These days, it is hard to turn on the television or log onto the Internet without being bombarded with the latest “news” of what is happening in Washington. The media gives far too much attention to names like Stormy Daniels and Roseanne instead of focusing on the wide range of substantive issues being debated in Congress each week.
While it is easy to get distracted by all of the “noise,” it skews the perception of what is really occurring here in Washington. Ultimately, these stories are just a sideshow that end up taking away from the critical work being done for the American people.
What the national news media has not been highlighting are the many ways we in the House are working to promote President Donald Trump’s commonsense, conservative agenda. We are truly getting the work done that the American people elected us to do.
From national security priorities to historic tax reform, the House is making great progress. Our agenda is working too, which is demonstrated in the lowest unemployment rate in eighteen years.
As a sign of our progress, we recently sent four major bills to President Donald Trump for his signature. These are among the 175 bills that have been enacted into law in the last year and a half.
One of the four bills signed into law last week was the VA Mission Act of 2018, which consolidates the VA’s Community Care Program, opens the VA Caregivers Program to serve all veterans, and provides $5.2 billion to fund the VA Choice Program.
Simply put, this bipartisan bill increases access to care at the VA, including walk-in clinics that may be more convenient and immediate in addressing the needs of our veterans.
We have a duty to provide for the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to defend our national security, and I am glad we have taken this step to ensure our veterans receive the highest standard of medical care.
Another important piece of legislation signed into law was the Right to Try Act. This will allow terminally-ill patients to take advantage of experimental medical treatments that otherwise may not be available to the public.
This was one of many priorities mentioned in the President’s State of the Union address in January, and I am proud that we could pass this bipartisan legislation and give hope to thousands of Americans suffering from a terminal illness.
Another bill heading to the President’s desk is the Childhood Cancer STAR Act. I am a proud co-sponsor of this important bill, which enhances efforts to identify and track childhood cancer incidences, improves the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors, and expands research opportunities for therapies used in treatment of childhood cancer.
Finally, the President signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which rolls back burdensome regulations from the Dodd-Frank law that negatively impacted our small, community banks and credit unions. Main Street should always come before Wall Street, so I applaud the signing of this important regulatory reform bill into law.
You see, here in the House of Representatives, we refuse to get thrown off course or distracted by what the media portrays as hard-hitting news. Instead, we are staying focused and making progress on national priorities like supporting our veterans and growing the American economy.
As we round out the remaining months in 2018, we will keep our foot on the gas and keep passing bills that improve the quality of life for people in Alabama and across the country.
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Bradley Byrne is a member of U.S. Congress representing Alabama’s 1st Congressional District.