As the Senate begins its debate on immigration reform and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals this week, I will be working with President Trump to determine the best, most effective ways to end illegal immigration, secure our borders and provide a fair solution for DACA. President Trump shares my commitment to enforcing the rule of law, protecting Americans and strengthening America's border security, and together we can fix our immigration system for good.
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From comprehensive tax reform, to appointing a conservative judge to the Supreme Court, to fully funding and strengthening our military, President Trump is delivering on his promises to America. This week, the President released his legislative proposal for rebuilding infrastructure in America. I look forward to reviewing President Trump's proposal and working with my colleagues in Congress to fix our neglected infrastructure.
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Time and time again, the Senate has neglected to fully fund our military and delayed by almost 50-days to deliver relief to victims of Hurricane Harvey, and other major disasters in 2017.
While I would have preferred to vote on these measures independently, as the House of Representatives has done repeatedly, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law a 2-year budget agreement that backs our men and women in uniform and delivers on our promise to provide relief to victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
This bill has good parts and bad, but in times like this you either stand with President Trump and our U.S. military or you don't. I chose to vote yes to rebuild America's depleted military at a time when the world is more dangerous than ever. And every opportunity I get to fund our veterans, repeal key Obamacare provisions and deliver crucial Harvey disaster assistance to my families, which this bill does, my obligation is to support it.
As a conservative I don't like the extra spending and I strongly urge the Senate to immediately vote on the House-passed bill that puts Medicaid on a budget and saves over $800 billion — which will reduce the deficit for decades to come.
The budget agreement includes more tax cuts, crucial help to eliminate the backlog of veterans cases and critical long-term funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
In addition, the bill includes much needed community health center (CHC) funding. CHCs serve an important role in our communities by providing needed medical services to medically underserved and rural areas.
Finally, the bill slashes an Obamacare slush fund and permanently repeals the unpopular Independent Payment Advisory Board-established by President Obama to ration healthcare for seniors by giving unelected bureaucrats the power to withhold Medicare payments to local doctors and other healthcare providers.
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This past week, hundreds of residents from Grimes, Madison and Leon counties gathered to receive an update and comment on the proposed Houston to Dallas high-speed rail project. I strongly oppose the route as designated by Texas Central Rail, and any attempt by TCR to use eminent domain to take away land from hard-working Texans, or use federal dollars to fund this project. While I don't oppose high-speed rail as a concept, and strongly support infrastructure that addresses the dynamic growth of Texas, transportation improvements need to work for local communities, not against them.
I remain committed to the fight, and will continue to be a resource for you and make sure that your voices are being heard.
U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady chairs the House Ways and Means Committee.