As we begin a new year with hope and optimism for a healthy and prosperous future, I want to reflect on the successes and challenges of this past year and to relay my sincere gratitude to you for allowing me the privilege to represent you and your family in our great community of Texas’ 12th Congressional District.
You, the patriotic and hard-working citizens of Texas-12, communicate with me regularly about your experiences, aspirations, and the fears you are facing. I am grateful to have a vocal and well-informed constituency who keep me apprised of their needs and ambitions. Your close connection and outreach to me and to my team helps me better serve you and your family. Thank you for being so involved in your representation in Congress.
With 2021 behind us, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the things we have accomplished together for North Texas, and for America as a whole.
My offices in Fort Worth and in Washington, D.C. have been busy at work. Over the past year, we responded and interacted with constituents through more than 675,500 phone calls, emails, e-Newsletters, and postal mail communications, and we held hundreds of office meetings. The Texas-12 Congressional High School Art Competition winning piece is on display in the U.S. Capitol, and our Military Service Academy applicants await with great anticipation in hopes of being selected to attend one of those great institutions.
We were also there for constituents in their darkest hours. In the aftermath of the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, my office worked with constituents to extricate Americans and visa holders from the country and help those seeking visas or humanitarian admission find a safe place to continue their applications. Know that my staff and I are available and will always do our best to assist you whenever you reach out.
Supporting our National Defense
With the country and world facing domestic and international threats, it is as important as ever that our national defense is at its peak preparedness.
As the lead Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, I am proud to be in a position to fight for the funding our war fighters deserve. With the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base located in Fort Worth, our community has a significant role in our nation’s offensive and defensive posture.
Congress recently passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes funding for the Department of Defense and other national security programs. I am very proud to have secured authorization for 85 additional F-35 aircraft in the bill, which will be built right here in Fort Worth. This investment supports thousands of jobs in the district and makes our nation safer. The NDAA also included a pay raise for the troops and free-speech protections for servicemembers, as well as support for securing our border.
I will never waver in my commitment to ensure our military has the tools and the resources it needs to keep our country safe from those who wish us harm.
Supporting our Veterans
There are over 55,000 veterans in our district. Only two other districts in the state of Texas have more veterans than we have in Tarrant County. Texas-12 has a strong tradition of supporting the needs of our honorable servicemembers, especially in coordination with our Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) in Fort Worth. I have made it my duty to make sure Congress prioritizes programs for veterans, including mental health, homelessness, and suicide prevention services. And I continue to strategize with Texas-based organizations that share the goal of ensuring our veterans and their families receive the care they deserve. We owe our veterans a debt we can never fully repay, but we must certainly try.
As our country faces record-breaking inflation, higher gas prices, and skyrocketing debt, we cannot ignore how our weak economy is bringing new challenges to every facet of our lives. One such challenge is the supply chain crisis, which is crushing small and local business owners. Having been a small business owner, I understand how the current economy has left many stores unable to fill their shelves, in addition to the inability to properly staff their stores due to the labor shortage across the country.
I am constantly working to return to fiscal sanity, including voting against unreasonable spending increases and calling for fiscal reforms. I believe the first step we must take to bolster our economy is reigniting our nation’s energy sector that has been handcuffed by onerous and unnecessary regulations that kill American jobs. Texas has a robust energy industry that has the capacity to help our nation achieve energy independence if we unleash its potential for well-balanced and diversified energy production, reducing the need for our nation to purchase oil from foreign adversaries.
Taxes will always remain an important issue for me, and I am continuing to fight against raising taxes on individuals and small businesses. Before even considering raising taxes on hard-working Americans, Congress must first cut wasteful government spending and ensure that taxpayer dollars are used efficiently.
COVID-19 continues to challenge our country’s economic growth as well as our personal health safety. The COVID crisis managed by the Biden Administration has pitted Americans against one another and created skepticism in vaccine efficacy and trustworthiness. Parents with children in school are frustrated with the mixed-messages they are receiving, affecting their ability to protect the needs of their children and families. Companies are unable to fill necessary positions in order to produce at full capacity, and family restaurants cannot keep up with the ever-changing rules impacting whether their businesses can survive. It is imperative that we focus as a nation on protecting the most vulnerable but also work to reignite the American economy by getting people back to work and businesses back open.
Because of current open border policies, over 1.7 million illegal immigrants were apprehended at the border in 2021, with tens of thousands of those individuals released into the interior of our country. As Texans, we feel the impact of the failure to address the ongoing crisis. Our state is under siege, and we fear for our safety as dangerous gang members, human traffickers, and drug cartels sneak across the border. Local healthcare systems and social service providers are overwhelmed by the needs of these immigrants, and our tax dollars are being devoured to manage the onslaught. I have seen the devastating situation with my own eyes, and I continue to support a secure border and have long championed upholding the rule of law as it pertains to America’s immigration system. As Co-Chair of the House Human Trafficking Caucus and a member of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, I will continue to fight for the funding needed to ensure that Texas and America have the border security we deserve.
House Appropriations Committee
In my position as the Ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee, I have worked hard to defend conservative principles and advance Texas priorities.
I have fought to advocate for unborn life by standing up to those who attempted to eliminate the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion. While that battle continues, I am committed to protecting the sanctity of life and advancing the pro-life cause.
There was also an effort to try and drive a wedge between America and our important ally Israel on various fronts, all of which I firmly fought back against. I have voiced strong opposition to the Biden Administration’s plans to reopen a redundant U.S. consulate in Jerusalem – not far from our newly established embassy there – in order to appease the Palestinians. I have led efforts in Congress to provide funding to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, an effort I will continue this year until that funding is enacted in law. I proclaim with no hesitation that “I stand with Israel.”
I will continue to fight to keep America’s commitments to those who need them most.
136th Airlift Wing Names First C-130J Super Hercules “The Kay Granger”
This past July, I was thrilled when years of my work came to fruition and the first of eight C-130 J Super Hercules aircraft for the 136th Airlift Wing arrived at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. I was equally honored and humbled to have the first aircraft named “The Kay Granger.”
My relationship with the base goes back to my days as the Mayor of Fort Worth when I fought to preserve it from closure, and it is truly a wonderful tribute to know that “The Kay Granger” will be flown by our nation’s war fighters in support of our country.
We have had many challenges in the past year as well as some significant successes, and I look forward to what the coming days have in store. The people of this great country may have many differences, but as Americans, we share one steadfast common bond.
To close, I am honored to serve you in the United States House of Representatives, and I will continue to advocate for the rights and needs of our great district and for the betterment of America.
May God bless you and your family and may God bless the United States of America.