Bradley Byrne

Bradley Byrne

ALABAMA's 1st DISTRICT

Byrne: EPA Comment Period Should Be Extended

2014/09/16

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) recently organized a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to extend the comment period on a proposed rule to tighten restrictions on carbon emissions from existing power plants. The letter was signed by all seven members of Alabama’s delegation in the House of Representatives. The proposed EPA rule would require existing power plants to drastically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they produce over a very short period of time, making compliance costly and complicated. The rule has already started to have an impact before even being finalized, with Alabama Power announcing the closure of several coal units in the state. The EPA has allowed for a 120-day comment period, but Congressman Byrne believes that more time is needed to seek input regarding such a sweeping regulation that will have a serious effect on Alabama jobs and cost to consumers. The letter states that the Members of Congress “do not feel that stakeholders have been afforded adequate time to fully evaluate and comment on this complex and far-reaching proposed rule.” Byrne said: “This regulation isn’t being put forward by the democratically elected Congress, but instead it’s being pushed through by federal regulators who aren’t accountable to the American people. There is no doubt this proposed regulation will cripple coal energy production, drive up costs for Alabama families, and put more Americans out of work. “This letter simply asks EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to step back and make sure all Americans have a chance to share their opinion. This regulation won’t just affect power companies and businesses, but it will have a real impact on a majority of Alabama families. Given the severity of the proposed rule, it only makes sense to allow more time for public comments.” Read More

Senseless Regulations Hurt Alabama Farmers and Foresters

2014/09/14

Imagine this: a thunderstorm rolls through Southwest Alabama and causes a small puddle to develop on an Escambia County farm. Under a rule proposed by the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this puddle could be subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. This proposed rule is the epitome of big government. The proposed rule seeks to redefine “navigable waterways” to include everything from a family pond to small ditches. The Obama administration wants to administer a power grab over our nation’s water all in the name of “environmental protection.”  Normally, changing the scope of a federal law would be the responsibility of the Congress, but the Obama administration is trying to bypass Congress and use the regulatory process to push through its radical agenda. For decades, water quality regulation has been primarily the responsibility of state governments, with some assistance from the federal government. The relationship has been successful at reducing unnecessary pollution and helping preserve our nation’s natural resources. So why would we now want to change that effective partnership and give more power to the federal government? This proposed rule would have an especially harmful impact on our farmers and foresters. Here in Alabama, we know how important the forestry and agriculture industries are to our state’s economy. Studies show that farming, forestry, livestock and crop production, and associated industries have an annual economic impact of more than $70 billion, making agriculture the top industry in Alabama. In the First District alone, agriculture employs more than 102,000 people and has an impact of over $12 billion. For these reasons, I have great concern that the federal government would impose new, burdensome regulations that take our farmers out of the fields and require them to spend precious time and resources complying with trivial rules. This isn’t just an issue of importance to farmers. In fact, my office has heard from various County Commissioners from throughout lower Alabama who are concerned about the impact the rule would have on our rural areas. Just last week, Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson visited my office to explain how the EPA rule would negatively affect Mobile County. Last week, the House of Representatives took action. I was proud to support H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014. This bill would prohibit the EPA from implementing the proposed rule redefining “waters of the United States.” It ends the power grab by the federal government and ensures most of the power remains where it belongs: with the states. H.R. 5078 passed in bipartisan fashion by a vote of 262 to 152, with 35 Democrats voting in support. This legislation now moves to the Senate where I fear it will only add to the stack of more than 40 pro-jobs bills which are stuck in the Senate. I also signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 5071, the Agricultural Conservation Flexibility Act of 2014. Currently, the EPA is trying to end a number of permitting exceptions that make things easier for farmers and foresters. The exceptions allow for normal activity, such as installing fences and managing weeds, to be free from the costly permitting process. H.R. 5071 would prevent the EPA from ending these important exceptions. Washington, DC continues to get bigger while Americans struggle to find a good paying job. Instead of growing Washington’s economy by adding more red tape and regulation, we need to focus on growing our local economies. I will continue to be a forceful advocate for real solutions that get Washington out of the way and empower more Americans. Read More

