As the situation in Ukraine has unfolded over the past weeks, I have watched closely as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. I am gravely concerned with developments that continue to expose this Administration’s dangerously anemic foreign policy. Ukraine is a sovereign nation whose people have demonstrated a strong desire to align themselves with the West.
It continues to be an exciting time in Southwest Alabama, with businesses from across the globe like Austal and Airbus recognizing our home for its potential to become a regional hub for jobs. Just last week, the Chamber of Commerce announced that Mobile is among the top 10 cities in America for manufacturing jobs.
Last week, the House of Representatives focused our efforts on legislation to target executive overreach, fulfilling our constitutional responsibility as a check on the power of the Executive Branch. The Founding Fathers constructed our government in three branches, giving each the duty and the authority to provide checks on the other, so that no one branch could become too powerful.
Since arriving in Washington, I have been encouraged in conversations with other Members at the desire to work together to achieve positive results for our country. Although we don’t always agree, we share the common interest of building an environment for a healthy economy that will provide opportunities for good-paying jobs for our constituents.
Last week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the Pentagon’s budgetary priorities as we continue to build our future fighting force. Among other reductions, Secretary Hagel stated the Pentagon’s preference to reduce the order of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) by 20, which are built in part at home in the Port of Mobile.
As your Congressman, it’s vital for me to have a finger on the pulse of our district, to be in the community listening to your concerns so I can better represent your voice in Washington. I said that if elected, I would work hard every day to earn the trust you have placed in me with your vote. That’s why I announced a series of 15 town hall meetings across our district.
Last Monday, the Obama Administration issued the latest in a series of delays of the ObamaCare law. In 2013, in response to intense pressure from businesses across the country who would be forced to cut hours and incur damaging fees under the employer mandate, the President announced he would push back the implementation date for all businesses by one year.
Our fishing industry is part of our cultural identity in South Alabama. We need to do our best to manage these valuable natural resources for future generations to enjoy – it’s one of the primary reasons I was excited to join the House Natural Resources Committee as a newly sworn-in Member of Congress.
One of the greatest joys I have been privileged to experience in my lifetime is the miracle of birth. As the parents of four wonderful children, Rebecca and I have been blessed to watch our children grow and mature into talented and unique individuals. More than anything, this has reinforced my strong belief that every life is truly precious.
Recently, reports began surfacing of the possibility that the United States Navy could cut its order of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) by 20 vessels. These ships, built in part by Austal USA right here at home in South Alabama, represent over 4,000 jobs in our community and huge investments in capital.