PRAY FOR ALABAMA

Beloved, 

It is written in 2 Chronicles 7.14: If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face; then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sins, and heal their land. Please join us in praying without ceasing for our President, our Vice President, his cabinet members, our leaders, our military, our law enforcement, our first responders, our state, our cities, our counties, our towns, our territories, our nation, and for the peace of Jerusalem.  We have been asked to begin a PRAYER CONFERENCE CALL FOR THE BEAUTIFUL STATE OF ALABAMA, my HOME SWEET HOME, and we appreciate everyone who has graciously offered to stand in agreement with us and pray without ceasing, 24/7/365,  as we lift up our great state. As it was in the days of Noah, so it is today. Pray for salvation for every man, woman, and child. Pray for His Shepherds, Prophets, Priests, Missionaries, the Persecuted, and the Brethren everywhere. May the Father richly bless all of His Intercessors, Prayer Warriors, and Watchmen on the wall. Please join us in praying without ceasing! 

Blessings! 

Deborah Taylor 

 

Please JOIN US Thursday evenings at 7 pm CST for this urgently needed Prayer Call 

   as we plead the Blood of Jesus over the

State of Alabama,

Our government leaders, Alabama Law Enforcement and the citizens of the state.

 

Dial into the conferencing service 

1-720-650-3030

Enter your conference code: 

2588226

 

*Feel free to join us and lift up your city as we stand in agreement for our city and our nation*

To find out what is going on in the great state of Alabama, please click on the following link: https://www.alabama.gov/

 

President 

Donald J. Trump (R) 

 

U.S. Senators: 

Richard C. Shelby (R) 
Doug Jones (D) NOTE: DOUG JONES MUST BE REMOVED!!!

 

Governor 

Kay Ivey (R)

 

House Leadership 

Speaker, Speaker Pro Tempore, and Clerk 

Representative Mac McCutcheon (R) 
Speaker of the House 
House District 25 

Representative Victor Gaston (R) 
Speaker Pro Tempore 
House District 100 

 Jeffrey Woodard 
 Clerk of the House

 

 

Senate Leadership 

President, President Pro Tempore, and Secretary 

Will Ainsworth (R) 
Lieutenant Governor 
President and Presiding Officer 

Del Marsh (R) 
President Pro Tempore 

D. Patrick Harris 
Secretary of the Senate 

 

I HAVE POSTED WATCHMEN ON YOUR WALLS, JERUSALEM; THEY WILL NEVER BE SILENT DAY OR NIGHT. YOU WHO CALL ON THE LORD, GIVE YOURSELVES NO REST,AND GIVE HIM NO REST TILL HE ESTABLISHES JERUSALEM AND MAKES HER THE PRAISE OF THE EARTH. 

ISAIAH 62.6-7

UPDATES FROM CONGRESSMAN BRADLEY BYRNE

2020 UPDATES FROM CONGRESSMAN BRADLEY BYRNE: 

 

 

 

 

 

112420-

Dear Friend, 

Its hard to believe Thanksgiving is already here!  I'm looking forward to safely honoring our family's Thanksgiving traditions at our farm.  This has been a long year, and I am so thankful for my loving family and the country we call home. 

Last week I was glad to have the opportunity to commemorate on the House floor the careers of Jimmy Lyons and Donna Givens.  Jimmy and Donna have both done a great deal for Southwest Alabama, and I wish them well in their retirements.  I also spoke about the lives and legacy of my good friends, Monty and Euber Collins, who sadly passed away this month.  Monty and Euber were pillars of the community and will be sorely missed by those who knew them. 

A National Compact 

Four hundred years ago this month, a group of just over 100 people arrived off the shores of Cape Cod after a two-month sail from England.  They were dissenters from the Church of England like the Puritans but went further by formally separating from the established church they considered to be corrupt beyond repair.  We call them “Pilgrims” although there is only one instance when anyone of them used that word to describe themselves.  That person was William Bradford, the longtime governor of the Plymouth Colony, who borrowed the word from the 11th Chapter of the Book of Hebrews. 

Their arrival that November was not the occasion of the first Thanksgiving.  That came the next year when they had built their homes and brought in their first harvest.  In fact, they spent their first few months in a harsh winter still on their ship, the Mayflower, while their settlement was built. 

Their original destination wasn’t Plymouth but the mouth of the Hudson River where New York City is today, then the northern part of the Virginia Colony, but they were weary after a long journey, running low on provisions and determined to begin the long work of establishing their new home.  That meant they weren’t on land covered by Virginia’s royal charter and so there were no colonial government or laws.  Some on the ship weren’t separatists like the Pilgrims, remaining true to the Church of England, and talked about “using their own liberty”.  These “Strangers,” as the Pilgrims called them, thus threatened the order of the new community. 

So, before they landed, all of the adult male settlers on the ships, Pilgrim and Stranger, reached an agreement we know as the Mayflower Compact under which they organized themselves as a “Civil Body Politic” by which they could “frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices from time to time, as shall be thought meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony.”  They weren’t declaring independence from England but laid out a basis for people to govern themselves in America.  Their example was an inspiration for those who 150 years later would indeed seek independence to form a new American nation with a government based on the consent of the people. 

The Compact was also firmly based on the settlers’ religious beliefs.  It begins with the words “In the Name of God, Amen”, and states frankly that their voyage to America was “undertaken for the Glory of God, and the Advancement of the Christian Faith.”  Yet, as they differed on exactly what their faith meant, they established not a theocracy but a civil government based on the laws made by the settlers themselves.  Their settlement was risky, and their path filled with hard work, privation and danger, but their faith sustained them.  That faith would indeed inspire them to hold a three-day time of thanksgiving a year later after a successful harvest. 

Perhaps, in this time of political polarization, we should renew our compact with each other as members of a great nation.  Understanding our differences, we can yet agree to work with each other through those differences and achieve a successful consensus based upon shared principles and the value of sacrifice and hard work.  As President Lincoln observed, we are the last best hope of earth, a nation founded by and beholden to the people.  We should, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, “pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”  In the Name of God, Amen. 

Byrne Joins Trump in Honoring Veterans 

Byrne Supports Bill Increasing Disaster Funding 

What's Ahead 

It does not appear the House will do much the rest of this Congress.  The two significant pieces of legislation remaining are the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) - a very important piece of legislation for Alabama and our fighting forces - and a government funding bill.  Senate and House conferees are continuing their work to reconcile differences between the versions passed by each chamber.  House and Senate leadership, and top appropriators like Alabama's own Senate Shelby, are working on a government funding deal, but it remains to be seen if we will pass an omnibus bill with updated government spending levels or simply pass another continuing resolution carrying over last year's spending levels.  The deadline is December 11.  Additional coronavirus aid does not look likely this year. 

With the election behind us, my office is no longer permitted to open new cases related to Social Security, Medicare, the VA, the IRS, or unemployment that will not be resolved by the end of my term. I encourage you to contact Senator Richard Shelby’s office at (251) 694-4164 to request his assistance on your behalf. However, as always, if you have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

111620-

Dear Friend, 

The House is back in session today after a 6-week hiatus. Republicans are ready to get back to work for the American people. We would like to pass legislation covering the many areas of agreements between both parties that will address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, that does not appear likely - more on that below in this week's column. 

Today we saw more positive vaccine developments with Moderna announcing their COVID-19 vaccine is nearly 95% effective in clinical trials. This moves us closer towards getting to a "new normal" next year. This has been a difficult year, but we will get through it! 

Much To Do 

Congress returns to Washington this week after a six-week hiatus for the election.  Since the end of July, we have only met for a few weeks, and the work we need to complete has piled up.  This Congress ends at noon on Sunday, January 3 when the new Congress will be sworn in and start all over again as any bills pending from the old Congress die.  Let’s look at what needs to be done between now and then. 

Every year since the Kennedy Administration, Congress passes a National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which authorizes the operations of the U.S. military and our national defense, an obligation of Congress under Article One of the Constitution.  This year’s bill passed out of the House Armed Services Committee on which I sit by a unanimous vote and out of the full House by a huge bipartisan vote.  A Conference Committee will iron out our differences with the Senate bill, and I hope we will vote on the Committee’s report in the next few weeks.  The NDAA is one of the few examples this Congress when we have come together to meet our Constitutional duties. 

I also anticipate that we will vote on the Water Resources Development Act, another bill we regularly pass and which authorizes much of what the Corps of Engineers does for navigation, flood protection and the like. 

But the big two are the funding of the government and a new COVID bill. 

Back in September, Congress passed a bill continuing government spending for the fiscal year that began on October 1 but using the numbers from the previous year.  I wasn’t present for the vote on the bill as I was in the district working on our response to Hurricane Sally.  Had I been there, I would have voted against it because these continuing resolutions are punts as we fail to meet our Constitutional requirement to fund the government.  That bill only runs through December 11, however, and there will be substantial pressure to pass something funding the government beyond that date. 

This has been a source of failure in the past.  You may remember it happened at the end of 2017.  Will we produce an actual appropriations bill or will we pass another continuing resolution taking us into 2021 and the new Congress?  Or, will we have a shutdown?  The appropriations process, like virtually every other legislative endeavor this Congress, is badly broken because Speaker Pelosi refuses to let it work.  There is little effort to work across the aisle or the Capitol, despite good people on both sides and both houses being involved, as the Speaker insists on calling the shots and bypassing the capable leadership on the Appropriations Committee. 

I am pessimistic that we can get a true appropriations bill this Congress and anticipate another continuing resolution will be proposed on or shortly before December 11.  The question is whether that will pass and whether President Trump would sign it if it does.  It’s likely to go down to the wire that week. 

And the outlook for another COVID response bill this Congress looks even worse.  You would think that with the elections out of the way, and having suffered significant election losses among her membership, the Speaker would settle into serious negotiations.  Not so.  In fact after pushing a $2 trillion bill this summer and fall even as the Senate told her that figure was far too high, she has now come back post-election with a bill for spending over $3 trillion.  She is effectively expecting Senator McConnell and the Republican Senate, which seems to be retaining their majority, to bid against themselves.  I don’t know what about Senator McConnell’s leadership of the Senate these last six years would give anyone the thought he would cave into that. 

Indeed, the Speaker’s COVID proposal is really just her way of postponing the discussion until after Inauguration Day when she expects to have a President Biden to help her instead of President Trump.  Once again, her goal is less about helping the American people and more about her own power.  Here we are at the beginning of the worst part of the year for viral diseases and she is punting the passage of a much-needed bill for at least two more months. 

I hope I’m wrong about the Speaker’s posture on these bills, but her performance as Speaker so far has been depressingly consistent.   When the choice is between the needs of the country and her own power, she always chooses the latter. 

We have much to do this Congress and not much time to do it.  I wish we’d break the mold of this Congress, learn from the election results and actually do the jobs we are required to do under the Constitution.  It just doesn’t look like the Speaker wants us to fulfill our responsibilities under the Constitution. 

Byrne Presents Flag to Veteran of the Year Pete Riehm 

Byrne Donates Congressional Records to USA 

What's Ahead 

The House is expected to be in session through Friday before taking off Thanksgiving week.  When we return in December, we will have to ensure we find the government before the December 11th deadline and address all other must-pass legislation before Congress ends at the end of the year.  My staff and I are dedicated to continuing to serve you through the end of this Congress. 

With the election behind us, my office is no longer permitted to open new cases related to Social Security, Medicare, the VA, the IRS, or unemployment that will not be resolved by the end of my term. I encourage you to contact Senator Richard Shelby’s office at (251) 694-4164 to request his assistance on your behalf. However, as always, if you have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

110920-

Dear Friend, 

I'd like to lead off by mentioning the wonderful news that a coronavirus vaccine is showing great promise and moving closer towards approval. As I wrote two weeks ago, we continue making unprecedented progress towards a vaccine, despite constant bemoaning from naysayers. We are not out of the woods yet - that is clear by the news today that coronavirus outbreaks are causing SEC football game postponements or even cancellations. But all Americans should be confident that we will get through this tough period in our nation's history and see brighter days ahead. 

What America Said 

Election Day has come and gone.  Despite the fact that multiple national news sites have “called” the presidential election, court cases and recounts are going forward in several states where the margin is less than 1%, and we don’t yet “know” who was elected president.  By Federal law, all election disputes must be resolved by December 8 and presidential electors must meet and cast their votes for president on December 14.  The ballots will be counted in Congress on January 6.  These are the key dates when we will “know” who will become president on Inauguration Day, January 20.  So, let’s not jump to a conclusion about who won this very close presidential election just yet. 

But, we already know some important things about America from the votes last week. 

Perhaps the most important thing we witnessed was a free and open democracy working.  We take for granted our system for choosing our leaders, but if you look around the world, we shouldn’t.  Even in a very politically divided nation, we held peaceful elections, and even where there are election disputes, we have legal processes for resolving them.  For the most part things have been handled peacefully, except in a few places like Oregon where they apparently don’t need an excuse to riot. 

And, while we are divided for sure, there are some things we have agreement on.  Despite the now predictable assurances from media “analysts” and other so called “experts,” there was no Blue wave, no generational realignment of our body politic.  The media discovered what the rest of us knew: America is not a left leaning nation.  And demographics aren’t destiny.  That’s why an increasing proportion of Blacks and Hispanics are voting their relatively conservative beliefs.  As a nation, we don’t want a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, or defunded law enforcement agencies.  We aren’t socialists or even socialist leaning. 

The elections for the two houses of Congress showed a narrowing majority in each.  With two special elections for Senate pending in Georgia on January 5, it looks likely that Republicans will hold a very narrow majority in the upper body.  That alone guarantees that tax increases, court packing, climate change, government ordered health care, and other far left proposals of a potential Biden-Harris Administration would go nowhere, an accurate reflection of the national mood. 

In the House, the Democrats apparently held their majority, but it will be much reduced as Republicans flipped as many as 15 seats and have net gains of 8 to 12.  During a post-election conference call last week with her members, Speaker Nancy Pelosi proclaimed that the shrunken Democrat conference had a “mandate” even as Democrats on the call excoriated their party’s policies and messages of the last two years.  Don’t let the national media fool you.  This isn’t a struggle between moderate Democrats and liberals because there aren’t any moderate Democrats left in Congress after this year’s primaries.  This is a fight between liberals and socialists, the two groups that now make up Congressional Democrats. 

The Republican side is a very different story.  Though disappointed that we didn’t retake the majority, we are heartened by our gains and believe we will succeed in the 2022 midterms.  Many governorships and state houses were also elected last week, and they will reapportion their states next year with the census numbers from this year, thus determining the makeup of House districts for a decade.  Even though President Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, spent enormous amounts of money to get Democrat control of these state houses nationally, his effort failed and Republicans will be in control of states with far more House seats than the Democrats will.  By Election Day 2022, the map for House elections will be more favorable to Republican candidates than was the case last week.  That Blue wave is actually a firmly rising Red sea in the House. 

I woke up the day after the election both pleased and disappointed.  I wish Republicans had taken the House and had a larger majority in the Senate.  And I truly wish we had a clear victory for President Trump, who may still win in the states with recounts and lawsuits.  But, America once again proved the experts wrong by saying loudly who we are and who we aren’t. 

We aren’t socialists or even liberals.  We don’t want massive change to our Republic.  We won’t let gender, race, religion or any other demographic category define us, because we are a people free to decide for ourselves what we believe and who we will vote for.  We have spoken as a people and we don’t need the news media and entertainment industry to act as if they speak for us. 

And it’s the job of those who are elected to listen to the people of this country and not the out of touch elites on TV and the internet.  Once again, they were wrong.  By their votes the people of America said so. 

Good News for Injured Alabamian 

Byrne: We Will Remain One Nation Under God 

What’s Ahead 

The Senate is working to confirm nominations this week while the House remains in a long recess.  We expect a light legislative agenda once the House reconvenes next week.  Some form of additional coronavirus aid remains a possibility.  Congress must pass a funding bill or extension by December 11.  I also expect a defense authorization bill to pass, which of course is very important to Southwest Alabama. 

With the election behind us, my office is no longer permitted to open new cases related to Social Security, Medicare, the VA, the IRS, or unemployment that will not be resolved by the end of my term. I encourage you to contact Senator Richard Shelby’s office at (251) 694-4164 to request his assistance on your behalf. However, as always, if you have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

101320-

Dear Friend, 

Southwest Alabama fortunately dodged a bullet last week as Hurricane Delta drifted westward before making landfall in Louisiana.  Meanwhile, we are continuing our progress repairing damage from Hurricane Sally.  FEMA mobile units have reopened, but time is running out to register for federal assistance.  Alabama continues to safely open up as relaxed pandemic restrictions have enabled us to begin moving towards normalcy. 

Business and School Lockdowns Don’t Work 

The United States is such a big and diverse country with transparent sources of information and data that we are the world’s lab for various policy practices.  Take the response to COVID-19.  Some states closed down early and hard and stayed that way for a long time.  Others were more judicious about their closure, closing later and with less severity, and came out more quickly.  Those same hard lockdown states have been reticent to reopen schools for in-person learning whereas the more open states have reopened more schools for in person learning. 

Who was right? 

Let’s start with the lockdowns.  In general, the states with the earliest and hardest lockdowns have had the worst economic outcomes.  Think New York and nearby New Jersey, two of the most locked down states in the nation.  New York’s August unemployment rate, for example, was 12.5%, and New Jersey’s was 11%, whereas the national rate was 8.4%.  Here in Alabama, where the lockdown was moderate and we have largely reopened, the August unemployment rate was 5.6%.  New York state government is facing huge deficits while Alabama just finished its fiscal year in the black. 

The defenders of New York and New Jersey’s practices argue that those two states were better at protecting their people from the worst of the disease.  OK, fair enough.  New York’s extreme efforts to protect their people resulted in a case fatality rate of 6.5%, and New Jersey had an even worse fatality rate of 7.5%.  Alabama’s rate?  1.6%.  When your economy is substantially underperforming the U.S. economy and your people are dying at a much faster rate from COVID-19 despite your lockdown, perhaps it’s time to rethink things. 

Last week, led by three leading public health experts, over 13,000 epidemiologists, public health scientists and health care practitioners from all over the world signed a petition calling for the lockdowns to end and for the world to return to a new normal, citing the physical and mental health issues caused by the lockdown policies.  The World Health Organization echoed this call a few days later. 

And schools?  I’ve advocated for a return to in-person learning going back to this past July based upon data, reports and testimony those of us on the House Education and Labor Committee had received.  In-person learning returned for many students around the country, and here in Alabama, in August.  Many of the “experts” warned of spikes in the disease among those returning to school and made dire threats of these spikes spreading to older adults.  Well, it’s two months later and experts such as Emily Oster of Brown University agree there has been no spike in the disease among these students.  You can find a short article she wrote on her findings in the Atlantic Monthly dated October 9.  Yet, as I noted in July, those students not returning to school in person face lifelong losses in learning, a point no one has argued with. 

So the verdict is in.  Economic and societal shutdowns which have wrecked parts of our country and the world should be reduced to only those circumstances which clearly place people at great risk.  This would include continued limitations on mass indoor gatherings, but a lessening of restrictions on outdoor events where people can spread out and on large indoor meetings where people can spread out.  Restaurants, which have been opened for over five months now in Alabama, should open everywhere, including for indoor dining, and retail should be reopened everywhere as well.  Travel restrictions should be lifted except for countries with exceptionally high rates of the disease in recent weeks, and for those with little transparency.  I have been traveling these last few months without any problem and our travel and tourist industries need to come back. 

And schools should reopen everywhere for students to return for in-person learning.  I am proud to report that as of the beginning of this month that is true for all schools in southwest Alabama.  Again, that has been the case in many schools across Alabama for two months without a serious spike in the disease.  In-person education is clearly far superior to virtual learning and those who have the most to lose are poor students as well as children of color.  Without in-person education they will slide even further behind, and their educational deficit is the main driver of inequality in America. 

I’m aware that some parts of the U.S. are led by people who simply won’t open up.  I believe in federalism and that is their prerogative.  But, the rest of us shouldn’t bail them out as the Democrats have demanded in Washington.  If they want to stay closed and are suffering as a result, they shouldn’t expect the rest of the country to enable their poor choices. 

Shutting down doesn’t work.  So, it’s time, it’s past time, to open up, carefully and safely.  And now we know that opening up actually does work. 

Byrne Presents American Flag to Point Clear Rotary 

Hurricane Sally Assistance Remains Available 

What’s Ahead 

The House is in a long recess called by Speaker Pelosi, so all the action is in the Senate. Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination hearing to the Supreme Court began this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  She has already dazzled with her brilliant mind and sharp intellect.  I expect her confirmation soon, and she will serve on the court for years faithfully adhering to the law and our constitution.  Senator McConnell has also suggested he will move forward on coronavirus bills on areas where Democrats and Republicans agree, but Speaker Pelosi, not wanting to give Republicans a win before the election, has said this is a non-starter for her. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

100720- UPDATE RE: HURRICANE SALLY AND HURRICANE DELTA 

Dear Friend, 

While many of us are still working to repair damage from Hurricane Sally, another hurricane is brewing in the Gulf. Right now, Hurricane Delta is projected to hit west of us, but we know all too well how a storm can change its path and intensity before landfall.  Now is the time to prepare.  Governor Ivey has ordered an evacuation for non-residents in the area. 

If you have suffered damage from Sally and not done so already, I encourage you to register with FEMA. You may also be available for FEMA assistance if you have been forced to move or evicted. We’ve already had 49,101 registrations in the designated counties of Baldwin, Escambia, and Mobile. 

The federal government wasted no time in moving to provide assistance to individuals. So far, FEMA has approved $18,451,585 in housing assistance and $6,260,827 in other needs. And more than $10 million in disaster loans have been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration for Alabama businesses and residents. 

Although we have made great progress in fighting it, the coronavirus is still out there. For weeks, Speaker Pelosi and her members have chosen not to make a reasonable deal on COVID-19 relief for the American people. She has refused to negotiate in good-faith on an agreement that would provide critical assistance to the American people. Just look at the details of the partisan wish list bill the House passed last week. Even 16 Democrats voted against it, and no Republicans! It appears we will not see a comprehensive bill until after the election. 

A Do Nothing Congress 

Congress was sent home by Speaker Pelosi last Friday without securing a deal with the White House or the Senate on the next COVID bill.  While we were told we might get a 24-hours’ notice to return, our calendar doesn’t show us coming back to Washington until November 16. 

 President Truman ran against the Republican majority 80th Congress (1947-49) as the “Do Nothing Congress” because it considered but refused to pass his “Fair Deal” program of liberal government initiatives as a follow on to President Roosevelt’s “New Deal.”  In actuality, the 80th Congress was a very active one, passing major legislation including aid to Greece and Turkey as they faced Soviet-backed Communist insurgencies and the Marshall Plan, both significant parts of Truman’s anti-Communist program.  They also passed the Taft-Hartley Act, which revised the National Labor Relations Act, and the National Security Act, a dramatic reorganization of U.S. defense and security efforts, including the creation of the Department of Defense, the Air Force, the CIA, and the National Security Council. 

The 116th Congress hasn’t come close to matching that level of legislative production.  We spent virtually all last year on hearings regarding the Mueller investigation and the Democrats’ failed attempt to have President Trump removed from office.  This year we had the sorry spectacle of the Speaker ripping up her copy of the President’s State of the Union address and then a hurried flight from Washington in the Spring and continuing into the summer. 

We have passed four COVID bills which have been important to the national response to the disease and its effects on the economy, but nothing else of such national importance.  We wasted a Saturday session in August on a false issue regarding the Postal Service (see how quickly that’s been forgotten) and chased our tails on numerous messaging bills that have no chance in the Senate.  For its part, the Senate continues to confirm new conservative judges for the Federal judiciary because it doesn’t need the House to do that. 

Pelosi did push yet another of her COVID bills last week which barely passed after 16 of her own members voted against it.  The Senate won’t take it up, however, as it contains a host of non-COVID policies like marijuana banking and because it cuts funding to law enforcement (“Defund the Police” the Democrats say) while providing too much money to blue state and local governments which have totally mismanaged their COVID response. 

We actually ended the week on a resolution condemning the QAnon conspiracy theory which was hardly an issue worth House attention during a pandemic.  And then we left for six weeks. 

I wasn’t elected to Congress to waste time, and my first five years were largely productive even when the House had a Republican majority and Barack Obama was President.  But these last two years have been a waste in the House because of Speaker Pelosi’s choice to use our valuable time on pointless failed attacks on President Trump and totally unrealistic messaging bills—that is, when she hasn’t sent us away from Washington for weeks at a time. 

I don’t know what to predict when we return in November.  It probably depends on who wins the elections.  But if past is prologue, we in the House will end this Congress not with a bang but with wearied and loud gridlock, doing little or nothing, a true “Do Nothing Congress." 

D-SNAP Approved for Southwest Alabamians 

Byrne: Good News for Snapper Fishermen 

What’s Ahead 

Speaker Pelosi recessed the House last week with no intention of putting us back to work until after the election.  The main show in Washington over the next month will take place in the Senate as Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court moves forward.  It is possible we see piecemeal coronavirus aid bills, but so far Speaker Pelosi has blocked legislation even on areas where Democrats and Republicans agree. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

 

092920- UPDATE RE: HURRICANE SALLY

Dear Friend, 

From Dauphin Island to the Styx River and everywhere in between, it seems all of Southwest Alabama has been in recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally.  It wasn’t just the coastal areas of our district who received damage.  All of our communities have been working to get back up and running. 

I’ve been in constant coordination with federal agencies and our state and local leaders.  Already, FEMA has provided over $12 million in assistance to survivors of Hurricane Sally in Baldwin, Escambia, and Mobile counties. This week, they are offering in-person assistance as well.  Click here for more information.  Remember, if you need assistance, register with FEMA online at http://DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362.  My column from last week has more information on aid that may be available to you.  Remember, unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of those in need of assistance.  Federal and state workers will never solicit or accept money and will always carry identification, so don’t be afraid to ask.  If you have knowledge of fraud, waste or abuse, you can report tips 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or by emailing disaster@leo.gov.  And if you believe you or a loved one has become a victim of a scam or identity theft, report it immediately to your local police or sheriff’s department, or contact the office of the Alabama Attorney General. 

In Washington, Judge Amy Coney Barrett has been nominated by President Trump to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Today Judge Barrett began meeting with individual Senators.  Her nomination hearing will begin October 12 before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  I have more to say on her nomination below in this week’s column. 

Here in the House, Speaker Pelosi formally unveiled Democrats’ latest partisan legislative proposal on COVID-19 relief last night.  Rather than a targeted bill that could actually pass, the Speaker’s bill includes many of the same priorities as her radical wish list that was opposed by more than a dozen members of her own party.  It calls for protections for cannabis businesses and provides taxpayer resources for blue states that were already in a fiscal mess before the pandemic hit.  The Speaker did not consult or negotiate with Republicans before putting this legislation forward, proving that it’s not a serious proposal meant to pass, but a political effort designed to give her vulnerable members cover.  Meanwhile, the Trump Administration has taken the lead in providing aid to Americans. 

A New Supreme Court Justice 

On the Friday night after Hurricane Sally passed, while many of us down here were still digging out and cleaning up and without electrical power, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.  As an attorney, Justice Ginsberg was a leading advocate for women’s rights and gender equality.  She was placed on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 and on the Supreme Court as its first Jewish woman by President Bill Clinton in 1993.  Though small in physical stature, she became a liberal giant on the Court particularly with her dissenting opinions.  In her later years she became a cultural icon. 

Immediately, the liberal mainstream media and Democrat senators demanded that President Trump wait to name a successor, insisting that whoever is elected president this fall should make that decision, obviously hoping that president will be Joe Biden.  The irony is that they  had nothing but good things to say about President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to take Justice Antonin Scalia’s place in the last year of the Obama-Biden Administration and pushed the Republican Senate majority to confirm him prior to the presidential election that year. 

