The Congress passed a momentous Appropriations bill this week that is good for the nation and very good for Texas. Here is what Texans did:
The most important part of the bill was authored by Texan Joe Barton. Joe has tried to get this done for decades, and with the help of Speaker Paul Ryan, he was successful in allowing our domestic oil to be sold internationally, creating thousands of jobs and predicted to have a $17 billion benefit to Texas in its first year.
Texan Kevin Brady, who has just been named to chair the powerful Ways and Means committee, was able to get a provision to allow Texans to deduct their sales taxes permanently. Texans have fought for this each year and now will not have to do that.
NASA, once so powerful in science for the world, was finally funded at levels it has not seen for decades. That came about by John Culberson from Houston. He has worked on this issue since coming to Congress.
My focus has always been our military and defense funding. I got 68 Joint Strike Fighters in the bill. The JSF is, of course, made by Lockheed Martin Corp. in Fort Worth and their fine, skilled workers. The helmets the pilots wear to fly those fighters are made by another Fort Worth defense firm, Elbit Systems.
Terrorists are on our minds daily, and John Carter chairs Homeland Security Appropriations. He and Michael McCaul put in the security provisions we needed. The visa issue you keep seeing in the news was a hole in our security. It was covered in this bill by Carter, McCaul and Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry.
Others played a big part with Michael Conaway in the agriculture provisions that will help our farmers.
You should be proud of your Texans, and we are proud to represent you.
Member of Congress