The Hill Report: Week of August 13 - August 17, 2018
For 56 years, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been the primary way in which Congress executes its Article 1 constitutional obligation to “provide for the common defense.” In today’s dangerous world we cannot afford to allow our enemies the slightest military advantage, and we need to make sure our men and women serving on the front-lines are equipped with cutting-edge tools to keep us safe, secure, and successful on the battlefield.
This week, President Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA) into law, which authorizes $716 billion in funding for our national defense for Fiscal Year 2019 and provides our service members the training, resources and equipment they need to defend against the threats of today and tomorrow. Altogether, I am proud to have supported this historic funding increase which:
- Provides resources for global counterterrorism efforts;
- Increases funding for training and equipment;
- Provides our troops the biggest pay raise in 9 years;
- And reforms the Pentagon.
I am also pleased to say that I helped secure a provision within the law that recognizes the importance of contributions of Spirit of America, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity, that has a 15-year track record of contributing critical private assistance to DoD missions worldwide in nearly 60 different countries. This provision will help ensure this critical partnership between the DoD and Spirit of America may continue so generous American citizens can continue to personally contribute to the efforts of our boots on the ground. Read more about Spirit of America’s active projects and completed efforts to support our servicemen and women, here.
Meetings in the District
Ben E. Keith Distributors
This week, I was delighted to tour the Ben E. Keith Distributors headquarters in Dallas, where they use leading-edge equipment and employ talented men and women to distribute beverages to businesses across Texas. When I toured the same facility last year, they had just begun installation of their new computerized product distribution system with miles of conveyor belts. This year, I was able to see it in action. This technology allows Ben E. Keith to better serve its customers, and it is always wonderful to see businesses making investments in North Texas.
Infectious Disease Society of America
I am a strong advocate of both healthcare and protecting our country, so I enjoyed touring UT Southwestern and meeting with their infectious disease team. These men and women are among North Texas’ first line of defense when combating contagious medical threats. We discussed my past and present efforts to ensure that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) receives the funding it needs to continue to make life-saving discoveries, along with plans to enhance the Clements Hospital to help ensure Dallas is prepared for future infectious disease issues.
Dallas Sigma Chi Alumni Chapter
As a leader of the Congressional Fraternal Caucus and a proud alumnus of Pi Kappa Alpha, I strongly believe in the support systems that Greek-letter organizations provide our young men and women. I was honored to speak at a meeting of the Sigma Chi Dallas alumni chapter, where we discussed my support of a strong national defense and policies that promote economic growth, in addition to my support of policies that protect the future of Greek life.
Dallas Police Department
Thank you to the Dallas Police Department for the opportunity to tour the DPD Fusion Center and for providing me with more insight into the RIGHT Care Pilot Program. This pilot program aims to improve the response time for mental health related incidences called into local police departments by being proactive with doctors, counselors, and mental health clinicians. I am excited to receive updates on their progress as the RIGHT Care Pilot Program continues. Our police officers are the cornerstone of our communities and I will continue to protect them just as they protect us.
Dallas Association of Health Underwriters
This week I was honored to speak alongside state legislators at the meeting of the Dallas Association of Health Underwriters. We discussed Association Health Plans, HSAs, and issues impacting healthcare in Texas. I have attended this event for several years, and I continue to be impressed by the depth and breadth of knowledge of these health care experts.