Bradley Byrne

Bradley Byrne

ALABAMA's 1st DISTRICT

Rural Alabama is Worth Fighting For

2019/09/16

Our rural communities truly are the backbone of our nation.  They clothe us and feed us, and they manufacture many of the goods we use every day.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 60 million Americans live in rural communities.

For too long, these 60 million Americans have been fighting global forces alone.  Thankfully, we now have a fighter in the White House for rural America.

Not only has Washington neglected to fight for rural Americans.  It has often been part of the problem.

During the Obama Administration, officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) conspired to propose a new Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule.  This rule would redefine the term “navigable waterways” to include everything from family fishing ponds to small backyard ditches.

I pride myself on championing commonsense policies to protect our natural resources.  But to call a ditch that only holds water after a heavy rain a “navigable water” does not pass the smell test.  Some of these bureaucrats hidden away in Washington should take a ride up the Alabama River to see a real navigable waterway.

This vast expansion of the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction to areas never intended by Congress was, at best, misguided.  It may have violated the law.

It would have subjected farmers, foresters, municipalities, and small businesses to additional federal regulation and added compliance costs.  It was a job killer that did little to protect our environment.

Let’s call it what it was – a power grab by an overzealous federal government.

Last week, the Trump EPA and Corps finalized a rule repealing the Obama-era WOTUS rule.

It is difficult to overstate the significance of this victory.  It was a promise made by President Trump in his campaign to overturn the harmful WOTUS rule, and he truly delivered here.

The Trump administration has done much more for our rural communities, including in health care.

If you live in a rural community, you know how vital a hospital can be.  In addition to treating us when we are sick and caring for us in an emergency, rural hospitals are a critical selling point to prospective employers and job seekers.

You also are aware of the struggles so many of our rural hospitals have faced.  A significant driver of these hardships has been an outdated wage index formula that gave millions of dollars in Medicare reimbursements that should have gone to Alabama to large urban centers.

This issue has been a priority of mine.  Thankfully, the Trump administration was willing to listen to me and other colleagues on the severity of the wage index problem.  Earlier this year, after over two years of working with the administration, the decision was made to implement a much more equitable formula.

This means millions of dollars will be sent to Alabama hospitals.  These dollars will mean so much to our rural hospitals and the communities they serve.

Another area our rural communities have lagged is broadband access.  Broadband is almost as important today as electricity was a century ago.

Not only is it essential for most modern jobs, but our schools increasingly rely on high-speed internet to teach our children.  Without access to broadband, our rural communities lack access to much of the modern technology of today.

I’ve been proud to support President Trump’s actions to aid rural broadband expansion by expediting federal permitting and making it easier for wireless operators to put cell towers on federal lands.

With government out of the way, our rural broadband infrastructure will continue to grow.

Our rural communities are worth fighting for.  I promise to continue advocating for our people and our values in Washington.

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Byrne Applauds Trump Rule Overturning Obama-Era ‘Waters of the US’ Rule

2019/09/12

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) made the following statement after today’s announcement that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have finalized a rule repealing the Obama-era waters of the US (WOTUS) proposed rule.

Byrne said: “Today’s announcement is great news for Alabama farmers and landowners who have been justifiably concerned by the legally dubious and overly burdensome WOTUS rule. This misguided regulation would have expanded federal jurisdiction far beyond what the Clean Water Act intended and amounted to a power grab by government bureaucrats.

“I thank President Trump for delivering on this campaign promise, and I am committed to advocating for policies that empower people, not Washington bureaucrats, to protect our land and water.”

Congressman Byrne has long advocated against the Obama-era rule that would redefine “navigable waterways” to include everything from a family pond to small ditches and would have subjected farmers, foresters, municipalities, and small businesses to additional federal regulation and added compliance costs.

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Byrne Praises Nationwide Expansion of Alabama Apprenticeship Program

2019/09/10

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) praised today’s announcement that a manufacturing apprenticeship program developed by Toyota Motor North America and successfully implemented at the Alabama Robotics Park in Decatur will be extended across the nation.  In partnership with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) program will be extended nationwide and managed by the Manufacturing Institute.

Byrne said: “Job and career development programs are critical to attracting and keeping high-paying manufacturing jobs, and I applaud Toyota, NAM, the Manufacturing Institute and other stakeholders for taking the proven FAME apprenticeship program nationwide.  When serving as chancellor of our community college system, I worked hard to create the Alabama Robotics Park, and I take special pride in seeing its continued success in delivering for Alabama workers through training and economic development.

“I’d also like to thank Ivanka Trump for participating in today’s announcement and her continued advocacy for Alabama’s workers and families.  Ivanka is right about Alabama’s success under President Trump – we are just getting started.”

