Tuesday, April 13 marked the first 100 days in office for me and my team in Washington, DC and the Third Congressional District of Florida. A few months ago, I shared updates on our work, and I look forward to continuing this important practice to keep you up to date with everything on Capitol Hill and right here at home.
As the cooler winter months turned into a warm spring for us in Florida, the work in Washington began to heat up with votes and committee work. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, we tackled important issues such as pro-business solutions to environmental challenges, the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program which has helped feed millions of Americans during the pandemic and how to improve access to rural areas at high speed. broadband across the country.
High-speed Internet access remains my top priority this Congress and our team has made significant progress with Windstream and SpaceX, the two providers committed to providing high-speed service in our region. I am proud to organize monthly check-ins with representatives from each vendor to ensure we continue to move forward on this critical infrastructure.
As the only Florida Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, I have also traveled to meet with growers in our district and great state to understand their unique challenges and needs. Agriculture was Florida’s primary economic engine last year, and I’m committed to ensuring our producers benefit from a strong national supply chain.
On the homeland security front, I traveled to our southern border with my colleagues from the House Homeland Security Committee. This particular committee oversees and is responsible for border security, homeland cybersecurity, customs and border protection, TSA, FEMA and all points of entry. The most urgent crisis we must deal with is the southwest border crisis.
There, I witnessed some of the most heartbreaking situations you can imagine – overcrowded facilities for hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors, overworked and underworked customs and border protection officers. -funded who try to follow the wave of migrants, children victims of trafficking smuggled across the border by people who are not even their relatives.
President Joe Biden created this crisis by executive order and neither he nor Vice President Kamala Harris visited the border to see the crisis firsthand. I was disappointed to see the President gloss over this humanitarian, national security and public health crisis during his joint speech to Congress.
Until the Biden administration recognizes this problem, we will not be able to correct the devastating scenario that has led to an unprecedented surge in our country’s history. In the meantime, my colleagues and I are working to share the facts with the American people and bring bipartisan solutions to the negotiating table. It is time for this crisis to end.
In addition, I have continued to be a leading voice for the values and issues of concern to the residents of Florida’s Third. Since January, I have held over 100 meetings with businesses, farmers, first responders, frontline workers, and dozens more from across six counties in our district. I have cast over 100 votes and have co-sponsored over 40 bills that will directly benefit voters in North Central Florida.
I introduced the REINS Act, a bill to check the overbreadth of executive power in the rule-making process. I also presented the discharge petition for the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act with Rep. Ann Wagner and Whip Steve Scalise. The petition set a new US House record with more than 209 signatures won in the first week of introduction. I have more legislation on the way and look forward to sharing more details soon.
I have also stood up for our first responders and law enforcement officers. In March, I passionately defended our LEOs in the House during the debate for HR 1280. I have been in contact with all of our local police departments and sheriff’s offices on important issues of concern to them and I am proud to be their greatest advocate.
Back home to the district, our team worked hard to actively help voters in Alachua County and Gainesville navigate federal agencies and bureaucratic red tape. Our priority remains to provide rock solid component service to the district and I am proud to say that our team has been doing just that over the past four months.
In doing so, we returned over $ 618,000 in VA, IRS, and Social Security Administration benefits to families and individuals. We have successfully closed 309 constituent files, including the issuance of 11 emergency passports within a rapid turnaround time, and we are currently working on 380 additional files between our Orange Park and Gainesville offices.
I am extremely proud of our hard working District team and look forward to keeping the momentum strong by learning more about the issues our Veterans face by visiting more VA clinics and Veteran events across. the district this spring.
Finally, I had the honor of visiting the University of Florida last month to meet with President Kent Fuchs and the university leadership team and learn more about the work our hometown brings to our community. . We even stopped by The Swamp to meet with Coach Dan Mullen and the Gators on Pro Day 2021. Coach Mullen has promised me to see our Gators at the 2021 National Championship game in 2022, so like a lot of ‘between you, I’m excited for this next season and the return of students, alumni and fans to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
As the 117th Congress unfolds, I invite you to stay in touch with me and my team. While we may not always agree on policy issues, I will always be listening. You can reach me and my team by visiting us online at cammack.house.gov or by calling us at our Gainesville office (352-505-0838). It is a true honor for me to serve Florida’s Third Congressional District and I look forward to hearing from you in the weeks and months to come.
Congresswoman Kat Cammack proudly serves Florida’s 3rd Congressional District as the youngest Republican in the 117th Congress. She is a member of the House Agriculture Committee and is the Senior Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery. Kat is the proud wife of her husband Matt, a native of Gainesville, who serves with the Gainesville Fire Department as a firefighter / paramedic and SWAT medic in the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. They have proudly taken up residence in Gainesville since 2011.