Like wildfire, bad news travels fast. And all too often, it seems like good news travels at a snail’s pace — especially these days. When it comes to reporting good news, a reporter once told me, “We don’t report on the planes that land. No one pays attention to that stuff.”
And while there was plenty of bad news to go around last week — political controversies, a hurricane bearing down on the Gulf Coast and a record heat wave, to name a few — there were a few bits of good news to share.
One of those good news stories was Vice President Mike Pence visiting Fort Bragg last week — the epicenter of the universe and the largest military installation in the world. As Fort Bragg’s congressman and a voice for North Carolina’s veterans, I was proud to welcome Vice President Pence to our incredible community. The men and women who serve here are the tip of the spear, and it was amazing to see firsthand Vice President Pence reaffirm his unwavering commitment to get the resources our soldiers, military families and veterans need and deserve. While this doesn’t make for a salacious headline, it’s critically important — not just for our community, but for our nation’s security.
Another thing that happened with little fanfare last week was the committee I serve on, the Energy and Commerce Committee, passed many bipartisan energy bills. While none of these bills led the evening news, they are major bills to strengthen energy delivery, security, and reliability for folks across the country. I was happy to see my bill to improve energy and manufacturing workforce-training programs pass. This legislation will make it much easier to connect individuals with job-training programs they need for a better career while also making current programs more efficient and effective. And the bill takes important steps to increase energy job opportunities for women, veterans and minorities.
As I’ve traveled across our district, I’ve seen firsthand just how effective local high-skilled job-training programs can be. In Kannapolis, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has partnered with A.L. Brown High School on a welding program that will open doors for countless students. At both Stanly Community College and Sandhills Community College, the advanced manufacturing programs are the critical training grounds for high-skilled manufacturing workers. And at Fayetteville Tech, veterans get the support and the skills they need to seamlessly transition from military service to the civilian world.
Like I told a reporter last week, “In a Congress with a lot of rancor, this is an example of Republicans and Democrats working together on something that will really make a difference in people’s lives.”
While these stories might not drive website clicks like the latest celebrity gossip or the Panthers about to begin another training camp, the events I highlighted would make a real, lasting impact on thousands of Americans. While some of these stories will continue to fly under the radar, I’ll continue doing my part as your representative to work with anyone — Republican, Democrat or Independent — to find solutions to the problems we face.