Congressman Bill Flores Discusses the Latest from Washington
by Bill Flores on June 26, 2020 at 7:54 PM
House Democrats Pass Partisan Police Reform Legislation
Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This partisan, extremist legislation shows that rather than work together to pass meaningful police reform, Democrats would rather divide Americans and play politics. H.R. 7120 was drafted behind closed doors, with no bipartisan cooperation, and has zero chance of becoming law. While both Republicans and Democrats have called for effective, common-sense police reform, a number of radical elements proposed in this legislation essentially eliminates police protection for our communities.
Instead of following this political approach, House and Senate Republicans put forward the JUSTICE Act, of which I am an original cosponsor. This legislation makes widely accepted and common-sense changes to improve the way law enforcement works with their local communities, creating an opportunity for real change. It increases transparency in reporting and record-keeping. It also expands transparency, accountability, and disciplinary reporting to help restore community trust.
Before they even read the JUSTICE Act, however, Democrats began criticizing the bill, thus showing that they are far more focused on the politics surrounding this issue rather than getting actual reforms passed into law.
As an example of just how partisan this issue has become, Speaker Pelosi gave an interview on Wednesday where she said that Republicans working to pass the JUSTICE Act were 'trying to get away with murder, actually, the murder of George Floyd.' This needlessly inflammatory rhetoric against Republicans goes beyond the pale and shows that Democrats are not serious about passing legislation. Based upon their actions and rhetoric, they are more interested in attacking Republicans in an attempt to score political points than they are in helping propose positive policing solutions for our communities.
House Passes Legislation to Create New State
Today, the House passed H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act. This legislation would establish Washington, D.C. as the 51st state, on equal footing with states like Texas. Our Constitution designated Washington, D.C. as a federal city; as such, Congress has unique authority over the area as the Capital of the United States. Granting statehood to Washington, D.C. would derail Congress's authority over the federal city. It would give liberal Democrats two permanent votes in the Senate equal with those of Texas and other states. Most importantly, this legislation is unconstitutional because it attempts to modify our Constitution without going through the proper process for amendments.
New Legislation Unveiled to Improve Broadband Access
This week, I introduced the Enhancing Administrative Reviews for Broadband Deployment Act. As Americans increasingly rely on broadband connections in their daily lives, a major barrier to increasing access to broadband on American public lands is timely approval of licenses and permits. This legislation would ensure that the permitting and licensing process on American public lands proceeds quickly and efficiently rather than being caught up in bureaucratic red tape. To help ensure a streamlined process, the bill also requires an assessment of other potential administrative barriers we might face as we increase broadband access throughout the nation.
I am pleased that my bill is a part of a comprehensive package of 26 broadband bills introduced by House Republicans. This legislative package streamlines the deployment of broadband infrastructure to ensure that no American is left behind as a casualty of the digital divide. The bills in this package promote new and upgraded infrastructure deployments, incentivize competition and consumer choice, lessen regulations for building infrastructures across industries, and facilitate broadband deployment on American public land.
Transparency in the Paycheck Protection Program
Last week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury Department announced that they have agreed with Congress to make additional data regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) available to the public.
For loans above $150,000, the SBA will disclose the business names, loan amounts, and related other information for PPP loans. For loans of less than $150,000, only the total amount of the loans will be disclosed. The PPP has been a huge success in keeping paycheck flowing to hardworking Americans and has disbursed 4.5 million loans nationwide, totaling $512 billion.
Resources for the SARS-CoV-2 Virus and COVID-19
In this time of uncertainty, it can be difficult for hardworking Texans to know where to turn. Team Flores works hard to make sure that constituents have the most accurate, up-to-date information from both the federal and state governments. Click here for helpful resources on our website.
Please see below for a list of resources by topic.
For detailed information about the federal government's efforts to fight SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19, please visit the CDC website at coronavirus.gov
For detailed information at the state level, please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
Veterans can keep up to date with the latest information from the Veterans Administration by visiting va.gov/coronavirus. Guidance from local VA medical facilities about their current operating status is available on each facility's website, which can be found through VA's facility locator tool.
Small Business Owners--
Small business owners are eligible to apply for low-interest loans to deal with the economic impact of SARS-COV-2. I would recommend that you begin working with your current bank as soon as possible to be ready to utilize these resources. To apply for one of these loans through the Small Business Administration, please click here.
Other Information Resources--
Those Traveling Abroad
People Who Are Sick
If you believe that you have COVID-19, before visiting your local medical facility, community provider, urgent care center, or emergency department, I encourage you to call your local medical facility FIRST or by calling MyVA311, BEFORE heading to your healthcare facility.
Also, it is important to observe these important safeguards to stay healthy and to avoid spreading the virus -- washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, stay home if you are sick, maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from other persons, and wear a face mask if you are in public places where you can not maintain social distancing. Our Congressional offices in Washington, D.C. and in Texas (Waco and Bryan/College Station) are available to assist you. For contact numbers, please visit our website at flores.house.gov and sign up to receive our newsletters while you are there.