Hurd on the Hill: 27 Stops and 1800 Miles Across Texas
This month, my staff and I did our annual DC2DQ road-trip, hosting twenty public town hall meetings in seven days across Texas – mostly at local Dairy Queens. When I first ran for Congress, folks told me that they never saw their Representative. I promised them that they would never be able to say that about me. Regardless of if you agree with me or not, I will continue to show up in your community, tell you what I have done and why I did it.
DC2DQ is one way that I meet face-to-face with you and your neighbors to do just that. It is also an opportunity for you to meet my staff and receive help with personal cases involving federal agencies like the VA, Social Security, and Medicare.
As a bonus, I happen to love road trips and TX-23 offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country.
In between my twenty town hall meetings, we also stopped at schools and local businesses to hear from parents, teachers, and employers about how Washington, DC policies impact them and their families. Overall, we drove almost 1,800 miles from El Paso to San Antonio – and everywhere in between – so that I could answer your questions and learn about what’s most important to you.
One of the things we talked about is what’s going on in our nation’s capital. Yes, Washington, DC is a circus. But despite what you see on national TV, Congress has passed some important bills in the last year and many of which have been bipartisan initiatives. For example, during DC2DQ, folks were surprised to learn about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which was signed into law last year, giving control back to states and local communities on how best to educate our children. I was also happy to report on my landmark IT Reform bill that will modernize government technology and deliver better services to Americans. Additionally, folks were surprised to learn that this coming fall, Congress will be focused on passing major tax reform for the first time in decades– something all of us can agree on. Imagine being able to file your taxes on a postcard-sized sheet of paper – that is the bipartisan goal we will be working towards.
Overwhelmingly, most constituent questions related to North Korea, border security, and trade. We discussed the very real concerns of illegal immigration in border communities and how increased technology and manpower are the keys to gaining operational control of our southern border. Not surprisingly, NAFTA came up repeatedly as countless folks in El Paso, Del Rio and Eagle Pass rely on cross-border trades to feed their families.
But perhaps the most prominent theme that came up over and over, was that many Texans are tired of polarizing political rhetoric and want their elected officials to work together to get things done. Traveling through the diverse 23rd District of Texas is an excellent reminder that much more unites us than divides us. And DC2DQ confirmed that my district is filled with people who agree. In Congress, we must focus on the things that unite us in order to best serve our countrymen nationwide.
I represent the big towns and the small towns. I represent the folks who did vote for me and those who didn’t. Meeting with as many constituents as possible is a critical component to my job as Representative and one I take extremely seriously.
You can be sure that I’ll take your concerns back to Washington and continue to stand tall for the 23rd District of Texas.