Bradley Byrne

Bradley Byrne

ALABAMA's 1st DISTRICT

Byrne: Veterans Deserve Better Health Care Options

2014/07/30

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today voted in support of legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by giving veterans access to non-VA medical care when they live more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility or the wait time for an appointment at a VA facility is more than 30 days. The Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act (H.R. 3230) provides $5 billion to hire new physicians and improve VA medical facilities. The bill also includes important accountability measures, including making it easier to fire or demote senior level VA officials and limits funds available for the VA to offer bonuses to employees. Congressman Byrne previously pointed out that the culture of complacency at the VA must change in order for veteran care to improve. He has also advocated for a program that allows veterans to seek medical care from private doctors and hospitals. Byrne said: “The crisis at the VA opened our nation’s eyes to a systemic issue that needed to be addressed, and today the House took an important step toward improving care for our nation’s veterans. The federal government should be working for our nation’s veterans, not against them. “In Southwest Alabama, this bill means that our veterans no longer will have to travel hours out of the way to receive medical attention from the VA hospitals in Biloxi or Montgomery. Instead, under most circumstances, our local veterans can now choose to visit a specialist or hospital of their choosing close to home. I cannot understate how much this freedom of choice will mean to our veterans. “I applaud House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) for his hard work on this bill, and I know he faced serious challenges in his negotiations with the Senate.  At the end of the day, this is a good bill which puts important accountability measures in place, in addition to giving veterans more health care options. “However, this bill won’t make all the problems at the VA disappear. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House and new VA Secretary Robert McDonald to ensure that our nation’s veterans recieve the best care possible.” H.R. 3230 passed the House by a vote of 420 to 5. The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration. Read More

Byrne Joins Colleagues in Protesting Obama’s “War on Coal”

2014/07/30

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today joined Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), musician Jimmy Rose from “America’s Got Talent,” and other members of the Congressional Coal Caucus to protest the Obama administration’s “war on coal.” Congressman Byrne, who has visited coal power plants in Alabama’s First Congressional District, has continually warned about the negative consequences of recently proposed greenhouse gas standards for existing coal power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of holding public hearings on the proposed rule across the United States. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and a representative from Governor Robert Bentley’s office have taken part in those hearings. Byrne said: “President Obama’s ill-conceived EPA rule would be devastating to the economy of the United States of America. In Alabama alone, around 16,000 jobs are related to the coal industry. That means thousands of Alabamians could be out of work due to a bureaucratic rule that has never been approved by the democratically elected Congress. Not to mention the countless families who would be impacted by rising utility rates. “I appreciate Senator McConnell for bringing Jimmy Rose to help put a face on the war on coal. Jimmy’s song ‘Coal Keeps the Lights On’ echoes the sentiments of hardworking American families across the nation who depend on coal as a source of clean, affordable energy. I will continue to push back against the Obama administration’s war on coal and stand up for a true ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy.” A video of the press conference can be found here. Read More

Byrne Supports Bill to Reform Endangered Species Act

2014/07/29

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today voted in support of H.R. 4315, the Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act. The legislation represents the first attempt in 26 years to renew and reform the Endangered Species Act, which was created in 1973 to protect and recover key domestic species. Over the years, the Endangered Species Act has resulted in excessive litigation without any real successes. In 2011, the Obama administration held closed-door negotiations on the Endangered Species Act which could lead to more than 750 new endangered species throughout the United States. Alabama would be hit especially hard with 22 new proposed species, one of the largest increases in the country. The Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act would require data used in endangered species decisions to be made publicly available and promote accountability in the scientific data. H.R. 4315 also prioritizes species protection to protect taxpayer dollars by placing caps on attorneys’ fees. Congressman Byrne, Alabama’s only House member on the Natural Resources Committee, worries about the economic and ecological impact of the new species additions. Byrne said: “This commonsense, bipartisan bill represents a much needed update to a law that is profoundly outdated. The Obama administration held closed door negotiations in 2011, and now Alabama would be saddled with over 20 new endangered species without any accountability or input from Congress. “The lack of transparency so far in the process is really alarming. The declaration of endangered species is a critical decision that could have massive economic and ecological impacts. This bill would bring further negotiations on the Endangered Species Act into the spotlight for all Americans to see and allow Congress to fulfill its oversight function.” The House passed the legislation by a vote of 233 to 190. You can learn more about H.R. 4315 and the background behind the legislation here. Read More

