Congressman Bill Flores Discusses Recent District Meetings and Events
I released the following statements discussing meetings and events from the first part of the August District Work Period:
The August District Work Period provides members of Congress the opportunity to spend an extended period of time with constituents, away from Washington D.C. So far during this period, I have made use of this time by meeting with constituents, touring facilities and attending public events throughout the 17th Congressional District. While we still have more planned, I would like to take the opportunity to highlight some of these activities.
The one consistent message that I continue to hear from Central Texans is the need for Congress to move beyond the partisan agendas and begin working in a bipartisan manner to address the issues that Americans care about most, including – securing our border, fixing our broken immigration system, addressing prescription drug prices, improving our health care system and approving the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). It is overwhelmingly clear that Texans want Congress to forget about investigating and impeaching President Trump and to work on tangible legislation. This clear message was also a common theme conveyed by a majority of those participating in our summer town hall series events. I will bring this important message back to my colleagues when Congress reconvenes.
Visiting with the Texas Farm Bureau
Texas farmers and ranchers provide our communities and our nation with affordable and abundant supplies of food, fiber and fuel. In a recent meeting with members of the Texas Farm Bureau, we discussed both the opportunities and challenges that rural America faces. While the recent five-year farm bill provided certainty for our agriculture community, the delay in approving the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) further prevents farmers and ranchers from experiencing the increased economic growth and opportunity that would come from a stronger trade relationship with Mexico and Canada. It is vital that Congress come together to support America’s farmers and ranchers so that we can continue to grow our economy and provide more opportunity for all hardworking American families.
I met with local members of the Texas Farm Bureau to discuss the USMCA and other agriculture related issues.
Meetings with Chambers of Commerce
Our local chambers of commerce play an essential role in promoting community and economic growth. By working together with our local business leaders and employers we can further improve economic growth and opportunity for hardworking Central Texas families.
My recent meetings with the McGregor Chamber of Commerce and the Groesbeck Chamber of Commerce proved to be insightful into getting an understanding of what Congress can be doing to better serve Main Street. During these meetings, I was able to give a Washington update, and most importantly, hear from our local job creators on what issues matter the most to them. Through these discussions, it was made further evident that hardworking Texans want Congress to move past political gamesmanship and partisan agendas and focus on tackling the important issues that our nation faces.
Touring Texas Army National Guard Facilities
Always Ready and Always There – the Texas Army National Guard supports the emergency readiness, safety and security of our state and local communities. Texas guardsmen live all throughout the 17th Congressional District, which is also home to facilities in Waco and Bryan. During my recent visits to the Waco and Bryan facilities, I received an update on their current missions and capabilities. I can attest that our ‘Citizen-Soldier’ guardsmen selflessly stand ready to assist in disaster relief, emergency preparedness, border security, counterdrug efforts and reconstruction missions. We are grateful for their service and all they do for our state and our nation.
I visited with members of the 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Texas Army National Guard located in Waco, to discuss readiness, current operations and answering the call to serve.
I visited with members of the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Texas Army National Guard located in Bryan, to discuss current missions and capabilities.
Memorializing Brigadier General Joe Hanover
From the battlefields of the European theater during World War II, to his service to our local Bryan-College Station community, and at every step in between, including becoming the commanding officer of the United States Army Reserve 420th Engineer Brigade in Bryan, Brigadier General Joe Hanover personified the core values of the United States Army and Texas Aggies.
In addition to his storied military career, General Hanover spent over 35 years at the Texas Highway Department. While there, he oversaw multiple major highway projects in the 10 county Brazos Valley region. One of the most impactful was the creation of the University Drive underpass that still greatly benefits the Bryan-College Station and Texas A&M communities to this day.
After living a full life of integrity, proven leadership and selfless-service, General Hanover passed away in May 2017 at the age of 99. Immediately after his passing, my team and I looked for ways for our community to recognize and memorialize his service and sacrifice for our nation and community. While doing this, we learned that General Hanover had touched countless lives and left a truly enduring impression on the Brazos Valley. In particular, as we visited with Brazos Valley veterans and those who served with him in the 420th Engineer Brigade, it became obvious that the best way to preserve the memory of his outstanding valor and duty was to name the facility for the unit which he formerly commanded after him. In May, the Army Reserve approved our community’s request to rename the facility, and on August 3rd, it officially became the Brigadier General Joe G. Hanover Army Reserve Center.
It truly was an honor to be a part of this effort to memorialize General Hanover’s outstanding valor and duty to our country and community. We are grateful for all the support we received throughout this process, including from Congresswoman Kay Granger of Texas, who serves as the Republican Leader of the House Appropriations Committee; Sarah Tarver, General Hanover’s sister; The American Legion Earl Graham Post 159; The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4692; Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 937; The Brazos Valley Base of the United States Submarine Veterans Inc.; Gerry Hince; Jerry Nance; and Tom Marty.
Pastor Rick Sitton of the First United Methodist Church in Bryan, Congressman Flores, General Al Jones (Ret.), Chaplain Major Joe Grace and Colonel Thomas McBroom unveil a copy of the plague memorializing Brigadier General Joe Hanover.
I look forward to continuing to connect with our Central Texas communities during the remainder of the August District Work Period. In the coming weeks, I will continue to discuss my efforts to put partisanship aside and introduce legislation that will improve economic opportunities for hardworking American families and to keep America prosperous, safe, secure and great.