Byrne Responds to President’s ISIS Speech

2014/09/11

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s primetime address regarding a strategy for combating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Congressman Byrne recently returned from a 10-day trip to the Middle East during which he visited with foreign leaders from Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco. A clear strategy to defeat ISIS was a common theme in each of the meetings while overseas. More information on that trip can be found here. Byrne said: “I was pleased that President Obama finally put forward a strategy to combat ISIS in the Middle East. There is no doubt ISIS poses a clear, direct threat to the United States, and decisive action is badly needed. It is now important the President’s actions match his rhetoric. “Having recently returned from the Middle East, I know there is widespread support for eliminating ISIS, but the region is urgently searching for leadership from the United States.  I agree with the President that we must work strategically with our allies to form a coalition in order to execute a multi-pronged approach that includes eradicating ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. “That said, I want to be sure President Obama continues to consult with Congress. The current Authorization for Use of Military Force is outdated and, in my opinion, no longer applicable to this current conflict. I am prepared to vote in support of a new military authorization that specifically authorizes US military actions against ISIS. We must stand up against this vile enemy and protect United States citizens both at home and abroad.” Read More

Byrne Announces September Staff Community Office Hours

2014/09/09

Staff from Congressman Bradley Byrne's office will hold office hours in each of the six counties that make up Alabama’s First Congressional District from September 16-18, 2014. Staff members from Congressman Byrne’s district offices will be on hand to help constituents navigate various federal programs and agencies. Common issues relate to benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Social Security, Medicare, or passport issues. Byrne said: “We have made it a priority to maintain a Congressional office that is open and accessible to the people I represent. I understand that not every constituent can travel to one of my district offices, and that is why my staff regularly holds office hours in each of the six counties that comprise the First District. If you or someone you know needs help navigating a federal agency, I encourage you to take advantage of one of these stops throughout Southwest Alabama.” Baldwin County Tuesday, September 16 8:30 – 9:30 am: Orange Beach City Hall 10:00 – 11:00 am: Gulf Shores City Hall 11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Summerdale City Hall 2:00 – 3:00 pm: Robertsdale City Hall 3:30 – 4:30 pm: Bay Minette City Hall Wednesday, September 17 9:00 – 10:00 am: Magnolia Springs Town Hall 10:30 – 11:30 am: Fairhope City Hall 1:30 – 2:30 pm: Daphne City Hall 3:00 – 4:00 pm: Spanish Fort City Hall Clarke County Wednesday, September 17 10:00 – 11:00 am: Grove Hill Town Hall 11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Jackson City Hall Escambia County Tuesday, September 16 9:30 – 10:30 am: Atmore City Hall 11:00 – 12:00 pm: Brewton City Hall Mobile County Thursday, September 18 11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Citronelle Town Hall 3:00 – 4:00 pm: Dauphin Island Town Hall Monroe County Tuesday, September 16 2:00 – 3:00 pm: Monroeville City Hall Washington County Wednesday, September 17 2:30 – 3:30 pm: Washington County Public Library, Chatom Thursday, September 18 9:30 – 10:30 am: McIntosh Town Hall For more information on visits to Clarke, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington Counties, constituents should contact Congressman Byrne’s Mobile office at 251-690-2811 or 800-288-8721. For more information on visits to Baldwin County, constituents should contact Congressman’s Baldwin County office at 251-972-8545. Read More

Byrne: No Time is Right Time for Executive Amnesty

2014/09/08

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) issued the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s decision to “delay” executive action on immigration policy until after the midterm elections in November.   Byrne said: “There is no right time for the President to use executive action to change our nation’s immigration laws. The very reasons the President gave for not acting unilaterally now are the same reasons he should not act unilaterally at all. There is no politically convenient time to circumvent our nation’s clearly defined system of checks and balances. “Our number one priority must be on ensuring that our borders are actually secure. I remain open to engaging in a serious conversation about reforming our nation’s broken immigration system to make sure it works for more people, but that conversation can only take place once the President shows a willingness to follow the laws currently in place. Executive amnesty would cripple any chance for real, positive changes to our nation’s immigration system. I strongly urge the President to hold true to some of his past statements and not move forward with any executive action on immigration.” Read More

