Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement regarding the relationship between the United States and Cuba and the potential opportunities under a new Cuban president. Miguel Díaz-Canel was officially named as the new leader of Cuba on Thursday, April 19, 2018.
Congressman Byrne said: “I have been a serious critic of Cuba since coming to Congress and strongly disagreed with President Obama’s decision to re-establish relations with an illegitimate regime. Now, with the Castros no longer in power, there is a moment of opportunity for the United States. I look forward to the chance to begin what will be a long and difficult process to truly open our two countries to one another.
“I have no illusions about the difficulties in re-establishing full relations and lifting the trade embargo, but the time has come for us to begin serious discussions that will hopefully end in an agreement benefiting both countries.”Read More
When the 115th Congress kicked off last January, I immediately introduced a bill that I believe is fundamental to the future of our country: a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The premise of a Balanced Budget Amendment is pretty straightforward. The federal government should not be allowed to spend more than we take in, except in extraordinary circumstances like a time of war.
This isn’t some sort of far flung idea. When I served in the Alabama State Legislature, we were required to pass a balanced budget each year. It was not always easy, but it was the law. The vast majority of states have the same requirement.
Balancing a budget is also a common occurrence for families in Alabama and across the United States. Every month, people sit around their kitchen table to figure out how to make ends meet and live within their means. Small businesses must do the same.
The federal government should have to play by the same rules.
To truly enact a Balanced Budget Amendment, we would need to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As a reminder, in order to amend the Constitution, the Balanced Budget Amendment must pass both the House and the Senate by a two-thirds majority and then be ratified by three-fourths of the states, which is 38 out of the 50 states. The only other way to amend the Constitution would be through a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the states.
Recently, the House voted on House Joint Resolution 2, proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Despite receiving the support of a majority of us in the House, the bill did not receive the two-thirds majority necessary under the Constitution.
I was deeply disappointed that most Democrats in the House opposed the Balanced Budget Amendment. Despite talking a lot about our debt, they rejected one of the best opportunities to actually restore fiscal sanity in Washington.
Throughout the course of the debate, two important topics were raised, and I wanted to briefly address each of them.
First, despite what my colleagues on the other side of the aisle believe, the answer to our debt issues is not to tax the American people more. We do not have a tax problem; we have a spending problem.
To be clear, the recently passed tax cuts are not to blame for our nation’s debt issues. As the Heritage Foundation recently pointed out, “tax revenue is expected to fall by only 0.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year and spending is expected to climb by 3 percent of GDP.” Again, we have a spending problem, not a taxing problem.
Second, the most serious drivers of the national debt are on autopilot. For example, if you eliminated every penny Congress appropriated for defense spending next year, the federal government would still be projected to operate in a deficit. So-called mandatory spending programs must be reined in, and a balanced budget amendment would finally require Congress to tackle those programs head on.
Now, I know passing a balanced budget would be hard, but I did not run for Congress because I thought the job would be easy. We were elected by our neighbors to make difficult choices and decisions.
So, while our recent effort to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment came up short, I will not let it stop me from continuing to push for a balanced budget that requires the federal government to live within our means, just like the American people.Read More
Staff members from the Office of Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) will hold office hours throughout Alabama’s First Congressional District in the month of April.
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, April 17
9:30 to 10:30 am: Orange Beach City Hall
11:00 am to 12:00 noon: Foley City Hall
1:30 to 2:30 pm: Fairhope City Hall
3:00 to 4:00 pm: Spanish Fort City Hall
Wednesday, April 18
3:30 to 4:30 pm: Bay Minette City Hall
Wednesday, April 25
11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Grove Hill Town Hall
1:00– 2:00 pm: White Smith Memorial Library in Jackson
Wednesday, April 18
9:30 to 10:30 am – Atmore City Hall
11:00 am – 12:00 noon – Flomaton City Hall
1:30 – 2:30 pm: East Brewton City Hall
Thursday, April 26
10:30 – 11:30 am: Citronelle City Hall
12:30 – 1:30 pm: Satsuma City Hall
3:00 – 4:00 pm: Dauphin Island Town Hall
Wednesday, April 25
9:30 – 10:30 am: Monroeville City Hall
Wednesday, April 25
3:00 – 4:00 pm: Washington County Public Library in Chatom
Thursday, April 26
9:00 – 10:00 am: McIntosh Town Hall
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
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement regarding military action in Syria.
Congressman Byrne said: “President Trump is right to respond to the horrific use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria, and it is notable that two of our strongest allies have joined us in our response. I also join President Trump in calling on Russia and Iran to reject the Assad regime’s barbaric actions.
“More than anything tonight, I hope the American people will join me in saying a prayer for our servicemen and women taking part in the military action. May God bless these patriots.”Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) today voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 2, a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The resolution proposes a Constitutional amendment requiring an annual balanced federal budget. Unfortunately, the amendment failed to receive a 2/3rds vote in the House as required to amend the Constitution.
Last year, Congressman Byrne introduced his own Balanced Budget Amendment (House Joint Resolution 14). It was the first bill introduced by Congressman Byrne in the 115th Congress.
Congressman Byrne outlined his support for the bill during a speech from the House floor earlier today. A complete transcript of the Congressman’s remarks can be found below.
Congressman Byrne said: “I thank the Chairman for yielding.
“I rise today to lend my strong support to this Balanced Budget Amendment.
“Mr. Speaker, the very first bill I introduced when the 115th Congress kicked off last year was a balanced budget amendment. With the national debt over $21 trillion, it is no secret that the federal government has a spending issue.
“Before coming to Congress, I served in the Alabama State Legislature. Like many states, Alabama is required to pass a budget that does not spend more than we have. We do it each year. A balanced budget is not some far flung idea.
“Families in Southwest Alabama and all around the country sit around the kitchen table and figure out how to make ends meet. Small businesses face the exact same challenges.
“The federal government should be required to play by the same rules.
“I want to be clear about a few things. First, despite what my colleagues on the other side of the aisle believe, the answer to our debt issue is not to tax the American people more. We do not have a tax problem. We have a spending problem.
“Second, the most serious drivers of the national debt are on autopilot. So-called mandatory spending programs must be reined in, and a balanced budget amendment would finally require Congress to tackle those programs head on.
“Mr. Speaker, I know passing a balanced budget would be hard, but I didn’t run for Congress because I thought the job would be easy. We were elected by our neighbors to make difficult choices and decisions.
“We can make a strong step in the right direction by passing this Balanced Budget Amendment, and I urge all my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill today.”Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement regarding Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to not seek re-election.
Congressman Byrne said: “Paul Ryan has been a leader in the conservative movement since he first ran for Congress all the way through his time as Speaker of the House. From historic tax cuts to record funding for our military, we have achieved many accomplishments under his leadership. After hearing from the Speaker this morning, I wholeheartedly understand and support him in his decision to not seek re-election.
“Throughout the remainder of this year and into the 116th Congress, I have complete confidence that House Republicans will remain focused on advancing President Trump’s agenda and will continue to lead the United States in a positive direction.”Read More
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement in response to Senator Richard Shelby’s selection as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Congressman Byrne said: “Congratulations to Senator Shelby on being selected as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Over the years, Senator Shelby has been a steadfast champion for Alabama’s priorities, and I have no doubt his efforts will continue in this prestigious position.”Read More
America’s Armed Forces are made up of young men and women who bravely answered the call of service and have accepted the challenge of defending our great nation.
As a Member of Congress, I have the distinct privilege each year of nominating outstanding young individuals from Southwest Alabama to attend our nation’s military service academies. This process of nominating the next generation of servicemen and women is one of the most rewarding parts of being a Congressman.
These nominees are proven leaders in their classrooms and communities who have stood out among the rest of their peers. This is apparent simply from their choice to serve our nation. Joining the United States military is a commitment that requires strong character and valor, and I applaud these impressive young men and women for their decision to serve.
To attend most of the service academies, students must receive a nomination from a Member of Congress, the Vice President, or the President. The admission process is incredibly rigorous with an acceptance rate of less than 20% for each of the academies.
Once students complete their education, they must fulfill a service commitment. Most of these commitments are at least five years active duty, but the service requirement may be longer for certain specialized fields.
I hope you will join me in congratulating these twelve outstanding individuals from Southwest Alabama who received a service academy nomination this year:
To maintain the greatest fighting force on the face of the Earth, we must have outstanding men and women who are willing to serve in the military. I have no doubt that if selected, these students will be a fantastic addition to our Armed Forces. As these brave men and women head into the start of their military careers, I wish them all the best in the years ahead.
