After surpassing the necessary 270 electoral votes, the Electoral College certified the victory of former Vice President Biden following a close and competitive campaign season.
President Trump said that he would live by the decision of the Electoral College, and on Monday, the Electoral College certified Vice President Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
In the House, I will work with the new administration to defeat COVID-19 and deliver commonsense solutions for central Arkansas’s families, workers, and small businesses.
|COVID-19 VACCINE ROLLS OUT
Last Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
This was the fastest vaccine ever produced for a novel pathogen and demonstrated a 95% effectiveness rate during clinical trials. According to scientists and professionals at the FDA, the vaccine has proven to be safe and effective.
On Sunday, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar stated that, based on the distribution plan and strategy of Operation Warp Speed, 20 million Americans will receive the vaccine in December, 50 million Americans will receive the vaccine by the end of January, and an estimated 50 million Americans will receive the vaccine by the end of February.
Over the weekend, the Trump Administration worked with Pfizer to begin the vaccine distribution process to the American people. On Monday morning, health care workers and individuals who live and work in long-term care facilities received the first doses of the vaccine.
On Tuesday, I stopped by a pharmacy in Little Rock, where preparations were being made to administer the first doses and distribute Pfizer’s vaccine all across the state.
According to a briefing held by the FDA yesterday, Moderna’s vaccine for COVID-19 will likely soon join Pfizer and BioNTech with vaccine approvals, which are critical to bringing a swift end to the pandemic.
Another incredible, long-lasting impact of Operation Warp Speed is the new technology used by Pfizer and Moderna. These vaccines do not contain live viruses – the traditional method. Instead, they use mRNA – Messenger RNA. This generic material instructs the body to make a fragment of a viral protein to elicit an immune response.
This new approach will lead to new and better vaccines to fight Ebola, HIV, and some cancers.
The tireless and diligent efforts of our scientists and doctors have paved the way for this unprecedented and historic medical accomplishment. This vaccine’s development and distribution network could not have been possible without the effective planning and framework created by Operation Warp Speed and the Trump Administration’s efforts to defeat the coronavirus.
|HOUSE COMES TO A BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT TO END SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLING
Last week, leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Education and Workforce Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee came to a bipartisan and bicameral agreement to end surprise medical billing.
This is a promising and beneficial initiative for our patients and families who are burdened by unexpected medical bills, which occur when a patient receives a bill for the difference between the out-of-network provider's fee and the amount covered by the patient's health insurance.
The agreement includes a 30-day period where the insurance plan and the health care providers could try to negotiate a payment for the out-of-network claims – if no agreement is reached, independent arbiters would negotiate a deal based on guidance written into the bill.
Inflated medical costs, drug prices, and surprise medical bills are issues that I have fought to improve and correct during my time in office. This is why I have previously cosponsored the Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act, the Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act, the Lower Costs - More Cures Act, and the Lowering Prescription Drug Costs and Extending Community Health Centers and Other Health Priorities Act.
This effort to reign in surprise medical bills from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will shield Arkansas patients and families from devastating surprise medical costs and is a crucial step in the endeavor to improve our healthcare system.
|REOPENING OF TOAD SUCK PARK
On Monday, the Little Rock District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that Toad Suck Park would be reopening to the public following devastating and historic flooding in the spring of 2019.
My staff and I have been pushing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clean-up and reopen the park, and with the help of flood-related funding from Congress, the Army Corps of Engineers began repairs in October 2019. The Army Corps of Engineers also awarded a contract which aided in the process of general repairs. The total cost to revitalize Toad Suck Park totaled $1.3 million.
The community has been anxious for the park's return, and the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers noted that its long-awaited repair had been a burden on the residents nearby.
For more information or to make reservations for Toad Suck Park, you can call (877) 444-6777 or click HERE.
|WINNER OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS’S CONGRESSIONAL ART COMPETITION WORK DISPLAYED IN CAPITOL BUILDING
Congratulations to Victoria Macuil, a student of LISA West High School, on winning first place in the Second Congressional District’s Congressional Art Competition and representing our state in the halls of the United States Capitol!
Each day, my fellow legislators and I from all across the country walk past your beautiful piece titled, “Daily Routine.” I am honored to have your work represent the state of Arkansas in the halls of Congress.
Victoria’s hard work paid off, and I am grateful that this competition gave her the opportunity to showcase her spectacular talents!
This week, I was pleased to join my good friend Rabbi Yosef Kramer and families in central Arkansas to witness and honor the 30th annual lighting of the menorah for the celebration of Hanukkah.
Every year, Lubavitch of Arkansas organizes and sponsors this traditional lighting of the menorah in celebrating this holiday tradition. I am grateful for Rabbi Kramer’s invitation to witness this special event with my friends in Arkansas.
To my fellow Arkansans who continue to celebrate the remainder of the Festival of Lights, I wish you all a Happy Hanukkah!
It is my honor to represent you in Congress.
Please contact me at (501) 324-5941 or Hill.House.Gov if I may be of service to you.
Representative French Hill