Lessons from My Trip to the Middle East

2014/09/07

Some may wonder why what happens thousands of miles away in the Middle East has any impact on us right here in Southwest Alabama. The answer is simple: the safety and the security of the Middle East is critical to controlling the spread of terrorism, which in turns helps protect our homeland. Last week, I returned from a ten day Congressional Delegation (or CODEL) to the Middle East. During the CODEL, we made stops in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco. This trip to the Middle East could not have been more timely given the numerous foreign policy challenges in the region right now. Our trip started in Israel, which is the United States' closest ally in the region and a source of stability and strength. After meeting with representatives from their defense and foreign ministries, we sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I was impressed by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s candor and knowledge. We discussed the recent conflict between Israel and the terrorist organization known as Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Netanyahu assured us that Israel had taken all the necessary steps to prevent civilian deaths, but Hamas made the task very difficult by using schools and hospitals to launch missiles. He put it best by saying: "We use rockets to defend our children while Hamas uses children to defend their rockets." The Prime Minister also thanked the United States for our support of the Iron Dome missile defense shield, which helped protect Israelis during the recent conflict. Next we headed to Jordan, which is a strategically important US ally bordering Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel, and Iraq. The country is home to around seven million people, with almost half of those being refugees. Jordan has a severe shortage of natural resources, and the economy is heavily dependent on tourism. As you can imagine, the instability in the region has greatly impacted the tourism industry. While in Jordan, we met with King Abdullah II, the leader of the country. King Abdullah expressed his deep concerns about the spread of Islamic extremists in the region, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Jordan has experienced an increase in refugees since the conflict in Syria started a few years ago, and it has placed strains on the country. Given Jordan’s geographic location and shared interest in combating Islamic extremism, we must continue to maintain strong relations with their leaders. From Jordan we headed south to Egypt. While we did get to visit the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx, we spent most of the time visiting with Egyptian military and foreign ministry officials to talk about various security concerns. As you may remember, the Muslim Brotherhood had previously controlled Egypt, and their government was not friendly to the United States. In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood was helping support Hamas in their war against Israel. The new president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is the former commander of the Egyptian Army. While President Obama has expressed concern about the new Egyptian government, I believe it is in our best interests to stand strong with Egypt and ensure they have the military resources they need. Egypt played a key role in establishing a cease fire between Israel and Hamas, and they continue to be a stabilizing force in the region. We ended our trip with a stop in Morocco. Morocco is a beautiful country of around 32 million people located on the coast in Northwest Africa. In Morocco, we visited with the head of their military and the assistant foreign minister, in addition to meeting with staff from the United States embassy. Morocco has numerous security concerns relating to al-Qaeda, but they are also a great ally of the United States. One highlight from Morocco was a conversation I had with the United States Ambassador.  We discussed bringing Moroccan officials and businesses to Alabama to talk about enhancing trade between the Port of Mobile and the port in Casablanca. While much of the trip focused on national defense, I am always looking for chances to promote economic growth in our area. One common theme that emerged during each of our meetings is the lack of United States leadership and a clear strategy in the Middle East. Whether it be ISIS in Iraq, Hamas in Gaza, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Boko Haram in Africa, or al-Qaeda throughout the Middle East, Islamic extremists are on the rise. In order to combat these organizations and their horrible practices, we will need the support and help from Middle Eastern nations to present a united front. Each country we visited expressed a willingness to work with the United States, but a clear strategy is lacking. Time is of the essence here. The President must get off the sidelines, put forward a clear strategy, and exert leadership in a very dangerous part of the world. The safety and security of the United States depends on it. Read More

Federal BP Ruling Positive Development for Gulf Coast

2014/09/05

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) released the following statement regarding yesterday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier that BP’s conduct relating to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill was “grossly negligent.” The ruling greatly expands the potential amount of civil penalties BP must pay to the United States, with BP being responsible for 67 percent of the blame.   Byrne said: “Over the four plus years since the largest environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, attention has steadily shifted from cleaning beaches and wetlands, to paying damage claims, and now to the federal trial of BP and other responsible parties. “All of us on the Gulf Coast recall the impact that the 2010 BP oil spill had on our region, and we won’t soon forget. Businesses and families in Southwest Alabama were turned upside down, and our region was forever changed by BP’s willful misconduct. “With Judge Barbier’s ruling of ‘gross negligence,’ BP is potentially on the hook for the maximum penalty levied under the Clean Water Act for their role in the 2010 spill that decimated our regional economy and spoiled fishing and the tourist season. These civil penalties could be directed to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas for economic and environmental restoration as mandated by the RESTORE Act. “As the rules for the RESTORE Act are finalized, this ruling opens up the potential for larger sums of money for Alabama businesses and families that were negatively affected by the oil spill. This ruling holds those responsible to task for their negligence and is a major step toward making right the damages which occurred.” Read More

