Gregg Harper

Gregg Harper

MISSISSIPPI's 3rd DISTRICT

Export-Import Bank

2015/05/27

Dear Friend,

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Im is an independent, self-sustaining agency with a mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services.

When private sector lenders are unable or unwilling to provide financing, Ex-Im fills in the gap for American businesses by equipping them with the financing tools necessary to compete for global sales. In doing so, the Bank levels the playing field for U.S. goods and services going up against foreign competition in overseas markets, so that American companies can create more good-paying American jobs.

Because it is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, Ex-Im assumes credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept. The Bank’s charter requires that all transactions it authorizes demonstrate a reasonable assurance of repayment; the Bank consistently maintains a low default rate, and closely monitors credit and other risks in its portfolio.

It is rumored that reauthorization of Ex-Im unfairly hurts domestic companies and costs the American taxpayer billions. Ex-Im programs do not cost taxpayers a cent. Any loans made must be paid back with interest. In fact, Ex-Im turns a profit for the American taxpayer; in 2012 and 2013, Ex-Im returned $1.1 billion dollars to the U.S. Treasury after covering all its expenses to sustain ongoing operations.

Borrowers have defaulted on less than 2% of all loans backed by Ex-Im since its inception in 1934, a default rate lower than commercial banks. The bank’s default rate for fiscal year 2013 was .25% (one quarter of one percent). Ex-Im loans and guarantees present very low risks because they are backed by collateral of real goods for which a buyer has already been found and a price has been agreed. Every other trading nation has an export credit agency that does as much or more than what Ex-Im does to promote home-country exports. Thus, Ex-Im programs have the opposite effect from distorting market forces: they level the playing field so that market forces actually function.

If Ex-Im were shut down then market forces would be distorted, because other countries would continue their own export credit programs, creating an imbalance. Trade subsidies, meaning government giveaways to support exports, are a real problem – France subsidizes Airbus, China subsidizes Huawei. But Ex-Im does not subsidize anybody.

Lastly, it is a myth that Ex-Im only helps foreign or politically connected corporations. In 2009, small businesses accounted for more than 85% of Ex-Im’s total authorizations. In fiscal year 2013, the Bank approved and helped a record-high 3,413 small business receive loans to export their products. These business transaction figures do not include the tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that supply goods and services to large exporters.

Efforts to diminish Ex-Im bank's ability to fulfill its mission—to support U.S. jobs through exports—can only result in the bolstering of foreign enterprises competing with U.S. exporters, which ultimately hinders the creation of American jobs. Ninety-six percent of the world’s customers are outside the U.S. If we want to create more opportunity and more high-paying jobs here at home, we need to sell more American-made products and services overseas.

This is not about politics. This is about keeping ALL American companies competitive in the global marketplace. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and the Mississippi Manufacturers Association support reauthorization and collectively represent thousands of companies that create hundreds of thousands of jobs for Americans. Reauthorization ensures U.S. exporters have a seat at the table and are able to compete fairly in growing markets throughout the world. I will continue to support Ex-Im and will vote in favor of reauthorization when it comes before the House of Representatives.

God Bless,

Gregg Harper

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Reflections on Memorial Day

2015/05/25

Dear Friend,

When we think of World War II, our thoughts often go to Pearl Harbor and the surprise attack by Japan that catapulted us into war. Just a few days ago, Sidney and I had the honor to stand on the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, to reflect on the horror of that fateful day and to remember with profound gratitude the sacrifice so many fathers, husbands and sons made that day.

Today, on the island of Guam, a U. S. Territory, I had the sobering opportunity to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at Guam Veterans Cemetery where many of those who died when they liberated Guam from the Japanese in 1944 are buried.

Yesterday, I saw a photo on the wall at Joint Region Marianas Headquarters on Guam. The caption below it read "U. S. Coast Guardsmen and Marines join in prayer a few hours before storming the beaches of Guam. July 21, 1944."

Memorial Day is such a solemn day of remembrance by our nation of those who have given their lives in service and protection of America. It is a debt we can never repay, but we can honor them by remembering that they are the reason our great country is like no other in the world. We can also honor their memories by realizing that our freedom is so precious and can never be taken for granted. Let us remember what Christ said in Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” May God bless America!

Sincerely yours,

Gregg Harper

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Trade Promotion Authority

2015/05/13

Dear Friend,

Ninety-six percent of the world’s customers are outside the U.S. If we want to create more opportunity and more high-paying jobs here at home, we need to sell more American-made products and services overseas. Since the U.S. historically already has more open markets than much of the rest of the world, trade agreements are more about removing market barriers that other countries have to our goods and services than they are about throwing our markets open to imports.

