Almost 12 months ago, I started a new job – representing you in Washington.
Being an effective leader in D.C. is not easy, especially when you are battling a bureaucracy that is slow and inefficient.
But when you work smarter and harder, and surround yourself with a dedicated team, it is amazing what can be accomplished.
The last time a representative from the 23rd Congressional District of Texas had legislation signed into law was 2007 -- a bill that renamed a post office.
In 2015, 67 bills became law and two of those are mine. Two additional bills that I introduced were also signed into law when they were added to other pieces of legislation.
That means four of my bills have been signed into law, and my fifth one, The State and Local Cyber Protection Act, is on track to be sent to the president’s desk in the new year.
My bills have a direct impact on the 23rd Congressional District by protecting the paychecks of our brave border patrol agents, giving small businesses and local governments greater access to resources for cyber protection, allowing Texas to invest in border infrastructure for trade and commerce and keeping hackers out of our government’s digital infrastructure.
However, not everything can be accomplished through introducing legislation. Sometimes working with my colleagues, state and federal agency heads and local leaders is what makes something happen in our district.
• Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio received funding for a much-need security gate update and is on track to finally be able to fix their airfield runways so that a couple of inches of rain no longer brings pilot training to a halt.
• Socorro Road, stretching from Ysleta to San Elizario and Highway 132 and 173 in Devine are seeing more regular maintenance because of a call to the Texas Department of Transportation.
• The City of Alpine is moving forward to remediate wastewater infrastructure because of a call to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
• The City of Hondo broke ground on a new vocational training facility due to a grant they received from the Economic Development Administration after receiving a letter from our office.
• San Antonio will soon boast a new Federal Courthouse and a National Guard Cyber Unit.
Fighting for you in Washington is a job I take seriously.
Beyond legislation and projects, directly helping constituents battle the bureaucracy is a huge focus for our office.
We have opened more than 560 cases so far this year for people across the district to advocate on their behalf to agencies such as the Veteran’s Administration, Social Security, Medicare, the State Department, Department of Defense and Customs and Border Protection.
Not everyone has the time and resources to cut through the red tape and that is why we are here to help.
If you need assistance, please contact us through the website – hurd.house.gov/services/help-with-a-federal-agency
We have responded to more than 76,000 letters, e-mails and voicemails from constituents with questions about legislation.
And we have proactively reached out with additional information and updates through eNewsletters, mail and frequently scheduled telephone town halls.
We also have had more than 200 meetings across the district, in at least one in every one of the 29 counties I represent.
I want to hear from you!
Thank you all for the privilege of being your representative in Washington, D.C.
It is not just my title; it is my job and one that I am humbled to do each day.
It has been an amazing first year representing everyone in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas and I look forward to many more.
Wishing all of you a prosperous and happy new year!
A former undercover CIA officer, entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, Will Hurd is the U.S. Representative for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas