Thursday, July 17, 2014

Congressman Robert Hurt's Statement on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's Semi-Annual Testimony on Monetary Policy and the State of Our Economy


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after a Financial Services Committee hearing with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen entitled, "Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy."  Chair Yellen, who was sworn in as chair of the Federal Reserve Board on February 3, 2014, today testified before the Financial Services Committee for the second time.

 

"I appreciate Chair Yellen's testimony today on the Federal Reserve's report relating to U.S. monetary policy and the state of our economy.  With that in mind, I have serious concerns about these Federal Reserve policies that make life more difficult for Americans living on fixed incomes and disproportionately diminish the ability of Main Street banks to provide much-needed capital to our rural communities.  Furthermore, as the Federal Reserve pursues its unprecedented monetary policy, it continues to lack basic transparency and accountability.  I believe that greater accountability by the Federal Reserve to Congress and the American people would help provide for a more stable and thriving economy.  At a time when our national debt exceeds $17 trillion and too many Americans remain out of work, fostering dynamic economic growth is crucial. 

 

"I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on the Financial Services Committee to promote policies that will incentivize economic growth to provide jobs and opportunities to all Fifth District Virginians, and I thank Chair Yellen for her testimony before the Committee today."

 



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Senate Should Join the House Effort to Create Jobs and Spur Economic Recovery


Congressman Robert Hurt

Weekly Column 7/14/14

 

My top priority in Congress has always been adopting policies that will lead to the creation of private sector jobs for the hardworking individuals and families of Virginia’s Fifth District.  With the unemployment rate in many Central and Southside Virginia localities still substantially exceeding the national rate, government-created obstacles to economic growth are unacceptable.  My colleagues in the House and I have passed dozens of bills as a part of our agenda to improve the environment for job creation; yet, many of our bills remain stuck in the U.S. Senate, awaiting action.  Two bills recently passed by the House illustrate what a great opportunity we have to jumpstart the economy if the Senate will join us in that effort.

 

A key component of our pro-growth jobs plan is an all-of-the-above energy strategy that increases oil and gas production, including off of Virginia’s coast, the expansion of viable alternative energies, as well as conservation.  Just last month, the House passed H.R. 4899, the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act, which expands onshore energy production, encouraging the creation of new jobs, including thousands of jobs in Virginia, and lightening the burden on our hardworking families and small businesses.

 

Another means of growing our economy and creating jobs includes supporting our Main Street businesses and recognizing that they are truly the engines of economic growth.  Government-created uncertainty, such as temporary tax policy that changes from year to year, can hinder their progress and growth.  To address this issue, the House recently passed H.R. 4457, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act, which would make permanent a tax provision that allows small businesses to expense investments in new equipment and property each year.  By permanently allowing small businesses to deduct up front these costs, we will strengthen our economy by making it easier for them to invest back into their businesses and relieving these vital job creators from some of their tax compliance costs, which are 65% higher than those of big businesses.

 

Both of these bills enjoyed bipartisan support in the House, but have been ignored by the Senate, frustrating those whose see the potential of policies like these to generate the jobs we so desperately need.  In recent days however, we may have seen a breakthrough signaling an end to the Senate's inaction on House jobs bills.  Last year, the House passed long overdue reform of federal workforce programs.  The federal government currently operates 47 different workforce programs, many of which are duplicative or do not produce results.  This bill aimed to eliminate ineffective or duplicative workforce training programs and focus our precious resources on the programs that actually help people obtain skills employers are seeking, which will help them get jobs.  The Senate finally passed a similar measure a few days ago, and the House concurred with that bill last week, allowing the legislation to advance to the president's desk.  

 

As our country continues to grapple with a national debt of over $17 trillion and with too many Americans out of work, it is crucial that we improve our workforce development programs and put taxpayers’ dollars to better use.  I am glad the Senate recognized the need to tackle these issues, and it is my hope they will now consider the scores of other bills we have passed to enhance the environment for job creation - our country's greatest priority.

 

If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.

 

 

Staff Members from Robert Hurt's Office to Hold Local Office Hours in Brunswick, Campbell, Charlotte and Buckingham Counties


Staff Members from Robert Hurt's Office to Hold Local

Office Hours in Brunswick, Campbell, Charlotte and Buckingham Counties  

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Staff members from Congressman Robert Hurt's (R-Virginia) office will hold Local Office Hours in Brunswick, Campbell, Charlotte and Buckingham Counties on Friday, July 18 to meet with constituents who need assistance with federal agencies. For more information, please visit our Local Office Hours Interactive Map.

