WEEKLY REVEREND WRAP: Reverend Warnock Stands Up For Veterans; Fights for Local Law Enforcement, Community Safety
Also This Week: Warnock Fights for Georgia Farmers; Continues Fight to Lower Costs for Insulin and Prescription Drugs, Protect Georgia Jobs
This week, Reverend Warnock successfully fought back against Republicans’ attempts to stall the PACT Act, critical legislation that would provide care to nearly 350,000 Georgia veterans, and millions nationwide who were exposed to toxic burn pits during their service. The bill is now on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
Reverend Warnock’s bipartisan Invest to Protect Act unanimously passed the Senate this week. Warnock’s bill will provide training, equipment, mental health support, and officer recruitment and retention for local law enforcement, a measure backed by local Georgia sheriffs like Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams who said, “Senator Warnock really understands the needs of local law enforcement…It’s huge for us because it helps shoulder the burden on local taxpayers to provide funding to hire, train, and retain the best qualified officers.”
Also this week, Reverend Warnock continued fighting for Georgia’s peanut and pecan farmers and pushed to lower prescription drug costs through the Inflation Reduction Act. And one week after Reverend Warnock’s yearlong push to pass the Jobs and Competition bill, it’s headed to the President’s desk to be enacted into law, a measure that will protect Georgia jobs and lower costs.
WARNOCK STANDS UP FOR VETERANS
After months of Reverend Warnock’s work to stand up for Georgia veterans, this week the Senate passed the PACT Act, legislation that will help the millions of veterans exposed to toxic burn pits during their service. Reverend Warnock celebrated the passage of this legislation that will benefit nearly 350,000 Georgia veterans and millions of veterans nationwide.
Watch WRDW Augusta’s Coverage HERE
Zayna Haliburton: “In Washington, the Senate has approved a bill that will help millions of veterans exposed to overseas burn pits. The passage of the bill was announced by Georgia Senators, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. The new legislation will make it easier for veterans to claim benefits and treatment for 23 diseases and rare cancers related to toxic exposure.”
Watch 11Alive Atlanta’s Coverage HERE
Anchor: “Today, a major bipartisan victory, helping millions of veterans. The U.S. Senate is passing the PACT Act, which expands health benefits to military members sickened from exposure to toxic chemicals in burn pits.”
WARNOCK’S BILL TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY SAFETY, LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ADVANCES IN THE SENATE
This week, Reverend Warnock’s Invest to Protect Act passed the Senate with bipartisan support. This legislation will support community safety by giving local enforcement the support and resources they need to keep our communities safe. This bill has already received praise from local law enforcement in Georgia, including from the Burke and Screven County Sheriffs.
Watch WJBF’s coverage here
Deirnesa Jefferson, WJBF: “The Invest to Protect Act, a bill sponsored by Senator Raphael Warnock would provide $250 million over the next five years.”
Reverend Warnock: “It’s focused squarely and sharply on our smaller police departments to make sure that they have what they need so that they can provide us the care that we need.”
Jefferson: “It would invest in training, equipment, mental health support and officer recruitment and retention.”
Warnock: “It will make for a better police department and a better trained police department.”
Jefferson: “For a county like Screven, a lack of resources makes it harder to hire and keep officers. Currently they have less than half of the full time deputies they need– meaning deputies often go to calls alone.”
Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile: “The officer is out there by himself and is 15 to 20 minutes away from help most of the time.”
Jefferson: “Getting federal funding could help the county hire more deputies and cut down on response times.”
- A bill aimed at providing more funding for small law enforcement agencies could be a big help in rural counties like Screven. “Small law enforcement agencies are not funded because the county and the city just honestly doesn’t have the money,” Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile said.
- The Invest to Protect Act, a bill sponsored by Senator Raphael Warnock would provide $250 million dollars over the next five years to support smaller law enforcement agencies.
- “It’s focused squarely and sharply on our smaller police departments to make sure that they have what they need to provide us the care that we need,” Sen. Raphael Warnock said.
- It would invest in training, equipment, mental health support and officer recruitment and retention.
- “It will make for a better police department and a better trained police department,” Warnock said.
- For a county like Screven, a lack of resources makes it harder to hire and keep officers. Currently they have less than half of the full-time deputies they need — meaning deputies often go to calls alone.
- “The officer is out there by himself and he’s 15 to 20 minutes away from help most of the time,” Kile said.Getting federal funding could help the county hire more deputies and cut down on response times. “Our response time would be cut down, probably in half,” Kile said.
