I met a young boy named Gabe Griffin a few years back at Battleship Park in Mobile. His family and friends had organized a cross country bike ride that started in Oregon and ended on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.
The goal of the ride was to raise awareness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare disease in young boys that causes your muscles to weaken rapidly. Despite suffering from Duchenne, Gabe was thrilled that day to be greeted by the University of South Alabama mascots, the Azalea Trail Maids, and local firefighters. I will never forget the smile on Gabe’s face on that special day.
Gabe was on my mind last week as I cast my vote in favor of the 21st Century Cures Act. This bill brings health research and the drug approval process into the 21st Century in order to boost research into diseases, like Duchenne, that impact far too many families.
The bill provides the National Institutes of Health with over $4 billion in new funding. Over $1 billion will go toward the new Precision Medicine Initiative to drive research into diseases, over $1 billion will go toward cancer research, and over $1 billion will go toward the BRAIN initiative to improve understanding of diseases, like Alzheimer’s.
The 21st Century Cures Act also allows for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite the approval process for breakthrough medical treatments, drugs, and devices. These reforms help cut through the red tape and bureaucracy that has limited the potential for important medical breakthroughs.
The bill encourages innovation and research through a number of new strategies. For example, 21st Century Cures authorizes innovation prize competitions to advance biomedical science for diseases that are serious and represent a significant burden. The bill also creates a new “Next Generation of Researchers Initiative” to encourage younger students to enter the field of medical research.
Another important reform is that 21st Century Cures empowers patients to take part in research and clinical trials. This change allows patients to voluntarily provide hospitals and research institutions with authorization to use their personal health data for research purposes. The bill also requires the FDA to incorporate patient input and experiences into their decision-making process.
All of these reforms ensure that the United States remains a global leader in medical innovation, which in turn protects and helps create new jobs here at home.
The bill also includes important reforms to update our nation’s mental health programs. Mental health reform has long been a priority for me, and I know these reforms will go a long way toward changing the way we treat mental illness in America.
Another important issue addressed in the bill is the opioid prescription drug crisis impacting communities all across the country. Approximately 46,000 Americans die each year because of prescription drug abuse, so I’m pleased to report the bill includes $1 billion in new grants that can be given to states to help them combat opioid abuse.
Importantly, all new spending in the bill is offset, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill will actually result in government savings.
The 21st Century Cures Act has been years in the making. Gabe, and many others who suffer from major diseases, have been traveling to Washington for over two years to advocate for this critical legislation. Legislation that gives them hope.
It is not often that Congress passes legislation that can actually save lives, but that is exactly what the 21st Century Cures Act has the potential to do. Just as important though, it also gives hope to people like Gabe and his family that a cure can be found. And sometimes, hope is exactly what you need.Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today voted in favor of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes spending and sets policy for the nation’s military. The bill passed by a vote of 375 to 34.
The House and Senate passed separate versions of the NDAA earlier this year, so a Conference Committee of House and Senate members was convened to work out the differences. Today’s vote was on the compromise bill, and the Senate is expected to take up the bill next week.
During a speech from the House floor in support of the bill, Congressman Byrne highlighted the important reforms included in the bill, as well as efforts to address the military’s readiness crisis.
Byrne said: “This NDAA stops the drawdown of the military and authorizes critical funding for the operation and maintenance of our military. The bill authorizes important funding for training, helps rebuild outdated infrastructure, and ensures our military men and women have the munitions they need for ongoing operations.”
Despite passage of the NDAA, Congressman Byrne noted that Congress must still pass a funding bill to actually put the money in place. Byrne also expressed his support for additional defense funding to meet all the needs of the military.
Byrne said: “This is a good bill. But it alone will not be enough to turn the tide back in favor of the fully trained, fully capable, and fully equipped military that we need. I look forward to working with Chairman Thornberry, Ranking Member Smith, the appropriations committee, and the incoming administration to get this funding bill taken care of as soon as possible next year. Because without supplemental funding, we will leave the job half-done.”
