Roger Williams

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Reps. Williams and Deutch Introduce Bill that Invests $2 Billion Toward Violence Prevention in our Nation’s Schools - Supportive Quotes Included

2019/07/23

WASHINGTON, DC – Recently, Representative Roger Williams (TX-25) introduced H.R. 3665, the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019, with Representative Ted Deutch (FL-22) as the lead co-sponsor. The newly introduced bill establishes federal grant programs for public schools to first identify then mitigate vulnerabilities in their security related infrastructure.

“In the greatest country on earth, no parent should fear sending their child to school, and no child should fear for their own safety in the classroom,” said Rep. Williams. “The time has come to provide schools with the funds and resources necessary to conduct vulnerability assessments and correct security shortfalls on their campuses. Texas leads the country in conducting safety assessments, and the federal government must take the initiative to provide grants, where eligible to ensure that a security weakness is properly addressed. I am proud to partner with Congressman Ted Deutch in introducing legislation that will authorize federal grants for schools to make physical security improvements. This legislation is a bipartisan solution to address a daunting trend across the country. I encourage its immediate consideration in the House of Representatives.”

“Over a year after the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School in my district, our country continues to search for ways to keep our children safe in schools,” said Rep. Deutch. “Part of addressing threats to our schools and students is understanding the gaps in our security plans. I’m pleased to join my colleague Congressman Williams on this bipartisan bill to help schools pay for security risk assessments that will identify gaps and help prevent tragedy. Additionally, our legislation includes a provision to expand Alyssa’s Law nationwide. Alyssa’s Law was first enacted in New Jersey and is named in remembrance of Alyssa Alhadeff who was 14 years old when she was killed at Stoneman Douglas. By expanding Alyssa’s Law across the country, we will help more schools utilize alarm systems that directly alert law enforcement to improve emergency response and save lives.”

The School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019 authorizes $2 billion over 10 years for schools to first identify security risks and then address any shortfalls. 

  1. Independent Facility Security Risk Assessments
    • Establishes a grant program, administered by the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), that funds independent facility security risk assessments, conducted by experts, for individual public schools. 
    • The grant will cover 100% of the cost to conduct the assessment.
  2. Hard Security Improvements
    • Establishes a grant program, administered by COPS, that funds hard security improvements for individual public schools based upon a previously conducted assessment.
    • The grant will cover 50% of cost, unless the school receives a financial hardship waiver from the COPS Director.
  3. All schools will be required to install at least one silent panic alarm for use in a school security emergency, like an active shooter situation. The panic alarm, when activated, will directly alert the closest law enforcement agency of an emergency. 

Statements of Support:

“Unfortunately, the next school mass murderer is already out there. The gun that he or she will use is already out there. It is not a question of IF, it is a question of WHEN and WHERE the next attack will happen," said Max Schachter, Founder & CEO of Safe Schools For Alex. "The School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019 will provide the resources for schools to analyze their vulnerabilities and fix them in order to prevent and protect their campus’. If it had been in place prior to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Massacre, I feel my little boy Alex and the 16 other innocent victims would still be alive today. Thank you Congressman Williams and Deutch for prioritizing the safety and security of our children and teachers.”

“Students, teachers, and parents deserve safe and secure schools, and the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019 takes concrete steps to ensure a safe learning environment for our nation’s children and teachers,” said Tony Montalto, President of Stand with Parkland – The National Association of Families for Safe Schools and father of Gina Montalto who lost her life in the 2018 Parkland shooting. “As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. School safety assessments are essential to understanding security risks and the grant funding providedin this legislation will help schools address any shortcomings before disaster strikes. Stand With Parkland commends the bipartisan leadership of Reps. Ted Deutch FL-22 and Roger Williams TX-25 and thanks them for prioritizing school safety."

“The Killeen Independent School District applauds the efforts of Congressman Williams to ensure schools are secure and appropriate measures are in place, especially during a time when school safety has reached the highest level of importance,” said Dr. John Craft, Superintendent of Killeen ISD. “Additional funding provided through the proposed legislation will only help to make schools across the country safer for students and staff, while addressing critically important facility improvements.”

“Grandview ISD supports the efforts of Representative Williams and Deutch for introducing a bill that will provide money for school districts towards violence prevention,” said Joe Perrin, Superintendent of Grandview ISD. “The safety of our children is of the upmost importance and this bill will have a positive impact towards securing our schools.”

