Dear Neighbor,

This was a busy week in Congress, as we returned to Washington to vote on many pieces of important legislation.  Here are some highlights of the legislation we passed this week as well as information I hope you will find helpful.

This afternoon, I hosted a COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall with Dr. Umair Shah and Dr. Janeana White from Harris County Public Health and Dr. Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease epidemiologist at UTHealth School of Public Health.  I was glad to hear from so many of our neighbors and to address the many shared concerns on COVID-19 in our community.

The number of COVID-19 cases in our region has continued to grow, and all of our district is still at COVID-19 Threat Level 1.  Working together can we fight COVID-19, but it is up to all of us to protect ourselves and our community by wearing a mask, washing your hands, keeping physical distance, and staying home as much as you can.

If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or believe you have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, there are many stationary and mobile testing locations throughout Houston & Harris County.  Before heading to a testing site, you should complete the online self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms.  If you are exhibiting symptoms, you can make an appointment at a testing site that is convenient for you.  Find a full list of testing sites with the Harris County Public Health Department here.


This week, the House convened in Washington to vote on several important pieces of legislation.  The House passed the M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 with bipartisan support.  This legislation authorizes funding for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) operations, programs, and personnel.  I was proud that my bill to expand training for service members passed as a part of the NDAA.  The legislation also included:

  • a 3 percent pay raise for our troops;
  • a $1 billion Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fund for COVID-19 response; and
  • provisions to increase accountability on the use of federal agents against American communities.

The NDAA included an amendment to ensure federal law enforcement officers are clearly identifiable by name and agency on their uniform and an amendment that requires the President to provide transparency to Congress when a President deploys active duty military within the United States.  Additionally, I joined more than 100 of my colleagues calling for answers from the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security about the unidentified federal law enforcement personnel deployed in Portland—an issue many of you contacted me about in the last week.  You can read our letter here.

In addition, the House passed the Great American Outdoors Act, which will benefit the many national parks that so many of us have enjoyed for generations.  I was glad to cosponsor and vote for this bill, which now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.  We also passed the No Ban Act to end the discriminatory ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and the Access to Counsel Act, to ensure access to counsel at ports of entry for certain individuals.

Congress passed four appropriations bills to provide funding for fiscal year 2021 for State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction & Veterans Affairs.

On Wednesday, I joined my House colleagues in remembering and honoring our colleague John Lewis, speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives about his impact on our country. You can watch my full remarks here.

The deadline for my office’s Fall Internship Program is fast approaching. University students and recent graduates who are interested in gaining valuable insight about congressional work are welcome to apply by July 31. Our interns receive the opportunity to work closely with me and our district team to serve Texas’ Seventh Congressional District.  We may be working remotely, but we're still keeping our team busy.  If you or someone you know is interested in interning in our office this Fall, you can begin the application process here.

There is also still time to submit applications for military service academy nominations and to register for the Congressional App Challenge as well!

I am proud to represent you, and I am here to help you.  At this important and challenging time, I hope you will let me know how I can.  You can contact me and my team through my website, by email, or on the phone by calling (713) 353-8680 any time.

Best wishes, 

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1429 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2571
5599 San Felipe Road, Suite 950
Houston, TX 77056
Phone: (713) 353-8680