A complete transcript of Congressman Byrne’s remarks in support of the legislation can be found below.
Byrne said: “This marks the 55th consecutive year that the House and Senate are coming together to pass a bill to authorize spending and set policy for our nation’s military.
“Just as important, as is the case with most of our work on the Armed Services Committee, this was a bipartisan process that allowed for numerous members to have an input in the final bill.
“That is a testament to the great work and leadership of Chairman Mac Thornberry, Ranking Member Smith, our Subcommittee Chairmen, and the entire committee staff. This is a truly professional team that puts in long hours to make this bill possible, and they deserve a lot of credit for their efforts.
“Mr. Speaker, I have said on this floor many times before that our military faces a serious readiness crisis. Budget cuts have really thinned out our military and hurt our ability to train and prepare for conflict.
“One of the most startling examples of the readiness crisis is the fact that some of our Marines have been forced to get parts for their F-18s off of planes in a museum. That is simply absurd and deeply troubling.
“Just as bad, less than one-third of Army forces are at acceptable readiness levels for ground combat. And our pilots are getting less training than many of our adversaries.
“Thankfully, this NDAA stops the drawdown of the military and authorizes critical funding for the operation and maintenance of our military. The bill authorizes important funding for training, helps rebuild outdated infrastructure, and ensures our military men and women have the munitions they need for ongoing operations.
“The bill also fully provides for a 2.1 percent pay increase for our military. This is the largest pay raise for our troops in six years, and it is especially important for our military families.
“Additionally, the bill supports our nation’s military operations around the globe. As we fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and continue to have a presence in Afghanistan, it is vital that our military has the tools they need to carry out their mission and defeat radical Islamic terrorism.
“Just as important, this NDAA provides for a continued military presence in Europe to support our allies and deter Russian aggression as well as resources to support U.S. operations in the ever important Pacific.
“Finally, the NDAA includes some important reforms to make our military and the Pentagon more effective and efficient.
“This includes updates to the Goldwater-Nichols Act to improve the overall organizational structure at the Pentagon and throughout our military.
“The bill builds upon recent reforms to the Pentagon’s acquisition programs to cut down on red tape and spur innovation and research.
“It also updates the Uniform Code of Military Justice to promote accountability within our military.
“So, Mr. Speaker, this is a good bill. But it alone will not be enough to fully turn the tide back in favor of the fully trained, fully capable, and fully equipped military that we need.
“Congress and the incoming President must act early next year on a funding bill to fully fund our military. And we need to go above even what is included in this bill. As Chairman Thornberry has indicated, we need to push for a defense supplemental that includes important military programs that were unfortunately left out of this final bill.
“I look forward to working with Chairman Thornberry, Ranking Member Smith, the appropriations committee, and the incoming administration to get this funding bill taken care of as soon as possible next year. Because without supplemental funding, we will leave the job half-done.
“While this is just one step in ensuring our military is ready for the fight, it is an important one none-the-less, so I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this truly bipartisan legislation.
“So, for the 55th consecutive year, let’s send a message to our service members that supporting the United States military isn’t a Republican goal or a Democrat goal, but it is an American goal.
“I urge my colleagues to support H. Res. 937 and the underlying bill. I reserve the balance of my time.”Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement regarding President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to nominate General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.
Byrne said: “General Mattis has a clear record of serving our nation with steadfast leadership, unwavering integrity, and selfless dedication. He has shown both a great appreciation for the true toils of conflict and the clear ability to defeat an enemy. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I look forward to working with him to rebuild our military and defeat radical Islamic extremism.”Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) today voted in favor of legislation to improve our nation’s medical research programs, spur medical innovation, fight the nation’s opioid addiction crisis, and boost mental health programs.
