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 

1-712-770-8003 

Enter your conference code: 

591536

 

NOTE: Feel free to join us and lift up your city as we stand in agreement. 

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) 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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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