Article II of the Constitution clearly states that the president has the power to nominate “Judges of the Supreme Court” with “the Advice and Consent of the Senate.”  There is no question President Trump has the power to nominate Justice Ginsberg’s successor, and there is no question the Senate has to consent to the appointment, a process which typically involves the Judiciary Committee holding hearings and then a vote to advance the appointee to the Senate floor for a final vote.  In over half of the nominations to the Supreme Court in the history of our country the time period between nomination and the final vote on confirmation has been 45 days or less.  For Judge Ginsburg it was 44 days.  Until after World War II, some of our most illustrious justices were confirmed in a matter of just days. 

This past Saturday, President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to replace Justice Ginsberg.  A former law professor at the University of Notre Dame who specialized in Constitutional law and statutory interpretation and was named “Distinguished Professor of the Year” three times, Judge Barrett has impeccable credentials to serve on the Supreme Court.  So, why is the mainstream media and all Democrat senators, including our own Doug Jones, so indignant that President Trump would nominate and the Senate timely consider her for confirmation? 

First of all, she’s a Trump appointee, and the Left has gone crazy that he’s already appointed two Supreme Court justices and over 200 circuit and district court judges, all young and all with strong conservative bona fides, thus remaking the Federal judiciary and the course of the law for a generation.  Judge Barrett would make a previously close 5-4 Supreme Court a stronger conservative 6-3 court.  That’s truly a big deal.  And the Left is particularly offended by the fact Judge Barrett is a woman – a strong, smart, accomplished woman who doesn’t follow the Leftist line. 

Second, she has a strong faith and isn’t bashful about living that faith.  A Roman Catholic, she has traditional personal views on many issues, including abortion.  She and her husband have seven children, two adopted from Haiti and another with Down syndrome.  During her confirmation hearing for her present position she was attacked because of her faith.  Senator Dianne Feinstein of California said to Judge Barrett, “the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern.”  Since when has faith been belittled to “dogma” and since when has being a Catholic been “a concern?”  I thought we left that behind when John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960.  The attacks on her faith are of even more concern because Article VI of the Constitution prohibits the use of a religious test for any public office, and the First Amendment protects everyone’s right to freely “exercise” their faith.  And Judge Barrett has repeatedly made the distinction between her beliefs and her obligation as a judge to follow the law. 

Third, Judge Barrett is an originalist in her approach to interpreting the Constitution and laws passed by Congress.  That means she interprets the words according to the way they would have been meant at the time the Constitutional provision or statute was passed.  Otherwise, the court is placing its own or modern society’s understanding on the words, in effect judicially amending the law.  The Constitution has provisions for amending it, but those don’t include the courts doing so, and only Congress can amend its laws.  The Left wants to get around the difficulty of the amendment process by allowing judges, typically very liberal judges, to interpret the law as they like, thus expanding government far beyond the intent of those who wrote and ratified the Constitution and its amendments, and far beyond what Congress intended in passing its laws. 

President Trump has the clear Constitutional power to make this nomination, and history is a clear guide that, even in a presidential election year, a nominee can be confirmed in a matter of weeks, even days.  He has nominated an outstanding, well credentialed circuit judge for the position, and she should get a thorough vetting but not a delayed vote on the floor of the Senate.  I’m looking forward to Judge Barrett’s service on the Supreme Court. 

Agriculture Secretary Visits Alabama 

Byrne Hosts Area Legislator Discussion on Recovery 

What’s Ahead 

The House is in session this week, probably for the last time until after the election.  Speaker Pelosi has almost cleared her slate of messaging bills for the year, so she will give her members the next month to campaign.  It is unfortunate we accomplished so little even when there were areas of bipartisan agreement that went ignored by Speaker Pelosi.  We should know by tomorrow if we will be voting on her latest COVID-19 bill which, sadly, is not a serious effort to make a law. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

090320-

Dear Friend, 

I hope you’ve enjoyed your August as much as I have! Its been a busy and productive district work period for me traveling across Southwest Alabama, although COVID restrictions have required many of the meetings and visits traditionally done in person to be done over the phone or a laptop. Nevertheless, my staff and I have continued working hard for you. 

One of the highlights was visiting our friends with the Baldwin EMA to learn more about their hurricane preparedness efforts. I also was excited to introduce the bipartisan School Choice Now Act with Congressman Lipinski to help students and schools suffering from coronavirus pandemic challenges. We were also able to secure a positive tariff decision to protect the men and women working at Airbus. And I had a great productive conversation with the new Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite about the importance of continuing to grow the fleet and ensuring our shipbuilding industrial base remains strong. 

We’ve had many other good developments for our district over the past month. ArcelorMittal announced a new expansion that will bring new jobs our district. Jack Edwards National Airport received a $5.3 million grant for construction of a new contract tower, a longtime priority for our region. We are one step closer to relocating commercial air traffic to Brookley Aeroplex near downtown Mobile. The US Treasury’s Office of Gulf Coast Restoration announced plans to award a RESTORE Act grant of $9,989,313 to construct the Three Mile Creek Greenway Trail, a useable greenspace will make Mobile even more beautiful. And Alabama schools will be receiving 2.4 million masks from the Trump administration to keep students and teachers safe as schools reopen their doors. 

August also saw the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote. As the summer winds down and election season heats up, let’s remember the importance of exercising our right to vote. 

Another coronavirus aid deal has been elusive so far (more on that below), but legislation Congress has already passed continues to help Americans. For example, PPP loans have saved over 600,000 Alabama jobs during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Finally, I was pleased to announce that Seth Morrow has taken over my Chief of Staff.  Many you gotten to know Seth over the years, and he shares my commitment ensuring the best service possible to the people of Southwest Alabama. 

The Better Angels of Our Nature 

It’s disheartening to see this summer’s protests turn so very violent.  Indeed, last Friday’s peaceful march in Washington, a small protest in Mobile on Saturday, and the University of Alabama football team’s Tuscaloosa march on Monday, have been overwhelmed by violent clashes in places like Portland, Oregon.  There is no message in this violence, just hate, injury, and death. 

We saw videos last week of protesters physically accosting people in Washington trying to have a quiet meal in outdoor cafes and nearly attacking members of Congress leaving the President’s speech at the White House.  A pro-Trump caravan in Portland was met by violent counter-protesters and one of the caravanners was killed.  Later an Antifa member said she wasn’t saddened by the death and was cheered by counter-protesters for saying it.  These violent acts, and sick apologies for them, are not about protesting racism or bigotry but about hatred and lawlessness that seem to be spreading around the country. 

Let me be clear.  Those protesting peacefully for social justice have a right to do so and I have been listening to them.  But those who disagree with them also have a right to peacefully respond and we should hear them out as well, whether we agree with them or not.  There is no justification for responding physically or violently.  Nor is there any justification for vigilantism, which we have also seen. 

We need more leaders to speak out against this violence.  But Democrat leaders have chosen to stay quiet.  Why?  It’s not that they approve of the violence, because I don’t think that they do.  But the political environment on the Left is such that even criticizing protest violence can get you “cancelled.”  The socialist takeover of the Left’s ideology, and their condemnation of America as inherently evil and systemically racist, have put Democrat leaders in a bind.  The Left is convinced that the evil that is America must be destroyed and replaced.  Their leaders dare not openly disagree, so they stand by as some of their allies on the Left burn, loot, attack law enforcement officers, and kill conservatives. 

Well, they haven’t all been mute.  Speaker Pelosi last week decided to attack President Trump – and those of us in Congress who support him – as “domestic enemies,” language which actually greenlights the Leftwing violence we saw in Portland.  My friend Steve Scalise, who was severely wounded and nearly died three years ago at the hands of a Leftwing shooter, justifiably called her out for it.  The national news media mostly tried to ignore the story.  Imagine if President Trump had said that about her and Democrats in Congress.  The Democrats and their allies in the national news media would have howled.  But we got silence from them on Pelosi’s totality inappropriate comment, as we have about the violence around the country in general. 

There is a very moving video you can find on YouTube.  It’s a short clip of Robert F. Kennedy in Indianapolis the night Martin Luther King was assassinated.  It’s hard to be sure, but the audience appears to be mostly Black, and it seems they had not heard the news until Kennedy told them.  You can hear the shocked reaction in the crowd.  In impromptu remarks he said “it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in.”  He told the audience “you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge,” but called upon them “to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.”   He didn’t see America as evil – he said that the vast majority of Americans, of all races, “want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings who abide in our land." 

Where is that voice today?  You don’t hear it from Joe Biden or Kamala Harris.  You hear the opposite from Nancy Pelosi.  Biden only responded to the violence this week after being called out for his silence, and you didn’t hear Kennedy’s impromptu and sincere eloquence, just a strained effort to denounce violence and blame President Trump for it.  He spoke only in the manner least unacceptable to his base. 

I’m not a leader at their level, but I will use my smaller voice and speak out plainly. 

Enough.  Please put an end to the violence.  Put down the weapons, the rocks and bricks, the plastic bottles with frozen water inside.  Stop setting fire to buildings and cars.  Looting is not “reparations,” it’s a crime perpetrated against innocent business owners.  Quit attacking law enforcement officers, the vast majority of whom are just doing their very difficult jobs under these terrible circumstances.  If you disagree with one side or the other that’s okay, but try to hear what they are saying and please don’t physically confront them or innocent bystanders or public officials.  And we don’t need vigilantes – let law enforcement officers do their job. 

We all should try harder to be one nation out of the many who live here.  Read the last paragraph of President Lincoln’s First Inaugural delivered just weeks before the Civil War began.  “We are not enemies, but friends,” he said.  “We must not be enemies.  Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.”  And then he closed by poetically conjuring the “mystic chords of memory” which he hoped “would yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." 

Both Kennedy and Lincoln were ultimately assassinated, but their words and spirits live on.  Let us in our own time live up to their examples, touched by the better angels of our nature. 

Byrne and Librarian of Congress Discuss Pandemic Resources for Students 

Congressman Bradley Byrne recorded a Facebook Live discussion with the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, on the education challenges facing parents, students, and teachers during the coronavirus pandemic and Library of Congress digital resources available to help.  Also joining to discuss the library’s extensive digital resources is Lee Ann Potter, director of the library’s Office of Learning and Innovation. 

Congressman Byrne said: "We are all concerned with making sure that our children get the education they need and deserve as we go through this pandemic, and I’m extremely grateful to Dr. Hayden and her staff for offering resources to help make sure our children get the very best education possible." 

Dr. Hayden said: “We understand that this is a challenging time in this new digital environment and so we want to make sure the Library of Congress’ resources were developed and available in ways that are engaging but also that will give everyone an opportunity to get into this treasure chest.” 

The recorded video includes discussions of positive steps schools have taken to adapt this fall and how can the library can assist them, resources to help parents struggling to balance jobs and childcare, and the multiple library resources for teachers. 

Click here to access the many resources the library has, including the Library’s new website for public programming,  activities specific to families, best practices for using the Library’s online education resources in virtual classrooms, an online tour and discussion of the Library’s current exhibits, and much more. 

Byrne Opposes Pelosi’s Partisan Post Office Bill 

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) released the following statement opposing the House Democrats’ alarmist U.S. Postal Service bill designed to sow discord before the November election. 

Byrne said: "Speaker Pelosi has reached a new low for political posturing in a Congress that will be forever known for Democrats’ total and complete focus on defeating Donald Trump, not solving problems for the American people.  Today’s bill is in response to an imagined crisis that would undo changes at the Post Office that have already been undone and spend money the Post Office does not even need right now.  Instead of going through the proper committee processes and actually making reforms to the bloated, antiquated Postal Service, Speaker Pelosi is throwing more taxpayer money at her allies and once again seeking to undermine President Trump.  The American people deserve better than a House of Representatives that totally abdicates its responsibility to govern in order to seek more political power." 

What’s Ahead 

The House is scheduled to return September 14.  Unfortunately, it does not appear a coronavirus aid bill, certainly not one with the chance of becoming law, will be offered in the House.  Speaker Pelosi has calculated - wrongly, in my view - that Democrats will be helped in November if she does not compromise on additional coronavirus legislation.  As such, look for more politically charged messaging bills designed to excite her base. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

063020-

Dear Friend, 

Last week efforts for a law enforcement reform bill died when Senate Democrats blocked efforts to even have a debate on a bill.  This came a day after House Democrats passed their own partisan bill without any input from Republicans.  It is frustrating that we can't put politics aside to make progress on an issue where we agree on 90 percent of what needs to be done, but that is Washington.  I hope we don't let this setback keep us from fighting for a more just society.  Without doubt, we are fortunate to live in such a great country. As Martin Luther King said, the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. 

Our Sacred Honor 

This weekend America will celebrate its 244th birthday.  Unfortunately, we do so in a time of a pandemic, a struggling economy, and violent protests.  But, it’s still our birthday and we should both commemorate and celebrate it. 

We usually do a good job in our celebration, although this year will be different since social distancing means we’ll be in smaller groups and public fireworks displays have been cancelled.  I suspect most of us will find a way to gather with family and close friends to cook out and show the red, white, and blue. 

But, a commemoration is more than that.  Merriam-Webster defines “commemorate” as “to call to remembrance” or “to serve as a memorial of.”   How many of us will stop and remember what it meant for the Second Continental Congress to not only declare our independence from Britain but also to state our reasons for doing so in majestic language positing the highest ideals? 

Let me make a suggestion.  This Fourth, get a copy of the Declaration and read it.  My extended family and friends usually get together and have several of us read the various portions of the Declaration out loud and talk about its meaning.  It doesn’t take much time and we always experience a renewed appreciation for the gift that is our country.  This year we will do it virtually, in smaller groups. 

The Declaration was meant to be read out loud.  Indeed, on July 4, Congress not only voted to accept it but also provided for its distribution to the states and the Continental Army.  On July 6, John Hancock, as President of Congress, sent letters to the states and to General Washington enclosing broadsides of the Declaration requesting that they have it “proclaimed.”  It was read out loud to celebrations in dozens of cities and towns in July and August, and to the Continental Army on July 9 as it prepared for the British Invasion of New York. 

To some extent these events were meant to inform and inspire the people of a newly independent nation.  But then, and now, the Declaration is a defining document.  It not only said we were an independent nation but also who we aspired to be.  Freedom and equality were to be at the heart of the nation’s character.  And the rights stated in the Declaration—life liberty and the pursuit of happiness—are clearly labeled gifts from God himself to all of us. 

The story of our country is really the unfolding of the efforts to live up to these aspirations.  President Lincoln used it as a primary basis for arguing against slavery, as in the Gettysburg Address where he famously said, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”  As a result of the Civil War these ideals were enshrined in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. 

Martin Luther King used it in his 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech, referring to the Declaration and the Constitution as a promissory note to all Americans which he and others in the Civil Rights Movement called upon the nation to honor.  As a result of the Movement, Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and in 1965 the Voting Rights Act. 

I know it is fashionable now among our nation’s elites to view America as evil from our birth, evil in our institutions, and evil in our character.  That view is a myth, untethered to the reality of our history.  This myth is just a false preamble to lay the groundwork for their efforts to radically reorganize our society and have government run every detail of our lives, all the while piling tax upon tax on us.  Isn’t this type of government what caused the founders to declare independence in the first place?  These elites call themselves “progressive,” but their plan is actually a regression to a tyrannical central government taxing us against our will. 

Despite our faults, some of which have been grievous, we are a nation established upon the highest ideals and which has the strength of its character and institutions to self-correct as we strive toward those ideals.  Our history repeatedly demonstrates that is who we are. 

David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian, several years ago told a gathering of those of us in Congress that Americans would be more hopeful if we only knew our history.  How true.  Complicated and contradictory, yes, but it is also a history of spectacular success and of a major force for good, here and abroad. 

So, this week let’s celebrate and commemorate who we are.  Let’s pause in the middle of our present troubles to renew our pride as Americans and draw lessons from our founding and history for the resolution of the issues of the day.  And let us, like our founders, “mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” 

Byrne Speaks in Support of Justice Act 

Byrne Praises Bama Football Message of Unity 

What's Ahead 

The House will continue to debate H.R. 2, the Democrats' "My Way or the Highway Act" this week.  Two fifths of this massive $1.5 trillion surface transportation bill does not even go towards infrastructure but instead to a grab bag of unrelated and costly Green New Deal mandates on taxpayers, businesses, drivers and consumers.  The highway bill is traditionally relatively bipartisan in Congress, but that is not the way Speaker Pelosi runs the show.  The Senate is continuing to work on the committee level on less partisan surface transportation authorization bills. 

The House Armed Services Committee is marking up a National Defense Authorization Act this week.  The NDAA sets policy and authorizes funding for the entire United States military and is important for Alabama too.  I serve on the committee, and our committee leaders have managed to put together a solid bipartisan effort so far.  As we vote on amendments, I will fight for a bill that will serve our national interests and not get sidetracked by partisan politics. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

061620-

Dear Friend, 

This year has been trying for all of us.  However, there has been some good economic news lately.  Through the Paycheck Protection Program, Alabama small businesses have received over 62,000 loans totaling well over $6 billion!  Without question, the PPP program has been successful in providing a bridge to many small businesses, but more work remains to be done as we continuing to further open our local economies. 

Keeping Our Heads 

These last few weeks have riveted the country’s attention on police brutality.  The murder of George Floyd was an atrocity, and unfortunately it’s not the first one.  As we have so often in our history, it’s time for America to respond with appropriate and reasonable reform.  It’s not time to lose our heads, however. 

The “defund the police” movement is not the answer.  My colleagues Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia, all members of the Congressional Black Caucus, spoke out against it last week.  Ms. Norton said that the poorest of the people she represents live in the parts of town that experience the most homicides and crime.  “I’m not sure I would hear them saying we ought to reduce the number of police, I may hear them saying just the opposite,” she said. 

Neither does it make sense to paint all of law enforcement with a broad and negative brush.  We all need law enforcement and we are blessed that the vast majority of our officers are good professionals, often doing their jobs under dangerous circumstances.  Last year 89 officers died in the line of duty in the U.S.  Many more were injured.  Most of us don’t work in a job where it is unclear whether we will return home at the end of the day safe and sound.  But they do. 

It is undeniable, however, that there are rogue officers treating black people unprofessionally, injuring and, yes, even killing them.  That’s not acceptable.  We need to make reforms to our law enforcement system, and some of those reforms will indeed cost more, not less, money. 

This issue is primarily a local one as that is where most law enforcement officers work.  Better and stricter standards, better training on those standards, and better discipline of officers who act outside those standards, all must occur locally. 

There are some things we can do at the Federal level, however, and there are a number of recent proposals.  I believe there is a significant level of concern across both parties and enough consensus around some of the proposals that we should be able to pass a bill which is broadly bipartisan.  The fact that the Democrats filed their bill with no effort to consult and work with Republicans, indeed against direct appeals to include us, is very disappointing, but we can’t let that stop us from finding common ground, without which there will be no change in the law. 

We are presently scheduled to vote on a police reform bill next week, and while the Democrats have filed this purely partisan bill, I hope there will be a real opportunity for dialogue. 

I support a Federal ban on lynching, and we should condition Federal grants to local law enforcement on adherence to higher standards, particularly on the use of force.  More Federal money should go for training to these higher standards.  We need to collect and report more and timely information on the use of force and more Federal money should go to pay for body cameras.  We should ban racial profiling but do it in such a manner that the ban wouldn’t preclude the appropriate use of information about specific suspects or specific crimes. 

I’m open to discussing some reform to the legal doctrine of “qualified immunity” which shields law enforcement officers from legal action when they are acting in the line of duty.  The doctrine needs more clarity which a well-drawn statute could bring.  But I oppose outright repeal because that would leave officers who have acted appropriately the subjects of endless lawsuits which would likely result in these officers pulling back from doing their jobs. 

For this same reason I am concerned about lowering the standard for criminal actions against law enforcement under the Civil Rights statutes.  Presently, prosecutions against law enforcement officers require proof that the officer acted “willfully,” but some of the new proposals would lower that to proof of “reckless disregard.”  Go look at the legal definition of the latter and it will leave you scratching your head as to what the courts mean.  You don’t want a law enforcement officer in the middle of a violent situation, where he is present to protect innocent lives, to be scratching his head.  If we are going to change that standard at all it needs to be very clear and precise. 

Go back to what Ms. Norton said.  Who is going to be harmed the most if law enforcement pulls back, if they retreat from their duty?  It’s the poor, who are all too often the victims of crime and are also likely to be from a racial minority. 

Let’s say it plainly.  Black people are of equal moral value as white people.  It’s Biblical, it’s American.  And to treat people differently based on their race is morally and legally repugnant.  To injure or kill them for the same reason goes against everything we stand for. 

We are Americans, Black, White, Asian, and Hispanic.  We are liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, and everything in between.  All of us are the beneficiaries of the American system of justice, however imperfect it may seem, because it’s the ultimate expression of civilization.  Due process, the equal application of the law, limits on the power of the state (that includes law enforcement), and the basic principles and of our common humanity underlie this system. 

We stand with one another.  With black people wronged by rogue law enforcement officers.  With the vast majority of law enforcement who throw themselves at danger to protect us and conduct themselves with professionalism and with little pay. 

And we should do all this using, not losing, our heads. 

Byrne Supports Continued Troop Presence in Germany 

Byrne Praises RSC National Security Strategy 

What's Ahead 

Tomorrow morning Senate Republicans are expected to release a policing reform proposal led by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.  It remains to be seen how long the Senate will debate this legislation.  The House is in recess this week, but House Democrats have announced that they will move forward with a vote sometime next week when we return to Washington. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

060120-

Dear Friend, 

We had a short but historic week in Washington as the House convened Wednesday before gaveling out the very next day. Unfortunately, the history we made was not good.  For the first time, the House allowed Congressmen to stay home and designate their voting privileges to their colleagues.  Its a sad day when millions of Americans have to show up to work but their elected representatives shirk their duties while getting paid. 

There was at least some good news as the House voted Thursday 417-1 to pass legislation that provides additional flexibility to small businesses that have been approved for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program.  The Senate must still pass the bill before it becomes law. 

Of course, most of America has been following developments after the tragic death of George Floyd.  I hope you will join me in praying for our country during this trying time. 

A More Perfect Union 

I was a young teenager in the late 1960s, but I remember the riots and violence that occurred around the country, and especially in the large cities.  I was concerned that we were headed down that road again with racial violence around the country in the summer of 2016, President Obama’s last year in office.  Over the previous several years we had become an extremely divided country, a clear failure of our national leaders.  That seemed ironic inasmuch as President Obama’s election eight years earlier was supposed to have ushered in a new golden era of unity and prosperity. 

This past week, as the nation continued to reopen from the extreme social distancing suddenly thrown on us in the early spring, an ugly incident in Minneapolis involving a white law enforcement officer arresting a black man ended with yet another death, and now a criminal case against the officer.  The response has been arson, looting, and violence in many cities around the nation.  Unfortunately, we had similar incidents in Birmingham and, to a lesser extent, Mobile. 

Despair is a strong human emotion and triggers extreme behavior, which all too often results in the destruction of private property owned by people who had nothing to do with the event at issue, and in personal injury or even death to innocent parties.  We saw all that last week as well as reports that some groups helped instigate the violence. 

The violence detracted from the message the vast majority of the protesters tried to deliver peacefully.  They have rights under the First Amendment to the Constitution to peacefully assemble, speak out publicly, and petition their government.  No one has a right to commit arson, loot, or engage in violence, and those that did hurt the efforts of those who were peaceful. 

Our country has had a tough year.  We began with a failed impeachment trial in the Senate and flawed Democrat presidential caucuses, but also with some of the best economic numbers in over 50 years.  Indeed, they were the best ever for black Americans who were enjoying record low unemployment and rising wages.  Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and our leaders, on advice from public health officials, ordered extreme social distancing, which shut down significant parts of our economy.  That cost 40 million Americans their jobs, including 500,000 in Alabama and over 70,000 in my congressional district.  The negative effect on our economy has been record breaking and so very sudden.  The jobs and incomes of black people have been particularly hard hit.  Of course that affected people emotionally. 

Many people are fearful of COVID and some of us should be, particularly if we are elderly or have a CDC-listed underlying health condition.  Black people in Alabama have suffered disproportionately to their share of the population.  While only 27% of the Alabama population is black, 44% of all Alabama COVID deaths have been among black people.  We should all understand the fear that causes. 

Yes, we need to continue to work with law enforcement so that they can continue doing the dangerous job of protecting us in a way that’s safer for everyone.  The vast majority of law enforcement play by the rules and respect people, and I want to compliment Chief Battiste and the Mobile Police Department for their professionalism during the Mobile protests.  But there is no room for anyone in law enforcement to overstep appropriate processes and procedures.  One atrocity is one too many. 

This past weekend, the national news media was almost totally focused on this violence around the country.  Lost in all their coverage was the thrilling launch of a pair of astronauts on a US rocket for the first time in nine years, which successfully took them to the International Space Station.  I will never forget Apollo 8’s 1968 Christmas Eve telecast, the first from lunar orbit, when the astronauts read from Genesis, and Apollo 11’s July 1969 landing on the moon’s surface.  Widely broadcast by the media and watched by record numbers, the space program was a source of great pride and unity at a time when we really needed it. 

Back then, the national media actually believed that their mission included telling us the good things about our country, while reporting on the not so good things, like inequality and riots.  In our present time, the national media acts as if its main role is to fan discontent and disunity. 

Racial issues and violence weren’t the only negative stories from the late 1960s.  The world faced a severe pandemic from H3N2 flu, which killed 100,000 Americans in 1968 and 1969.  We were a smaller country then, so that would be like losing 140,000 Americans now.  We didn’t shut our country down and the news media didn’t obsess over it.  We dealt with it even as we struggled with inequality and put humans on the moon. 

We’re capable of so much more in this country but only if we remember that one of the stated purposes of our Constitution is “to create a more perfect union.”  That’s not a one and done thing, it’s a generation after generation thing.  This generation must do its part by unifying to solve our problems while celebrating our many achievements. 

Byrne Sues Pelosi to Stop Unconstitutional Power Grab 

Byrne Calls Out Fake News Hypocrisy 

In Case You Missed It 

"Bradley Byrne: Tough times show what makes our country great." AL Today 

"Alabamians support NASA mission returning astronauts to space from American soil." Yellowhammer News 

"Gulf Shores accepts $5.3 million for air traffic control tower." OBA Website 

"Byrne sues Speaker Pelosi to stop House rule changes." AL Reporter 

Photo of the Week 

Saturday was a legendary day for our nation as NASA and SpaceX launched astronauts to the International Space Station. The United States has taken a great step towards furthering our space dominance! 

What's Ahead 

The Democrat majority has revised the House schedule for the rest of the year and we are expected to be in recess for most of the month of June.  Our committee work will continue, and I will continue to show up to work in Washington so that I can advocate for your interests as I was elected to do.  It is possible the House could return to session to vote on more coronavirus legislation, a FISA reauthorization compromise, or even spending bills. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

052620-

 

Dear Friend, 

I hope you and your family were able to enjoy an unusual Memorial Day weekend.  Despite the challenges we've been facing, together we will get through this.  We have more to do to continue opening our local economies, but I'm glad that Alabamians and visitors to our state are now able to enjoy our beautiful beaches! 

I was planning to be in Washington last week to participate in a Workforce Protections Subcommittee hearing on the federal government's response to the coronavirus, but Democrats postponed the hearing with less than a day's notice.  The hearing will now take place this week, and I will be on the job and in person in Washington to represent you. 

