WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) released the following update on his work for Alabamians as he reaches the halfway mark of his first term.
“I’m proud of the wins our team achieved for Alabamians this year,” said Senator Tuberville. “We secured much-needed funds to bolster Alabama’s law enforcement entities and military installations, and solicited input from our state’s agriculture community which will be used to develop the upcoming Farm Bill. But our work is far from over. From fighting against government overreach and misuse of taxpayer dollars, to securing our southern border, I’ll continue to be a strong voice for Alabama values in D.C. We look forward to serving the people of our great state in the new year.”
STRENGHTHENING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY & DEFENSE
- Bolstering Alabama’s Defense Priorities: After participating in more than 30 hearings and hosting hundreds of meetings with government officials, industry leaders, think tanks, and key stakeholders, Senator Tuberville secured several key provisions for Alabama in this year’s defense bill, including:
- Temporarily blocking the move of SPACECOM Headquarters from Alabama to Colorado.
- Investing in Alabama’s military bases and defense industry. Through Coach’s efforts on the Senate Armed Services Committee, nearly $2 billion will impact Alabama entities both public and private.
- Encouraging the Pentagon to source more critical minerals for military component production from the U.S.—including Alabama;
- Extending opportunities for Employee-owned companies, like those in Alabama, to compete for more defense contracts;
- Requiring competition for suppliers of building materials, such as lumber, of which Alabama is a leading producer.
- Fighting Against Government Overreach: Senator Tuberville boldly stood up against President Biden and Defense Secretary Austin’s illegal and immoral policy of having taxpayers foot the bill for travel expenses and leave for servicemembers to get elective abortions.
- Supporting our Ally Israel: Senator Tuberville introduced legislation to provide $14.3 billion in aid to Israel. He also wrote an op-ed and sent a letter on the importance of separating Israel aid from Ukraine aid to ensure aid is swiftly sent to Israel.
PROTECTING OUR VETERANS
- Prioritizing Veterans: After learning that Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) resources were being used to facilitate medical care for illegal immigrants, rather than providing swift, quality health care for veterans, Senator Tuberville introduced the No VA Resources for Illegal Aliens Act. This bill would prohibit the VA from providing healthcare or engaging in claims processing for anyone unlawfully present in the United States.
- Expanding Healthcare Options: Senator Tuberville helped introduce the Veterans’ HEALTH Actto protect and expand access to care for veterans, safeguard veterans’ ability to choose their own providers, and require the VA to improve the quality of care at VA medical facilities. He also introduced the Veterans Health Care Freedom Act to give veterans more flexibility when making medical decisions and greater access to the free-market health care system to increase access to care and reduce wait times.
- Streamlining Job Opportunities: Senator Tuberville joined the Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act, which cuts red tape to allow more veterans to find a good-paying job quickly and help address the trucker shortage. This bill passed the Senate on November 6, 2023, and is now with the House of Representatives for consideration.
- Holding VA Employees Accountable: Senator Tuberville cosponsored theRestore VA Accountability Act of 2023, which provides VA hiring managers the authorities necessary to hold poor performing employees accountable.
SUPPORTING ALABAMA FARMERS, PRODUCERS, AND RURAL COMMUNITIES
- Listening to Needs of Alabama’s Agriculture Community: Senator Tuberville and members of his team continued hosting listening sessions and roundtables with members of Alabama’s farm communities to get their feedback leading up to next year’s Farm Bill reauthorization. Senator Tuberville has already introduced several pieces of legislation based on this feedback, including the Feral Swine Eradication Act to extend and make permanent a pilot program to safeguard public health, agriculture, and local ecosystems against the threat of feral swine. Additionally, Senator Tuberville helped reintroduce the Sunshine Protection Act to make Daylight Saving Time permanent after hearing about the problems caused by annual time changes from constituents.
- Expanding Rural Broadband: This year, Senator Tuberville was named as the top Republican on the U.S. Senate AG Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy. He led his first hearing as Ranking Member on ways to expand rural broadband access, keeping a promise to make rural broadband expansion one of his top priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill. Senator Tuberville also helped introduce legislation to prevent the taxation of broadband grants.
- Protecting America’s Farmland: Senator Tuberville reintroduced the Foreign Adversary Risk Management Act earlier this year to keep America’s agriculture industry and supply chains free from foreign influence. Additionally, he led the Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act which would prohibit the sale of U.S. agricultural land to any individual or entity tied to the governments of Iran, North Korea, China, or Russia. Critical portions of these bills, such as making the Secretary of Agriculture a member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and regulating the foreign purchase of US farm land, were included in the Senate passed defense bill.
- Cutting Red Tape: Senator Tuberville urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow recent federal court rulings allowing for the use of chlorpyrifos, a common insecticide used by Alabama cotton and soybean farmers. He also introduced the Black Vulture Relief Act to allow farmers and ranchers to protect their newborn livestock from black vultures without a depredation permit that is currently required by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Senator Tuberville also helped introduce the Protect Farmers from the SEC Actto exempt family farmers from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requirements to report all operational Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Additionally, he cosponsored and voted to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to rein in the Biden administration’s overreaching regulation of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS), which imposes significant land grabs and burdensome regulations on Alabama’s producers and landowners.
