Bradley Byrne

Bradley Byrne

ALABAMA's 1st DISTRICT

Be Sure to Give Back This Christmas

2014/12/22

If you are like me, you likely spend precious time around Christmas trying to decide on the perfect gift for your loved one. For those of us with children and grandchildren, we often search high and low to find the latest trendy toy or item. Through all the time spent searching for the perfect gift, it is especially important that we take time to reflect on what Christmas is really about and count our many blessings.  As it is written in Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” So often during the holidays we forget about those around us who are struggling in different ways.  Whether it is due to a medical condition, a loss of work or something else, there are many around us who are hurting this holiday season. To many of these people, the holidays are a time of darkness and despair.  As Christmas signifies the birth of Jesus, I hope we can all emulate the giving spirit of the Beloved Son.  This Christmas, I encourage you to give of your time or resources to help those in need because, to me, giving back is what the holidays are all about.   Christmas is about individuals like Citronelle Mayor Al McDonald who gives part of his salary each month to community schools, churches and civic organizations. Christmas is about religious organizations like St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Brewton, who opened a thrift shop to increase their community outreach and better the lives of people in the community. Christmas reminds us of individuals like the late Harry McCall Read from Flomaton who was a long-time scoutmaster with a true servant’s heart. Christmas is when local schools, organizations and businesses partner to make a positive impact, like the Great Toy Drive in Mobile which is organized by local TV station WKRG. Christmas is a special time when groups like those at Grace Fellowship in Atmore assemble special boxes for children in need all around the globe. Christmas is about students, like those in the City of Jackson, who collected more than 2,000 items during their annual canned food drive. A few weeks ago, my wife Rebecca and I volunteered at Christian Life Church’s food pantry in Orange  Beach. Just last weekend, I volunteered with the Salvation Army “Bell Ringer” program to help collect money to benefit those in need. It brought a smile to my face to see children and adults of all ages dropping money, from a small as a quarter to as big as a handful of cash, into the red kettle. Christmas is about the countless others from our area and across the nation who have set time aside to make a difference. No matter how much or how little, Christmas is time to give back to those who need it most. Let’s also not forget our military men and women who are away from their families this Christmas. Each of us should say a special prayer for the safety and security of these dedicated individuals and for the comfort of their loved ones. Through all the hustle and bustle, let us not forget that the best gift you can give this Christmas is your time and resources to help those in need. So this holiday season, and every day, let’s remember what is written in John 1:5, “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” I encourage each of you to be a shining beacon of hope this Christmas season. Read More

Byrne Responds to College Rating System Framework

2014/12/19

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1), a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, today issued the following statement in response to the Obama administration’s release of the framework for their college rating system. Byrne said: “Do we really want to set higher education policy, and have students and their parents make their college plans, based upon a rating system devised by the same people that gave us ObamaCare and Healthcare.gov?  This is another part of American life which the federal government has no business meddling in.   “I want higher education to be affordable and accessible for all Americans, but imposing subjective ratings on colleges is not a productive way to achieve that goal. I intend to use my position on the House Education and the Workforce Committee to fight this tooth and nail.” More information on the college rating system framework can be found here. Read More

Byrne Launches Redesigned Congressional Website

2014/12/18

In anticipation of the 114th Congress, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today unveiled his redesigned Congressional website. The website can be found at Byrne.House.Gov. The website, which serves as a digital office, provides constituents with detailed information about the various services offered by Congressman Byrne. On the website, constituents can schedule a tour of Washington, DC landmarks, order a flag flown over the US Capitol, get help with federal agencies, apply for a Congressional internship, send the Congressman an email, sign up for the Congressman’s weekly e-newsletter and much more. Byrne said: “My redesigned website is an important step toward remaining accessible and accountable to the people I represent. When we were discussing what changes to make, my top priority was to create a website that is easy to navigate and reflects our area’s unique culture. The new website includes information on legislation scheduled for a vote in Washington as well as various resources for students, seniors and businesses.  I encourage all my constituents to log on to Byrne.House.Gov and see the exciting changes for themselves.” In addition to the digital office, Congressman Byrne maintains three physical offices in Mobile, Summerdale and Washington, DC. Read More