 “We appreciate Congressman Roger Williams taking proactive and bipartisan measures to protect our nation’s school districts,” said Dr. Jeremy Glenn, Superintendent of Granbury ISD. “As educators our first priority is to provide a safe and secure learning environment. H.R. 3665 School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act is a good first step to partner with schools across the country in an effort to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in school facilities. I strongly believe that given the horrific acts of violence that have taken place in Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary, Stoneman Douglas High School, Santa Fe High School, and many others we are long overdue for legislation that begins to mandate and fund school safety programs that will protect and serve the students and teachers in our communities.”

“Abbott ISD is excited about the potential of H.R. 3665,” said Eric Pustejovsky, Superintendent of Abbott ISD. “As the superintendent of a rural school, I know firsthand the importance of school safety and the financial difficulties that a district can incur protecting students. Any federal financial assistance is welcomed when it comes to guarding the students of Texas and the United States. This legislation can provide Abbott ISD with the support it needs to conduct safety audits on campus and the resources to bolster facilities in order to keep students safe.”

“The safety of our children must be a priority, and that starts with identifying and remediating gaps in school safety,” said Keith McBurnett, Superintendent of Burnet Consolidated ISD. “That is why I support H.R. 3665, and applaud the bipartisan leadership of Representative Williams and Representative Deutch in providing funding for comprehensive security risk assessments and, just as important, funding to support schools in addressing identified deficiencies. In the time I have worked with Representative Williams, he has always demonstrated a common sense approach to addressing issues, and this is another example of his common sense, proactive leadership in action.”

“I am in full support of H.R. 3665, the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019,” said Wayne Rotan, Superintendent of Glen Rose ISD. “We are very appreciative of Representative Williams’ dedication and action to make public schools safer for our nation's most valuable resource, our students. The additional funding is much needed and will enable Glen Rose ISD and all public schools to perform valuable security risk assessments and help fund security improvements based on the security risk assessments.”

“Cleburne ISD is pleased to endorse Congressman Williams' proposed bill to provide federal funding for public schools through grants to perform safety threat assessments and funding to take any corrective action, based on findings,” said Dr. Kyle Heath, Superintendent of Cleburne ISD. “We stand by Rep. Williams' belief that no child or parent should feel that their child's safety is compromised while attending school. As superintendent of Cleburne ISD, the safety of every child, every day takes priority and precedence over all other functions of school. We have been fortunate to have support from the community and our local law enforcement agencies in helping make our facilities safer over the last 10 years. We welcome the federal government's support in addressing this critical and essential issue.”

“Itasca ISD supports Congressman Roger Williams in his efforts to create additional funding sources to address the physical vulnerabilities regarding district-wide security/safety,” said Mark Parsons, Superintendent of Itasca ISD.

"We're in full support of legislation that helps schools improve safety and address weaknesses,” said Chuck Wilson, Executive Director of National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) & Steering Committee Director of Partner Alliance for Safer Schools.“This authorization will help many schools make much-needed improvements to protect students and staff that couldn't otherwise be implemented due to lack of funds. This bill is designed to help save lives." 

“I am proud that Congressman Williams is thinking of his Texas school districts, along with other districts across the United States, by introducing this bill, School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019,” said Vicki Adams, Superintendent of Hillsboro ISD. “With many aging buildings and limited financial resources, it is crucial to have the means to assess the greatest needs in regards to making schools safer. With more advanced security technology in place, and the safety of our students being a priority, this is a great step in the right direction.”  

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Come and Read It Report

2019/07/22

Dear Texans,

I am pleased to share some great news with you. The Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (CTVHCS) is expanding its services for veterans with two new clinics. One in Copperas Cove and one in Killeen.

During my tenure in Congress, my top priority has been fighting for better care for veterans in Texas’ 25th district and across the country. With the rapidly growing number of veterans living in the Central Texas region, meeting the needs of our vets is a challenge that we must address immediately. 

Over the last few months, I have been working alongside Congressman John Carter to insist that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) expand services and continue to improve coverage for our veterans in Central Texas. Together, we urged VA Secretary Wilkie to focus more resources where we need them most, right in the heart of Texas.  

The efforts of many have paid off and the over 37,000 veterans in the Killeen and Copperas Cove area will now have more convenient and accessible options for their healthcare services. These two new locations will each provide primary care services for up to 7,200 veterans in the area.

Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our great country and they deserve to be taken care of now that they are home. I am proud to work on behalf of our brave veterans and am thrilled to announce this update to the community. 

In God we trust,

Roger Williams

Member of Congress

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Reps. Williams and Deutch Introduce Bill that Invests $2 Billion Toward Violence Prevention in our Nation’s Schools

2019/07/11

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Roger Williams (TX-25) introduced H.R. 3665, the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019, with Representative Ted Deutch (FL-22) as the lead co-sponsor. The newly introduced bill establishes federal grant programs for public schools to first identify then mitigate vulnerabilities in their security related infrastructure.

“In the greatest country on earth, no parent should fear sending their child to school, and no child should fear for their own safety in the classroom,” said Rep. Williams. “The time has come to provide schools with the funds and resources necessary to conduct vulnerability assessments and correct security shortfalls on their campuses. Texas leads the country in conducting safety assessments, and the federal government must take the initiative to provide grants, where eligible to ensure that a security weakness is properly addressed. Today, I am proud to partner with Congressman Ted Deutch in introducing legislation that will authorize federal grants for schools to make physical security improvements. This legislation is a bipartisan solution to address a daunting trend across the country. I encourage its immediate consideration in the House of Representatives before American children return to their classrooms this year.”

“Over a year after the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School in my district, our country continues to search for ways to keep our children safe in schools,” said Rep. Deutch. “Part of addressing threats to our schools and students is understanding the gaps in our security plans. I’m pleased to join my colleague Congressman Williams on this bipartisan bill to help schools pay for security risk assessments that will identify gaps and help prevent tragedy. Additionally, our legislation includes a provision to expand Alyssa’s Law nationwide. Alyssa’s Law was first enacted in New Jersey and is named in remembrance of Alyssa Alhadeff who was 14 years old when she was killed at Stoneman Douglas. By expanding Alyssa’s Law across the country, we will help more schools utilize alarm systems that directly alert law enforcement to improve emergency response and save lives.”

The School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019 authorizes $2 billion over 10 years for schools to first identify security risks and then address any shortfalls. 

  1. Independent Facility Security Risk Assessments
    • Establishes a grant program, administered by the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), that funds independent facility security risk assessments, conducted by experts, for individual public schools. 
    • The grant will cover 100% of the cost to conduct the assessment.
  2. Hard Security Improvements
    • Establishes a grant program, administered by COPS, that funds hard security improvements for individual public schools based upon a previously conducted assessment.
    • The grant will cover 50% of cost, unless the school receives a financial hardship waiver from the COPS Director.
  3. All schools will be required to install at least one silent panic alarm for use in a school security emergency, like an active shooter situation. The panic alarm, when activated, will directly alert the closest law enforcement agency of an emergency. 

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Come and Read It Report

2019/06/28

Dear Texans, 

This week, I want to provide you with an update and clear picture of what is really going on in Washington. Instead of focusing on the real issues facing our country, Democrats continue to focus on a slew of bills that offer solely platitudes and messaging opportunities versus putting forth anything of substance that will improve the country and solve the issues we are facing.

What we should be focused on: 

     - Securing our southern border and enforcing our immigration laws 
     - Supporting and lifting up our military and defense systems 
     - Continuing to strengthen our economy and ratifying new trade deals 
 
Securing our southern border and enforcing our immigration laws 

Just this week Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly admitted that her ultimate goal is to have open borders, and further denied the ongoing crisis at our southern border. In fact, earlier this week her conference overwhelmingly voiced their support for this plan by passing a bill that fails to pay ICE agents and does nothing to stop illegal immigration. At a time when record-breaking numbers of migrants are crossing into our country illegally, we should be working towards bipartisan solutions that help relieve our border patrol agents, stop the flow of illegals across our border and that hold individuals accountable for their actions.

Radical members in her party continue to push Speaker Pelosi further to the left, and just yesterday she tried to block a bipartisan bill that was passed in the Senate and supported by President Trump. After calls from members on both sides, including my fellow Texas Representatives, Speaker Pelosi begrudgingly caved and allowed a vote on the bill – which passed in a sweeping bipartisan fashion and gives our Border Patrol the relief and resources they deserve.

Supporting and lifting up our military and defense systems 

Currently, Democrats want to cut over $8 billion from our Defense budget, depriving our men and women in uniform of meaningful and necessary funding. With tensions flaring in Iran and broadly in the Middle East, we should be investing more into our military not cutting our support. Right here in TX-25 at Fort Hood, III Corps is preparing to deploy additional personnel to Iraq. Not having the proper funds could put them in greater risk of danger and deny them access to equipment necessary to protect themselves and the country. It also slows down the necessary modernization of equipment and facilities. I will continue to fight for those that defend us each and every day, and will champion legislation that strengthens, not weakens, our military presence. 

