Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Chairman of the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee, today celebrated passage of H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act.
The bipartisan bill passed the House this afternoon on a voice vote.
Byrne said: “Improving career and technical education programs is the most important thing Congress can do to help close the skills gap, combat poverty, and put Americans back to work. I’ve seen these programs firsthand dating back to my time as Chancellor of Alabama’s two-year college system, and they truly work like magic.
“This is the type of bipartisan bill that will never get the attention it deserves, but it will have a huge impact at creating opportunities for Americans in Southwest Alabama and around the country.”
The bill reauthorizes and updates the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and includes some important reforms:
Congressman Byrne delivered a speech on the House floor in support of the bipartisan legislation. A transcript of his remarks can be found below.
Byrne said: “I thank the Chairwoman for yielding, and I am proud to rise in support of this strong, bipartisan legislation.
“Improving career and technical education programs is the most important thing Congress can do to help close the skills gap, combat poverty, and help put Americans back to work.
“Studies clearly show that there are unfilled, high wage jobs out there that remain open because people lack the skills to fill the jobs.
“That’s where CTE comes in. When I was Chancellor of Alabama’s two-year college system, I saw firsthand just how impressive these programs are. They really do work like magic by taking an untrained worker and giving them the skills they need to fill an in-demand job. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
“So, Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be an original co-sponsor and supporter of this legislation, I encourage my colleagues to join me in supporting this reform-oriented bill that helps build the 21st Century workforce.”Read More
Staff members from the Office of Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) will hold office hours throughout Alabama’s First Congressional District between June 20th and June 22nd.
The staff members will be on hand to help constituents with problems they may be experiencing with federal agencies including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Medicare, and Social Security. Staff members can also assist constituents who need help applying for or receiving a United States passport.
Tuesday, June 20
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm: Elberta City Hall
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm: Bay Minette City Hall
Thursday, June 22
9:00 am to 10:00 am: Fairhope City Hall
10:30 am to 11:30 am: Daphne City Hall
1:30 pm to 2:30 pm: Spanish Fort City Hall
Wednesday, June 21
11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Grove Hill Town Hall
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: White Smith Memorial Library in Jackson
Wednesday, June 21
9:00 am to 10:00 am – Atmore City Hall
10:30 am – 11:00 am – Flomaton City Hall
1:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Brewton City Hall
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm: East Brewton City Hall
Thursday, June 22
11:00 am – 12:00 noon: Citronelle City Hall
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Semmes City Hall
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Dauphin Island Town Hall
Wednesday, June 21
9:30 – 10:30 am: Monroeville City Hall
Wednesday, June 21
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Washington County Public Library in Chatom
For more information on visits to Clarke, Mobile, Monroe and Washington counties, constituents should contact Congressman Byrne’s Mobile office at 251-690-2811.
For more information on visits to Baldwin and Escambia counties, constituents should contact Congressman Byrne’s Baldwin County office at 251-989-2664.Read More
We recently had a major victory for our area’s Red Snapper fishermen and the coastal communities, which benefit from a longer Red Snapper season.
Last Wednesday, the federal Department of Commerce announced an emergency extension of the 2017 Red Snapper season for recreational fishermen. As you probably remember, it was announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration earlier this year that the Red Snapper season would be just three days, the shortest season ever.
Under the emergency extension, the season for recreational fishermen now includes Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between now and Labor Day. The season will also include July 3rd and 4th and Labor Day. This adds up to an overall extension of 39 days.
As soon as the three day season was announced, my staff and I went to work to on an extension. We partnered with other Gulf Coast congressmen in sending a letter to the Department of Commerce requesting an extension, and then worked with the Department and the Gulf states to iron out the details.
Many people helped make this extension possible, and they deserve to be acknowledged. I appreciate President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for paying attention to our concerns and working to address this issue. The staff at the Department of Commerce was easy to work with as we put this extension together.
I also cannot say enough about the help from Chris Blankenship, the acting commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Chris has always been a joy to work with on Red Snapper issues, and he played a critical role in helping get the other Gulf states on board with this agreement.
I also want to thank the local and state officials, as well as the grassroots supporters and fishermen, who helped bring attention to this issue. I firmly believe your efforts made a difference.
One of the other people who played a critical role in making this agreement a reality was House Majority Whip Steve Scalise from Louisiana. Congressman Scalise expected to make news on Wednesday morning talking about the Red Snapper news, but he unfortunately made national headlines for a different reason.