Red Snapper Debate a Microcosm of Government Incompetence

2014/12/14

If you are like me, you probably enjoy spending some of your free time fishing. We are blessed to live in a place so close to one of our world’s great natural treasures: the Gulf. While some of us enjoy fishing as a hobby or for sport, others depend on the industry as their source of income or way of life. The fishing industry is a huge component of our coastal economy touching many areas including hotels, gas stations, bait and tackle shops, restaurants, condos, boat dealers, charter boat companies, and much more. All told, the value of only recreational fisheries for saltwater areas in Alabama is $797 million. The full economic impact certainly even larger. That is why it is so frustrating the federal government continues to mismanage our Red Snapper stock in the Gulf.  This year, the federal Red Snapper season was only nine days, and next year it could be even worse. The federal regulators consistently underestimate the amount of Red Snapper in the Gulf and overestimate the number of Red Snapper caught each year. As a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, I recently had the opportunity to question Mr. Samuel Rauch, a bureaucrat from the National Marine Fisheries Service, about the federal government’s mismanagement of the Red Snapper fishery in the Gulf. As you may know, the National Marine Fisheries Service is a division of the larger National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). My question to Mr. Rauch was very simple: despite having a budget of over $900 million dollars, why can’t your agency better manage the Red Snapper fishery in the Gulf? Mr. Rauch struggled to answer that question or adequately explain the federal government’s inability to get an accurate count of the Red Snapper stock in the Gulf. The most apparent reason the federal regulators can’t get the stock assessment right is because they don’t sample for Red Snapper on reefs. That is absurd considering Red Snapper are reef fish. Mr. Rauch said they can’t sample along reefs because their “trolling nets” get caught on the reefs. Here is the problem with that excuse: Just earlier this year, I went on a scientific fishing trip with Dr. Bob Shipp from the University of South Alabama. In order to get an accurate count, Dr. Shipp actually had hi-definition cameras mounted on submersible vehicles to look at the actual reefs. Dr. Shipp and South Alabama do great work, but there budget is significantly less than the $900 million given to NOAA. I just don’t understand how a major federal agency is using trolling nets to find a fish that you can only find on a reef while Dr. Ship and South Alabama are doing much better research with fewer resources. NOAA also overestimates the number of Red Snapper caught each year. Alabama Marine Resources Division Director Chris Blankenship testified at the hearing about this very issue. Despite NOAA estimating that 1,000,041 pounds of Red Snapper were landed (or caught) last year, Director Blankenship estimated the number was actually 418,000 pounds. That is a remarkable difference. NOAA depends solely on unreliable telephone surveys to count the number of landings while Alabama uses a much more complete and sound system, including cameras at major boat ramps and a mandatory reporting system. Once again, with less money the state is able to do a better job. I have advocated for a solution that would solve this problem once and for all. First, we need to shift the data collection and stock assessment responsibilities from NOAA and give those responsibilities to the Gulf State Marine Fisheries Commission. My solution also calls for the repeal of the inflexible quotas for the commercial and recreational sectors of the fishery and extending state water boundaries to nine nautical miles Gulf-wide. This issue concerns us all, whether you fish or not, because it really speaks directly to the larger problem of government incompetence. This issue highlights the problems caused by a bloated, unaccountable federal government.  Trust me: it isn't just Red Snapper in the Gulf that could be better managed by the states or private citizens. I will continue fighting for our Red Snapper season, but also standing up to the culture of "big government" that plagues Washington. Read More