Watch WJBF’s coverage HERE
John Hart: “A bill to provide more money for law enforcement in rural counties with less than 200 officers is now closer to becoming law. Sponsored by Senator Warnock, the Invest to Protect Act would mean more funding for counties like Burke and Screven. The 50 million dollar grant program would help to invest in training, equipment, mental health support and officer recruitment and retention. It unanimously passed the Senate and is now headed to the president’s desk.”
WARNOCK’ CONTINUES FIGHT TO LOWER HEALTH CARE COSTS
This week, Reverend Warnock continued fighting to lower costs for hardworking Georgia families. Reverend Warnock is working hard to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes his proposal to cap the cost of insulin at $35—a measure that would help the nearly one million Georgians with diabetes who rely on insulin. The legislation also includes Warnock’s proposal to cap the cost of prescription drugs at $2,000 for seniors, and a Warnock-backed proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies, lowering the cost of medications for Georgians and saving taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years.
Jim Burress, WABE: “Georgia Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock has pushed for caps on insulin since he got to Washington. Although he’s gotten a number of fellow lawmakers behind his measure, it’s not made it to President Biden’s desk yet, but it could soon. Earlier today, I spoke with the senator about student loan debt forgiveness, about debating Herschel Walker, and about the cost of insulin.”
Warnock: “Hard working people are literally having to fight to afford insulin, they’re actually rationing their insulin. I think that’s terrible. This is a drug that’s been around for over 100 years, so I’m proud that my provision, which caps the cost of insulin to no more than $35 of out of pocket costs per month, will indeed be in the Reconciliation Bill.”
Burress, WABE: “You’re also behind legislation that would limit seniors’ out of pocket prescription costs to $2000 yearly, this under Medicare Part D. Catch us up on that status.”
Warnock: “This is an important step in the effort to make healthcare affordable. This $2000 cap max for seniors for me is very personal. I’m a pastor, I talked to folks in my church and people all across Georgia and it’s very simple for me. Our seniors should not have to choose between buying groceries and buying medicine. And this provision will cap the cost of no more than $2000 per year. Additionally, for the first time, Medicare has the ability to negotiate the price of drugs. Now, Medicare will be able to negotiate on behalf of the seniors who are in that program, drive down costs, and I think that’s very important for folks who are sitting around their kitchen table right now who need food and medicine.”
- U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock says he has been assured that two of his health care priorities are in the Senate’s climate, health and tax bill that would move forward key elements of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda.
- On Wednesday afternoon, Warnock celebrated the health care provisions in a phone interview. The measure would cap monthly out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35 and block prescription drug prices for seniors on Medicare Part D from exceeding $2,000 annually – two of his health care priorities.
- “This is transformational. It is very meaningful for folks who are on the ground in Georgia right now trying to pay for their insulin, trying to manage their health care – many of them in the very eve of their lives,” Warnock told the Georgia Recorder.
WARNOCK FIGHTS FOR GEORGIA FARMERS
Reverend Warnock continued his fight for Georgia’s farmers this week by securing a provision in a draft proposal that will address trade barriers for Georgia peanut farmers. Warnock previously worked across the aisle to support Georgia’s peanut farmers getting their goods to market in Europe. Reverend Warnock is also leading a bipartisan delegation calling on U.S. trade representatives to increase international market access for Georgia’s pecan growers. Warnock has repeatedly met with farmers across Georgia to hear more about their concerns.
- Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), a champion of Georgia agriculture, announced he secured a directive in the draft Senate government funding bill directing the federal government to address existing, restrictive trade barriers Georgia peanut farmers are facing when trying to do business with markets in the European Union.
- “As a senator for the state that leads the U.S. in peanut production, and as chair of the Agriculture subcommittee that deals with trade, I’ve been in Washington lifting up the stories of the many peanut farmers I’ve met across Georgia who have told me they need the federal government to take action to reduce restrictive trade barriers. Without a doubt Georgia farmers grow the world’s best peanuts, and I’m going to keep working across the aisle to ensure our peanut farmers secure the market access they need to thrive,” said Senator Reverend Warnock.
- Since arriving in the U.S. Senate, Senator Warnock has worked to uplift Georgia’s agriculture industry. His first series of visits as a sitting senator was an agriculture tour across southwest Georgia, which included stops with Georgia’s peanut farmers and shellers. Senator Warnock then partnered with Senator Tommy Tuberville to send a bipartisan letter, cosigned by 17 of their colleagues, pressing the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative to address persistent trade barriers facing Georgia’s peanut farmers from accessing markets in the European Union.
- Senator Warnock has continued to raise this issue as Chair of the Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade, most recently when he convened a hearing titled “Agricultural Trade: Priorities and Issues Facing America’s Farmers.” In this hearing, Senator Warnock underscored the urgency for USDA and USTR action, and the need for the Senate to quickly confirm agricultural trade leaders within the administration who will champion these issues.
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