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Captain Clay Higgins is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing South Louisiana.
Raised on a horse ranch, Clay Higgins’ South Louisiana roots run deep. After graduating from high school, he attended LSU and then went on to serve in the United States Army/Louisiana National Guard as a Military Police Officer, and he attained the rank of E-6, Staff Sergeant.
Higgins had many successful years in business but returned to uniform service as a street cop in 2004. He worked patrol, primarily night shift, and he was a well-known SWAT operator. Prior to joining Congress in 2017, Higgins is best known for his Crime Stoppers videos for the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office. The program was one of the most successful in the history of law enforcement. Most of the featured crimes were solved and what was most significant was that many of the suspects responded to “Uncle Clay’s” message of redemption and turned themselves in. Captain Higgins continues to actively serve the Thin Blue Line retaining a valid Law Enforcement commission and his Louisiana State POST Certification.
As a veteran and highly decorated law enforcement officer, Congressman Higgins continues to protect and serve in the nation’s capital. He is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Oversight & Reform Committee.
A committed Constitutionalist, Congressman Higgins believes in restoring the federal government envisioned by our Founding Fathers. Higgins believes in smaller government, less bureaucracy, free markets, a strong national defense and securing America’s sovereign borders. From Morgan City to the Texas line, Higgins has sworn a sacred oath to protect and serve the people of South Louisiana.
Agriculture is the backbone of Louisiana’s economy. Having been raised on a ranch, I know that for those who work in it every day, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries are more than a business. As Congress moves forward, I will work tirelessly behalf of our farmers and producers to provide Louisiana’s agricultural industry critically needed financial, trade, and labor support.
Louisiana’s agriculture commodities contribute significantly to our state’s economy. With difficult weather conditions, floods, and low commodity prices, it is more important than ever to ensure that Louisiana’s needs are properly reflected in the Farm Bill.
As Congress considers much-needed changes to our immigration policy, it is important that we support H-2A and H-2B visas, while instituting a returning worker exemption for the H-2B unskilled worker visa program. A returning worker exemption will align H-2B visas with H-2A visas, improving the likelihood that our sugar mills, seafood processing plants, landscaping, and tourism industries will have the labor they need.
Additionally, it is imperative that the new administration review burdensome and unnecessary regulations regarding herbicide, pesticide, and fungicide use to provide our farmers as many tools available as possible.
Furthermore, although the U.S. House of Representatives has no legislative oversight of international trade negotiations, I understand the strong need for ensuring international trade agreements provide an even playing field for American exports, and I strongly support efforts to strengthen fair trading relationships with foreign countries.
Energy And The Environment
Even with the fluctuations in oil prices, Louisiana’s fossil fuels industry remains a bright spot and major contributor to our state and national economy. Meanwhile, American innovation is driving emissions reduction worldwide.
Fossil fuels play a major role in the daily lives of every American. Whether it is meeting the energy needs of families and businesses, or being used in the creation of plastics and other common materials, fossil fuels are the lifeblood of our modern society.
However, the new administration is reversing progress achieved under President Trump and bringing about a resurgence of Obama-era policies. These actions will have the same outcome now as they did then, the destruction of American jobs, higher energy costs, and undermining global security interests. The federal government is being weaponized against America’s energy industry.
It is important that a balanced approach is taken that results in real economic benefits but also considers environmental impacts. No Republican or Democrat wants dirty air or water. This is especially important in a state like ours, where enjoyment of the outdoors is engraved into our culture and heritage. While empowering the industry is a top priority, we must ensure proper conservation and mitigation programs are in place to maintain our sensitive ecosystem and protect our valuable natural resources. We should support this balanced approach with policies that encourage growth, create new jobs, and bolster America’s energy security.
The people of Louisiana deserve a health care system that works for them, and I am committed to expanding access to affordable, patient-centered coverage that allows all Americans to have the freedom and flexibility to choose health care that fits their unique needs.
America’s health care system is broken. For too long, government interference has stifled innovation, restricted access to new treatments, and limited the free market. Overregulation has created an expensive and inflexible system that focuses more on bureaucracy and payment-processing than patients and doctors.
Americans deserve a health care system that works for them. We must give choice back to the American people, and allow them the freedom and flexibility to choose healthcare that fits their unique needs. As Congress works to expand affordable, patient-centered health insurance choices for all Americans, it is imperative that we also ensure access to coverage, regardless of age, income, pre-existing conditions, or circumstances, and encourage marketplace competition and the development of life-saving drugs, devices, and therapies.