Trade Promotion Authority is the means to obtain trade agreements that are accountable, transparent and include effective oversight. TPA is a time-limited authority that Congress uses to set trade negotiating objectives, to establish notification and consultation requirements, and to have implementing bills for certain reciprocal trade agreements considered by the entire Congress. It is a negotiating authority that Congress has granted every Administration, whether Republican or Democrat, going back to 1934.

There is a great deal of false and fabricated information being circulated about TPA. The attacks on TPA that I have seen are just untrue. Fact is the opponents of TPA share a common goal – to block the negotiation and implementation of future trade agreements. Their arguments against trade promotion authority are really arguments against trade generally.

The U.S. simply cannot succeed by only trading with ourselves. From 2004-2013, Mississippi’s trade-related employment grew 6.3 times faster than total state employment. Mississippi exported $13.2 billion in goods and $2.2 billion in services in 2013. In 2013, 60 percent ($7.9 billion) of Mississippi’s exports went to countries with which the U.S. has free trade agreements. 76 percent of Mississippi exporters are small and medium sized businesses, and in total, trade supports more than 335,000 jobs in Mississippi.

New trade agreements, like the Trans Pacific Agreement (TPP) hold great promise as a tool to stimulate economic growth and job creation. But to finalize and implement any future trade agreements, Congress will first have to pass trade promotion authority. I will support TPA legislation when it comes before the House of Representatives.

God Bless,

Gregg Harper

 

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House Passes Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

2015/05/13

Washington D.C. – U.S. Representative Gregg Harper released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act:

“As a Member of Congress I have no higher obligation than to speak out for those who can not speak for themselves – to defend the defenseless,” said Harper. “Every child, born, or unborn, is a gift from God to be celebrated and this legislation protects the lives of babies that we know feel and respond to pain. I am pleased that this legislation places the focus back on the welfare of the unborn child, as well as much needed protections for both the mother and her baby.”

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Cochran, Wicker, Harper Praise Mississippi State University Selection by FAA, Culmination of Years of Effort

2015/05/09

MISSISSIPPI TO LEAD NATIONAL UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS CENTER OF EXCELLENCE Cochran, Wicker, Harper Praise Mississippi State University Selection by FAA, Culmination of Years of Effort WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) today announced that Mississippi State University has won a hard-fought competition to host the nation’s premier civilian academic center focused on research and policies related to unmanned aerial systems. Harper was informed of the selection by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Friday. The decision culminates a more than four years of bipartisan legislative work led by Cochran, and supported by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), to have the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) establish a National Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems. “Mississippi State University and our state have a wonderful opportunity to use their research expertise and unique facilities to advance and influence all aspects of the unmanned aerial sector, from national policies to deployment to manufacturing. Unmanned systems are here to stay and this national center will help ensure that they are used to improve American security and productivity, while protecting privacy,” said Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I commend Mississippi State for its diligence and expertise as a major research institute in putting together a team that can accomplish these goals.” “Mississippi is on the cutting edge of unmanned aircraft technologies,” Wicker said. “We are home to some of the world’s leading aerospace companies and research universities. In the field of unmanned aircraft systems, Mississippi State University is second to none. Today’s announcement ensures that our state will continue to be a critical hub for advancing aerial technologies, which can help improve our ability to grow crops more efficiently, respond to humanitarian crises, and better protect our troops.” “I am pleased that the Federal Aviation Administration has selected Mississippi State University to operate a new National Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems. While Unmanned Aircraft Systems technology is no longer in its infancy, we are still just scratching the surface on what can be accomplished with these capabilities. This is a tremendous opportunity for Mississippi State and simply a preview of what Mississippi has to offer,” Harper said. “I applaud the incredible work by Mississippi State and Senators Cochran and Wicker on making this a reality.” The directive to the FAA to establish the national center has been included in appropriations bills since FY2012, with Congress providing appropriations of $1.0 million in FY2014 and $5.0 million in FY2015 for the effort. With its selection, the MSU Alliance for System Safety of UAS Through Research Excellence (ASSURE), a consortium of universities across the country, will work to identify issues critical to the safe integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace and engage in research and policy development on the expanding use of unmanned aircraft. As directed by Congress, the FAA selected a host for a center that will also conduct research related to the deployment of UAS for emergency response, maritime contingencies, biofuel and clean fuel technologies, law enforcement, and agricultural and environmental monitoring. Among other responsibilities, the center will coordinate research and development activities with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture and other agencies. Its work should also lead to recommendations on aircraft certification, flight standards and air traffic requirements, and facilitate UAS technology transfer to other civilian and defense agencies. In Mississippi, MSU expects to conduct research that will involve its Raspet Flight Research Lab, the Stennis Space Center and agriculture sites in the Delta. ASSURE members include Mississippi State University, Drexel University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Kansas State University, Montana State University, New Mexico State University, North Carolina State University, Oregon State University, University of Alabama-Huntsville, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, University of Kansas, University of North Dakota, Wichita State University, Auburn University (associate member), Concordia (associate member), Indiana State University (associate member), Louisiana Tech University, Tuskegee University (associate member), and University of Southampton (associate member).

