The Hill Report: Week of September 10 - September 14, 2018

Since 1990, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has discovered approximately 200 sophisticated drug-smuggling tunnels crossing from Mexico directly into the United States. Each of these tunnels provide the opportunity for thousands of pounds of narcotics, like heroin, and dangerous criminals who deal in human trafficking to freely cross our southern border.  

That’s why, Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and I introduced legislation to establish border tunnel task forces, comprised of Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and local law enforcement, in areas where enhanced information sharing, and law enforcement action would contribute to border security. It is my hope that the establishment of these specialized law enforcement groups will help fuel collaboration among federal, state, and local law enforcement to crack down on those who continue to enter our country illegally and seek to harm our communities. 

This week, the House passed the conference report to accompany legislation that includes funding for Energy and Water, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and the Legislative Branch. The passage of this appropriations bills is one more step in the right direction toward returning to regular order and ensuring tax payer dollars are thoughtfully allocated. When we in Congress take our time to properly appropriate funds, we can find important solutions to the issues facing the American people and address them in a fiscally responsible manner. For example, this legislation provides the highest dollar amount ever to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), an agency that needs assistance to ensure the best possible care for our selfless veterans. This legislation also addresses nuclear national security, necessary flood control infrastructure projects, and our efforts to become energy independent. 

Meetings in the District

Spring Valley Elementary School
On Monday morning, I joined the Richardson Republican Women at Spring Valley Elementary to hand out dictionaries to their third-grade students. I enjoyed discussing with the students the importance of the government’s role in providing state and local entities with tools and resources for student success and how important it is for our nation’s youth to get to know their community leaders. Seeing the student’s engage with North Texas leaders, in addition to their enthusiasm when receiving the dictionary, is a testament to why we need to continue fighting for the best possible future for our children and future generations. 

Danny O’Connell with Next Level Insurance 
This week I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of North Texas leaders at a luncheon hosted by Danny O’Connell, the CEO and founder of Next Level Insurance. The focus of our discussion was to address issues pertaining to financial services, future healthcare trends and integrating technology and practical solutions in a free enterprise market. As my colleagues and I continue the fight in Washington to grow our economy and ensure that tax policies create an atmosphere beneficial for businesses and individuals on a day to day basis, it is crucial for me to have these conversations with individuals across the 32nd District of Texas.

Baylor Scott & White Hospital 
This week, I had the honor of meeting with Dr. Klintmalm of Baylor Scott & White. He is a leader in the field of liver transplant and we discussed issues related to the allocation of donated livers and concerns with potential policy changes. Dallas is blessed to have access to leading-edge medical facilities and experts, and I consistently meet with local healthcare providers to ensure their voices are heard in Congress.

Meetings in Washington, D.C.

Asian American Hotel Owners Association 
On Thursday, I met with Texans representing the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA). Over the past 25 years, the AAHOA has represented thousands of entrepreneurs and small-business owners from the hospitality industry and are critically important economic contributors to our growing North Texas economy. In the meeting I was delighted to discuss the recent positive benefits of our tax bill with these hardworking businessmen and women. I was glad to also be able to hear their concerns and answer their questions on how we can further promote travel and tourism within the United States. Ultimately, the AAHOA and the Texas businesses they represent are a critically important part of our economy and I will continue to advocate for policies that help them, and our state, grow and succeed. 

This week I was delighted to meet with the Global Federation of Chinese Business Women, a Taiwanese association aimed at promoting Taiwanese-American women's participation in business and industry. Specifically, the association has chapters throughout the United States and seeks to promote American and Taiwanese ties through citizen diplomacy, and the exchange of international culture and business opportunities. Since my first years in Congress, I have been delighted to work with the Taiwanese-American community to ensure that the United States and Taiwan maintain strong ties and work together in the region. Simply put, Taiwan is one of our most important allies and we must do all that we can to promote our countries relationship on trade, defense, and mutual economic opportunity. 


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