Early picks show priorities

By Congressman Bradley Byrne

Over the last few weeks, reporters with television cameras have stood watch in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City to see who is coming and going from meetings with President-elect Donald Trump.

Most of the visitors are there to talk to the President-elect about opportunities to serve in his administration, and based on the announcements so far, it is safe to say that President-elect Trump is putting together a great team.

I have made clear my strong support for Alabama’s own Jeff Sessions to serve as Attorney General. It was one of the first announcements President-elect Trump made, and it shows that he is going to be serious about enforcing the rule of law and cracking down on illegal immigration.

If you haven’t read about General James Mattis, you definitely should. Donald Trump made a fantastic choice in selecting him to lead the Department of Defense. He has a clear record of serving our nation with steadfast leadership, unwavering integrity, and selfless dedication.

I know General Mattis will help lead the charge toward a stronger, more capable military. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I look forward to working with him to rebuild our military and defeat radical Islamic terrorism.

One of the first friends I made upon being elected to Congress was Tom Price, a congressman from Georgia. I was so thrilled to see him selected to lead the

Department of Health and Human Services. As an orthopedic surgeon, he understands better than most how Obamacare is ruining our nation’s health care system.

Dr. Price has served as chairman of the House Budget Committee for the last couple of years, so he also understands the need to pursue policies that help reduce federal spending and balance the budget. He will do a fantastic job overseeing the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

Elaine Chao, who served as Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush, has been selected for Secretary of Transportation. We have numerous important transportation projects here in Southwest Alabama, and I look forward to working with Elaine Chao to improve all of our nation’s transportation infrastructure.

Dr. Ben Carson is a good choice for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As someone who grew up in poverty, he has seen firsthand the challenges facing some of our communities. I specifically look forward to working with Dr. Carson to change the way our nation tackles poverty by putting a real emphasis on work and helping connect people with the skills they need to find a job.

As a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, I am also excited about Trump’s picks for Secretary of Education and Secretary of Labor. Betsy DeVos has dedicated her career to improving educational opportunities for students, and I expect that goal to continue.

Andy Puzder, the pick to lead the Labor Department, is a businessman who has seen firsthand how the policies of the last eight years have thwarted economic growth and hurt working families. I am confident that under his leadership, we can swing the pendulum of power away from Big Labor bosses and back in favor of American workers.

The selection of Wilbur Ross and Steven Mnuchin to lead the Departments of Commerce and Treasury show that President-elect Trump is serious about always putting American workers first and growing the economy here at home.

Each of these cabinet nominees will have to go through the Senate confirmation process, but I am confident the Republican-controlled Senate will expeditiously confirm the nominees so they can get to work.

If these picks are an indication of how Donald Trump plans to govern, I think we have much to be excited about in the coming years.