A message from Senator Thom Tillis


As we look forward to 2020, I'm proud of the results I produced for North Carolina last year. I was successful in getting a number of my priorities codified into law, including taking meaningful steps to improve military housing, securing over $2 billion for North Carolina military bases, and introducing legislation to stop dangerous sanctuary cities.

Here is a look back at some of my accomplishments in 2019:   


1. Tillis Secures Another Pay Raise For Servicemembers And Numerous Provisions To Improve the Lives of N.C. Military Families

As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, I led the effort to pass an across the board 3.1% pay raise for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. Additionally, I worked to secure a number of reforms in the FY2020 NDAA to take meaningful steps to address the serious issues with the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI). As Chair of the Personnel Subcommittee, we also made efforts to address military sexual assault prevention and response, support military spouse employment, and expand health care for military members and their families.

2. Tillis Secures $2.2 Billion for N.C. Military Installations

I have used my position on the Armed Services Committee to bring back billions of dollars for North Carolina’s military installations, including securing $2.2 billion for the state in a funding bill passed earlier this month.

3. Tillis Leads Fight Against Sanctuary Cities

In 2019, I introduced two bills aimed at putting an end to dangerous sanctuary policies being implemented in several North Carolina counties.

In July, I introduced the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act, legislation that holds sanctuary jurisdictions accountable for failing to comply with lawful detainer and release notification requests made by federal authorities and jeopardizing public safety. The legislation creates a private right of civil action for the victims of sanctuary jurisdictions, allowing them to bring an action for compensatory damages against the sanctuary jurisdiction as a result of a violent crime committed by an illegal immigrant.

In October, I introduced the Immigration Detainer Enforcement Act. The bill clarifies the DHS’ detainer authority, clearly establishes the authority of states and localities to maintain custody in cases in which a detainer has been issued, and incentivizes cooperation between law enforcement agencies and DHS through the reimbursement of certain detention, technology, and litigation-related costs.

4. Tillis Introduces Reforms To Bring Disaster Relief To North Carolinians Sooner

Over the past three years, North Carolina has been devastated by three hurricanes that have impacted thousands of families. While I have worked tirelessly to deliver much-needed federal assistance to North Carolina, the state was repeatedly labeled a “slow-spender” by the federal government, which kept funds from being distributed to local communities in a timely manner and hurt North Carolina’s case to secure federal funds to go towards disaster recovery. In response, I introduced legislation that cuts red tape at the federal and state levels in order to bring federal disaster relief to North Carolina families and local communities sooner. I  will continue to push for reforms to federal disaster assistance programs.

5. Tillis Leads Historic Effort To Confirm President Trump’s Judges

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have played a vital role in confirming President Trump’s well-qualified judges, bringing the total to more than 170 federal judges confirmed. 

6. Tillis Advocates on Behalf of NC to Secure More Than $160 Million in DOT Grants

I successfully advocated on behalf of North Carolina stakeholders, helping secure six grants totaling more than $160 million dollars, which include: $74 million to the City of Charlotte, $15 million to the City of Greenville, $13.6 million to the Town of Mooresville, $2 million to the City of Wilmington, and $22.5 million to make North Carolina's roads more resilient to storms and flooding.

7. Tillis’ Bipartisan Legion Act Signed Into Law

In July, President Trump signed bipartisan legislation I introduced into law at the official bill signing in the Oval Office that will extend eligibility for American Legion membership to honorably discharged veterans who served since World War II. Currently, only veterans who served during periods of declared hostilities are able to join the American Legion. The bipartisan LEGION Act is supported by the American Legion and ensures the thousands of brave American veterans who fought for our country during unrecognized times of war are able to enjoy the full benefits of membership in the American Legion.

8. Tillis’ Bipartisan Legislation Protecting Veterans From Predatory Lenders and Helping Them Achieve Homeownership Signed Into Law

Bipartisan legislation I introduced that safeguard veterans from predatory loan practices and helps them more easily access their earned homeowner benefits was signed into law in July.

The legislation is a continuation of my bipartisan leadership in protecting veterans from predatory lenders. In 2018, the Protecting Veterans from Predatory Lending was codified into law, which ensures veterans can continue to easily use their VA home loan guarantee to refinance their mortgages and allows veteran homeowners to save money, pay off their mortgages, and avoid falling prey to predatory lenders.

9. Tillis Bills Providing Economic Relief to North Carolinians Signed into Law

In August, President Trump signed four bills I co-sponsored into law, which provide economic relief for small businesses, family farmers, National Guard and Reservists, and veterans in need.

10. Tillis Leads Congressional Efforts to Reform U.S. Intellectual Property System

In 2019, I worked to re-instate the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and have worked across the aisle to reform and modernize our patent system and promote American innovation and protect our technology from countries like China. 

11. Tillis Continues Fight For Justice For The Victims Of Camp Lejeune Toxic Contamination

Since taking office, I have been an advocate for providing justice for the victims of Camp Lejeune toxic contamination, working with Senator Burr to advance bipartisan legislation. In May, Senator Burr and I introduced The Janey Ensminger Act of 2019 to ensure individuals with diseases scientifically linked to toxic chemical exposure at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina receive proper medical care from the Veterans Administration (VA). The bill is named for Janey Ensminger, daughter of Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger, who was born at Camp Lejeune and died as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals.

