By Congressman Dave Brat (R, VA-7)
In 1776, with Providence guiding from above, delegates from 13 colonies stood firmly on the Judeo-Christian tradition, the rule of law, and a free market mentality and voted to create a new nation. Their courageous, sacrificial actions changed the course of history, and we are blessed to be living the result today.
Excerpt from “Friends of Dave Brat, Inc.” message dated July 3, 2017
America! America! God shed His Grace on Thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
We owe much to so many, the men and women whose hearts were stirred to fight for an idea that would change the world forever. Long live the Spirit of ’76, and may God continue to bless this great nation. Thank you for the privilege of serving you in our country’s 115th Congress, and working to keep the ’76 tradition alive.
Here’s a brief look at my week in Washington last week.
Two Critical Immigration Bills Pass the House
Last week the House took action on a couple of bills that target illegal immigration to help carry out President Trump’s agenda of enforcing federal immigration laws.
The first bill, “Kate’s Law,” is named after Kate Steinle, the young woman murdered by an illegal immigrant in San Fransisco who had been previously deported five times and convicted of multiple felonies. The bill enhances penalties for deported felons who return to the U.S.
The second bill, “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” also contains Sarah and Grant’s Law, which ensures unlawful immigrants convicted of drunk driving or arrested for other dangerous crimes are detained during their removal proceedings. Sarah Root had just graduated from college, and was killed by an illegal immigrant driving drunk who was subsequently released from custody. He is still on the loose. Grant Ronnebeck was murdered at a convenience store by a convicted felon who was free on bond while facing deportation.
As you may recall, Paul Ryan promised that he would push all five of Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s immigration bills to the House floor as one of the promises he made upon becoming Speaker. These bills take concrete action on our pledge to regain control of our immigration system with stronger interior enforcement, and I look forward to voting yes on all of them.
Work on Obamacare Repeal Continues
Obamacare is in the ditch because it ignored basic economic principles. The House-passed healthcare bill included mechanisms to help drive the cost of healthcare down, but the proposed Senate bill takes us back to the logic that put us into the ditch with less choice and higher costs. That is not what we promised the American people.
I’m on board with what Senators Rand Paul and Ben Sasse have suggested: let’s repeal Obamacare now and then get to work on a health insurance system that offers true affordability, where consumers can buy policies that fit their needs and that they can take with them if they change jobs or move to another state. It’s time to put the standard American principles of free markets and free enterprise back to work that made our country great. Let’s do what we told the American people we would do, and what we voted 50 times to do when apparently it didn’t count—and repeal as much of Obamacare as possible.
Good News From the U.S. Supreme Court
Last week, the Supreme Court reinstated Trump’s travel ban. With attacks occurring around the world in greater frequency, and our enemies making it clear they want to bring jihad into the U.S., this is a much needed win for common sense. More on this decision here.
The court also ruled on a key religious rights case, ruling that a state cannot deny qualified churches from receiving public aid solely because they are a religious organization.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the decision.
Even though the state’s denial of funds [for a playground] likely would lead only to “a few extra scraped knees (Roberts said), the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand.
Read more about this marquee case here. This is a major ruling that will have huge implications for future policy fights—including funding for private, religious charter schools. I applaud our highest court’s decision.