Bradley Byrne: A look back at 2016

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As we look forward to 2017, I want to take a moment to look back at some of the highlights of the past year.

It was a busy year with over 25 town hall meetings in each of the six counties that make up Alabama’s First Congressional District, in addition to town halls online and over the phone. My office responded to over 6,000 pieces of mail and assisted over 1,400 local residents with issues relating to federal agencies.

Without a doubt, the biggest moment of 2016 was the election of Donald Trump on November 8th. His election represents a fundamental shift away from liberal, big government policies toward new, conservative reforms. No event on the list will likely have as big an impact as this monumental election.

Another big victory for 2016 came in the passing of the 21st Century Cures Act. This bill, which passed with broad bipartisan support, was signed into law on December 13th. The bill brings health research, the drug approval process, and mental health programs into the 21st Century and gives much needed hope to millions of Americans who suffer from various diseases.

Sadly, not all news in 2016 was positive. There were terrible tragedies as the world continues to battle radical Islamic terrorism.  The horrible events in Brussels, Nice, Orlando, and just recently in Berlin, highlight the dangerous challenges we face.

There were also tragic incidents where members of law enforcement were targeted, including the sniper attack that claimed the lives of five police officers in Dallas. We should never lose respect and appreciation for our police officers.

We lost many iconic figures in 2016, but none was felt more locally than the loss of Harper Lee in February. Through her writing, the Monroeville native taught us all important life lessons about tolerance and acceptance, and she will be sorely missed.

We made some important progress on local priorities. I worked hard throughout 2016 to stop efforts by the Obama Administration to cut our military, including the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) that we build in Mobile. Despite efforts by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, we held the line and made important progress toward protecting this important program and the jobs at our shipyard. This fight will certainly continue into 2017.

We successfully stood up to efforts by the Obama Administration to house illegal migrant children at Navy airfields in Baldwin County. This was an incredibly flawed idea that would have put the children in bad and dangerous conditions while also placing real burdens on our local communities. Through legislative pressure, we were able to block the proposal.

I was able to have an amendment included in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, which would require the Army Corps of Engineers to perform an Oyster Bed Recovery Assessment. The bill was signed into law on December 16th, and this assessment will go a long way toward rebuilding the oyster industry on the Gulf Coast.

Local veterans received good news in August with the announcement that Mobile will finally be getting a new VA clinic. The new, 65,000 square foot clinic will be located off Interstate 10 in Tillman’s Corner.

In June, House Republicans released our Better Way agenda outlining our plans to address health care, the economy, poverty, the tax code, national security, and executive overreach. This bold, commonsense agenda will help guide our work in the new year.

While 2016 brought many victories, there is still much work to be done in 2017. I promise to continue working day in and day out to turn our country around and make life better for the good people of Southwest Alabama.

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Bradley Byrne is a member of U.S. Congress representing Alabama’s 1st Congressional District.

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1 Comment

  1. I need help..first of all..CHEIF JUSTICE MICHAEL BOLIN IS A FAIR JUDGE..IVE KNOWN HIM SINCE 1980..WHEN HE WAS AN ATTORNEY FOR MY DAD WHEN MY PARENTS GOT DIVORCED. #2 HE WAS A FAIR PROBATE JUDGE TOO..YES HE SENT ME TO BRYCE IN 1996..BC I GOT HIT BY A TRAIN..HIS 1ST WORDS WERE DOES ANYBODY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ME HEARING THIS CASE..I SAID NO SIR..HE THEN SAID TO ME..TINA I HATE TO DO IT BUT IM SENDING YOU TO BRYCE FOR 30 DAYS BC THE NEXT TIME I SEE YOU I DON’T WANT. IT TO BE AT YOUR FUNERAL..AFTER HE HAD RULED A FEW MONTHS PRIOR THAT BC I WAS BIPOLAR NOW THAT DIDN’T MEAN I WAS AN UNFIT MOTHER..HE ALSO MADE CHANGES TO THE MENTALLY ILL STRUGGLES AND FIGHT FOR FREEDOM..BRYCE IS NOT A FUN PLACE TO BE..BUT THE 1996 TRIP WAS BETTER THAN MY OTHER 2 TRIPS SINCE HE WAS A SUPREME COURT JUDGE..JUDGE FRIDAY SENT ME THERE TOO. SHE’S A FAIR JUDGE TOO..I HAVE BEEN ILLEGALLY AND MORALLY ATTACKED LAST MONTH..I NEED THEIR HELP NOW..I HAVE A STORY TO TELL. SO TELL MY PREVIOUS INSURED VICTOR HANSON, III, OF THE BIRMINGHAM NEWS..WE NEED TO CHAT..IM ROBERT J. MESHADS OLD SECRETARY..THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS

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