Q&A: Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

Q. Why are you working to ensure certain types of hearings aids are available over the counter?
Q. How can we apply lessons learned from this commonsense approach to other areas of health care?

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An in-depth investigation found that federal agencies sometimes put employees on paid leave for years, either to avoid making tough management decisions or to sideline whistleblowers. I made my own inquiries and then co-authored legislation that would limit this practice, so agencies won't continue to shortchange taxpayers by avoiding termination of problematic employees or sidelining valuable ones. This week, the legislation passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act and is now on its way to the President for consideration.

On Monday, I sent a letter calling on the Obama administration to declassify its plan to admit into the country potentially more than 2,400 refugees whom Australia has refused to admit. These secret negotiations between the Obama administration and Australia have left Americans in the dark about the full scope of these resettlement plans. We need this declassification so the American people can review this deal.

It was announced this week that President-elect Trump has named Governor Branstad as his United States Ambassador to China nominee. Iowans have chosen Governor Branstad for his successful track record as the chief executive, his trustworthiness and his reputation as a straight shooter. I know he will serve our country well for those same reasons if confirmed. 

This week I met with President-elect Trump's Treasury Secretary nominee, Steven Mnuchin, to discuss tax priorities and whistleblowers. I met with the President-elect's Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee, Rep. Tom Price, to discuss rural hospitals, Medicaid oversight and soaring drug prices. And I also met with the President-elect's nominee to become Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, to discuss the importance of reviewing drug price increases.

This week, the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee began looking at the AT&T-Time Warner merger, the biggest transaction of the year. The Judiciary Committee’s oversight responsibility helps flesh out potential issues and highlight possible impacts of the merger on the market and consumers.

My investigation of the EB-5 foreign visa program shows that the program is riddled with fraud and abuse. I’m making the case why it should be reformed or eliminated altogether. 

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