He was one of the individuals tragically shot during a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game. Steve Scalise is a wonderful man, a personal friend, and a true advocate for the Gulf Coast. I hope you will join me in continuing to pray for Steve and his family as he goes through the recovery process.
Ultimately, it was a total team effort to make this emergency extension a reality. This is a real victory for all our recreational fishermen as well as our coastal communities.
All this said, the extension only applies to the 2017 season. We must continue our efforts to find a permanent legislative solution that gives more authority over setting Red Snapper seasons to the five Gulf states.
Discussions are ongoing between my office and other Gulf Coast congressmen in the House on legislation to address the issue, but we also need a willing partner in the Senate to help push our Red Snapper reforms in that body.
As I have said before, I am not giving up on this issue until we get a solution. Not only is it critically important to our fishermen and the economies in our coastal communities, but it is also a shining example of the kind of government overreach and incompetence that has become all too common in today’s federal government.
I encourage all our fishermen to enjoy the extended 2017 Red Snapper season, but to join me in not letting up the pressure as we work toward a permanent solution.Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) today celebrated the announcement of an emergency extension of the federal recreational Red Snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Department of Commerce announced today that Red Snapper fishing will be open in federal waters for recreational fishermen every weekend between now and Labor Day, resulting in a 39-day season. This will include Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, as well as July 3rd and 4th and Labor Day.
Byrne said: “This is a huge victory for recreational fishermen and our Gulf Coast communities. As soon as the three day season was announced, my staff and I went to work with other Gulf Coast congressmen to fight for an emergency extension. Today’s announcement will provide some much needed relief to our fishermen and help benefit our economy in Coastal Alabama.
“I want to thank President Trump, Secretary Wilbur Ross and the staff at the Department of Commerce for their attention to this issue. I also cannot say enough about Chris Blankenship at the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources because he played a critical role in helping get all the Gulf states on board with this extension.
“This extension is huge for the 2017 season, but we must continue working for a long-term solution to the Red Snapper issues that gives more control to the individual Gulf states.”
Last month, Byrne led Gulf Coast colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary Ross requesting an emergency extension of the recreational Red Snapper season.
In order to facilitate the emergency extension, state Red Snapper seasons have now been brought in line with the new federal season for recreational anglers. The “for-hire” or charter boat season will remain 49 days, as it runs through July 19th.Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement in response to the testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Byrne said: “I am not at all surprised that the Jeff Sessions who testified today was the same Jeff Sessions I have known for almost forty years. He was honest, knowledgeable of the law, direct, and professional. I continue to have complete confidence and trust in him as he serves as our Attorney General."Read More
Last week in Washington, all eyes were on the Senate Intelligence Committee where former FBI Director James Comey was sent to testify. The hearing was a media circus. News outlets used countdown clocks in the lead up to the “big moment.”
Of course it is important to get to the bottom of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. That is why committees in Congress and a special counsel are working diligently to get answers. Unfortunately, many think the issue should be litigated in the media instead of through the proper legal process. We should follow the facts and the law and nothing but the facts and the law.
What the news media was not talking about last week was our efforts in the House to stick true to our word and enact a commonsense, conservative agenda. We are getting the work done that the American people elected us to do.
Consider these numbers: to date the Republican-led House has passed over 158 bills, making us the most productive in the modern era. On top of that, President Trump has signed 37 bills into law, which places him ahead of the last four presidential administrations. We are getting things done.
So what exactly are we accomplishing? Everything from passing a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare to enacting a whole range of bills focused on rolling back burdensome regulations that are restricting economic growth.
Just this past week we passed a range of bills addressing a range of issues important to the American people, including financial regulations and border security.
First, we passed a bill to dismantle the Dodd-Frank law passed by Democrats in 2010. We were promised that the Dodd-Frank Act would be a major win for the American consumer. Instead, big bank bailouts were enshrined in law while small banks and credit unions that people in Southwest Alabama rely upon are drowning in regulations and red tape, making it harder for them to serve their customers and threatening their existence. In fact, studies show that at least one small bank or credit union close each day due to Dodd-Frank.
That is why the House passed the Financial CHOICE Act last week, sending a clear message that Main Street comes before Wall Street. The bill officially ends the policy of “too big to fail” and puts a stop to bank bailouts. Just as important, the bill increases consumer protections and simplifies systems to ensure they cannot be gammed by the well-connected and powerful. It is all about increasing opportunities for hardworking Americans and small businesses.