Progress on Economic Development in Southwest Alabama

2014/07/25

As you have probably heard me say before, I believe one of the most important parts of my job is to help make Southwest Alabama a better place for businesses to locate. My family has called this area home for over two centuries, and seeing our area grow and prosper is personal to me.   At a time when we are facing many challenges in the world, including the immigration crisis on our southern border and multiple foreign policy dilemmas abroad, I am pleased to take a break from these disturbing world events and report on some positive developments that have taken place right here in Southwest Alabama. First, just last week the Delta Regional Authority held a summit in Chatom on the changing dynamics in our workforce. The Delta Regional Authority works to promote economic growth and improvements to the quality of life in 252 mostly rural and economically distressed counties in eight states, including Washington, Clarke, Monroe, and Escambia counties in Alabama. While votes in Washington prevented me from attending the conference, a member of my staff was present. The meeting focused on “reimagining” the Delta workforce and ways to promote economic development in rural areas.  Much of the time was spent discussing job training programs, including the SKILLS Act, which recently passed in the House and was signed into law by President Obama. I am glad that such an important discussion on workforce development took place in Alabama’s First Congressional District. Also, this week Monroeville will kick off their designation as a Main Street Alabama community. The Main Street Alabama program encourages public-private partnerships to revitalize and grow downtown areas.  From assisting shop owners with growing their profits to planning communitywide programs, Main Street Alabama focuses on the heart of the American economy: small business. Under the leadership of Mayor Mike Kennedy, Monroeville has already made some notable strides, and I expect more progress as the Main Street Alabama program launches and builds on Monroeville’s already impressive downtown area. Finally, many of you may have read about the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) being released for the prospective I-10 bridge over the Mobile River. The release of the draft EIS has been more than ten years in the making, and now the process can finally move forward. The bridge is desperately needed to alleviate one of the worst chokepoints on I-10 from coast to coast.  The project would improve the quality of life in Mobile and Baldwin counties, but just as importantly, the bridge would help our entire area as we recruit new businesses. A strong, reliable infrastructure system is one of the top qualities prospective businesses are looking for. I believe economic development is a true team effort. It requires a partnership between elected officials at the local level, the local chambers of commerce, the regional economic development partners, elected officials at the state and federal level, and the citizens of the community. I am going to continue to be a positive, proactive voice for our local communities on these and other economic development projects. Read More

Byrne Opposed to Extension of Iran Nuclear Talks

2014/07/25

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) , a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today questioned the Obama administration’s decision to extend nuclear talks with Iran through late November. The nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers, including the United States, first began last November. In exchange for relief from sanctions, Iran has reportedly agreed to rein in portions of their nuclear program.  An agreement couldn’t be reached by the July 20 deadline, which led to the State Department agreeing to extend the talks. According to the Wall Street Journal, in exchange for continuing the nuclear talks, the United States will give Iran access to “an additional $2.8 billion in oil export revenues frozen abroad by American sanctions.” Byrne said: “I am opposed to the continuation of nuclear talks with Iran, just as I was highly skeptical of these talks from the start.  I fear that Iran is actually closer to having nuclear weapons capabilities today than when these talks started. “While I do believe that the United States should use diplomacy and sanctions to rein in Iran’s nuclear program, I seriously doubt the legitimacy of these talks. I fear by offering to ease economic sanctions even more, the United States is putting Iran on stronger economic footing without any incentive to actually reduce their nuclear arsenal. “Just how many times will these talks be extended? At what point will Secretary of State John Kerry put his foot down and demand action from Iran? I will continue to work with my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to provide diligent oversight as these talks move forward.” Read More

