Bio: Serving Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981, Hal Rogers is currently in his 18th term representing the people of southern and eastern Kentucky, and is the longest serving Kentucky Republican ever elected to federal office. Focused on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drug use and preserving the natural treasures of Appalachia, Rogers has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the interests of the region where he was raised. Nationally, as Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, his focus is on reducing the size and scope of the government by reining in federal spending, conducting rigorous but thoughtful oversight of federal agencies, and restoring fiscal discipline and transparency to our budget process.
Born in rural Kentucky and representing one of the poorest Congressional Districts in the nation, Rogers’ vision for a stronger region spurred some of the greatest success stories in southern and eastern Kentucky. Organizations such as PRIDE, Operation UNITE, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development (SKED), TOUR Southern and Eastern Kentucky (TOUR SEKY), and The Center for Rural Development have brought local communities together by revitalizing the environment, providing hope in the fight against drugs, building small businesses, and creating jobs by increasing tourism in one of the most beautiful regions of the country.
Throughout Rogers’ 30-year tenure on the Appropriations Committee, he has served on eight different subcommittees, including leadership roles as Chairman or Ranking Member of three. Rogers was tapped in 2003 to lead the newly established Subcommittee on Homeland Security. Through this important role, Rogers fought to ensure our first responders received the funds necessary to protect against terrorist threats; demanded tough answers from FEMA in the wake of federal responses to wildfires, hurricanes and flash floods; and insisted on enforcement of our country’s immigration laws and stronger border security.
Due in large part to his reputation for tough oversight and tenacity in holding federal agencies and Department heads accountable for excessive spending and growth, Rogers was again selected as Chairman of the full House Appropriations Committee at the beginning of the 114th Congress. As Chairman, Rogers has led the Congress to reduce discretionary spending by an historic amount, cutting $165 billion in discretionary spending since 2010. Rogers has also restored a culture on the Committee for serious budget oversight and transparency in process.
Whether Rogers is on Capitol Hill ensuring the appropriate use of taxpayer dollars, fighting to secure the homeland, scrutinizing federal government agencies, or home in southern and eastern Kentucky working to make a difference in the lives of the individuals he represents, Rogers remains committed to being a strong voice in Congress for fiscal responsibility, economic development, a strong national defense, and a prosperous future for America.
Military Bio: Kentucky and North Carolina National Guard, 1957-1964
Legislation: Our nation is a safer place because of the sacrifices our brave men and women in uniform have made. As a former guardsman, I will never forget the devotion our veterans have for this great country and will continue my strong support of programs that serve their best interests. That is why I have made caring for our nation’s veterans a priority- but there is still more work to be done.
Throughout my career in Congress, I have consistently voted to increase funding for vital programs and have fought to expand and improve benefits for veterans. For more information on veterans benefits that you or a loved one may be eligible for, please click here. With my support, Congress approved $122.2 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2012- this is an increase of $1.6 billion from last year.
I have also been a strong supporter of legislation that improves veterans’ health care, including a program to assist disabled veterans and their caregivers. I firmly believe that our veterans deserve the very best health care available and that is why I have fought to recruit and train more qualified medical professionals at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ medical facilities.
I also remain vigilant to fight any waste, fraud or abuse that takes away from the care and treatment of our brave veterans. After all, those who risked their lives to protect ours should be made a priority and I am alarmed that individuals are trying to abuse the VA health care system while there are veterans waiting to receive vital procedures.
Rest assured, I will continue to be a voice for veterans and work hard to always honor their sacrifice and ensure that they receive the benefits they deserve. America is the greatest nation on earth because these courageous men and women served and defended our precious freedoms. I am truly grateful for the millions of veterans that have put their country first and stood up for the values that our nation represents.