|Dear Fellow Texan,As your Representative in Congress, I am writing to update you about the work that is being done in the U.S. House of Representatives to help address the issues facing our country today and to improve opportunities for American families. If you would like to receive regular updates from my office, sign up for my newsletter by CLICKING HERE.
Building an “America that Works”
Addressing the Border Crisis
United States Customs and Border Protection has stated there have been more than 57,000 unaccompanied alien children have crossed our southern border this year, reflecting a staggering increase in recent months. The United States is a compassionate nation, and we are compassionate people, but swift action needs to be taken to solve this national security, health, and humanitarian crisis. This influx is overwhelming Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the resources of our nation’s border states, especially Texas.
It is imperative that we gain control of this situation before we see the adverse affects of having our border security resources being worn down dealing with this crisis. Instead of having Border Patrol and ICE dealing with what I believe is an administration created crisis, they should be focused on maintaining control of our border and stopping potential threats to the United States.
I believe what must be done first is to prepare these children to be reunited with their families in their home countries. We must reverse DACA and enforce all immigration laws. We must regain control of our southern border and ensure we have the needed resources to maintain a secure border. We should also be working with Mexico to improve security of its own southern border and to discourage Central Americans from sending their children on such a dangerous journey to our border. We also need to amend the 2008 Trafficking Act to close the loopholes that I feel the administration is using to keep these children in the U.S. and placing serious burdens on many Texas communities. This is a complicated issue, but the U.S. cannot be the emergency orphanage for other countries’ children.
Helping our Nation’s Veterans
To ensure that our local veterans are receiving timely, proper care, I recently visited the VA Medical Center in Waco. During my visit, I was assured that they were not keeping any secret waiting lists and that they were working to provide timely care to our veterans. It is encouraging to know that our Central Texas veterans have not been denied appointments or had to wait longer than necessary for care. Although there is still widespread mismanagement in other areas of the VA, we must continuously work towards improving accountability and access to care.
The House Veterans Affairs Committee, of which I am a member, has been conducting aggressive oversight and working hard to develop solutions to address the VA’s problems. Additionally, through the House-Senate Conference Committee, of which I am also a member, the House and the Senate have worked to iron out the differences between our respective bills that to ensure our veterans are receiving proper care and to fix VA mismanagement problems.
Most Americans inherently distrust large, federal bureaucracies. Therefore, when Congress considers reforming the VA to meet the needs of the 21st Century, we must continue to focus on creating a more agile and accountable VA with a smaller bureaucracy that is committed to putting the care of our nation’s veterans first. Our veterans deserve better treatment than they have received from the federal government’s second largest bureaucracy.
Looking more broadly, the failure of a huge federal bureaucracy to take care of our veterans is a foreboding wake-up call to hardworking American families as the tentacles of the Obamacare bureaucracy begin to invade our nation’s health care system. As a result, I will also not lose sight of the need to repeal Obamacare and replace it with reforms that utilize proven free-market systems that restore the patient-doctor relationship and that focus on patient-centered health care solutions instead of Washington bureaucrat solutions.
Stopping Government Abuse
Under Article I of our Constitution, the House is constitutionally-mandated to oversee federal government operations. On a typical legislative work week, the House will conduct 25+ hearings to fulfill this function. The purpose of these hearings are (1) to find out what happened and who was involved; (2) if applicable, fix the issues that occurred; (3) consider legislative solutions to prevent similar occurrences in the future; and (4) to work with the Appropriations Committee to defund offensive federal agency activities.
Unfortunately, I believe the administration continues to be mired in an ever-increasing number of scandals, lawless activity, incompetent behavior, and executive overreach. The following is a list of the more noteworthy activities from 2009 to now:
Earlier this year, the House passed a legislative package to combat government abuse which included several bills aimed at restoring integrity and fairness at the IRS. This troubled agency is still under investigation for its targeting of groups based on their political beliefs. The Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act will ensure that the IRS does not scrutinize and audit individuals and groups for strictly ideological partisan reasons. In order to regain the trust of the American public, we must make certain that the IRS and all federal agencies are not infringing on our rights as Americans, especially freedom of speech tied to our political beliefs.
The House also passed the Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments (ENFORCE) the Law Act. This bill is intended to hold the administration accountable by allowing the House or the Senate to file a lawsuit on behalf of the American people if they fail to execute the law. By allowing Congress to challenge what I believe is executive overreach, we can work to restore the public’s confidence in our Constitutional system of governance and preserve the balance among our three branches of federal government. We are pursuing this activity to protect the Constitutional liberties of American citizens and to hold the administration accountable to the law
Additionally, the House passed the Faithful Execution of the Law Act, which ensures greater transparency and disclosure regarding the administration’s enforcement of federal law. I believe that for too long Congress and the American public has had to rely on media leaks and other unofficial sources when the administration has decided not to enforce our laws. This is unacceptable and Americans deserve to timely know when and why the administration decides to suspend the enforcement of certain laws.
Last, but not least, the House has voted to substantially reduce the funding of the IRS and EPA, giving these agencies fewer resources to hurt hardworking American families.
The American people are looking for Washington to uphold the rule of law and to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars. We can do so by forcing the administration to increase transparency and by reducing wasteful spending. The federal government must be held accountable to follow American laws and to adhere to our Constitution. We have a duty to restore American’s trust in our federal government, and I wholeheartedly remain committed to this effort.
It is an honor to represent you in the 17th Congressional District of Texas. Please feel free to contact me whenever I can be of assistance. In the coming days, I will be hosting town hall meetings and calls throughout the district. For additional details about these town halls, please visit my websitehttp://Flores.house.gov.
I encourage each of you to continue praying for our country during these challenging times, and for our military men and women and first responders who protect us each day.
With great respect,