Congressman Byrne served as Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System from 2007 to 2009.  Ivanka Trump, special adviser to the president, commented on Twitter in advance of the announcement about the Alabama success story.

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August Recess Roundup

2019/09/09

It is a very old tradition for Congress to recess during the hot and humid month of August.  Years ago, Congress had completed its work by this time and took the rest of the year off.  However, we now reconvene after what has become known as the August District Work Period.

This time has always been valuable for me to spend listening to my constituents.  This year, with Speaker Pelosi setting aside six whole weeks for my colleagues and me to spend in our respective districts, I took advantage.  I was glad to be able to see so many old and new friends and speak directly with people I represent throughout the district. 

During the first week of the District Work Period, Alabama got some good news.  That week, I received a call from Seema Verna, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.  Administrator Verma informed me that the Trump Administration had finalized a new rule containing reforms to the Medicare Wage Index I have fought for since coming to Congress.

These reforms mean millions of dollars that should have been coming to Alabama hospitals will now come our way.  In the past, these dollars were going to hospitals in more populated areas like New York and Los Angeles.  This important news will especially aid our rural hospitals who have struggled for too long.

Our district has a diversity of interests including our Gulf fisheries, manufacturing and industry, diversity small businesses, and agriculture.  I held an Economic Development Roundtable in my Mobile office with community leaders from the district to discuss all the issues and challenges they face.  I also attended a franchise roundtable at CertaPro Painters in Daphne.

Fortunately, the Trump economy is benefitting small businesses and local economies, and tax cuts and reduced regulations have freed business owners to do what they do best.

Of course, the water resources in our district are second to none.  It was a pleasure to speak at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Conference about our port and waterways and the need to responsibly manage these valuable resources.

In Spanish Fort, I was able to speak to the Society of Military Engineers about all the work they do for our national security.  And I was able to make the drive to Ozark to speak with members of the Association of the United States Army.

As you probably know, I enjoy hosting town hall meetings so I can hear directly from constituents.  Since taking office in 2014, I have held over 100 district town halls.  In August, I held lively town halls in Grand Bay and Atmore.

Even when I am not in the district, my staff is working for you.  They hold monthly community office hours in each of the six counties I represent.  Here members of my staff can personally help you with any problems you may be experiencing with federal agencies including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicare, and Social Security.  We can help you with your passport too.

Of course, you can always call or email my office as well if you need our assistance.  I am proud that we have helped hundreds of constituents navigate the federal bureaucracy.  Little is more satisfying to me or my staff then helping a veteran get the assistance he or she deserves.

Speaking with Alabama nurses, farmers, mechanics, veterans, teachers, and retirees over the past six weeks was a great pleasure.  Getting the chance over Labor Day to spend time with my grandkids was a wonderful treat too.

With Congress reconvening this week, I look forward to continuing my service to you and bringing Alabama values to Washington. 

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Celebrating Alabama’s Workers

2019/09/04

Labor Day is a wonderful time to celebrate Alabama’s exceptional working men and women.  From Tennessee River Valley engineers to Black Belt farmers and Gulf Coast shipbuilders, our workers are powering an economic boom that has reduced unemployment and raised wages.

President Trump and his commitment towards prioritizing and empowering American workers continue to pay dividends in our state.

Commonsense pro-growth strategies like slashing unnecessary regulations and reducing taxes are keeping more money in the wallets of employee and employer alike.  That’s more money to fill up your car with gas or buy school supplies for your children.

But we cannot be satisfied.  As we deal with an evolving global economy, it is important we do what is necessary now to have the workforce we need tomorrow.  Education and job training are more critical than ever.

I’m working to keep us prepared.  This summer, I introduced the Modern Worker Empowerment Act with my colleagues Representatives Elise Stefanik and Phil Roe.  This bill recognizes that the modern workplace has changed dramatically, and it updates or removes outdated laws and regulations that could hold back economic progress or limit job opportunities.

We must continue looking for opportunities to empower American workers instead of holding them back.

If you’re like me, your first experience earning a paycheck was as a teenager in a low wage job.  The lessons provided by such opportunities are invaluable in teaching the dignity of work as well as the soft skills necessary to excel in the workplace, whether it’s a factory, a classroom, or an office.

Unfortunately, some in Washington are pushing to increase the current minimum wage by over 100 percent.  While we all want our workers to earn more for a hard day’s work, such a drastic shock to the system would eliminate countless entry-level jobs.  Employers would increase automation, outsource labor, or simply not hire additional workers.  That is not the solution we need to help workers.

Instead, we must continue supporting pro-worker policies that reduce barriers to opportunity, help small businesses grow, and raise wages organically.