Tough Times Show What Makes Our Country Great 

This year, during the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Memorial Day provided an even more unique opportunity to reflect upon what makes our nation great and the shared values we hold as a people.  Though our celebrations may have been scaled down, the greatness of our country is, in many ways, more apparent in challenging times like these. 

The struggles we are going through together as a nation are real and impactful.  The coronavirus overwhelmingly targets seniors and those with preexisting conditions.  As a result, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been hit hard.  More than 36,000 residents and staff have died after coming down with Covid-19, more than a third of all deaths in our country that have been attributed to the virus.  Sadly, many of our cherished veterans have been among those lost to the virus.  Of all the tributes to those we have lost, the stories of our veterans are especially moving. 

But there are bright spots in coronavirus medical research.  Testing quality and access has improved significantly.  And as we learn more about the virus, we are better able to prevent and treat Covid-19.  The hospitalization rate for those diagnosed with the virus is 3.4%, and the CDC estimates that 35% of all infected people are asymptomatic.  Taking this into account, the infection fatality rate is likely around 0.2% or 0.3%.  While that is still 2 to 3 times higher than the flu, the coronavirus is nothing like the killer some predicted early on. 

Without question, the economy has taken a hit.  Unemployment levels are higher than any time since the Great Depression.  Our small businesses shed more than 11 million jobs in April.  That’s more than half of the 20 million private sector jobs lost last month. 

However, Congressional action to cushion the blow has helped.  More than 4.4 million small businesses have been approved for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, and over $511 billion has been processed in aid.  In Alabama, at least 60,457 loans have been made for a whopping $6,136,772,466.  The bulk of this aid to small businesses must go towards employee paychecks, ensuring that more Americans are able to keep their jobs.  In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program, nearly 431,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loans have been processed to assist small businesses during this crisis.  Alabama businesses have received 4,728 EIDL loans for $376,897,450. 

There is no question that small businesses will face new challenges going forward.  Evolving ways we interact with one another and patronize businesses, including new occupancy limitations, will make staying in business more difficult.  That’s why it is so important for our economy to continue opening sooner rather than later.  You and I can do our part by visiting businesses and restaurants in our community.  Importantly, the foundation of our economy was strong before coronavirus spread prevention measures were enacted nationwide.  So, the country can and will rebound from this.  Prosperity will return. 

One only needs to look at what is happening on the other side of the globe to be thankful for our nation.  The brutal Chinese Communist Party, whose mismanagement and dishonesty during the initial outbreak of the virus cost countless lives across the globe, is using the pandemic as an excuse to ramp up authoritarian measures.  The people of Hong Kong are suffering a loss of freedom that dwarfs the sacrifices we have made to stop the spread. 

The American people have responded to crisis after crisis with resilience and togetherness, and we will do so again.  We may not have participated in all of our Memorial Day traditions, but we can still honor the fallen by treasuring the country and values they sacrificed to preserve.  That’s what makes our country great. 

Byrne Signs Letter to Investigate Planned Parenthood 

Millions of Americans need help right now.  It sickens me that a well-funded group like Planned Parenthood would seek out money intended to aid struggling small businesses and their employees.  I signed a letter calling for a full investigation into Planned Parenthood affiliates obtaining coronavirus aid through the PPP. 

Airbus Opens New Production Hangar 

Photo of the Week 

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, I held a Facebook Live event with Kari Whatley, a mental health professional from Baldwin County, to discuss how the coronavirus is effecting Alabamians' mental health and what we can do to take care of ourselves and others. Thank you to all who tuned in! 

What's Ahead 

This week the House will consider the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 as well as legislation passed by the Senate to reauthorize FISA.  Importantly, we are also expected to vote on legislation to improve the PPP.  Eliminating requirements that have made it more difficult for small businesses to receive and use this critical aid will be very beneficial for business owners and employees in Alabama. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

051220-

Dear Friend, 

We got some good news last week as Governor Ivey made the decision to begin partially reopening the state.  As we continue fighting against this virus and the disease it causes, it is important we take safe but practical steps to begin repairing our battered economy. 

Last week I also joined my colleagues in introducing the WUHAN Rescissions Act.  This bill eliminates over $27 billion in spending unrelated to COVID-19 from the CARES Act to ensure the response legislation is focused on the actual issue at hand – responding to the coronavirus pandemic.  We need to hold Speaker Pelosi's feet to the fire to ensure no pork is included in any additional coronavirus aid bills. 

Opening Economy Now, Not Later, Best for Americans 

Last week Governor Ivey issued orders allowing Alabama’s restaurants, hair salons, barbers, and other personal service businesses to reopen Monday under social distancing guidelines.  This is an important step towards safely reopening our state’s economy and ending extreme measures put in place to flatten the curve and limit the spread of the virus.  While Alabama – and our district – continue to see cases and sadly some deaths, we have been successful in preventing our hospitals and ICU units from being overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases—the original goal of social distancing and business shutdowns. 

With our Alabama economy taking steps to open in line with the White House coronavirus task force recommendations, we still must use common sense, practice social distancing and good hygiene, and limit certain types of gatherings.  There are capacity limitations for open facilities such as restaurants, childcare centers, and public spaces like our beaches.  And most entertainment venues, including movie theaters and bowling alleys, remain closed. 

On Monday, I spent the morning in Orange Beach with our local law enforcement and first responders.  I was pleased to see that those taking advantage of the beautiful day on the beach were observing guidelines to limit gatherings and social distance.  While law enforcement was on hand to ensure compliance, it was encouraging that our citizens were taking steps on their own to remain safe and in compliance with the governor’s orders.  I believe most Alabamians want to do the right thing and will take steps to be safe.  At the end of the day, there is really little law enforcement can do to stop the spread.  All of us must do our part. 

Here in the district, we continue to see federal aid distributed to individuals and small businesses.  The Treasury Department continues to work down the unprecedented backlog to make economic impact payments to individuals.  And while all payments have not been made as quickly as Congress hoped, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and the Paycheck Protection Program are continuing to issue loans and grants to help small businesses in our district remain open and keep employees on the payroll.  In addition, the Coronavirus Relief Fund, created through the CARES Act, will distribute around $1.9 billion directly to Alabama to alleviate damage from the coronavirus. 

While it has been good to see Congress act quickly in a substantive and bipartisan manner to aid Americans, we must be increasingly vigilant of efforts by those on the far left to use this crisis as an excuse to enact their radical agenda.  Behind closed doors, Speaker Pelosi has been working on another coronavirus aid package that, even according to Democrats, is more of a “wish list” than a serious legislative proposal.  By many accounts, she is negotiating a messaging bill with the most liberal and “progressive” wing of her party, certainly not with Republicans.  In short, she is not making an effort to produce a coronavirus aid bill that will become law but is instead working to lay down an extreme liberal negotiating point.  This is no way to run a railroad.  In fact, just last week, I wrote in the Wall Street Journal about the need for Pelosi to stop negotiating alone and allow Congress to return to Washington and get back to work for the American people.  While I continue working hard from the district to help constituents, talking daily with leaders throughout our community, representatives from both sides of the aisle should reject Speaker Pelosi’s power grab and demand we return to Washington to ensure all our constituents have a voice at the negotiating table. 

However, government can never replace the American economy.  The best thing we can do for the American people is to begin safely reopening the economy now, not later.  I am glad we have started doing that in our state, and I am hopeful we will soon be able to do more to safely return Alabamians to work, school, and church, and for more of our businesses to open their doors. 

We Can't Spend Our Way Out of Coronavirus Damage 

Economy Can Open Safely 

Photo of the Week 

I spent the morning down at Orange Beach to learn more about the work the Orange Beach first responders, law enforcement, and city officials are doing to help keep our beaches safe while enforcing social distancing. Thanks to all those who help keep our Alabama beaches safe and open! 

What's Ahead 

Speaker Pelosi is calling the House back later this week, but not to vote on serious legislation.  We will be voting on partisan rule changes allowing proxy voting that will enable her to keep running the House without bringing representatives back into town.  We'll also be voting on a bill thinly disguised as coronavirus aid that spends $3 trillion to appease to the most big-spending radicals of her caucus who did not think previous bills have gone far enough. As Speaker Pelosi admitted herself, the coronavirus is an "opportunity" to advance her agenda.  We should be focusing on the physical and economic health of the American people as we fight on the coronavirus, not a partisan wish list. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

042120-

Dear Friend, 

As Americans look for answers on how our nation's economy will reopen, I've been working with leaders throughout our district on how to we can accomplish that here at home. At the request of Governor Kay Ivey, I have established a task force of business and community leaders from Southwest Alabama to make recommendations to state leaders on how to reopen our local economy. I will be announcing our recommendations soon. 

Last week, President Trump announced his plan for Opening Up America Again. The Administration's plan provides guidelines for a phased reopening while making sure states still have autonomy to make decisions that are best for their specific situation. The administration's framework has guided our task force's work and can be found here. 

At the Peak of the Coronavirus 

National and state officials agree that we have reached the peak of new cases and deaths here in Alabama from the coronavirus called COVID-19.  What does that mean?  It means that the number of new daily cases and daily deaths have reached their highest projected point and should plateau for a while before coming down.  It doesn’t mean we won’t have any new cases or deaths after the peak passes, we will.  But the number of new cases and deaths per day will decrease.  That will be a blessing. 

Does it mean, we can totally reopen our society and economy by totally ending social distancing?  No, it doesn’t.  Until we have a vaccine so that the vast majority of us have immunity, we will still have to deal with the disease.  So, we all should be practicing appropriate hygiene, and if we are vulnerable due to age or underlying health condition, we should stay home.  Those of us who aren’t vulnerable should avoid being in groups larger than ten people and maintain six feet distance from others while shopping or working.  If we can telework, we should.  If we must be at work in person, we should work with our employers on how to be safe and protect ourselves. 

But, we are at the point where we can discuss how to gradually reopen our closed society and economy.  The White House and the Centers for Disease Control last week issued guidelines for states to follow in doing so.  Governor Ivey has asked the seven of us who represent Alabama in Congress to give her recommendations on how and when to open our districts.  My recommendations, which are informed by input from business and community leaders from around the district, will follow the federal guidelines for a phased reopening of our region. 

I am honored to be asked my opinion but it’s Governor Ivey’s decision ultimately how and when we begin to reopen down here. 

My recommendations start from the federal guidelines’ metrics for how to gauge when you have truly passed the peak and then have a 14-day period of reduction in the number of new daily cases.  The guidelines also call for our hospitals to be able to operate on a non-crisis basis and for a robust testing program for our frontline health care workers. 

The initial daily case numbers running up to the actual peak here in Alabama are promising, but we will have to see if we can get that two week sustained experience of reducing case numbers.  It’s pretty clear we will get there well before Memorial Day, unless the case numbers make a significant change for the worse this week or next.  Even the University of Washington’s IHME projections, which two weeks ago said Alabama would have the most COVID-19 deaths in the nation, now says we are at the peak and will be ready to begin opening the state by mid-May. 

Indeed, IHME now says Alabama will see 290 deaths by August 4, far lower than their original projection and less than half the number of influenza deaths we see on average. 

Mercifully, our hospitals have not been overstretched in dealing with COVID-19.  Indeed, they have many empty beds and ICU units. 

The frustration has been testing.  There are two pieces of good news now.  The first is that we are already at the point where we meet the federal guidelines for testing our health care workers.  Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, has verified we have enough testing capacity to take care of the need to robustly test them.  Second, the US Department of Health and Human Services says that we will be able to test four million people a week by the end of May, four times what we can do now, and the figure needed to robustly test the general population. 

So, I anticipate the Governor will begin reopening Alabama next month.  It won’t be like flicking on a light switch, however.  It will be more like gradually turning up a light using a dimmer.  That’s good because a rapid return to normal risks an outbreak, which will cause us to return to where we are now. 

One final note is that whatever her order provides, we all have a role to play in ensuring we all adhere to it.  Self-enforcement is what will be truly needed.  Then, we can all move together, safely, to get to a new livable normal, rebuilding our economy and enjoying the insatiable human impulse to be with one another. 

Byrne Leads Bipartisan Letter Urging More Help for Small Businesses 

With passage of the CARES Act, Congress and the Trump Administration took action to help small businesses receive immediate assistance through expansion of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. Unfortunately, the unprecedented demand for the program has left small businesses waiting weeks for these grants, receiving less than they expected, and often struggling to learn if their applications were even received. Last week I led a bipartisan letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA) making it clear that Congress stands ready to work with them to ensure these grants are distributed quickly and in the amounts necessary to provide much-needed relief to small business owners and employees across the country. Time is of the essence as small businesses continue to struggle. We must get this right. 

This letter, which I led with Rep. Jim Cooper, had 103 total signatories – 55 Republicans and 48 Democrats. The letter can be found here. 

Byrne Fights Back Against Abortion Industry 

I was proud to sign on to Congressman Doug Lamborn's letter urging President Donald J. Trump to stay firm in his decision to stop federally funded research on aborted babies’ body parts. 

The abortion industry has renewed attacks on this decision, falsely claiming aborted fetal tissue research will help save lives during COVID-19. It is shameful to exploit a global crisis for such purposes. 

I, along with over 100 of my colleagues, asked President Trump to make sure COVID-19 research funding is directed to ethical, promising studies. See the full letter here. 

In Case You Missed It 

"Byrne to SBA: More help, clarity needed for small businesses." WBRC 

"Gov. Ivey working with Alabama congressional leaders to reopen state." FOX 10 

"Byrne discusses COVID-19 status." Gulf Coast News Today 

"Byrne: Approaching the peak of the coronavirus." Yellowhammer News 

"Alabama’s coronavirus peak: ‘Clearly the state can’t stay shut down’, ADPH’s Dr. Scott Harris says." AL.com 

"Businesses preparing for new world as Alabama’s economy may reopen within days." Yellowhammer News 

Photo of the Week 

At the request of Governor Kay Ivey, I’ve established a task force of business and community leaders from our district to make recommendations to the Governor and her team on how to open our local economy. I look forward to sharing our report! Click here to watch a video and learn more. 

What's Ahead 

The successful Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), enacted under the CARES Act, ran out of money last Thursday. Millions of small business owners across the country are depending on these funds being replenished. After wasting valuable time, thankfully House and Senate leaders finally have come to a deal. The Senate has passed legislation and the House is expected to vote on it Thursday. Over 27,000 PPP loans have been approved in Alabama, but many more business owners and their employees in our state need help. Please know that I will keep fighting to help Alabamians weather this storm. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

041320-

Dear Friend, 

Last week, Democrats objected to a clean funding increase for the crucial and bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) authorized under the CARES Act.  A record number of small businesses have applied for assistance, so the program is on track to run out of funding as soon as this week.  However, Senate Democrats insisted that the program could not be replenished with funds until unrelated measures were included.  The American people deserve better. We must protect small businesses and the millions of Americans they employs, and I am hopeful we can act soon to strengthen PPP. 

The IRS has a new web portal for U.S. citizens who need to enter information in order to receive their Economic Impact Payment.  Those who have not filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and those who receive veterans disability compensation, pension, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can enter their information into a secure portal on the IRS website in order to ensure your payment is received in a timely and accurate manner.  NOTE: Most Americans WILL NOT need to enter this information, including those who filed taxes in 2018 or 2019, those on Social Security, those on Social Security Disability Insurance, and Railroad Retirement recipients.  Only those meeting the criteria outlined above should enter their information into the website. 

Finally, I have listed on my website details regarding known COVID-19 testing locations across Southwest Alabama.  You can find that here. 

Approaching the Peak of the Coronavirus 

Passover and Easter came and went with all of us still in extreme social distancing.  There were online Seders.  Many of us missed being in church on Easter Day for the first time in our lives.  Easter egg hunts and parties were cancelled, and parents conducted their own hunts with just their children.  The big Easter brunches and dinners which have been the tradition for so many were forgone, postponed, or just very small.  And too many of us were literally alone, all alone. 

The experts tell us our peak for the disease in Alabama is about a week away.  At that point the number of new cases and deaths will hit their highest point, plateau, and then, mercifully, begin to come down.  How long it takes for the rate of new cases and deaths to come down on a sustained basis is still unclear, but that time is getting nearer. 

So, it is appropriate for President Trump to convene a group of experts to ask the question, when and how do we begin to relax the extreme social distancing we have been under?  Public health is the main consideration, but the long-term health of our society and economy is also important.  I am grateful the President has started the conversation, even in the face of never-ending criticism from the news media. 

The biggest problem we face in this discussion is the lack of solid data. We haven’t had enough testing to really understand the course of the disease and our national numbers have been largely driven by the virus’ tragic toll in the New York metro area where we have experienced over half of all of the nation’s deaths, and where most of our national news media companies are headquartered.  There’s no measure they have had to take there that could be characterized as going too far.  Other places like New Orleans and Detroit have experienced similar outbreaks, but the New York experience has been the nation’s most extreme. 

The lack of transparency in China, where the virus began, has been a hindrance.  The CIA has warned us that Chinese government information on the virus is not to be trusted.  So, the US, and the rest of the world, will have to use our own data to tell us what we can do and when we can do it. 

Here in Alabama, we have been blessed to escape the worst of the disease.  While one infected Alabamian, and certainly one death, is one too many, as I write this, around 3,300 Alabamans have been confirmed as having the disease, 400 have been or are hospitalized, 180 have been sent to the ICU, and around 90 have tragically died.  The light in this dark news is that our case fatality rate is 2.9%, which is lower than the national average of 3.9%, and far lower than the world average of 6%. Alabama’s cases represent only about one half of one percent of all cases in the US.  Moreover, of the over 21,000 Alabamians who have been tested, only 15% are coming back positive, which means 85% have tested negative for the disease.  And remember, we are only testing the most at risk people. 

In our Congressional district, we have seen just under 500 cases and 13 deaths.  Our case fatality rate here is a little less than the rest of the state. 

Still, the peak hasn’t arrived here in Alabama, and even after it does, we will have more cases and deaths, just at a falling rate. 

What to do? 

First, we all need to stay safe, and protect ourselves by practicing recommended social distancing and good hygiene.   We need to wash our hands thoroughly and frequently, clean and disinfect hard surfaces, and avoid touching our faces. 

Second, our public health professionals will have to guide our understanding of where we are with the disease and where we need to go.  Testing has ramped up, and will continue to do so, thus yielding a lot more data.  I am grateful to Dr. Tony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for his good counsel to the President and Congress, and for his willingness to spend so much time in seemingly endless briefings where he patiently answers individual Congress members’ questions.  I am also grateful to Dr. Scott Harris, our State Health Officer, for his good work and willingness to spend time with me and others as we work through our Alabama response. 

Third, it’s time to start the conversation about when and how we begin to relax extreme social distancing at the national, state, and local levels. America is the third most populous nation in the world with a continental footprint, including Alaska, and various islands like the state of Hawaii, and territories like Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, and Guam and American Samoa in the Pacific.  We are a very diverse nation and that diversity is reflected in the diversity of experience with this disease.  The decisions that must be made will by necessity differ from state to state, and from county to county in many states.  One size fits all makes no sense. 

Fourth, it is not just appropriate but essential that we take into account the effects of extreme social distancing on our society and economy.  As I said in this column two weeks ago, Genesis tells us that God said it’s not good for humans to be alone.  It hurts us sociologically and psychologically.  And it has taken the US economy from being the strongest in 50 years with record breaking unemployment, to losing 29% of our daily economic output in just one month, costing over 17 million people their jobs.  That has never, ever happened before in America.  And we did it, abruptly, to ourselves.  Extreme social distancing is impoverishing millions in this country and we know their economic recovery won’t be easy or quick.  The mental health and social pathology effects will be staggering.  The longer extreme social distancing lasts, the worse all of this will be. 

There is a balance to be struck here.  President Trump has said this is the most difficult decision he has ever made.   Short of going to war, that would be true for all our presidents.  I know he will rely on Dr. Fauci and other national public health experts as he does so.  Governor Ivey has very difficult decisions to make, which I know she will make with the close advice of Dr. Harris. 

And we all have decisions to make.  Will we let some of the inaccurate and overblown projections, and the blaring sensationalist national news media, panic us into irrationality?  Or will we follow the public health experts’ guidance as we gradually reopen our society and our economy for the good of all? 

Byrne Warns of Coronavirus Relief Check Scams 

While it has been encouraging to see millions of Americans come together during this crisis, the coronavirus pandemic unfortunately has provided an opportunity for criminals.  Scammers are using the phone, text messages and emails to target taxpayers and steal economic impact payments and other personal information. 

Alabamians should safeguard themselves by knowing the red flags and reporting any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.  Please use common sense, and remember, the IRS will never call you asking to verify or provide your financial information. 

The Treasury Department has provided an online tool for taxpayers to learn about and report scams related to COVID-19 relief checks. Additionally, the IRS has provided a list of red flags to look for.  Scammers may: 

Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” Those are incorrect. The official term is economic impact payment. 
Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them. 
Ask by phone, email, text, or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment. 
Suggest that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf.  This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person. 
Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it. 

Byrne Applauds Coronavirus Aid for Alabama Hospitals 

The Department of Health and Human Services is sending more than $449 million to Alabama hospitals and other providers to help them deal with COVID-19.  This is just the first round of funding provided by Congress under the CARES Act, which provided a total of $100 billion for our nation’s hospitals.  We cannot defeat this virus, protect the health of our citizens, and restore our economy without our healthcare providers, and I will do all I can to support them as Congress continues to address the coronavirus pandemic. 

The funding will be used to support healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19.  These payments are grants, not loans, and do not require repayment. Alabama’s payments are part of $30 billion that began arriving nationwide on Friday.  For more information on the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, click here. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Byrne: Love in the time of the coronavirus." Yellowhammer News 

"COVID-19 testing sites in Southwest Alabama." FOX 10 

"Q&A with Congressman Bradley Byrne on COVID-19." WKRG 

"The Jeff Poor Show - U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne Discusses China's Lies and How to Fight Against Them." AudioBoom 

"Airbus donates face masks to Alabama health care workers." Yellowhammer News 

"Early, but promising results for coronavirus drug developed at UAB." AL.com 

Photo of the Week 

Last week I joined the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce for a video conference to discuss assistance available to Alabama’s small businesses. If you have questions about the various aid programs and how they might impact your business, feel free to contact my office at 202-225-4931. ‬ It is my goal to make sure everyone in AL-01 has accurate, up to date information! 

What's Ahead 

While the House is out of session due to the coronavirus, my staff and I are teleworking and continuing to serve you.  I expect Congressional leaders to be in conversations this week about increased funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.  If an agreement is reached we may see action in the Senate as soon as this week. 

While some hot spots throughout the country have seen some improvement, it is important to remember that we are not out of the woods yet.  I urge everyone to continue following CDC recommendations like social distancing and good hygiene. For the latest information on coronavirus and relief related programs, please visit my coronavirus webpage click here. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

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Dear Friend, 

As we all continue to adjust our daily lives, I hope you can join me for another coronavirus telephone town hall on Thursday, March 26 at 5:50.  I will provide an update on the federal government's response, and you'll be able to ask me questions as well. Click here to sign up to receive a call once the town hall begins.  You can also listen to an audio recording of last week's telephone town hall at that link. 

As our country responds to challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic it's important to support our local communities.  Whether it is by staying home and following CDC recommendations, supporting medical professionals serving on the frontlines, ordering food from local restaurants, donating blood, or getting groceries for an elderly neighbor, your actions make a difference. 

Slowing the Spread Requires All Hands on Deck 

As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to change the way we live our daily lives, its important to take note of the ways this challenging time has brought our communities together.  It has been reassuring to see stories of neighbors helping neighbors in communities in Southwest Alabama and beyond.  As we continue to treat this unprecedented challenge with the seriousness it deserves, let’s not forget to help our neighbors as best we can.  Whether dropping off supplies to senior citizens or supporting local businesses, we all can do something for others in our community. 

As expected with increased testing, the number of confirmed cases in Alabama has risen.  The first coronavirus aid bill passed by Congress included more than $4 billion to make diagnostic tests more broadly available, and more test kits are on the way to Alabama.  It is important to remember that approximately 90 percent of tests are coming back negative, and most who contract the coronavirus show no or mild symptoms.  To slow the spread, it is critically important we all continue practicing social distancing, keeping our hands washed, and using common sense. 

Your federal government is continuing to work aggressively.  Vice President Pence and the coronavirus task force have exhibited outstanding leadership.  On March 16, with the consultation of medical professionals on the task force, President Trump instituted a “15 days to slow the spread” initiative to encourage Americans to stay home, avoid gatherings greater than 10 people, choose takeout rather than dine in, and avoid travel and social visits whenever possible.  The more we encourage others to follow these guidelines, the sooner we can “flatten the curve.” 

This problem truly requires an “all hands on deck” solution.  President Trump has called for the private sector to help, and the response has been encouraging.  Some automobile manufacturers are working to transition from cars to ventilators.  Just this week, Governor Ivey announced an anonymous donation of 100,000 masks to the state.  Even my colleague in Congress, Denver Riggleman from Virginia, has transitioned his family’s distillery from making bourbon to hand sanitizer to supply to those in need.  This is the kind of response Americans have always had during a crisis. 

Our governor has shown strong leadership.  She declared a state of emergency to mobilize all the state’s resources necessary to address the coronavirus.  With this declaration, small businesses across Alabama negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are eligible for assistance under the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.  She authorized the Alabama National Guard to activate up to 100 guardsmen if needed.  Following the federal government’s actions moving the filing deadline for federal taxes from April 15 to July 15, Governor Ivey did the same for state taxes.  And she has continued to follow the best guidance from medical professionals to combat the spread of the coronavirus. 

There are important state resources available to Alabamians that you should know about.  The Alabama Department of Public Health established a toll-free hotline at 1-888-264-2256 to answer questions regarding testing locations and options. Their website is a great location for information, updates, and guidance specific to the state.  Additionally, the Alabama Department of Labor announced that workers who are unable to work due to the coronavirus are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.  If you are eligible, you can file online at the department’s website or call 1-866-234-5382.  As always, the Centers for Disease Control maintains an excellent resource for information at www.coronavirus.gov. 

We are far from out of the woods, but we are making great progress.  Thank others for their sacrifices and work for others, especially our medical professionals and first responders.  I’ll continue keeping you updated on new developments from Washington.  Americans are resilient and strong, and we will get through this! 

U.S. Small Business Administration Now Accepting Loan Applications 

Small businesses have been heavily burdened by the economic shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  In an effort to provide relief for negatively impacted small businesses throughout the country, the U.S. Small Business Administration is now accepting loan applications. 

The SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program will help qualifying businesses and non-profit organizations access low-interest loans to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, etc. 

More information on this program can be found here and here. 

President Trump Offers Relief to Student Loan Borrowers 

The Department of Education has announced short term relief in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Interest rates have automatically been set to 0% for federal student loan borrowers for 60 days.  Federal student loan borrowers may also temporarily suspend payments by requesting administrative forbearance directly from their student loan servicer. More information can be found here. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Local restaurants adjust as federal relief is in the works." FOX 10 

"Ivey, AL Dept. of Revenue move state tax day to July 15, mirroring federal government." Yellowhammer News 

"Coronavirus in Alabama: How many infected; where to get tested; key information you need." AL.com 

"State will allow out-of-state doctors, assistants to work in Alabama during COVID-19 crisis." AL Political Reporter 

"Over 75 pints of blood collected at Baldwin EMC's Spring Into Action blood drive." FOX 10 

"Infirmary Health to offer drive-through COVID-19 testing by appointment only." NBC 15 

Photo of the Week 

Seeing things like this fuel my confidence that we will be okay because of our great people. America's best days are ahead of her because the resolve of her people is strong. We will get through this, together. 

