Houston is a hard-working city. A leader in invention. The energy capital of the world. Home to the world’s largest medical center, one of the world’s largest ports, and scientific, medical, and technological innovation. We work hard, and we work together.
Trade plays an essential role in Houston’s economy. As Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition Trade Task Force, I worked across the aisle to help pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in the House. Trade with Mexico and Canada accounts for billions of dollars and thousands of jobs across our city and our state. The USMCA modernizes the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), bringing it into the 21st century, and improving trade with two of Texas’ most important partners.
I have led efforts to urge the Biden administration to reach agreements with some of our closest allies—including the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Japan—to eliminate the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs.
Understanding the vital role of energy exports and the activities of the Port, I worked to secure authorization for the Houston Ship Channel Expansion Improvement Project—Port Houston’s project to widen and deepen the channel to accommodate modern vessels. Once the project was authorized, I advocated for funding and helped deliver $142.5 million for the project. The Port is an economic driver for our city and country, an important gateway to the world, and generates thousands of jobs.
As our city has grown, our economy has diversified—and new initiatives and partnerships make possible continued development. From commercializing research to incubating startups, the possibilities and the talent in our community are unmatched. In Congress, I am working to support vocational and retraining programs that help people connect their interests and skills with good, high-paying jobs. And I co-sponsored and voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act in Congress to help eliminate the gender wage gap.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I supported legislation in Washington to help our small businesses survive and recover, and worked closely with small business owners here in Houston to improve these programs, especially the Paycheck Protection Program. I was proud to work with local residents to introduce the LIFT UP Act to help businesses with disaster loans get equal relief. I fought to make sure energy jobs were included in the critical lending programs. And I supported the RESTAURANTS Act to help our local restaurants survive. Through it all, I have been in constant contact with the people who live and work here to understand and respond to the new challenges before us.
In Houston, we work together. And I have been proud to take that approach in Washington, earning the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Abraham Lincoln Leadership for America Award, which honors the top 20 members of the House of Representatives and top 10 Senators who “demonstrate the leadership needed to advance policies that support American business.”