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Bill Flores Discusses This Week in Washington

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WASHINGTON, D.C. , July 12, 2019 | Andre Castro (202-225-6105) | comments

U.S. Representative Bill Flores (R-Texas) issued the following statements regarding H.R. 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act; and H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act
"In a rare occurrence this year, the House passed a significant bipartisan bill – the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. I voted for this important bill because it allows highly-skilled immigrants to stay and work in the U.S.  Our successful and growing economy has generated shortages of workers in several sectors, including our high-tech industries here in Central Texas.  Our leading Texas universities are graduating hundreds of folks each year that can fill these jobs, however, over half of these graduates are immigrants who would like to stay and work in the U.S. following their education.  Unfortunately, our broken visa system makes it very difficult for them to do so; resulting in the export of U.S. educated talent to other countries.

"This bill transitions our current, antiquated per-country visa cap to a nationality-neutral, first-come, first-served format.  The new system will allow our locally educated persons to remain in the U.S. to become taxpayers, entrepreneurs and contributors to our communities.

"Unfortunately, a small group of outside interests and publications generated a substantial amount of false information and hostile narrative regarding this bill to improve our nation’s economy.  Fortunately, however, a strong bipartisan majority in the House ignored this fake news and voted to help grow our economy."

"For nearly six decades, the House has annually considered and passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on a strong bipartisan basis.  Unfortunately, however, this week Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrat Majority continued with its partisan political agenda by lurching leftward to draft an NDAA that was full of partisan provisions.  One House Leader called it an NDAA bill that Russian President Putin would love because it jeopardizes our national security and puts our nation at a disadvantage as we face increasing threats from Russia and China, as well as growing threats from Iran.

"All my Republican colleagues and I voted against this flawed bill because it cuts funding for the resources our military men and women rely on to keep hardworking American families safe at home. It imposes billions in arbitrary funding cuts that roll-back our military’s modernization, sustainability, technologies and readiness. It also cuts programs designed to deter aggression from nations like Iran, Russia and China, including research being done at universities in the 17th Congressional District.  Additionally, it would allow Guantanamo Bay detainees to be transferred back into the United States while not allowing additional detainees to be transferred into the Guantanamo Bay facility. The bill also prohibits border wall funding and seeks to tie President Trump’s hands as he works to secure our border.

"Last month, the Senate passed its version of the NDAA with an overwhelming bipartisan 86-8 vote. By forgoing the Senate bill and bringing this partisan bill to the floor, Speaker Pelosi is choosing political games over a bipartisan solution that would provide our military with the critical resources and the authority they need to fight and defeat the global threats that exist today.

"This action by the Democrat Majority is a repeat of their failed attempts from a couple of weeks ago when they attempted to hijack the President’s funding request to provide critical, overdue funding to address the humanitarian crises along our southern border.  In that situation, Speaker Pelosi ignored the strong bipartisan humanitarian funding bill that passed the Senate on an 84-8 vote.

"With our national security on the line, it is time that the Speaker and House Majority stop the gamesmanship and instead work with Republicans on a defense bill that President Trump will sign. Our military and national defense should never pay the price for political games and dysfunction in Washington."


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