Byrne: Navy Report Great News for LCS, Mobile

2014/12/12

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) responded today to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s decision on the future of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. The decision reaffirms the Navy’s need for 52 ships in the fleet, up from 32 ships where Secretary Hagel had previously halted procurement of the current LCS variants. On Thursday afternoon, Secretary Hagel announced details of the Navy’s long anticipated “Small Surface Combatant Task Force” report. While full details of the report are not available at this time and likely won’t be made available due to the classified nature of the report, Secretary Hagel left no doubt the future of the LCS remains strong. Secretary Hagel indicated he agrees with the Navy’s decision to update the current versions of the LCS, making them more lethal and survivable, rather than designing a new ship, using a foreign design or repurposing another ship currently available in the fleet. He made it abundantly clear that the Navy has a requirement for 52 Small Surface Combatants and that requirement has not changed. Upgrades to the LCS will include an over-the-horizon surface missile, upgraded air defense radar, electronic warfare capability, air defense counter measures, twin 25mm cannons to supplement the 57mm gun on the bow, anti-submarine capability (including a towed listening device and torpedo countermeasures), unmanned aircraft capabilities and additional armor protection, amongst other upgrades recommended in the SSC Task Force report. Congressman Byrne has been an outspoken supporter of the LCS and has advocated for updating the current models rather than pursuing a less capable or more costly alternative. The Independence-class LCS is built in the Port of Mobile by Austal USA, providing 4,000 direct jobs in Alabama’s First Congressional District. Byrne said: “Secretary Hagel’s decision confirms what I have known all along: the Littoral Combat Ship represents the future of the Naval fleet. My staff and I have worked hard from day one to build broad support for this important military program, and this report is a very positive development. “One of the main selling points of the LCS originally was the ship’s adaptability. By upgrading the current LCS variants to improve lethality and survivability, the Navy is choosing to keep the industrial base in place and avoid the unnecessary costs of starting a new program. “I remain steadfastly committed to supporting the Navy in fighting for the LCS and the hard working men and women at the Austal shipyard in Mobile. At a time when we have such a wide range of threats, we need to make sure our military has all the tools in its arsenal to appropriately respond. The Littoral Combat Ship is a key piece to the puzzle.” Read More

Funding Bill Includes Conservative Reforms, Alabama Priorities

2014/12/12

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) called a government funding bill passed by the House of Representatives today “good news” for Southwest Alabama and the best strategy for reining in President Barack Obama’s recent executive action on immigration. A government funding bill must be passed by the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Obama in order to avoid a government shutdown. The current funding measure expires at midnight tonight. The funding bill included a number of provisions of particular importance to Southwest Alabama: Littoral Combat Ship (LCS): fully funds the construction of 3 new ships and includes $80 million for the advance procurement of materials for a ship to be built in fiscal 2016 Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV): fully funds an additional vessel Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund: boosts funding for the Harbor Maintenance Fund, which is used to keep the Port of Mobile maintained and operating smoothly, by $100 million Waters of the US Rule: makes clear the proposed Waters of the US rule cannot apply to farm ponds and irrigation ditches. This is important to Alabama farmers and an issue Congressman Byrne has spoken out on. Byrne said: “The government funding bill approved in the House of Representatives today includes some good news for families and businesses in Southwest Alabama. From fully funding three Littoral Combat Ships to easing a burdensome regulation on our local farmers, there are many positive reforms included in this bill. Additionally, the bill includes no new funding for ObamaCare, slashes the budgets of the EPA and IRS and includes strong 2nd Amendment and pro-life policies.” The bill funds most government agencies through October 1, 2015, but funding for immigration programs and the Department of Homeland Security only runs through February 27 of next year, giving the Republican controlled House and Senate a chance to rein in President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration. Byrne said: “I have been perfectly clear about the harmful impact President Obama’s executive action on immigration will have on our country, and I am committed to fighting it tooth and nail. That said, until Republicans take control of the Senate in January, any piece of legislation must be able to get through Harry Reid’s Democrat controlled Senate. “By only funding the Department of Homeland Security through February, this strategy gives us the best chance to actually make meaningful attempts to rein in the President’s ill-conceived executive action. With the help of a Republican-controlled Senate, that will be my top priority in the next year. “Most importantly, passing this bill will allow Congress to return to ‘regular order’ and pass individual appropriations bills instead of relying on these large scale funding measures. I have made clear I won’t make a habit of supporting these giant funding bills, and I don’t consider this the best way to do the people’s business. If Senate Democrats had followed ‘regular order’ earlier this year and passed individual funding bills, we wouldn’t have been facing yet another fiscal crisis.” In addition to the funding provisions important to Southwest Alabama, the bill also included many conservative reforms: ObamaCare No new funds for ObamaCare, Requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury Department to report to Congress on improper payments of ObamaCare tax subsidies Cuts the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) by $10 million Pro Life Maintains all existing pro-life policy and funding provisions  Bans public funding for abortions in the District of Columbia, within the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and for federal prisoners Three new pro-life provisions:   Obamacare transparency - requires ObamaCare healthcare plans to tell customers if they provide abortion services Conscience protection - requires HHS Office of Civil Rights to address complaints of violations Provides $12 million in unused abstinence education funds Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Cuts EPA by $60 million (fifth consecutive year of cuts, totaling a 21% reduction since Fiscal Year 2010 and a decrease in 2,000 positions) Second Amendment Protects Second Amendment rights and prohibits EPA from regulating lead content in ammunition or fishing tackle IRS Cuts IRS funding $345.6 million ($1.5 billion below the president’s request) Prohibits IRS targeting organizations based on their ideological beliefs or for exercising their First Amendment rights Prohibits the White House ordering review of tax-exempt status Prohibits IRS funds for inappropriate videos and conferences Israel Fully funds the US-Israel Memorandum of Understanding at $3.1 billion Prohibits funds for the Palestinian Authority if it unilaterally seeks membership at the UN and does not counter incitement of violence Other provisions Stops the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) regulations related to e-Card Check No funds for high-speed rail The House passed the bill by a vote of 219 to 206, with many liberal Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, voting in opposition. Read More

