United States congressman Kevin Brady made two stops in Navasota to visit with residents on important issues that are currently facing the U.S. and affect Texas residents.
Brady spoke during a Farm Bureau luncheon at Cow Talk Steakhouse and later in the day at CHI St. Joseph Grimes Hospital.
Several farmers and ranchers listened closely to Brady’s main topic of discussion during the luncheon. Brady spoke on the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement is a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
USMCA is promoted as a mutually beneficial win for North American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses. When finalized and implemented the agreement aims to create a more balanced reciprocal trade that supports high-paying jobs for Americans and grows the North American economy.
“This has to happen for agriculture in America and Texas,” explained Brady. “The majority of our trade is with Mexico and Canada.”
USMCA is said to benefit American farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses by modernizing and strengthening food and agricultural trade in North America. “Some countries attempt to use food safety regulations as a means to block us from selling, but USMCA requires Canada and Mexico to use science-based food safety regulations,” explained Brady.
Brady stated Mexico and Canada have signed the USMCA agreement and currently the U.S. is halting the process. “Every day we go without signing the agreement and moving forward is detrimental to not only the U.S . but to Texas,” said Brady. He said countries like China are capitalizing and moving their products to Mexico and Canada.
Brady said that President Donald Trump refuses to push forward with the agreement until it is signed off by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “This is an agreement that is beneficial to Republicans and Democrats,” stated Brady. “The new agreement addresses concerns that Democrats had with NAFTA.” Brady said Democrats haven’t opposed USMCA and that Democratic congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (Texas 29th Congressional District) has expressed that she needs the agreement to pass.
Local farmers and ranchers also expressed concerns about Texas Central Railway using imminent domain to obtain land and build a high-speed train route. Brady assured them that Texas Central doesn’t have imminent domain.
“They (Texas Central) don’t have the right to be on your property,” explained Grimes County Judge Joe Fauth III. “Sheriff Sowell is working with the Sheriff’s coalition and if someone is unwelcomed on your property you may contact the sheriff’s office.”
Brady said he isn’t opposed to a high-speed rail, but he is opposed to taking property from property owners to build the train. “There is already a corridor established which is I-45 that Texas Central can use to build if they choose,” said Brady.
Another key topic Brady addressed at both meetings is health care. “Medicare for all is not the solution,” stated Brady. “Decisions on health care treatment should be decided on by the patient and the physician and not by those in Washington.”
Brady agreed with concerns from the public about the rising costs of medications. “There is definitely a flaw in the system that needs to be addressed.” He said that he would like to see a more transparent method where drug manufacturers must show reasons for sudden spikes in pricing. “There are people getting medication from Mexico and Canada because of cheaper pricing but we just want to ensure they aren’t buying fake medicines,” said Brady.
“There are many great methods of health care already implemented and we don’t want to force anyone into standardized health care and have the good health care methods dissolved,” said Brady. Although Brady agrees health care needs to be more affordable as well as medications, he reiterated standardized health care isn’t the answer.
Another form of health care Brady addressed as a crucial need is treating mental illness. With the recent mass shootings Brady said diagnosing and treating mental illness is a necessity. Brady explained there isn’t a bumper sticker solution to gun control and preventing shootings but there are many issues that must be investigated and addressed, and he believes that better treating mental illness plays a huge role into helping resolve the issue.
Brady even took the time to answer a tough question from a young girl. When asked had he ever been to Las Vegas Brady responded, “I’ve actually been there twice, once was for a friend’s wedding and the other time was with my mom and brothers.” He went on to tell the young girl, “My brothers and I told our mom, who raised us after my father died that we would take her anywhere she wanted to go. She wanted to go to Vegas, not because she likes to gamble but it held special memories between her and our dad. We visited a lot of the places and heard stories of the memories.” Brady said that was the final trip with his mom before she died so Vegas will always be a fond memory of his.