Fighting for South Mississippi’s fishermen, military and veterans

Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 11, 2015

This week the House passed H.R. 1335, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. The local fishing industry is an important part of our Gulf Coast economy, and our bill supports jobs and protects recreational fishing.
H.R. 1335 reauthorizes the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, but does so while including provisions that give the states more authority to manage fisheries. Currently, the red snapper season is only ten days long, which is a clear indication that the current methods are ineffective. Federal bureaucrats have no business making decisions without any input from our fishermen. Our legislation fosters growth in the fishing industry, returns control to our state, and ensures better decision making for our fisheries.
On Tuesday of this week, the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2016 Defense Appropriations Bill that funds our military operations, ensures the readiness of our armed forces, and continues to support our military assets in South Mississippi.
The bill includes a 2.3% pay increase, maintenance of National Guard Apache helicopters in Mississippi, and continued support of amphibious assault ship building in Pascagoula. These South Mississippi benefits are only part of the greater purpose for this Defense Appropriations Bill: ensuring our country is secure at home and abroad.
As a Marine veteran and current noncommissioned officer in the Mississippi National Guard, I know the importance of continuing to support a strong national defense. Making certain that our men and women in uniform have the tools and resources they need to do their job remains one of my top priorities.
On Friday, I was honored to bestow Lt. Colonel Jerry O’Keefe with the Congressional Gold Medal to honor his brave service as a Marine pilot in World War II. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award given by Congress.
Jerry O’Keefe received his wings after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and became an “Ace” after shooting down 7 aircraft during his time in the Pacific. He is one of only 77 living American Fighter Aces in our nation. The Congressional Gold Medal is given to those that make special contributions to our nation. Lt. Colonel Jerry O’Keefe made a contribution that has greatly impacted our nation’s history, and is more than deserving of this great honor.
As always, if we can be of any assistance please call or visit my office. For more updates I encourage you to connect with me on facebook, twitter, or by visiting my website. I’m also now on instagram and invite you to follow my updates and posts from there as well.

By Congressman Steven Palazzo
Fourth Congressional District

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