pay for abortions in D.C., in federal prisons, and via foreign aid programs.  We also make sure your tax dollars aren’t used for abortion litigation,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Already this year, we passed and President Trump signed legislation allowing states which value life and women’s health to …..

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Opinion: Gentleman, father and friend

By: Jefferson Weaver I felt a little underdressed, since it was the family gathering for Easter, and I wasn’t wearing a tie. Still, I was wearing a white shirt and a black vest, and my best black jeans. Out of deference to the nieces’ plans for an egg hunt, I decided to forego the tie, regardless of tradition and holiday. My father-in-law half-smiled when he looked at me. “You look just like your daddy,” he said. I was taken aback; the Old Man never had long hair, and couldn’t stand more than a day or two’s worth of whiskers. He would never have shown up at a family dinner like …..

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U.S. HOUSE TO VOTE ON PITTENGER-McSALLY LEGISLATION TO ELIMINATE “CONGRESSIONAL HEALTHCARE EXEMPTION”

WASHINGTON – This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider legislation to eliminate the so-called “Congressional healthcare exemption” included in the American Health Care Act.   Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), who exited the Congressional health plan in 2014 and has never received an Obamacare subsidy, was one of the first to co-sponsor H.R. 2192, To Amend the Public Health Service Act to eliminate the non-application of certain State waiver provisions to Members of Congress and congressional staff, which was written by Congresswoman Martha McSally (AZ-02).   “We were elected to serve, not be served,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Even though this exemption is just a technicality based on Senate rules, …..

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Tillis Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Legislation To Prevent Overmedication & Combat Suicide Among Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, co-sponsored The Veterans Overmedication Prevention Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) that would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct an independent expert study on the deaths of all veterans being treated at the VA who died by suicide or from a drug overdose in the last five years.   “Reducing the heartbreaking number of veterans who commit suicide every single day has been one of my top priorities as a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee,” said Senator Tillis. “I want to thank …..

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Tillis, Peters Lead Colleagues in Bipartisan Letter Calling for Funding for State Veterans Homes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Gary Peters (D-MI) led a bipartisan group of their colleagues in a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies urging them to support robust funding for State Veterans Homes that help provide long-term care to our nation’s veterans. Federal funds provided by the State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program allow states to make critical facility upgrades or construct new facilities to serve aging veteran populations. For fiscal year 2017, only 10 of the 57 highest priority projects were funded, resulting in a backlog of facilities requiring upgrades or new construction.   “State Veterans …..

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As Congress braces for 2018 budget fight, senators recommend increase for state veterans homes

As Congress prepares for budget negotiations for the 2018 fiscal year, a bipartisan group of 28 senators is urging appropriators to increase funding dramatically for veterans nursing homes.   In a letter Wednesday to the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that handles veterans affairs, Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., asked for “robust funding” to tackle some of a backlog of about 100 construction and renovation projects for veterans homes across the country. Federal funds are made available to state-run veterans homes through a Department of Veterans Affairs grant program, but – as the veteran population ages – there are more requested projects than there is money to fund …..

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Congressman Pittenger: Bipartisan Funding bill supports rural communities

WASHINGTON – As part of his ongoing efforts to support rural North Carolina communities, agriculture, and health care, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is working to secure passage of the FY2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill. Specific provisions which benefit rural North Carolina communities: ·RURAL DEVELOPMENT:  Provides $2.94 billion for rural development programs, an increase of $166 million from last fiscal year. ·RURAL HEALTH:  Provides 4 percent increase in funding for rural health programs. ·OPIOIDS:  Provides $150 million increase for programs to address the opioid and heroin epidemic.  Combined with $500 million already authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act, this will result in a total increase of $650 million to combat the …..

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Congressman Pittenger: American Health Care Act continues protections for pre-existing conditions

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), a persistent critic of Obamacare, has also been a consistent advocate of continuing protections for those with pre-existing conditions. “The American Health Care Act absolutely does not eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions.  The legislation does give states the flexibility to choose which solution is best for their unique circumstances.  Current law remains in force unless an individual state chooses to serve those with pre-existing conditions through another risk-sharing or reinsurance program.  Even then, those individuals cannot be charged more if they maintain continuous coverage. “Our legislation gives states options in how to meet a common standard.  Those with pre-existing conditions will still be protected …..