Second, we passed the Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act of 2017, which will make it easier to fight illegal immigration and secure the border.
Our border protection programs are currently severely understaffed. In fact, the numbers show that we are short 1,000 officers and 1,800 Border Patrol Agents. This shortage is making it harder to secure the border and keep bad guys out of our country.
That is where our bill comes it. It will allow us to expedite the hiring of border patrol agents when the individuals have previously served in law enforcement or in the military. These are the exact kind of people we need working to secure the border.
As you can see, in the House of Representatives, we refuse to have our agenda thrown off course. Even more, we are continuing to making important progress on other priorities like tax reform, rebuilding the military, and fixing our nation’s infrastructure.
I pledge to continue to keep my head down and focus on the issues you elected me to tackle. We must get the job done.Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act.
Byrne said: “Seven years ago, we were promised that Dodd-Frank would be a major win for the American consumer. Instead, big bank bailouts were enshrined in law while small banks and credit unions that my constituents rely upon are drowning in regulations and red tape, making it harder for them to serve their customers in Southwest Alabama and threatening their existence. By passing the CHOICE Act, we are sending a clear message that Main Street comes before Wall Street.
“The bill officially ends the policy of ‘too big to fail’ and puts a stop to bank bailouts. Just as important, the bill increases consumer protections and simplifies systems to ensure they cannot be gamed by the well-connected and powerful. It is all about increasing opportunities for hardworking Americans and small businesses.
“I call on the Senate to act soon on this legislation and require every Senator to say whether they stand with Main Street or Wall Street.”
H.R. 10 would dismantle Dodd-Frank, a law passed by the Democratic controlled Congress in 2010. The Financial CHOICE Act would make a number of important reforms including:
The bill passed by a vote of 233 to 186.Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) today expressed his strong support for increased border security after voting in favor of H.R. 2213, the Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act of 2017.
In speaking on the House floor in support of the bill, Byrne said: “Last November, the American people sent a strong message: they want a secure southern border. Having a strong system of border security is critical to our national defense and the safety and security of the American people. President Trump has asked us to get more boots on the ground protecting our border, and this bill is an important step in this process.”
H.R. 2213 would help address the shortage of border patrol agents and officers by giving the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol the authority to waive the polygraph examination requirements when hiring new agents in three specific circumstances.
Under the bill, the polygraph exam could be waived for current state and local law enforcement officers who have already passed a polygraph examination, federal law enforcement officers who have already passed a stringent background investigation, and veterans with at least three consecutive years in the military who have held a clearance and passed a background check.
The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 282 to 137.
You can find the full transcript of Congressman Byrne’s speech in support of the bill below.
Byrne said: “I am proud to support this rule and the Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act.
“Mr. Speaker, last November the American people sent a strong message: they want a secure southern border. Having a strong system of border security is critical to our national defense and the safety and security of the American people. President Trump has asked us to get more boots on the ground protecting our border and this bill is an important step in this process.
“U.S. Border Patrol agents are the ones serving on the front lines when it comes to border security. These hardworking men and women serve day and night at the border, at airports, and at sea and land ports in an effort to keep us safe. We should be grateful for their service and sacrifice.
“Unfortunately, U.S. Custom and Border Protection, or CBP, is woefully understaffed. In fact, the numbers show that we are short 1,000 officers and 1,800 Border Patrol Agents. This shortage is making it harder to secure the border and help keep bad actors out of our country.
“That is where this bill comes in. It would amend the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010 to provide discretionary waiver authority to the CBP Commissioner in an effort to reduce the staffing shortage. The bill specifically would provide the Commissioner with the authority to waive the polygraph examination requirement in three circumstances.
“The polygraph exam could be waived for current state and local law enforcement officers who have already passed a polygraph examination, federal law enforcement officers who have already passed a stringent background investigation, and veterans with at least three consecutive years in the military who have held a clearance and passed a background check.
“These are three very tailored and specific circumstances, and these are exactly the kind of men and women we want and need when it comes to border security positions.
“Mr. Speaker, it is important to note that the waiver authority granted under this bill is not mandatory. It will ultimately be the decision of the CBP Commissioner to decide on a strict case-by-case basis whether to issue a waiver. The Commissioner can still order a polygraph for any applicant they deem necessary.