Byrne Returning from Trip to the Middle East

2014/09/05

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) is currently en route back to the United States after spending the last ten days traveling in the Middle East with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA).   The Congressional Delegation, or CODEL, made stops in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco. During the CODEL, Congressman Byrne held meetings with various foreign heads of state including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. In each country, the delegation also met with local defense officials and with the United States embassy staff regarding local defense and economic issues. Byrne said: “This trip to the Middle East could not have been more timely given the numerous foreign policy challenges in the region right now. Each country had unique concerns relating to the rise of Islamic extremists, whether it be ISIS in Iraq, Hamas in Gaza, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, or Boko Haram in Africa. In order to combat these organizations and their horrible practices, we will need the support and help from Middle Eastern nations. Each country we visited expressed a willingness to work with the United States, but a clear strategy is lacking. Time is of the essence here.  The President must get off the sidelines and start leading.” Congressman Byrne also visited with American military personnel stationed in the Middle East. This was the first time Congressman Byrne has participated in a CODEL since being sworn-in in January. Byrne said: “Visiting with some of our military personnel stationed overseas gave me an even deeper appreciation for our military families and the unique sacrifices they make on a daily basis. It was an honor to talk directly with some of our servicemen about the challenges they face, and I look forward to using the valuable insight gained from this trip as I continue my work in Congress.” Read More

Improving Our Nation’s Higher Education System

2014/08/28

As college football season rolls around, people are starting to show their school pride. From the Crimson Tide to the Auburn Tigers to our newest team, the South Alabama Jaguars, there is a lot of excitement over football season. But is there the same level of excitement for what is happening in our college classrooms? In lower Alabama, we are blessed with many great institutions of higher learning. Mobile is home to the University of South Alabama, Spring Hill College, and the University of Mobile. We also have Columbia Southern, an online university based in Orange Beach. For some reason, when we talk about higher education, we too often forget about our state’s strong two-year college system. Here in Southwest Alabama, we have Bishop State in Mobile, Faulkner State in Bay Minette, Alabama Southern in Monroeville, and Jefferson Davis in Brewton. I strongly believe that having a flourishing system of higher education is the key to economic prosperity. I can’t stress enough how important Alabama’s institutions of higher learning are to our continued progress on economic development. The top question of any prospective employer is almost always the same: “Does Alabama have the skilled workforce to sustain our business?” We need the specialty skilled engineers that are trained at our four-year universities, but, just as importantly, we also need the community college-trained specialty workers. One is no more important than the other. Our four-year colleges must work together with our community colleges, and even our high schools, to make sure they are all meeting the needs of the workforce. That’s why last week I convened a meeting of higher education presidents and administrators from our area to talk about issues ranging from accreditation to paying student-athletes to financial aid reform. As former chancellor of Alabama’s two-year college system, I have always been a strong proponent of higher education, and I understand many of the unique challenges our colleges and universities face. Currently, Congress is in the process of reauthorizing the federal legislation that governs our nation’s higher education system, known as the Higher Education Act.  The legislation, which was first signed into law back in 1965, requires updating through a process known as reauthorization about every five years. The legislation was last reauthorized in 2008. As Alabama’s only member on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, I have taken an active role in the reauthorization process. Instead of passing one large bill, we have instead focused on a piecemeal approach of smaller, more manageable bills that address some of the challenges facing our colleges and universities. From simplifying the federal financial aid process to reducing the accessibility gap, our approach strives to get the federal government out of the way and provide targeted support. Just as with our K-12 education system, our educators and administrators are having to spend too much time complying with federal mandates instead of actually preparing our workforce. I am working to change that culture of bureaucracy. So, just as our state is known for outstanding performance on the football field, I want us to be known equally as well for our hard work in the classroom. A strong higher education system breeds a strong economy, and that has never been truer than it is today. Read More

Feds Get It Wrong Once Again on Red Snapper, Byrne Says

2014/08/28

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today responded to the results of the Alabama Red Snapper Reporting program, which indicated that the federal National Marine Fishery Service had “grossly overestimated” Red Snapper landings in Alabama. Byrne said: “Is anyone really surprised that the federal government miscalculated the number of Red Snapper caught in Alabama waters? For years the feds have failed to adequately account for the total fishing effort placed on the Red Snapper fishery. This latest failure is just another in a long line of mismanagement by the National Marine Fishery Service, that is both unfair and hurting our fishermen. “I worked to get commonsense reforms included in the Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization legislation, which passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee earlier this year. My office is in continued dialogue with House leaders to hold a vote on this legislation by the full House of Representatives by the end of the year. Our fisherman and coastal communities are being negatively impacted by yet another misguided federal program, and it is time Congress acts to make things right.” Congressman Byrne has been leading a push in Congress to reform the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which has jurisdiction over all federal fisheries. As it relates to Red Snapper, the commonsense, reform bill would: Repeal Section 407(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which imposed inflexible quotas on Red Snapper fishing; Extend Alabama's state water boundary from the current 3 nautical miles to 9 nautical miles from shore; Remove stock assessment and data collection responsibilities for reef fish currently held by the federal government and give the responsibility to Gulf Coast states. 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