This time of year it is normal to sit down and reflect on what 2016 has brought us.
Through good times and bad times, we have many reasons to be thankful for what we were able to achieve or experience over the last 12 months.
Missourians started 2016 with a state of emergency due to heavy rain and flooding that occurred throughout much of the state. After several clear days and hard work from Missouri’s road crews and emergency response teams, we were able to get back to our daily routines. I also want to thank all those who volunteered time, money, and effort to help their local communities recover from these storms.
Soon thereafter, we found ourselves in the month of February. This past year, my office organized its inaugural “Valentines for Veterans” program. I called upon everyone in the 3rd District to participate and with it being the first year of this program, I was unsure of what to expect. I could not have been more surprised and amazed by the graciousness of everyone in the 3rd District. The last tally among all three of my district offices was over 9,000 valentines that we were able to distribute to area veterans. The support was truly amazing and I cannot wait to see what year two of this program will bring.
As a member of Congress, I am very fortunate to meet with Missourians each and every week – whether it is in Washington, D.C., or in eastern and central Missouri. In these meetings, it is an honor getting to know everyone and hearing their stories. While all of the personal stories I hear are of great interest to me, I want to highlight one that really hit home. In April, I found out I was going to award a young man from Missouri with the National Down Syndrome Society “Self-Advocate of the Year” award. I was looking forward to this opportunity and meeting this individual. When I met Elijah Mayfield from Jefferson City, I was incredibly impressed by this inspirational and extraordinary young man. He isn’t afraid of anything, and his strength of character and his drive for excellence are traits that really make him stand out as a positive influence. Elijah is a leader that we will no doubt hear more about in the years to come.
A more personal accomplishment of mine from the year was getting a bill that I wrote signed into law that makes the first major reforms to housing policies and programs in America in decades. Two years ago, I was named by my colleagues to be the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Chairman. When I started diving into the policies and programs that fall under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction, I found dozens of bipartisan, common-sense changes that could be made to the U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development. For example, as a result of my bill passing, veterans are now ensured access to housing and homeless assistance programs. This law also saves taxpayers $600 million over ten years.
Most notably from 2016 was this year’s historical presidential election. It was a tough campaign for both parties and at the end of the day Americans spoke loud and clear about the change in direction they want for our country. Our nation simply couldn’t afford four more years of extreme regulations, a failing health-care system, and an economy that is stalled in place as a result.
2016 brought a lot of great memories and I am looking forward to continuing to work as your liaison to our government. I am excited to get to work right away to help find solutions to our many problems that can move our country forward in 2017.
CONTACT US: As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website. For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter and Instagram.