Continuing to strengthen our economy and ratifying new trade deals 

President Donald Trump presented Congress with the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal (USMCA) that, if passed, will give Texans and our entire country a major economic victory. There should be nothing partisan about a deal that adds fuel to our economy, puts money back into consumers' pockets and keeps Main Street booming. Canada and Mexico both see the value in this updated deal and are finalizing it with their lawmakers. Rather than accept a victory for all, Democrats are choosing to play politics and are refusing to bring this to a vote.  

In God we trust,

Roger Williams 

Member of Congress

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Reps. Williams and Richmond Introduce Bill to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Integration of Baseball

2019/06/25

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25) and Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02) issued the following statements on the introduction of the Integration of Baseball Commemorative Coin Act:

“In 1947, Jackie Robinson changed baseball forever when he stepped out on Ebbets Field to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers,” said Rep. Williams. “At a time when integration was considered ambitious and unachievable, baseball led the way by bringing together Americans from all different backgrounds. The courageous acts of those willing to sacrifice it all for a chance to play the game they loved, changed the dialogue around race in our country and put on full display the fundamental right that all people are created equal. As someone whose life has been shaped by America’s greatest pastime, I am proud to introduce the Integration of Baseball Commemorative Coin Act with Rep. Richmond and over 100 of my colleagues in the House.”

“Baseball holds a special place in American history and in the hearts of many in this country,” said Rep. Richmond. “Celebrating baseball’s 75th anniversary of integration pays tribute to the Major League Baseball trailblazers who paved the way for so many players today and also honors its significance to the Civil Rights Movement and justice for all. Baseball has long played an integral role in my life and has served as a way to bring all people together. I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Rep. Williams.”

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How Texans in Congress feel about Trump's delay of family deportations depends on their party affiliation

2019/06/24

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's abrupt delay in launching a massive deportation effort aimed at families in several American cities — including Houston — drew responses divided along partisan lines.

After exchanges via news release, Twitter and a phone call, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi successfully lobbied Trump to hold off on deporting immigrants around the country. Trump announced the delay in Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids via Twitter on Saturday.

"At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border," he tweeted. "If not, Deportations start!"

The move came as the U.S. House and Senate are attempting to square away differences in a spending bill that would address the humanitarian migrant crisis at the Mexican border. Democrats said they viewed his deportation threats as an unseemly negotiating tactic. At the same time, Texas Republicans applauded the president's actions, arguing the threat succeeded at opening up discussions with Democrats.

“President Trump’s threat to conduct ICE raids brought Democrats to the table for negotiations," said U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, R-Friendswood. "His delay in acting signifies that all sides are moving forward in the right direction. Make no mistake — should Democrat leadership fail to negotiate, I have no doubt the raids will occur.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Roger Williams said in a statement to The Texas Tribune that Trump "has worked in good faith to secure the southern border and make necessary reforms to our immigration laws, only to be met with stark opposition from Democrats."

Other GOP leaders agreed.

“Once again, the president is showing his willingness to work with Congress to solve this crisis on our border," said U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Victoria. "I appreciate his continued push to fix the asylum loopholes that are driving this humanitarian emergency, and it is past time for Congress to do our job to resolve the crisis.”

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, called the situation at the border "unprecedented."

"Despite the facts, House Democrats continue to kick solutions for this crisis down the road," he added. "I stand ready to work with the majority to send realistic legislative solutions to provide effective border security and desperately needed humanitarian aid to President Trump's desk."

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, said that federal border agents don't have the resources needed to respond to the influx of migrants crossing the border. He urged his "Democratic colleagues to come to the table and work with Republicans and the president to secure our nation’s borders.”

But U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, weighed in on the matter to The Washington Post in his capacity as the leader of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

“The threat to knock and drag people away from their families and out of their communities shouldn’t be a negotiation tactic for an American president,” he said Saturday.

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, a Fort Worth Democrat, released a statement Monday.

“The President should listen to the majority of Americans who support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and work with both parties to advance comprehensive immigration reform," he said. "Instead, our President continues to use our immigrant community as props for his own political gain causing irreparable damage across our county. I will continue to fight to protect the immigrants across our community and ensure that they know their rights.”