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Video of Bladen County Commissioners

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners met on Monday, May 1st, 2017 for the first meeting of the month to discuss an array of items. View the report about what was on the agenda for the evening: Agenda for Bladen County Board of Commissioners meeting for May 1st. View the full meeting on video: Share:

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Letter to the Editor: Why you should support the Modernize Nursing Practice Act

May 1, 2017 Dear Editor, We support House Bill 88/Senate Bill 73, the Modernize Nursing Practice Act, and know that patients across the state do, too. Under current law, many Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) must be “supervised” by a physician. In this case, “supervised” does’t mean what you might think. Physicians aren’t looking over APRNs’ shoulders, checking charts and diagnosing illnesses. In fact, a physician never has to actually see an APRN’s patients; they don’t even have to work in the same city as the APRNs they’re supervising. Often, the “supervision” requirement means little more than a couple meetings per year with a physician who can charge the APRN …..

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Over 300 attend Pittenger’s Service Academy events

WASHINGTON – On Saturday, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) hosted special events in Charlotte and Fayetteville to help local students learn about opportunities at all five United States Service Academies.  More than 300 local students, parents, and teachers participated. In Charlotte, students heard first-hand descriptions of academy life from West Point Cadet Ben Litton, a graduate of Charlotte Catholic, and U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Connor Clavin, a Charlotte Christian graduate.  Representatives from West Point, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy were available for one-on-one conversations at both events, along with Congressman Pittenger’s staff. “These incredible young men and women are considering …..

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You Decide: What Determines County Jobless Rates?

By Dr. Mike Walden North Carolina Cooperative Extension The unemployment rate is one of the most closely tracked of economic statistics. There are two reasons for this. First, unemployment rates for the nation, state and local areas (counties, metropolitan regions) are released each month and with a rather short lag – so the information is reasonably up-to-date. Second, an unemployment rate, unlike many economic measures, is relatively easy to understand. It’s the percentage of the adult workforce actively looking for a job. In any given month in North Carolina the unemployment rate varies by a wide margin among our 100 counties. For example, in February of this year, the jobless …..

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Rep. Brenden Jones’ HB466, The Pharmacy Patient Fair Practices Act Passes House

Bill Would Provide a More Level Playing Field for Independent Pharmacies Raleigh, NC – Representative Brenden Jones (R-Columbus, Robeson, Bladen) is pleased to report that his bill, HB466, has passed the House by a unanimous vote. “This bill will assist independent pharmacies by allowing them to provide more information to their patients regarding the amount of the insured’s cost share for a prescription drug,” says Rep. Jones. “Pharmacists will also now be permitted to sell lower-cost alternative drugs to consumers.  Overall, the aim of this bill is to provide a more level playing field for small businesses which play such a vital role in our economy, particularly so in my …..

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Rep. Brenden Jones Works to Pass HB835, Create Chain of Survival Task Force

Raleigh, NC – Representative Brenden Jones (R-Columbus, Bladen, Robeson) is pleased to announce the passage of HB835 entitled “Create Chain of Survival Task Force.”  The bill creates a chain of survival public-private task force that will identify ways to achieve funding for the placement of Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDS) in all state buildings and agencies, as well as all public schools. “I am pleased to join with Reps. Carney, Lewis and Earle as a primary sponsor of HB835,” stated Rep. Jones.  “This is the first step in identifying how best to pursue and obtain funding for the placement of AEDS in governmental facilities. In addition, this 14-member Task Force will …..

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Tillis, Klobuchar Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Increase Newborn Care For Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced The Newborn Care Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation that would double the number of days veterans receive care for their newborns from seven to 14. Currently, a veteran must find outside healthcare for her child within seven days of birth or the baby will not have health insurance. “The brave men and women who served in our military deserve the best healthcare for them and their families,” said Senator Tillis. “I want to thank Senator Klobuchar for her partnership on this bipartisan legislation that justly increases the number of days veterans receive care for their newborns so families …..

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Congressman Pittenger co-sponsors bill to block “Congressional Obamacare Exemption”

WASHINGTON – This afternoon, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) helped introduce legislation to eliminate the “Congressional Obamacare Exemption” included in the current draft of theAmerican Health Care Act. The current draft proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare allows states to apply for waivers of provisions related to essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions.  Due to Senate rules, Congressional health plans are currently excluded from the waiver. “We don’t yet have a final version of the American Health Care Act, and we are working to remove the exemption before passage,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “If Senate rules prevent us, then I’ve already co-sponsored and introduced separate legislation to revoke it.  Personally, I exited …..

