From the Olson Flight Deck

Rep. Pete Olson

"While there are a few diagnosed cases in the Houston region, federal, state and local health officials are working hard to contain and protect our communities from the coronavirus."

Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, DC -- Thank you for taking a moment to learn about some of my recent efforts on behalf of TX-22 in Washington and here at home in recent weeks.

While there are a few diagnosed cases in the Houston region, federal, state and local health officials are working hard to contain and protect our communities from the coronavirus. My colleagues in Congress and I have worked in a bipartisan fashion to provide more than $8 billion in federal resources to fight, prevent and treat coronavirus in the United States. This bill was signed into law by President Trump last week. You can read my full statement on the bill here.

While doctors, researchers and healthcare workers in America and around the world burn the midnight oil to develop a vaccine, we each plan an important role in limiting the spread of the virus. Wash hands, avoid touching our face, staying home when sick and covering our mouth when we sneeze or cough are tried-and-true ways of preventing the spread of illness. Click here for the latest information on coronavirus. If you feel you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms (fever, cough and shortness of breath) please contact your local health department:

Harris County
(713)-439-6000
http://publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/Resources/2019-Novel-Coronavirus

Fort Bend County
(281) 342-6414
https://www.fbchealth.org/ncov/

Brazoria County
(800) 511-1632
https://www.brazoriacountytx.gov/departments/health-department

Texas Department of State Health Services
(877) 570-9779
https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/

CDC
(800) 232-4636
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Continued Rebuilding After Hurricane Harvey 
As we continued the Harvey recovery process, I am still impressed with the strength of our community. Mosaic in Action and AmeriCorps are doing incredible work helping those who lost their homes to Harvey rebuild. It was an honor to join volunteers and staff to see firsthand how this public-private partnership is rebuilding peoples’ homes and lives.

Recently, the House voted on the Democrats’ so-called “War Powers Resolution.”  This measure was designed to tie the hands of our commander in chief when responding to threats by Iran. This nonbinding resolution served as a dangerous, partisan political attempt to weaken the constitutional authority of the president when defending our nation from impending foreign threats. 

Political opposition resolutions like these send a message to the world that American politicians are willing to tie the hands of our president when Iran and its terrorist proxies have engaged in years of provocations in the Middle East. That’s why I opposed this measure.

Our Constitution provides Congress with the sole, solemn authority to declare war. However, it does not require the president to ask for permission when defending Americans and our troops in harm’s way. You can read my full statement here.

Modernizing the Endangered Species Act 
Protecting endangered species can and should be done in a practical way so future generations can enjoy our wildlife. But the current system serves is impractical and serves the interests of trial lawyers rather than endangered species.

That’s why I recently reintroduced H.R. 5585, the Listing Reform Act, which will modernize the ESA by giving the federal government needed flexibility to prioritize the most endangered species first with a sensible approach to the process that remakes the ESA in the model of emergency rooms, where the species that is most in danger of extinction gets priority on being added to the list. I urge my colleagues to support this common-sense reform.

Empowering FERC and Cutting Red Tape
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) plays a critical role in American energy production by reviewing and approving needed energy projects. Sadly, this critical function has been hamstrung by staff shortages because the federal government cannot compete with private sector salaries.

 That’s why Rep. Michael Doyle and I introduced H.R. 1426, the Timely Review of Infrastructure Act, which would allow FERC to offer competitive salaries for positions that are a critical need so that the agency can ensure that projects are reviewed in a timely manner eliminating costly hurdles to American energy and economic growth. I’m pleased to report that H.R. 1426 passed out of the Energy subcommittee with unanimous support. The next step is full committee action and then a vote on the House floor.
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