In his first year as a U.S. Congressman representing District 27, Michael Cloud, (R-Victoria) has tackled hurricane recovery and infrastructure development in the region and taken on leadership roles in regard to border security.
Wednesday marked one year in office for Cloud, who was sworn in on July 10, 2018.
“I’m continually humbled by the trust the people of our district have shown in me, and I’m happy with what we’ve been able to accomplish this past year,” Cloud said this week.
“I went to Congress to ensure effective representation for our district and move the ball forward on issues of real importance, both to our nation and to our region, and from job creation to port expansion to protecting American values, we’ve seen some real progress on those fronts,” he added.
Early in Cloud’s tenure, he was invited to travel with President Donald Trump aboard Air Force One, where he made the case for funding a long-proposed expansion of the Port of Corpus Christi. Increasing the port’s capacity to export American energy to the world, he argued, would not only create jobs all across Texas but would improve America’s balance of trade and protect American allies from dependence on energy from unfriendly nations.
The next day, President Donald Trump called for boosting funding to the Port of Corpus Christi that resulted in a total of $72 million in federal funds for the port last year.
In regard to border issues, Cloud brought out-of-state representatives to see the situation firsthand and made the case for border security in national media and on the House floor. Cloud recently led an effort to research actions the administration could take immediately within the confines of current law, and sent a letter to the President urging action in these areas.
Hurricane Harvey recovery has been a top priority as well. Cloud has worked to help secure tens of millions of dollars in recovery funding for the region. He also assigned a staff member to work full time assisting communities and families in navigating the complex FEMA process. He has met with FEMA frequently in an effort to reform the process based on input from local officials and district residents.
Legislatively, Cloud has co-sponsored a number of bills, including bills pushing for term limits for members of Congress, protecting Second Amendment rights and rejecting anti-Semitism. Cloud also took the lead on eliminating a hidden abortion surcharge found – in violation of the law – in many Affordable Care Act health insurance plans, working with Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) to persuade 128 U.S. Senators and members of Congress to push the administration for the quick elimination of this surcharge.
Cloud introduced H.R. 638, or the Cost Estimates Improvement Act, to help address the ballooning national debt.
“Congress routinely ignores the true costs and overstates the benefits of new spending, so the Cost Estimates Improvement Act would improve the process for estimating the cost of new legislation forcing lawmakers to reckon with the actual cost of raising our national debt. The American people have to account for the cost of debt in their family budgets, and the Cost Estimates Improvement Act would hold Congress to the same standard,” he said.
Another concern for Cloud this past year was veterans care. Besides helping individual veterans with Veterans Affairs issues, Cloud introduced H.R. 3530, the Improving Confidence in Veterans’ Care Act to address problems uncovered in a recent report about the Veterans Health Administration hiring doctors with revoked or suspended licenses.
Cloud’s bill would require that only licensed doctors practice at VA facilities and that anyone making these hiring decisions receive training in how to determine the status of a doctor’s license.
Most weeks, Congressman Cloud splits time between Washington and Texas, flying up for votes and other congressional business and meeting with district residents and local officials while in Texas. Cloud and his staff have hosted more than 30 “mobile office hours” in communities around the district to assist and hear from residents.
“There’s no such thing as a typical day, and any given day can include not just voting, but also committee hearings and meeting with industry leaders, with experts in all kinds of fields. My favorite part of the job is meeting with folks back home and hearing ideas and concerns from our district,” Cloud said. “My home and my family are in Texas, and any day in Texas beats the best day in Washington, but serving my fellow Texans in Congress is a real honor and a chance to help move our nation in a positive direction.”