Byrne Moves Baldwin County Office to Summerdale

2014/12/12

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) announced today that his Baldwin County office has relocated to a new location in Summerdale. The new office is located at 502 West Lee Avenue in Summerdale. The phone number has also changed to 251-989-2669. The office was previously located in Foley. Byrne said: “I am very excited about our new Baldwin County office in Summerdale. Being right off Highway 59, the new office location is convenient for all constituents in Baldwin County and much easier to find. Feel free to give the office a call or stop by if my staff or I can ever be of assistance.” A complete listing for each of Congressman Byrne’s offices can be found below. Baldwin County Office: (Serves all of Baldwin County) 502 West Lee Avenue Summerdale, AL 36580 Phone: 251-989-2664 Fax: 251-989-2669 Mobile Office: (Serves Mobile, Washington, Clarke, Monroe, and Escambia counties) 11 North Water Street, Suite 15290 Mobile, AL 36602 Phone: 251-690-2811 Fax: 251-690-2815 Washington, DC Office: 119 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-4931 Fax: 202-225-0562 Website: Byrne.House.Gov Read More

Byrne Challenges Obama Immigration Action in Speech from House Floor

2014/12/09

  In a speech from the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) urged President Barack Obama to abandon his “ill-conceived executive action” on immigration. Congressman Byrne also used the example of a Republican President unilaterally suspending enforcement of the Clean Air Act to demonstrate the dangerous precedent President Obama’s executive action sets. Byrne said: “Mr. Speaker, I want to ask for a moment that my colleagues imagine a situation. Imagine a few years down the road, a Republican President announces he has instructed the Justice Department to no longer enforce the Clean Air Act. That he has told the Justice Department to no longer prosecute violations of the Clean Air Act. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle for rise up with frustration and indignation. They would say the President has failed to faithfully execute the laws passed by Congress as he is Constitutionally required to do. And they would be right to do so. Well Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what is happening in our country today. President Obama has chosen unilaterally not to enforce our nation's long standing immigration laws. He has made this decision without any consultation with Congress and entirely own his own. Think for a moment about the precedent this action sets. That a President can alter long standing law simply through an executive memo and his words. A President can simply say that he is not going to enforce the law. That would be frightening to all Americans regardless of political belief. Let's be clear what this action is not. It is not prosecutorial discretion. No one doubts that the President has prosecutorial discretion, but this goes far behind that power and enters into new territory that frankly, has never before been touched. I believe this issue was settled long ago, before our country was even founded. You see in the 17th Century in Britain during this big fight between the Kings of England and Parliament, the King said that he had prerogative powers to override Parliament. And there were battles, wars in Britain about how this was going to be settled. Parliament determined in consultation with the Courts that the King couldn’t own his own do that. The King could not simply say that he would dispense with the laws or suspend their operations for a period of time. Our Founding Fathers knew this history well, and when they put together the Constitution of our country and Article II, they had that in their mind when they gave to the President the obligation, not the option, to faithfully execute the laws. All the laws of the United States, regardless of if the President agrees with them or not.     I would say this type of executive action is clearly not what the founders had in mind when they drafted our Constitution. The main overriding goal of our forefathers was to prevent the Executive from becoming too powerful, and they went to great effort to ensure a strong system of checks and balances. President Obama’s executive action runs in the face of how our government was designed to operate. Let's also remember that this year, President Obama said his policies, all of them, were on the ballot in the midterm elections. And the American people went to the polls and soundly rejected the President's policies. They made clear they were not supportive of more unilateral, executive action. They wanted us to work together. And as a Congress, we warned the President not to go forward with this executive action. Mr. Speaker, we need a solution to our nation's immigration problem. But by using Executive Action the President has made finding common ground far more difficult. I believe the House should rise above the actions of the President, and early next year we should send the President real border security legislation, similar to legislation passed this past summer yet the Senate wouldn’t even take up. The House should pass legislation to update and fix the worker VISA program. The House should pass legislation to put in place E-Verify for all employers. The House should pass legislation to tighten internal security. Then, and only then, should we have a discussion about what to do with the millions of people in this country illegally. See Mr. Speaker, the more the President acts outside the bounds of his powers, the harder it becomes to actually achieve a solution. It leads me to wonder. Does President Obama actually want a long-term, lasting solution to immigration? His actions imply otherwise. So Mr. Speaker, I ask the President to rethink his approach to the immigration debate. I urge him to abandon this ill-conceived executive action and instead to come to the table and work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to find commonsense solutions that we need to find for these problems. We are capable of doing that. That is how our Founders intended our government to operate and anything other than that is a disservice to the American people. And I yield back. Read More

