Delivering for the District

July 13, 2015
Hurd on the Hill: Local Columns
Working hard to represent you in Washington

Representative. It is not just a title; it is my job description, and it’s why I ran for the job.

I know that not everyone who reads this column will always agree with me on my stance on the issues or on the votes I make. I know that not everyone in the district voted for me. But I still represent all y’all. I represent the very populated counties like Bexar and the less populated ones like Loving. I am your voice in Washington whether I am in a committee hearing, on the floor voting or battling the bureaucracy on your behalf.

For the first time in over eight years, your Representative from the 23rd Congressional District of Texas was able to get a bill signed into law. The last time this happened was in 2007. I am proud to say that this new law helped protect the paychecks of our brave Border Patrol Agents, including the more than 6,000 Agents that patrol the four sectors in our district. We have a second bill that passed the House and is making its way through the Senate that will reduce the duplication of IT systems in the Department of Homeland Security, saving taxpayer dollars and reducing waste in Washington. The following are other examples of legislative accomplishments we have achieved in our first six months:

  • An amendment to help veterans receive the proper civilian certification in the military in order to help them find jobs
  • An amendment to ensure that Hispanic Serving Higher Education Institutions are eligible to receive federal science grants
  • Language included in the defense appropriations bill which demonstrates Congressional support to fix the drainage problem at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio.
  • An amendment in the information-sharing bill that passed the that guarantees equal access to federal resources for small businesses
  • A second amendment would authorize the state-of-the-art EINSTEIN 3A program, which will help identify hacks like the one that recently happened to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Through my position as Chair of the Information Technology Subcommittee on the House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform, I have been able to speak out against the federal government forcing tech companies to create back-door encryption into our private devices and tout the growing cybersecurity industry in District 23. Leveraging my experience as a former undercover officer in the CIA on the House Committee on Homeland Security and on the Foreign Fighters Task, has enabled me to educate my colleagues on the very serious threats our nation faces and shape the policy that will protect our Homeland.

Getting things accomplished in Congress is a group effort. While the process is slow and cumbersome the House has been able to function in a bipartisan way at times, which has produced legislation, like:

  • The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act to help stop Veteran suicide
  • A repeal of the Death Tax
  • Ending bulk data collection by the government, protecting privacy rights
  • The Authorization to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline
  • Fixing the way we pay Medicare doctors and passing the first substantial entitlement reform in nearly two decades
  • Passing the NDAA, which provides a much needed pay-raise for our troops
  • A budget that puts us on a path to a balanced budget and paying down our national debt
  • Holding the president in check on negotiations with Iran

But the most important part of the job is helping you. The number one priority for me and my team is to help constituents who are struggling to get the answers they need from the federal bureaucracy. You may not have the time or resources to battle the bureaucracy, but we are ready and able to fight for folks that need to be fought for. Visit my website at Hurd.House.gov/services/help-with-a-federal-agency to learn more.

A former undercover CIA officer, entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, Will Hurd is the U.S. Representative for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. In Washington, he serves as Vice Chair of the Maritime and Border Security Subcommittee on the Committee forHomeland Security, and as the Chairman of the Information Technology Subcommittee on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.