A conversation with Representative Van Duyne (R-TX)
From the halls of the U.S. Capitol to state and local municipalities, there are countless franchise-friendly representatives at all levels of American government. In this issue, we feature a conversation with Representative Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), an industry advocate working to ensure a brighter future for the country’s small-business owners.
WHAT COMMITTEES DO YOU EXPECT TO SERVE ON IN THE UPCOMING SESSION OF CONGRESS?
I’m honored to have been selected by my colleagues to serve on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. I look forward to joining Chairman Smith in our shared mission to take America in a new, more empowering direction for our people, our businesses, and a stronger, more economically secure future with lower inflation and greater earning potential for our families. We have an opportunity, and a profound responsibility, to offer solutions that will strengthen the ability of every American worker to thrive in good-paying jobs that help them meet the needs of their families and save for their futures, while enabling American businesses to compete in a global economy and encouraging growth of critical industries here at home and with our allies.
With this new committee assignment, North Texans and businesses, including hotel owners, can be assured we’ll play a pivotal role in how our nation’s tax and financial policies are directed toward economic expansion, generational wealth accumulation, and incentivizing critical business development in our country.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES WHEN THE NEXT SESSION BEGINS?
When I speak to the hotel owners and operators across Texas’ 24th Congressional District, we agree we must work to refocus the government so it’s working for the people and not against them, and getting out of the way where necessary.
We’re already on our way to getting our nation and economy back on track. We vow to project taxpayers and solve our nation’s debt crisis. We set the stage for our priorities by keeping our promise through our first piece of legislation passed this Congress, H.R.23, the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act.
I’m focused on rebuilding our economy, starting with our commitment to add 10 million good-paying jobs with investments in distressed communities and support for America’s small businesses. I’m committed to enabling our businesses, including the hospitality industry, to thrive without letting the federal government get in the way. American taxpayers and our small businesses have been burdened by stifling regulations, increased taxes, and skyrocketing inflation. The challenges facing our hotel owners and operators are even greater coming back from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s time to get our nation, workforce, and economy back on track, and my colleagues and I are looking forward to doing just that.
In the majority, I’m committed to supporting pro-growth, pro-business policies that empower small business owners and the hospitality industry.
WHAT LED YOU TO RUN FOR CONGRESS?
My run for public office began with my daughter, Katie, who was born with a serious eye condition, then denied coverage for surgery. I fought the insurance company and won, but no mother or child should go through that. Katie needed nine eye surgeries in her first year, and I was committed to making sure my daughter received the health coverage and care she needed. Because of her eye condition, Katie was incredibly sensitive to sunlight, so she was unable to enjoy outdoor activities like playing in our neighborhood park, which had no shade. I rallied my neighborhood and became Park Committee chair, to solve this issue and allow my daughter and other children the ability to play outside.
After serving my community in this capacity, I was elected to city council and eventually as Mayor of Irving. I decided to run for Congress to ensure the voices of TX-24 are represented well and our communities are put first – not Washington interests or burdensome regulations.
WHAT INDUSTRY (OR INDUSTRIES) DID YOU WORK IN BEFORE YOU WERE ELECTED TO CONGRESS?
In 2017, I was appointed to serve as the regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Southwest Region. Working under Secretary Ben Carson, I was tasked with overseeing HUD programs and operations in the region’s five states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, where I worked on many of the Trump Administration’s proudest economic successes, such as opportunity zones, and led HUD’s disaster recovery efforts at the Southwest border in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Before being named administrator, I was the first woman elected to serve as the Mayor of Irving from 2011 to 2017 after beginning my career in public service as an Irving City Council Representative from 2004 to 2010. Under my leadership, the City of Irving witnessed unprecedented economic growth and development with an added 40,000 jobs and an estimated $3 billion in growth and new developments while also being named the fifth-safest city in America.
During my mayoral tenure, I represented the city on a number of boards, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and Texas Municipal League. I also served as Texas Chair of Community Leaders of America. As a board member for DFW International Airport, I oversaw operations at the busiest airport in the United States, ensuring safe and efficient travel for millions of Americans flying through DFW each year.
Throughout my career, I’ve worked with small startup companies, mid-size private companies, and Fortune 500 corporations alike. I also ran a consulting business where I helped executives develop strategic business plans as well as negotiation strategies, grassroots coalition building, and federal and state legislative policy strategies.
WHY ARE HOTELS AND HOTEL OWNERS IMPORTANT TO YOUR DISTRICT/STATE?
As we all well know, hotel owners – and AAHOA specifically – play such a crucial and impactful role in our economy. The hotel quality and presence in DFW is especially important as we are a magnet for corporate headquarters and major company operations, attracting 22 Fortune 500 company headquarters as of 2021 and 45 headquarters among the Fortune 1000. Hotels and the hospitality industry around DFW are often some of the first and most frequent people visitors to our community see. We are so grateful for the exceptional service and dedication hotel owners and the AAHOA community have to uphold such a high and overperforming standard.