Byrne, Constituents Frustrated By Senate’s Inaction

2014/07/24

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today implored the Senate and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to take action on hundreds of House-passed bills that are stalled in the United States Senate. During a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressman Byrne pointed out that 300 bills are stuck in the Senate, including at least 40 pro-jobs bills. Byrne urged the “do-nothing Senate” to take action on behalf of the American people. Congressman Byrne drew attention to the fact that the Senate’s inaction is setting the stage for unnecessary government funding drama. The House has passed seven appropriations funding bills compared to zero funding bills passed in the Senate. Each of the twelve funding bills, or a continuing resolution, must be passed by the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Obama before the fiscal year ends on September 30. A transcript of Congressman Byrne’s remarks are below. Broadcast quality video can be downloaded here. Byrne said: “Mr. Speaker, I have been in this House now for six months, and I regrettable rise today to express my frustration, and I know the frustration of thousands of people in Southwest Alabama, and I believe people all over the United States of America. “People are tired of the stagnation coming from Washington. Just look at the disapproval rating of this Congress and the disapproval rating of our President. The people of this country want to see action. “Action on growing the economy. Action on cutting spending. Action on healthcare. Action on immigration. Action on the crisis at the VA. Action on foreign policy. They want to see action. “Just earlier this week I was at the White House for a bill signing ceremony of the Workforce Investment Act, or the SKILLS Act as we called it in the House. “The SKILLS Act was a great example of Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate coming together behind a common goal of improving our nation’s workforce training programs. “During the bill signing ceremony the President implored us to send more bipartisan, job creating bills his way. “The problem is the President doesn’t need to lecture this House on that, the President needs to look no further than the Majority Leader in the Senate, the gentleman from Nevada. “In the House we have passed nearly 300 bills which are sitting in the Senate waiting for action, and at least 40 of those are job creating bills. “We have continued to do the people’s work, making our way through 7 of the appropriation bills that we are required by the Constitution to pass to fund the government. “The Senate hasn’t completed a single one. “Now some may say the issue is that Republican Senators demanded to have amendments considered. “I don’t think that’s too much to ask. “Here in the House we have considered at least 180 minority amendments to appropriations bills alone. “One of my colleagues in the House from the other side of the aisle was quoted in an article saying that she wanted ‘to thank the Republicans for their generosity… I’m just grateful for the bipartisanship here.’ “That’s not the same message coming out of the do-nothing Senate. “One Democratic Senator was quoted as saying that he has ‘a hard time getting on the train in the morning.’ “Former Senate leaders Tom Daschle and Trent Lott have said the Senate ‘has degenerated into a polarized mess.’ “Now this probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to us because yet again this year the Senate failed to even pass a budget. “I was just elected this past December, and prior to that I was in the Alabama State Senate. In Alabama, as in most states, our legislature is required to pass a budget and the appropriations bills every year on time and balanced. Each year the Alabama legislature does that. And you’re telling me the United States Senate can’t do that, the greatest debating body ever known to the world. “We have seen this song and dance before and most of us now know how it is going to end. “At some point, sooner rather than later, the House will be forced to consider a continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown. “The Senate can prevent this, by following the House in regular order, doing the people’s work, making the hard decisions, and advancing individual appropriations bills, as we have done in the House. “That’s how government is supposed to work and that’s the only way we are going to be able to make serious reforms to spending programs. “I’ve come to this body a number of times to offer amendments to pending bills that would have cut spending, and I am going to keep pushing for these types of strategic spending reductions. “But when the Senate refuses to do their part, it makes this process impossible. “The Senate’s inaction is going to force those of us in the House to make an unfair choice. I ask them to act differently for the people of this country so we can get things done.” Read More

Byrne to Hold Facebook Town Hall Thursday

2014/07/23

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) will answer constituent questions during a Facebook town hall meeting on Thursday afternoon. Congressman Byrne, who has held 26 town hall meetings throughout Alabama’s First Congressional District, will use the popular social media site as a way to take questions from constituents who might not be able to attend the in-person town hall meetings. Constituents can post their questions now at this link. Congressman Byrne will be answering the questions Thursday afternoon at 1:00 pm CT from his Washington, D.C. office. Byrne said: “It has been my priority from day one to stay in contact and accessible to the people I represent. I am committed to using all resources available to stay in contact with the people back home in Alabama, including social media. “I’m still pretty new to social media, but I recognize the value in using this innovative tool to communicate directly with my constituents. Whether you have a question or just want to voice a concern, I hope people will take advantage of tomorrow’s Facebook town hall meeting.” Read More

