Hurd on the Hill: Delivering Real Results Back Home
As your Representative, my bosses are each of you, the nearly 800,000 people I represent across the 23rd District of Texas. That’s why whenever I’m not voting in Congress, I’m back home crisscrossing the 29 counties of TX-23 and meeting with as many folks as I can. Whether it’s hosting a public meeting, speaking with community leaders or dropping in to a local business to visit with the owner and his or her customers, I am often in multiple towns over a weekend before flying back to our nation’s capital at the beginning of the week.
Why is this so important? Because I fundamentally cannot perform my job as your Representative without regular feedback. Listening to your concerns and answering your questions informs my votes and allows me to make sure your voice is heard in Washington. This regular face to face communication has also resulted in the successful completion of casework for almost 3,000 constituents who have come to my office needing help with federal agencies like Social Security and the VA.
I regularly host a town hall series, predominately at local Dairy Queens that I call “DC to DQ”. This year was no different, and in September, I visited all 29 counties and held 32 town hall meetings from El Paso to San Antonio, and everywhere in between.
One point that consistently came up during town halls was that DC seems like a circus. But despite what you might see on the news, Congress has passed several bipartisan initiatives that have big impacts back home.
Last week alone, the House passed a few dozen bills, including a major funding package that gives our troops a 2.6% pay raise, the largest in nine years. Additionally, it funds the Meals on Wheels program which feeds 100,000 Texas seniors daily; education grant funding programs like GEAR UP and TRIO that expand opportunities for Texans of all socioeconomic backgrounds; critical health research into Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and opioids; and, job training programs for civilians and veterans.
After hosting this year’s 32 town halls, I also noticed that it’s clear that tax reform is creating more jobs, bigger paychecks, increased investment, historic small business optimism and increased economic security for the families that I represent. I was glad to keep each of your thoughts in mind as I voted last week, especially when it came to making individual and small business tax cuts permanent which are saving residents in TX23 an average of $2,000 per family each year. I also voted to support making tax cuts permanent for small businesses, a doubled child tax credit, the first-ever paid family leave tax credit and a simpler postcard-style filing system to save folks a lot of time and compliance costs, among others.
After more than 100 town halls in almost four years, what always stands out most while traveling through the diverse 23rd District of Texas, is that much more unites us than divides us. And DC to DQ confirmed that Texans are tired of polarizing political rhetoric and want their elected officials to work together to get things done. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the political aisle to find solutions to big problems and deliver real results back home.