By Congressman Bradley Byrne
There has been a lot of noise coming out of Washington and in the national news media. If you listen to all the noise, you would think the only thing happening in our nation’s capital is staffing drama at the White House and an ongoing Russia investigation.
Those topics consume the national headlines day in and day out. Sadly, that narrative does not match the reality of what is happening in the House of Representatives.
In fact, we are getting our work done and following through on our promises.
I bet you would be surprised to know that already this year the House has passed over 295 bills. I doubt that is something you have heard from the national news media.
To help illustrate how much we are getting done in the House, let’s consider just what happened this past week.
Most notably, the House passed the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, a major national security funding bill. The bill provides funding for the military, veterans, border security, and much more.
Having state-of-the-art facilities and resources is vital to the success of our military. To help repair dilapidated and aging military infrastructure, the bill provides a 25 percent increase in military construction funding.
Supporting our servicemembers and their families is also a high priority in the bill, as it provides for the largest military pay raise in eight years.
The bill allocates the highest level of funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs in our nation’s history. This will help cut down on the claims backlog and move forward with a new electronic medical health record system.
The American people sent a strong message last November that they wanted a wall securing our southern border. This bill will begin this process by providing over $1.5 billion requested by President Trump for physical barrier construction along the Southern border. This is a major breakthrough in our efforts to secure the border.
We also passed bills to reauthorize our nation’s intelligence programs and to provide emergency funding for the VA, including the VA’s Choice program. Both of these bills passed the House with broad bipartisan support.
On Thursday, I introduced the Save Local Business Act, which rolls back the extreme joint employer scheme to protect American jobs and entrepreneurship. My bill is all about making sure federal labor policies focus on benefiting workers and helping small businesses grow instead of creating barriers that limit opportunity. I am pleased it is already earning bipartisan support.
Also last week, a major announcement was made regarding the future of tax reform. House, Senate, and White House leaders issued a joint statement outlining the key principles of tax reforming and making clear that simplifying the tax code is a shared priority.
On the local front, the House-passed national security bill includes important funding for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program, which is great news for the over 4,000 men and women who work at the Austal shipyard in Mobile.
I also joined with a number of my Gulf Coast colleagues in introducing a bill on Friday to help permanently solve the Red Snapper issue in the Gulf of Mexico. Introducing this legislation is an important first step in advancing a solution to ensure all our fishermen have access to Red Snapper in the Gulf.
So, I encourage you to make every effort to cut through the noise and focus on what the House is actually getting done. To help you get all the facts on what the House is accomplishing, I encourage you to check out DidYouKnow.gop. This website highlights the fact that the House is getting our job done, as we promised the American people.