U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga | E-Newsletter
The Huizenga Huddle
July 2, 2019
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U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga
The Huizenga Huddle: July 2, 2019
The Crisis on Our Southern Border

Most of us have seen the photos and heard the stories of the tragic conditions on the border. For nearly two months, the President's funding request to address the growing crisis on the border sat idle.

During this time, House Republicans attempted to pass legislation 18 times that would deliver humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, the majority in the House refused to consider the President's request and every one of these attempts were blocked or rejected.

Thankfully, a bipartisan agreement was reached in the Senate that passed 84-8. After initially refusing to hold a vote on this critical legislation Speaker Pelosi relented and this bipartisan measure passed the House with over 300 votes. I voted for this aid package because we need to provide relief and work to improve conditions on the border while giving federal agencies the flexibility to address this ongoing crisis. You can read my full statement here

It's clear there is a crisis on the southern border. In May, Customs and Border Patrol encountered 144,000 individuals alone. To put this in perspective, that is roughly double the size of Wyoming, the largest city in the Second District, and just over four times the size of Holland. Remember, this happened in one month.

The chart above shows the rapid influx of encounters at the border this year compared to years prior. Congress needs to strengthen border security, reform the asylum process, and build on the bipartisan momentum from the humanitarian aid package to address the various facets of our broken immigration system. 

D-Day: Honoring and Remembering Those Who Served

In June, I had the incredible honor of traveling to the beaches of Normandy with a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to honor our heroes and commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. 

So many American heroes gave their lives to protect our freedom and restore democracy for our European Allies. Standing on the hallowed ground of Omaha Beach gave me an entirely new perspective of the bravery our soldiers exhibited to change the course of history.

During the trip, I detailed the meetings, visits, and memorials on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook to share the experience with those who are interested.  As the son of a disabled World War II veteran, it was an honor to represent our community, our state, and our nation at this historic event with leaders from across the globe. 

Live from the Floor of the U.S. House

Recently, I had the pleasure of recognizing Grand Valley State University President Thomas J. Haas who is retiring. T-Haas, as he is called by GVSU students, defines what it means to be a Laker for a Lifetime. It has been an honor to work with President Haas in support of Grand Valley, its students, and West Michigan.  You can watch my full speech by clicking above.

I joined in celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Charles A. Conklin American Legion Post 28 in Grand Haven. I also noted the important role West Michigan has played in WWI and WWII, specifically highlighting the USCGC Escanaba, as well as, the USS Silversides Submarine and USS LST 393 which are both on display in Muskegon. If you would like to watch my extended remarks, you can do so by clicking on the photo above. 

I also had the honor of saying thank you to Command Master Chief Russell Mason, from Hart, Michigan, for his more than 30 years of service in the U.S. Navy. Congratulations on your retirement Master Chief, I have no doubt you will soon be enjoying your time with us back in West Michigan! To watch my full speech, please click on the image above. 

Across West Michigan

On June 14th, I joined the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of the Badger's new docking terminal in Ludington. Afterwards, I discussed the Badger's economic impact on Ludington and West Michigan. You can watch the video here

I recently met with asparagus growers and farmers in Oceana County. We had a wide-ranging conversation about the importance of local agriculture, the USMCA, and how there is a growing desire among consumers to buy American produce from American growers, producers, and farmers. Leveling the playing field for specialty crops such as asparagus, blueberries, cherries, and apples is something I will continue to discuss with the Administration

At the end of May, I held my latest constituent office hours in Holland. So far this year I hosted mobile office hours in Baldwin, Hart, Wyoming, and Zeeland. Additionally, I have held two telephone town halls and participated in a town hall forum in Ludington. Make sure to follow me on social media and check Huizenga.House.Gov for the next announcement. 

In May, I hosted the second annual Huizenga Youth Leadership Summit at Grand Valley State University in Allendale. Nearly 200 high school juniors from 33 schools across West Michigan heard from speakers on leadership, perseverance, and success. Thank you to the students and teachers for participating! I would especially like to thank Muskegon Community College President Dale Nesbary, Metal Flow Corporation Chairwoman Leslie Brown, and Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore CPO Dakota Crow for helping to teach West Michigan’s future leaders about overcoming adversity, leadership, and opportunity!

It was great to meet with West Michigan students and their families in Grand Haven who are interested in attending one of our nation’s Service Academies. West Michigan is known for having highly talented and motivated leaders!

Congressional Art Competition

Congratulations to Megan Johnson from West Ottawa on winning the 2019 Congressional Art Competition. "The Hand is Home" not only showcases Megan's talents, but highlights the importance of the Great Lakes while serving as a wonderful reminder of home for Michiganders visiting or living in our nation’s capital.

There were so many good entries this year that really demonstrated both skill and creativity. To view the top 12 finalists from this year's competition click here. You can learn more about the Congressional Art Competition here

As American as Apple Pie and the 4th of July

Last week, I joined my colleagues for the Congressional Baseball Game. This event which first started in 1909. While I had a blast sporting my Grand Valley jersey in practice the best part was seeing Republicans and Democrats joining together to raise $1.3 million in support of the Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, and the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

Whether you plan on being on the water, watching a parade, gathering around the bbq, or enjoying fireworks, I hope you as well as your friends, family, and loved ones have a safe and happy 4th of July!

The Michigan Minute

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