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Home | Tag Archives: us rep will hurd

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Hurd on the Hill: New Funds Provide Bright Outlook for Our Texas Border Communities

Over a quarter century ago, NAFTA was signed in my hometown of San Antonio and one of the key provisions was establishing the North American Development Bank (NADBank).

NADBank’s mission was to push environmental policy in the U.S.—Mexico border region and enhance trade relations between our two countries.

It worked. More than 25 years later, NADBank has been an integral player in cross-border economics, helping to finance more than 250 job-creating projects and supporting billions in infrastructure investments on both sides of the border. These projects tackled everything from helping to clean up polluted waters to addressing public health challenges and promoting greater energy production.

NADBank has partnered with local governments, municipalities and private companies across South and West Texas on several multi-million-dollar projects to improve the lives of those who live and work in these communities.

By leveraging a combination of public and private funding the institution has been able to make a big difference. These types of public-private partnerships are good governance and the examples in our communities are many:

  • Marathon Water Supply and Sewer Services was able to expand service to their residents and improve their outdated sewer system that was decades old with a $1.55 million grant.

  • This partnership between local and federal agencies also aided Clint and Tornillo residents in receiving clean water through improved water systems.

  • A grant to Maverick County benefited all 54,000 residents by providing additional landfill space to continue managing the proper disposal of solid waste.

All these projects made much needed infrastructure improvements and prevented serious public health risks. And NADBank remains a partner at the ready for the next community service need.

NADBank has also been a key driver of our bilateral relationship with Mexico. By financing projects on both sides of the border and having a team consisting of representatives from both nations, the NADBank has aided in strengthening the dialogue between the United States and Mexico.

Last year Representative Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and I introduced the bipartisan North American Development Bank Improvement Act of 2019 to provide an increase in capital for NADBank and it was ultimately included in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) just signed into law.

Now that the USMCA is across the finish line and NADBank’s mission is reauthorized the millions of people who live in and around the border region will experience the benefits of smart polices and cross-border cooperation.

Representative Cuellar and I have worked together on many things during my time in Congress and securing these provisions for NADBank is just another example of how big things can be accomplished when we work together across the aisle.  Thanks to the provisions in the new trade agreement and the additional capital provided to NADBank our border community projects will remain priorities.

***Author’s info

A former undercover CIA officer, entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, Will Hurd is the U.S. Representative for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. In Washington, he serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence Modernization and Readiness, and the House Committee on Appropriations, where he serves on the Subcommittees on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

***

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Hurd on the Hill: Unleashing Innovation

Imagine the following hypothetical scenario: you could buy either one of the first cell phone models (the one that could basically double as a brick) for one price or the latest smartphone for a cheaper price. Which would you buy?

In too many instances, our federal government has been systematically choosing the equivalent of the first option: to spend more money on outdated, unreliable products instead of the cheaper, more advanced options.

The American people send a lot of money up to Washington each year, and it is outrageous that the federal government wastes billions of these hard-earned dollars each year maintaining IT systems that aren’t just outdated, but also leave our digital information – from employee records to government intelligence – susceptible to cyberattacks. In fact, our federal government spends nearly 80 percent of more than $80 billion on simply maintaining existing IT systems.

The bulk of this funding is spent keeping outdated systems alive when some are nearly 60 years old! Not only are many of these systems insecure, they’re becoming increasingly costly. It’s the 21st Century; we should be taking advantage of 21st Century tools.

We have continued to use horse-and-buggy technology throughout every federal agency for decades and reform is long overdue. Imagine being able to renew your passport online. How about our military veterans not having to take hard-copies of their health records with them to the doctor? It’s 2017. The American people deserve better from their government.

This is why I worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for the last two years to implement landmark IT Reform that will make our government smarter, more cost-effective and more efficient. I am pleased to announce that my smart government bill, the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act, was approved in the House and the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and is expected to be signed into law by the President any day.

The bill incentivizes federal agencies to transition their IT systems to more modern platforms like cloud computing by eliminating the traditional use-it-or-lose-it approach that has plagued government spending for years. With this bill, agencies will be able to bank the savings obtained as a result of a transition to cheaper and more modern technological solutions. They can then use that money to modernize other systems, creating a virtuous cycle of modernization and ultimately, savings.

In the past, there has been no incentive for agencies to modernize because they have been unable to keep the savings as a result of modernization. This has kept our federal technology systems decades behind the private sector and has hindered our government’s ability to provide quality and timely services to the American people.

Finally, we’re curing this plague that has hindered our government for decades. Our technologies have evolved since the Stone Age, so should our federal agencies. This can happen now that MGT is a reality.

This will be my twelfth piece of legislation signed into law since taking office in 2015, and I’ll continue working to fix problems and find solutions that help folks in the 23rd District of Texas.

***

Author – Congressman Will Hurd

A former undercover CIA officer, entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, Will Hurd is the U.S. Representative for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. In Washington, he serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as Vice Chair of the Maritime and Border Security Subcommittee on the Committee for Homeland Security, and as the Chairman of the Information Technology Subcommittee on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

I’m here to represent you. As always, please continue to reach out to me with any questions and concerns, and I encourage you to subscribe to my e-newsletter at hurd.house.gov/contact/email and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @HurdOnTheHill

Rep. Hurd Starts Third Annual Town Hall Series in El Paso

U.S. Representative Will Hurd kicks off his third annual DC2DQ trip, a series of public meet & greets held at local Dairy Queens throughout South and West Texas, Sunday in El Paso.

Hurd will meet with residents Sunday afternoon at two locations (listed below) and then make his way east.

The 20 informal town hall meetings are open to the public and designed to offer constituents an authentic opportunity to engage with their Congressman in a way that was never-before seen under previous Representatives.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

HORIZON CITY– 1:00pm-2:30pm Dairy Queen, 800 N Zaragoza Rd, El Paso, TX 79907
SOCORRO– 3:00pm-4:30pm Peter Piper Pizza, 10870 N Loop Rd, Socorro, TX 79927

To accommodate record attendance, not all meetings will be held at Dairy Queen restaurants this year. To view the complete schedule, click HERE.

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