Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement in response to a new $299,995 grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The grant will support the Innovation PortAL program, which will use the funds to create, launch, and administer a seed fund for entrepreneurs in the Gulf Coast region.
Byrne said: “I applaud the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and the Innovation PortAL program for their continued efforts to support entrepreneurs and economic growth in Southwest Alabama. With this federal grant, they will be able to offer more opportunities and resources for new and innovative businesses. There is so much economic potential in our region, and this is yet another sign of the positive momentum.”
According to the grant announcement, “This EDA investment funds the creation, launch and administration of an Innovation PortAL (IP) seed fund supporting entrepreneurs in the Gulf Coast region. While IP and supporting community programs have been successful in preparing entrepreneurial businesses for funding, a very significant gap of seed funding resources exists. There are currently very limited seed funding offerings targeted to entrepreneurs in the Gulf Coast region, which results in the region’s high-potential entrepreneurs either moving to markets outside of our region in search of capital or they are putting their entrepreneurial efforts on hold. The Seed Fund Support program provides funding for technical assistance and operational costs that support the feasibility, planning, formation, launch, or scale of cluster-based seed funds that will invest their capital in innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth.”Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement regarding the ongoing debate in the United States Senate regarding a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Byrne said: “We have now seen the Democrats' alternative to Obamacare: Senator Sanders' single payer healthcare bill. The American people overwhelmingly rejected increased government involvement in the last election, yet the Democrats have doubled down, putting forward a multi-trillion dollar government takeover of our entire health care system.
"Senator Sanders’ bill would require massive new taxes on all Americans and move everyone on to a government healthcare plan. If you like your current plan, that’s too bad. This pie-in-the-sky idea is not only unrealistic, but would have devastating fiscal and practical effects on our citizens.
“That is not a legitimate option. Instead, the U.S. Senate needs to act before September 30th on health care legislation to limit the federal government’s role in health care and ensure real choices for consumers. I once again call on my colleagues in the Senate to join the House in passing a bill to rescue the American people from the failures of Obamacare. Time is running out, and action is desperately needed.”
In May, the House passed the American Health Care Act with Congressman Byrne’s support. The bill repealed Obamacare and replaced it with free-market reforms designed to lower costs for consumers while ensuring important protections.
The Senate parliamentarian has ruled that the fast-track plan to repeal Obamacare, known as reconciliation, will expire on September 30, 2017. Without this procedure in place, any effort to repeal and replace Obamacare would require 60 votes in the Senate, instead of a simple majority.Read More
Arguably, Congress’s most important power is the power of the purse. Through funding bills, Congress has an important opportunity to set the direction of the government. Founding Father James Madison called it “the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people”.
Unfortunately, in recent years, Congress has failed at this basic constitutional responsibility. For far too long, Congress has operated from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis, putting off passing government funding bills until the last possible minute.
Even worse, Congress has also fallen into a bad habit of just passing short-term spending bills known as Continuing Resolutions (CR) that simply hold federal spending in place. This is exactly what happened just a few weeks ago. I voted against that bill because it’s unacceptable to operate the government in that manner.
Fortunately, for the first time since 2009, the House last week passed all twelve of the individual government funding bills before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. Only in Washington would simply doing your job be considered a major accomplishment, but this was a big breakthrough in the government funding process and it is important to enacting President Trump’s agenda.
For example, our funding bills crack down on illegal immigration and fully fund President Trump’s request for the border wall. The bills also roll back burdensome regulations, provide a raise to our troops, defund Planned Parenthood, cut funds to the IRS and EPA, and boost funding for medical research.
While I am proud we got the job done, we still have a lot of work to do. For example, Congress has still not even passed a budget for Fiscal Year 2018 yet, and the Senate has yet to consider even a single funding bill.
I want to take a minute to clarify the difference between the federal budget and the funding bills. While the terms are often interchanged, they are actually very different.
The budget is more of an aspirational document that does not carry the force of law, but it serves as a blueprint for the funding bills. Even more, the budget submitted each year by the President is truly just a recommendation that Congress uses to draft our own budget. Even still, the budget is important because it sets topline spending levels and provides a more long-term budget outlook.
The funding bills are where the money is actually spent. These are very specific bills that lay out line item appropriations for most government agencies and programs. The funding bills run on the fiscal year calendar, so from October 1st to September 30th each year. If the funding bills are not passed before September 30th, a government shutdown occurs.
When the process works like it is supposed to, the president submits his budget request in February, the House and Senate pass budget resolutions by the middle of the year, and then pass the twelve individual funding bills by September 30th.
