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Harper reflects on time in Congress

Photo courtesy of Gregg Harper's Office

Congressman Gregg Harper’s service to the state is ending soon. Harper has spent the last 10 years representing Mississippi’s Third Congressional District and said serving the people of Mississippi has been the highest honor of his career.

“It’s been an incredible 10 years and certainly the greatest honor that I have ever had has been to represent Mississippi during this time,” said Harper. I can’t believe how quickly 10 years will zip by, but I will always consider myself to be an ambassador for the state of Mississippi because it is the greatest place to live and to raise a family and you always want to promote that the people across the country.”

While Harper has said he will not be a candidate in the 2019 Gubernatorial race, he said he will be supporting Lt. Governor Tate Reeves’ run for Governor.

During his time in office, Harper said he had a number of once-in-a-lifetime experiences including flying on both Air Force One with President Trump and on Air Force Two with Vice Preside Mike Pence. However, one of the things Harper said he is most proud of during his time in Washington is the establishment of the Congressional Internship Program for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.

RELATED: Congressional internship program named in Harper’s Honor

Among the legislation he helped get passed and signed into law, Harper said he is most proud of a bill that eliminated taxpayer money being spent for political conventions and instead funneled those funds to the National Institutes of Health for pediatric research.

“If you had two or more groups working toward a cure for any type of pediatric illness, well they got that extra money to work with as opposed to the Democrats and Republicans having a big party every four years,” Harper said.

Lastly, Harper who served as the Chairman of the Committee on House Administration was tasked by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan with changing the culture in the House dealing with sexual harassment.

“Now, every member, every staffer all the way down to an unpaid intern or fellow all have to take in-person, mandatory training dealing with that issue and it has all been completed,” Harper said. “The members took it very quickly. They understand that that is how you end your career with bad behavior and one incident is one too many.”

Harper said the Senate passed a version of the bill and the House and the Senate came together to approve final passage of a bill and has been signed into law by the President saying that there has been a culture change in the House and that most of the “bad actors” are gone.

Congressman-Elect Michael Guest will take over for Congressman Harper in representing the Third Congressional District during the 116th U.S. Congress which will officially convene on January 3, 2019. As a final farewell, Harper said he will give a tour of the Capitol to Congressman-Elect Guest’s family and friends just as Chip Pickering did for his family the night before he was sworn into office.

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