Nearly all members of Congress agree that the migrant situation at the border is unsustainable, and the larger aim is to pass a spending bill with new money to address the matter before the July 4 recess next week. But most Republicans are pushing for humanitarian aid to be tied to increased border security, while Democrats are fiercely pushing to keep the allocated funds tied to humanitarian issues.

One of the more powerful Texas Republicans on the issue, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Austin, serves as the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is a former chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security. On CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, he said he thinks Democrats have "little appetite" to compromise.

"But I think at a minimum ... we have to pass humanitarian aid to take care of these children," he said. "That is the nation we are. We have to take care of these kids.

"I'd like to see it all together. But you know what, if — if my choice on the — minority side is to vote up or down on a compassionate, humanitarian package, that's what I'm going to do because it's the right thing to do."

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'A league of his own': Dallas Rep. Colin Allred stands out on the Democrats' baseball team

2019/06/24

WASHINGTON -- Democrats were thrilled to see Rep. Colin Allred win a Dallas congressional district last year, but not only because he ousted longtime congressman Pete Sessions.

They’re counting on the former NFL linebacker and Hillcrest High center fielder to lead them to glory in Wednesday’s annual charity congressional baseball game.

Allred, 36, looks like a natural in center field during early-morning practices, shagging flies and scooping up bloopers before they hit the ground.

Baseball was his favorite sport growing up. Allred said he was a huge Texas Rangers fan and knew every player, right down to the organization’s farm system. He told Roll Call he wore No. 34 to match his favorite Rangers player, Nolan Ryan.

He gained attention from baseball scouts after earning all-district honors his sophomore and junior seasons, but as his body filled out, he switched his focus to football.

“I wanted to be like Ken Griffey Jr.,” he said last week. “It just didn’t quite work out that way. This is my chance to live out that dream.”

Democrats have won nine of the last 10 congressional games under Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle, the team’s manager for 13 years.

“He is in a league of his own,” Doyle said of Allred, who played for the Tennessee Titans before a career-ending neck injury.

Doyle’s only critique at practice Thursday morning: Allred could be a little more patient in the batter’s box.

On the Republican side, Austin Rep. Roger Williams replaced Ennis’ Joe Barton as manager in 2018, a year after a gunman ambushed GOP lawmakers during a practice in Alexandria, Va.

An all-conference player at Texas Christian University from 1967-1971, Williams played in the Atlanta Braves’ farm system for three seasons before a career-ending injury.

“Whether it is us or the Yankees, you’ve got to throw strikes, keep the ball in front of you and limit the mistakes,” Williams said.

Players hope his tenure ushers in a new era, but the game last year ended in a 21-5 blowout.

“Brutal,” said second baseman Kevin Brady of The Woodlands, north of Houston, who chaired the powerful Ways and Means Committee before last fall’s Democratic takeover. But “there is a new feeling on this team,” he said. “Coach Williams got us in a position to win.”

Brady, 64, played baseball at the University of South Dakota and has a penchant for sliding headfirst during congressional games. It’s an aggressive style that hasn’t helped much -- the GOP’s only victory in the last decade came in 2016.

But the Republicans will have their own former NFL player in center field -- freshman Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, an all-conference wide receiver at Ohio State and first-round draft pick in 2007.

He played five seasons for the Indianapolis Colts before knee injuries forced him to retire, but unlike Allred, he hasn’t played baseball since fifth grade.

“I can run a little bit and hopefully catch,” he said. “I think the idea is because I played football, surely I can play baseball. If the practices are an indication, I don’t think that correlation holds, but we’ll find out.”  

The Republicans started practicing March 1, almost two months earlier than last year, and they practice every day Congress is in session.

“[Williams] runs a tight ship,” Gonzalez said. “We practice more for this one game than I did in any NFL training camp.”

Remembering what happened

Williams still struggles with memories of the 2017 shooting. He hurt his ankle diving into the dugout to escape the barrage and admits that loud noises still surprise him.

“I was with a group of people and I ended up going down underneath the table,” during a fireworks show in Fort Worth last year, he said.

The shooting left Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise in critical condition. Scalise still walks with a cane at times but has been practicing with the team and preparing to play, just like he did last year.

Williams wears a bracelet with the date of the shooting on one side and “In God we Trust” on the other.

“It’s something we won’t forget about,” Williams said, acknowledging that he thinks about it every morning the team arrives for practice, despite the police presence that’s been at both teams’ practices since the shooting.