The legislation, known as the 21st Century Cures Act, has been years in the making. The bill brings health research, the drug approval process, and mental health programs into the 21st Century and gives much needed hope to millions of Americans who suffer from various diseases. The bill allows the Food and Drug Administration to expedite the approval process for breakthrough medical treatments, drugs, and devices.
The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 392 to 26.
Byrne said: “It is not often that Congress passes legislation that can actually save lives, but this bill has the potential to do that by bringing our nation’s medical research programs and drug approval process into the 21st Century. These reforms and the additional funding will help spur medical innovation as we look to find cures and treatments for diseases that impact far too many American families.
“Mental health reform has long been a priority for me, and I am especially pleased this legislation includes provisions to strengthen our nation’s mental health programs. These reforms will go a long way toward changing the way we treat mental illness in America.
“I applaud Chairman Fred Upton for his leadership and determination to help push this bill through, which is one of the most consequential pieces of legislation passed in this Congress. I look forward to its speedy passage in the Senate.”
21st Century Cures provides the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with over $4 billion in new funding. Over $1 billion will go toward the new Precision Medicine Initiative to drive research into disease, over $1 billion will go toward cancer research, and over $1 billion will go toward the BRAIN initiative to improve understanding of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The bill also includes funding to help states address the opioid prescription drug crisis. All new funding in the bill is offset, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill will actually result in government savings.Read More
I have known Jeff Sessions for almost 40 years, and I have always considered him to be a person of the highest level of integrity, so I could not have been happier with the recent announcement that he has been selected to serve as the next U.S. Attorney General under President-elect Donald Trump.
Jeff Sessions is the perfect pick for this critical role. His time as a U.S. Attorney, service as Alabama’s Attorney General, and time on the Senate Judiciary Committee give him the experience he needs to take on this tough job.
As Attorney General, Senator Sessions will be the highest law enforcement official in the United States and will oversee the Department of Justice. He will be responsible for ensuring the law is upheld and followed throughout our country.
While I know his legal experience and steadfast defense of the rule of law will make him a perfect fit, I also believe his career has been shaped by his humble roots in Southwest Alabama.
Jeff grew up in the Hybart community, near the Monroe and Wilcox county line. After attending school at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Jeff obtained a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1973.
I got to know Senator Sessions when he moved to Mobile to practice law. As a young lawyer in Mobile, I quickly realized what an asset Jeff would be to our local community. He served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama before being nominated by President Reagan to serve as the U.S. Attorney for Alabama’s Southern District, a position he held for twelve years.
He does not get nearly the credit he deserves for cleaning up corruption in Mobile County during his time as U.S. Attorney. In the 1980s, both city and county government in Mobile were riddled with corruption. Jeff showed great courage by standing up to those powerful individuals and sending over half a dozen people to jail.
Without his willingness to stand up for the law and root out corruption, I am not sure our area would be where we are today. Having a competent, ethical local government is a critical component when it comes to recruiting new businesses.
Senator Sessions would go on to be elected Attorney General of Alabama in 1994. He was one of the first Republicans to be elected statewide in Alabama since Reconstruction, and he played a critical role in making Republicans more relevant in state politics.
He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, where he has served ever since. While in the Senate, he has been a key leader on the Judiciary Committee, where he has advocated for judges who enforce the Constitution and for policies that reduce the size of the federal government.
Senator Sessions also has a clear record on civil rights issues, despite some in the liberal media attempting to distort his record. As a U.S. Attorney, he filed several cases to desegregate schools in Alabama, and he also oversaw the successful conviction of a KKK leader for killing a black teenager. This successful case helped destroy the KKK in Alabama.
Given his experience, track record, and professionalism, I expect Senator Sessions will be confirmed by the Senate. He has served in the Senate for twenty years now, and his colleagues know him personally. Even though they may not agree with him on every political issue, they know he is a good man.
Jeff Sessions is the perfect pick to be the next U.S. Attorney General, and I know he will continue to make Southwest Alabama proud.Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, issued the following statement in response to a federal judge blocking the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule. The rule was set to take effect on December 1st.