What's Ahead 

The Senate is currently negotiating a Phase 3 coronavirus package to stimulate the economy and provide additional assistance to Americans in need.  Once this package is assembled and passed by the Senate, the House will return to Washington to consider the legislation.  Speaker Pelosi has also put together a package, but unfortunately her bill is full of unrelated liberal wish list items like opening our borders and instituting the Green New Deal.  You can be assured that relief for small businesses, the tourism industry, and individuals and families hit hard by this virus are my priorities.  My office remains open to help you and answer any questions you have relating to coronavirus. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

031720-

News from Representative Bradley Byrne 

ABOUT BRADLEY | HOW CAN I HELP | CONTACT BRADLEY | WANT TO RECEIVE MY UPDATES? 

Dear Friend, 

I hope you can join me for a coronavirus telephone town hall tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18th at 2:30pm.  I want to update you on the federal government's ongoing response to prevent the spread of the virus and the work I am doing in Congress to keep your families healthy and safe.  You'll have the opportunity to ask me a question too! 

Participating in the telephone town hall is easy.  Simply click here to sign up to receive a call once the town hall begins.  If you can't make it, the signup website will have a transcript of the call after it has completed.  I hope you can make it!  My office will remain open for business despite the coronavirus, so as always, let us know how we can help you. 

Embrace Precaution, Not Panic, For Coronavirus Safety 

I wanted to update you on the latest COVID-19 coronavirus developments.  While the situation remains serious, the risk to most Americans remains low.  It is important that we stay calm and do not panic unnecessarily. 

The federal government continues its aggressive response to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, secure access to testing for those who need it, and ensure those who have contracted the disease receive the treatment they need.  Vice President Pence and his coronavirus response team have been outstanding and have held regular press conferences updating the nation on the latest developments.  Working closely with President Trump, this team of professionals has done much not only to address this crisis but to calm the fears of Americans.  Last Friday, the President declared a national emergency, opening billions more in aid, announced partnerships with private companies to help in the response, coordinated with the CDC for expanded guidelines, and declared Sunday a National Day of Prayer over the coronavirus.  In addition to using existing powers, the administration continues to make serious efforts to work with Congress. 

The work now is to limit the spread of the coronavirus and “flatten the curve” by limiting exposure.  As most researchers and medical professionals predicted, the number of confirmed cases in the United States has increased over the past week.  Aggressive actions by the administration and close cooperation with states and Congress can continue our progress in curbing new cases and preventing a crisis like Italy has experienced. 

While the Trump administration is taking this situation seriously and working in the best interest of the American people, some of my colleagues in Congress are adopting President Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel’s maxim to “never let a good crisis go to waste.”  With varying success, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tried to jam as many unrelated Democrat wish list goodies into House coronavirus legislation as possible.  Even many Democrats have been unhappy that their leadership seems content rushing to pass huge bills that include drastic, permanent policy changes, but Pelosi’s actions should surprise no one.  Remember, it wasn’t long ago during the Obamacare debate that she famously said “we have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.” 

The American people deserve better, and I promise to work with this administration and both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to make serious and effective efforts to govern appropriately during this time. 

To everyone at home, I encourage you to embrace precaution, not panic.  Keep in mind that most rumors you hear about drastic actions will be just that—rumors.  The best way to keep your family safe and avoid getting the coronavirus is simply to avoid exposure as much as possible.  The simplest steps are to practice social distancing and good hygiene practices.  Wash your hands with soap and water throughout the day.  Avoid gatherings of ten or more people and keep six feet apart from others whenever possible.  Know the warning signs of fever, shortness of breath, and a consistent cough.  Above all, use common sense.  The best resource for information on the coronavirus and how to prevent its contraction and spread is www.coronavirus.gov. 

As Congress, the administration and other entities such as the Federal Reserve continue pursuing actions to limit the economic ramifications of the coronavirus, there is no doubt there will be significant short-term repercussions.  But, our country remains strong and I have every confidence that the economy will rebound once we have contained the coronavirus.  My office remains open to answer any questions you may have about the coronavirus and assist you however possible.  Together, our nation will get through this and emerge stronger than ever. 

Absence of Symptoms Doesn't Mean You Aren't a Carrier 

Small Business Administration Provides Coronavirus Assistance 

SBA has updated criteria on states and territories for requesting disaster loans for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Click here for info.  We will continue looking for ways to help our small businesses, their employees and all American families through this time. 

What's Ahead 

I hope you can join tomorrow's coronavirus telephone town hall!  I will continue to provide coronavirus updates through my social media channels, newsletters, and traditional media.  If you need coronavirus questions answered, need help with a federal agency, or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates.  At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

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News from Representative Bradley Byrne 

ABOUT BRADLEY | HOW CAN I HELP | CONTACT BRADLEY | WANT TO RECEIVE MY UPDATES? 

Dear Friend, 

Last week was a busy one for the Administration as it continued its aggressive response in combating the coronavirus.  However, the Democrats in the House spent their time refusing to condemn comments in support of socialism and the Cuban authoritarian regime.  Speaker Pelosi, in what has become common practice for her, used her powers to block a bill condemning the brutal Castro regime in Cuba.  This came after shocking comments from Senator Bernie Sanders praising Castro. 

It was just last year that Democrats refused to clap during President Trump's State of the Union address when he firmly stated that the United States will never be a socialist country.  Now their leading presidential candidate is an avowed socialist.  Whatever happens, you can count on me continuing to fight against radical socialism. 

No Fight is More Noble Than Defending the Unborn 

I can think of no fight more noble or important than defending unborn children.  The Scriptures make clear that God makes every person in his image, so this issue is very near to my heart.  I am proud to be a leader in the fight to end abortion.  With the election of President Trump, we have never been closer. 

Just last week, two very important pro-life bills received a majority vote in the Senate!  The first was the Born Alive Survivors Protection Act.  This bill is common sense.  It just requires abortionists to provide the same medical care to a baby born alive in a failed abortion as they would an infant born prematurely at the same age.  The second was the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which says abortions cannot be permitted when the child can feel pain, about 20 weeks.  Only seven countries in the world permit these terrible late term abortions, sadly including the United States. 

Unfortunately, Democrats in the Senate filibustered both these bills, preventing them from advancing despite a majority of senators supporting.  Speaker Pelosi has used similar tactics.  She has forbidden these bills, and many other pro-life bills, from even receiving a vote.  After Virginia’s Governor said he would allow children who survive an abortion to die, I came to the floor and tried to call up the Born Alive Survivors Protection Act.  Pelosi cut off my mic.  Since gaining power last year, she has blocked my colleagues and me from bringing up this legislation over 80 times! 

Democrats can pull these stunts, but the truth is the American people are not on their side.  According to a Susan B. Anthony List poll, 77 percent of Americans believe that Congress should protect babies born alive after a failed abortion.  And 62 percent oppose legislation allowing late-term abortions.  The Democrats may have used procedural gimmicks to stop us for now, but we will prevail in the fight against abortion. 

This week the Supreme Court will hear arguments in one of the most important abortion cases in years.  The Supreme Court hopefully will end the practice of allowing abortion businesses, such as Planned Parenthood, to sue to block pro-life laws.  Federal courts have twisted the rules to give them what is called “standing”, allowing big abortion businesses to file expensive lawsuits against pro-life states like Alabama.  Changing this rule could be a game changing moment, as lawsuits are one of the biggest hold ups in making progress in the prolife movement. 

That is why appointing conservative judges to the Supreme Court and other federal courts is so important in the fight against abortion.  President Trump has kept his promise to give us judges that will be pro-life.  With the successful confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, it is now possible that we could see further changes to the court’s position on abortion.  These appointments are on top of the many other pro-life efforts of the Trump Administration.  Just this week, President Trump’s regulation that will defund Planned Parenthood from receiving federal family planning dollars will go completely into effect! 

It saddens me beyond measure that abortion is permitted inside this great country.  How long can a nation that practices abortion and infanticide continue to be great?  I believe wholeheartedly that mass abortions will be one of the greatest stains on this nation’s history.  I am fully committed to fighting for life and protecting the unborn.  The cause is too important to sit on the sidelines. 

Byrne: Border Security Crucial for Containing Coronavirus 

I applaud the Trump Administration’s efforts to restrict entry of individuals recently traveling from China into the United States.  However, our security against a possible global pandemic is only as strong as our control of entry into this country.  The current ability of foreign nationals to easily bypass ports of entry into the United States via the Southern Border is particularly concerning, especially if the virus spreads into South or Central America where a run on the border is almost assured.  For this reason, any meaningful legislation combating the coronavirus should include the resources we need to finally secure our border.  The health and safety of the American people must come before partisanship. 

In FY2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  encountered almost 900,000 individuals at the Southern Border.  In FY2020, Southwest Border Total Apprehensions have totaled 130,976 individuals, including 1,114 Chinese nationals. 

Byrne Announces 2020 Red Snapper Season 

As soon as I arrived in Washington, I brought the fight to federal bureaucrats keeping Alabama’s red snapper fishermen off the water through faulty data and a misguided fishery management approach. Today’s announced 35-day season represents a further step towards building a healthy fishery while allowing our fishermen access to this valuable resource.  It is rewarding for all of us who fought for state control of our snapper fishery to see another full, flexible state-managed season, and I will keep fighting to protect and continue our progress. 

The 2020 red snapper season for private anglers will open Friday, May 22, and consist of four day weeks through Sunday, July 19, an estimated 35 days.  Dates for federally-permitted for-hire vessels will be announced at a later date. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Byrne: We can’t let up in the fight against gun-grabbers."  Yellowhammer News 

"Alabama’s red snapper season to open May 22; Fishing allowed on Mondays for first time." Yellowhammer News 

"University of Alabama STEM students included in nation’s top 20 in 20s." Yellowhammer News 

"House approves bail reform named for slain college student." AP News 

Photo of the Week 

President Trump visited India where he talked with the CEO of Arcelor Mittal about the AM/NS steel facility in Calvert, Alabama and an upcoming billion dollar investment at the plant! I am so proud to represent the men and women who work at AM/NS! 

What's Ahead 

This week the House and Senate are expected to vote on a coronavirus funding package.  Negotiations are ongoing, but it appears the funding level will be somewhere around $7 million.  I am hopeful we can have a substantive discussion on the best manner to way to handle this crisis, but Democrats seem hellbent on using this as another opportunity to attack President Trump.  Remember, it is important to keep your hands washed and avoid those showing symptoms.  Stay calm but be safe! 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

022420-

Dear Friend, 

Military ships coming in for Mardi Gras is one of my favorite traditions!  The USS McFaul arrived on Friday, and the USCGC Gannet arrived today.  I hope you're able to see some of our nation's proudest military assets while they're docked in Mobile.  More information can be found here.  All Alabamians can be proud that Mardi Gras originated right here in Mobile. 

We Can’t Let Up in the Fight Against Gun-Grabbers 

The Second Amendment is under attack like never before in our nation’s history, but I am leading the fight to preserve your constitutional rights. 

Last year, just weeks after taking power, House Democrats passed a bill to limit the constitutional right to own guns.  Their misguided legislation would do nothing to address the underlying problem behind actions of mass violence.  That bill, H.R. 8, would prevent lawful gun owners from selling their guns to other law-abiding Americans.  If that bill became law, anytime a gun owner like me wanted to transfer or sell a gun, he or she would have to go through a government-sanctioned middle-man.  Of course, this process would be prohibitively time consuming and expensive.  The authors of this bill’s true intent not only was to freeze all gun transactions through the power of a slow and inefficient federal bureaucracy but to subject millions of Americans to federal prosecution.  Even transferring a firearm to a family member or friend could require federal permission! 

Let’s not kid ourselves.  Criminals are not going to put their illegal enterprises on pause while waiting for permission to buy or sell a gun.  H.R. 8 does nothing to stop crime and only burdens lawful citizens.  And it does nothing to address the mental health crisis behind so much of the mass violence we have seen.  During the debate on that bill, I introduced an amendment to strip out this anti-gun legislation and replace it with nationwide concealed carry reciprocity.  My amendment actually could make our country safer.  Unsurprisingly, Speaker Pelosi blocked my amendment. 

Fortunately for gun owners, we have a true friend in the White House.  President Trump has been the biggest advocate for the Second Amendment ever to sit in the Oval Office.  To appreciate the significance of that, contrast his Second Amendment policies with those of his opponent in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton. 

In 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller, in a major victory against zealous gun-grabbing liberals, the Supreme Court ruled against a District of Columbia law criminalizing handgun ownership.  That law made it illegal to possess an unregistered firearm in the city but also effectively prohibited registration itself, a blatant attempt to block constitutional rights to own a gun.  Clinton, however, disagreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling!  Can you imagine if we had a president in the White House who thought it should be illegal to own a gun?  Unfortunately, her beliefs are now standard for Democrat politicians. 

The battle to preserve the second amendment continues in the courts.  Last year, I wrote an amicus brief, often called a “friend of the court” brief, to the Supreme Court.  The Court is working on a case, N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, to determine if New York’s ban on transporting a handgun to a home or shooting range outside city limits is constitutional.  Like the District of Columbia law found unconstitutional in Heller, this law is a backdoor attempt to weaken your Second Amendment rights.  I was proud to have 120 lawmakers sign onto my brief as well as the support of the NRA and Gun Owners of America. 

Last week, I signed on as an original cosponsor to an important bill to strengthen and protect gun rights.  The Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act would ban states from prosecuting lawful gun owners simply traveling through their state.  This commonsense legislation would protect against liberal states’ sneaky schemes to circumvent the Second Amendment.  I’ll continue fighting for this bill with my colleagues, including Mo Brooks of Alabama who introduced the bill. 

The gun-grabbers aren’t letting up, so we can’t stop fighting either.  Rest assured I will keep leading the fight in Washington to protect your Second Amendment rights. 

Byrne Joins Rep. Brooks in Protecting 2A Rights 

I'm excited that our new bill, the Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act, has received the endorsement of the Gun Owners of America. We must fight to protect our 2A rights from liberal states trying to strip them away! 

Byrne's School Choice Bill Continues to Gain Support 

Click here to read the endorsement letter fom the National Taxpayers Union. I am grateful for their support. My bill is seeing great momentum in Congress! 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Opinion | The New Way Forward Act is an assault on our borders." (AL Political Reporter) 

"Alabama Lawmakers speak about Pentagon moving money from Mobile." (NBC 15) 

"With channel dredging, automotive terminal expansion, Alabama’s port takes shipping to next level." (AL Daily News) 

"Fairhope endorses Mobile Bay expressway plan." (Gulf Coast News Today) 

Photo of the Week 

Thank you to the Davidson High School JROTC for welcoming the USS McFaul to Mobile for Mardi Gras last Friday. We are fortunate to have such great ambassadors. I hope everyone has had a wonderful Mardi Gras season! 

What's Ahead 

The House will be in session this week.  Across the Capitol, the Senate will be voting on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.  This bill ensures any infant born alive after a failed abortion receives the same protections as any newborn.  Last year, I asked the House to bring this bill up for a vote, but the Democrats blocked my attempt.  It breaks my heart that this country allows such barbarism, and its another example of why I fight so hard to bring Alabama values to Washington. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

021820-

Dear Friend, 

I hope you had a fantastic Presidents Day!  We are blessed to live in such a great country and to have had so many great leaders throughout our history. 

Unfortunately, the House did not accomplish much last week.  Instead of addressing legislation that the American people care about, the Democrats considered legislation to expand abortion and even eliminate our borders. 

However, we received some great news last week as the Trump administration announced it will exempt all components for aircraft built at Airbus Mobile from tariffs.  I've worked closely behind the scenes with the administration on this matter, and I am appreciative of their decision to protect the working men and women at Austal. 

Are you and your family considering a trip to DC this spring/summer? If so, please complete your tour request form as soon as possible.  Peak travel season in DC will begin in March, so contact my office now to make sure we can get you squared away in advance. 

The New Way Forward Act is an Assault on Our Borders 

A clear warning of how far to the extreme left the Democratic Party has moved is the recently introduced New Way Forward Act.  This immigration bill would totally uproot the rule of law, provide amnesty for illegals here, and import dangerous criminals into the United States.  By allowing foreign citizens who committed serious felonies to stay in our country, all Americans would be at risk.  And by granting new rights to illegal aliens, the New Way Forward Act would prevent our immigration officials from detaining most illegal immigrants.  Shockingly, over forty of my Democrat colleagues in the House have cosponsored this legislation. 

We have long known that many on the far left have the goal of global open borders.  They do not appreciate that to keep our country prosperous and strong we must have real, enforceable borders.  Put another way, our country won’t be any different from the rest of the world if we eliminate our borders and let whoever wants here to enter. 

Simply put, the New Way Forward Act aims to decriminalize illegal immigration altogether.  It would turn us into a sanctuary nation where anyone who desires entry can come in almost unchallenged.  It grants new rights to illegal border crossers that would effectively shut down our already overworked immigration courts.  For example, those detained for illegally entering would be entitled to an initial custody hearing within 48 hours, and detainees would be entitled to a new bond hearing every 60 days.  This is designed by the bill’s authors to be impossible! 

The bill also includes provisions to block local law enforcement from performing immigration enforcement activities.  Why would we not want our law enforcement to actually enforce our laws?  Isn’t that what they are for?  This explains a lot of what some of my more liberal colleagues in Washington think about law and order. 

Perhaps most shockingly, the New Way Forward Act removes certain felonies from consideration when considering whether detainees should be allowed entry to our country.  Why would we want to protect convicted felons from being deported?  This legislation would roll out a welcome mat for them.  The bill would even repeal laws that make illegal entry into the United States a crime.  Can you imagine the chaos this would bring? 

This bill has one goal – open borders.  That’s why Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf says this bill would "gut the rule of law" in the country. 

I have been to our southern border.  I’ve seen firsthand the challenges facing our border patrol agents.  Without question, gutting our immigration laws would make their jobs tougher.  It would erode American safety and incentivize illegal immigration.  Yet Democrats overwhelmingly support sanctuary city laws that allow jurisdictions to refuse to enforce our immigration laws.  These sanctuary jurisdictions go further by stonewalling federal officials seeking to enforce our immigration laws.  But it gets even worse.  States like California have passed laws to grant driver licenses to illegal immigrants.  Shockingly, these laws could even automatically register illegal immigrants granted driver licenses the right to vote in elections! 

Last week I signed on as an original cosponsor of the Stop Greenlighting Driver Licenses for Illegal Immigrants Act.  The premise of this bill is simple: if you are a sanctuary city blocking the enforcement of our federal immigration laws, you should be blocked from receiving federal money.  This bill would prevent states that issue driver licenses to illegal aliens from receiving important federal grants. 

Unfortunately, common sense is something lacking in Washington.  I’m proud to be able to serve you by bringing Alabama values to the swamp.  I’ll continue working with President Trump to fight bills like the New Way Forward Act and to ensure our immigration policies serve and protect you, the American people. 

Byrne Introduces SHAM Act to Determine Time and Money Wasted by Impeachment 

Tragically, there was no bigger loser in the Democrats’ impeachment sham than the American people.  That's why I introduced the Statement of Harm to the American Majority Act.  The SHAM Act will determine the true costs of this taxpayer-funded political hit job that kept Congress from addressing real issues that actually matter to the American people. The American people deserve to see just how much time and money was wasted on this sham, so the Democrats can be held accountable for what they have done to our country. 

Byrne Will Fight Back Against Abortion Bill 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Bradley Byrne introduces bill to determine time, money ‘wasted’ by impeachment proceedings." AL Today 

"Opinion | President Trump has the best week of his Administration." AL Political Reporter 

"Army Corps of Engineers allocates final slice of funding for historic Port of Mobile dredging." Yellowhammer News 

"Alabama’s oyster production makes a comeback." Yellowhammer News 

"Feds: Gulf states to keep managing recreational red snapper." AP News 

"Trump: Terror leader behind deadly Pensacola Naval Air Station shooting killed in US operation." AL.com 

Photo of the Week 

Mardi Gras is one of my favorite times of the year. I hope y'all are having a fun, safe Mardi Gras season! 

Week Ahead 

The House is in recess this week but returns to session next week.  With impeachment out of the way and the presidential election season already in full swing, I doubt Speaker Pelosi takes up much legislation other than messaging bills to excite her party's base.  Speaker Pelosi might think non-stop campaigning for the Democrat Party is a good use the House's time, but I will continue fighting for Alabama values as I represent you in Washington. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

020420-

News from Representative Bradley Byrne 

ABOUT BRADLEY | HOW CAN I HELP | CONTACT BRADLEY | WANT TO RECEIVE MY UPDATES? 

Dear Friend, 

Last week we moved closer toward ending this impeachment sham when the Senate voted to move forward without reopening the House investigation.  I am optimistic that we will be able to begin healing from this divisive process tomorrow after the Senate votes to acquit President Trump.  But before that vote, tonight we will hear from President Trump as he gives his third State of the Union address to Congress.  I look forward to a positive celebration of our continued progress. 

President Trump announced his Middle East Peace Plan last week, which offers a vision of peace and prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians. The President's efforts to bring peace to the region are to be applauded. 

Fighting to Keep the State of the Union Strong 

This week is one for the history books as President Trump gives his State of the Union address only hours before he is acquitted of impeachment in the Senate.  There could hardly be a greater contrast between work being done for the American people and a sham scheme to prevent it. 

The President can tout remarkable achievements over the last year despite unprecedented obstruction from Democrats afraid of his success.  Facing a gridlocked legislature, President Trump has used his deal-making shrewdness to negotiate deals abroad and fight for his America First agenda at home. 

With the Trump tax cuts in full swing and his success rolling back unnecessary regulations, the economy is at full throttle.  The blue collar boom we are experiencing has led to record low unemployment even while Americans are keeping more of their hard-earned money.  His tough stance on trading partners like China who have a history of cheating us is paying off.  Just weeks ago, he signed a new Phase One trade deal with China. 

In December, with polling showing overwhelming disapproval for their unpopular impeachment focus, Democrats gave in to public pressure and passed the bipartisan U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  President Trump’s deal had been waiting for House action for a year.  USMCA will have major benefits for American workers, and Alabama is poised to benefit more than most states.  Ironically, many Democrats now taking the credit for USMCA are the same ones who said that a new deal replacing NAFTA couldn’t get done. 

The President has also prioritized lowering healthcare costs.  His vision is in stark contrast to the socialist proposals offered by the left.  Remember, in last year’s State of the Union, when President Trump proclaimed that we would never be a socialist nation, Democrats sat on their hands while Republicans cheered. 

President Trump ran on the promise of restoring our national security after years of neglecting our servicemen and women.  His America First policies are doing just that.  Defense spending has increased, and we are honoring our commitments to our warfighters.  While President Trump rightly has questioned our involvement in the Middle East, he has taken firm action when needed.  He recently took out Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the most dangerous terrorist in the region.  And he has proposed a historic Middle East peace deal. 

For all the Democrats’ foolish talk about the Senate being a legislative graveyard, Mitch McConnell and his Republican majority have continued confirming President Trump’s judicial nominees at an extraordinary clip.  That itself is an amazing accomplishment!  Meanwhile, the House has rejected any meaningful legislation and instead continued its impeachment focus.  Pushing through partisan messaging bills that won’t become law might please their liberal base, but it does nothing for the American people. 

Don’t forget border security, one of President Trump’s key issues.  His commonsense policies have lowered the number of illegal border crossings and contributed to American safety not just at the border but in all 50 states.  I visited the border last year and know firsthand the challenges there.  I will continue fighting with him against sanctuary cities and open borders. 

I am pleased that one of President Trump’s priorities for 2020 is school choice.  I am honored to lead his school choice legislation in the House and excited to have over 100 cosponsors of my bill.  When I met with President Trump at the White House in December to discuss his education priorities, he made clear he will push for action on this initiative this year. 

While Democrats will continue seeking their only goal to undermine President Trump, I will continue fighting to keep the state of our union strong, this year and always. 

Byrne Calls to Suspend Travel from China Due to Coronavirus 

The Chinese coronavirus is a serious global health threat whose severity and complexity is not yet understood.  Unfortunately, the danger posed to Americans is made worse by a Chinese government that cannot be trusted regarding its efforts to contain the virus. 

Because of the severity of this threat, I am calling for an immediate suspension of all travel from China to the United States until officials at the Departments of State, Health & Human Services, and Homeland Security can confirm it is safe to resume.  We must always put the health and safety of the American people first. 

Byrne: With USMCA Signed, Alabama’s Economy Primed to Explode 

Alabamians have cause for celebration with the passage of a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada that will deliver jobs and drive up wages from the Tennessee Valley to the Gulf Coast.  The USMCA is a major win for Alabama that replaces the flawed NAFTA and puts American workers first. 

With our expanding Port of Mobile and vibrant automobile manufacturing, agriculture, steel, energy and high-tech sectors, Alabama’s economy is primed to explode.  President Trump and his administration deserve great credit for getting a deal done that many said was unachievable. 

I was proud to vote for USMCA in the House on December 19, 2019. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Byrne: Walking the walk in the fight for life." Yellowhammer News 

"Congressman Bradley Byrne calls to suspend travel from China to United States due to Coronavirus." WKRG 

"Chickasaw student hired by Austal through apprenticeship program." NBC 15 

"Al-Qaida in Yemen claims deadly Florida naval base shooting." NBC 15 

"St. Paul’s Tate to retire." WKRG 

Photo of the Week 

Thank you to Vice President Mike Pence for praising my bill, the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, last week in Wisconsin. With the help and support of the Trump Administration, we have over 100 cosponsors! 

What's Ahead 

This will be a historic week in Washington!  Tonight, President Trump will address the nation for the State of the Union.  On Wednesday the Senate is expected to officially put an end to impeachment by voting to acquit the President.  I hope we can unite behind our country's progress and support him in accomplishing even more for our great country. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

012820-

Dear Friend, 

Last week, the Senate's impeachment trial kicked off with Pelosi's impeachment managers arguing "overwhelming evidence" against President Trump while also pushing for more witnesses and documents.  All this and they still never alleged that the president committed a crime.  The President's legal team has done an exceptional job defending him and will finish up their arguments today.  The American people see this for the sham it really is.  Hopefully this divisive political drama will soon come to an end. 

Walking the Walk in the Fight for Life 

Last week, tens of thousands of Americans took part in our nation’s most important rally for the unborn, the March for Life.  I am so proud of the large number of Alabamians who traveled all the way to Washington to participate.  Sadly, it is mostly ignored by the mainstream media.  But, this year’s rally received unprecedented support, as President Trump became the first sitting president to attend and address the group! 

President Trump’s pro-life record is truly unmatched among presidents.  He has been front and center in the fight.  He has blocked Planned Parenthood from receiving federal family planning money.  Just last week, his administration challenged the state of California over a rule that violates federal law in mandating insurance plans cover elective abortions. 

Perhaps the most significant contribution President Trump has made to the pro-life cause has been his judicial nominations.  The Senate has confirmed 187 of President Trump’s judicial nominations, a staggering number that will leave a permanent legacy.  Candidate Trump promised to appoint constitutional conservatives to the courts, and he has kept his word.  After eight years of President Obama appointing judicial activists who want to legislate from the bench, we have made remarkable progress in short order restoring integrity to our courts. 

President Trump’s two most important nominations have been to the Supreme Court.  Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh are brilliant jurists who truly seek to uphold the Constitution.  Each of them could serve another three decades or more on the court. 

To appreciate the magnitude of the makeup of the Supreme Court, look no further than Roe v. Wade.  Since the horrific ruling in this case, over 60 million unborn children have been aborted.  That’s over twelve times the population of Alabama.  But, for the first time in my adult life, I can see a path to overturning Roe, thanks to the President’s leadership. 