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EVALUATING PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS

By Congressman Robert Pittenger Saturday is the 100th day of President Trump’s Administration, and by any quantitative account, it has been one of the most productive first 100 days in modern Presidential history. Let’s take a look at the numbers. In his first 100 days, President Trump has: * Worked with Congress to sign 28 pieces of legislation, the most by any President since Truman. By comparison, President Obama signed only 11 bills in his first 100 days. * Worked with Congress to use the Congressional Review Act to repeal 13 costly Obama-era regulations (I supported 12 and opposed 1, related to Internet privacy, because I don’t believe Internet companies …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER’S STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S TAX PROPOSAL

 WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) issued this statement following today’s release of President Trump’s proposal on tax reform:  “President Trump’s tax proposal will undoubtedly set off waves of rhetoric from Washington insiders and special interest groups committed to maintaining the status quo.  They’ll be defending their lucrative slice of America’s 70,000-page tax code at your expense. “Now is the time for fairness and simplicity in the tax code.  We must lower rates for large and small businesses and private citizens.  Creating a healthy, growing economy requires common sense tax policy which encourages businesses to invest and create jobs, and enables hardworking taxpayers to keep more of their money and …..

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Congressman Pittenger introduces bipartisan legislation to clarify lending rules

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Robert Pittenger (R-NC) and Congressman David Scott (D-GA) introduced bipartisan legislation to clarify and improve certain regulations which have created confusion and unnecessary costs in commercial real estate lending. In January 2015, the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency adopted regulatory capital rules related to “high volatility commercial real estate” (HVCRE).  Despite repeated requests from community banks, other financial institutions, and real estate developers, federal regulators failed to clearly define the types of loans and projects to which the rules are meant to apply.  As a result, many banks have pulled back from commercial real estate lending, leading to fewer jobs and …..

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Tillis Discusses Border Security With Tucker Carlson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on the Fox News Channel, where he discussed the most effective ways to secure the United States’ Southern border. Senator Tillis toured the Texas-Mexico border earlier this year, spending days with Border Patrol agents and learning about the challenges and dangers they face on a daily basis. Senator Tillis recently laid the groundwork for a methodical, step by step approach to bipartisan immigration reform that would start by securing the Southern border. The Wall Street Journal reported that, “What is different about the Tillis approach is that it tackles the issue incrementally—but at every step gives each …..

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Tillis Selected As Commissioner For Helsinki Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced he has been selected as a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission. The Helsinki Commission, an independent government agency that is comprised of members of Congress and Administration officials, has a mandate to monitor the acts of the 56 other signatories of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). This includes the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms like the freedom of thought, religion and the press. The Commission also focuses on economic, humanitarian, and security cooperation between the United States and other signatories. The Helsinki Commission …..

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Bill to toughen laws on Opioid Misuse is now in NC Senate

A bill to toughen Opioid Misuse Laws has passed the NC House and is now working its way through the NC Senate.  The bill, titled “Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP)Act” has been referred to the NC Senate Rules and Operations Committee. According to a study performed by Castlight Health, North Carolina has four of the Top 25 cities in the nation for opioid misuse. They are Wilmington, Fayetteville, Jacksonville and Hickory. The bill will require providers who prescribe schedule II controlled substances and pharmacists who fill the prescriptions to register with the Controlled Substances Reporting System. This system will allow providers and pharmacists to view a patient’s prescription history. It also …..

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Congressman Pittenger lays wreath at WW2 cemetery in Italy

WASHINGTON – On Saturday, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) had the solemn privilege of laying a wreath at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, where nearly 8,000 American soldiers were buried following the liberation of Sicily and the landings at Salerno and Anzio during World War II. “These noble men and women sacrificed their lives in the fight against tyranny, securing a bright future for America and much of the world for the generations which followed,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “The vast majority were ordinary Americans who together did extraordinary things for the cause of liberty.  Let us never forget.” Congressman Pittenger visited the cemetery during a national security trip focused on NATO issues, …..