12. Anti-Robocall Legislation Co-Sponsored by Tillis Signed Into Law  

In response to the onslaught of robocalls received by North Carolinians, I co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that was signed into law that gives regulators more time to find scammers, increases civil forfeiture penalties for those caught, promotes call authentication and blocking adoption, and brings relevant federal agencies and state attorneys general together to address impediments to criminal prosecution of robocallers who intentionally flout laws.

13. Tillis Co-Sponsored Legislation to Fight Nationwide Rape Kit Backlog Signed Into Law

With 15,000 untested rape-kits in North Carolina alone, the largest backlog in the country, I co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that would reauthorize the Debbie Smith Act and give much-needed resources to state and local law enforcement agencies to complete forensic analysis of crime scenes and untested rape kits. President Trump signed the legislation into law this week.

14. Tillis’ Bipartisan Bill to Extend Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Codified Into Law

I secured passage of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program that protects North Carolina’s economy and allows major events like the 2020 RNC Convention in Charlotte and American businesses to be protected and continue to create jobs.

15. Tillis Co-Sponsored Legislation To Bolster U.S. Efforts to Prevent Genocide Signed Into Law

As co-chair of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, I have worked across the aisle to promote America’s leadership role in protecting and advancing human rights. In January 2019, bipartisan legislation I co-sponsored to bolster U.S. government efforts to prevent genocide and other human rights atrocities around the world was signed into law by President Trump. The legislation, named in honor of the courageous, inspiring Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, strengthens the U.S. government’s capability to prevent, mitigate, and respond to genocide and other mass atrocities wherever they may occur.

16. Tillis Co-Sponsored Legislation Protecting Victims of Child Abuse Signed Into Law

Bipartisan legislation I co-sponsored to reauthorize the Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCAA), which provides funding for Children’s Advocacy Centers that serve child victims and help law enforcement hold perpetrators accountable, was signed into law by President Trump in January 2019.

17. Tillis Co-Sponsored Legislation to Combat Alzheimer’s Signed Into Law

As the former caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease, I have worked across the aisle to support the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.

Bipartisan legislation I co-sponsored and signed into law will for the first time create a public health infrastructure across the country to combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health. The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will apply a public health approach to reduce risk, detect early symptoms, advance care, improve data, and ultimately change the trajectory of this devastating disease. Headed by the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), it will authorize $20 million annually over the next five years.

18. Bipartisan Legislation Co-Introduced by Tillis to Ensure Veterans Receive Proper GI Bill Payments Signed Into Law

President Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation I co-introduced to ensure the VA reimburses veterans for missed or underpaid GI Bill housing benefits. The Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act was introduced to address the VA’s failure to fully comply with updated Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates set by the Forever GI Bill.

19. Tillis & Rouzer Bill to Designate “American World War II Heritage Cities,” Including Wilmington, Codified Into Law

Congressman Rouzer and I successfully pushed our bill to designate “American World War II Heritage Cities” to be codified into law. The provision directs the Secretary of Interior to annually designate at least one city in the United States as an “American World War II Heritage City,” into law. Wilmington, North Carolina is likely to be among the first cities to receive the honor.  

20. Tillis Secures More Than $30 Million in Rural Broadband Grants for North Carolina

I continued to work with communities in North Carolina to receive USDA grants and expand rural broadband for residents.

Earlier this year, I hosted a roundtable at Vance-Granville Community College to talk about the need for rural broadband access and find ways the federal and state government can work together to reach more North Carolinians.

21. Tillis Leads Effort To Designate PFAS as a Hazardous Substance

Responding to serious concerns over PFAS contamination in the Cape Fear River, I have led efforts to designate PFAS as a hazardous substance by the EPA. Earlier this year, I co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within one year of enactment to declare PFAS as hazardous substances eligible for cleanup funds under the EPA Superfund law, and also enable a requirement that polluters undertake or pay for remediation.  

22. Tillis Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Enforce Salary Caps on CEOs of Fannie and Freddie

To protect the tax dollars of hardworking Americans, I introduced bipartisan legislation to close an existing loophole that would effectively place salary caps for the CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bill was introduced after the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Inspector General reported the FHFA has allowed compensation for executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to expand well beyond Congressionally-mandated limits for chief executive compensation at both institutions by separating the chief executive and president role at those agencies, transferring duties of the chief executive officer to the president, and raising the president’s salary by millions. The Respect the Caps Act closes this loophole.

23. Tillis Introduces The Protect Act To Ensure Protections and Affordable Coverage For Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions

I believe in patient-centered health care that delivers the choices they want, the affordability and protections they need, and the quality they deserve, which is why he introduced the Protect Act. My legislation protects Americans with pre-existing conditions, ensuring that they have the peace of mind knowing that they and their loved ones will never be denied health care coverage or be charged more because of a pre-existing condition.

24. Tillis Co-Introduces Legislation to Tackle Prescription Drug Prices 

To combat rising health care costs, I co-introduced legislation to lower prescription drug prices, bring greater transparency to the prescription drug industry, and encourage American ingenuity in the development of new treatments and cures.

25. Tillis Takes Action To Strengthen School Safety and Prevent Mass Violence

In September, me and a group of senators took bipartisan action to strengthen school safety for students across the country. We introduced the School Safety Clearinghouse Act, which would establish a federally-funded and housed information clearinghouse detailing best practices for school security and design.

In October, I joined a group of my  colleagues introduced the Restoring, Enhancing, Strengthening, and promoting our Nation’s Safety Efforts (RESPONSE) Act in an effort to reduce mass violence and make communities safer. The legislation gives new tools to law enforcement, expands resources for mental health treatment, and bolsters school safety for students and teachers through incentives and training.



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All the best,


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