I’m proud of my record of fighting for life and against radical extremists seeking unlimited access to abortions.  As a member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, I’ve sponsored and fought for legislation to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood, ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected, and define that human life begins at conception. 

Unfortunately, Washington is no longer a safe place for pro-life Democrats.  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said last year, “as a party, we should be 100 percent pro-choice, and it should be non-negotiable.”  It is astonishing to see how far the Democrat party has moved.  As President Trump correctly stated when explaining his reasoning for attending the March for Life rally, “religious liberty is under siege.” 

Look at Senator Gillibrand’s own state.  Last year, New York passed a law essentially making abortion legal up until the moment of birth.  In explaining a similar proposed law in Virginia, Democrat Governor Ralph Northam said their law would make it legal to abort a baby after birth, essentially permitting doctors to allow infants to die after a failed abortion.  This is infanticide!  It is unthinkable that such a barbaric act could take place, much less be tolerated, in a civilized nation like ours.  I tried to force a vote on legislation making this practice illegal, but the Democrat majority blocked me on the House floor and even turned off my microphone. 

Let me be clear.  I unequivocally believe that God makes every person in his image.  Every single life is precious.  I am fully committed to fighting for the unborn.  As President Trump said in his address, “every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting."  Thank God we have such an advocate in the White House!  I’ll continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with President Trump in this fight. 

Byrne Reacts to President Trump's Impeachment Defense 

Byrne Stands for Life 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Byrne: Impeachment is nothing to smile about." Yellowhammer News 

"Alabama port adding automotive terminal." AP News 

"McGill-Toolen students March for life in Washington D.C." WKRG 

"911 texting comes to Baldwin County." NBC 15 

"Airbus remains committed to Mobile project amid Bombardier woes." AL.com 

Photo of the Week 

Photo Credit: Patrick Semansky (AP) 

President Trump made history last week as he became the first president to participate in March for Life. Like President Trump, I believe that every life is a gift from God. I am proud to fight for our unborn in Congress! 

What's Ahead 

Two votes are expected in the House this week pertaining to President Trump's authority to use military force against terrorists.  Make no mistake, these votes are meant specifically to attack President Trump, not make our country safer.  Distractions like this do nothing to solve problems impacting the American people.  Speaker Pelosi should return her focus to the people's business! 

Over in the Senate, the impeachment trial will continue with President Trump's defense.  After a sham process in the House that prevented due process for the President, it's about time his team had the chance to make their case.  You can be sure I will continue to defend President Trump! 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

012020-

Dear Friend, 

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!  This past week, Speaker Pelosi finally gave up on her politically-motivated impeachment game and sent the impeachment articles to the Senate.  It is my hope that this sham will soon come to an end so the nation can begin to heal and we can get back to focusing on issues that are important to the American people.  However, with Democrats in the House saying they may pursue yet more articles of impeachment against the President, I am not optimistic. 

While Pelosi and her media allies are occupied with attacking our president and impeachment, President Trump has been working to deliver on his promises.  This past week we saw progress toward two great trade deals that prioritize American workers and businesses.  After over a year of stalling tactics from the Democrats, USMCA has finally passed both the House and the Senate.  Alabama's automotive and agriculture industries in particular will see benefits from this new and improved trade deal.  President Trump also signed Phase 1 of the China trade deal last week.  Under his leadership and "America First" policies, we are heading in the right direction! 

Members of my staff held office hours throughout the First District last week.  Monthly office hours are available for constituents to discuss any issues they may be having with federal agencies like the VA or Social Security Administration.  Constituent services are a top priority for me, so do not hesitate to reach out to my office should you ever need help with a federal agency. 

I am also pleased to announce that I am now accepting applications for summer internships in both my Mobile and Washington, D.C. offices.  The opportunity to learn the legislative process firsthand and work directly with the people of Southwest Alabama provides invaluable practical experience for students looking to enter nearly any career field.  I encourage all who are eligible to apply. 

Impeachment is Nothing to Smile About 

For three years now, the American people have been forced to endure the efforts by Democrats and the liberal mainstream media to impeach President Trump and remove him from office in the face of his clear electoral victory in 2016.  They have tried everything, from a needless Special Prosecutor investigation, which resulted in nothing, to an Adam Schiff-coached whistleblower who admitted he had no firsthand information and relied on news articles by that same liberal media. 

The farce produced just two articles of impeachment, neither of which alleges “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors” as required by the Constitution.  An unprecedented and totally partisan process in the House produced nothing that Democrats could even allege is impeachable. 

Then Nancy Pelosi, after insisting for weeks that impeachment couldn’t wait and had to be done by Christmas, held onto the articles, refusing to send them to the Senate as is required.  This prolonged the spotlight on her, as the ever-worshipful liberal media gushed over her political brilliance, ignoring the inconvenient fact that her strategy of forcing the Senate to adopt her preferred process for the trial completely failed. 

The Constitution is clear.  While the House has “the sole Power of Impeachments”, the Senate has “the sole Power to try Impeachments.”  And the Constitution clearly states that each house of Congress sets its own rules.  Pelosi had no right or power to dictate trial rules to the Senate.  Her behavior was unconstitutional and brought embarrassment and dishonor on the House.  So, I filed a resolution censoring the Speaker for her inappropriate behavior. 

Finally, last week as Democrats began to abandon Pelosi’s position, she relented, and the House appointed seven “managers” to present the House’s articles and “case” to the Senate.  Led by Schiff, who literally made up words for the transcript of President Trump’s call to the President of Ukraine in his first day of impeachment “hearings”, and by the bumbling and incompetent Jerry Nadler, the House managers will finally have to behave according to the rules of a truly fair process, presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the competent John Roberts, who will tolerate none of the misbehavior the Democrats repeatedly engaged in as this mess moved through the House. 

Pelosi couldn’t stand to lose her spotlight, and, in one last shameful act, had a “signing ceremony” where she and other Democrats smiled and laughed as she pronounced President Trump “impeached forever” and handed out pens.  Even some of her adoring fans in the liberal media said she went too far. 

What now?  The Senate will meet every day except for Sundays beginning at 1:00 PM.  Every senator must attend.  They cannot talk or bring electronic devices.  They will initially hear the House managers’ “case” for the articles of impeachment, and then the President’s lawyers will finally be allowed to present his case.  Be prepared for the House managers to be longwinded and ineffective.  Be prepared for the President’s team to be briefer and speak clearly to the essential points of weakness in the articles.  Then senators will be allowed to ask questions through Chief Justice Roberts. 

What happens next is unclear.  Will the Senate dismiss the articles?  Will they acquit the President?  Will they unnecessarily delay things further by calling witnesses?  We don’t know. 

But, we do know that not a single Republican voted for these articles in the House and even a few Democrats voted against them.  One Democrat changed parties over the vote.  We also know there are not nearly enough senators to meet the two thirds threshold to remove President Trump from office.  And we know this will have all been a complete waste of time. 

This fall, in the general election, the American people will finally have their say, as the framers of our Constitution intended.  I predict Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler won’t be smiling. 

Byrne: Democrats Will Regret Senate Impeachment Trial Witnesses 

Byrne Applauds Department of Labor’s Joint Employer Rule 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Byrne: Hunter Biden should be ‘very first name’ on impeachment trial witness list." Yellowhammer News 

"Byrne accepting summer internship applications." AL Political Reporter 

"Opinion | With Soleimani dead, the world is safer." AL Political Reporter 

"AL Dept. of Conservation soliciting requests for gulf coast conservation project funding." Yellowhammer News 

"Here are Alabama’s 2020 ‘Standout Schools.’" AL.com 

"6 trends fueling Alabama’s economic growth in 2020 and beyond." Yellowhammer News 

Photo of the Week 

Today, we reflect on the life and legacy of a man who inspired generations. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership made America a better place. May we always strive to live out the ideals he exemplified such as freedom, equality, and hope. 

What's Ahead 

All eyes are on the Senate this week as the House is in recess and the Senate begins its impeachment trial.  Speaker Pelosi has said the House will consider an infrastructure bill next week, but we don't have many more details.  It is also possible that more legislation will come before the House in an attempt to limit President Trump's ability to use military force against terrorists.  I will not support any partisan legislation that targets President Trump's authority to keep Americans safe! 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

011320-

Dear Friend, 

Last week was eventful both at home and on the world stage. President Trump gave a fantastic speech that reiterated his firm stance against the evil Iranian regime. He made clear that Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon under his watch. This firm approach is exactly what our foreign policy has needed. More on that below. 

At home, Speaker Pelosi caved in to pressure and announced she will soon move her articles of impeachment to the Senate. She never should have embarked upon this ridiculous course, but to rush the articles through, calling them "urgent," only to hold them and prevent the Senate to perform its constitutional duty is plain wrong. We expect to know more about the timing soon, but the House is expected to vote as soon as this week to move the articles along. 

With Soleimani Dead, the World is Safer 

You may not have known his name, but the most dangerous man in the Middle East has finally received justice for a lifetime of brutality. 

Before being taken out by an American airstrike, Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was a Major General in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and commander of its extra-military, clandestine Quds Force. He left his stain on this world by organizing, training and leading terrorist groups across the Middle East and beyond. 

The blood on his hands included that of at least 600 Americans and thousands more. 

Consider the scope of his activities. Soleimani attacked Americans in Afghanistan. His forces were active throughout Iraq. He armed Hezbollah with rockets that have indiscriminately killed women and children in Israel. He attempted attacks in Europe against our allies. He even planned at least one failed bombing in our nation’s capital. 

To put it simply, he was a terror mastermind. Taking Soleimani off the battlefield leaves a gaping hole in the Iranian regime’s ability to orchestrate terrorist activities throughout the Middle East. Make no mistake, the Middle East, and the entire world, is safer without him. 

We can’t be naive. The evil Iranian regime’s goal is to destroy the West and its way of life, no matter the cost. Soleimani and the government of Iran have never had any intention of adhering to any global norms or abiding by any treaties. 

That’s why policies of appeasement towards Iran are misguided and dangerous. The Obama-era Iranian deal was, at best, an empty public relations victory for the Obama Administration that did little to slow down Iran’s public support for global terrorism and quest towards its goal of securing nuclear capabilities. In reality, as we pumped up their economy with billions in cash and sanctions relief, Iran never wavered. With international scrutiny relaxed, Iran successfully took their operations underground. Iran continued and even escalated its proxy support of terrorist groups while the Iranian deal was in place. And Soleimani was the unquestioned leader. 

Unlike the previous President who drew a “red line” regarding Assad’s evil Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons, President Trump means what he says. He made clear that any Iranian attack on Americans would be punished. The killing of Soleimani came just days after his proxies attacked our embassy in Baghdad and a military base in Kenya that resulted in the loss of an American life. 

President Obama may have capitulated in Syria, but global terrorists and the regimes who support them now know with certainty that President Trump does not make idle threats. He will act decisively to defend Americans and our interests around the world. After two face-saving attacks from Iran in the region that took no American lives, the Iranian regime appears to be wisely deescalating their aggression. 

Last week, House Democrats introduced a War Powers Resolution designed to discredit President Trump for using his Constitutional powers to eliminate Soleimani. It is disappointing that when Congress should be showing national resolve and unity against an evil Iranian regime, Democrats are playing politics. Last week I received a classified briefing from national security officials that made clear the continued threat Soleimani posed to Americans. We should be thanking the President and the brave men and women who successfully carried out this attack, not engaging in political grandstanding. 

The evil Iranian regime is growing weaker at home. President Trump’s sanctions are continuing to damage Iran’s economy. Iranians are protesting in the streets, shouting “death to the dictator!” After President Trump’s show of American strength, the Iranian government can’t risk further antagonizing the United States. Their leaders would be wise to continue their de-escalation. 

Byrne Moves to Censure Speaker Pelosi Over Impeachment Sham 

Speaker Pelosi’s decision to hold the articles of impeachment against President Trump in a pathetic and unconstitutional attempt to extract concessions from the Senate is an unprecedented abuse of power. House Democrats made the misguided decision to rush through the most legally unsound and factually unsupported articles of impeachment in the history of this country, and they can’t now insist that the Senate fix their shoddy, incomplete work. 

Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler must do as our founders intended and present the lackluster case they assembled to the Senate and let the President finally exercise his right to defend himself. Until then, the leader of this attempt to throw out Constitutional norms to remove our president must be held accountable. 

To view my resolution, click here. I previously spoke on the House floor against Pelosi’s decision to withhold the articles of impeachment. 

Byrne Praises Airbus Expansion Announcement 

Airbus will be expanding its operations in Mobile and adding an additional 275 jobs! This investment is further testament to the workers and pro-jobs culture of our community and yet another demonstration of Airbus’ long-term commitment to our region and our workforce. Read more here. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Exclusive: Rep. Bradley Byrne Moves to Censure Pelosi for Holding Up Impeachment." Breitbart 

"Byrne praises decision by Airbus to expand Mobile operations." AL Political Reporter 

"Opinion | Fighting the swamp spending culture." AL Political Reporter 

"AL oyster harvest providing help as shortage impacts Gulf seafood industry." NBC 15 

"Trump: Satellites launched by Alabama rockets saved lives in Iraq." Yellowhammer News 

"State of Alabama wins international tourism award for marketing civil rights trail." Yellowhammer News 

Photo of the Week 

Thursday was a historic day as the USS Mobile rolled out of her assembly bay and into the Mobile River! I’m glad my wife Rebecca, the ship’s official sponsor, and daughter-in-law Carolyn could attend the celebration. Everyone at Austal USA and our entire community can be proud! 

What's Ahead 

We should know after tomorrow morning's meeting of House Democrats when we will vote on appointing impeachment managers and sending them to the Senate. That vote could occur as soon as tomorrow. There is much debate on what a trial in the Senate will look like, but as the Constitution makes clear, it is up to the Senate to decide the parameters.  I've been proud of my record of standing up for President Trump and fighting this impeachment sham, and I will continue holding Pelosi, Adam Schiff and the rest of their gang's feet to the fire. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

010720- 

  

Dear Friend,  

Welcome to 2020!  The House returns to session this afternoon for a quorum call vote to begin the session.  However, all eyes remain on Speaker Pelosi to see if she will do as the constitution requires and send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.  Its a new year, but we still cannot get past impeachment.  

As I said before Christmas, it is outrageous that Speaker Pelosi insisted for weeks that it is urgent the House move forward with impeachment yet she now is sitting on the impeachment articles. This is just another example of why the American people do not trust Washington. With 2020 being an election year, look for more political posturing from the Democrat majority at the expense of legislation on issues the American people care about.  

Fighting the Swamp Spending Culture  

The national debt of our country now stands at a staggering $23 trillion.  By failing to act, we are placing an unearned and undeserved burden on our children and grandchildren.  That is why I voted no when Speaker Pelosi rammed the $1.4 trillion 2020 spending bills through Congress in December.  

We are spending too much money in the funding bills that Congress passes every year.  But, these annual bills that get so much attention are just a part of the problem.  

Most Americans do not know that around 61 percent of federal spending is on autopilot. Another 8 percent is spent on interest on the debt.  That leaves just over 30 percent of federal spending for Congress to actually control each year.  In 2020, the federal government will spend $4.826 trillion dollars, and $2.962 trillion of that will go out the door in the form of mandatory spending without Congress ever taking a vote on it.  Unless Congress acts, the mandatory spending number will only grow larger with time.  

As long as certain requirements are met, these mandatory spending programs receive money almost automatically.  This is contrary to what our founding fathers envisioned when they gave Congress the power of the purse and allows Congress to have a convenient excuse to duck hard spending choices.  

Within mandatory spending are many entitlement programs that we are wasting billions of dollars on and that are in desperate need of reform. These include programs like Medicaid, Disability, Obamacare, Food Stamps, and other welfare programs.  

With spending for these programs on autopilot – and rising every year – the incentive to pursue new reforms and innovations to more responsibly spend taxpayer money is not there. Once mandatory spending programs are established, there can be very little future accountability for their operation.  

For example, in 2009 during the Great Recession the federal government spent $59 billion on food stamps.  At the time, this was a record-breaking number, a 41 percent increase, but it was supposed to go down as the economy improved and we got over the financial crisis. Unbelievably, during the best economy in years, we will spend $63 billion in 2020 on food stamps! These are dollars that could go towards important priorities such as increasing our military readiness or reducing the national debt.  Yet, Congress has ceded control of them and the spending continues to rise.  

Until we address the inherent problems with mandatory spending, our progress towards increasing spending accountability will be limited.  That is why I have introduced H.R. 5538, the Mandatory Spending Control and Accountability Act.  My bill would end all autopilot spending other than the Social Security retirement program, Medicare, TRICARE, and VA Benefits.  That reduces mandatory spending to a manageable 35 percent of the federal budget, and limits autopilot spending to just programs people have earned through their work or service to our country.  

Making programs like Obamacare and food stamps subject to the annual Congressional spending process will make Congress more accountable for those dollars.  It will give us new sources to cut to reduce the deficit or to reprogram for priorities like protecting our national defense or job training without having to borrow new money.  

Most importantly, it’s just common sense.  Imagine if your family had a serious credit card problem, but you consistently tried to fix it by only changing 30 percent of your spending.  You probably would not get very far, just like Congress hasn’t over the years.  

I take seriously the responsibility to be a wise steward of your tax dollars. My bill won’t do everything to fix our debt and deficit, but it is an important start.  I will continue fighting against the swamp culture that resists making tough decisions on spending, and I will continue working towards spending your money responsibly.  

Byrne Supports Trump's Decision to Hold Iran Accountable  

Byrne Supports Crackdown on Illegal Robocalls  

In Case You Missed It!  

"Byrne hits Omar over Soleimani reaction: ‘We have to wonder what side is she on?.’" Yellowhammer News  

"Alabama lawmakers react to U.S. airstrike that killed Iran's Gen. Qassem Soleimani." WVTM 13  

"Rep. Bradley Byrne: Reflecting the light of the world." Yellowhammer News  

"Fort Rucker soldier killed in attack on US base in Kenya." AL.com  

"BCBS of Alabama announces $250,000 to fund grants for healthy school initiatives." Yellowhammer News  

Photo of the Week  

Photo Credit: 82nd Airborne Division  

How lucky we are to be defended by the greatest military on Earth. Please join me in praying for the brave men and women who have put their lives on the line to defend our country during this contentious time.  

What's Ahead  

The House is scheduled to vote this week on a war powers resolution limiting President Trump’s military options towards Iran.  This follows the President's decision to take out the terrorist Iranian General Soleimani.  Soleimani has killed hundreds of American citizens and allies, and he undoubtedly was planning to kill many more.  Instead of jumping at another opportunity to condemn President Trump before receiving the facts, Democrats should wait until receiving a briefing offered by the Administration.  I support the President's decision to protect America from terrorist attacks, and I will remain engaged in this issue.  

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you!  

Stay in touch,  

Congressman Bradley Byrne

2019 UPDATES FROM CONGRESSMAN BRADLEY BYRNE:  

123019-

Dear Friend, 

I hope you and your family had a Merry Christmas! I was able to enjoy quality time at our family farm with our children and grandchildren. I'm energized to tackle 2020, and I hope you are too! 

2019: A Year in Review 

At this time last year, I predicted that the upcoming year with a Democrat majority in the House would be much different. While most activity in the House centered around efforts to impeach our President, I did not let that stop me from fighting for you and our state. 

One of our most significant victories this year for Alabama was reforming the Medicare wage index formula. For three decades, hospitals in rural states like Alabama have been underpaid in Medicare reimbursements. Upon taking office, I began fighting for a fix. 

With the election of President Trump, I found that we had an administration willing to listen and work with us, and as a result, Alabama’s hospitals have begun receiving significantly higher Medicare reimbursements. In the past, these dollars were siphoned off towards high population areas like New York and Los Angeles at an unfair rate. 

I was also proud to lead the Trump Administration’s school choice bill in the House, the Education Freedom Scholarship and Opportunity Act. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asked me and Senator Ted Cruz to be their champions in Congress for this Trump policy priority, and support continues growing for our bill. 

It was an honor to join President Trump several weeks ago in an education roundtable at the White House and to advocate for providing options for students locked into failing schools. 

As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I’m proud of my record advocating for a strong national defense. This year Congress passed an important National Defense Authorization Act that enables us to rebuild our military readiness after years of stagnation in the Obama administration. 

The bill allows for continued counter drug enforcement at our border, accelerates programs to counter Chinese and Russian aggression, and authorizes important bipartisan nuclear modernization programs. It also gives our troops the largest pay raise in a decade, repeals the widow’s tax, and establishes the Space Force. 

Sadly, our Second Amendment rights are under assault like no time in our history. I was proud to lead 120 of my colleagues in filing a brief before the Supreme Court in support of protecting these fundamental American rights. 

The case, N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, will determine if New York’s ban on transporting a handgun to a home or shooting range outside city limits is constitutional. Our Constitution is clear that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed, and I am glad to have had so much support from my colleagues in taking a stand against these radical efforts to take away our gun rights. 

Finally, just weeks ago, the House passed President Trump’s USMCA trade deal to replace NAFTA. Our state stands to benefit significantly, particularly our automobile manufacturing and agriculture sectors as well as steel, energy and high-tech. The USMCA is projected to create 176,000 new American jobs and raise our GDP by $68.2 billion. We will reap benefits from this deal for years to come. 

Of course, I continued holding constituent town halls throughout Southwest Alabama, and I have now held over 125 since taking office. Your input is important to me, and I appreciate everyone who has participated over the years. We have a great state full of amazing people, and I am glad to be among the leaders in Congress in the number of town halls held. 

Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Congress. I will continue fighting for you in 2020. 

ICYMI: Byrne Excoriates Pelosi for Holding Impeachment Articles 

For weeks we were told that we couldn’t wait on impeachment, and now Speaker Pelosi has decided to hold onto the articles? That puts an exclamation point after the word “sham!” Democrats’ cold feet prove they have no case against President Trump. Watch my floor speech here. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Byrne: Reflecting the light of the world."  Yellowhammer News 

"Byrne: Freedom from Religion Foundation needs to “stop forcing their ungodly, un-American views down our throats.”  AL Political Reporter 

"Byrne applauds passage of U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement."  AL Political Reporter 

"Who is really fighting for the forgotten child?" The Hill 

Photo of the Week 

Congratulations to Isabelle, JaMiyah, and Hannah on winning the Congressional App Challenge. Coding and technology proficiency are increasingly vital skills in our evolving economy. Their skills certainly will prepare them to for dynamic careers with the potential to change the world. I also want to thank their teacher, Mr. Grey Gaillard for encouraging and mentoring his students as they developed their app. His students will forever be impacted by his guidance. 

What's Ahead 

The House remains in recess until January 7. Once returning, all eyes will be on Speaker Pelosi to see if she will move to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. 

There is little doubt 2020 will hold many unexpected surprises. However, the Senate's impeachment trial, if it ever happens, will certainly result in President Trump being cleared. After that, we will see if Speaker Pelosi will get serious about working to pass legislation that stands a chance of becoming law. Sadly, 2019 was all about liberal messaging in the House instead of serious legislating. Rest assured, I will work hard and put your interests first every day. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

122419-

Dear Friend, 

Merry Christmas! As you are aware, the House voted to impeach President Trump last week. I've been vocal in my fight against this historic mistake, and I will continue speaking against this in the coming weeks as the Senate presumably takes up the trial in the new year. The House passed two funding bills to avoid a shutdown, but in true Washington fashion, the bills were released only hours before we voted. This is unacceptable, and I could not vote for such irresponsible legislation. 

However there was good news last week. The House finally moved forward with the President's USMCA trade deal with Mexico and Canada. Once enacted, American workers will see immediate benefits, and Alabama stands to gain significant jobs. 

Reflecting the Light of the World 

The first chapter of John’s Gospel tells us “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” 

It often seems as if we live in a dark world, doesn’t it?  Evil lurks all around us and too often bad things happen to good people. Falsehoods are accepted above truth and reality distorted to unreality. We value the cheap and empty things of the world and disvalue the truly worthy things. 

It’s easy to be discouraged and disappointed to the point of becoming cynical. 

But that is not the Christmas story, is it? God so loved the world that he became one of us. He literally lowered himself to become a part of His own creation and for the sole purpose of saving us. The babe in the manger became the tortured man dying on the cross – for us. 

He experienced hate and rejection, betrayal and estrangement, pain and death. All for us. 

What kind of a God does that? A God who only wants one thing: love. That’s why John talks about light in a dark world, a light which cannot be overcome. The Song of Solomon says that love is strong as death. In Jesus, love was actually stronger than death. 

So, in the midst of this dark world, as we deal with the difficulties of life, we need to go back to Bethlehem and hear the songs of angels, see the gifts of kings, feel the love of a young mother, and adore the divine baby. We need to go and find the light out there in the darkness. It’s there shining brightly and waiting for us to just believe. 

This has been a hard year and we ended it in Washington on the sad and avoidable note of the impeachment of a sitting president. I’ve repeatedly made my position on that issue clear, but the fact of the vote and the way in which it was handled was a big disappointment. The nation is worse off and for nothing at all. 

Yet, I believe in our country, in our Constitution and in the ultimate goodness of our people. We have come through so much over our history and triumphed every time. We will do so again. 

That’s not me being trite. I really do believe it, because we are what Jesus meant when He talked about the city set on the hill, the lamp that belongs on a stand. And we will continue so long as we reflect the Light of the world in the darkness around us. 

This Christmas, I hope you will make the most out of quality time with family. Dust off an old photo album or board game. Tell the Christmas story to young children. Ride around the neighborhood and look at Christmas decorations. Never miss an opportunity to share God’s love, to reflect the Light of the world in the darkness around us. 

There is so much to be grateful for, and I hope you will think about all the ways you have been blessed. 

May God bless and keep you and your family this Christmas season and may God continue to bless the United States of America. 

Byrne Files Amendment to Article of Impeachment 

Democrat hypocrisy is on full display with this sham impeachment. By the standard used against President Trump, Democrats should have impeached President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for Fast and Furious! My amendment to the articles of impeachment exposing their hypocrisy was BLOCKED. 

Byrne Speaks on House Floor Against Impeachment 

This has been a sham impeachment from the beginning. Read the transcripts! There was no quid pro quo, no bribery, no extortion, no crime, and no abuse of power. Democrats don’t even allege a crime in their articles of impeachment! Watch my floor speech here. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Byrne: House Dems holding articles of impeachment ‘shows that they’ve got cold feet.’" Yellowhammer News 

"Alabama’s U.S. House delegation unanimously supports Trump’s historic USMCA trade deal." Yellowhammer News 

"Exclusive: Byrne outlines detailed case against ‘tainted, partisan impeachment’ articles." Yellowhammer News 

"Byrne Offers Amendment to Trump Impeachment Rules: Obama, Holder ‘Should Have Been Impeached.’" Breitbart 

"GOP rep rails against Democrats for rejecting Republican impeachment amendment." The Hill 

"Bradley Byrne Releases Statement On Vote Against Impeachment." Bama Politics 

"Byrne introduces bill allowing cartels to be treated as terrorist organizations under federal law." Yellowhammer News 

"Bradley Byrne: Answering the call – fighting a phony impeachment." AL Today 

"Study: Alabama has reaped major economic rewards since Trump’s election in 2016." Yellowhammer News 

"Amidst Port of Mobile’s growth, Alabama State Port Authority recognized for performance." Yellowhammer News 

Photo of the Week 

Thank you to the students from Ms. Payne's first grade class at Daphne Elementary School and Ms. Marston's kindergarten class at St. Mary's Catholic School for sending special ornaments for my D.C. Christmas tree. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

What's Ahead 

The House is in recess for the holiday season and will return the week of January 6. I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Christmas! 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

 

120219-

Dear Friend, 

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  After spending several days traveling the state, I was glad to get some time with my family for Thanksgiving.  We have a long tradition of spending the holiday at our farm, and the tradition gets better and better as our family has continued to grow over the years.  I do hope you were enable to enjoy some time with your loved ones as well. 