Byrne said: “This rule was never what the Obama Administration wanted people to believe it was. Instead, the rule would have hurt American workers by moving them from salaried to hourly employees and greatly reducing opportunities for advancement. The rule would have been especially damaging for schools and non-profits, who couldn’t just increase costs to offset the added expenses. I appreciate Judge Mazzant’s decision and look forward to working with the Trump Administration to pursue policies that actually benefit American workers.”
Earlier this year, Congressman Byrne voted in support of legislation to delay the proposed rule for six months. In a speech in support of the legislation, he gave real world examples of how the rule would hurt workers, businesses, and organizations in Alabama.Read More
Many of us went to the polls a few weeks ago to elect the leaders of our country, state, and counties. This ability to select the members of our government is a unique tradition that we often take for granted.
It is easy to lose sight of the fact that the right to vote was not always guaranteed. Many people worked, fought, and died to ensure every American has the opportunity to cast their vote. This is a freedom that we should never take for granted as it is the cornerstone of our democracy.
So, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, I find myself thinking back to the many blessings in life that we sometimes take for granted, like the right to vote.
Thanksgiving is a special time of the year. It is a time when fall begins to turn into winter, leaves crinkle and fall to the earth, and the air outside becomes crisp. It is a time to reunite with old friends and visit loved ones. It is also a time to reflect on everything that we have to be thankful for.
I am thankful for my family. My wife, Rebecca is an amazing woman who dedicates herself to her family and her community. I am also thankful for our four children, who have achieved so much and make us proud each and every day. I’m also blessed to be a grandparent and to experience all the joys that come with it.
I am thankful to live in a part of the country that is unlike any other. From our beautiful environment to the incredibly warm and hospitable people who call it home, there is something truly special about Southwest Alabama.
I am thankful for the opportunity to represent the First District of Alabama. I am so honored to be your voice in Congress and to fight for you every day. From contributing to our Navy fleet with the LCS to improving our infrastructure with the I-10 bridge, we have accomplished so much and there is so much more to come.
I am thankful for my Congressional staff who are committed to improving the lives of those who live in Southwest Alabama. My staff in D.C. often work long hours in an effort to ensure our area has a strong voice in our nation’s Capitol, and my staff back in Alabama are dedicated to helping local residents navigate the confusing, and sometimes frustrating, government bureaucracy.
Most importantly, I am thankful to belong to an all-loving God, who is responsible for each of the blessings in my life. As it is written quite clearly in 1 Chronicles, chapter 16, verse 34: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Sometimes it can be easy to forget how much we have to be thankful for. Everyday struggles and challenges can cause us to forget our many blessings. I hope everyone will join me in taking some time on Thanksgiving to reflect on everything we have to be thankful for.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement regarding reports Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has been tapped to serve as the U.S. Attorney General in the Trump Administration.
Byrne said: “I have known Jeff Sessions for almost 40 years, and he has always been a person of the highest level of integrity. As a U.S. Attorney in Mobile, Senator Sessions led the charge to clean up corruption in our local government. He earned respect from everyone in our community by always conducting himself in a professional and fair way.
“In the Senate, Senator Sessions has a clear track record of defending the law and advocating for a smaller, less invasive federal government. Just as important, he has always been willing to partner with other members of our Congressional delegation to support Alabama projects and priorities.
“The people of Alabama will miss the service and leadership of Jeff Sessions, but I have no doubt he will be an excellent Attorney General for the United States.”Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, issued the following statement in response to a federal judge issuing a permanent injunction against the Department of Labor’s “persuader” rule.
Byrne said: “Today’s ruling is a win for American workers, who would have seen their access to important information greatly reduced. All along, this rule was nothing more than an effort to tilt the scales even further toward Big Labor bosses through administrative decree, and I am pleased the rule has been permanently blocked.”
