|Dear Alabama Voter,
It was another busy week in Washington. For the first time in over a decade, the House successfully passed all twelve government funding bills before the end of the fiscal year, in addition to passing legislation to protect our country’s citizens from dangerous illegal aliens. I am proud of the progress we have made since returning from August recess, and I look forward to the work on tax reform and immigration up ahead.
Funding the Government
The House has now done our job and passed all twelve of the full year government funding bills before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. The Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act reflects the will of the House and makes tough choices regarding funding priorities. From increasing funding for our military to boosting border security to cutting wasteful programs to strengthening life-saving medical research, this bill prioritizes spending to reflect national priorities.
Here are some of the provisions included in this bill:
- It cracks down on illegal immigration and fully funds the Trump administration’s request for a wall along the southern border;
- It rolls back job-killing regulations, like the fiduciary rule, the Waters of the U.S. rule, and Dodd-Frank regulations;
- It gives our troops a much-deserved pay raise;
- It protects the sanctity of life here at home by defunding Planned Parenthood and enforcing the Mexico City Policy;
- It protects the safety of our citizens by providing for $789.7 billion in national security priorities, including defense, nuclear weapons safety and reliability, and veterans’ affairs;
- It ends dozens of underachieving government programs across multiple agencies and reduces funding for hundreds of others that need improvement;
- It cuts funding for the EPA by $534 million;
- It supports the exploration of space by funding NASA and NASA Science programs;
- It fights against forest fires by fully funding treatment, prevention, and emergency services;
- It prevents any funds to be used to further implement Obamacare rules; and
- It reforms the IRS and holds its funding to below Fiscal Year 2008 levels.
The bill also includes two of my amendments that directly impact our region:
- An amendment to protect important Gulf Coast oil and gas revenue through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA); and
- An amendment blocking funding for the National Ocean Policy, which would create an entirely new and unauthorized bureaucratic overlay and governance structure for our nation’s oceans.
While we have worked diligently to pass this legislation in the House, the Senate has yet to pass a single government funding bill. I remain deeply concerned about the impact the logjam in the Senate is having on our ability to enact our conservative priorities and President Trump’s agenda.
Saving Local Businesses
As you may remember, this summer, I introduced the Save Local Business Act to address the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) joint employer standard and the impact it has on small business owners nationwide. This legislation will provide clarity to our franchise small business owners and their employees about what it means to own and operate your own business.
Last week, I chaired a House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing regarding my bill. The committee heard testimony from small business owners, who outlined how the joint-employer decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) stands to destroy the franchise business model, hurt locally-owned businesses, and create confusion for American workers and employers.
The franchise business model is vital for the preservation of the American dream. I will not sit idly by as ambiguous laws inhibit Americans from building and growing their own businesses. This business model provides opportunity to countless Americans, and I am proud to stand with our franchisees to protect their way of life.
Protection for Americans
Part of our job in Congress is to ensure the safety of our country’s citizens. Recently, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has found that the membership of violent transnational gangs is made up largely of foreign-born nationals. Currently, it is not possible to deport gang members until they are convicted of an independent crime.
In response, the House passed the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act to combat gang violence by criminal aliens by barring known criminal gang members from entering the United States, detaining offenders, and removing them. The bill passed by a vote of 233 to 175.
Transnational gangs, like MS-13, plague many cities throughout our country, and this legislation makes it clear that criminal alien gang members are not eligible to come to the United States and ensures that they are kept off our streets. This bill directly benefits American citizens by enhancing public safety and taking steps to prevent the dangers posed by criminal illegal alien gang members. I will always hold the safety of our citizens as a top priority.
In Case You Missed It
Here are a few articles worth a read this week:
“More than 200 Irma evacuees shelter in Robertsdale: ‘This is a Godsend'” – AL.com
“Big business attacks Obama-era ‘joint employer’ rule from every angle” – Washington Examiner
“Baldwin EMC crewmen answer the call for help to restore power for millions in Florida” – WALA
“Gulf Coast groups urge Congress to reauthorize national flood insurance program” – USA Today
“Alabama’s leaders remember Sept. 11” – AL Political Reporter
“National debt hits historic $20 trillion mark” – CBS News
“Bill opposing Obama’s ‘joint employer’ expansion slowly gaining bipartisan support” – Washington Examiner
“Congress responds to Alabama Day Care death” – Yellowhammer
“Mobile Regional Airport Receives New $5 Million FAA Grant” – Associated Press
“Byrne: Preventing Naval Tragedies” – AL Political Reporter
Photo of the Week
Sergeant Major Dailey of the U.S. Army let me tag along for an early morning run on the National Mall last week. The National Mall is beautiful at sunrise!
Next week will be another District Work Week, so I look forward to being back on the road in Southwest Alabama. I have a number of meetings and events on the schedule.
In exciting news, I am quickly approaching my 100th in-person town hall meeting. I will be holding three more town hall meetings this week. The details are below:
- Mobile: Monday, September 18th at 6:00 p.m. (Government Plaza Auditorium; 205 Government Street)
- Silverhill: Thursday, September 21st at 10:30 a.m. (Silverhill Town Hall; 15965 East Silverhill Avenue)
- Elberta: Thursday, September 21st at 2:00 p.m. (Elberta Town Hall; 13052 Main Street)
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with questions or concerns about what is happening in Washington. You can reach me at 251-690-2811 or connect with me on Facebook and Twitter. I look forward to hearing from you!
Stay in touch,
Congressman Bradley Byrne