Brief Congressional Update
I know many of you have expressed your opinions regarding the recent vote to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier this month. I want to reiterate that the bill to fund DHS did not provide any funding for President Obama’s immigration executive actions that he outlined in November.
I believe the confusion lies within the decision House leadership made last fall to force President Obama to rescind his executive actions on immigration by stating Congress would refuse to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security until the President agreed to withdraw his executive order. This gave the false impression that funding DHS meant Congress would be funding the president’s executive action, which is not the case. The bill that passed did not provide any money to support his executive action. I believe the federal court system is now the best chance to prevent President Obama’s illegal executive actions from being implemented.
This week, the House passed the Republican budget resolution for fiscal year 2016. I voted for the resolution because it balances the budget in less than ten years, it repeals the Affordable Care Act, and takes crucial steps to improve the long-term fiscal health of our country. The budget also boosts defense spending, which is a priority for me. I believe increasing defense spending is an important investment for the U.S. to make at a time when our country continues to combat the threat of the Islamic State and other extremists’ organizations. Defense spending has a profound impact on our local defense industry in North Texas as well. We build state-of-the-art aircraft and weapons systems that are, and will be, used in defense our country. I will always fight to keep a robust defense industry thriving in the 12th congressional district.
Also, this week, I was appointed to serve on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. I am looking forward to my service on this subcommittee because water plays such an important role in North Texas. Water infrastructure is a key priority for Texas communities especially with regard to managing drought conditions and preparing now for future flood control emergencies before they occur.
I also wanted to share the news that the Panther Island project was recently honored as the best “Next Big Idea” at the Urban Land Institute North Texas Impact Awards in Dallas. ULI North Texas is an organization of land use professionals and community leaders. This organization provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities around the country.
Three finalists for this Impact Award were selected and were invited to present their ideas on stage in front of the audience at the awards event. As one of the finalists, Trinity River Vision Authority presented the vision for the future of 800 acres directly adjacent to downtown Fort Worth. The audience members then voted and selected Panther Island as the winner.