KILLEEN — With the U.S. Congress in its scheduled August recess, U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, has been travelling around the 25th Congressional District in Texas giving legislative updates.
On Wednesday, Williams delivered an update at a luncheon sponsored by the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon took place at Warrior Hall on the campus of Texas A&M University-Central Texas.
Speaking to a crowd of about 90 people, Williams gave updates on several topics to include tax cuts, the border, mass shootings and debt.
Williams said that when he began his first term in Congress in 2013, tax rates were too high. In Wednesday’s talk, he said he was a big part of passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which President Trump signed in December of 2017. Since then, Williams said the country has seen a 4 percent growth in jobs, and there are currently more jobs than workers.
When Congress reconvenes Sept. 8, Williams said he will work to try to make the tax cuts permanent. The tax cuts passed in 2017 are set to expire in 2025, Williams said.
Williams touched on the situation at the Mexican border.
“The border is a mess,” Williams said. “It literally tears you up ... but also, this is a land of law, and we have to adhere to the law.”
What Williams has proposed is boots on the ground. Williams is a proponent of a physical barrier, but he is more a proponent of increased legal and law enforcement personnel at the border. He is in favor of 5,000 more border patrol agents and 300 more judges to handle the court cases.
“A lot of those that are saying it’s a made-up crisis are not going down there to see it,” Williams said during the talk.
In light of the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, Williams offered his proposal for how to stop the increase in mass shootings.
“We need to get back to what I call the family unit,” Williams said. “We’ve got to find a way to get these kids in the community again. We’ve got to tell them we love them. They’ve got to know that they’re worth something, not worthless.”
Attendee Tetyana Quiles, manager of event services at Texas A&M-Central Texas, appreciated his community comments.
“I think this is a beautiful message that the community should come together and support each other,” Quiles said. “I can feel that he (Williams) really cares about each individual.”
During the question-and-answer portion of his talk, Williams gave comments about the national debt.
“The biggest concern we have in America is this debt,” Williams said.
The debt currently sits at $23 trillion, but Williams said there is no appetite in Washington to cut spending.
“The cash flow in America will never keep up with the spending,” Williams said. “You can’t grow your way out of it if your income is less than your expenses.”
Williams ended the talk by encouraging constituents to reach out to him in Washington, D.C., Austin or Cleburne. He said there is not an issue he won’t take on.
After the talk, Keith Sledd, executive director of Heart of Texas Defense Alliance, said he feels Williams is doing what is best for the country.
“He wants to do well for all of us and what is right, not what he wants to do,” Sledd said.
Williams spoke at a news conference Tuesday in Copperas Cove about his proposed school security bill intended to make schools safer and provide grants for physical security improvements at schools.