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Rep. Brenden Jones: Legislative Update for April 24, 2017

By: Rep. Brenden Jones Last week was a short but busy week in the General Assembly. Below is a summary of key bills I introduced or sponsored, key actions taken by committees on which I serve, and key House votes. BRIGHT Futures Jobs Bill Passes North Carolina House The North Carolina House of Representatives passed House Bill 68 BRIGHT Futures Act on Thursday by a 109-8 vote, approving legislation to connect rural residents of the state to broadband services and help under-served regions attract economic development opportunities of the 21st Century. “I represent some of the lowest income areas in the state and access to broadband is extremely limited,” said Rep. …..

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Congressman Pittenger: Support local students in 2017 Congressional Art Competition

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) invites the community to celebrate local high school artists and help select finalists for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition. Nearly 40 students from Matthews, Waxhaw, St. Pauls, Monroe, Lumber Bridge, and Charlotte have submitted entries, which can be viewed in the “2017 Congressional Art Competition” album on Congressman Pittenger’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/ CongressmanPittenger. To help select finalists, please visit Congressman Pittenger’s Facebook page and “like” your favorite artwork.  The three entries receiving the most “likes” by noon on Friday, April 28th will be named finalists. Three additional finalists will be chosen by professional artists from North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. The final round …..

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One felon reported voting in Bladen County 2016 elections

SBE: SBE Releases Post-Election Report for 2016 General Election RALEIGH, N.C. – The N.C. State Board of Elections on Friday released a report detailing findings of post-election audits and investigations into irregularities following the 2016 elections.  The Post-Election Audit Report: General Election 2016 was prepared in response to inquiries from members of Congress, state lawmakers, media organizations and the general public. The following is a statement from Kim Westbrook Strach, executive director of the State Board of Elections: “This report reflects our agency’s commitment to transparency in its effort to investigate election irregularities and fraud, as required by state law. It also provides necessary context to a complicated issue. Our …..

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Alan Greenspan: “If you get rid of Dodd-Frank, it’s going to have a very significant positive impact”

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told CNBC, “If you get rid of Dodd-Frank, it’s going to have a very significant positive impact on the economy.” As a Member of the House Financial Services Committee, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is working to pass the Financial CHOICE Act, which would eliminate taxpayer bailouts of financial firms, increase penalties for Wall Street fraud, and repeal unnecessary regulations which currently make it difficult for small businesses and community banks to grow the economy and create jobs. “Dodd-Frank has been Obamacare for the financial system, with the same regulatory burdens and disastrous results.  The Financial CHOICE Act will repeal and …..

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Charlotte Smith

Opinion: Calling All Voters: Don’t wait until elections

By: Charlotte Smith Your candidate may not have won the election, but that does not mean you do not have a voice. All voters near and far in Bladen County, in North Carolina, should be contacting their elected officials and asking for some accountability for our tax dollars. Some of the biggest issues our county and state are facing right now are not Red versus Blue. Education, Healthcare and Economic Development are key issues all tax paying citizens should be aware. I addressed the Bladen County Board of Commissioners this week about significant concerns uncovered after investigating our Mental Health and Behavioral Health Services during our Opioid Crisis Series on BladenOnline.com. …..

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Bladen County GOP Club hosts monthly meeting

An exciting range of topics and discussions of interest to conservatives highlighted the monthly Bladen County Republican Club meeting, held Monday evening at the San Jose Restaurant in Elizabethtown. Club Chairman Walter McDuffie welcomed several new members to the club, and the meeting quickly began to focus on how to broaden the outreach of the Republican Party within Bladen County. It was noted that, by working to develop methods to broaden the party’s membership within the county, it would have to sharpen its message of responsible conservatism, and develop more effective ways to reach the many different demographic groups that are represented within the county. Members agreed that, in light …..

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From Fox News Opinion: Rep. Robert Pittenger on China and the crucial choice America needs to make

By Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) Fox News Opinion Tuesday, April 18, 2017 Over the past several decades, American foreign policy towards China has been primarily economic in nature.  In 1979, we granted Most Favored Nation trading status with China, and in 2001, China became a member of the World Trade Organization.  For years, the theory has been that China will reform government dominance and communist tendencies with increased access to global markets.  Our leaders have believed that open market access would permeate the Chinese culture with greater personal freedoms and liberties. Unfortunately, the outcome of continuous and unrestricted market access has not yielded the intended results.  China remains a significant …..