Please know that I will support legislation that encourages marketplace competition so that every Louisianan has access to affordable health insurance options. It is also critical that we reduce unnecessary federal regulations on the health industry to encourage the development of life-saving devices and therapies. Additionally, we must always uphold our commitment to aging Americans by protecting Medicare.
Prioritizing Hurricane Recovery Efforts For Southwest Louisiana
Our recovery efforts are ongoing, and we will not allow Southwest Louisiana to be forgotten. We will continue working with all of our local, state, and federal partners to prioritize our region and demand a stronger response from FEMA officials. Below is a timeline of Congressman Higgins’ actions. This timeline does not include the hundreds of personal calls, emails, and texts with residents, nor will the official record ever possibly reflect the scores of days that Congressman Higgins has personally been on the ground in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes since Hurricane Laura. Recovery is personal to our Congressman.
The United States’ immigration system is broken. A new system must be put in place, to ensure the protection of our nation’s security and to promote the economic success of our citizens and those who have legally immigrated into our great nation.
America will always be a land of compassion, but not while sacrificing our safety. Every foreign visitor – man, woman, or child – who enters our country must be held accountable to our laws. The responsibilities and opportunities of America are great and will not be taken advantage of by those who come here illegally or with malicious intent. While we share a special relationship with our two neighboring countries, and we recognize we must love thy neighbor, our borders are a sacred gateway we must protect. Louisiana is full of riches and opportunities for those who work hard. In Congress, I will continue to ensure those seeking our treasures do so legally, responsibly, and with our values in their heart.
The economic success of Louisiana and our nation is reliant on a robust and safe system of infrastructure, which is why maintaining and upgrading our roads, bridges, rail and waterways is one of my highest priorities in Congress.
The United States infrastructure has received an overall rating of a D+ from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Nowhere are these deficiencies more prevalent than in Louisiana’s 3rd District.
Southwest Louisiana is expected to receive nearly $120 billion in private endeavor funding for new and expanded industrial operations. This is the largest investment surge of its kind in the United States and the world. However, these critical investments will be jeopardized without significant federal and state support.
In my district, the best example of our infrastructure needs is the dredging of the Calcasieu Channel (CC). The Lake Charles Port is completely reliant on the CC for access to the Gulf, and many new projects and endeavors are reliant on the Port to be financially successful. For years, the Army Corps of Engineers has failed to properly dredge the channel to the required dimensions of 400 feet wide and 40 feet deep. Annual maintenance of the CC is estimated to cost $40 million, which is a modest investment of tax dollars considering the $400 million in tax revenue that the Port sends to D.C. each year.
In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that every dollar invested in infrastructure results in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth anywhere between $1 and $2.50. It is time to upgrade our state’s infrastructure and promote positive economic growth that with benefit businesses, communities, and families.
Jobs and The Economy
The COVID-19 pandemic and oppressive economic lockdowns have greatly injured America. We must rebuild our economy and get Americans back to work.
While it is not the role of government to create jobs, Congress must ensure that our economic policies empower private industry growth. That includes eliminating burdensome regulations, maintaining competitive tax rates, and prioritizing workforce development efforts.
Improving our economy is not only reliant upon a strong business-focused regulatory system, but also on the quality of education that is available to our children and those seeking to further their careers. It is important that we have a renewed focus on providing students the skills they need to operate in the modern economy. While funding for higher education plays a role, we must also ensure that vocational programs and technical schools are promoted.
Law And Crime
As a law enforcement officer for more than a decade, I committed myself to fairly and compassionately enforcing the laws enacted by our elected officials. In Congress, I will use that experience to enact laws that bring much-needed change to our criminal justice and penitentiary systems, which often fail to help those who most need our support.
The United States ranks first among all nations with the largest percentage of citizens incarcerated, and Louisiana consistently has the highest crime rates in the United States, as well as one of the highest rates of recidivism.
For too long our judicial system has punished the less fortunate for crimes of survival. The penitentiary system was never designed to be a punishment – it was instead intended to be a means of rehabilitation, providing a penitent person the means to become a productive member of society.
I will continue to strongly advocate for the much-needed reform of America’s prisons.
Additionally, I am committed to promoting programs that build communities’ trust in local law enforcement. Attacks on police have sharply increased in recent years, and in 2016 Louisiana ranked third in police fatalities nationwide.
To keep our communities safe, this matter must be addressed from all sides, by patriot Americans of every color and creed. In the U.S. House of Representatives, I will be a loud voice for my brothers of the thin blue line and their families, who sacrifice so much to protect and serve.
I believe strongly that we should do all we can as a society to protect the sanctity of life, which unquestionably begins at conception.