If you or someone you know would be interested in attending a military service academy, feel free to reach out to my office at 251-989-2664. Eligible applicants must be at least 17 years old, be a citizen of the United States, have good moral character, demonstrate strong leadership skills, and achieve impressive scholastic achievements.
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement praising the announcement of a 47 day Red Snapper season for recreational fishermen in Alabama. The announcement applies to both 2018 and 2019.
Congressman Byrne said: “A 47 day Red Snapper season is a huge development for our local fishermen and Alabama’s coastal communities. This is how government should work: take power from Washington and return it to the people who best understand the issue. Under this proposal, our fishermen will have adequate time to enjoy a Gulf Coast tradition while our coastal communities will benefit from increased revenue. It is a win-win situation for coastal Alabama.
“I want to thank the Trump Administration, Senator Richard Shelby, NOAA Fisheries Administrator Chris Oliver, Chris Blankenship and the entire team at the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and everyone who helped make this upcoming Red Snapper season possible. As I have always said, it requires a total team effort to resolve this issue, and today’s announcement is a big step toward greater local control over the Red Snapper fishery.”
The 2018 Red Snapper season in Alabama will run from June 1 through September 3, with Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays open to fishing. The entire week of the Fourth of July (June 30 through July 8) will also be open for Red Snapper fishing.
The announcement of a 47 day Red Snapper season comes following approval of Alabama’s exempted fishing permit (EFP) by the Department of Commerce.
Congressman Byrne has been a champion for a longer Red Snapper season, and he sent a letter earlier this year to the Department of Commerce urging the approval of Alabama’s EFP.Read More
There is no more important function of the federal government than to provide for our common defense. Unfortunately, for nearly seven years, Democrats have held funding for our military hostage, and as a result, we are facing a serious readiness crisis in our military.
We have planes unable to fly and ships that cannot sail. A lack of proper resources has resulted in a loss of servicemember lives and has made our country ill-prepared to face aggression from dangerous adversaries like China, Russia, and North Korea. This level of vulnerability is unacceptable.
President Donald Trump signed into law H.R. 1625, the Fiscal Year 2018 government funding bill, which ensures funding for the entire federal government through September 30th. This legislation provides the resources to finally rebuild our military as President Trump and Secretary of Defense Mattis have promised.
The biggest factor in my vote for this bill was the fact that it fully funds our military after years of dangerous budget cuts that crippled our national defense. With this bill, we are finally getting the resources our servicemen and women need to keep our nation safe. I am confident in the Trump Administration’s ability to spend this money in a way that reflects our conservative priorities and rebuilds our national defense.
Importantly, this bill includes many provisions important to Southwest Alabama. Specifically, the bill funds the construction of three Littoral Combat Ships and one Expeditionary Fast Transport, which are constructed right here at Austal USA in Mobile. These ships are critical in our efforts to build a fully capable 355-ship Navy fleet.
The funding bill paves the way for new road projects, like the I-10 Bridge, while also ensuring resources for improvements to the Port of Mobile and necessary expansion of rural broadband initiatives. It includes strong funding levels for vital coastal ecosystem programs and makes critical investments for Alabama’s farmers and foresters.
Fighting illegal immigration remains a top priority, and I am pleased to report that the bill includes $1.57 billion for physical barriers along the Southwest border and provides funding for more than 95 miles of a border wall system. The bill also increases funding for border security and immigration enforcement, putting more “boots on the ground.”
Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions about the funding bill circulating online and in the national news media, and I want to set the record straight.
One such claim is that the bill funds Planned Parenthood. There is not a single penny of funding for Planned Parenthood in this legislation. In fact, the bill includes the Hyde Amendment, which makes clear that no taxpayer money can be used to perform abortions.
Second, the bill does not include a pay raise for Members of Congress. In fact, the bill includes a freeze in pay for Members of Congress, as it should.
Third, the bill does not include any provision to restrict Second Amendment rights. It does include the Fix NICS Act, which is supported by President Trump and the NRA. The provision simply ensures that government officials put required information into the National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS). It does not expand who is ineligible to purchase a firearm or make changes to the current background check process when buying a gun.
To be clear, this was not a perfect bill. I join President Trump in calling on the Senate to change the 60-vote filibuster rule to make it easier to pass funding bills that better meet our national priorities.
In the meantime, I believe supporting this bill was the best option given the circumstances and the critical need to fully fund the United States military.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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