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National Day of Prayer

2015/05/07

Dear Friend,

Many times as I walk through or accompany constituents in the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, I’m reminded of and encouraged by the great men and women of faith who sacrificed so much to help forge this nation. Devoted prayer was an important part of our their lives.

Today, the first Thursday of May, Americans of all faiths are invited to come together and pray for our great nation on a National Day of Prayer. This day gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the many blessings God has brought into our lives and to ask for his continued guidance for our country and for our families in the days to come. President Truman eloquently affirmed this purpose in 1952 by setting aside a day for prayer, understanding that ‘…from the earliest days of our history our people have been accustomed to turn to Almighty God for help and guidance.’”

Let us not forget to give thanks for a nation where we are free to pray, free to worship, free to speak, and free to believe as we choose. I hope you will join me in especially praying for our men and women in the Armed Forces who continue to protect our nation at home and abroad and please pray for the continued guidance for all of our elected leaders as we seek to work for the good of our country. My hope is that the important role of prayer in our lives will continue to be a part of our country’s tradition.

2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds us, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

God Bless,

Gregg Harper

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SGR

2015/03/26

Washington DC- U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015:

“Every year since 2003, Medicare’s flawed physician payment formula has jeopardized payments to doctors and created uncertainty in seniors’ access to high quality care. With short-term fixes, Congress has for years not met this challenge with a real solution,” said Harper. "This legislation was overwhelmingly adopted because it provides a permanent solution to this flawed formula, and will provide long-term structural changes needed to keep Medicare solvent."

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                            Gregg Harper is a fourth-term Republican lawmaker from Mississippi.

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U.S. REPS. CONAWAY, VEASEY, AND HARPER FORM CONGRESSIONAL CARBON DIOXIDE ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY (CO2-EOR) CAUCUS

2015/03/13

U.S. REPS. CONAWAY, VEASEY, AND HARPER FORM CONGRESSIONAL CARBON DIOXIDE ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY (CO2-EOR) CAUCUS

WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, U.S. Representatives Michael Conaway (R-Texas), Marc Veasey (D-Texas), and Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) will host a launch event for the newly formed Congressional Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2-EOR) Caucus. The CO2-EOR Caucus will serve as an informal group of Members dedicated to educating Congressional Members and Staff on the economic and environmental benefits of enhanced oil recovery from carbon dioxide. Reps. Conaway, Veasey, and Harper will be the acting Co-chairmen for the CO2-EOR Caucus for the 114th Congress. The March 17th event will feature energy and environment experts who will provide an overview of the process and benefits of CO2-EOR.

Congressmen Conaway, Veasey, and Harper issued the following statements ahead of the formal launch of the new caucus:

Rep. Conaway: “Our nation is blessed with an abundance of both natural resources and innovative minds. Energy companies in West Texas have been using the CO2-EOR process for quite some time now, but it is still a relatively little known technique for oil recovery. I’m glad to be working alongside Congressmen Harper and Veasey to help our colleagues in Washington understand the vast benefits of the carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery process.”

Rep. Veasey: As a problem solver, Congressman Marc Veasey, is constantly looking for ways that members of Congress from across the aisle can form sound policy solutions for satisfying our domestic energy needs while being stewards of our natural environment. “Our energy future is not controlled by Congress, but Congress can help enact policies that further economic growth, allow for sustainable energy production practices, and provide a cleaner environment for all of us to share. While my home state of Texas is the top oil and gas producing state in our nation, it also produces a variety of renewable energy sources. CO2-EOR can be a part of the solution. It is a win-win solution to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase energy independence here at home.” Rep.