- Expanding Markets for Alabama Peanuts:Senator Tuberville introduced the Farmers’ Market Expansion Act, to make pecans and other tree nuts eligible for the USDA’s Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) and provide an additional market for our producers.
FIGHTING FOR BORDER SECURITY
- Supporting State and Local Law Enforcement: Senator Tuberville reintroduced the Empowering Law Enforcement Act to grant state and local law enforcement inherent immigration enforcement authority to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, or transfer an immigrant who has entered the United States illegally. Senator Tuberville also focused his congressionally-directed spending requests to better empower local law enforcement on the frontlines of the immigration crisis.
- Securing the Southern Border: Senator Tuberville introduced the Border Safety and Security Act to authorize and direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to close the border until federal law enforcement was in control of the border. He also introduced this bill as an amendment during a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee mark-up to address the opioid crisis.
- Closing Loopholes: Senator Tuberville cosponsored the Secure the Border Act of 2023 and Stopping Border Surges Act to address loopholes in our immigration system that encourage vulnerable immigrant populations to take dangerous, illegal paths of entry into the United States and leave our country less secure.
- Calling to Finish the Wall: Senator Tuberville called on the U.S. Department of Defense to halt its attempts to sell border wall construction materials, after it was revealed that the department was paying $47 million to store unused border wall materials. The Biden administration later announced it would resume construction for only 20 more miles of the wall, to which Senator Tuberville demanded complete construction of the southern border wall. Ultimately the 2023 defense bill, which Coach Tuberville supported, stopped Joe Biden’s plan to sell off wall materials.
- Underscoring Dangers of Fentanyl: Senator Tuberville hosted a virtual roundtable about the dangers of fentanyl with Alabama leaders during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week.
- Championing School Choice: Senator Tuberville introduced the Children Have Opportunities in Classrooms Everywhere (CHOICE) Act to allow low-income families with children in grades K-12 to use federal education funds for options that best fit their needs. He also introduced a resolution for “National School Choice Week” to raise awareness about the importance of school choice opportunities. Senator Tuberville additionally joined legislation to designate a “Religious Education Week” to celebrate religious education in the United States.
- Bringing down the cost of college: Senator Tubervillehelped introduce a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to overturn President Biden’s reckless income-driven repayment rule, after calls for the administration to rescind the proposal went unanswered. Sen. Tuberville also introduced the Graduate Opportunity and Affordable Loans (GOAL) Act to apply downward pressure on rising tuition prices at colleges and universities by imposing limits on federal graduate student loans.
KEEPING A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR STUDENT ATHLETES
- Preserving Title IX for Female Athletes: As a former coach and educator, Senator Tuberville is committed to preserving Title IX for female athletes. He introduced the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act to strip away funding from schools that allow biological males to participate in female sporting events. The U.S. House of Representatives passed this legislation, but Senate Democrats blocked it when Senator Tuberville brought it up for a vote on the Senate floor.
- Name, Image, and Likeness Ground Rules: Senator Tuberville introduced the bipartisan Protecting Athletes, Schools, and Sports (PASS) Act of 2023 with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to create a national standard for Name, Image, and Likeness. The bill was drafted after more than a year of meeting with athletes, college presidents, and stakeholders.
FOCUSING ON ALABAMIANS
- Securing Funds to Strengthen Alabama: Senator Tuberville secured 43 congressionally directed spending projects for Alabama totaling nearly $95 million across 26 of the state’s 67 counties in fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills, including:
- $39.7 million for infrastructure improvements at Alabama military bases, including $20 million for Fort Novosel and $19.7 million for Redstone Arsenal;
- $20.6 million to improve commercial navigation on Alabama’s river systems; and
- $11.9 million for Alabama law enforcement.
- Standing up for Alabama Businesses: Senator Tuberville urged President Biden and Mexican Ambassador to the United States Esteban Moctezuma to stand up for Birmingham-based Vulcan Materials in its ongoing dispute with the Mexican government.
- Protecting the Gulf’s Energy Sector: Senator Tuberville is fighting the Biden administration’s disastrous rule to establish a 28,000-square-mile Critical Habitat for the Rice’s whale within the Gulf of Mexico, despite a lack of evidence presenting the need for such a protected area and with significant stakeholder opposition. The Administration’s proposed restrictions would impose undue burdens and restrictions on all vessel traffic, especially in and out of the Port of Mobile, and greatly inhibit oil and gas production within the Gulf of Mexico.
- Remaining Responsive: Members of Senator Tuberville’s team helped expedite more than 1,400 constituent passports and secured more than $246 million in federal grants for constituents.
- Prioritizing Constituents: Members of Senator Tuberville’s state team led the first ever Service Academy Information Sessions tour in conjunction with the entire Alabama delegation, with stops in Northport, Huntsville, Mobile, Homewood, Troy, Montgomery, and Opelika. Additionally, Senator Tuberville’s team held satellite office hours in rural communities across Alabama to assist constituents who may not live near a permanent office location.
- Honoring Alabama’s Heroes: Senator Tuberville is leading the effort in the U.S. Senate to rename the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Guntersville in honor of Alabama native and Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Ola Lee Mize. Senator Tuberville also began an Alabama “Veteran of the Month” recognition series to honor Alabama veterans for their military service and contributions to our local communities.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.