As a Christian and father of four, I know that there is no gift more precious than a child’s life. That is why I am an outspoken advocate for protecting the rights of the unborn in Louisiana and across the nation.
No hardworking American should ever worry that their tax dollars may be used to fund organizations that rob us of God’s greatest gift.
As your Representative in Congress, I will defend the strongly held moral beliefs of my constituents. Life is not a policy issue; life is a fundamental and unalienable right. Louisiana has been a champion of life for decades, and I will continue to be an ally in that fight.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, my voting record clearly reflects my lifelong pro-life conviction. During my service in Congress, I have cosponsored and voted for legislation to prohibit federal funding for abortions, defund Planned Parenthood, provide medical care to born-alive abortion survivors, and restrict late-term abortions.
Seafood is not only a delicacy Louisiana is known for, but also a significant economic driver for the state and a way of life for thousands of Louisianans that must be protected.
Louisiana is rich in history and tradition, and made up of working class people that truly embody that heritage and culture. Nowhere is this more prominent than in Louisiana’s seafood industry. When people think of Louisiana, they think of great music, great people, and great seafood.
That is why we must ensure this critical industry is positioned to endure and thrive. Market sensitivity and environmental and trade policies greatly affect seafood jobs. Although the free market allows for foreign competition, seafood jobs in Louisiana are jeopardized by foreign competitors that play by different rules.
Illegal seafood dumping is a serious issue in every Gulf Coast state. Seafood is one of the most sensitive food imports to trade and safety violations. Illegally subsidized imports can displace our domestic catch and hurt Louisiana fishermen with low prices. Fishermen deserve a fair playing field and ensuring that imports comply with the same safety standards as our domestic industry must be a priority.
Further, it is imperative that we make sure our producers and processors have access to a ready and willing workforce. That is why I am supportive of improving the H-2B Temporary Seasonal Worker Program. This program is vital to the success of Louisiana’s seafood industry, and in its current form is failing to provide the necessary workers needed for our industry to grow.
Finally, we must also ensure that any environmental policy issued by the federal government does not overly and unnecessarily harm our economy. All too often Washington bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgate ideologically-based regulations that are inconsiderate of real-world ramifications on important industries like seafood producers and processors.
In Louisiana – the Sportsman’s Paradise – we share a deep respect and appreciation for the abundant natural resources in our state. Outdoor recreational activities, including hunting, fishing, and camping, are not just favorite past times of Louisiana residents, they are also economic drivers for the state bringing hundreds of thousands of out of state visitors each year.
Enjoyment of the outdoors is deeply rooted in Louisiana’s history and culture, and it should come as no surprise that hunters and anglers from around the nation travel to Louisiana every year to access to some of our most treasured natural resources. There are an estimated 900,000 hunters and recreational anglers in the state of Louisiana who contribute over $1.67 billion to our economy. Besides being a favorite past time of many people in Louisiana, the Sportsman’s industry is a major economic driver for the state, supporting almost 24,000 jobs and providing over $165 million annually in local and state taxes.
We worked closely with President Trump to pass historic tax cuts and simplify the tax code for individuals and businesses. Those efforts generated new jobs, economic growth, and opportunities for all Americans.
During the 115th Congress, I voted for and helped pass generational tax reform through the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. The legislation greatly simplified the tax code and lowered rates across the board. Those changes helped drive economic growth and increase household income for American families. However, the incoming administration has threatened to raise taxes on individuals and businesses alike. Doing so would be detrimental to economic recovery efforts. As your Congressman, I will continue to support lower taxes and push back against any effort to raise taxes on hardworking American families.
Investments in water management and flood mitigation make our communities more resilient and produce long-term cost savings. My office will continue working with our local, state, and federal partners to prioritize investments and legislative solutions that improve flood control infrastructure in South Louisiana. Below is a timeline of actions that my office has taken on these issues.
As a veteran, I am committed to streamlining and modernizing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and will focus on improving the Veterans Health Administration to better serve our veterans and their families.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is plagued by reports of flawed governance, inadequate facilities, insufficient staffing, antiquated IT systems, falsified records, claims processing backlogs, and long wait-times.
The Veterans Health Administration’s focus on hospital-centered care does not reflect modern community-focused care. We no longer require rows of inpatient beds in massive hospitals – we require a flexible system that addresses individuals’ unique needs. The needs of our veterans are not being met and these inadequacies are unacceptable. Veterans and their families have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and we must uphold our promises to them. It is time we focus on supporting our veterans, rather than supporting a system that hasn’t kept up. We must address the priorities of today’s population by ensuring the money follows the veteran. I am committed to reviewing programs to see how our veterans can be better served.