Byrne led the charge in Congress against the “persuader” rule. He introduced House Joint Resolution 87, which would have blocked the rule through the Congressional Review Act process. The Education and the Workforce Committee approved Rep. Byrne’s legislation on May 18th. Click here to learn more about the “persuader” rule.Read More
Last Tuesday, the American people went to the polls to elect the people they want to lead our country, and the outcome of the election was pretty clear.
Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, and Republicans will continue to control both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Complete Republican control of the federal government has only happened 16 out of the past 100 years.
After years of divided government, it is important we take advantage of unified government and push forward with major reforms. Donald Trump really struck a chord with the American people by talking about putting America first and looking out for the American worker, so I hope our agenda follows those principles.
One of the first items on the agenda should be to address Obamacare. I am optimistic we will be able to get a bill through Congress and signed into law that repeals Obamacare once and for all. Just getting rid of Obamacare won’t be enough though. We need to follow up with patient-centered health care reforms that actually lower costs and improve care, while ensuring every American has access to health care.
Another item toward the top of the agenda will be finally securing our border. I look f0rward to working with President-elect Trump to increase border security and crack down on illegal immigration. We must also end amnesty policies and ensure our immigration policies reward immigrants who follow the system to enter our nation legally.
There are also a number of commonsense reforms we can push through early in the Trump Administration to cut back on overregulation. President-elect Trump will be able to quickly end some of these actions that were implemented through executive orders, but other changes will require Congressional action.
For years now, I have heard from countless small business owners and employees who are drowning in red tape. By cutting out the bureaucratic mess, our businesses will be able to grow and expand. This benefits every single American in the form of a stronger economy.
Rebuilding our military will also be a top priority under President-elect Trump. We need to rollback harmful cuts to our military and ensure each branch of the military has the tools and resources they need to get the job down. We must restore the strategy of peace through strength.
I also think a number of our local priorities stand to benefit under President Trump. First, I look forward to working with the Trump Administration to finally get us back to a regular Red Snapper season in the Gulf. President-elect Trump has said he wants to do away with unnecessary government regulations, and ending ill-advised regulations on our fishermen should be on the list.
We have a number of important transportation projects in Southwest Alabama, including building an I-10 bridge over the Mobile River. I really look forward to learning more about President-elect Trump’s major infrastructure plan because it could certainly help move some of our local projects forward.
Finally, President-elect Trump’s plan to boost our military should be music to the ears of those at the Austal shipyard in Mobile. Mr. Trump has said he supports a 350 ship naval fleet, and we cannot get to that large of a fleet without the Littoral Combat Ship, which is built in Mobile.
Ultimately, the most important step is for our country to unify behind Donald Trump. I know not everyone supported Mr. Trump, but in his victory speech he promised to be the President for every single American. I hope everyone will take President-elect Trump at his word and give him the opportunity to lead our country.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.
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5...4...3...2...1...Merry Christmas! 🎄 https://t.co/9xACEFxLH2
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@loureynolds1940 I expect those efforts will take place, but not until next year when we have a President who will sign the bill.
Earlier this year, I visited the site of the new Regional Workforce Training Center in Grove Hill. It will be a dif… https://t.co/YOfFuVtxk5
Pleased the @DeltaRegional Authority is investing $105,000 to support the Regional Workforce Training Center in Clarke County.
I'm very pleased that the Delta Regional Authority will be investing $105,000 in the new Clarke County Regional Workforce Training Center. Earlier
I continue to believe Congress will act very early next year to repeal Obamacare and pave a path toward patient-centered health care reforms
Due to the recent rains, state officials have finally been able to lift the "no burn" ban. We must continue to monitor the drought conditions
Good to see the Mobile-built USS Coronado performing well in the South China Sea. This is a critically important region of the world, and I am
Great report from WKRG on the 21st Century Cures Act and what it means for individuals who suffer from disease. The 21st Century Cures Act is