Weekly Newsletter: February 8, 2024

Feb 08, 2023

Congressman Cloud at a House Republican Press Conference on the Border Crisis.

I remain focused on the need to secure our southern border NOW, amidst calls from Senate leaders and the Biden Administration to compromise on this goal. Last week, we again got to work and helped pass bills to allow expedited removal of illegal immigrants that:

Have committed social security fraud – Consequences for Social Security Fraud Act;
Have been convicted of a DUI – Protect Our Communities from DUIs Act;
Are affiliated with Hamas Terrorists – No Immigration for Hamas Terrorists Act; or
Who evade law enforcement using their vehicles – Agent Raul Gonzalez Officer Safety Act (this is perhaps most important of these bills—high speed chases are all too common in south Texas, severely endangering our communities).
Unfortunately, efforts to secure the border are being met with opposition at every turn. You may have seen the news about the Senate’s so-called “border security” package, which does little to actually secure the border and frankly should not even be called a “border security” bill at all. In fact, the bill sends three times more money to Ukraine ($60 billion) than it does to the southern border ($20 billion).

To the extent this is a border bill at all, it also falls woefully short of solving the problem. For starters, the proposal would maintain the status quo of illegal crossings until the daily average of crossings exceeds 5,000 in a weekly period, or if crossings exceed 8,500 in a single day. This effectively codifies allowing over 1.8 million illegal immigrants to cross the border per year. It also gives broad discretionary authority to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who is the one violating the law in the first place.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that the Senate bill is being negotiated under the false premise that President Biden needs more authority and funding to secure the border, which is simply not true. Remember, Joe Biden could reverse the actions he originally took to open the border, such as:

  • Ending the national emergency on the border;
  • Canceling border wall construction;
  • Nixing the Remain in Mexico policy for asylum seekers;
  • Hindering illegal immigrant removal by ICE;
  • Allowing Title 42 to expire; and
  • Using the DOJ to sue Texas for their attempts to stop the invasion (I’m fighting back against these efforts with the PATROL Act and the RAZOR Act)

President Biden has every tool he needs in the tool box to solve this problem already. When he says he needs “new authority” or has “done all he can do,” it is blatantly false. If he wanted to secure the border, he could do it today. This is not a matter of policy — it’s a matter of willingness.

For these reasons, among others, I am unequivocally opposed to the Senate bill. Fortunately, the bill failed in the Senate this week – and even if it should pass the Senate in the future, House leadership has already committed that this bill will not receive a vote in the House. This is good news, and I will hold them to this commitment.

In other border news, the House considered impeachment articles for Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

This was a welcome development. Secretary Mayorkas has been the chief architect of Joe Biden’s open border policies, abdicating his oath to the American people, and blatantly violating current U.S. law. That is why I have long supported impeaching him and voted in favor of the impeachment articles on the floor.

In the meantime, I know that many of you have reached out to my office expressing your extreme frustrations with our open border. Please rest assured that I hear you, I share your frustrations, and my number one priority in Congress is protecting our communities by securing our border. We will continue doing everything we can to that end.

Last week, I was honored to participate in the annual National Prayer Breakfast, where many gathered to worship our Lord and Savior and pray for our nation. As legislators, we seek to pass laws that uphold the rights of the people, but these rights were first given to us by God. He is our strength and our hope, and I pray every day that He will guide and guard us as we serve our country.

Prayer has always been a foundational part of our nation. At key times throughout our history, the people of our nation have turned to God in prayer and have repeatedly seen His grace meet us at that moment in time. Now, more than ever, we need to gather as a nation to pray as we navigate our way to a more prosperous future.

I hope you’ll join me in praying for our nation, and asking God that He would guide and direct our leaders according to His perfect purpose.

It’s always a joy for me to take time to travel across the district and meet with fellow Texans after long weeks in Washington. Here’s some of what I got up to:

I was invited to speak with some bright students at a homeschool co-op in Corpus Christi! As the husband of a schoolteacher and the father of three students, I am continually aware of the value of a good education, both for individuals and for our nation. Parents have every right to be directly involved in their children’s education — whether it be public, private, or home school.

Later, I was able to host a roundtable with farmers in Corpus Christi to discuss the Farm Bill and the needs of our local agriculture industry. It was an insightful discussion on agriculture policy, as well as the harms of the border crisis on our farming families. Our district has become a highway for cartels trafficking people and drugs, which has severely impacted ranchers and endangered their safety. Securing the border will benefit every aspect of our community.

I was invited to attend a Memorial Foundation Luncheon honoring the 100th birthday of the late Dr. Hector P. Garcia. A decorated World War II veteran, Dr. Garcia was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan for his service to his community. It was my pleasure to help celebrate his tremendous life and legacy.

I also got the opportunity to meet with many of you in Cuero and Goliad — hearing directly from y’all is the best way for me to stay informed on the issues affecting your day-to-day lives. A big thank you to those who came out! It’s truly an honor to represent the people of Texas’ 27th Congressional District.

We are currently accepting applications for our summer internship program! Whether you are looking for a district internship or one in D.C., if you have a passion for public service and would like to get involved in your community, please don’t hesitate to apply online HERE.

As tax season is upon us, I want to take a moment to pass on some crucial information in dealing with the IRS. Please keep in mind that if you are having difficulty with the IRS, you can contact my office at (361) 894-6446 for assistance.

Some quick tips to make tax preparation smoother as you file your 2023 tax returns:

  • Gather all necessary tax paperwork and records for accuracy to avoid missing a deduction or credit.
  • Remember to report all types of income on the tax return.
  • Filing electronically with direct deposit is the fastest way to receive a refund.
  • Free resources are available to help eligible taxpayers file online. Free help may also be available to qualified taxpayers.
  • Consider which filing option to use; each one has its own benefits.
  • Don’t wait on hold when calling the IRS. Use online resources at IRS.gov to get answers to tax questions, check a refund status or pay taxes.

More information can be found here: Things to Remember When Filing 2023 Tax Returns

Key Point – Take Care When Choosing a Tax Return Professional: The IRS recently reminded taxpayers that carefully choosing a tax professional to prepare a tax return is vital to ensuring that their personal and financial information is safe and secure and treated with care. Most tax return preparers provide honest, high-quality service. But some may cause harm through fraud, identity theft and other scams. The IRS has more information and ways to avoid this here: Take care when choosing a tax return professional

Taxpayer Assistance Centers

Remember that if you need assistance, you can also reach out to an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center, which may have extended weekly office hours during the filing season. To see if a nearby TAC is offering extended hours, visit Contact Your Local Office to access the IRS’s TAC Locater too. More information about extended hours can be found here: Additional Time at Taxpayer Assistance Centers

God Bless,

Michael Cloud
Member of Congress

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