Category Archives: Politics

Collins Praises Inclusion of CLOUD Act in Funding Package

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), who introduced the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act in the House this February, released the following statement in response to its inclusion in the newly released funding bill:

“The CLOUD Act frames a path for guarding the privacy of American data while enabling law enforcement to combat crime and terrorism in the digital age, and I welcome the inclusion of this thoughtful solution in a bill that also brings crucial funding to our troops. The 21st-century never fails to bring us new challenges, and it’s the job of Congress—not the courts—to deliver balanced updates like the CLOUD Act to our statutes.”

Collins introduced the bill with a bipartisan group of lawmakers including lead cosponsor Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and cosponsors Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and John Rutherford (R-Fla.). Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) led the introduction of the CLOUD Act in the Senate.

The legislation would better balance the interests of cloud users while incentivizing bilateral agreements for law enforcement to fight crime.

Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act of 2018 Pillars:

  • Bilateral Agreements: The CLOUD Act enables the United States to enter into formal agreements with other nations to set clear standards for cross-border investigative requests for digital evidence. The CLOUD Act further identifies a series of statutory requirements that these agreements must satisfy, including privacy and security protections.
  • Extraterritoriality of U.S. Warrants and International Comity: The CLOUD Act amends U.S. law to make clear that U.S. warrants and other legal process issued for data held by communications providers reach data stored anywhere in the world. The reach of U.S. warrants and legal process, however, would be limited by international comity. The CLOUD Act would give providers, for the first time, a statutory right to challenge legal process based on international comity concerns.
  • Transparency: When a communications provider receives a request from U.S. law enforcement related to a national or resident of a country that has entered into a bilateral agreement with the United States, the provider will be permitted to notify that government of the existence of the request. This will allow the foreign government to assess compliance with the terms of the bilateral agreement and enable it to intervene diplomatically if it believes the request is inappropriate.

Reciprocity: The CLOUD Act would also require participating countries to remove legal restrictions that prevent compliance with data requests from U.S. law enforcement. To qualify for the statutory benefits of the legislation (removal of the U.S. blocking statute, a right for providers to object based on international comity and a right for providers to notify the government of the existence of requests), a foreign government must provide reciprocal rights and benefits to U.S. law enforcement and communications providers.

Secretary Zinke Announces More Thank $1.1 Billion For Sportsment & Conservation

Today U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced more than $1.1 billion in annual national funding for state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration (PRDJ) acts.

To date, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has distributed more than $20.2 billion in apportionments for state conservation and recreation projects. Allocations of the funds are authorized by Congress.

“American sportsmen and women are some of our best conservationists and they contribute billions of dollars toward wildlife conservation and sportsmen access every year through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts,” said Secretary Zinke. “For nearly eighty years, states have been able to fund important conservation initiatives thanks to the more than $20 billion that has generated nationwide. Every time a firearm, fishing pole, hook, bullet, motor boat or boat fuel is sold, part of that cost goes to fund conservation. The best way to increase funding for conservation and sportsmen access is to increase the number of hunters and anglers in our woods and waters. The American conservation model has been replicated all over the world because it works.”

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division manages more than one million acres of land, and helps oversee fisheries management on over 500,000 acres of reservoirs, and thousands of river miles. Almost every project completed includes PRDJ dollars, including prescribed burning, invasive species treatments, wetland berm maintenance, prairie seeding and restoration, and timber stand improvement.

The funds, which are distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. They are derived from excise taxes paid by the hunting, shooting, boating and angling industries on firearms, bows and ammunition and sport fishing tackle, some boat engines, and small engine fuel.

Georgia hunters contribute to a $1.6 billion effect in yearly economic impact. Angling creates an economic impact to the tune of $2.1 billion each year. Together, hunting and fishing support almost 40,000 jobs in the state.

“These funds are integral to our ability to provide hunting and fishing access, restore habitat and manage species at the state level,” said Rusty Garrison, Director of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. “We greatly value the partnership we have with the Service and the Department of Interior.”

The recipient state wildlife agencies have matched these funds with approximately $6.7 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues.

For more information about the WSFR program visit

Carter Introduces Legislation To Ensure Patients Have Access To Most Affordable Prescription Options

WASHINGTON – Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Ga.) introduced bipartisan legislation today to ensure pharmacists are able to advise patients when there may be a better, more affordable out-of-pocket alternative to what is covered by their insurance plan.

Currently, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) are able to include requirements in contracts that prevent pharmacists from providing advice to their patients on the best and cheapest out-of-pocket alternatives to medications covered under insurance. This is commonly known as a gag clause.  Pharmacists can be legally penalized, or barred, from PBM contracts because they have notified their patients of cheaper out-of-pocket alternatives.

Carter’s legislation, the Prescription Transparency Act, nullifies and prohibits these gag clause provisions. This will allow pharmacists to properly advise their patients and help guide them to the most affordable and best option.

“As a pharmacist for more than 30 years, there were many times when I was prevented from telling my patients that there was a cheaper option because of a gag clause,” said Carter. “There is no reason pharmacists should not be able to talk to patients about what is best for them. Many times, my patients were senior citizens who had to choose between groceries and their prescription. These patients need and deserve the most affordable options. I introduced this legislation today to help make sure pharmacists are able to make that happen. This is an important step in our mission to lower prescription drug prices for Americans.”

“We salute Representatives Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) for their efforts to help patients get the best price for their prescription drugs,” said National Community Pharmacists Association CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA. “Clearly, pharmacists should be able to advise patients about the lowest-cost ways to access their medications. The Prescription Transparency Act of 2018 will assure that they can.”

“APhA appreciates bringing forth this legislation to empower pharmacists to increase patients’ access to more affordable and cost-effective medicines,” said the American Pharmacists Association. “For years pharmacists have been frustrated by policies that restrict their inability to help their patients lower their medication costs.”

Original cosponsors include: Representatives Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wa.), and Austin Scott (R-Ga.).