Op-Ed: American shared values and Congressman Roy

By Michelle LoweSolis

The preamble of the US Constitution is as fundamental to our nation as it is a succinct description of our shared values. These words have guided our country for over 225 years. As seen through his actions, these words apparently don’t guide Congressman Chip Roy, the representative for Texas’ 21st Congressional District.

You may recall learning the preamble in school.

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish the Constitution for the United States of America.

With regard to establishing justice, Congressman Roy voted against the Emmitt Till Anti-Lynching Bill.  In this hyper-partisan environment, the bill passed the House with a vote of 422-3. Congressman Roy was one of only three to vote against this bill.

He was the lone Congressman who refused to vote affirmatively to honor civil rights icon, John Lewis. Instead, he voted ‘present’. He also voted against reauthorizing the Family Violence Prevention Act which supports more than 1.3 million victims annually.

These bills honor or support those who have been disenfranchised, but Congressman Roy sided against ensuring justice for all.

With regard to providing for a common defense, Congressman Roy voted against the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that funds our military. Again, the vote was overwhelmingly bipartisan with 316 in favor.

He also refused to support the debt we owe our military veterans and voted against addressing healthcare for veterans that were exposed to toxic burn pits.  Despite his no vote, the bill passed the House.

With respect to promoting the general welfare, in the past year alone. A government shutdown impacts everyone, particularly during a pandemic – it would have significantly curtailed CDC activities, halted small business loans, shut down most medical research, stopped most food safety activities, halted ongoing FEMA recovery activities among many other impacts.

Texas is home to more than 300,000 military personnel and federal civil servants. In a shutdown, most of the federal workforce would have been furloughed.

Military personnel and essential federal employees, like air traffic controllers, would have worked without pay until Congress authorized back pay post-shutdown. And how did Congressman Roy support Texans during last year’s freeze? He put out an erroneous statement blaming renewable energy for the crisis.

Finally, securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.  Not only did Congressman Roy vote against protecting our democracy, but he voted to support Russia in its unprovoked war against Ukraine. Roy was one of only eight who voted against the bill removing most favored nation status from Russia.

He was one of only 17 who voted against suspending energy imports from Russia. Voting to keep Russian oil flowing also seems to be a vote against Texas, the energy capital of the U.S., which makes his vote all the more baffling.

But his votes are clear. The world is united in fighting Putin in an existential struggle for democracy. Congressman Roy voted for Putin.

There is a way to solve this.  If you find you don’t share the values of Congressman Roy, and instead believe in the values established in the preamble, then vote for change this November. I know I will.

Michelle LoweSolis was born and raised in central Texas, graduated Trinity University, and retired as a senior executive from the Department of Defense.

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