Impeachment Lessons from the Distant Past 

The first true test of the Legislative branch’s impeachment powers occurred over two centuries ago in 1805. Its parallels with the current impeachment process, and the important precedent it set for determining impeachable conduct, make it worth examining today. 

That long-ago impeachment battle was waged against Samuel Chase of Maryland, a justice of the United States Supreme Court. The episode is a stern warning against the use of the power of impeachment for political purposes. 

In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson resoundingly won reelection, and his Democratic-Republican party won large majorities in both the House and the Senate. With his control over the Executive and Legislative branches secure, Jefferson looked to the third branch – the Judiciary. 

The Supreme Court, comprised at that time of only seven justices, consisted primarily of appointees of George Washington and John Adams, both members of the opposing Federalist party. Jefferson had been angered by several Supreme Court rulings and considered the court an obstacle to his political agenda. He resolved to remove that obstacle. 

Jefferson saw Chase, an unabashed Federalist appointed by Washington, as the justice most vulnerable to being removed by a partisan impeachment. Jefferson and his allies blamed Chase’s partisanship for several of his rulings against Jefferson. They claimed this conduct was worthy of impeachment. 

However, what some of Chase’s opponents considered “judicial excesses” weren’t the real issue. Chase’s partisan leanings were merely a convenient excuse to eliminate an obstacle to the Democratic-Republicans’ unchecked political power. 

Our Founders warned against falling into the trap of impeachment over partisan squabbles. In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton warned of the “danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.” Therefore, the Constitution makes clear that the only impeachable offenses are “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Did this disagreement on policy grounds rise to an impeachable offense? 

Nevertheless, with Jefferson’s directive, the House impeached Justice Chase on a party-line vote in a partisan show eerily reminiscent of today’s episode. 

It would be in the Senate, where Chase’s trial was to take place, where the Democratic-Republicans’ political motivations would come to a head with the Founders’ intentions. 

Some partisans would ignore the intent of our Founders. Senator William Giles of Virginia said impeachment is “nothing more than enquiry, by the two Houses of Congress, whether the office of any public official might not be better filled by another.” 

Of course, that contradicts what the Constitution clearly says about impeachment. 

Yet Chase’s opponents would leave no stone unturned in seeking a charge to stick as an impeachable offense. One of his defenders said Chase’s “footsteps are hunted from place to place, to find indiscretions, which may be exaggerated into crimes.” 

Does this sound familiar? 

Those Senators were keenly aware of the important precedent at stake. Most realized that whatever short-term political gains they might achieve would pale in comparison to the lasting detriment to our young nation if the Constitution and its separation of powers were to be undermined. 

Ultimately, after great deliberation, the Senate acquitted Chase, even with the Senate’s 24 Democratic-Republicans outnumbering its nine Federalists. 

Despite lacking evidence of an impeachable offense, Democrats have gone too far towards impeaching President Trump to turn back. Never mind that only months ago, Speaker Pelosi said “impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country.” 

Just like in 1805, one party seeks impeachment to gain political power. This time, a president is targeted. This poses a great threat to our Republic, and I’ll continue fighting hard to stop this scheme and protect our Constitution. 

Byrne Affirms Support for 2nd Amendment 

Read The Washington Times article here. 

Byrne Spends Thanksgiving with Family 

There’s nowhere else I’d rather be on Thanksgiving than with my family. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones!  I'm so thankful to live in the greatest country in the world, and I'm truly grateful to represent the people of Southwest Alabama. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Opinion | Much to be thankful for." AL Political Reporter 

"Rosa Parks statue unveiled in Montgomery’s Court Square." Yellowhammer News 

"Study: Hunting, fishing had $3.2 billion impact on Alabama in 2018." Yellowhammer News 

"Burnett named president of the University of Mobile." AP News 

"Alabama company named Amazon’s first national ‘Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year.’" Yellowhammer News 

Photo of the Week 

Melanie Baker, from Alabama, recently visited me while in D.C. defending her doctoral capstone project. Her work focuses on the fight to end human trafficking. Melanie is also an Army veteran! I commend Melanie for her service and for her important work to end human trafficking. 

What's Ahead 

The House gavels back into session tomorrow.  The big news of the week is that impeachment is moving to the Judiciary Committee, where the impeachment process was supposed to begin in the first place.  The Judiciary Committee is expected to move quickly so that the Democrats can hold a formal vote on articles of impeachment before the end of the year.  While this is going on, Speaker Pelosi is running out of time to move forward with the USMCA.  So many Alabama workers and industries, particularly our farmers and those in the automobile manufacturing sector, stand to benefit from this deal.  We should pass it immediately instead of continuing with the Democrats' impeachment dream that will go nowhere in the Senate. 

On the Education and Labor Committee, we will be holding a hearing the Democrat majority has titled “Growing Up in Fear: How the Trump Administration’s Immigration Policies Are Harming Children.”  President Trump has not only followed his campaign promise to tackle the crisis at our insecure border, but he has followed the law as well.  I've been an outspoken supporter of his efforts and even visited the Southern border earlier this year to see the problem firsthand.  I will continue vigorously opposing efforts to eliminate law and order at the border. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

112619-

I hope you're having a great Thanksgiving week.  Congress recessed last week after passing a Continuing Resolution (CR) funding extension through December 20th.  Once again, Congress has self-imposed a holiday backstop to force action on funding our government.  I have consistently voted against CRs because they are such an irresponsible method of running our government.  You deserve much better. 

Of course, impeachment loomed large once again on Capitol Hill.  With impeachment hearings in the Intelligence Committee apparently wrapping up, I expect the Judiciary Committee (where impeachment is intended to begin in the first place) to begin hearings soon after Thanksgiving.  The timeline is up in the air, and it remains to be seen if Democrats can force through articles of impeachment before the end of the year. 

Much to Be Thankful For 

As the year draws to a close and we enter another holiday season, I’m reminded we have much to be thankful for. 

First, I’m thankful for those who answer the call to service at home and abroad. 

It’s easy to get bogged down in the never-ending news coverage of political squabbles, but the men and women of our military are doing extraordinary things to keep global threats at bay. 

Our country remains the freest nation in the world because of their sacrifices. 

Imagine for a moment living in the volatile Middle East, or in Hong Kong in an escalating battle against China for basic rights, or under an oppressive regime like North Korea. Think of how fortunate we are not only for our military but our system of government! 

Just recently, our military scored a major victory by taking out the top ISIS commander. The American people are safer as a result of their courage and incredible work and planning. 

Earlier this year I visited our Southern border with Mexico. During this eye-opening visit, I gained a new appreciation for the work our law enforcement agencies and military are doing to stem the tide of drugs, human traffickers and other criminals crossing into our country. 

And in a world full of danger, our law enforcement keeps our communities safe. Last week, we were tragically reminded of the very real danger our law enforcement officers face every day when Lowndes County Sheriff “Big John” Williams was killed in the line of duty. 

We should thank God each day for our military, veterans and law enforcement officers. This great American experiment could not proceed without the daily sacrifices of those like Sheriff Williams. The remembrances and kind words pouring in from across the state have been incredibly moving. 

I’m thankful for my brother Dale. My brother retired from the Alabama National Guard as a command sergeant major. I think of Dale and his selflessness in serving our nation every day. 

This Spring I was afforded the opportunity to speak at a naturalization ceremony for new citizens. In a speech titled “what does it mean to be an American?” I discussed the great gifts, and responsibilities, of our representative democracy. It was a treasured experience and poignant reminder of how thankful we should be for this nation. 

I’m thankful for the state of Alabama, its wonderful people, and the opportunity to serve you in Washington. It is a blessing and an honor to represent you in our nation’s capital, and I do not take it lightly. 

I could not serve without my dedicated staff who care deeply for our country and the people we serve. I’m thankful for their commitment to the people of Southwest Alabama. 

Little is more important than family, and I have been blessed beyond measure by mine. My wife Rebecca is an amazing woman, and we are so proud of our children. I’m thankful for the opportunity Rebecca and I have gained in recent years to spoil our grandchildren! 

I’m thankful for the fall season, the changing leaves in Alabama, and football. This time of year reminds me of some of my happiest memories hunting with my boys and spending time with family at the farm. 

Most of all, I’m thankful for my God. I would not be able to accomplish anything without His constant encouragement and blessings. 

Through the seemingly nonstop bustle of the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, it’s important to keep the big things big and the little things little. As Philippians 4:6 instructs us, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” 

I pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving. 

Byrne: Pelosi Moves Impeachment Goalposts Again with Poll-Tested ‘Bribery’ Charge 

 

In a desperate attempt to find an impeachment charge that will stick, Speaker Pelosi has moved the goalposts again: Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, quid pro quo, and now bribery? What will Democrats try next? 

Byrne on CR: Impeachment Focus is Undermining Military Readiness 

Democrats are so focused on impeaching President Trump that they’ve neglected to perform Congress’s core responsibility of funding the government on time.  By once again failing to provide the certainty of stable funding, Congress is undermining the Defense Department’s planning efforts and crippling America’s military readiness.  Short-term funding bills are a bad way of doing business, and the American people and our military deserve better.  Read my full statement here. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Bradley Byrne slams Democrats’ allegation of ‘bribery’ against President Trump." Yellowhammer News 

"Bradley Byrne: The facts about Ukraine." AL Today 

"Republican congressional candidates debate the issues." WKRG 

"$18.7 million in grants awarded to help Alabama communities." Yellowhammer News 

"Public-private partnership brings Alabama STEM and computer science career awareness system." AL Political Reporter 

"Alabama AG Steve Marshall leads national coalition defending Second Amendment to SCOTUS." Yellowhammer News 

"University of Alabama student veterans march to bring awareness to veteran suicides." Yellowhammer News 

 

It was great visiting with Bayside Academy students before their Capitol tour. Seeing constituents while they’re in town, particularly when it’s their first time visiting, is one of my favorite parts of the job. It’s an honor to be a part of my constituents’ DC experience. 

What's Ahead 

Capitol Hill may be relatively silent this week, but all eyes in Alabama will be on the Iron Bowl.  I'm looking forward to my family's Thanksgiving tradition of hunting, cooking, and spending time by the fire at our farm.  I hope you and your family enjoy all of God's many blessings this season! 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

111819-

Dear Friend, 

Are you tired of impeachment yet?  House Democrats sure aren't!  Most of last week's activity in the House focused on public impeachment hearings.  However, most of the witness testimony had already been released through transcripts, so we learned little new information, certainly nothing suggesting President Trump committed an impeachable offense. 

However, we did get good news back in Alabama you may have missed.  Gulf Shores has received a $14.4 million federal BUILD grant from the Department of Transportation for Highway 59.  This grant will go towards constructing approximately two miles of a third southbound lane between County Road 8 and State Highway 180, including a new pedestrian bridge over the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, with several additional projects as well.  This project has been a priority of mine, and this is fantastic news for the area. 

Last week I also signed on as an original cosponsor of new legislation introduced with Senators Cruz and Graham and Representative Cheney that would revoke waivers for civil nuclear projects with Iran.  This would be another step towards totally dismantling President Obama's Iran nuclear deal. 

The Facts About Ukraine 

With all the allegations being made against President Trump, it’s important to examine some background and facts. 

First, let’s talk about what has been going on in Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union.  Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries on earth.  Like many former Soviet countries, oligarchs control almost all the political power.  Corruption is so rampant that many American business people refuse to operate there. 

For nearly 30 years, Republican and Democrat Presidents have pressured Ukraine to reform without much success.  Part of that outreach was aimed at preventing Russia from gaining influence there. 

But five years ago, Russia invaded Ukraine, and the two countries have been at war ever since.  After the invasion, President Obama rightly began providing them non-lethal aide.  But to maintain goodwill with the Russians, he would not sell them weapons. 

Now let’s move to 2016.  During the 2016 campaign, President Trump ran on a deep skepticism of foreign aid.  Partly as a result, senior members of the Ukrainian government took Secretary Clinton’s side. 

After his victory, Ukrainian officials scrambled to make amends with President Trump. 

Despite President Trump’s understandable skepticism towards Ukraine, he pursued policies towards Ukraine that began leading to progress.  He began selling real weapons to Ukraine to help them fight the Russians, with enormous positive effects. 

However, a few individuals in the Administration tried to convince President Trump he should forget Ukraine’s past and immediately embrace its new President.  They began, in their own words, working to change President Trump’s mind. 

It was office gossip among a handful of these individuals that led to the impeachment investigation. 

The drama started with the “whistleblower” (who lacked firsthand knowledge of what he reportedly blew the whistle on) alleging that President Trump made “demands” on President Zelensky on a phone call.  He alleged President Trump threatened to withhold security assistance to Ukraine for political favors. 

But despite this allegation, President Zelensky has publicly, clearly, and repeatedly denied any demands were ever made on him.  And the Justice Department reviewed this allegation and declined to pursue a criminal investigation. 

Further, President Trump released the transcript, and it showed that neither person said one word about the hold on that call!  You would think that if President Trump were trying to use the aid for extortion, he would have at least mentioned it. 

President Zelensky did not mention the funds either because he did not know they were on hold and, as the transcript confirms, President Trump never told him!  If that is the case, this would be a very strange quid pro quo indeed. 

Let’s use common sense here.  With President Trump’s clear skepticism of foreign aid and Ukraine’s reputation for corruption, is it surprising his Administration would want to review millions in aid to a new Ukrainian President and parliament? 

In contradiction to the bureaucratic gossip fueling this latest Democrat impeachment fantasy, not one person has testified that they had any direct knowledge that President Trump ordered aid held in exchange for a political favor.  Witnesses have speculated about the reason for the hold, but when pressed, they’ve all said some version of “I don’t know." 

Despite this sham process, we have no evidence that President Trump ordered any kind of quid pro quo.  The Ukrainians got the aid money, within days of even finding out it was on hold, and they got the meetings with President Trump and the Vice President that they wanted. 

There is no impeachable offense here, but most Democrats know that.  This is all about defeating President Trump in the 2020 election, but I think their efforts will backfire as the American people learn the truth. 

Armed with the facts, I won’t quit fighting against this sham impeachment scheme. 

Byrne Announces November Staff Community Office Hours 

This week my staff will be travelling around our district holding office hours while I am in Washington. If you need help with federal agencies like VA, Medicare, Social Security, or acquiring a passport, stop by and my staff will help. We are here to serve you! 

Byrne Refutes Democrat Impeachment Spectacle: ‘The Facts Are On Our Side’ 

Last week, I gave a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives refuting the process and the substance behind the Democrats’ sham impeachment. My remarks as prepared can be seen in full here. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Byrne on impeachment: Democrats ‘have underestimated the resolve of the American people.’" Yellowhammer News 

"Byrne introduces Full Choice for Veterans Act." The Andalusia Star News 

"Bradley Byrne: Serious about corruption? Investigate the Bidens." AL Today 

"Point Clear’s Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa named America’s best historic hotel." Yellowhammer News 

"Austal touts apprenticeship program for veterans." WKRG 

I enjoyed meeting with students from Satsuma who were in DC with the Close Up Foundation. We had a great discussion on how important it is to be engaged in public service starting at a young age.  These students have a bright future! 

What's Ahead 

The House will continue impeachment hearings this week in the Intelligence Committee.  Garnering less media attention will be the vote tomorrow to extend funding for the government another month with a continuing resolution (CR) vote.  CRs are a terrible way to do business and are particularly bad for our national security.  On December 20th, we will be in the same situation we are in now.  It is clear that impeachment is getting in the way of Congress actually doing its job. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

 

111319- 

 Rep. Bradley Byrne’s Prepared Remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives November 13, 2019 

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The House of Representatives has been a scene of serious chaos, not only today, but for weeks. Unfortunately for the American people, we have nothing to show for it. We haven’t been working on the US-Mexico Canada free trade agreement that President Trump worked so hard to negotiate. We haven’t been working on funding the military, or bipartisan legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs. No, 100 percent of the energy of this place has been devoted to the impeachment of President Trump! You know, there has been a lot of noise, a lot of rumors, and a lot of confusion about exactly what has happened and what is going on, where we are and how we got here. There is a reason for that. You see, Madam Speaker, by House rules, impeachment is under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee has a great big hearing room just across the street. That’s where an impeachment inquiry is supposed to take place. But we aren’t holding hearings there because Speaker Pelosi doesn’t want them there! Instead, the impeachment charade has been taking place in a small, restricted room, two floors underground, below this chamber, deep in the bowels of the Capitol. That room is known as the SCIF. The SCIF is a very important room because it’s where members of Congress hear about our country’s great secrets. You can’t bring a cell phone in there. You can’t bring a camera in there. And, most importantly, the public can’t go in there. Democrats made a big spectacle about holding their first public hearing today. They act as if they are making some great, virtuous action to bring forth transparency, as if they are operating with the utmost integrity. The truth is that today’s hearing is little more than a public showcasing of witnesses they’ve already interrogated and vetted in that little room to ensure they will say only what the Democrats desire. You see, Madam Speaker, by conducting impeachment in that little room, Speaker Pelosi and Adam Schiff knew that the American people wouldn’t know what was going on, what was being said. But, right outside the SCIF, that tiny room, you will find dozens of cameras and news people. Here they are, you can see, talking to Adam Schiff. Adam Schiff and his staff have been feeding these reporters bits of information for weeks. For weeks, we have been flooded with reports of so-called “explosive” things that have supposedly been said in this small, secret room. Madam Speaker, there is a rule in the House that every member of Congress has the right to at least watch a committee hearing. A couple of weeks ago, some of my colleagues and I decided that we wanted to know what was really going on in there. So, we entered the SCIF, that little room, simply to watch. Adam Schiff immediately stopped the proceedings. And, he refused to proceed until we left. There is another rule of the House that says the records of committees are the property of the House and every member is entitled to review them. There is a reason for this rule. These records don’t belong to Adam Schiff! They don’t belong to Speaker Pelosi! They don’t belong to me! They belong to the American people. So, again, I went back to the SCIF, back to that little room, and I showed them that House rule and informed them I only wanted to read the transcripts from these secret proceedings. But Chairman Schiff’s staff said no. They would not follow the rules of the House, they would not let me read them. They said, you’ll get them later, along with everybody else, when we say so. So, finally, they released the transcripts in a way that fit their agenda. Madam Speaker, I have been reading these transcripts as they come out. And, I have also been reading what the mainstream media has to say about them. Would you believe it, the mainstream media is saying exactly what Adam Schiff wants them to say! Almost none of them are talking about the other side, about President Trump’s defense. So, to make sure the American people have the facts, I felt compelled to come down to the floor tonight and talk about the things that, if you’re not reading these thousands of pages of materials, you might have missed. There have now been about 3,000 pages of testimony released. Despite many differing opinions in those pages, there is universal agreement that Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries on earth. You see, Madam Speaker, Ukraine, like many former Soviet countries, is controlled by oligarchs. These guys have almost all the wealth, most of the industry, and pretty much all of the political power. Corruption is so bad in Ukraine that many American business people refuse to do business there, because they don’t want to deal with the notorious oligarchs. And, it has been the policy of Republican and Democrat Presidents – for nearly 30 years – that Ukraine must end corruption, must adopt the rule of law, and must take away power from the oligarchs. You have had Ukrainian Presidents come and go but time and time again, things seem to stay the same. During the 2016 Presidential-election, we know that senior members of the Ukrainian government were very much on Secretary Clinton’s side. Don’t take my word for it. You can pull this article which was written in the final days of President Obama’s presidency yourself. That’s not some right-wing website, that’s Politico. It might be a little hard to read but here it says “[Ukrainian] officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.” Thanks to Adam Schiff’s star chamber rules, we still have not gotten to hear the President’s side of the story. But it should come as a surprise to no one, as some Democrats have pretended, that President Trump did not want to devote his valuable, limited time by doing things like holding an oval office meeting with the President of Ukraine, after facing stuff like this. Of course, a president not offering a rare oval office meeting is not the same thing as not providing United States support. As most know, Ukraine has been at war with Russia for about five years. Russia illegally invaded Ukraine and still has forces there today. President Obama rightly began to give non-lethal aide to Ukraine to help in that war. But President Obama would not sell weapons to Ukraine, because he was scared that it would upset the Russians. It actually was, would you believe it, President Trump who began selling real weapons to Ukraine to help them actually bring the fight to the Russians! That decision has had an enormous positive effect on Ukraine. Even those testifying who don’t like the President have praised him for that. But, again, it appears that most of the issues that the Democrats are raising started with a few individuals in the Administration trying to convince President Trump he should forget Ukraine’s past, embrace the new President of Ukraine, and put a serious amount of his time into Ukraine. They began, in their own words, working to change President Trump’s mind on Ukraine. For weeks, we have been going back and forth about what these individuals may or may not have been doing. We have a mountain of bureaucratic gossip about what was going on, who was doing what. We have a lot of conflicting testimony, speculation, and hearsay—which is gossip. But the Democrats have provided zero, and I mean no direct evidence, showing President Trump ordered some kind of quid pro quo. With all this testimony and with all these rumors, it is easy to forget that this all goes back to the whistleblower. Of course, we know that the whistleblower also lacked firsthand knowledge of what he reportedly blew the whistle on. He was, according to the Inspector General, a partisan individual. The whistleblower made allegations that President Trump made “demands” on President Zelensky on a phone call that occurred in the White House on July 25th. But, very few people in the media have reported that President Zelensky has publicly, clearly, and repeatedly denied any demands were ever made on him. They also have not reported that the Justice Department reviewed this allegation and declined to pursue a criminal investigation. Nevertheless, President Trump took the extraordinary step of releasing the transcript of this supposedly extraordinary call. You can read the entire transcript online. I hope the American people will do so because you won’t find one demand in there, not one. Read the transcripts! Madam Speaker, the other issue that has been swirling downstairs in that little room is this hold that was placed on security assistance to Ukraine and apparently some other countries as well. We know that somewhere around July 10th, the Office of Management and Budget placed a hold on certain foreign aid going to Ukraine. That is not a cancelation of the funds. That is a process allowing the funds to be reviewed. Importantly, Madam Speaker, that hold was placed before the phone call that President Trump had with President Zelensky, the call that the whistleblower raised. But, Madam Speaker, do you want to know something interesting? In the transcript, neither President Trump nor President Zelensky said one word about the hold on that call! You would think that if President Trump were trying to use the aid for extorsion, he would have at least mentioned it. You would have also figured that President Zelensky would have mentioned the issue, given how important this aid was to his country. The truth is the reason President Zelensky did not mention the funds was because he did not know the funds were on hold and President Trump never told him! Madam Speaker, this would be a very strange quid pro quo– where President Trump did not tell President Zelensky and President Zelensky did not know that the funds were on hold. In fact, it appears the Ukrainians first found out about the hold when it was reported by the press on August 29th. Never mind that the funds were released 11 or 12 days later, at the latest, unconditionally. But, let’s talk about that hold. Many of the witnesses have speculated about why OMB placed a hold on the aid, but when pressed, in all those thousands of pages, they’ve all said some version of I don’t know why the aid was placed on hold or I think it was for this reason, but I don’t really know. Let’s just look at the facts. It seems that most everybody has somehow forgotten that President Trump ran a campaign on a deep skepticism of foreign aid. He asked some tough questions that the American people appreciated – are we getting our fair share? Are the Europeans freeloading off us? So, we have a new President, a new parliament in Ukraine – is it really that surprising that an Administration run by President Trump would say, let’s take another look at this before we send another $250 million out the door? I think the American people would find that pretty reasonable. Again, Madam Speaker, we have a lot of bureaucratic gossip here, a lot of speculation, but not one person has testified that they had any direct knowledge that President Trump ordered the aid be held in exchange for some kind of political favor—not one person! In fact, the only witness who had any form of serious contact with President Trump, Ambassador Sondland, testified that he called President Trump and asked him what was going on with the aid. Almost nobody has reported it, but here is a direct quote from that exchange. In this exchange, Sondland talks about one of the Democrat witnesses raising the rumor of quid pro quo with him. So, Sondland called the President, and here you see the President directly told him, “There is no quid pro quo. No quid pro quo.” On top of that, we have Vice President Pence meeting with President Zelensky on September 1st, and about three weeks later, you have President Trump, here on the right, with President Zelensky! So, Madam Speaker, in closing – let’s review. We have got a total sham process, a real star chamber. Despite this sham of a process, we have no evidence that President Trump ordered any kind of quid pro quo, none. The call transcript shows no demand, President Zelensky says there was no demand, and no evidence shows President Trump ordered a demand. The Ukrainians got the aid money, within days of even finding out it was on hold, and finally Madam Speaker, they got the high-level meetings – not only with the President of the United States but also with the Vice President – that they wanted! But here we are, Madam Speaker. So many important issues falling by the wayside, with nothing getting done for the American people. The Constitution makes clear that impeachment is an acceptable redress only for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” – nothing less. I think my friends on the other side, unfortunately, they get up here in Washington, and they forget that although they may not like this President, he was chosen by the American people as the leader of this country. And, I am sorry, Madam Speaker, they must do much better than offering the American people some hearsay and bureaucratic gossip if they want to take this President down. The truth is this isn’t about removing the President. They know that the votes in the Senate aren’t there for that. This is about satisfying their resistance base and defeating President Trump in the 2020 election. This entire process, from its very inception, has been a hypocritical, shameful exercise in partisan political opportunism. There is no substance here. None of President Trump’s actions even approach anything remotely near impeachable conduct. But Democrats have made a critical error in orchestrating their scheme. They have underestimated the resolve of the American people that elected this President. The facts are on our side, and we will rise to the occasion and fight back against this radical scheme to remove President Trump. I yield back.

 

111219-

Dear Friend, 

I hope you had an enjoyable Veterans Day.  The holiday stirs a spectrum of emotions within many of us.  I think of my late brother Dale and his selflessness in serving our country.  I still think about him every day and am thankful for him and others who have answered the call to serve our great nation.  May we always remember our vets! 

I had a packed schedule in Alabama that culminated in several Veterans Day events in the district.  Seeing so many veterans - and those who love and appreciate them - come together in celebration reminds me why I do what I do.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you in Washington.  Its an honor and privilege to represent you. 

Today I will be introducing the Full Choice for Veterans Act to give all veterans the option to seek care outside the VA.  By allowing every veteran the option of receiving care from doctors, specialists, and hospitals in their local community, we will be one step closer to ensuring all veterans can make the choices they need and receive access to timely medical care.  I pledge to continue working to serve our veterans who have given us so much.  If you or a loved one are a veteran and need help receiving assistance or care, please reach out to my office.  We will be happy to do what we can to help you! 

Serious About Corruption? Investigate the Bidens 

Speaker Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and their Democratic colleagues have spent countless hours and taxpayer dollars to find evidence that President Trump was involved in corruption.  At the same time, Democrats refuse to even consider the fundamental issue at hand – was President Trump right to question the activities of Hunter Biden in Ukraine? 

Months ago, media reported Hunter Biden’s shady business dealings.  But, once impeachment began, the mainstream media moved to kill the story.  We’re told nothing to see there.  Yet each week, new information continues to emerge demanding a full investigation of the facts. 

We know that Hunter Biden essentially made his living as a high-powered lobbyist benefiting from his father's career as a Senator and Vice President. 

When Joe was elected Vice President, Hunter claimed to leave lobbying, but really he just shifted his game.  He formed a series of companies with Christopher Heinz, the stepson of Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and later Secretary of State John Kerry.  These kids, trading on their fathers' names and political ties, made a pretty powerful combo. 

