September Outlook and August Wrap Up
This week, I’ll be returning to DC for a busy fall. Issues we will be addressing include: responding to mass shootings; funding the President’s border wall; reauthorizing a number of expiring programs including: the National Flood Insurance Program; the Community Health Centers Program; PATRIOT Act; the National Defense Authorization Act; and the Intelligence Act. Other issues we may tackle include: infrastructure bills; Russia sanctions; surprise medical billing; USMCA (the US-Mexico-Canada trade deal); and privacy legislation.
When the House reconvenes this week, we will be voting on a bill related to the Florida coastline and a bill dealing with “marine economies.” If you’d like to see all the bills scheduled for a vote this week, you can view them online at https://docs.house.gov/floor/Default.aspx?date=2019-09-09.
During August, I spent a busy district work period meeting with constituents across the district. It is always great to be home and have the chance to talk with you about your concerns and what you want to see me working on in DC. Below is an overview of some of the meetings I took while I was home in August:
SCHOOL SAFETY ROUNDTABLE
For the second year in a row, I hosted a school safety roundtable with local school officials and law enforcement to discuss how can partner to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect our schools from violence. Last year after the tragic shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, I fought for federal funding that was later appropriated to create School Safety Grant programs at the U.S. Department of Justice. This funding is available to school districts throughout the nation to use on efforts to protect children in our communities’ schools. As the Top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, I’ve been working again this year to ensure this grant funding is continued and more resources are made available to address this important issue. The leaders in our school districts and police departments are taking proactive steps to further secure school campuses throughout the district. Sadly, just days after this roundtable there was another mass shooting between the west Texas cities of Midland and Odessa that once again illustrates how important it is we address this issue with common sense bipartisan solutions.
TEXAS FARM BUREAU MEETING
I had the privilege of sitting down with the Texas Farm Bureau to discuss the state of agriculture in Texas. I heard from farmers and ranchers that live in the district about how hard it is for them to find workers and how they can’t find anyone qualified to drive tractors. We talked about a wide-range of issues ranging from jobs and the economy to agriculture and immigration. The Administration has been working to get the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (or USMCA) completed in order to improve the market access for Texas farmers. I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress on policies like the USMCA that will make it easier for Texas farmers to do business.
FORT WORTH CHAMBER - LEADERS IN GOVERNMENT LUNCHEON
I was honored to speak to the Fort Worth Chamber at their Leaders in Government” luncheon. This visit gave me the opportunity to update the Fort Worth business community about discussions Senate Appropriations Chairman Shelby and I led in Iceland regarding the need for a level playing field and trade agreement for American businesses. Iceland has some of the best fish in the world, and as you all know in Texas, we have the beef! These international trade discussions were fruitful and will continue to be a high-priority for me.
TOUR OF LEGACY HEART CARE
There are 200 therapeutic labs like Legacy Heart Care across the country, but Legacy Heart Care in Fort Worth is the leading center of excellence. Michael McGrath who is the President of Legacy Heart Care took me on a tour of the therapeutic lab and explained how during Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP) treatment the “body cuffs” pump the blood flow through a patient’s arteries. After our tour, I was able to visit with patients who told me that they didn’t have the breath to walk until coming to Legacy Heart for EECP treatment.
ROTARY CLUB OF ALEDO
The Rotary Club of Aledo is a rapidly growing and increasingly influential group of Rotarians that is doing great things to support their local community. Located in eastern Parker County, Aledo close-knit community that is experiencing tremendous growth because of its top-rated school district, new home construction and its proximity to Fort Worth. Many towns in America, like Aledo, are having a lot of new construction and are feeling the constraints of the labor shortages in the construction industry. Many of the workers that fill these jobs are from Mexico and South American countries. During my visit, we discussed immigration and the border crisis, I assured the residents of Aledo that I will continue to working to find real long-term solutions to immigration reform.
MEETING WITH AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE (AJC)
I sat down with AJC members and we discussed the alarming rate of anti-Semitic attacks and rhetoric. I’m a founding member of a House bipartisan taskforce to address this issue, and I will be talking with my colleagues about the importance of joining the taskforce when I’m back in DC next week. We also discussed two important bills, H.R. 3545 which would provide incentives for hate crime reporting as well as grants for state-run hate crime hotlines, and H.R. 3104 which would establish the Partnership for Peace to promote joint economic development and finance ventures between Palestinian entrepreneurs and small businesses in Israel and the United States. I agreed to cosponsor both of these bills.
ROTARY CLUB OF WEATHERFORD
During my visit to the Weatherford Rotary, I talked about China and the growing threat that they are posing to the United States. China is investing in countries all around the world to expand their influence. It is critical that we stop the Chinese from continuing their unfair trade practices, currency manipulation, and stem the tide of their global investments around the globe. One way that we slow China from their global economic influence is by forging new trade agreements with other countries.
WESTSIDE ROTARY CLUB OF FORT WORTH
I am grateful to the Westside Rotary of Fort Worth for inviting me to visit with them. I updated attendees about my work on the front lines of the debate surrounding immigration reform. There are two issues that are being lumped together in the debate on immigration reform, DACA and illegal immigration. There are two separate issues and I believe it is very important we treat them as separate issues. Both have major economic implications for the United States, and both affect our job markets. Rest assured, I will continue working along with others in Congress on meaningful solutions to the immigration and border crisis in this country.
CONNECTING WITH MY OFFICE
Remember that you can follow along with the latest on my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also connect with me through my website where you can find more information about tours in our nation's capital, how my office can assist you in dealing with a federal agency,and the best way to send me your opinions.