Harper: “I became interested in the CO2-EOR process after meeting with constituents who use enhanced oil recovery to extract oil from fields that were once thought to be depleted. At a time when the United States is experiencing an energy renaissance, I believe Members of Congress will benefit by gaining a better understanding of the CO2-EOR process. I appreciate Congressmen Veasey and Conaway for their help in forming this Caucus so that we can serve as a resource on this issue.”

                                                                                     

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Rep. Harper's Statement Supporting Close Ally Israel

2015/03/03

Washington DC – U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper made the following statement in advance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address to a joint session of Congress:

“Iran is the most dangerous state sponsor or terrorism in the world and I appreciate a leader who recognizes the threat that exists. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has correctly stated that Iran must never be allowed to build a nuclear weapon,” said Harper. “America and Israel should have a shared goal to do whatever is necessary to prevent the threats we face from Iran and radical Islam. Why does our President insist on making a deal with Iran, a country that seeks to destroy both American and Israel? Iran has proven time and time again that it cannot be trusted.

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The Student Success Act

2015/02/27

Dear Friend,

A number of misleading claims are being used by critics of the Student Success Act (H.R. 5) to derail K-12 education reform. The following information will explain my support and how the Student Success Act will reduce the federal footprint and restore local control over elementary and secondary education.

Claim: H.R. 5 cements Common Core into federal law.

FACT: The Student Success Act prohibits any agent of the federal government – including the Secretary of Education – from coercing states into adopting Common Core (or other specific standards) through waivers, federal grants, or any other authority.

FACT: Leading conservative education organizations and long-time critics of the Common Core, including the Home School Legal Defense Association and the American Association of Christian Schools, have endorsed the Common Core prohibitions included in the Student Success Act.

FACT: The Student Success Act is a conservative response to President Obama’s Common Core overreach. The federal government must not dictate what academic standards can and cannot be taught in schools. The Student Success Act protects the right of states to reject Common Core, free from federal coercion.

Claim: H.R. 5 continues the No Child Left Behind era of federally-mandated standards, assessments, and accountability.

FACT: The Student Success Act repeals the one-size-fits-all accountability metric, giving states freedom to choose how best to evaluate their schools.

FACT: Under the Student Success Act, states are responsible – not the federal government – for developing academic standards in reading, math, and science, and evaluating student and school performance against those standards.

FACT: The Student Success Act rolls back the highly prescriptive accountability metrics of NCLB, while ensuring policies are in place to protect federal taxpayers’ dollars.

Claim: H.R. 5 is fiscally irresponsible.

FACT: The Student Success Act eliminates 69 programs authorized under current law. The bill replaces the current maze of programs with a Local Academic Flexible Grant so states and school districts allocate resources in a way that meets local priorities, not Washington’s priorities.

FACT: Under the Student Success Act, federal spending on K-12 education programs will be less than what is currently authorized for just the Title I program, and the bill freezes that level of annual spending for the next six years.

FACT: The Student Success Act requires the Secretary of Education to reduce the department’s workforce by the amount of staff currently assigned to implement the programs eliminated under the bill (saving taxpayers $10 million) and includes other policies (authored by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA)) aimed at lowering spending as the number of federal mandates is reduced.

Claim: H.R. 5 continues NCLB mandates dictating school improvement and state and local spending.

FACT: The Student Success Act repeals mandates in current law that dictate how much money school districts must spend on federally-mandated school improvement activities.

FACT: Under the Student Success Act, states – not the federal government – would create strategies to improve failing schools. There are no federal requirements dictating what state-created school turnaround strategies must look like.

FACT: The Student Success Act repeals NCLB’s prescriptive and limited menu of school improvement activities dictated by the federal government. Instead of this top-down approach, states would use federal funds to improve underperforming schools, free from any federal influence.

Claim: H.R. 5 forces every state to participate in the programs under the bill.

FACT: The Student Success Act includes a specific provision allowing states to opt-out of the policies adopted under the bill. Authored by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), the specific legislative text reads:

Any State that opts out of receiving funds, or that has not been awarded funds, under one or more programs under this Act shall not be required to carry out any of the requirements of such program or programs, and nothing in this Act shall be construed to require a State to participate in any program under this Act.

FACT: The Student Success Act is clear: Any state that does not want to comply with any requirement under any program in the bill is free to opt out.

FACT: The Student Success Act rejects the “blank check” approach advocated by some who believe federal dollars should be spent with zero taxpayer accountability. The bill strikes the right balance by rejecting calls to micromanage schools and ensuring schools are transparent with parents and community leaders about how taxpayer dollars are used.