As the New York Times reported, Biden and Heinz pursued multiple foreign business investments “where connections implied political influence and protection.” 

These guys closed lucrative deals with China right after Hunter visited China on Air Force II with his father.  Importantly, they were working in Ukraine while Joe was leading Ukrainian policy for the U.S to fight corruption. 

Ukraine is known for its corruption.  A small group of oligarchs hold most political power.  Hunter and his company went to work for one of these guys and his notoriously corrupt energy company, Burisma Holdings.  Hunter was paid up to $50,000 a month to sit on its board. 

We know Hunter knew nothing about energy or Ukraine.  But, when you’re dealing a with a corrupt country like Ukraine, and the son of the Vice President of the United States is involved in a corrupt company, that sends a signal to government officials when considering pursuing investigations. 

At the same time, Vice President Biden was threatening to withhold aid to Ukraine unless they fired the prosecutor allegedly looking into Burisma.  Senior State Department officials raised concerns about Hunter to the Vice President.  Yet, the arrangement continued until recently. 

The bottom line is that there are serious allegations here, they directly relate to impeachment, and Congress needs to find out what happened.  In fact, I introduced a H.Res. 631 directing the relevant committees to investigate alleged Biden corruption.  Despite having a substantial number of cosponsors, my resolution has been bottled up by Speaker Pelosi. 

Last week, Republicans on the Intelligence Committee echoed my resolution, requesting that if Hunter Biden is going to be the basis for impeachment, Congress should get his testimony in the impeachment inquiry.  But, Democrats have signaled they won’t allow it.  My question is, why? 

We know the answer - this is a partisan witch hunt against President Trump.  President Trump never once demanded a quid pro quo from President Zelenksy.  You can read the transcript yourself.  While the Democrats and their allies in the press have trashed President Trump for raising Burisma and Ukraine’s role in the 2016 elections, those are serious issues worthy of investigation. 

I am proud to be a leader in the pressure campaign to expose the hypocrisy of the Democrats’ sham process.  And I will continue leading the fight to investigate the Bidens and expose real corruption that may exist.  If Democrats are serious about exposing corruption, investigating Hunter Biden cannot be ignored. 

One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t win a fight you don’t join.  When you fight, good things can happen.  That is why I am going to keep fighting, to make sure the truth is out there. 

Exclusive: Byrne details why testimony proves Democrats’ impeachment case ‘would get tossed out in court’ 

The testimony we have seen so far shows a sad, fruitless search for information condemning President Trump.  One witness, Ambassador Volker, says there was no linkage between White House meetings and the investigations and he knew of no conditions for the release of the funds. He revealed that Ukraine didn’t even know about the funds being on hold until the American press reported it. Volker also testified funds get held up all the time and that neither he nor the Ukrainians ever worried they wouldn’t be released (they eventually were). If this was a quid pro quo it was a bad one. 

Read my complete interview about the shoddy evidence against the President here. 

Byrne Rejects Impeachment Witch Hunt 

In Case You Missed It! 

"BYRNE: Star Chamber impeachment driven by Trump hatred, not American values." Trussville Tribune 

"Alabama companies recognized for commitment to hiring veterans." Yellowhammer News 

"University of Mobile’s Voices of Mobile to sing at White House for Christmas." WKRG 

"Another Alabama-built littoral combat ship completes acceptance trials." Yellowhammer News 

"Shelby announces $38 million in major infrastructure grants." AL Daily News 

"New U.S. nuclear commander is Alabama native, UA grad." AL.com 

Photo of the Week 

On Veterans Day and every day I am grateful for those who so selflessly put their lives on the line in defense of the freedoms that we as Americans hold dear. Thank you! #VeteransDay 

What's Ahead 

Public impeachment hearings begin tomorrow in the House.  After months of shaping a false narrative by releasing falsehoods and cherry-picked tidbits (most of it out of context) Democrats have given in to pressure to hold public hearings.  I expect to see more of what we have seen so far - much ado about nothing.  But don't expect the evidence to stop them.  They've been telling us for years that they wanted to impeach President Trump.  Now that they have their chance, I expect us to see articles of impeachment against the President before the end of the years. 

While all this goes on, we are weeks away from the government running out of funding.  It appears likely Congressional and White House leaders work out a deal to extend the deadline to December, but we should be hashing out how we spend taxpayer dollars in the open, not behind closed doors.  Unfortunately, that's how Congress likes to do things these days. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

110419-

Happy Monday! After three weeks dominated by impeachment, the House is taking an undeserved two-week recess.  But impeachment inquiries are continuing. 

Last week was headlined by Nancy Pelosi moving forward with a resolution to formally begin impeachment proceedings.  But don't be fooled.  This is hardly the resolution Republicans demanded to give fair, open proceedings.  Instead, this partisan resolution validates the flawed, unfair process Democrats have been using!  It was so bad, two Democrats joined Republicans in voting against it. 

On the Education and Labor Committee last week, Democrats forced through a partisan higher education bill that places increased burdens on schools and drives up costs for students.  They even passed an amendment to spend more of your hard-earned dollars towards educating illegal immigrants!  I'll continue fighting on the committee to put our students first and spend taxpayer dollars wisely. 

Star Chamber Impeachment Driven by Trump Hatred, Not American Values 

An abusive, unlawful practice of the English courts from the 15th to 17th centuries was so rampant and unfair that protections against it were written into our U.S. Constitution. 

This hated and feared practice took place in the Star Chamber. 

The creators of the Star Chamber described it as a tool to stamp out corruption and seek justice for those in English society who were so powerful that no ordinary court would ever find them guilty. 

In practice, it was used to punish political enemies without the constraints of the law or the prying eyes of the public. 

Sound familiar? 

Our Founding Fathers were keenly aware of the abuses of the English government.  They valued the rights of the individual so highly that they included a Bill of Rights – our first 10 amendments – to protect them. 

One of the most important, the 5th Amendment, states that no person shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." 

The principles of due process and fairness towards the accused are not only enshrined into our Constitution but the very nature of our Republic.  These are values held deeply by all Americans. 

Unfortunately, in today’s House of Representatives, the Star Chamber is alive and well. 

For weeks, secret impeachment proceedings held by Democrats in the basement of the Capitol have deprived President Trump of his due process rights. 

Adam Schiff and his cabal of Democrats have monopolized the Intelligence Committee’s power, withholding facts, denying the President the right to participate, and extending the Republican Minority party little more than token rights. 

The few Republicans allowed to participate are prohibited by Schiff’s arbitrary rules from detailing to their fellow Republican members – or the Americans they represent – what is going on behind closed doors. 

Of course, Schiff and his Democrat staffers have shown no restraint breaking their own rules by leaking cherry-picked, misleading bits of testimony or outright lies. 

I’ve had enough of this Star Chamber, and I chose to fight back. 

Recently, my colleagues and I walked into the basement room of the Capitol where Schiff is holding his secret hearings.  We demanded to watch the proceedings. 

Schiff immediately shut them down, even though we only wanted to observe—a right required by House rules and normally extended to all Members of Congress. 

We may not have gotten to see the hearings, but the American people are beginning to see what’s going on.  They are making clear they do not approve.  And Democrats have been feeling the heat back home. 

Last week, Democrats introduced a resolution supposedly to move forward with formal impeachment proceedings in the public eye.  In reality, this resolution validates the Star Chamber proceedings we’ve seen so far and even instructs them to continue! 

This resolution was nothing but political cover for Democrats.  All Republicans in the House saw through Nancy Pelosi’s resolution and voted against it. 

Importantly, two Democrats rejected this deeply flawed process by voting with Republicans. 

Yet, Democrats continue taking a phony moral high ground.  They insist Republicans only support the President because of a “personality cult for Donald Trump.” 

Anyone looking at the facts, including the Democrats who voted against the joke impeachment resolution, know this is absurd. 

Just watch five minutes of national mainstream news to see the “anti-Trump personality cult.”  Trump Derangement Syndrome is an epidemic.  For those who suffer from it, no step is too far, no rule too sacred, to eliminate President Trump.  For them, the ends justify the means. 

This Star Chamber fundamentally violates the principles of fairness and due process Americans value so dearly.  It should never be used against Democrats or Republicans. 

This scheme is flat-out un-American, and I won’t stop fighting against it and defending our values. 

Schiff, Democrats Deny Byrne Right to View Transcripts 

Last week Democrats breached House rules to deny me access to transcripts of Adam Schiff’s impeachment depositions. They don’t want me – or you – to know what's going on deep in the basement of the Capitol. Americans should be outraged at this political coup against Donald J. Trump!  Watch me demand access here. 

Byrne: Sham Impeachment Resolution Deputizes Democrats as Prosecutor, Judge and Jury 

Why am I fighting so hard against this sham impeachment scheme? Because it is designed by Pelosi & Adam Schiff to withhold facts from you, the American people, to impeach a President who has done NOTHING worthy of impeachment. Democrats don't have a case against  Watch my speech on the House floor by clicking here. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Rep. Byrne on disrupting closed-door impeachment interview: Probe is a 'hatchet job' by Dems." FOX News 

"Bradley Byrne: ‘Adam Schiff Looked Dumbfounded’ When Republicans Entered Secret Testimony Room." Breitbart 

"Byrne: al-Baghdadi death sends message U.S. “will not tolerate hate and terrorism." AL Political Reporter 

"Bradley Byrne: To fight impeachment, Republicans must get off the sidelines." Alabama Today 

"Byrne demands transcripts, claims impeachment process is a “coup.”" WKRG 

"How Mobile could be poised to become a much larger city." AL.com 

"Tuskegee University selected by NASA for exclusive aerospace manufacturing program." Yellowhammer News 

"Alabama’s Ft. Rucker, Maxwell Air Force Base trained commander of raid that killed ISIS head." Yellowhammer News 

Photo of the Week 

It was a pleasure appearing on The Ingraham Angle on Fox News to discuss my ongoing efforts to fight back against this sham impeachment process. Laura is a big Alabama fan, and we always take time when we see each other to discuss how the team is doing. Roll Tide, Laura! 

What's Ahead 

The House is in recess for two weeks even though funding for the federal government runs out November 21st.  Instead of looking for a funding solution, Pelosi has authorized impeachment proceedings to continue through recess.  Does that tell you where their priorities lie?  Funding for the federal government is hung up by border security funding, and Democrats appear willing to block existing funding for the wall and risk shutting down the government. 

I will spend the next two weeks traveling throughout Alabama.  I hope we run into each other, but if not you can always keep track of what I'm doing on social media. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

102819-

Dear Friend, 

Welcome to another week of impeachment proceedings.  This is the third and final week of this House work period.  However, impeachment depositions are likely to continue through next week, even while the House is recessed. 

Last week was eventful, but the biggest event took place thousands of miles from our shores with the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS.  This was a significant victory for President Trump and our nation.  We sent a clear, unmistakable message across the globe that America will not tolerate hate and terrorism and that we will track down our enemies wherever they are. 

To Fight Impeachment, Republicans Must Get Off the Sidelines 

For weeks, Democrats have been holding secretive impeachment proceedings behind closed doors, out of sight of the American people. 

Chairman Adam Schiff of the House Select Committee on Intelligence has been interviewing witnesses in a restricted area deep beneath the Capitol in a small room called a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, known as a SCIF. 

The SCIF is specifically designed for classified briefings and other extremely sensitive committee business, not for non-classified witness interviews. 

It shouldn’t be this way. 

In the Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings, the House held a formal vote to begin.  In addition to giving the inquiry legitimacy, the vote outlined the rights not only of the minority but of the accused. 

In the Nixon and Clinton impeachment hearings, the respective minority parties were allowed to call witnesses, issue subpoenas, and access hearing information.  Additionally, each President and their teams were allowed to participate to ensure fairness and due process. 

How can someone defend themselves – in this proceeding or in the mind of the public – if they do not know what those accusing them are even saying? 

Nancy Pelosi and Schiff’s reasoning for enacting this scheme is obvious.  By locking down impeachment proceedings, Democrats control what information the public receives. 

Open hearings have been disastrous for Democrats.  Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony was an embarrassment.  Sometimes the truth hurts! 

But by choosing to interview witnesses in a classified room – even though they admit the information is not secret in nature – Democrats hold all the cards. 

The public receives only whatever Democrats leak to their media allies.  Lies, misinformation, and cherry-picked snippets are all the public – even most members of Congress like myself – can access. 

Efforts to impeach a duly-elected President behind closed doors require all Americans to get off the sidelines to end this scheme. 

Republicans want to get the truth out.  Americans deserve it. 

I’ve had enough, and I took action. 

Last week, a group of Republicans led by my colleague Matt Gaetz held a press conference outside the entrance to the SCIF to bring attention to the Democrats’ scheme to hide the truth. 

After the press conference, leaving the media behind, Republicans entered the restricted area outside the hearing. 

Once inside, a staff member informed me I was unable to enter the hearing but would not say why or what rule prohibited me and the Members of Congress with me from entering. 

So I led my colleagues in. 

Once inside, we quietly and orderly prepared to observe the proceedings.  Nonetheless, Democrats were dumbfounded. 

Instead of continuing, Schiff shut down the proceeding.  Despite me asking him to stay, he walked out of the room! 

It is noteworthy how the mainstream media reported our actions. 

Without being inside, the media was given free rein to report whatever they wanted with no accountability. 

CNN falsely reported I yelled in the face of Adam Schiff.  Other fake news outlets mistakenly claimed we refused to turn over our phones, which is not true.  I turned over my phone to staff of the Intelligence Committee. 

Could there be a better example of why we need to have open impeachment hearings in the public? 

Our actions are working.  Within hours, after public outcry, Democrats announced a tentative plan to open hearings in several weeks. 

However, a vague promise for future transparency isn’t good enough.  The public narrative is continuing to be misshaped through leaks and lies. 

We must end secret proceedings now.  Democrats cannot continue withholding non-classified information from Members of Congress and the public. 

The American people should be demanding open hearings.  You can bet I’ll keep fighting in Washington for an open, fair process so the American people can have the truth.  This is too important to sit on the sidelines. 

Byrne Leads Republicans In Exposing Sham Impeachment Process 

After I led a group of Republicans into the secret underground room where impeachment proceedings were taking place, Adam Schiff SHUT DOWN proceedings.  He even threatened me with an Ethics complaint!  I'm on the Armed Services Committee but am being blocked from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense's testimony. This is a SHAM!  Watch my video discussing what happened here. 

Byrne: Hypocrisy Fuels Sham Impeachment Process 

This week I gave a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives excoriating Democrats for their hypocrisy in taking extraordinary steps to violate House precedents and block transparency in the ongoing impeachment proceedings targeting President Trump. Click here to see the full speech. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Rep. Byrne on House GOP Storming ‘Impeachment’ Hearing: ‘There Is More to Come.’" Breitbart 

"Brooks, Rogers, and Byrne vote to censure Adam Schiff." AL Political Reporter 

"GOP Congressmen Send Letter To CNN’s Jeff Zucker For Refusing To Air Trump Campaign Ads." The Daily Caller 

"Aderholt, Byrne take to House floor to speak against Democrats’ impeachment inquiry." Yellowhammer News 

"Byrne: How do you solve a problem like Syria?" Yellowhammer News 

The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) is a critical law that ensures Alabama and other Gulf states receive revenue for oil and gas leases off our coasts.  Last week I had a productive discussion with members of the Coastal Alabama Partnership representing the GOMESA Revenue Sharing Coalition GRSC regarding efforts underway to increase revenue to this vital program. 

What's Ahead 

Despite impeachment grabbing all the headlines, Congress must address several important matters.  Funding for the federal government expires November 21.  The USMCA trade deal has yet to be approved by the House.  We are ignoring the crisis at the border.  And can we please consider some bipartisan measures to combat the high cost of healthcare?  Clearly impeachment madness is distracting us from issues Alabamians care about. 

This much I can promise you.  I will continue fighting as hard as I can to unveil and combat the scheme to impeach President Trump behind closed doors.  Alabamians have never been afraid of a fight, and I am committed to bringing that fighting spirit to Washington.  Alabamians deserve nothing less. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

102219-

Dear Friend, 

Welcome to another week of impeachment madness!  There will be little else going on in Washington as the House impeachment inquiries continue to dominate headlines and the attention of Congress, the White House, reporters and most everyone else. 

I have been disappointed that impeachment proceedings are occurring in secret and behind closed doors.  Adam Schiff has withheld committee documents related to the ongoing inquiry from elected representatives not on his committee.  This is one of many precedents from the Nixon and Clinton impeachment inquiries that have been broken by Democrats.  Despite Democrats' stonewalling, I will continue working to bring to light the lies and deception being thrown about during this process so you, the American people, can have the facts you need and deserve. 

Of course, while the years-long witch hunt against Trump continues, Democrats continue to ignore the very serious allegations against the Bidens. 

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Syria? 

Recent developments in Syria highlight the need for the United States to revisit its broader Middle Eastern policy. 

Early last week, I joined a small meeting of House Republicans for an update on Syria from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper where he discussed a phone call from President Erdogan of Turkey to President Trump. 

During that call, Erdogan notified President Trump that after years of waiting at the Syrian border, Turkish troops would finally cross over.  He assured that Turkey was not coming after our troops but targeting certain Kurdish factions they consider terrorists.  He gave President Trump 48 hours to relocate the two dozen or so American troops stationed on the border. 

President Trump was faced with a difficult decision.  Ultimately, he decided to remove American servicemembers from harm’s way to prevent a full-blown conflict with Turkey. 

Turkey’s incursion into Syria is wrong and very troubling.  Erdogan should never treat our President and our country the way he did on the phone call.  There will be serious consequences for his behavior. 

I support seeking methods of leverage with Turkey that do not endanger our troops. 

After President Trump proposed harsh economic sanctions, the administration negotiated a cease fire with Turkey.  The cease fire has been shaky at best, but it probably prevented many more deaths in the region. 

This is happening in the context of a greater strategic problem in the Middle East.  For at least a decade, we’ve lacked a well-defined mission.  What are our interests in the Middle East?  What do we do to pursue and protect those interests? 

Since coming to Congress and serving on the House Armed Services Committee, I have not seen a strategic, conventional interest for the U.S. in Syria, other than destroying the ISIS caliphate. 

To be sure, Kurdish forces were the largest part of the successful campaign against the caliphate, and we need to stand by them as best we can under these challenging circumstances. 

But Syria is a failed state.  It is bewildering the number of groups in some form of combat.  With so many factions, it is often difficult to know who the good guys are.  Problems between the Turks and Kurds will persist for generations, but this dispute is one of many combustible problems in the Middle East today.  Just weeks ago, Iran attacked our Saudi Arabian ally. 

We need to work with our allies to determine our strategic goals and how to reach them.  We should continue providing assistance to our allies, including the Kurds, but progress requires buy-in from all of our allies in the region. 

Turkey, as a NATO member, does currently play a role in supporting our alliance goals.  Turkey is the home of an important U.S. air base and many other critical NATO assets including U.S. nuclear weapons. 

However, Turkey’s actions cast serious doubts on whether they will honor their NATO commitments going forward, and frank discussions between Trump, Erdogan and other NATO leaders are needed. 

We must be tough with Turkey.  I still believe strong sanctions to weaken and punish Turkey are needed, and I signed on as an original cosponsor to Liz Cheney’s resolution to impose very tough sanctions. 

After the Turkish incursion, I was disappointed that the House hastily put forward a resolution condemning President Trump’s actions without knowing the full facts.  The very next day, I received a classified briefing shedding more light on his tough decision.  I think everyone in Congress should have access to these classified briefings to gain a fuller understanding of what happened. 

Instead of attacking the President, we need to have sincere bipartisan conversations and propose concrete solutions for Syria and the Middle East.  On critical national security issues, we must put America first. 

Byrne Cosponsors Brooks' Impeachment Transparency Resolution 

To get the facts they deserve, Americans need a transparent impeachment process like we had with Nixon and Clinton. But House Democrats have decided to hide the facts behind closed doors. I’m proud to cosponsor Mo Brooks' (AL-05) resolution demanding open, public proceedings. Full text of the resolution can be found here. 

Byrne Files Resolution Calling for Biden Investigation 

Last week I introduce a resolution directing three House committees to begin investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings during his father's tenure as Vice President. If the same facts in the Biden case occurred with one of President Trump’s children, Democrats would have already launched a full scale investigation. The investigation would dive into whether those business dealings resulted in improper conflicts of interests, and whether Hunter Biden’s work affected United States foreign policy or a foreign government or foreign entity’s response. Read more here. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Column: How do you solve a problem like Syria?"  Yellowhammer News 

"Byrne introducing resolution calling for investigation of Hunter Biden’s business dealings." AL.com 

"Bradley Byrne: Congress must investigate the escalating Joe Biden scandal." AL Today 

"Scholarship to fund 50 high school, college students’ path to automotive manufacturing careers." Yellowhammer News 

"Southern Alabama high school students learned about attending military service academies." FOX 10 

"Huntsville-managed SLS program gets major boost; 2024 Moon mission closer to realization." Yellowhammer News 

 

I'm glad to announce that Matthew Trest has joined my staff as a field representative based out of our Summerdale office. Matthew will be serving constituents in Baldwin and Escambia counties. I hope you will be able to meet Matthew soon as he travels throughout the district! 

What's Ahead 

This is the second of a three-week work period in the House.  Legislative activity will take a backseat to the impeachment inquiry.  While we will vote on a few partisan bills that stand no chance of passing the Senate, there will be nothing of substance accomplished for the American people. 

Despite reports that USMCA was getting nearer to the House floor for a vote, it appears that Pelosi has backtracked.  It is unfortunate for Alabama's workers that Pelosi has so much on her plate with impeachment that she is unable to get this important trade deal across the finish line. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

100719-

Dear Friend, 

Welcome to the second and final week of the House's district work period.  I'll be hosting two town halls this afternoon in Jackson and Monroeville and hope to see many of you there. 

With all the attention in Washington last week on the Democrats' impeachment crusade, you may have missed some major wins back in our district.  State unemployment reached a new historic low of 3.5 percent.  NOAA filed a new proposed rule to make state-management of our red snapper fishery permanent.  The Port of Mobile took a significant step forward towards further expansion.  Nationwide, the new Medicare wage index rule went into effect, meaning millions more for Alabama's hospitals.  And the Trump Administration rejected tariffs that the World Trade Organization had approved that would have significantly impacted Airbus Mobile's operations. 

Washington might be more focused on impeaching President Trump than working on issues Alabamians care about, but I have not stopped fighting to defend our President and the interests of the people I represent.  I'll always put the people, not politics, first. 

The Consequences of Impeachment 

In the summer of 1973, as a student intern in Washington far from my home in Mobile, I got a firsthand view as the Senate held its Watergate hearings.  For a young person, it was an amazing introduction to politics, and I was fascinated by what I saw. 

I followed the subsequent impeachment proceedings in 1974 carefully.  Unfortunately, as the facts came out, it was clear President Nixon couldn’t continue in office. 

During the Clinton impeachment drama, I was a busy father, attorney, and part time state school board member.  I could not pay as close attention, but I still watched everything unfold with great interest. 

Clinton was, and is, a perjurer and abused his office by having sexual relations with a young intern – literally in his office in the White House. 

Even so, I worried that the Republicans were overreaching with impeachment, and the voters told us we were. 

After the House impeached Clinton and he was acquitted by the Senate, Republicans lost seats in the House, and Newt Gingrich was forced to resign as Speaker. 

Fast forward to November 2016 and Donald Trump’s election as President. 

Since Day 1 of his Presidency, factions in our nation have called Donald Trump an illegitimate president.  Many Democrats in elected office have publicly called for his impeachment for over two and a half years. 

They’ve tried almost every trick in the book to manufacture something worthy of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” our Constitution requires for impeachment. 

Look no further than Adam Schiff’s recent statement before the House Intelligence Committee.  Schiff used his position as chairman of the committee to describe to a captive American audience a completely fabricated phone conversation between President Trump and the President of Ukraine. 

This is the same Adam Schiff who spent months on cable news networks promising some vague bombshell in the Mueller Report.  By now, all his credibility is in shambles. 

I was proud to cosponsor a resolution to condemn and censure Schiff for his blatant attempt to mislead the public through lies and deception. 

The American people deserve better. 

The Ukrainian deal is just the latest impeachment flavor of the week after earlier attempts fell flat. 

As with all the manufactured scandals from Russia to Justice Kavanaugh, Schiff and his allies in the national news media do not give the full truth in order to keep scandal in the headlines. 

With regards to the President’s phone call to President Zelensky of Ukraine, the Department of Justice reviewed all the evidence in August, found no evidence of a federal crime, and closed their case.  What do Democrats in the House think they will find that our nation’s criminal division could not? 

The national news media won’t tell you that because it weakens the impeachment narrative.  They are complicit with efforts to impeach at all cost. 

We must stand up during tough times like these. 

This process we are following now is unprecedented, bad for the country, and, ultimately for the Democrats, bad politics.  The substantive basis for the present line of the impeachment “inquiry” is ludicrous. 

Today, I have a much closer seat for impeachment than I did as a student in 1973.  I have followed it as closely as anyone. 

Next year, voters will have the opportunity to repudiate the Democrats for their baseless impeachment efforts.  Speaker Pelosi, Schiff, the Squad and other Democrats would be wise to pay attention to history. 

If not, and Democrats continue their impeachment crusade, Speaker Pelosi might be looking for another job as President Trump is sworn in for his second term. 

Byrne Supports Censure of Adam Schiff 

Last week, I joined a resolution to condemn and censure Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) for his attempt during last week’s House Intelligence Committee hearing to mislead the public with a false retelling of a conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky.  His imagined conversation is clearly and entirely contradicted by the transcript of the call – the same transcript House Democrats did not wait to receive before launching their phony impeachment efforts.  Schiff’s scheme to mislead the American people through lies and deception is just a further example of why this whole impeachment charade is a sham.  The American people are sick of this political posturing, and the House should do all in its power to protect what integrity remains of this institution by formally condemning his behavior and ending this politically-motivated impeachment inquiry.  You can read more here. 

Byrne on Tariff Decision: Massive Win for Alabama Workers 

The Trump Administration has announced that tariffs will not be imposed on component parts imported to Airbus Mobile’s facilities. This is a massive win for the thousands of Alabama workers connected to Airbus Mobile. I thank President Trump for joining me in always fighting for America first. Today's decision is a major win for the citizens of Alabama and our country, and I thank Senator Shelby, Governor Ivey, Mayor Stimpson and others who joined me in working with the Administration on this issue. 

 

What's Ahead 

Impeachment will remain front and center for the foreseeable future.  Congress must still pass a spending bill by November 21, but important issues like that, resolving our border crisis, and reducing the cost of healthcare will take a backseat to the Democrats' impeachment push.  I will continue fighting hard against impeachment and calling for the House to address issues Americans really care about. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

090919-

Dear Friend, 

Congress is finally back in session this week!  After a long recess, I am glad to be resuming my Congressional duties in Washington.  It was good to see so many of you across the district.  And I am glad I was able to visit Israel to meet with Israeli leaders and reinforce the American commitment to our important alliance.  Below is a snapshot of some of my Alabama travels over the past six weeks. 

August Recess Roundup 

It is a very old tradition for Congress to recess during the hot and humid month of August.  Years ago, Congress had completed its work by this time and took the rest of the year off.  However, we now reconvene after what has become known as the August District Work Period. 

This time has always been valuable for me to spend listening to my constituents.  This year, with Speaker Pelosi setting aside six whole weeks for my colleagues and me to spend in our respective districts, I took advantage.  I was glad to be able to see so many old and new friends and speak directly with people I represent throughout the district. 

