Some of the greatest sporting events in history have come down to the wire. Those bottom of the ninth, fourth and inches, double overtime plays are what stand out in our memories as the greatest successes or the worst defeats in sports history.
Similarly, we here in Washington are entering our own home stretch of the 115th Congress. It has been a long year filled with many victories for the people of Alabama, but there is still work to be done.
Next year, the game will change completely. With Democrats taking control of the House, things will be different.
Where bipartisan progress can be made, we must take advantage of it. Instead of being the “resistance,” we should be the loyal opposition. Loyal to the country but opposing policies and ideas that do not match up with our conservative values and beliefs.
I promise you two things that won’t change no matter who is in charge of the House: I will put Alabama’s priorities first, and I will support President Donald Trump and his pro-America agenda.
For now, the next two weeks will be like the bottom of the ninth in Washington. We still need to pass a Farm Bill that works for our Alabama farmers and foresters, ensure the national flood insurance program continues, pass a funding bill for the remaining portions of the federal government, and protect our Southern border.
As I have said before, our farmers are our future. Without the tireless efforts of farmers all across the nation, life as we know it would not exist. I am hopeful we can pass a strong Farm Bill by the end of the year to provide greater protections for Alabama farmers and ensure benefits for rural America.
The flood insurance program is very important for those of us in coastal Alabama, and I want to see the program reformed and strengthened in a way that protects our coastal communities. We cannot let the program expire, so I will be pushing hard to get the program reauthorized.
Similarly, we must work to fund the remainder of the federal government. We currently have around three-quarters of the government funded for next year, including the critical funding needed to rebuild our military. This was the first time in a decade that we have been able to reach this point on time and in a bipartisan way.
Now, we must address funding for agencies like the Department of Justice, Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Homeland Security. I want to see a funding bill that reflects the need to rein in wasteful spending while also supporting programs and projects important to Alabama.
It is imperative that any funding bill also help secure our southern border. It is clear that our immigration system is broken, and we must fix it. First, however, we must build President Donald Trump’s border wall and stem the flow of illegal immigration.
I have a solution to provide funding for the wall: the 50 Votes for the Wall Act. By using the budget reconciliation process, we can avoid Democrat obstruction in the Senate and secure the funds necessary to complete this task. I hope my colleagues will make the right decision for the country and bring my bill up for a vote.
These next two weeks will be the last play of a tough-fought game. As we near the goal line, I am committed to trying to get a few more wins for Alabama and America before the next Congress starts.
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Bradley Byrne is a member of U.S. Congress representing Alabama’s 1st Congressional District.