The Republican uniforms this year will have a patch with the date of the shooting on one sleeve.

The shooting took place at a grass field in Alexandria. The team has moved to an artificial grass field in Washington, where they can avoid the bad memories - and the rain that forced them to cancel many practices.

“It’s made all the difference in the world,” Brady said. “It’s a fresh start for the team, and it allows us to come together.”

Game expectations

Williams is confident his side has a shot, though Republicans recognize the challenge they face again this year at the plate: Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., who pitched for Morehouse College, has given them fits since being elected in 2010.

Doyle said Democrats have prepared by focusing on the basics and relying on the team’s depth.  

“I really don’t care if the Republicans hit the ball because we’ve got a good infield and good outfield behind our pitcher,” he said. “Colin is a guy that will catch one that’s in the gap, or one that’s hit over his head, he will go track it.”  

At practice Thursday, Allred’s teammates were gushing:

“That throw looked effortless.”

“He’s like a professional.”

“Yeah, I don’t think I’ll start above him.”

Players typically wear the uniform of a pro or college team in their districts, but Allred plans to wear a Hillcrest uniform the school has provided.  

He said he’s excited about his first game and playing for a good cause. Proceeds go to the Washington Literacy Center, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and a Capitol Police memorial fund.

Allred and Gonzalez are friends, but the Dallas congressman said he’s eager for the chance to “throw him out” if he tries to steal a base.

Gonzalez laughed when he heard this.

“I’ve been hearing about this game since I was on the campaign trail,” he said. “It’s a bigger deal than I realized ... but it will be a lot of fun.”

Facts about the game

1909: The game’s first year

1957: Former President Gerald Ford, then a Michigan congressman, was believed to have hit the first grand slam in the game’s history.

1958: House Speaker Sam Rayburn, a Texan, discontinued the game because it was getting too physical.

1962: The tradition resumed and a best-of-five series was created. Ten trophies have been awarded -- eight to Republicans and two to the Democrats. Republicans lead the series 34-22-1.

1983: The game ended in a 17-17 tie after nine innings.

Notable: Jim Bunning is the only baseball Hall of Famer known to have competed in the congressional game.

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Rep. Williams on Delay of ICE Raids

2019/06/24

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Roger Williams (R-TX) released the following statement on the recent delay of ICE raids:

"ICE agents should not be criticized for fulfilling their obligation to enforce the rule of law," said Rep. Williams. "People who have been found guilty of breaking the law should not be afforded safe harbor in American cities. The President has worked in good faith to secure the southern border and make necessary reforms to our immigration laws, only to be met with stark opposition from Democrats. It’s time to end the selective enforcement of our laws and hold individuals accountable."

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For Roger Williams, the annual Congressional Baseball Game is personal

2019/06/24

A few minutes after sunrise not far from the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Rep. Roger Williams called out to fellow Texas Republican Jodey Arrington with a simple instruction for a coming showdown with the Democrats: "throw strikes."

That’s not much help in the legislative arena, but Williams had another contest in mind. As the manager of the Republican baseball team, he was in the final weeks of preparation for Wednesday night's Congressional Baseball Game.

The annual matchup — a storied tradition dating to 1909 — combines two important parts of his life. Williams, a former college baseball star, has made the sport a key facet of his political identity, and he brings a level of expertise to his position rare in the amateur congressional outing.

The Republicans are coming off of a decadelong slump against the Democrats — in which they have won just one of 10 games — but Williams, who has an impressive pedigree in both collegiate and professional ball, thinks he has his team poised for redemption.

“These guys know what’s expected of them every day. We get them out of here at 7 o’clock so they can go to their committee hearings, but they know when they’re out here that they’re [playing] baseball,” said Williams, whose district stretches from Austin all the way up near Fort Worth. “No different than Boston and the Yankees playing, you know?”

 "These guys know what’s expected of them every day," coach Roger Williams says of his team of Republican members of Congress.

A baseball legend in his hometown, Williams was a local sports hero long before he was a politician. After leading Fort Worth's Arlington Heights High School to the state playoffs, he went on to an illustrious college career at nearby Texas Christian University, where he earned accolades as an All-Southwest Conference outfielder and was later named to TCU’s All-1960s roster. Out of college, Williams was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 1971 MLB draft and spent several years in the Braves’ farm system.

After retiring from his playing career, Williams returned to Texas to coach at TCU and later owned and coached the minor league San Antonio Missions.

