Bill Flores Discusses the Latest from Washington
I issued the following statements regarding the start of the second session of the 116th Congress; H.Res. 575, Supporting Security Recommendations for the Development of Next-Generation 5G Technologies; President Trump’s recent actions to deal with a designated Middle East terrorist; and H.Con.Res 83, Nancy Pelosi’s "Protect the Terrorists" Resolution:
Start of the Second Session of the 116th Congress
When I returned to Washington this week I was hopeful that Congress would finally start addressing the issues that hardworking American families care about most. Unfortunately, this year started just as the House ended 2019 – with Democrats putting politics over progress.
The first bills that the House considered in the new year were not bipartisan efforts to secure our border, reform immigration policy, improve our health care system, or to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. Rather, Nancy Pelosi’s first action of the new year was to force up or down votes on overtly partisan bills that stand no chance of passing the Senate or being signed by the President."
President Trump’s Decisive Counterterrorism Actions in the Middle East
On January 2, 2020, President Trump informed the American people that our military had killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. Soleimani was the Iranian leader responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American military personnel and citizens. He and the Quds Force had both been designated by the Obama Administration as a terrorist and a terrorist organization. Following the incident, President Trump timely notified Congress pursuant to the War Powers Act.
In addition to the notification discussed above, representatives of the Trump Administration provided a classified briefing to Members of Congress when we returned to Washington this week. Following that comprehensive briefing regarding the President’s actions, I am able to share the following (non-classified) facts – first, there is no doubt that Soleimani was a terrorist; second, Soleimani was responsible for recent actions that resulted in the death and injury of Americans a few days earlier, as well as the attack on the American embassy in Baghdad; third, the Intelligence Community provided the President with quality information that Soleimani was engaged in activities that presented an imminent danger to American military and civilian personnel; fourth, Soleimani was in Iraq, in violation of U.N. resolutions; fifth, our Military and Intelligence personnel provided the President with clear and accurate information regarding potential Iranian responses, as well as options for follow-on American activities; sixth, President Trump complied with the provisions of the War Powers Act; and finally, but most importantly, President Trump had the clear, legal authority to conduct the Soleimani operation pursuant to powers granted to the Executive Branch under Article II of the Constitution and the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.
One of the overarching themes from that briefing and the President’s comments regarding Iran and the killing of terrorist Soleimani is that the President is committed to (1) preventing Iran from having nuclear weapons or ballistic-nuclear weapons capabilities, (2) causing Iran to cease its proliferation of terrorist activities, and (3) to encourage Iran to rejoin the international community. In this regard, the Trump Administration is committed to using economic and diplomatic efforts, as well as military resources, if required to protect American and allied interests.
The bottom line is that President Trump’s decisive action was both warranted and justified to take out a known terrorist leader who represented a clear and present danger to Americans. America and our allies are safer because of the President’s bold actions and the incredible capabilities of the United States Military."
H.Con.Res 83 - Nancy Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution to Support Terrorists and the Iranian Regime
Despite the evidence that Soleimani was planning further, imminent attacks against Americans, House Democrats sided with the Iranians and once again put their political agenda ahead of the safety and security of our nation.
One of my fellow Texas colleagues, Rep. Will Hurd, who served our country in the CIA in the Middle East wrote a compelling editorial regarding the Democrat’s actions and the behavior of some American media to side with Iran. One of the key quotes from Congressman Hurd’s editorial was the following – ‘… I never thought I would see the Iranian government be able to manipulate members of Congress, Democratic presidential candidates, and the Western media.’ I agree with Will. The response of Democrats and some media outlets to blame America and to condemn the President for his actions to keep our families safe is beyond the pale.
President Trump’s instinct is to always put America first, while Democrats’ instinct is to blame America first. They acted on this flawed instinct with a non-binding, ‘messaging’ resolution to limit the President’s ability to defend America. H.Con.Res. 83 is a ‘terrorists first’ resolution that serves only to criticize President Trump, undermine his progress in protecting Americans, and embolden an Iranian regime that has sponsored terrorism throughout the Middle East and which is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers and civilians.
I voted against this resolution because it is nothing more than a political messaging document meant to appease the most extreme members of Nancy Pelosi’s party. It attempts to forbid the use of force against any part of Iran’s government or military, even if that rogue nation is threatening or attacking American military personnel, civilians, diplomats or our Israeli allies. While this Resolution has no force of law, it dangerously emboldens Iran and the terrorist proxies that it supports."
H.Res. 575 - Supporting Cybersecurity Recommendations for the Development of Next-Generation 5G Technologies
On a more positive note, I was pleased the House considered and unanimously passed H.Res. 575, a bipartisan bill that I authored with Rep. Darren Soto (D – FL-09).
H.Res. 575 is an important resolution expressing the House of Representatives' strong support for the Prague Proposal’s 5G security recommendations. In 2019, officials from the United States and 32 other countries, the European Union and NATO participated in the Prague 5G Security Conference. At its conclusion, officials released a set of cybersecurity recommendations for nations to consider as they design, construct and administer their 5G telecom infrastructure.
5G networks have the capacity to support increased innovation and robust economic growth through innovative technologies including telemedicine, high-speed rural broadband and autonomous vehicle deployment. Recommendations from the Prague Proposals will guide allied countries and industry leaders in securing the development of 5G network architecture against bad actors such as China and Russia so that consumers can realize the full potential of the next-generation of high-speed communications."
Click on the image above to view Congressman Flores’ remarks in support of his resolution
Honoring Texas 17 Constituents
Also, this week, I was honored to go to the floor to recognize the following:
The ‘Donut Dollies’ for their service during the Vietnam Conflict
Click on the image above to view Congressman Flores’ remarks recognizing the “Donut Dollies.”
Chris and Peggy Osborne for their 33 years of service to Central Baptist Church and the Bryan/College Station Community
Click on the image above to view Congressman Flores’ remarks recognizing the Osbornes.
The 140th anniversary of The Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University