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President Trump signs Congressman Pittenger’s radar legislation into law

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday evening, President Donald J. Trump signed Congressman Robert Pittenger’s radar legislation into law, setting into motion a 180-day study by the Commerce Department into Charlotte’s lack of adequate radar coverage.  Following completion of the study, the Commerce Department will have 90 days to submit a plan to fix the radar gap. “Charlotte is the largest metropolitan area in the United States without local National Weather Service radar coverage.  Because meteorologists lack consistent and reliable local radar data, NWS has actually missed tornadoes in Mecklenburg and Union counties,” explained Congressman Pittenger (NC-09).  “Thank you to President Trump, Senator Burr, and Chairman Lamar Smith with the Science, Space, …..

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Bladen County employees recognized

Bladen County Board of Commissioners recognized employees for their years of service to the County and its citizens. The following employees were scheduled to be recognized. Jason Bryant, Animal Control, 10 years Amelia Batten, EMS, 5 years Desmond Gillespie, Housekeeping, 10 years Sherry Lanier, Solid Waste, 10 years Anthony “Clay” Carroll, Sheriff’s Office, 5 years Robert Duggan, Sheriff’s Office, 5 years Dominique Davis, Sheriff’s Office, 5 years Tony Sessoms, Sheriff’s Office, 25 years After distributing the recognitions at the Tuesday commissioners’ meeting there was a reception to celebrate the employees. Charles Ray Peterson, Chairman of the commissioner board said, “We thank you for everything you do for the Bladen County …..

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From The Hill: Securing our border must be first step in immigration reform

Senator Thom Tillis The Hill For the last 40 years, elected officials in Washington have repeatedly tried to secure our nation’s southern border and fix our broken immigration system, but every attempt at comprehensive reform legislation has failed. While some falsely assume that this prolonged failure only affects border communities, the reality is that it has also created disastrous repercussions for the rest of the nation. This point was made abundantly clear when I recently joined fellow members of Congress for an extensive tour of the Texas-Mexico border, spending days meeting with border patrol agents who work tirelessly to stop illegal trafficking and contraband and keep our nation safe. The …..

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Rep. Brenden Jones Legislative Update April 17, 2017

By: Rep. Brenden Jones Last week was a short but busy week in the General Assembly. Below is a summary of key bills I introduced or sponsored, key actions taken by committees on which I serve, and key House votes. News Clips Key Bills Sponsored / Introduced HB636: Sale of Salvage Vehicle/No Inspection HB666: Revise Volunteer Fire Department Req’ts HB708: Require Criminal BGC/Pharmacist Licensure Key Committee Actions HB68: BRIGHT Futures Act (discussion only) HB443: Auto Dealers/Continuing Education (reported favorably) HB298: 00 Alcohol Restriction—All DWI (reported favorably) Key House Votes HB206: NC Cancer Treatment Fairness (Passed; I voted in favor) HB243: Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act. (Passed; I voted in favor) SB68: …..

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You Decide: Why Did We Move Away From Self-Sufficiency?

By Dr. Mike Walden North Carolina Cooperative Extension We are again involved in a debate about health insurance for those not covered by their employer, Medicare, Medicaid or other group. Many want to replace the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as “Obamacare”) that addresses the uninsured, but consensus on a replacement has not been found.   The health care debate includes many elements, among them politics and power. I’m not deriding those elements – they are part of the process. But they sometimes obscure some important fundamental factors that eventually must be considered to have a successful insurance plan. Among these fundamental factors are the economics of health care and …..

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Editorial from Brunswick Beacon: We, the public, are the ultimate government watchdogs

Jackie Torok, The Brunswick Beacon There was a really great story in The Washington Post last week that grabbed my attention and made my heart sing. It was about the staff of the Booster Redux, the student newspaper of Pittsburg High School in Kansas, who questioned the credentials of their new principal. She resigned as a result of their story; it turned out her story didn’t check out. My friend and former colleague, Bill Glassgow, had this to say about the story: “This is a perfect example of the free press at work. Investigative reporting is key in how the free press works. Don’t allow ANYONE to take away the …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER URGES COMMERCE DEPT. TO IDENTIFY, INVESTIGATE UNDISCLOSED FOREIGN COMPANY WHICH VIOLATED U.S. LAW

WASHINGTON – In March, Chinese telecom firm ZTE agreed to pay over $1 billion in fines for violating U.S. law by selling embargoed technology to Iran.  This action followed bipartisan pressure led by Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09).   In documents filed with the Commerce Department, ZTE referred to a second company, identified only as “F7,” which also violated U.S. export control laws.  While Congressman Pittenger is aware of a mid-2016 subpoena related to this case, there is no evidence of further action or enforcement activity.   Today, Congressman Pittenger wrote Commerce Secretary Ross to urge that Commerce publicly identify “F7” and take action to hold that company responsible for violating …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER WRITES POPE TAWADROS II ON TERRORIST BOMBING OF COPTIC CHURCHES

 CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), who met with Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II in February, today wrote to express support following the Palm Sunday terrorist attack on two Coptic churches. As part of a Congressional delegation in February, Congressman Pittenger met with Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II and Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki Stephanous, President of the Protestant Churches of Egypt.  Both leaders expressed appreciation for President Sisi’s unprecedented support of Egypt’s persecuted Christian minority.   “Once again, radical Islamist terrorists are seeking to divide Egypt and obliterate diversity,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “As our leaders respond to this heinous act, my hope is that President Sisi will be invited to …..

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Bladen County Guestbook is opinions

BladenOnline.com is honored and grateful to bring Bladen County news, sports, advertising and more to our readers. We take this opportunity with a great sense of responsibility and seriousness. We do offer spaces on our site for opinions as well as facts. Our Guestbook page is a space with visitors comments and opinions. The Guestbook posts are not facts presented by our staff. We do try to police the page as much as possible to delete any abusive behavior or posts. Our Guestbook page is strictly a social page for our readers to use to discuss topics they care about, but is not part of the news, sports or information brought …..

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Tillis Joins Bipartisan Effort to Preserve the Legislative Filibuster

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) joined a bipartisan group of 60 Senators in writing to Senate leadership and urging them to leave the legislative filibuster intact and preserve the 60 vote threshold for legislation. “We are writing to urge you to support our efforts to preserve existing rules, practices, and traditions as they pertain to the right of Members to engage in extended debate on legislation before the United States Senate,” the Senators wrote. “Senators have expressed a variety of opinions about the appropriateness of limiting debate when we are considering judicial and executive branch nominations. Regardless of our past disagreements on that issue, we …..

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Tillis, Peters Lead Colleagues in Calling for Funding to Advance Self-Driving Vehicles

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Gary Peters (D-MI) led a bipartisan group of their Senate colleagues in a letter calling for increased funding to support the advancement of connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies. The letter specifically calls for Congress to appropriate funding for the safe development and testing of CAV technologies at U.S Department of Transportation (USDOT) federally-designated proving grounds. The letter was sent to Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI). “The auto industry is in the midst of a seismic technological shift that will revolutionize the transportation of people and goods in our lifetime. Connected and …..

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Congressman Pittenger on Supporting Rural Healthcare

By Congressman Robert Pittenger One of my most important jobs is making sure your tax dollars are spent wisely. We must restore fiscal sanity in Washington, forcing bureaucrats to live within a budget and focus on priorities just like you do with your personal finances. This week, every Member of Congress submitted official requests to the Appropriations Committee listing priorities for federal spending in their home districts. This lays the groundwork for building a responsible budget. Here in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, supporting access to rural health care is a priority. Why? Six out of eight counties are eligible for rural health grants (Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Robeson, Cumberland, and …..

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Rouzer statement on Syria

Washington, D.C. – Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07) released the statement below on Syria: “Assad is a brutal dictator who, once again, is responsible for a tortuous attack killing his own people, including innocent children and women. I applaud President Trump’s decision to conduct devastating air strikes against an airbase in Syria, and I salute the brave soldiers who carried out this mission. President Trump has sent a clear message to the Assad regime, Russia and our other enemies, such as Iran, North Korea, Al Qaeda, and ISIS, that our country will not tolerate such acts of evil. In order to keep Americans safe and protect our own homeland from these …..

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Tillis Co-Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Secure Education Benefits for Veterans, Servicemembers, and Their Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced The Veterans Priority Enrollment Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation to ensure that veterans, servicemembers, and surviving spouses and children of servicemembers who have died in the line of duty can take full advantage of their education benefits. “The Veterans Priority Enrollment Act will allow veterans, servicememembers, and their families to receive the education benefits that they deserve,” said Senator Tillis. “Expanding educational benefits for veterans has been a priority of mine since being elected, and I want to thank Senator Brown for his partnership in focusing on this important issue.” The Veterans Priority Enrollment Act …..

