The Hill Report: Week of Februar 5 - 9, 2018
Early this morning I voted to fund our troops, implement a two-year budget agreement, and keeps our government operational through March 23rd. This budget agreement begins to repair our military and frees our Armed Services from harmful spending caps and the devastating practice of our funding our troops with stopgap spending bills. For too long, our military has been held hostage to unrelated policy matters and for too long our military has been asked to do more with less. This agreement is about funding our military and ensuring our Armed Forces remain the best of any nation in the world.
Additionally, this bill provides critical funding for disaster relief for states including Texas. Althoughthe House has already acted on this measure, I am pleased that the Senate has finally passed this critical package to provide these communities with much needed resources, so they can rebuild and be stronger than ever.
In the past month we have seen that these short-term measures only create the opportunity for uncertainty and political brinksmanship. Our troops, relief victims, and all Americans deserve better than that. While I still believe we need to rein in spending and get our fiscal house in order, this two-year agreement on spending levels will give us the opportunity to stop running our government through stop gap measures and put forth a full year spending plan.
Here are a few highlights from the package:
- Provides $89.3 billion in disaster relief funds
- Includes $165 billion in defense funding, $80 billion for fiscal year 2018, and $85 billion for fiscal year 2019
- Extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 10 years
- Permanently repeals Medicare payment cap for therapy services
- Repeals Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)
- Extends funding for Community health centers for two years
- Increases funding for NIH research and to combat the opioid epidemic
Remembering a North Texas Hero
We, as a society, owe a tremendous debt to those of us who have heard the calling to devote their lives to their communities as Police Officers, Firefighters and other First Responders. These brave men and women willingly rush into some of the worst situations within the human experience, oftentimes risking everything, bearing that burden so that the rest of us do not have to and can live our own lives in safety. On Wednesday night, Officer David Sherrard, of the Richardson Police Department, made that ultimate sacrifice to our community. Officer Sherrard was among the first to arrive on scene and was shot in the neck while attempting to enter the apartment where an active shooter was hiding. After being rushed to Medical City Plano Hospital and fighting for his life for several hours, Officer Sherrard succumbed to his wounds and passed away, leaving behind his wife of 20 years and two young daughters.
Please take a moment today to pray for the family as they go through this most difficult time, as well as the men and women of the Richardson Police Department as they grieve for the brother that was taken from them.
Meetings with Texans
Community Health Centers play a vital role in our country, which is why I was delighted to meet with folks on Wednesday from the Texas Association of Community Health Centers as as well as Healing Hands Ministries who partner with the association in the 32nd Congressional District. These centers fulfill a crucial need for primary medical care for those that are struggling to accessthe treatments and services they need.
Congressman Sessions with representatives from Healing Hands
Jewish Disability Advocacy Day
On Tuesday I had the honor of speaking at the Jewish Disability Advocacy Day. As a proud father of a Down syndrome young man, I am always delighted to speak to advocates for the disability community and speak about the importance of their roles as advocates. While we have made immense strides to help better the lives of disabled individuals in Congress, I believe we still have more work to do and I look forward to continuing to work with the disability community to give them the opportunities they need and deserve to succeed.
Texas Deans of Engineering
This week I was delighted to meet with Deans of Engineering from university in the University of Texas System, including Associate Dean John Hansen from the University of Texas at Dallas, which I am proud to represent in my district. We discussed the importance of federal research funding andthe important work those research dollars do at the schools in the UT System. I look forward to working with the UT System and other universities in Texas as Congress continues to work on higher education reform.