We must return to this process. When the system is broken, as it currently is, it makes it much harder to set federal priorities and cut down on wasteful or unnecessary government programs. This is why I think it is so important we return to regular order and get our work done on time.
I understand it is difficult to make spending decisions in today’s tight budget environment, but the American people elected us to make difficult choices. While I’m glad the House got our work done this year, we must keep pushing to fix the overall process and restore fiscal sanity in Washington.Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement after voting in the favor of H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act. The bill provides funding for the entire federal government for Fiscal Year 2018.
Byrne said: “The House has now done our job and passed all twelve of the government funding bills before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. This funding bill reflects the will of the House and makes tough choices regarding funding priorities.
“From increasing funding for our military to boosting border security to cutting wasteful programs to strengthening life-saving medical research, this bill prioritizes spending to reflect national priorities.
“While we have finished our work in the House, the Senate has yet to pass a single government funding bill. I remain deeply concerned about the impact the logjam in the Senate is having on our ability to enact our conservative priorities and President Trump’s agenda.”
The bill includes two amendments from Congressman Byrne:
The bill passed by a vote of 211 to 198.Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) today announced three public town hall meetings for the month of September. The meetings include an evening town hall meeting in Mobile, in addition to stops in Silverhill and Elberta.
Congressman Byrne is quickly approaching his 100th in-person town hall meeting. Last month, he held seven town hall meetings across Southwest Alabama bringing the total number of in-person town hall meetings to 94.
Details regarding the September town hall meetings can be found below. All of the meetings are free to attend and open to the public.
What: Mobile Town Hall Meeting
When: September 18, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. CT
Where: Government Plaza Auditorium; 205 Government Street; Mobile, AL
What: Silverhill Town Hall Meeting
When: September 21, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. CT
Where: Silverhill Town Hall; 15965 East Silverhill Avenue; Silverhill, AL
What: Elberta Town Hall Meeting
When: September 21, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. CT
Where: Elberta Town Hall; 13052 Main Street; Elberta, ALRead More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) will host his annual Academy Night on Monday, October 2nd from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. CT. The annual event brings together students, parents, and teachers from Alabama's First Congressional District to learn more about attending one of our nation's military service academies and the nomination process.
What: Academy Night 2017
Who: Representatives from our nation's military service academies
When: Monday, October 2nd from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. CT
Where: St. Paul's Episcopal School; Dr. Monte L. Moorer Theatre; 161 Dogwood Lane, Mobile, AL
Representatives from the following service academies will be on hand:
In order to attend most of the service academies, students must have a nomination. Congressmen, Senators, the Vice President, and the President are the only ones who can nominate a student to a service academy. That said, just having a nomination will not guarantee that a student is admitted. The admission process is incredibly competitive and the acceptance rate is less than 20% for each of the academies.
Each applicant for a nomination must meet the following eligibility requirements as of July 1 of the year of entry to a service academy:
Age: Must be at least 17 years old but not have reached the 23rd birthday by July 1 of the year of admission. * Merchant Marine Academy – shall not have reached the 25th birthday
Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen.
Marital Status: Must be unmarried and have no legal obligation for support of a child or other dependents.
Click here for more information on the academy nomination process.Read More
On June 17th, the USS Fitzgerald, a guided missile destroyer with the United States Navy, collided with a merchant vessel southwest of Tokyo, Japan. The collision resulted in the death of seven Navy sailors and an additional three crewmembers were injured.
Then, on August 21st, the USS John S. McCain, also a Navy destroyer, collided with a merchant vessel in the Straits of Malacca, near Singapore. This time, ten crewmembers were killed and five others injured.
The death of a single U.S. service member is one death too many, but losing seventeen Navy sailors in the course of a few months is a real tragedy.
The House Armed Services Committee recently convened a hearing to examine these incidents. As a member of the Committee, I was especially interested in what needed to change to prevent events like this from occurring in the future.
In addition to the two tragic incidents, there were also recent incidents where the USS Antietam ran aground near Japan and the USS Lake Champlain collided with a fishing boat. Neither of these resulted in any injuries, but they did cause damage to the ships.
Already, the commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, where all these incidents occurred, has been relieved of his command and the commanding officers of the USS Fitzgerald and the USS Antietam were also removed.
During the hearing, we heard a number of different ideas and concerns from the Navy leadership who testified. Notably, the Navy made clear that investigations into these incidents are still ongoing, but I think a number of conclusions can be drawn.
