WASHINGTON NEWS IN BRIEF: Crawford on inquiry; Arkansas teen honored in D.C. for advocacy; state’s Snyder, Hill honor Cummings

Oct 20, 2019
In The News

WASHINGTON NEWS IN BRIEF: Crawford on inquiry; Arkansas teen honored in D.C. for advocacy; state’s Snyder, Hill honor Cummings

Written by: Frank E. Lockwood
Published by: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Portraying the impeachment inquiry as partisan skulduggery, U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., said the investigation shouldn’t distract lawmakers from their primary responsibilities.

The lawmaker from Jonesboro, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday he’s tracking the testimony that his committee is collecting, but he’s not watching most of it live and in person.

“We have so many other things going on in the world that I need to be apprised of and to be working on. I don’t have time to fool around with this sham impeachment nonsense, so I’m going about my business. … Not to be trite here, but we’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Crawford said.

A former Army explosive ordnance disposal technician, Crawford was selected to serve on the House Intelligence Committee by then-House Speaker Paul Ryan in January 2017.

A reliable White House ally, Crawford has been sharply critical of Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

“I think he’s weaponized the Intelligence Committee, and it’s really a shame that he has taken this turn,” the Arkansas congressman added.

The ongoing inquiry isn’t boosting America’s standing in the world, Crawford said.

“I can tell you right now that other countries are watching this right now,” he said. “Our adversaries are keenly aware of what’s taking place here. Not only that, our allies are watching this as well and this is not the kind of statement that we want to make.”

State teen honored in D.C. for advocacy

University of Arkansas freshman Abby Davis received the American Heart Association’s Youth Advocate of the Year award Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

The Little Rock resident was the sole recipient of the honor, which is given once every two years to an outstanding young activist.

In an interview, Davis stressed the threat posed by heart disease.

“It’s affected so many people in so many different families because it is the number one killer of American men and women,” she said.

Davis, 18, is the daughter of Mark and Tammie Davis. She became an American Heart Association activist at a time when her g rand-father, Gary Davis, was battling heart disease.

“Pap,” as she called him, just 69 years old, died on May 20, 2017.

She shared his story and some photos as a guest blogger on the American Heart Association’s “You’re the Cure Blog.” https://www.yourethecure.org/from_my_heart_pap_will_always_be_ holding_my_hand

She also testified at the Arkansas Capitol, urging lawmakers to outlaw tobacco sales to those under 21 years old. Lawmakers embraced the idea, passing a law that took effect Sept. 1.

Cigarettes contributed to her grandfather’s early death, she said.

Once a three-pack-a-day smoker, he eventually kicked the habit, but by then enormous damage had been done.

Davis, a freshman majoring in business and biology, frequently uses social media to promote the American Heart Association.

When there are fundraisers, Davis live tweets. She’s a talented volunteer recruiter as well, according to Allison Hogue, the American Heart Association’s grassroots manager.

Davis is also an enthusiastic lobbyist. Thursday on Capitol Hill, she met with two Republican members of the Arkansas congressional delegation — U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Rogers and U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock.

The goal is to get Congress to outlaw flavored tobacco products.

Davis may have inherited her powers of persuasion from her grandfather. Gary Davis once served as national affiliate director for United Cerebral Palsy. His main office was in Washington, D.C.

She enjoys being a health advocate.

“I’m doing the work that I should be doing and I want to be doing and I’m just passionate about it,” she said.

State’s Snyder, Hill honor Cummings

Arkansans who have served with U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings fondly remembered their colleague last week. The Maryland Democrat, 68, died Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

“For fourteen years it was my honor to serve with the wonderful Congressman Elijah Cummings,” said former U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder of Little Rock.

Cummings joined Congress in 1996 after winning a special election. Snyder, a fellow Democrat, arrived in 1997 and stayed for 14 years.

The Marylander overcame the odds to succeed, according to Snyder.

“He grew up in poverty and early on was categorized as being a child with low potential. He proved the so-called experts wrong, thrived in his academics, and became a lawyer,” Snyder said.

After Democrats retook the House, Cummings became chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. He also defended Baltimore after President Donald Trump denigrated it.

“Most recently we saw him forcefully speaking truth to power, but throughout his life he always spoke truth to children. He encouraged them to never give up on themselves. He touched many many lives, and we will miss him,” Snyder said.

With the flags on Capitol Hill flying at half staff, U.S. Rep. French Hill, a Republican from Little Rock, also paid tribute.

“Cong ressman Elijah Cummings committed his life to the service of others and the pursuit of justice,” Hill wrote on Facebook. “It was a privilege to know him and to serve with him. My prayers go out to his friends, family, and the people of Baltimore.”

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