During the first week of the District Work Period, Alabama got some good news.  That week, I received a call from Seema Verna, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.  Administrator Verma informed me that the Trump Administration had finalized a new rule containing reforms to the Medicare Wage Index I have fought for since coming to Congress. 

These reforms mean millions of dollars that should have been coming to Alabama hospitals will now come our way.  In the past, these dollars were going to hospitals in more populated areas like New York and Los Angeles.  This important news will especially aid our rural hospitals who have struggled for too long. 

Our district has a diversity of interests including our Gulf fisheries, manufacturing and industry, diversity small businesses, and agriculture.  I held an Economic Development Roundtable in my Mobile office with community leaders from the district to discuss all the issues and challenges they face.  I also attended a franchise roundtable at CertaPro Painters in Daphne. 

Fortunately, the Trump economy is benefitting small businesses and local economies, and tax cuts and reduced regulations have freed business owners to do what they do best. 

Of course, the water resources in our district are second to none.  It was a pleasure to speak at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Conference about our port and waterways and the need to responsibly manage these valuable resources. 

In Spanish Fort, I was able to speak to the Society of Military Engineers about all the work they do for our national security.  And I was able to make the drive to Ozark to speak with members of the Association of the United States Army. 

As you probably know, I enjoy hosting town hall meetings so I can hear directly from constituents.  Since taking office in 2014, I have held over 100 district town halls.  In August, I held lively town halls in Grand Bay and Atmore. 

Even when I am not in the district, my staff is working for you.  They hold monthly community office hours in each of the six counties I represent.  Here members of my staff can personally help you with any problems you may be experiencing with federal agencies including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicare, and Social Security.  We can help you with your passport too. 

Of course, you can always call or email my office as well if you need our assistance.  I am proud that we have helped hundreds of constituents navigate the federal bureaucracy.  Little is more satisfying to me or my staff then helping a veteran get the assistance he or she deserves. 

Speaking with Alabama nurses, farmers, mechanics, veterans, teachers, and retirees over the past six weeks was a great pleasure.  Getting the chance over Labor Day to spend time with my grandkids was a wonderful treat too. 

With Congress reconvening this week, I look forward to continuing my service to you and bringing Alabama values to Washington. 

Good Economic News 

The August Jobs Report reflects more good news for the U.S. economy and American workers!  We added 130,000 jobs, average hourly earnings are up 3.2 percent, and unemployment is at a historic low of 3.7 percent. 

Byrne Supports Huntsville for Space Command 

Last week, I sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper expressing my strong support for the U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) to be permanently headquartered in Huntsville.  The space legacy and unmatched workforce of the Rocket City make it an ideal choice for the U.S. Space Command headquarters.  Huntsville’s contributions to America’s space program and national security have expanded over the years, making Huntsville the premier hub of America’s space technology.  Click here to read my letter. 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Huntsville ‘best choice’ for Space Command, Byrne says." AL.com 

"Byrne: Celebrating Alabama’s workers." Yellowhammer News 

"Ivey announces Alabama Bicentennial Schools of Excellence." Yellowhammer News 

"Point Clear’s Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa named finalist for America’s best historic hotel." Yellowhammer News 

"Alabama to produce prototypes for new U.S. Army Hypersonic Weapons." AL Political Reporter 

Photo of the Week 

(Photo Credit: MC3 Abby Rader/U.S. Navy) 

Alabamians can be proud of our critical contributions to America's national security! It's great to see another Mobile-made LCS in Singapore outfitted with the latest and greatest in Navy weapons. 

What's Ahead 

The House is back in session this week after a long recess.  Speaker Pelosi is expected to concentrate on more gun control bills this week.  With a Republican Senate, these bills stand no chance of passing.  The House Judiciary Committee will continue ramping up impeachment efforts against President Trump.  Democrats leading the House would be much better served to address the concerns of Americans like passing the President's USMCA trade deal, addressing the national security crisis at our border, and bringing up bipartisan bills to address prescription drug prices. 

Before the month is out, Congress must pass appropriations bill to fund the government.  It is possible the House considers a short term extension while the House and Senate look to consolidate their bills.  A National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) must be passed soon as well.  It is likely the Republican Senate, which passed a bipartisan bill, will take the lead.  The House bill was poisoned by provisions unrelated to our defense like climate change. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

 

082719-

Dear Friend, 

Its good to be back in Alabama after a wonderful visit to Israel!  With continued attacks on Israel from members of Congress and even members of the mainstream media being exposed for anti-Semitic comments, there could hardly have been a better time to personally reinforce our important alliance. 

We Must Stand With Israel 

Israel means so much to our nation.  The American people have no better friend.  As the only democracy in the volatile Middle East, Israel is one of our greatest partners on the global stage.  And Israel, particularly Jerusalem, holds a close personal significance to many Americans of different faiths. 

Israel is a very special place to my wife and me.  Four years ago, Rebecca and I traveled together to the Holy Land in a visit that affected us deeply.  On this transformational trip, we renewed our baptismal covenant in the River Jordan.  From the Golan Heights to the site of Solomon’s temple, our travels reinforced our Christian faith. 

Last week, I once again visited Israel.  My visit coincided with a diplomatic dustup between Israel and two members of the Squad, Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. 

The Squad’s hatred of Israel, support of the BDS movement, and denial of Israel’s right to exist weighed heavily on the minds of many Israelis who already live in danger.  With all Israel faces, I respect Israel’s decision to block Tlaib, Omar, and their anti-Israel activism out of the country. 

The week brought many moments of poignancy that provided important perspective.  As part of our tour of the Old City of Jerusalem, we visited the Western Wall, which offered a meaningful opportunity for me to pray for our nation and state.  This was a very special moment for me. 

Looking down upon the City of David from the Temple Mount, one of the holiest spots in the world, it is difficult not to be overwhelmed.  Being near the location where Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac and walking the Southern Steps, where so many biblical figures traveled, was equally moving.  And it was thrilling to see the Bethesda pool from the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John.  Perhaps the highlight of the week occurred at the Mount of Olives and Gethsemane.  Praying at the site where Jesus prayed to his father before being crucified was a truly amazing experience. 

We met with several American and Israeli officials, including the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who provided unique insights on Israel’s challenges.  Ambassador Friedman is a true champion of the U.S.-Israeli relationship 

A highlight of the week was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  The opportunity to reinforce in person our two nations’ commitment to one another was of critical importance.  He is a great friend of the United States. 

Speaking with Israeli military officials about Israel’s missile defense programs like Iron Dome, Arrow and David’s Sling made it clear that Israel is in a tough neighborhood.  Adversaries like Iran would wipe them out if the chance arose.  Israel’s high-tech defense programs are impressive, and I’m proud of U.S. support for these programs. 

Without question, President Trump’s steps to strengthen our alliance with Israel, including the bipartisan action of relocating the American embassy to its rightful location in Jerusalem, are beneficial and long overdue.  Both parties should support actions to strengthen this alliance.  I wish all my colleagues would visit Israel and talk directly with Israelis about the challenges they face.  Israel is special place, and we must stand firm in our alliance with its people. 

Israel remains a crucial American ally in a dangerous world.  Though anti-Israel sentiments are only held by a minority of Americans, I am increasingly concerned they seem to be finding a sympathetic mouthpiece from the mainstream media.  Anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel cannot be tolerated or go unchallenged.  I promise to continue proudly standing with Israel. 

Trump Administration Closes Immigration Loophole 

The Trump Administration has moved to get rid of a loophole in immigration law that has allowed illegal immigrants to flood into our country. ‪This was the right and humanitarian thing to do. There is much more to be done, but we cannot continue to condone and encourage illegality at our Southern border that fuels the ongoing crisis.  Read more here. 

Byrne Holds August Staff Community Office Hours 

Representatives from my office will hold community office hours this week in Baldwin and Escambia counties.  If you are having problems with federal agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Medicare, Social Security, or receiving a United States passport, my staff can help.  If you can't make it, please know you can always call my office to receive help.  We work for you! 

 Tuesday, August 27 

 9:30 – 10:30 am: Spanish Fort City Hall 

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Daphne City Hall 

1:00 – 2:00 pm: Fairhope City Hall 

3:00 – 4:00 pm: Robertsdale City Hall 

 Wednesday, August 28 

10:00 – 11:00 am: Brewton City Hall 

11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Flomaton City Hall 

2:00 – 3:00 pm: Bay Minette City Hall 

Thursday, August 29 

9:00 – 10:00 am: Orange Beach City Hall 

10:30 – 11:30 am: Gulf Shores City Hall 

1:30 – 2:30 pm: Foley City Hall 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Byrne supports investigating the investigators." AL Political Reporter 

"Byrne talks military readiness at AUSA." The Southeast Sun 

"Bradley Byrne: To end violence, return to American values." Alabama Today 

"Byrne says that he respects Israel’s decision to bar Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib." AL Political Reporter 

"DeVos touts rising support for school choice, charter schools as families seek 'more control.'" The Washington Times 

"Marshall Space Flight Center taking lead on next manned lunar lander." WBRC 

"Last week, President Trump signed an executive order that will help our disabled veterans with student loan forgiveness. Our disabled veterans have sacrificed so much in service to our country, so I'm proud to see this happen for them." 

What's Ahead 

The House recess continues.  I will be traveling throughout Alabama and hope to see many of you before returning to Washington next month.  It remains to be seen what legislation Speaker Pelosi will prioritize once we return.  If things continue as they have this year, we will vote on little besides Democrat messaging bills that pander to their base and have no chance of passage into law. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

081819-

Dear Friend, 

I hope you're staying cool during this warm weather!  I worked up a sweat traveling the state this week, but it was worth it to see and talk with so many of you.  We have set new records for the number of employed Alabamians and unemployment rates, and while there is more work to be done, I am glad President Trump's policies have yielded so much economic benefit to working Alabamians. 

Back in Washington, the "Socialist Squad" was trying to make our close ally Israel sweat too.  The big news was Israel blocking members of the "Socialist Squad" from entering.  These representatives have repeatedly maligned Israel and even questioned its right to exist.  There is little question they intended to sow discord once inside the host country. 

After Israel relented and agreed to allow Rep. Rashida Tlaib entrance to visit her ailing grandmother, Rep. Tlaib turned down the trip altogether, revealing her true intention all along was to create an embarrassing public spectacle.  It is sad that Members of Congress would go through such effort seeking to embarrass one of our closest diplomatic allies, but the Democratic party increasingly has become a safe haven for hatred of Israel and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.  However, you can rest assured that I will continue to keep the heat on enemies of America and our allies. 

To End Violence, Return to American Values 

The recent violence in our country – and the passionate debates it has sparked – have led me to reflect on the emotional state of our country and the battle being waged between good and evil. 

I thought back to comments I gave earlier this year at a naturalization ceremony.  These new citizens were gifted with the opportunity to forge for themselves a new American identity, complete with all its blessings, possibilities, and responsibilities. 

That morning at the U.S.S. Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, I spoke of the American belief in self-government, that ‘we the people’ can govern ourselves.  To successfully execute such a radical (at the time) idea, we had to found our nation on some basic values.  From our adherence and loyalty to those values, our American character was created. 

I quoted the words of the nineteenth century French observer of early America, Alexis De Tocqueville, written several decades after our nation’s founding.  He said “America is great because she is good.  If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” 

De Tocqueville knew that democracy, in many ways, is a burden upon its people.  They cannot rely on the direction of an autocrat.  In a democracy, more so than other systems of government, the nature of its people is reflected in their government.  De Tocqueville knew that for a representative democracy like ours to remain, its people must be virtuous.  That is a big responsibility! 

With the goal of creating and preserving a virtuous society, our founders laid out fundamental principles.  Our natural rights were given to us by God.  Government is instituted by men to protect those rights.  With our rights preserved, our values can flourish. 

Those values have led to the traditions, vibrancy, and endurance of American culture. 

We all know that our country is one of religious freedom.  Each of us can practice any religion we choose or none at all.  The establishment clause of our constitution prohibits an official state religion. 

However, our nation has increasingly rejected our foundational beliefs in natural rights and moral absolutism – that there is universal right and wrong that does not change.  Without these beliefs, law and order and even good and evil are subjective.  Not only can these definitions change from generation to generation, but conflicting value systems will clash violently in the present. 

Unfortunately, the post-modern world in which we live seeks not only to undermine religious freedom but moral absolutism itself.  These attacks are no longer limited to the salons of liberal coastal enclaves.  They are now taking place in the halls of Congress. 

I’m also troubled by the weakening of an American quality that has served to keep our large and diverse nation together—our sense of community. 

Communities are not made up of thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook friends.  They are forged through the personal interactions all humans need.  They are forged at neighborhood parties, Little League practices, Friday night football games, and places of worship. 

Unfortunately, in recent decades, our sense of community has been lost, and the consequences have been swift and severe.  Technologies initially projected to bring us together have led to a growing epidemic of crushing isolation.  Mental health issues have skyrocketed. 

The result has been a fundamental breakdown of American society.  To reverse the trend, we must return to the values and sense of community that made America strong. 

These traditional American values are Alabama values.  They have guided me as a son, brother, father, and now grandfather.  They are the values that guide me in Washington. 

I will not remain silent while those who cherish these values are attacked and blamed for problems caused by the rejection of what made us great.  American values – and our rights – must be defended. 

Byrne Holds Grand Bay, Atmore Town Hall Meetings 

It was great to be in Grand Bay and Atmore this week for packed town hall meetings! On both locations, we had a productive discussion about the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project and my ongoing work to fight efforts to toll this project.  We also discussed our recent victory on the Medicare Wage Index.  I fought hard for this fix that will bring millions of dollars to Alabama hospitals. 

Red Snapper Season Extended 

Great news for Alabama anglers! The State has reviewed 2019 red snapper catch data and added two more days – Aug. 31 and Sep. 1 – to the private angler recreational season.  I began fighting for state management of our red snapper fishery as soon as I arrived in Washington, and I'm glad to see the Gulf Coast continue to benefit after being freed from federal bureaucracy! 

In Case You Missed It! 

"Opinion | A Washington success story." AL Political Reporter 

"Byrne: Wage index rule change is good for hospitals." Atmore Advance 

"Alabama Congressman opposes $6 toll fees for Bayway Bridge." WEAR-TV 

"Alabama announces 2 more days of red snapper season for private anglers." FOX 10 

"USDA invests $10 million to improve water infrastructure for rural Alabama." Yellowhammer News 

"‘Consistently improving’: Alabama breaks four more employment records." Yellowhammer News 

"A special report: Port of Mobile." AL Political Reporter 

It was a privilege to visit the headquarters of Shipt in Birmingham on Wednesday. Shipt is revolutionizing how American shoppers buy groceries, and I’m proud this innovation is happening in Alabama! 

What's Ahead 

While the House remains in recess this week, it will be my privilege to visit Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East.  As the only democracy in the region and one of our most important diplomatic friends, Israel must be defended against our shared geopolitical foes.  Their military and intelligence assistance to the United States plays a critical role in keeping Americans safe at home and abroad. 

I remain troubled by the growing anti-Semitism in our country, particularly from my colleagues in Congress.  I look forward to doing my part this week to reinforce the friendship between our two nations.    I look forward to telling you more about my trip next week. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

072119-

Dear Friend, 

I hope you had a great weekend and are staying cool!  The temperature was hot on the House floor last week too.  Democrats continued to ignore the problems facing Americans.  Instead, they forced through job-killing minimum wage legislation that will unfairly harm those looking to join the workforce but, fortunately, will never be signed into law. 

Democrats also passed a resolution holding Attorney General Barr and Commerce Secretary Ross in contempt.  Democrats were protesting the Trump Administration's alleged stonewalling of partisan investigations into prior efforts to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census.  Barr and Ross already had provided over 30,000 documents to Democrats, and the efforts to include the citizenship question - thanks to a bad Supreme Court decision - are no longer even going forward!  This was a total waste of Congress's time when we could address our border crisis or the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs. 

As always, Democrats prefer attacking Donald Trump to governing.  After President Trump rightly called out four Members of Congress for their long histories of un-American and anti-Semitic statements, Democrats brought a resolution to condemn the President.  Things got heated when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi broke House rules to unfairly attack President Trump.  After several hours, the House Parliamentarian confirmed Pelosi broke the rules with the language she used about the President.  The presiding officer, a Democrat, slammed down the gavel and left the floor in disgust with the overcharged political climate.  House Democrats proceeded to vote along party lines essentially to ignore the Parliamentarian - the official expert on House rules and procedures - and allow Pelosi to remain on the floor. 

With problems like these in their caucus, don't expect House Democrats to get around to addressing issues that matter to you and me. 

Border Battle Harms Alabama Communities 

The detrimental effects of the humanitarian and national security crisis on our border extend all the way to Alabama communities.  That’s why I’ve made it a priority to address our immigration policies. 

One of the most obvious ways our insecure border harms our communities is the drug trade.  Our porous border is perhaps the most significant contributing factor to the ongoing opioid crisis—the worst drug epidemic in modern American history.  In 2017, over 47,000 lives were claimed by opioids.  That’s more than those from car accidents and firearms.  These deaths have affected families across our great state. 

The drug problem is made worse by the unprecedented migrant surge.  James Carroll, director of the U.S. Office of Drug Control Policy, said just last week that drug seizures are down this year because so much attention is being diverted to humanitarian needs. 

Because of that diversion, border patrol agents and resources are unable to be allocated towards their fundamental law enforcement functions.  According to Carroll, more drugs are coming in than ever before. 

One of the primary drivers of the migrant crisis is our asylum policy.  Through a combination of loopholes worsened by a legal settlement made by the Clinton Administration, migrants are encouraged to cross our border and give themselves up to law enforcement. 

After arrest, migrants claiming asylum are eventually permitted entrance into the country while their claims are processed.  This is permitted even when migrants do not cross at a legal checkpoint. 

Although, by some estimates, only around a tenth of asylum claims are found by our courts to be legitimate, the vast majority never show up for their court date and remain free inside the United States. 

A disproportionate number of these asylum claims are made by able-bodied young men.  Only a few months ago, a Mobile teacher was killed in a car crash by an illegal immigrant minor who had falsely claimed asylum but never showed at his court date to avoid deportation. 

The coyotes and cartels, of course, have every reason to facilitate migrants along their journey and orchestrate lawlessness at the border. 

Last week, one of the biggest points of entry at the Southern border had to be shut down after a wave of nearly 50 undocumented immigrants rushed the border into Texas. The group attempted to tear down barricades and assaulted several border patrol officers who were forced to deploy tear gas and pepper balls. 

Let’s call these people what they are – criminals.  And while border agents were able to keep these criminals out of our communities, many more slip through the cracks while agents deal with illegal stunts like this and the humanitarian needs of asylee claimants. 

Last year, a 13-year-old girl in Huntsville was beheaded after witnessing the stabbing of her grandmother by gang members in a horrific incident involving members of the Sinaloa Cartel.  It is disheartening that gangs like MS-13 have infiltrated communities throughout our nation, but stories like this reinforce the sad truth that the problem is impacting Alabamians. 

There are other significant problems that do not receive headlines.  I’ve spoken with Alabama sheriffs who have shared horror stories about the strain illegal immigration places on their deputies.  And I’ve talk to incredibly frustrated school superintendents who must divert resources away from educating local students to deal with their illegal immigrant population.  Our hospitals are also placed under enormous burdens by illegal immigration.  And governments are forced to pay for services for illegal immigrants that could have gone towards roads, bridges and other services for Americans. 

This is not just a Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California issue.  This is an Alabama issue.  I will continue standing with President Trump and work to get an immigration system that works for the American people. 

Byrne Holds Prichard Town Hall 

Thanks to those of you who came to our town hall in Prichard.  Town halls are a great way for us to engage in productive discussions, and I have held well over 100 of them since coming to Congress.  On one subject, everyone in the room seemed in agreement--ALDOT must go back to the drawing board and get rid of tolls for the new I-10 bridge.  I'll continue leading the fight--as I have for years--to eliminate tolls and to pursue alternative funding for this project. 

Byrne Opposes Job-Killing Minimum Wage Bill 

Instead of government mandates that would kill jobs and depress growth, Congress should be working with President Trump to eliminate wasteful regulations and continue fueling the strong Trump economy.  To see my floor speech against this bad bill, click here. 

In Case You Missed It! 

Here are a few articles from the past week that are worth a read: 

“Opinion | Byrne: As Democrats fight, national security loses.” AL Reporter 

“Byrne: Governor needs to get ‘directly involved’ in toll issue.”  FOX10 

“Byrne offers to pay airfare for AOC, ‘The Squad’ to go live in Venezuela.”  Yellowhammer News 

“House debates wage act.”  Brewton Standard 

“Federal Indictment: Iraqi Colonel living in Mobile lied to gain citizenship.”  NBC 15 

“Byrne condemns tolls as anti-toll group grows .”  NBC 15 

“Ivey establishes study group on Alabama’s corrections system.”  Yellowhammer News 

“What not to eat: Alabama’s 2019 fish consumption advisories.”  AL.com 

 

Last week I was able to surprise Carol Gurganus from Mobile for her birthday.  I had a great time visiting with her and her family on the Capitol steps. Happy Birthday, Carol! 

What's Ahead 

House Democrats will continue neglecting the needs of the American people as they pursue their socialist agenda.  Many regressive, extremist Democrats are still fuming several weeks after a bipartisan Senate bill to offer humanitarian aid to migrants passed.  It appears their pressure campaign on Pelosi for a vote on their ultra partisan bill has won, and the regressives will have their day on the House floor this week.  Even if this bad bill passes the House, it will never see the light of day in the Senate. 

To keep up to date with what is happening on the House Floor, click here. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne

 

 

042919-

Once again, we were met this past week with the news of another tragic attack on people exercising their freedom of religion. 

My heart aches for all those impacted by the horrific shooting in California this past Saturday at the Congregation Chabad synagogue. I am keeping everyone there in my prayers. 

Additionally, I continue to pray for all those affected by the Easter Sunday attacks on worshipers in Sri Lanka last week. 

There is absolutely no room in the United States or the world for such hatred. 

This week is National Holocaust Remembrance week. It is truly awful that there are still those in the world who would carry out such violence simply due to someone’s religious practices. 

I pray that we as a nation can come together during these times to understand that we are all God’s creatures and must treat one another with dignity. 

Big Win for Rural Alabama Hospitals! 

A handful of stories in Washington generally get about 90 percent of the media’s attention. Don’t get me wrong, many of those stories are important, but much of my time in Washington is also focused on getting things done for Alabama that don’t make the front page. 

This week we got a big win on just one of those many issues. Over the last ten years, Alabama has seen a string of hospitals close. Today, 88 percent of our rural Alabama hospitals are operating in the red. This is unsustainable and represents a major challenge. 

When a rural hospital closes, it can be devastating for the surrounding area. High paying jobs are lost. Folks must drive much further for their healthcare. And, it makes it harder to attract new jobs and opportunity to our rural communities, one of my major goals. 

A significant driver of the hospital closure problem is a broken Medicare formula known as the “Wage Index”. Under the Wage Index, hospitals are paid different amounts for doing the exact same work. Some difference in payment makes sense, but Alabama hospitals are often paid thousands less than similar hospitals as nearby as Georgia or Florida. Some hospitals in areas like California and New York can be paid almost three times as much as Alabama hospitals. This is simply unfair and makes no sense. 

To make it worse, under the Wage Index, the difference grows every year. The more your hospital spends, often the more it gets from Medicare. Only in Washington would we reward hospitals that bloat their costs with more money while punishing those who operate efficiently, but that is exactly how the Wage Index works. It has been a problem for Alabama for almost 30 years. 

When President Trump came into office, one of the first things I did was meet with his Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma about this issue. Administrator Verma promised that she would look into the Wage Index. For nearly two years, my office continued to work with CMS looking for a solution. Representative Terri Sewell and I organized 45 House Members whose districts have this same problem to make suggestions on fixes to the Trump Administration. 

Based on that hard work, the Trump Administration put forward an exciting new proposal last week to reform the Wage Index. Under the Administration’s plan, Alabama hospitals are set to receive approximately $34 million more per year from Medicare, with much of that money going to rural hospitals that need it the most. Even better, none of this is new spending. It’s simply redirecting federal funds that Alabama hospitals are owed that have been unfairly going to places like Los Angeles. 

This is a huge win for our state and will help with the rural hospital problem. Like I said, you probably won’t hear much about it in the news. It’s not flashy, it’s not something that generates views and clicks, but things like this are critical to my work in Washington to move things forward for Alabama. 

Over $30 Million in Funding Coming to Alabama 

I am excited about the GOMESA funds announced last Thursday that will go towards our continuing coastal restoration and environmental protection efforts in Southwest Alabama! 

I have consistently fought to protect this program to continue its outstanding record of providing important funding to the Gulf Coast. Our coastal counties are blessed with an amazingly diverse and important ecosystem, and it is up to us to take care of these natural resources. I will continue to be a strong advocate for this important program. 

Following FY 18 sales, the Trump Administration announced last week that the State of Alabama will receive $24.47 million, Baldwin County will receive $2.75 million, and Mobile County will receive $3.3 million. All of these numbers are an increase from last year. As authorized by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Act of 2006, GOMESA funds from offshore oil sales are shared among Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 

In the past, I have offered an appropriations amendment to preserve GOMESA funds and ensure this money is not rerouted from Gulf states. 

 

More Positive Economic News for AL 

Last week, we saw two great stories out on our booming economy here in Alabama, especially here in the Southwest! 

To start, on Wednesday, Yellowhammer News reported on a recent report from the Milken Institute which found the cities of Daphne, Fairhope and Foley to be among the best performing small cities in America for job and wage growth, as well as other aspects. 

So glad to see this national recognition for Southwest Alabama! Baldwin County is growing at an incredible rate, both in population and economically, and I am proud of the hardworking Alabamians who have made that a reality. 

And on Thursday, AL.com reported that in 2018, Alabama saw $8.7 billion in investment and 17,000 new jobs added to our economy throughout the state! 

Alabama is growing at an incredible rate thanks to conservative, pro-growth, pro-America policies. 

In Case You Missed It! 

Here are a few articles from the past weeks that are worth a read: 

“Rep. Bradley Byrne releases statement on release of Mueller Report.” - ABC 33/40 

“Byrne: Alabama the Beautiful.” - Yellowhammer News 

“Alabama Republicans: Mueller report shows no collusion, conspiracies or obstruction.” - AL Pol Reporter 

“Auburn hosting workshop on federal broadband internet program for rural areas.” – AL.com 

“Alabama congressional delegation hails agency’s proposal to tweak Medicare reimbursement formula.” - AL.com 

“Mobile Police Department offers safety survey for residents to voice concerns.” – WPMI 

“Mobile Bay eastern shore ranked among best performing places in America.” – Yellowhammer News 

 

It was wonderful celebrating the conservation of 470 acres of critical coastal wildlife habitat at the Little Point Clear Unit at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Friday with Governor Kay Ivey and so many others. I was also proud to stand by Governor Ivey Friday morning as she announced a new $250,000 grant from GOMESA funds for a long-needed boat ramp in Bayou La Batre. 

What's Ahead 

This week Congress is back in Washington. 

After two weeks of hearing from folks like you, I am ready to get back to the grindstone in D.C. to take your priorities to the House Floor and to my colleagues’ ears. 

Time and again the crazy Democrats have proven that they do not care about the problems facing middle America. They are out of touch and their priorities are out of focus. 

As we get back to legislating this week, I want to thank everyone who took the time this past week to let me know what was on their mind. 

To keep up with what is happening on the House Floor this week, click here. 

As always, if you need help with a federal agency or have questions about anything under debate in Washington, please contact my office. You can call my Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or you can click here to send me an email directly. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up-to-the-minute updates. At the end of the day, my staff and I are here to serve you! 

Stay in touch, 

Congressman Bradley Byrne