Commemorating Veterans Day

Click above to watch my Veterans Day message.

On Saturday, November 11th, our nation commemorated Veterans Day, a day on which we honor those who served our country. Since first being elected to Congress, I’ve been fighting for our veterans to get the care they were promised and earned. 

Our veterans face some of the most difficult and dangerous situations during their service. They shouldn’t have to wait to get the benefits they’ve earned or suffer through delays at the hands of federal bureaucrats. It is my job, not only as a member of Congress, but as an American, to support our veterans in getting the benefits they earned.

Last week, my House colleagues and I passed fourteen bills to help veterans; expanding mental health crisis care, improving accountability and efficiency at the VA, protecting vulnerable veterans from financial fraud, increasing options for time-critical organ transplants, simplifying the off-campus housing process for veterans pursuing an education and more.

Speaking at the Victoria Veterans Day ceremony.

My staff and I spent Veterans Day weekend across the district attending veterans events. I spoke at the Victoria Veterans Day ceremony last Saturday morning, where I thanked our veterans for their service and encouraged everyone to support our veterans, especially our younger veterans. Later in the day, I traveled to Bastrop where I attended the Bastrop Veterans Day Car Show and attended a ceremony in Hallettsville. 

Last Friday, I spoke at the Miller High School JROTC Veterans Day Ceremony and attended the Victoria Catholic War Veterans Marine Corps Birthday celebration. That day, Luis with my office attended the TAMUCC Veterans Day ceremony, where CAPT. Steve Banta (Ret) was the guest speaker. On Saturday morning, Luis read a message on my behalf at the Rockport Veterans Day ceremony, and attended the USS Lexington's Veterans Day celebration in the afternoon, where they played my video message (see above), and heard from Senator Ted Cruz. 

My Red Tape Cutter, LTC (RET) Vanessa Hicks-Callaway, presented flags flown at the Warrior Weekend Field of Honor to Ms. Tracy Brand, Veterans Service Officer for the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Veterans Commission in recognition of her support of the Red, White and You job fair for veterans. She also enjoyed time with students, faculty and other veterans at Howell Middle School’s Veterans Day luncheon.

(Clockwise from top left) The TAMUCC Veterans Day Ceremony, my video message being shown aboard the USS Lexington, the Rockport Veterans Day ceremony, Vanessa presenting Ms. Tracy Brand with an American flag flown at the Warrior Weekend Field of Honor.

Voting on Tax Reform

This week, the House will vote on H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act - the first substantial tax reform legislation since 1986. Americans deserve a simpler and fairer tax code that creates domestic job growth, simplifies the filing process, and ultimately allows people to keep more of their paycheck. With the Tax Cut & Jobs Act, the typical American family will see a $1,182 tax cut each year and nearly 1 million new, full-time jobs will be created.

It will help every American family in many ways:

- Reduces the seven tax brackets to just five: Zero, 12%, 25%, 35%, and 39.6%, lowering individual tax rates for low and middle-income Americans.

- Increases the standard deduction for individuals from $6,350 to $12,000, and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples.

- Increases the child tax credit from $1,000 to $1,600, which will help parents with the cost of raising children.

- Repeals the alternative minimum tax so individuals and families will no longer have to worry about calculating their taxes twice each year and be forced to pay the higher amount.

- Immediately doubles the Death Tax exemption, and phases out the tax over the next six years.

- Preserves the home mortgage interest deduction.

- Much, much more.

For more details on the tax bill the House will vote on, click here. It's my hope that all Americans will soon be able to easily file their own taxes with a system that is easier to understand, and allows them to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Speaking on the PAWS Act

Click above to watch my full speech on the PAWS Act.

Last week, I spoke on the House floor to support the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers Act, also known as the PAWS Act. The PAWS Act will set up a 5-year pilot program in the VA to provide post-9/11 veterans suffering from PTSD with service dogs if other treatments have not been successful.

Service dogs can be trained to wake their owners from nightmares, create a buffer zone in a large crowd, remind their owner to take medication, watch their owner’s back to provide a sense of security and more.

I’ve heard from veterans suffering from PTSD that sometimes the hardest thing is just getting out of bed in the morning. The consistent schedule of walking, feeding and caring for his or her service dog provides that veteran with a purpose and sense of responsibility. Ultimately, a service dog and its owner better each other’s lives. It’s important that the House passes the PAWS Act, and allows the VA to truly examine the efficacy of providing veterans with service dogs.

Click here to view my full speech on the PAWS Act.

Congratulations to Rockport-Fulton senior and former intern, Blake Mieth! Keep up the awesome work!
8 Nov 2017

Congratulations to George Gonzales, his team, and everyone at CCAD, who are doing an outstanding job of ensuring our warfighters are equipped with the aviation assets they need to keep America safe and be a force for good around the world.
8 Nov 2017

I’m hopeful that President @realDonaldTrump’s visit to Asia will push North Korea to come to the table.
7 Nov 2017

Upside to moving back to standard time... Some daylight on my way to the Capitol for work.

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