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Rep. Flores says thank you to the Brazos Valley during his final days in office

Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 10:42 AM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - “I’ll be glad to see 2020 end, myself,” said Rep. Bill Flores (R-District 17) with a smile during an appearance on Brazos Valley This Morning on New Year’s Eve.

Flores echoes the thoughts of many of his constituents in the Brazos Valley. Yet Flores will leave behind perhaps the job of a lifetime in 2020: member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he has held for a decade.

In what will likely be one of his last votes in Congress, Flores supported the measure to increase the most recent stimulus payments to Americans to $2,000.

“I actually support the president’s request to do that, and I voted for the bill,” Flores said. “I was one of about half the Texas delegation that did vote for it.”

The measure passed in the House with bipartisan support, but Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the bill from the upper chamber.

Now, McConnell has proposed legislation that combines Pres. Trump’s request for a $2,000 payment with two of his other priorities: a full repeal of online liability protections—Section 230—and an investigation into alleged voter fraud.

“I understand what Mitch McConnell is trying to do in terms of trying to address Section 230 with respect to the large tech companies, but I do think it’s time to go ahead and do a clean $2,000 bill and put it on the floor,” said Flores.

“Now the problem they’ve got timing-wise is the Democrats are filibustering the [National Defense Authorization Act] right now,” Flores said. “As soon as they stop that, hopefully, Mitch will bring up the standalone $2,000 stimulus bill, and we’ll move forward.”

As the work of making laws continues for Flores and his colleagues, he is also looking back on his 10 years in office. Flores has been a vocal supporter of Dreamers, or the immigrants protected in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He says he wishes his terms could have led to more progress on immigration reform, but he hopes that future members of Congress will pick up the mantle.

“This is something that has to be done on a bipartisan basis,” said Flores. “I’m hopeful that we can start doing what we did the Congress before last, and that is have a discussion about how do you do border security, how do you deal with DACA, with the Dreamers, and then how do you deal with the folks who came illegally. I hope we can have that discussion and come to a bipartisan solution. Something has got to be settled. I think it’s a shame that Congress has failed to deal with this. Even President Trump leaned in on this and tried to get a solution, but Congress blocked him on it. I hope we’ll get it done.”

On the other hand, Flores mentioned a few items when asked what he is proudest of from his time in Washington, D.C. While he says there are a “couple of votes I’d like to have back,” there are many more measures he feels have done good.

“What we were able to do with support for higher education all across the district, when it comes to trying to give them funding and resources,” said Flores. “I’m also proud of the fact that we were able to lift the ban on the export of American oil so that we could do that overseas. That’s been huge for Texas. Those are the things I feel really good about. Now there’s a whole bunch of other things that we’ve done as well, but those are the things that I think have had a real impact locally.”

Rep. Bill Flores served Texas District 17 2011-2021.

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