Strengthening Our Military
After nearly a decade of cuts to our military by the previous administration, this Congress, working alongside President Trump, has reversed course and consistently delivered results to our service members and veterans. I’ve been proud to support measures that provide the largest pay raise for our soldiers in a decade and the highest boost to military funding in fifteen years.
Dyess Air Force Base is the crown jewel of Abilene and I’m honored to have the nation’s premier bomber base in West Texas. As promised, I have led efforts to secure Dyess as the future training base of the new B-21 Raider and have worked with my fellow West Texan, Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, to ensure the airman there and soldiers around the world have the support and resources they need.
Securing Our Border
Securing our southern border and stemming the tide of illegal immigration is paramount to protecting the American people and safeguarding our sovereignty as a nation. We must close the biggest loopholes that are driving our immigration crisis – eliminating chain migration and cutting off the employment magnet for illegal immigrants by mandating the use of E-Verify.
In the House, I’m supporting President Trump’s priority of ending violent crimes and drug smuggling by supporting legislation like Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.
More must be done to keep our country safe, but I’m proud of the over $1.5 billion already allocated by Congress for physical barriers and technology along the Southern border.
Delivering on our Promises to Veterans
One of the most rewarding aspects of my Congressional career to date has been serving on the House Veterans Affairs Committee and being selected to chair the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.
The VA Committee has had over 70 bills pass the House to hold the VA accountable, increase access to care, and expand employment opportunities for our veterans. Of those, more than two dozen have been signed into law. One of these bills is my legislation to help service-disabled veterans receive faster and more efficient services. This summer, President Trump signed this bill into law.
We spend the necessary resources transforming our civilians into great freedom fighters. When they transition back into civilian life, we need to make sure that we support them and provide them with the necessary tools for a seamless, successful transition. The House passed my legislation, named in honor of Plainview native Bill Mulder, that accomplishes this goal.
Another priority of mine as a member of the VA Committee is holding the VA accountable and disciplining employees who are not looking out for our veterans. I was a proud supporter of the enactment of the VA Accountability Act to finally give the VA the authority to fire bad employees and I’ve sponsored legislation to curtail the use of time VA employees can use on union activities while at work. The VA should serve the veterans, not employees.
Several active-duty and retired American military leaders have said the national debt is the single greatest threat to our nation. It currently stands at $21 trillion, and we must seriously address the issue now for our children and grandchildren’s sake.
I was the only freshman member appointed by the Speaker to the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform. On this committee, I’m charged with working with Members on reforms to our funding process to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse, while ensuring important entities like our military can budget properly and efficiently.
Additionally, as a member of the Budget Committee, I have assisted in drafting and passing a budget for the federal government that cuts $200 billion in wasteful spending, the largest cut in twenty years.
In the almost decade since Obamacare was enacted, we have seen clearly that socialist medicine does not work. Instead of cheaper healthcare and additional choice, Texans have seen higher insurance premiums and fewer plans. I supported the passage of legislation in the House to repeal the job-killing Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered healthcare system.
Gone are several burdensome provisions of Obamacare including the individual mandate, medical device tax, and health insurance tax. These provisions, which a majority of Americans oppose, had stifled innovation, hiked prices for consumers and led to a loss of tens of thousands of jobs.
Record low unemployment. Record high stock market. Record high small-business confidence. These are just a few of the benchmarks our economy has reached since January 2017.
Since tax reform was enacted in December, the average increase in take-home pay for a Texas family of four will be approximately $1,900. Businesses in West Texas and all over America have provided their employees billions of dollars in pay raises, bonuses, and additional benefits. These are not crumbs.
The Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency issued business-crippling regulations against the agriculture and energy producing industries by fiat and without input from these job creators. I have supported sensible, regulation-repealing bills like overturning the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) that defended state sovereignty and saved billions of dollars in taxpayer funds.
For far too long, China has cheated on the global marketplace, setting up artificial barriers to trade and openly ripping off American intellectual property. At the same time, past administrations and Congresses have agreed to weak free trade deals that leave American producers and manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage. Working with this administration, I will support measures that break down unfair trade barriers, open markets to U.S. products, and ensure Texas agriculture and energy producers have a level playing field abroad to compete and win.
West Texas is the food, fuel, and fiber capital of the world. As a champion for rural America, I’ve supported legislation to ensure a strong safety net for our farmers and investment in critical infrastructure. The 19th district is home to one-third of the world’s cotton production, but cotton was left out of the safety net in the 2014 Farm Bill. Earlier this year I, along with my fellow West Texan Chairman Mike Conaway, followed through on my commitment to West Texas and restored cotton to Title I status, ensuring our farmers have the confidence and flexibility they need to continue clothing the world.
If we are going to maintain the ability to feed our own people and fuel the American economy, we need to ensure our rural communities have access to quality healthcare. I’ve introduced legislation and Farm Bill language that has passed the House to permit rural hospitals to refinance their existing debt, allowing more hospitals to stay open and serve the patients who need them.
As a selected appointee to the Farm Bill Conference Committee, I will work with my colleagues from the House and Senate to reauthorize our critical farm policies while implementing conservative reforms to our welfare programs that encourage work and personal responsibility.
I believe life begins at conception and that unborn children have the constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There is no more important issue than defending the sanctity of life. I have supported policies and initiatives that have led this Congress and Trump Administration to be deemed the most pro-life in history. Some of these include legislation to outlaw abortions after twenty weeks, defund Planned Parenthood, and overturn an Obama rule that forced states to make federal dollars available to pro-abortion groups.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees your right to bear arms. I will continue to protect this right from government overreach and have cosponsored legislation like the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.