cost of health care rise to unaffordable levels because of the Affordable Care Act. Simply put, Obamacare was anything but affordable. It added trillions of dollars to our national debt and drove our country closer to bankruptcy and insolvency, which is why I supported repealing some of its most unaffordable aspects. We need to make healthcare more accessible, affordable, and portable by allowing people to purchase their insurance across state lines, allowing small businesses to pool their resources to negotiate better rates as a group, while preserving access to insurance for people with pre-existing conditions and for adult children up to the age of 26. I: Why are schools closing in Texas and teachers are not seeing the pay increases they were promised? C: The education of our children, and the salaries of our teachers, are not decided at the federal level. While I will always be a strong advocate for our schools and teachers, these decisions need to be left to the state legislature, local school districts, and parents. I: Do you believe in the effects of climate change and if so what policies would you like to see to battle them? C: There is no question our climate is changing. I consider myself somewhat of an amateur scientist, and itâ€™s an honor for me to be the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees a number of our federal agencies relating to our climate like NOAA. Itâ€™s my job as a subcommittee chairman to follow the facts and follow science. What we need to do is make sure we have accurate data about our changing climate in order to draw accurate conclusions. With accurate and honest data, we as policymakers can make the best decisions for our constituents and our country. I: Are there any policies you would like to see to make our schools safer for our children? C: Our schools should be a safe haven for our children. Parents should have peace of mind that their kids are safe in school. This year, I voted for the STOP School Violence Act, which includes a new violence training prevention for students and school personnel, anonymous reporting systems, improved coordination with local law enforcement and updated security technology. As chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department, I have also ensured that programs to protect the safety of our public schools are fully funded. I also worked with members from both parties on a bill to fix the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This will help keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. 18 | Intown | September - October 2018
I: Why are schools closing in Texas and teachers are not seeing the pay increases they were promised? F: Quality education is essential to our democracy. Good schools are the foundation for an informed community, better jobs, and a strong economy. School closures and teacher compensation are priority issues that the Texas Legislature has failed to address in a meaningful way. As a member of Congress, I will work to bring federal resources to Texas. I: Do you believe in the effects of climate change and if so what policies would you like to see to battle them? F: Climate change is a real and expanding threat to our economic and national security. It is impacting our weather patterns and making weather-related disasters like floods and hurricanes more frequent and more intense. An intelligent, inclusive approach to environmental issues, supported by government at all levels, the private sector, the not-for-profit sector and academia, is needed. We need effective enforcement of our existing environmental laws. We need to use tools the federal government already has to provide incentives for clean energy; to overhaul regulatory guidelines so they are responsive to the energy needs we have today and in the future; and to fund research in universities, at agencies, and elsewhere. I: Are there any policies you would like to see to make our schools safer for our children? F: Keeping our children and our communities safe must be our highest priority. One policy area where we have work to do is in implementing common-sense gun safety measures, like background checks, to reduce the threat of gun violence in our schools and across our communities.
Current events on Houston's events, places and people