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Tillis Statement On U.S. Airstrikes In Syria

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tonight, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement following the U.S. military’s airstrikes in Syria: “Assad is a war criminal who has targeted and murdered his own people, including innocent children. President Trump decisively responded to Assad’s latest atrocity to help prevent future ones, sending a clear message that when the Syrian regime crosses the red line, America will respond. We owe a debt of gratitude to the brave men and women in uniform who carried out today’s mission and continue to keep our nation safe and secure.” Share:

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Rouzer now accepting high school art submissions for Congressional Art Competition

Washington, D.C. – Congressman David Rouzer is now accepting submissions for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition.  All high school students who are residents of the 7th Congressional District are encouraged to participate.  The winning entry will be displayed in the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. “This year’s art competition is an opportunity for students to creatively express what they love most about our beloved Tarheel State.  The winning artist from the 7th District will have their artwork on display for eleven months in the Capitol tunnel, which is seen by thousands of visitors from across the country, Congressional staffers and members of Congress.  Every time I go to the House …..

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Congressman Pittenger secures unanimous approval of Charlotte radar legislation

WASHINGTON – As Charlotte prepares for possible severe weather on Wednesday, President Trump is preparing to sign legislation sponsored by Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) to improve severe weather radar coverage in the Charlotte region. On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act (H.R. 353) which includes Congressman Pittenger’s legislation requiring the Commerce Department to study and quickly develop a solution to Charlotte’s radar gap.  Last week, the U.S. Senate also gave unanimous approval to this legislation with support from Senator Burr. Charlotte is the largest metropolitan area in the United States without local National Weather Service Doppler …..

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Tillis, King Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Improve H-2B Visa Program And Assist Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Angus King (I-ME) have introduced the Save our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation that makes substantive reforms aimed to help seasonal employers better navigate the H-2B temporary non-agricultural visa program. Original co-sponsors include Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Cornyn (R-TX), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and John Thune (R-SD). The H-2B program is vital to small and seasonal employers across the country who depend on temporary workers to sustain their businesses and supplement their existing American workforce. This bipartisan legislation would streamline the program to eliminate ambiguities and establish clear …..

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Congressman Pittenger on Trump’s ‘Freedom Caucus tweet’

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted:  “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast.  We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” As Members of Congress and the media react, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is urging his fellow conservatives to remember the lesson taught by President Reagan during this February 9, 1983 White House press session, in which he pushed back against the “all or nothing” attitude displayed by some of today’s vocal conservatives: “There are some people who would have you so stand on principle that if you don’t get all that you’ve asked for from the …..

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Governing requires more than saying ‘No’

By Congressman Robert Pittenger Saying no is easy. Actual leadership, or governing, is much more difficult. On Thursday, President Trump tweeted, “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” There are many fine people in the Freedom Caucus. For several years, the Freedom Caucus was among the most vocal in saying “no” to Obamacare. But when they had the opportunity last week to take action as the governing party, some in the caucus reverted to their days in opposition and said “no” to a conservative plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Why? …..

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Waxhaw student receives appointments to West Point and Air Force

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is excited to announce Jake Dean of Waxhaw has received a rare double-appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Air Force Academy. Mr. Dean is Battalion Commander at Camden Military Academy, president of the school’s STEM Club, and leads a program to tutor fellow cadets who are struggling academically. “My parents have always said that ‘I am the company I keep,’ and ‘iron sharpens iron.’  When I attended West Point’s Summer Leaders Experience this summer, I finally understood what they meant.  It was incredible being immersed with other students who love to learn and desire to serve their country …..

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You Decide: Why Did We Move Away From Self-Sufficiency?

By Dr. Mike Walden North Carolina Cooperative Extension I recall my late, paternal grandmother telling me how much she looked forward to the third Friday of each month. This was the day her husband – my grandfather – took her from their small farm into town. For all the other days of the month my grandmother worked on the farm.  She made her own bread, harvested and canned vegetables raised in the garden and even helped butcher, dress (remove unwanted parts and divide the kept parts) and cook the pork and poultry raised on their land. In her “spare” time my grandmother altered the clothing of her three sons so …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Sure could use a little good news today.   As of 7AM today, about 35/100 of an inch was recorded by the National Weather Service at Curtis Brown Airport, Elizabethtown. Hopefully, much more is expected. Find myself riding along, listening to Southern Gospel Music, turn the volume up and pretend I am at an all-night singing in the 50s and 60s. Statesman, Blackwood Bros., Lefevres, Sunshine Boys, Homeland Harmony, Florida Boys, and more. Tomorrow begins a new month, with April Fool’s Day. Checking weather stats for the new month, average high is 74, compared with 67 in March and the low for April is 48, up 8 degrees from March. …..

