Congress is getting work done

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

By Rep. Bradley Byrne

Last week in Washington, all eyes were on the Senate Intelligence Committee, where former FBI Director James Comey was sent to testify. The hearing was a media circus. News outlets used countdown clocks in the lead up to the “big moment.”

Of course, it is important to get to the bottom of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. That is why committees in Congress and a special counsel are working diligently to get answers. Unfortunately, many think the issue should be litigated in the media instead of through the proper legal process. We should follow the facts and the law and nothing but the facts and the law.

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What the news media was not talking about last week was our efforts in the House to stick true to our word and enact a commonsense, conservative agenda. We are getting the work done that the American people elected us to do.

Consider these numbers: to date, the Republican-led House has passed over 158 bills, making us the most productive in the modern era. On top of that, President (Donald) Trump has signed 37 bills into law, which places him ahead of the last four presidential administrations. We are getting things done.

So what exactly are we accomplishing? Everything from passing a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare to enacting a whole range of bills focused on rolling back burdensome regulations that are restricting economic growth.

Just this past week, we passed a range of bills addressing a range of issues important to the American people, including financial regulations and border security.

First, we passed a bill to dismantle the Dodd-Frank law passed by Democrats in 2010. We were promised that the Dodd-Frank Act would be a major win for the American consumer. Instead, big bank bailouts were enshrined in law while small banks and credit unions that people in Southwest Alabama rely upon are drowning in regulations and red tape, making it harder for them to serve their customers and threatening their existence. In fact, studies show that at least one small bank or credit union close each day due to Dodd-Frank.

That is why the House passed the Financial CHOICE Act last week, sending a clear message that Main Street comes before Wall Street. The bill officially ends the policy of “too big to fail” and puts a stop to bank bailouts. Just as important, the bill increases consumer protections and simplifies systems to ensure they cannot be gammed by the well connected and powerful. It is all about increasing opportunities for hardworking Americans and small businesses.

Second, we passed the Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act of 2017, which will make it easier to fight illegal immigration and secure the border.

Our border protection programs are currently severely understaffed. In fact, the numbers show that we are short 1,000 officers and 1,800 Border Patrol Agents. This shortage is making it harder to secure the border and keep bad guys out of our country.

That is where our bill comes it. It will allow us to expedite the hiring of border patrol agents when the individuals have previously served in law enforcement or in the military. These are the exact kind of people we need working to secure the border.

As you can see, in the House of Representatives, we refuse to have our agenda thrown off course. Even more, we are continuing to making important progress on other priorities like tax reform, rebuilding the military and fixing our nation’s infrastructure.

I pledge to continue to keep my head down and focus on the issues you elected me to tackle. We must get the job done.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne represents the 1st Congressional District of Alabama, which includes Escambia County.