Even in Williams’ second life, baseball has remained central. He credits the sport for his involvement in politics in the first place: It was through an unsuccessful bid to purchase the Texas Rangers in 1989 that he first met then-presidential scion George W. Bush, and it was Bush who enticed Williams into serving as co-state finance chairman in Bush's 1994 race for Texas governor, Williams' first political gig.

And in his 2012 campaign for Congress, Williams said, his success had as much to do with baseball as politics. "I won," he said, "on a pro-business, entrepreneurial message with a smile on my face. Basically telling baseball stories for the first 15 minutes when I spoke and then answering questions."

Players on the Republican team believe his commitment to congressional baseball has put them in a winning position.

“You can tell — both his professional playing and his coaching experience, boy, it really shows through,” said U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady of The Woodlands, a veteran of the team. “Every player on the team feels like they’ve gone up to the next level of baseball because of him.”

As coach, Williams has amped up the intensity of the team's morning workouts. He scheduled the first day of practice for March 1, months earlier than the team has mobilized in the past. He also moved the practice start time up to 6 a.m. — well before sunrise in the early months of training, when frost still covered the field. And he even recruited major league assistance.

"I had a pitching coach just last week who was the pitching coach for the Texas Rangers," Arrington said, joking that such extreme measures could either be "a commentary on how badly Roger Williams wants to win this game as our coach or a commentary on how bad we are that he needs to bring in professionals to help us."

Winning the game and preserving the pride of ultra competitive politicians may be a challenge, but for many of the aging former athletes, a chance to play in major league park before thousands of fans is a dream in itself. Since 2007, the game has been played in Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, and more than 20,000 people came out to watch last year.

"For that night, you are 18 years old again," Brady said before listing the slew of injuries he has suffered in two decades of congressional baseball (one broken nose, two torn calf muscles, and a broken and dislocated shoulder). "The next morning, you’re 118 years old and sore as can be.”

But over the last two years, the ritual of early morning practices has assumed an even deeper meaning for much of the Republican team, a result of the shooting at a Republican practice two years ago, in which a gunman fired 70 rounds of ammunition onto the field and injured six people. One of Williams' staffers, Zack Barth, was shot, and Williams attended the next day's game on crutches due to injuries sustained diving for cover in the dugout.

"I know personally I wasn’t afraid of dying," Williams reflected. "But what went through my head was: No. 1, I’m not surprised this is happening; and No. 2, I hope my family remembered I want the song ‘Put Me in Coach’ played at my funeral; and thirdly, I gotta make it through this to see my grandbaby."

"It's amazing how the news cycle is. People still come up to me and say, 'I remember where I was on the day of that shooting,'" Williams said, noting that his stomach for such conversations has evolved over time. "I give a lot of speeches in churches now about how God's in charge — it's not about me — about how God's in charge, and for about the last three months, I've been able to deliver it.

"Five, six months ago, I'd be crying."

Today, Williams wears a wristband stamped with the date of the shooting and the words, "IN GOD WE TRUST." Many of his teammates wear it as well, a testament to that day's place in the team's memory.

"It frankly has brought us all together. We aren’t necessarily colleagues, those of us who were there," he said, "but we’re teammates."

If the Republicans hope to pull off the upset Wednesday night, they’ll need all of Williams' baseball guru powers. The Democrats won last year’s game 21-5, and they have added a potential powerhouse in freshman Rep. Colin Allred, from Dallas, a onetime high school baseball star and NFL linebacker. They also bring back the most feared weapon in the congressional baseball history, their pitcher, Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, a former ace at Morehouse College who is known now as "the Babe Ruth of Congress."

"He and I are buddies," Williams said of Richmond, grinning as he downplayed the prowess of the Democrats' star player. "He’s a nice guy, as far as I know."

The Republican manager pushed back against claims that Richmond's presence makes the Democrats unstoppable. Last year, Williams pointed out, the Republicans managed to get 12 hits off of Richmond, despite the rout, and this year they fielded a younger, more athletic team.

For all of its odd glamour, the congressional game comes with its own politics, a delicate chemistry that former manager and fellow Texan Joe Barton advised Williams would do well to keep in mind.

"You want to do the best you can to win the game. But the congressional team is different in that everyone on the team has got a voting card, and they’re all equal in terms of their ability to vote and move bills and stuff on the floor," Barton said. "There is some ego involved.”