In 2017, I introduced the Save Local Businesses Act to eliminate the confusing and burdensome joint employer rule that hits our franchise businesses particularly hard.   My bill, which passed in the House of Representatives, would provide important clarity regarding labor laws for both employer and employee.

I am preparing to introduce this bill again and hope it can pass the House again and go to the Senate.

President Trump’s efforts to help American workers extend globally.  When he took office, he promised a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada that would repair some of the flaws of NAFTA.  His goal to help our workers and create new markets for American goods is one I wholeheartedly support.

Many critics scoffed at him for trying to achieve the impossible, but nonetheless President Trump was successful in negotiating a new deal, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

This was a huge victory for American workers.  USMCA would help many industrial sectors in Alabama, particularly our automobile manufacturing.

I am hopeful Speaker Pelosi will take steps this month to move this important deal through the House so it can be enacted.  This agreement is too important for America’s workers for us to let politics get in the way.

With the parades and barbecues of Labor Day behind us, a transition to cooler weather, a new school year, and football season begins.  But first, I hope you were able to enjoy time this Labor Day with your family and loved ones – the reason most of us labor so hard the rest of the year!

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Byrne Supports Huntsville for Space Command

2019/09/04

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper expressing his strong support for the U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) to be permanently headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama.

Byrne said: “The space legacy and unmatched workforce of the Rocket City make it an ideal choice for the U.S. Space Command headquarters.  Huntsville’s contributions to America’s space program and national security have expanded over the years, making Huntsville the premier hub of America’s space technology.  I have no doubt Huntsville is perfectly situated to rise to the occasion as Space Command headquarters.”

Click here to read Byrne’s letter.

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Byrne Announces August Staff Community Office Hours

2019/08/26

Staff members from the Office of Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) will hold office hours throughout Alabama’s First Congressional District between Tuesday, August 27th and Thursday, August 29th.

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. Please note that Congressman Byrne will not be in attendance.

 Tuesday, August 27

 9:30 – 10:30 am: Spanish Fort City Hall

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Daphne City Hall

1:00 – 2:00 pm: Fairhope City Hall

3:00 – 4:00 pm: Robertsdale City Hall

  

Wednesday, August 28

10:00 – 11:00 am: Brewton City Hall

11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Flomaton City Hall

2:00 – 3:00 pm: Bay Minette City Hall

 

Thursday, August 29

9:00 – 10:00 am: Orange Beach City Hall

10:30 – 11:30 am: Gulf Shores City Hall

1:30 – 2:30 pm: Foley City Hall  

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We Must Stand With Israel

2019/08/26

Israel means so much to our nation.  The American people have no better friend.  As the only democracy in the volatile Middle East, Israel is one of our greatest partners on the global stage.  And Israel, particularly Jerusalem, holds a close personal significance to many Americans of different faiths.

Israel is a very special place to my wife and me.  Four years ago, Rebecca and I traveled together to the Holy Land in a visit that affected us deeply.  On this transformational trip, we renewed our baptismal covenant in the River Jordan.  From the Golan Heights to the site of Solomon’s temple, our travels reinforced our Christian faith.

Last week, I once again visited Israel.  My visit coincided with a diplomatic dustup between Israel and two members of the Squad, Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

The Squad’s hatred of Israel, support of the BDS movement, and denial of Israel’s right to exist weighed heavily on the minds of many Israelis who already live in danger.  With all Israel faces, I respect Israel’s decision to block Tlaib, Omar, and their anti-Israel activism out of the country.

The week brought many moments of poignancy that provided important perspective.  As part of our tour of the Old City of Jerusalem, we visited the Western Wall, which offered a meaningful opportunity for me to pray for our nation and state.  This was a very special moment for me.

Looking down upon the City of David from the Temple Mount, one of the holiest spots in the world, it is difficult not to be overwhelmed.  Being near the location where Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac and walking the Southern Steps, where so many biblical figures traveled, was equally moving.  And it was thrilling to see the Bethesda pool from the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John.  Perhaps the highlight of the week occurred at the Mount of Olives and Gethsemane.  Praying at the site where Jesus prayed to his father before being crucified was a truly amazing experience.

We met with several American and Israeli officials, including the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who provided unique insights on Israel’s challenges.  Ambassador Friedman is a true champion of the U.S.-Israeli relationship

A highlight of the week was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  The opportunity to reinforce in person our two nations’ commitment to one another was of critical importance.  He is a great friend of the United States.

Speaking with Israeli military officials about Israel’s missile defense programs like Iron Dome, Arrow and David’s Sling made it clear that Israel is in a tough neighborhood.  Adversaries like Iran would wipe them out if the chance arose.  Israel’s high-tech defense programs are impressive, and I’m proud of U.S. support for these programs.

