By:U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady
A year ago, Hurricane Harvey made landfall, one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States. Hundreds of Texas families were left homeless and without resources, and 88 Texans lost their lives. In total, this devastating storm caused an estimated $125 billion or more in damages.
On day one, the Texas congressional delegation took action. They worked closely with federal, state and local leaders to deliver relief to those who needed it most in record time. In just six months, we delivered $146 billion in aid – the quickest hurricane disaster response yet.
Looking back, what I remember most is how Texans came together to lend a hand and help their neighbors during our time of need. Everyday people volunteered their time and resources to local shelters, and even used their own boats and cars in rescue missions, my oldest son Will included. As soon as the rain stopped, he got out there with his boat, his friends and others who had escaped to floods to help. Team Brady staffers from both DC and Conroe were all hands on deck, coordinating with local leaders and community groups like Interfaith.
We have come out of this stronger than ever; ‘Texas Strong’ in fact. Because that’s what Texans do.
It’s been exciting to work in the District this month, talking to families, workers and small business owners who are benefiting from tax cuts and rolled back regulations. At a Conroe McDonald’s I learned more about the $150 million McDonald’s Corp is allocating to their education benefits program to help their employees obtain their high school diploma and pay for college tuition.
Royal Purple in Porter told me that sales are up, they are hiring more workers, and they bought and installed over $3 million in new packing equipment this year and are planning a new expansion. CForce Bottling Company in Navasota is expanding their infrastructure in order to produce more bottled water and looking to add another building to their property. Walker’s Cafe in Madisonville is hiring more workers and Two Brothers Environmental Services in New Caney gave their employees raises and bonuses, and are expanding their office space.
These local small businesses are joining hundreds of other companies in America, more than 700 and counting, who are investing their savings from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into their workers, their companies and the community.
During National Health Care Center Week I had the privilege to visit the Lone Star Family Health Center in Conroe during their Access the Arts event and recognize the talented children who were displaying art pieces at the Center. The work that the Lone Star Health Centers do at their four facilities in Montgomery County is phenomenal, providing quality care to 30,000 patients and saving the healthcare system $1,263 per patient, per year. I’m proud to support our Lone Star Health Care Centers, as well as the many other local health care centers in our district.
Labor Day is around the corner, a day dedicated to honoring the contributions of America’s workers. With the unemployment rate dropping and the labor participation rate increasing, more and more Americans are back to work. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, our economy is booming, take-home pay is going up and Main Street confidence is at an all-time high. This Labor Day, we have so much to celebrate!
U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady chairs the House Ways and Means Committee