First, we must continue to evaluate and improve our Navy’s training programs. Today’s ships have very complex technology that requires extensive training and retraining to keep the crew up-to-speed.
We also need to make sure we have enough sailors to prevent exhaustion and fatigue from adding unnecessary risk. Studies indicate that today’s sailors are working longer hours than their predecessors. Our ships require full manning to perform their missions throughout the globe.
The size of the fleet is also an issue. More ships mean shorter and less frequent deployments per ship, which lessens the wear and tear on the ship and leaves more time for maintenance and training. We have 100 ships throughout the world but with a fleet that has shrunk over 40% since the late 1980s.
All of these areas tie back to a major underlying issue: lack of adequate funding and funding certainty for our national defense. These are both Congressional responsibilities and requirements.
We must give the Navy and the entire military more budget certainty. The Navy needs to know how much money they will be receiving each year in order to effectively plan their programs and procure new ships.
I was pleased when the House passed a strong military funding bill earlier this year. Specific to these concerns, the bill called for bringing on more military personnel and buying eleven more Navy ships.
Unfortunately, the Senate has so far failed to pass the military funding bill. This resulted in Congress last week passing a short-term Continuing Resolution that simply holds funding levels in place. I voted against the short-term Continuing Resolution because of the negative impact it will have on our military. It will delay maintenance periods for ships we need to send back out to the fleet and delay the process of procuring new ships, to name a few crippling effects.
Of course we need the Navy to do a better job of training and operating their vessels, but Congress has to also do our part to ensure adequate funding and budget certainty. We cannot continue to underfund our military and put our sailors and service members at risk.Read More
The House of Representatives last night adopted an amendment from Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) to protect important revenue from off-shore oil and gas royalties that is currently set aside for Alabama and other states on the Gulf Coast.
Byrne’s amendment would prohibit any efforts to redirect funds allocated under the Gulf of Mexico Security Act (GOMESA) of 2006. GOMESA is the federal legislation that creates a revenue sharing agreement between Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Under GOMESA, each state receives a percentage of federal oil revenue from drilling of their coasts.
Byrne said: “Under current law, money from the GOMESA program belongs on the Gulf Coast, and I am committed to making sure that does not change. This money is critically important to our coastal communities, which provide a significant share of the infrastructure and workforce for the oil and gas industry.
“I am pleased my amendment was adopted on a unanimous voice vote, and I will continue standing up for our coastal communities every chance I get.”
Byrne’s amendment was co-sponsored by Representatives Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Garret Graves (R-LA), Clay Higgins (R-LA), Randy Weber (R-TX), and Mike Johnson (R-LA).Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement after voting against a legislative package including a three month Continuing Resolution to fund the government, a three month increase in the debt ceiling, and a three month extension of the flood insurance program.
Byrne said: “Just yesterday I sat in an Armed Services Committee hearing and heard Navy leaders explain how harmful a short-term Continuing Resolution is to our military men and women, as well as our overall readiness. Additionally, this legislation raises the debt ceiling without any kinds of reforms to control our out of control spending. This is unacceptable. Given these serious concerns, I could not support today’s short-term package.
“The House has done our work and passed a full year funding bill for the military and other critical agencies. Sadly, the Senate has again failed to advance a single funding bill and the dangerous cycle of governing from crisis to crisis continues. The American people want us to make the difficult choices and do our job, and this package falls short of that standard.”
Congressman Byrne also expressed his support for aid to help assist Texas and victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Byrne said: “I voted earlier this week to approve funding to help our Gulf Coast neighbors rebuild following the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, and I intend to support future aid packages. Having dealt with our fair share of these tropical events, I certainly understand the need for timely and adequate aid, and I expect more aid will be necessary.
“I am disappointed the important hurricane relief funding was ultimately tied to this short-term spending bill and an increase in the debt ceiling. I do not think it is appropriate to combine these very complex issues into the same package.”
The package passed the House by a vote of 316 to 90, and it now heads to President Donald Trump for his signature.Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Byrne said: “I applaud the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the DACA program. As has been shown by court rulings on similar programs, DACA is unconstitutional, has no justifiable legal basis, and is a blatant example of executive overreach. Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Trump, it is clear our nation’s laws will be enforced, and that is good news for our system of government and for the American people.
“Congress certainly needs to fix our nation’s broken immigration system, but that must start with securing our borders, boosting internal security, and putting the American people first. Congress, and only Congress, can pass those laws, but I would welcome the advice of the President and the Attorney General on what those laws should provide.”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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