Without question, President Trump’s steps to strengthen our alliance with Israel, including the bipartisan action of relocating the American embassy to its rightful location in Jerusalem, are beneficial and long overdue.  Both parties should support actions to strengthen this alliance.  I wish all my colleagues would visit Israel and talk directly with Israelis about the challenges they face.  Israel is special place, and we must stand firm in our alliance with its people.

Israel remains a crucial American ally in a dangerous world.  Though anti-Israel sentiments are only held by a minority of Americans, I am increasingly concerned they seem to be finding a sympathetic mouthpiece from the mainstream media.  Anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel cannot be tolerated or go unchallenged.  I promise to continue proudly standing with Israel.

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Byrne Announces August Staff Community Office Hours

2019/08/20

Staff members from the Office of Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) will hold office hours throughout Alabama’s First Congressional District on August 21st and 22nd.

The staff members will be on hand to help constituents with problems they may be experiencing with federal agencies including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Medicare, and Social Security. Staff members can also assist constituents who need help applying for or receiving a United States passport.

 

Clarke County

 Wednesday, August 21

 11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Grove Hill Town Hall

 1:00 – 2:00 pm: White Smith Memorial Library in Jackson

  

Mobile County

 Thursday, August 22

 10:30 – 11:30 am: Citronelle City Hall

 3:00 – 4:00 pm: Dauphin Island Town Hall

  

Monroe County

 Wednesday, August 21

 9:30 – 10:30 am: Monroeville City Hall

  

Washington County

 Wednesday, August 21

 3:00 – 4:00 pm: Washington County Public Library in Chatom

 

Thursday, August 22

 9:00 – 10:00 am: McIntosh Town Hall

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To End Violence, Return to American Values

2019/08/19

The recent violence in our country – and the passionate debates it has sparked – have led me to reflect on the emotional state of our country and the battle being waged between good and evil.

I thought back to comments I gave earlier this year at a naturalization ceremony.  These new citizens were gifted with the opportunity to forge for themselves a new American identity, complete with all its blessings, possibilities, and responsibilities.

That morning at the U.S.S. Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, I spoke of the American belief in self-government, that ‘we the people’ can govern ourselves.  To successfully execute such a radical (at the time) idea, we had to found our nation on some basic values.  From our adherence and loyalty to those values, our American character was created.

I quoted the words of the nineteenth century French observer of early America, Alexis De Tocqueville, written several decades after our nation’s founding.  He said “America is great because she is good.  If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

De Tocqueville knew that democracy, in many ways, is a burden upon its people.  They cannot rely on the direction of an autocrat.  In a democracy, more so than other systems of government, the nature of its people is reflected in their government.  De Tocqueville knew that for a representative democracy like ours to remain, its people must be virtuous.  That is a big responsibility!

With the goal of creating and preserving a virtuous society, our founders laid out fundamental principles.  Our natural rights were given to us by God.  Government is instituted by men to protect those rights.  With our rights preserved, our values can flourish.

Those values have led to the traditions, vibrancy, and endurance of American culture.

We all know that our country is one of religious freedom.  Each of us can practice any religion we choose or none at all.  The establishment clause of our constitution prohibits an official state religion.

However, our nation has increasingly rejected our foundational beliefs in natural rights and moral absolutism – that there is universal right and wrong that does not change.  Without these beliefs, law and order and even good and evil are subjective.  Not only can these definitions change from generation to generation, but conflicting value systems will clash violently in the present.

Unfortunately, the post-modern world in which we live seeks not only to undermine religious freedom but moral absolutism itself.  These attacks are no longer limited to the salons of liberal coastal enclaves.  They are now taking place in the halls of Congress.

I’m also troubled by the weakening of an American quality that has served to keep our large and diverse nation together—our sense of community.

Communities are not made up of thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook friends.  They are forged through the personal interactions all humans need.  They are forged at neighborhood parties, Little League practices, Friday night football games, and places of worship.

Unfortunately, in recent decades, our sense of community has been lost, and the consequences have been swift and severe.  Technologies initially projected to bring us together have led to a growing epidemic of crushing isolation.  Mental health issues have skyrocketed.

The result has been a fundamental breakdown of American society.  To reverse the trend, we must return to the values and sense of community that made America strong.

These traditional American values are Alabama values.  They have guided me as a son, brother, father, and now grandfather.  They are the values that guide me in Washington.

I will not remain silent while those who cherish these values are attacked and blamed for problems caused by the rejection of what made us great.  American values – and our rights – must be defended.

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Contact Information

119 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4931
Fax 202-225-0562
byrne.house.gov

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.


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

Gary Palmer

ALABAMA's 6th DISTRICT