Byrne, Smith Make Friendly Wager on SEC Championship Game

2014/12/05

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today announced that he had made a friendly wager on the SEC Football Championship game with one of his Missouri colleagues in the House of Representatives, Congressman Jason Smith (MO-8).  Byrne attended law school at the University of Alabama while Smith graduated from the University of Missouri. Under the terms of the wager, if Alabama wins the SEC Championship, Congressman Smith will provide Missouri BBQ to Congressman Byrne. If Missouri wins the SEC Championship, Congressman Byrne will provide Gulf Coast seafood to Congressman Smith. Byrne said: “I am so proud of our student-athletes at each of the colleges and universities in our state, especially considering an Alabama team has played for the National Championship in each season since 2009 . There is no doubt Alabama is the college football capitol of the world. “While I fully expect to be enjoying some Missouri BBQ, I never miss a chance to share our great Gulf Coast seafood with Members of Congress from other states. That said, I look forward to a big Alabama victory on Saturday.” Read More

Byrne, Smith Make Friendly Wager on SEC Championship Game

2014/12/05

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today announced that he had made a friendly wager on the SEC Football Championship game with one of his Missouri colleagues in the House of Representatives, Congressman Jason Smith (MO-8).  Byrne attended law school at the University of Alabama while Smith graduated from the University of Missouri. Under the terms of the wager, if Alabama wins the SEC Championship, Congressman Smith will provide Missouri BBQ to Congressman Byrne. If Missouri wins the SEC Championship, Congressman Byrne will provide Gulf Coast seafood to Congressman Smith. Byrne said: “I am so proud of our student-athletes at each of the colleges and universities in our state, especially considering an Alabama team has played for the National Championship in each season since 2009 . There is no doubt Alabama is the college football capitol of the world. “While I fully expect to be enjoying some Missouri BBQ, I never miss a chance to share our great Gulf Coast seafood with Members of Congress from other states. That said, I look forward to a big Alabama victory on Saturday.” Read More

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Contact Information

2236 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4931
Fax 202-225-0562
byrne.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Armed Services

Natural Resources

Bradley Byrne, 58, was born and raised in Mobile, just a few miles from the site where his great-great-great grandfather, Gerald Byrne, settled in the 1780’s.

After completing his undergraduate studies at Duke University, Byrne received his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. He has practiced law in Mobile for more than 30 years, always active in the local community in various service organizations.

Byrne served as a member of the Alabama State Board of Education and as a member of the Alabama Senate representing District 32. In 2007, Byrne was appointed by the Alabama State Board of Education as Chancellor of the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education to serve as the chief executive officer of Alabama’s two-year college system.

Byrne has been married to the former Rebecca Dukes of Montgomery for 32 years. Rebecca is the President and CEO of The Community Foundation of South Alabama, and they are the parents of four children: Patrick, Kathleen, Laura, and Colin. Bradley lives in Fairhope where he and his family are members of St. James Episcopal Church.


Serving With

Martha Roby

ALABAMA's 2nd DISTRICT

Mike Rogers

ALABAMA's 3rd DISTRICT

Robert Aderholt

ALABAMA's 4th DISTRICT

Mo Brooks

ALABAMA's 5th DISTRICT

Spencer Bachus

ALABAMA's 6th DISTRICT