Campaign Updates

Six months into term, we’re just getting started

Posted on July 24th, 2014


Nine thousand twenty five responses to constituent mail, 350 recorded votes in the United States House of Representatives, 119 group tours of the United States Capitol, and more than 190 meetings throughout Southwest Alabama: those numbers are just a snapshot of what my office has been able to accomplish during my first six months in Congress.

It seems like just a few weeks ago we were celebrating the election results with friends and family at Moe’s BBQ in downtown Mobile. That night, I made a pledge to bring positive, commonsense change to Washington. As I have said all along, I want to be a workhorse, not a showhorse, for the people of Alabama’s First Congressional District.

From my first legislative action in Congress to sponsor legislation that would repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a market-based alternative to my trip this past week to promote our area at the Farnborough Air Show in London, I have continually fought for the people of Southwest Alabama.

From the small community of Excel in Monroe County to downtown Mobile, I have held 26 town hall meetings to listen to constituent concerns and answer questions. I even recently held a telephone town hall meeting from Washington where over 10,000 constituents were able to take part in an enlightening discussion on current events. I have a dedicated staff in Alabama who help constituents navigate the maze of federal agencies, whether it is the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, or other federal agencies. It is this very outreach that has allowed me to be the best advocate for our area in Washington.

I pushed for committee assignments that are important to our interests in Southwest Alabama and directly benefit our area. Given the numerous challenges facing our nation’s military abroad and the importance of shipbuilder Austal USA to our community, I asked for a seat on the House Armed Services Committee. I also serve on the House Committee on Natural Resources, which puts me in a strong position to look out for the interests of our coastal communities, like the Red Snapper season and oil and gas production in the Gulf. Finally, I am Alabama’s only member serving on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, an assignment that is personal to me given my prior work on the State School Board and as chancellor of Alabama’s two-year college system.

Certainly much of my time on these committees and in Congress is focused on major issues impacting our country, like illegal immigration, the crisis in Iraq, and continued budget deficits. That said, it seems that far too often elected officials take office and seem to forget the people that put them there. I haven’t forgotten, and I have never lost focus on the issues that matter most here on the Gulf Coast.

I worked to include language in the National Defense Authorization Act, which supports the Littoral Combat Ship, built locally in Mobile. I am fighting to expand the drastically shortened nine-day Red Snapper season by extending our state waters and giving more control to Gulf States in the process. I continue to push the Federal Highway Administration to move the process forward on construction of a new I-10 Mobile River bridge. These aren’t issues that take the spotlight in Washington, but they are the exact issues that matter the most to me.

I know our work is just getting started and new challenges will arise, but I am proud of what we have been able to do in such a short time. I firmly believe that with your continued input we can continue our efforts to make Southwest Alabama a better place to live, work and raise a family.