Mother, son push for med­i­cal re­search

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL - FRANK E. LOCKWOOD

WASH­ING­TON — Ash­ley McGar­rah of Rogers took Jaxon, her 3-year-old son, to Capi­tol Hill last week and asked three Repub­li­can mem­bers of the Arkansas con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion to in­crease fund­ing for the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health.

They met with U.S. Rep. Steve Wo­mack of Rogers, U.S. Sen. John Booz­man of Rogers and U.S. Sen. Tom Cot­ton of Dar­danelle.

They also par­tic­i­pated in the 2017 Rally for Med­i­cal Re­search as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion.

Jaxon was born with a heart de­fect and has un­der­gone three open-heart surg­eries.

“Med­i­cal re­search saved my son’s life. With­out med­i­cal re­search he wouldn’t be here to­day,” McGar­rah said.

Jaxon’s heart prob­lems have con­tin­ued, she said, but she ex­pressed con­fi­dence that re­searchers — with suf­fi­cient fund­ing — can come up with so­lu­tions.

“Med­i­cal re­search can save my son’s life. It’s al­ready done it once and we need it again, so we’re here to­day,” she said on Thursday, shortly be­fore meet­ing with Cot­ton.

The trip, which in­cluded their first flight, was en­joy­able for both mother and son, she said.

“Jaxon had a blast. … Jaxon took over the Capi­tol,” she said.

Craw­ford joins band for storm fundraiser

U.S. Rep. Rick Craw­ford played at a $15-per-per­son fundraiser Tues­day for vic­tims of Hur­ri­cane Har­vey. The Repub­li­can from Jones­boro sat in with the Wil Gra­vatt Band, a group that has been play­ing coun­try and honky-tonk mu­sic on Capi­tol Hill for years.

Held at an Amer­i­can Le­gion Hall near the Capi­tol, the event raised money for the Food Bank of the Golden Cres­cent, a Vic­to­ria, Texas-based char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The Wil Gra­vatt Band de­scribes Craw­ford on its web­site as “the most tal­ented mem­ber of Congress.”

In July, he joined them at a fundraiser for vic­tims of the June 14 shoot­ing in Alexan­dria, Va., which in­jured House Whip Steve Scalise and three oth­ers.

Craw­ford wasn’t the only law­maker at the July event strum­ming a gui­tar and singing songs. U.S. Rep. Collin Peter­son, D-Minn., was also a fea­tured per­former at the July event, backed by a band called The Sec­ond Amend­ments.

Booz­man speaks at POW/MIA cer­e­mony

U.S. Sen. John Booz­man spoke Fri­day at the De­fense De­part­ment’s Na­tional POW/ MIA Recog­ni­tion Day, ac­knowl­edg­ing the risks taken by ser­vice mem­bers and the sac­ri­fices they make.

The cer­e­mony, on the lawn out­side the Pen­tagon, in­cluded per­for­mances by the U.S. Army Band, honor guards and a fly­over by two F/A-18 fighter jets.

The Repub­li­can from Rogers, who serves on the Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, told the au­di­ence about Marine Pfc. Larry Roberts of Da­m­as­cus, who went miss­ing in ac­tion dur­ing World War II.

He was killed in 1943 on a small Pa­cific is­land while bat­tling Ja­panese forces, and his re­mains were fi­nally iden­ti­fied with the help of DNA test­ing. He was buried at Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery ear­lier this year.

The na­tion is in­debted to men like Roberts and is duty-bound to bring them home, Booz­man said.

“Each day when I walk by the POW/MIA flag out­side my of­fice, it’s a re­minder of the obli­ga­tion we have to our pris­on­ers of war, those miss­ing in ac­tion and their fam­i­lies,” Booz­man said.

“To our POWs, thank you for your stead­fast com­mit­ment to our coun­try in the hours, days, weeks, months and years of de­spair, tor­ture and hard­ship. To the fam­i­lies wait­ing to be re­united with your loved ones, thank you for your sac­ri­fice, thank you for your courage, and never, ever give up hope,” he added.

Wester­man plans event dur­ing break

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives isn’t sched­uled to meet this week. In­stead, law­mak­ers will spend the time in their dis­tricts. The Se­nate will con­vene Mon­day-Wed­nes­day, break­ing in time for the cel­e­bra­tion of Rosh Hashanah.

The two-day hol­i­day, some­times re­ferred to as the Jewish New Year, runs from sun­down Wed­nes­day un­til sun­down Fri­day.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Wester­man plans to fo­cus on trans­porta­tion and in­fra­struc­ture while he’s back in Arkansas. He’ll dis­cuss those top­ics at a lunch Mon­day in Pine Bluff. He’ll also get an up­date in Ben­ton on U.S. 70 widen­ing. When it’s com­pleted, the road link­ing Hot Springs and In­ter­state 30 will have five lanes.

On Tues­day, the Repub­li­can from Hot Springs will meet with truck­ing in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives in Mul­berry; on Wed­nes­day, he will tour a rail line in El Do­rado and dis­cuss trans­porta­tion and in­fra­struc­ture in Cam­den. He’ll also tour Tran­sitech in Fordyce. The com­pany fixes rail­cars.

Cot­ton, Hill speak to credit unions

U.S. Sen. Tom Cot­ton and U.S. Rep. French Hill spoke last week to mem­bers of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Fed­er­ally-In­sured Credit Unions.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion held its 2017 Con­gres­sional Cau­cus, draw­ing credit union of­fi­cials from across the coun­try.

Cot­ton, a Repub­li­can from Dar­danelle, serves on the Se­nate Bank­ing Com­mit­tee. Hill, a Repub­li­can from Lit­tle Rock, serves on the House Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Com­mit­tee and is for­mer CEO and chair­man of the board of Delta Trust and Bank­ing Corp.

Hill said he spoke about chal­lenges posed by the Dodd-Frank Act, which was passed after the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis. He also touched on ef­forts to over­haul the na­tion’s tax laws.

The White House has an­nounced plans to un­veil new tax leg­is­la­tion later this month.

Credit unions are cur­rently ex­empt from federal cor­po­rate in­come taxes. Main­tain­ing that ex­emp­tion “re­mains our num­ber one leg­isla­tive pri­or­ity,” the as­so­ci­a­tion states on its web­site. Plan­ning to visit the na­tion’s cap­i­tal? Know some­thing hap­pen­ing in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.? Please con­tact Frank Lockwood at (202) 662-7690 or flock­wood@arkansason­line.com. Want the lat­est from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s

Wash­ing­ton bureau? It’s avail­able on Twit­ter, @Lock­woodFrank

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/FRANK E. LOCKWOOD

Ash­ley McGar­rah and her son, Jaxon, 3, take in the sights on Capi­tol Hill last week.

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