On Sunday, I was sworn in to the 117th session of the United States Congress to represent the hard-working men and women of central Arkansas in the House of Representatives. I was blessed to have my wife and two children with me from central Arkansas to witness the ceremony.
While the next two years present us with many challenges, I look forward to working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to craft commonsense solutions. Defeating the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new opportunities for small businesses to flourish, and ensuring our nation's health and safety should be markers of success for the new congress.
It is my honor, central Arkansas, to represent you in the 117th Congress!
This week, Speaker Pelosi unveiled her rules package for the 117th Congress. These rules are yet another example of Speaker Pelosi’s desire to put the House Democrats’ far left agenda ahead of bipartisan common-sense solutions.
Speaker Pelosi sets partisan rules for the new Congress
She would like to see Democrats’ progressive values dictate how Congress conducts its business.
The House of Representatives has always been a body open for debate. From health care to tax reform, Members of Congress are supposed to have the “great debates” of society on the House Floor.
Speaker Pelosi’s Rules package violates lawmakers’ First Amendment rights and attempts to silence House Republicans.
In previous years, House Democrats fought to remove God from our oaths. This time they are trying to stop the use of words like "Mother." If House Democrats were confident in their agenda or their ability to keep their party united, they wouldn’t be engaged in authoritarian efforts to silence free speech.
I voted against this rules package because it reduces our American values and creates a bias for House Democrats as we move into the 117th Congress.
|Looking back at accomplishments in 2020
The past year has been trying and filled with difficult and unprecedented challenges. I was encouraged by our nation’s ability to come together to work on issues like the CARES Act and emergency funding.
We enter 2021 with bipartisan COVID-19 relief bills passed, FDA-approved vaccines, and a strong will to bring this pandemic to a swift end.
My team and I are proud to have helped provide:
- $9.25 billion in relief funding to our state to offset this virus’s negative economic impact,
- over 43,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, totaling $3.3 billion,
- over $2.2 billion in Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to qualifying Arkansans.
- Aid to 222 central Arkansans with missing stimulus payments,
- over $400,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
To address current and future needs, Arkansas received $1.25 billion to provide expanded health care resources and promote our state’s economic recovery.
In addition to critical COVID relief legislation, my bill to honor the legacy of Arkansas civil rights champion Scipio Jones became law on December 3. This legislation will honor the legacy of Arkansas civil rights champion and lawyer, Scipio Jones, by hanging his portrait in the Little Rock Post Office that bears his name.
Through the hardships this recent year presented, I am proud of the work that my team and I accomplished for the hard-working men and women of Arkansas.
I thank all who interacted with my office and played an important role in joining with me to build a better Arkansas.
In 2020, my team and I:
I’m guessing many of you who read my weekly e-newsletter have had some type of contact with my office this past year; I sincerely thank you for your input.
- Helped 838 central Arkansans with issues before the federal government
- Secured for Arkansas veterans over $3.7 million in benefits and money owed
- Supported $10 million in federal grants for Arkansas
- Sent 12,987,483 pieces of correspondence to keep you updated with the latest health and economic information.
Your perspectives and opinions help me do a better job serving you. The only way to solve the challenges we face is through constructive collaboration, and I am particularly grateful to our local leaders and elected officials who have worked with my staff and me to help Arkansas families.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) announced a nationwide plan to resume mailing notification letters to veterans for benefit overpayments that were placed on suspension from April 3, 2020, through January 1, 2021.
VA resumes overpayment notifications to Veterans
Collections on these payments were deferred to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The VA has released a comprehensive plan to support veterans who will need assistance with overpayments. This includes extending repayment plans, waivers, compromises, and temporary hardship suspensions.
This plan can be found HERE.
The U.S Department of Veteran Affairs will pause collections through October 2021 for veterans who remain in financial hardship and have requested relief.
Any veteran or beneficiary with questions about benefit overpayments can submitted a request HERE or call 800-827-1238.
For health care co-payment debts, the Health Resource Center has more information found HERE or can be reached at 866-400-1238.
|Ford Donates masks to Pulaski County Special School District
Last week, Ford Motor Company generously donated 36,480 masks to Pulaski County Special School District.
Inside and outside of the classroom, there is nothing more important than the safety of our students and of our teachers – and their families.
I am grateful for Ford’s generosity and for the Ford Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL) Project, which will help our students reach their career potential.
This donation will promote the well-being of students and faculty in central Arkansas schools, and it gives educators the ability to teach safely in the classroom.
Representative French Hill