Congressman Hunter's November Newsletter
Together, with President Trump, I have worked to bring much needed change to a system that has been failing our citizens for too long. Over the last two years, Congress and the President have worked together to implement an agenda that puts the American people first, a distinct contrast to the big government policies of the previous administration. We’ve achieved many of our shared goals, including providing our service members with the largest wage increase in nearly a decade, advanced an agenda centered on strengthening our security and putting our nation back on a path toward prosperity. There is still more work to do, but great progress has been made.
Among my top priorities is promoting job creation and economic growth so all Americans can prosper. That is why I was proud to support comprehensive tax reform and actions to reduce burdensome regulations. Combined with the hard work of the American people, these policies unleashed economic growth and put more money back in the pockets of taxpayers like you - who can better decide how to spend it. As a result, 4.6 million jobs have been created, the number of Americans filing for unemployment has fallen to a 49-year low, the U.S. economy is the world’s most competitive economy for the first time in a decade, wages and benefits are up, and over $300 billion came back into the United States from overseas. Families in our district have experienced those results, with Census data showing that the median income for households in our district has risen by nearly $5500.
Border Security is National Security
One of my consistent positions, that border security is national security, has been echoed by President Trump in his actions in response to the migrant caravans that are traveling through Mexico. There are now three distinct groups of people, numbering in the thousands, that have been making the journey. They have received significant media coverage and in some cases material support from U.S. and international immigrant rights groups that have even filed suit on behalf of some of the migrants to challenge the President’s asylum policy. Border Patrol agents are our first line of defense in protecting the border and currently their numbers are down by 1,500 agents. That is why I support the President sending more troops to the border to provide infrastructure and surveillance support to the Border Patrol to allow them to protect areas that are more vulnerable and conduct apprehensions of individuals who intentionally cross the border illegally. I’ve also cosponsored the Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act of 2018, which would fund construction of the southern border wall and ensure compliance with current Federal immigration law. I supported the legislation because it clearly takes action against sanctuary cities, goes after criminal illegal aliens and gang members, and builds the wall!
Drones have become a big problem for our area, directly affecting Border Patrol Agents. It is for this reason, I authored a provision that was included in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work with the Department of Defense (DoD) to streamline the deployment of counter unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). In light of this issue, I sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urging them to leverage the DoD counter UAS systems to address threats here at home.
Save Our Seas Act of 2018
As your Congressman, I work across the aisle, and with members of my own party, to find common ground and bipartisan solutions. With that said, President Donald J. Trump recently signed the Save Our Seas Act into law. The bill includes my bi-partisan legislation the Maritime Safety Act of 2018 which improves the safety of our mariners in response to the tragic loss of the American cargo ship SS El Faro and its 33 crewmembers during in 2015. The required safety improvements include better safety equipment and timely weather forecast charts, and that voyage data recorders float free after an accident. And I’m confident that the new measures in place will improve the safety of our merchant mariners and U.S.-flagged ships they sail.
Finally, I want to remind Social Security recipients that the monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase 2.8 percent in 2019. The 2.8 percent cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to Social Security beneficiaries in January 2019 and increased payments to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2018. For more information about how the COLA is calculated please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola. Information about Medicare changes for 2019 will be available at www.medicare.gov.
As we approach the end of the year, my team remains dedicated to delivering high-quality constituent services--working to help residents of the 50th Congressional District. In the 115th Congress alone, my Washington, D.C. office led 777 tours of the U.S. Capitol and fulfilled 161 flag requests that had been flown over the Capitol to honor a person, organization or event. If you would like to order a U.S. flag from our office, please visit my website.
If you’re planning a trip to our Nation’s capital this holiday season, or anytime in the future, my Washington, D.C. office can help in scheduling Congressional Tours at some of the city’s most beloved historical sites. I recommend that you submit your tour request 3-6 months in advance of your visit. While you are in Washington D.C., I encourage you and your family to stop by my office. If you have any questions, please contact my staff at (202) 225-5672. They will be happy to help you with any further requests you may have.
Aside from meeting with constituents, my El Cajon Office has caseworkers that can help you navigate the bureaucracy of the federal government. So far, my team has helped constituents obtain millions of dollars in benefits from the Social Security Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). My team has also issued 658 Certificates of Special Congressional Recognition; completed thousands of requests for assistance with federal agencies; and helped hundreds of Veterans with benefits at the VA. If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with any federal agency, please contact my district office at 619-448-5201 and ask to speak with a caseworker for assistance.
Are you a college student interested in getting an internship in my office? Interns play an important role in constituent service, research projects, and more. To apply for full or part-time internships at my El Cajon and DC offices, please visit my website: https://hunter.house.gov.
Hearing from You
As always, I hope to hear from you throughout the course of the year as Congress does its legislative work, in addition to providing effective oversight. Please contact my office with any questions, comments, or concerns.