Good afternoon. As you have heard, the President has agreed to temporarily reopen the government. That doesn't change the fact that we have a crisis at the border and we must fund border security including a wall/physical barrier. I will for the next three weeks work very hard to support the President in securing a longterm bill that includes funding for the wall.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and their Democratic members must stop putting politics over the people and work with us in a serious manner to provide the tools Homeland Security and Border Patrol Agents have said are necessary to secure our border.
The political gamesmanship certainly seems more important than doing what's right for our country. Republicans voted three times this past week to pay federal workers. As I emphasized in my floor speech on Wednesday which has been viewed nearly two million times and can be watched on Facebook and Twitter - "I am new here, but I almost speechless. We just had moments ago a vote that would have provided pay to federal workers who have not received their paychecks this year. Americans agree we must provide for border security, reopen the government, and end the shutdown. But since house Democrat leadership has refused to come to the table and negotiate in good faith, at least we can do is ensure our federal workers don't suffer because of Washington's dysfunction. Last week, only six Democrats joined every Republican to vote to pay our workers. This vote took place. Moments ago, ten Democrats joined us again. We have heard speeches today on the floor, in the media, all over the news from Democrats who claim to empathize with federal workers that have gone unpaid. But when they had the chance to pay them, for the most part they have declined. We need to listen to the people, pay our federal workers, secure our borders and end this shut down."
In other news, I was fortunate this week to be invited by President Trump to participate in a briefing at the White House with a handful of my colleagues. It was very productive and I was honored to take part in the discussion. The President was very impressive and he knows the issues very well.
Committee assignments were announced this week and I was pleased to be selected to serve on the Education & Labor, Budget, and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. Each one of these committees has a direct tie to important issues that impact the 9th Congressional District. The committees afford me opportunities to work on policies to better prepare our young people for the jobs that our district employers have available, make certain we are always effectively supporting our brave veterans by ensuring their needs are met, and to work hard to influence the budget making process to make sure our tax dollars are being spent well and that we work towards the ultimate goal of having a balanced budget. I am realist and I know this will not happen in a year or two. But we must have a balanced budget. These are great committee assignments and I know they are in policy areas where I can make a difference for our District.
Earlier in the week, I was able to spend some time in the District where I met with business leaders from Berks County to discuss issues they were facing, like workforce development and overregulation. Earlier that afternoon, I stopped by the Greater Reading Chamber PAC board Meet-and-Greet with State Representative Barry Jozwiak, Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach, Chamber President Randy Peers and other members of their Board. (Photo below)
Additionally, I was honored to celebrate the birthday of Bronze Star recipient and World War II Veteran, Former Mayor of Forty Fort Robert Megatulski. Mr. Megatulski was a Navy Seabee who served in the Pacific. I also was pleased to run into former Northeast Pennsylvania Congressman Jim Nelligan at the gathering.
Well my friends, we certainly have our work cut out for us. With all of us working together we can make our country as great as possible for all Americans and be on the conservative right side of the issues in Washington. Whatever gridlock might exist in Washington, we will be very focused on working with state, county and local leaders to get things done for our District.
Thank you and I will see you soon,