“Ultimately, we need to do everything we can to improve our border security and crack down on illegal immigration. Expediting the process for hiring new agents is a small, but important step toward boosting border security.
“This is a commonsense, bipartisan bill that passed out of the Homeland Security Committee on a voice vote, and I hope to see more bipartisan support here in the full House.
“So, I am proud to support the bill, and I urge all my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and supporting a stronger and more robust border security system.”Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement following passage of H.R. 390, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017.
Byrne said: “Christians and other religious minorities are under attack in the Middle East due to violent terrorist organizations, like the Islamic State. Today, the House acted to send a clear message of support to those facing religious persecution in the Middle East. This is an important step forward in the fight against radical Islamic terrorist groups and a positive development for religious freedom around the globe.”
This legislation will support entities, including faith-based organizations, that are serving victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed by Islamic State. The bill also encourages foreign countries to add information about suspected perpetrators of terror attacks to their security databases.
The Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017 passed by a voice vote.Read More
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” Those were the words of President Donald Trump during a recent ceremony in the White House Rose Garden to announce he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.
The United States should have never entered into the agreement in the first place, and I applaud President Trump for getting us out of the rotten deal.
For those that do not know, the Paris Accord was formed within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world. It was signed in April of last year after being negotiated by the Obama Administration and other world leaders.
For the United States, President Obama made the dubious claim that the Parris Agreement was not a treaty but instead an executive agreement. This allowed him to bypass Senate ratification where there was no chance this bad agreement would have been approved.
In the end, this worked out to our advantage. Since the agreement was never ratified by Congress, the next President, in this case Donald Trump, can simply decide to leave the agreement.
As soon as the agreement was finalized last year, I pointed out some major flaws that made this a sham deal
First, each nation got to pick its own goals or targets. As a result, many nation’s targets are far below what they should be doing relative to others. This penalizes the United States because we set ambitious targets.
China, for example, will be allowed to take far longer to meet its targets than we would have been. Additionally, India made their participation in the agreement contingent on receiving billions in foreign aid from other countries.
Second, there is no enforcement mechanism behind the agreement, which means there is no accountability. Nations acting in good faith, like the United States, would make the sacrifices and take the economic hit for doing so, while those not acting in good faith could cheat without any consequences.
Third, the agreement would have been devastating for the American economy. A study be NERA Consulting found that meeting the requirements outlined for the U.S. in the deal would cost our economy nearly $3 trillion over the next several decades.
Just as bad, the deal would result in the loss of over 6 million industrial sector jobs, including 3.1 million manufacturing jobs. The coal industry would be hit especially hard, which would be bad news for the Port of Mobile and the McDuffie Coal Terminal.
The deal was also very costly for American taxpayers. President Obama committed $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, which is nothing more than a slush fund. President Obama committed this funding without consulting with Congress.
The Paris Climate Accord reminded me of the Iran nuclear deal. President Obama and his team blew the negotiations, and the United States got a raw deal.
Now, I admit that our nation’s climate is changing. I also admit that there are some actions that could be taken to address our changing climate. But, this deal was a sham of a deal.
An exorbitant amount of money went into the creation and implementation of this deal, which was nothing more than a way for some world leaders to pretend they were solving the issue when it was really nothing more than a publicity stunt.
We should continue to pursue energy policies that benefit the American worker, our environment, and the American people. We should continue pushing for an all-of-the-above energy strategy that ensures American energy independence.Read More
119 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Bradley Byrne 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 through various service and economic development organizations.
Byrne served as a member of the Alabama State Senate representing District 32 from 2003 to 2007. Byrne was elected to Congress in December 2013, to complete the term of Congressman Jo Bonner, who announced his retirement in May 2013. Congressman Byrne was elected to his first full term on November 4, 2014.
In Congress, Byrne has established himself as an effective legislator by successfully advocating for local interests while also championing a smaller, less invasive federal government. Byrne is a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, House Committee on Rules, and House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Byrne has been married to the former Rebecca Dukes of Montgomery for over 30 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 and Rebecca welcomed the birth of their first grandson, MacGuire Arthur Byrne, on September 4, 2014. Bradley lives in Fairhope where he and his family are members of St. James Episcopal Church.
Through #CTE, we can take an untrained worker and give them the skills they need to fill an in-demand job. It is a win-win situation.
There are many unfilled jobs in the country today that simply lack skilled workers. That's where #CTE can come in.
A big bipartisan victory! Today, the House unanimously passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act.
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