Claim: H.R. 5 requires states to waive their sovereignty.

FACT: The Student Success Act supports the right of every state to opt out of any program under the law. No state is compelled to participate in any program under the bill.

FACT: The Student Success Act includes an “opt-in” provision that relies on the state legislature to affirm it wants to participate in the policies established under the bill. This ensures parents and local leaders have an opportunity to make their voices heard with state leaders about the direction of education policy in their home states.

FACT: The Student Success Act includes numerous provisions that prevent the Secretary of Education from meddling in state and local affairs, including matters involving standards, Common Core, assessments, and a state’s decision to opt-out of the system.

Claim: H.R. 5 tramples on parental rights.

FACT: The Student Success Act empowers parents to have greater control over the quality of education in their neighborhood schools. In no way does the bill allow the federal government to limit the rights of parents under the law.

FACT: Nothing in the Student Success Act limits or transfers parents’ rights to the government.

FACT: Empowered parents are absolutely critical if students are to receive an excellent education. That is why the Student Success Act continues support for magnet schools, expands access to quality charter schools, and allows federal funds to follow low-income children to the traditional public or public charter school of the parent’s choice.

Claim: H.R. 5 is an assault on the nation’s religious, private, and home schools.

FACT: The Student Success Act protects the autonomy of religious schools, private schools, and home schools by ensuring they are free from the Secretary of Education’s control. The bill includes long-standing policy that prohibits any control or monitoring of private schools by the federal government.

FACT: The Student Success Act includes a long-standing policy known as “equitable participation,” which provides low-income students attending religious schools, private schools, and home schools their fair share of federal services offered under the law, such as math tutoring. This does not allow the federal government to monitor or influence any aspect of non-public schools.

FACT: The Student Success Act continues long-standing policies that require equitable participation to be delivered in a non-secular manner. This only applies to the actual services provided to students as agreed to by the private and public schools providing the services. In no way does this require schools to abandon their religious beliefs.

Claim: H.R. 5 erodes student privacy.

FACT: The Student Success Act ensures every grantee under the law not only understands the importance of protecting student privacy, but is aware of their responsibilities to protect student privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, (FERPA).

FACT: The Student Success Act makes no changes to FERPA, which has been the controlling law on student privacy for 40 years. The law includes strict limits on the use or sharing of a student’s personally identifiable information.

FACT: House Republicans are committed to strong student privacy protections. FERPA was written before laptops, iPads, and smart boards were in America’s classrooms. Congress must update the law to ensure student privacy protections reflects the realities of modern technology.

God Bless,

Gregg Harper

Member of Congress

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2015-04-17 15:23:22


Contact Information

307 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5031
Fax 202-225-5797
harper.house.gov

Congressman Gregg Harper has lived in Mississippi’s Third Congressional District since 1972 and currently resides in Pearl with his wife of 29 years, Sidney, and their two children, Livingston and Maggie. The Harper’s are active members of Crossgates Baptist Church where Gregg serves as a deacon and a college Sunday school teacher.

A conservative man of faith and integrity, Gregg was elected in November, 2008 to serve the citizens of Mississippi’s Third Congressional District. Soon after the election, his peers elected him as the only freshman member of the Republican Steering Committee in the House of Representatives. This key leadership group, which is made up of fewer than 30 members of the 435-member House, makes decisions about which Congressmen serve on all of the legislative committees.

Prior to being elected to Congress, Gregg practiced law for twenty-seven years, including serving as the prosecuting attorney for the cities of Brandon and Richland. Committed to his state and country, Gregg is active in his community as a member of both the Pearl and Rankin County Chambers of Commerce.

During the past eight years, Gregg has served as the chairman of the Rankin County Republican Party. Throughout his involvement in Republican politics, he has helped advance the conservative agenda by assisting in local, county and statewide elections as well as volunteering as a Republican Observer during the Bush-Gore recount in Florida.

The son of a former petroleum engineer and an 85-year-old mother who still works two days a week, Gregg learned at a young age the value of hard work and the importance of education. Gregg and Sidney are both graduates of Mississippi College, where Gregg studied Chemistry. The couple then moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where Gregg earned a degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981.

In taking the Congressional Oath of Office on January 6th, 2009, Gregg committed to improve his state and country, and desires to accomplish this goal through the restoration of true conservative values in his work in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Serving With

Alan Nunnelee

MISSISSIPPI's 1st DISTRICT

Steven Palazzo

MISSISSIPPI's 4th DISTRICT

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