Still, Williams acknowledged that the congressional game does not call for the kind of nuanced strategizing of his previous coaching jobs. On Wednesday night, he said, the winner will be decided by whichever team can master a simple, two-word approach: "damage control."

"You want to keep them from having the big inning,” Williams said. “If you keep the ball in front of you, throw strikes and put the ball in play, you’re going to win the game."

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BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR THE U.S. ARMY HELD IN BURLESON

2019/06/24

A birthday celebration for The United States Army took place June 15 at the Burleson Public Library.

Among the dignitaries on hand for the 244th party were Burleson Mayor Pro Tem Dan McClendon and U.S. Congressman Roger Williams, R, representing the 25th District of Texas. Each of them gave speeches.

There were also 12 members of the Future Soldiers Program, Kylee Grissam, Alyssa Gonzalez, Marissa Gonzalez, Colton Lane, Clayton Lunsford, Alexis Mason, Michaela Sessions, Austin Sims, Na Tran, Tyler Underwood, Drake Whitlock, and Bethany Williams.

The Future Soldiers Program was previously known as the Delayed Entry Program.

According to the Army website, many Army recruits spend at least a few months in the Future Soldiers Program before shipping to basic combat training. High school students wishing to join the Army can enter the Future Soldiers Program as long as they would ship to basic training within a year of entering the Future Soldiers Program. Recruits become a member of the Future Soldiers Program after talking to an Army Recruiter and doing their physical and choosing an MOS at their closest Military Entrance Processing Station.

Williams addressed the Future Soldiers saying “I want to take a moment to thank you all. Duty called and you have answered with a resounding yes. Because of brave citizens like you, we are able to live freely in the greatest country in the world.”

Williams added that on days like today he often thinks about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery and the words inscribed on the tomb - Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.

“Each and every day the Old Guard, a regiment of the U.S. Army, stands guard at the tomb. They are the protectors of their fallen brothers and sisters, and the protectors of our great nation – enduring more than many of us could ever fathom,” Williams said. “57 million soldiers have served in the Army over its 244-year history. I think I speak for all of us when I say – we would not be the great country we are without these remarkably brave men and women. Those who serve in the U.S. Army truly embody the definition of a solider - a young man or woman that gave up their today so we could have our tomorrow.”

The birthday event featured a lunch hosted by Mr. Jim’s Pizza and Massey’s BBQ. Representatives from Homes for Heroes, Trinity Title and Lillian Custom Homes attended the birthday celebration.

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Contact Information

1122 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-9896
Fax 202-225-9692
williams.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

Roger Williams represents the 25th District of Texas in the United States Congress, a district that stretches from Tarrant County in the North to Hays County in the South and includes much of Austin and the Texas Hill Country.

Prior to his election in November 2012, Congressman Williams served his country in a number of ways and brings a unique background to Congress. He was raised in the Fort Worth area where he graduated from high school and later played baseball at Texas Christian University.

After graduating from college, he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves where he played in their farm system before an injury ended his sports career and forced him to begin his business career. He began working in the family car business and has owned and operated the business for 40 years.

Along the way, he also became involved civically and politically. He served as Regional Finance Chairman for Governor Bush in 1994 and 1998 before he went on to later serve as the North Texas Chairman for the Bush/Cheney 2000 campaign. Additionally, as well as the North Texas Finance Chairman and National Grassroots Fundraising Chairman for Bush/Cheney ’04, Inc. Williams was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001 as the Chairman of the Republican National Finance Committee’s Eagles Program. He has also served as State Finance Chair for John Cornyn for U.S. Senate, Inc., in 2002 and as the National Director of the “Patriots” program for Senator Cornyn.

In 2005, Governor Rick Perry appointed Congressman Williams to serve as Texas Secretary of State. As Chief Election Officer for Texas, he worked to ensure the uniform application and interpretation of election laws throughout the state. The Congressman worked tirelessly to promote economic development, investment and job creation in Texas. He also served as the state’s Chief Liaison for Texas Border and Mexican Affairs as well as Chair of the state’s 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Response Strike Force.

Congressman Williams was elected to his first term in Congress on November 6th, 2012 and was selected to serve on the House Committee on the Budget, along with the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure.


Serving With

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Dan Crenshaw

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Van Taylor

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

John Ratcliffe

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Lance Gooden

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

Ron Wright

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Jodey Arrington

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Chip Roy

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Michael Cloud

TEXAS' 27th DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Brian Babin

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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