Byrne: Big Step Forward for I-10 Mobile River Bridge

2014/07/22

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today applauded the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the I-10 Mobile River bridge project. Congressman Byrne yesterday decried the continued delays in releasing the EIS and urged the Federal Highway Administration to stop delaying so the process could move forward. With the draft EIS signed, the process now can move forward. The process now moves to a public comment and public meeting period, where all individuals in the community can weigh in on prospective bridge decisions and components. There will then be a “final record” process in which all information gained during the comment period will be accessed and incorporated into design plans. Byrne said in a video statement: “I am thrilled to report that the long awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed I-10 Mobile River Bridge has been signed by the Federal Highway Administration. “This step has been almost ten years in the making, and it represents a significant breakthrough in the process of getting a bridge built. I appreciate the efforts of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Mike Lee, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Governor Bentley, the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and all of those involved in helping us move this process forward. “As both sides of Mobile Bay continue to grow and new businesses relocate to our community, it is critical that the I-10 system is capable of handling the increased amount of traffic back and forth across the bay. This stretch of the I-10 highway is the number one chokepoint from coast to coast. “With the draft environmental impact statement complete, I know other challenges await, but I am hopeful that the process will continue to move forward in an expeditious manner. I’ll continue to be a positive, proactive voice bringing our community together in pursuit of this common goal that we share.” The draft EIS will be available at the following locations: Alabama Department of Transportation – Mobile Office Ben May Main Library (downtown Mobile) Mobile MPO Offices of the City of Mobile Offices of Mobile County Mobile Chamber of Commerce Texas Street Community Center Spanish Fort City Hall Daphne City Hall Fairhope City Hall Baldwin County Fairhope Satellite Courthouse Commission Office Read More

Byrne Welcomes New Baldwin County Commissioner Chris Elliott

2014/07/18

Congressman  Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today congratulated new Baldwin County District 2 Commissioner Chris Elliott and thanked former Commissioner Bob James for his dedicated service. Chris Elliott was appointed today by Governor Robert Bentley to finish out the term of Commissioner Bob James, who resigned on Thursday. Elliott won the Republican nomination on Tuesday to serve a complete four year term. Elliott is unopposed in the general election. Byrne said: “I want to congratulate Chris Elliott on his victory Tuesday night, and I know I join many others in welcoming him to the Baldwin County Commission. I have gotten to know Chris over the years through church and various other civic organizations, and I consider him a dear friend. I look forward to working with Commissioner Elliott and the other members of the Baldwin County Commission as we advance our common goals. “I also want to thank Bob James for his years of public service and leadership on the Baldwin County Commission. I wish him all the best in whatever path he chooses to take next.” Read More

Airshow Puts Alabama in the Spotlight

2014/07/18

Last week, I joined officials from throughout Alabama at the Farnborough International Airshow outside of London, England. I was accompanied by representatives from the city of Mobile, members of the Mobile and Baldwin County Commissions, Senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, Governor Bentley, and other officials from across our state. Our goal was simple: to work to bring new industry to our state and our area by highlighting the skilled workforce and resources the state of Alabama offers. I am proud to report that Alabama likely had the largest presence of any state in the entire country. The Farnborough Airshow is a unique opportunity to bring all the leading executives from airline and aerospace companies around the globe together in one place. Various parts suppliers are there to try and convince major aerospace companies to use their products. Government entities are also there to showcase various defense projects and recruit new industry to their respective area. Much of our time was focused on Airbus, which is in the process of building its A320 final assembly line in Mobile. The Airbus assembly line will directly employ about 1,000 people when it reaches full annual production by 2018, although the first planes will begin rolling off the line in 2016. Many other jobs will likely follow as suppliers begin locating around the final assembly line. At Farnborough, the Alabama delegation met with Allan McArtor, the chairman of Airbus in the United States, and Tom Enders, who is the chief executive of Airbus Group. We also met with representatives from ST Aerospace, which has a significant presence at Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile. ST Aeropsace has been a great community partner for many years, and I feel confident they will continue to have a strong presence in our area for years to come. On top of those groups, we spent time with the folks from United Technologies (UTC), which has a facility in Foley that was recently named one of their premier facilities in the country. The airshow was not just about Mobile and Baldwin counties though, rather the impact of new industry will likely be felt throughout Southwest Alabama. A great example is Muskogee Technology (MT), an aerospace manufacturer owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and located in Atmore. MT’s representatives were working hard to promote their metal fabrication business to airline executives from across the globe, and given their history of superior performance as a supplier to the US aerospace industry, I have no doubt they will be successful. And their success is Alabama’s success. I am confident that as Airbus’s operation in Mobile continues to move forward and grow, the relationships we built in Farnborough will really pay dividends. I truly believe the dam will break, and more good-paying jobs will come to our area. When you look at the impressive aerospace industry in Huntsville, to expanded opportunities in the Wiregrass region, to our growing aerospace presence in Mobile, this is an exciting time for Alabama to be one of the premier leaders in a booming industry. So, there is no doubt in my mind that our presence at the Farnborough Airshow really put Alabama in the spotlight. 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