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Tillis Statement on HB2 Repeal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement after the North Carolina General Assembly voted to repeal House Bill 2 (HB2):  “North Carolina’s brand and continued economic prosperity should not be beholden to the loudest voices on either the far-left or the far-right who don’t have our state’s best interests in mind. I’m glad that state lawmakers were able to reach a commonsense compromise to repeal HB2.” Share:

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Governor Cooper Gives Remarks on House Bill 2 Repeal

Today, March 30th, 2017, Governor Cooper held a press conference to discuss the repeal of House Bill 2. Full remarks as prepared are below: Thank you and good afternoon. I just signed House Bill 142, which repeals House Bill 2. For over a year now, House Bill 2 has been a dark cloud over our great state. It has stained our reputation. It has discriminated against our people. And it has caused great economic harm to many of our communities. Today, we repealed House Bill 2. We begin to end discrimination. We begin to bring back jobs and sporting events. And we begin to repair our reputation. It is an important …..

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A different kind of March Madness

By Jefferson Weaver I was heading home, having made an uncustomary Sunday afternoon trip to the office, when I saw the young man in his side yard. I think it was the yellow line that first caught my eye, bending back on itself in a S curve as he whipped the fly rod forward and back, expertly stripping line with a smooth hand I wish I could master. I slowed a little, worried more that he might practice-cast into my car and break his line than I was about hurting the car. I needn’t have worried. The young angler threw the rod like a professional far beyond his years. I …..

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Tillis: Remove Barriers to Expedite Path to Alzheimer’s Cure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, attended a hearing on the state of Alzheimer’s disease and questioned witness Maria Shriver on ways to better support caregivers and the need to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Watch Senator Tillis at the hearing. “We have to think about other ways for funding and ways to be more productive with the funding we are producing,” said Senator Tillis. “I think combatting Alzheimer’s represents an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to come together and look at some of the hurdles; whether its research, the regulatory environment, or authorization for new therapies and find ways …..

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Weddington senior appointed to West Point

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is happy to announce that Caroline Horne, a senior at Weddington High School, has received a prestigious appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Ms. Horne founded and serves as president of the Weddington Mentors Club, which organizes high school students to serve as mentors at the Monroe Boys and Girls Club.  She also launched “Hope for the Holidays” to provide Christmas gifts for children at the Boys and Girls Club. “At a Memorial Day presentation several years ago, I interacted with an older gentleman, a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  While watching another veteran perform Taps from his …..

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Tillis Joins Bipartisan Group To Address Marine Debris

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) joined Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Gary Peters (D-MI) to introduce the bipartisan Save our Seas (SOS) Act to help address the marine debris epidemic affecting America’s ocean shorelines and inland waterways, as well as other coasts across the globe. Intact marine debris from foreign countries travel great distances and pose problems for nations who are not responsible for the mismanagement of the source country’s solid waste. The Save our Seas (SOS) Act works to address three critical areas: ·Allows the NOAA Administrator to declare severe …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Hopefully the NC HB2 issue will soon be a memory. Governor and Legislature have hopefully agreed to agree. House and Senate expected to repeal the controversial law today and the Governor has promised to sign immediately. We are just hours away from the next round of March Madness to determine the best college team of 2016-2017. South Carolina vs Gonzaga at 6:09 PM Saturday, the second game pits Oregon against UNC at 8:49 PM, both games being played in Phoenix, Arizona. The Saturday winners play Monday evening for the championship. Speaking of sports, musical chairs for football coach at West Bladen continues. Todd Pait is departing the scene after one …..

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Craft breweries praise introduction of legislation that will support job creation, economic growth

Raleigh, NC – North Carolina craft breweries are praising the introduction of legislation that would modernize North Carolina craft brewing laws by eliminating unnecessary, burdensome regulations. Introduced by Chairman of the House Alcohol Beverage Control Committee Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) today, the ABC Omnibus Legislation (HB 500) would help create jobs, spur local investment in North Carolina’s urban and rural communities, and raise the cap on the amount of beer a craft brewery may distribute itself before contracting with a wholesaler. The legislation is cosponsored by Representatives Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg), Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) and Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford). “The goal of this legislation is to remove unnecessary barriers that prevent the growth and …..

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