Reflecting on 2018 and Looking Ahead to the 116th Congress
2018 was a fantastic year in many ways for our district, state, and country. From outstanding economic news here in Alabama’s Second District to a strong new farm bill and proper defense funding, there was a lot to celebrate last year and much work to continue as we welcome 2019. The 116th Congress was recently sworn-in, and I am honored to represent our district in the House for another two years.
For starters, in 2018, we began to see the results of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, our historic tax reform overhaul that fosters economic growth, creates jobs here in the United States, and allows hardworking Americans to keep more of the money they earn. As a direct result of tax reform, here in Alabama’s Second District, we saw several businesses open facilities in our communities, expand existing operations, offer pay increases to employees, hire additional workers, and more. I am looking forward to seeing this positive momentum continue in 2019 – Alabama is open for business!
2018 also marked the first year in a decade that we were able to fully fund our military on time. This measure included funding for Army Aviation programs important to Fort Rucker. The legislation also allocates funding for F-35 aircraft, some of which will soon be flown by the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field in Montgomery. Throughout my time in Congress, I have said time and time again that we must ensure our military remains the tip of the spear. I am proud of our efforts in 2018 to make good on that responsibility, and I’ll continue this important work through the 116th Congress.
This past year, we also received the exciting news that Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base will receive funding from the Air Force’s Fiscal Year 2019 military construction account for a new air traffic control (ATC) tower. I have personally climbed up the ATC at Maxwell and can attest to how dangerous it is and how badly it needs to be replaced. I’ve advocated for this project for several years, and I am thrilled it is finally becoming reality and that Alabamians will see some of their tax dollars at work in this tangible way.
In still more positive news for 2018, Congress passed and the President signed into law historic reforms at the Department of Veterans Affairs, including the VA MISSION Act, which funds the Choice Program that countless veterans depend on to receive care. I believe this important measure will make it easier for veterans to secure private care when they need it. While I am proud of this step, much work remains to ensure that our veterans receive proper treatment, and I will continue to fight for improvements at the VA in the year ahead.
Most recently, Congress passed and the President signed into law the 2018 farm bill to provide certainty to the American families who work every day to provide the food and fiber we depend on. In Alabama’s Second District, agriculture is the largest employer, so I know how important it is that Congress honor our commitments to the farmers and producers all over our country. I am very proud of our efforts to do just that, and I will continue to advocate for smart agriculture policy in the new Congress.
There are many more noteworthy accomplishments that our unified Republican government was able to deliver for the American people in 2018, and while the 116th Congress will bring some changes and challenges with a Democrat majority in the House, I will continue to fight for the commonsense conservative priorities I share with the people I represent. From my family to yours, Happy New Year. May God bless you, and may he continue to bless our country.