Dear Neighbor, I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the holiday season with your family and friends.As we prepare to ring in 2017, with both a new Congress and a new President, I wanted to update you on some of my legislative highlights from the 114th Congress, and give you a preview of what is to come in the new year. It is no secret that passing laws in a divided government has been challenging. Partisan bickering has become the norm, but there are many good things happening in Washington that don’t always make the nightly news. I am particularly proud that this year I was named one of  34 lawmakers who had major bills signed into law in 2016.  Indeed, this year I had 6 bills signed into law. I am even more proud that the Poe bills all passed with overwhelming bipartisan support: 

H.R. 3766: Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act 

  • For over 50 years, the United States has been operating an outdated and wasteful foreign aid system, not knowing what results, if any, our aid is achieving.  This law will change this blind system by auditing our foreign aid program. The American people will soon have the ability to see where their money is sent and if it is making a difference or not. This will ensure that America is still able to assist where appropriate and where needed, while safeguarding taxpayer dollars. 

S. 2577: Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016 (JFA) 
  • As a former prosecutor and judge, I have personally worked with crime victims whose lives and family’s lives have been torn apart. This year the House took important steps to strengthen victims’ protections: increasing access to restitution, reauthorizing  programs used to notify victims that they have the right to be heard in court, with legal assistance; and further reducing the rape kit backlog by providing resources for forensic labs and improving access to post-conviction DNA testing to protect the innocent.

H.R. 5422: A bill to allow the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to continue funding the National Human Trafficking Hotline. 
  • I was proud to join Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) to ensure that the National Human Trafficking Hotline is funded through HHS’s annual grants. The hotline saves lives everyday by providing trafficking victims and survivors with instant and free access to critical support and emergency services. It also collects tips about potential trafficking situations and disseminates training and informational materials to help raise awareness in our communities. This hotline is an essential tool in the fight against human trafficking in the United States and this law funds it in the most efficient and effective way possible without using any new taxpayer money.

S. 178: The Justice for Victims’ of Trafficking Act 
  • My proudest legislative accomplishment this Congress was the passage of the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA), which I led in the House with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and which Sen. Cornyn championed in the Senate. Human trafficking is a criminal enterprise that exists in cities across the nation, especially in Houston. JVTA implements a robust and aggressive strategy to help combat human trafficking in the U.S and its already working: JVTA has helped law enforcement and prosecutors bring charges for 65 sex traffickers (buyers and sellers). In a time of seemingly endless partisan gridlock there is one thing we can all agree on: our children are not for sale. 

H.R. 3654: The Counter Terrorist Use of Social Media Act
  • The Counter Terrorist Use of Social Media Act requires the President to submit a strategy to counter terrorist use of social media. Today, terrorists use social media to recruit, fundraise, spread propaganda and teach future fighters. Online we’ve seen recipes for bombs, instruction manuals for attacks, a Q&A forum for terrorists and even a livestream of an attack. Potential terrorists don’t have to go to Syria or Iraq to train anymore. All they have to do is log-on. We must first have a strategy before we can effectively defeat this enemy on every battlefield, including the cyber battlefield.
H.R. 237: The FTO Passport Revocation Act
  • The FTO Passport Revocation Act authorizes the Secretary of State to revoke the passport of any individual whom the Secretary has determined has aided, assisted, abetted, or otherwise helped a foreign terrorist organization. Daily, deadly attacks around the world remind us that radical Islamic terrorists are spreading their murderous rampage worldwide. The threat to America from these groups has never been greater. But some of our own citizens have travelled to the terrorist hotbeds in Syria and beyond to fight for the other side. These Benedict Arnold traitors who have turned against America and joined the ranks of foreign radical terrorist armies should lose all rights afforded to our citizens.
As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, I am particularly concerned with our porous border, our failure to repatriate convicted criminal aliens, and the need to battle extremists at home, abroad, and online. And, as a long time border security advocate and representative of a border state, I am ready to finally secure the southern border.  On January 3, the 115th Congress officially begins. I plan to introduce a number of bills in January, starting with two legislative packages on Border Security/Immigration and Anti-Terrorism/National Security.With conservative control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, I am confident that things will be different in Washington, D.C. It is time to roll up our sleeves and get things done. As the President-elect has said, it is time to put America First. I can’t wait to get moving. And that's just the way it is. 
A few moments from the 114th Congress
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!Click here to share your thoughts with me.
GOD and TEXAS, TED POEMember of CongressTEXAS     

Click here for a detailed summary of legislative accomplishments.