President Obama's Education "Decree"
On Friday, the Obama Administration released "guidance" impacting every public school in the nation. The guidance detailed the reinterpretation of a law passed in the 1970's and essentially provided a new definition using revisionist history. Under this new interpretation, public schools must allow students to use which ever restroom or locker room they identify with or face retaliation from Washington.
I am strongly opposed to the Obama Administration's threat to withhold education funding from Michigan schools, colleges, and universities, without allowing students, parents, and local school administrators to have a voice in the process. Decisions of this magnitude need to be made by the American people and their elected representatives, not through executive fiat by bureaucrats within the Obama Administration.
Yesterday, I spoke to WOOD Radio and discussed how this issue warrants the House looking into the budget of the bureaucrats at the Department of Education and holding them accountable. It's clear the federal government's involvement in our children's education has become far too pervasive. You can listen to the interview here.
West Michigan Innovation = Job Creation
West Michigan is a hub of entrepreneurial activity and organizations like the Grand Rapids Inventors Network and Start Garden are at the center. In fact, Start Garden has helped launch over 200 companies.
To help foster innovation here and across the country, Congress passed the JOBS Act in 2012. This bipartisan solution was designed to jumpstart capital formation for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups. However instead of helping small businesses access capital through the JOBS Act, as Congress intended, the SEC has choked off avenues for capital formation.
To fix this problem, the House passed the bipartisan HALOS Act by a vote of 325-89. The federal government should be working to foster more entrepreneurial success stories like Boxed Water, not creating hurdles that prevent economic opportunity. You can learn more about this important bipartisan legislation here.
Protecting Our Great Lakes
Recently, the House passed the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). This program not only protects our Great Lakes, but has also shown measurable results by helping clean up White Lake. Our way of life in Michigan is forever linked to the careful preservation of our treasured natural resources and the GLRI is a bipartisan example of how commonsense policy can achieve that.
Hearing from West Michigan
Typically, Congress is meeting in Washington three weeks out of the month. The fourth week is reserved for meeting with West Michigan residents. I wanted to share with you a few of the stops I have recently made to hear from folks across West Michigan.
The 2016 Congressional Art Competition
This year's competition garnered a record-breaking 80 entries from high school students across West Michigan. Congratulations to Ruby Henrickson from Ludington High School on winning the 2016 Congressional Art Competition for Michigan's Second Congressional District with her piece entitled "Static."
"Static" will now hang in the U.S. Capitol for the next year and be seen by the thousands of visitors who tour the building each year. You can view all of the top 10 art competition entries on my Facebook page.
The Michigan Minute