 

July 18, 2014

 

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Brunswick County

Brunswick County Administration Building, 2nd Floor

228 North Main Street

Lawrenceville, VA

 

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Campbell County

Campbell County Public Library, Rustburg Branch

Program Room

684 Village Highway

Rustburg, VA

 

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Charlotte County

Charlotte County Administration Building

Conference Room

240 LeGrande Avenue, Suite A

Charlotte Court House, VA

 

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Buckingham County

Buckingham County Administration Building

Conference Room

13360 W James Anderson Highway

Buckingham, VA


Obama's Open Borders


Gary L. Bauer
Campaign for Working Families



America Rejects Obama's Open Borders


It's a ruse. The Senate's "comprehensive" bill would not have prevented this crisis at the Texas border from happening. But don't take my word for it.

Senator Marco Rubio, one of the key sponsors of the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill, even admits that. Rubio told the Washington Times:

A poll released today by ABC News and the Washington Post is getting a lot of publicity. It purports to show that the country supports Barack Obama on the issue of immigration. ABC News ran the story with this headline: "More Than Half Back Immigration Plan," referring to Obama's request for $4 billion in emergency spending.

They justified that headline based on the finding that 53% support spending an additional $4 billion to address the humanitarian crisis at our southern border. However, the poll question strongly implied that the children would be deported and that half of the money would be "used to speed their deportation hearings and to increase border security."

So, 53% of Americans support the additional spending -- IF it is coupled with deportations and border security. Unfortunately, the amount of money dedicated to border security is in dispute, and Obama's desire to stop illegal immigration seems to be zero.

Here's the most telling finding in the poll: Just 33% of Americans approved of Obama's handling of immigration, while 58% disapproved. That's a whopping 25-point gap!

Let's put that into some perspective. According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, Obama was down 15 points on his handling of the economy, down 18 points for health care and down 20 points for foreign policy.

What is it that Obama has done on immigration to earn such terrible ratings? He constantly promotes some kind of a quasi-amnesty. While he talks about compassion, his policies have acted as a magnet, drawing more illegal immigrants to the border. He has lied about the security of the border and seldom proposes anything to make it more secure. He constantly lectures America about why we need more immigration. His administration is suing a company that requires its employees to speak English.

In short, Obama has imposed a de facto open borders policy. Can we not conclude that it is the reason Obama has such a low approval rating on this issue?

We're constantly being told that it is conservatives who must change our views, but let's put it another way. Let's assume that the 2016 election becomes a referendum on immigration with Hillary arguing for the things Obama has been doing and the Republican nominee taking the opposite position. On that issue alone one would assume that we win by a landslide because the public has overwhelmingly rejected Obama's radical open borders ideas.

The GOP political elites and consultants who are paralyzed by fear should focus on exposing the left's extreme views rather than conforming to them.


"There Are Thousands Of Us"

If you want an idea of just how insecure our borders are, check out this Fox News report.

Saturday Fox accompanied Rep. Louie Gohmert on a pre-dawn visit to the border near Mission, Texas. What they experienced was astounding. Rep. Gohmert left saying, "I'm more concerned than ever."

During their visit a boy from El Salvador told the Fox reporter, "You're going to be out here a long time. There are thousands of us."

Tens of thousands of people have already crossed the border and thousands more are coming because they believe they will be allowed to stay. "Amnesty" is the message they have gotten from Obama's open borders policy.

The illegal immigrants crossing our border do not fear deportation. In fact, they are surrendering en mass to our overwhelmed Border Patrol agents. "We used to chase them," one agent remarked. "Now they [illegal immigrants] are chasing us."


Not So Comprehensive After All

I have noted in recent reports that liberal apologists have tried to blame the border crisis on House Republicans who rejected the Senate's so-called "comprehensive immigration reform" bill.

Two weeks ago, President Obama stood in the Rose Garden and railed against Republican obstructionism, saying:

"Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to allow an up-or-down vote on that Senate bill or any legislation to fix our broken immigration system. …We now have an actual humanitarian crisis on the border that only underscores the need to drop the politics and fix our immigration system once and for all."

"I don't think the immigration bill that was proposed in the Senate would have prevented that from happening. What I think would have prevented that from happening is sufficient border security on the ground that would have discouraged people from making that journey in the first place."





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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Email of the Day


The odds of winning the Florida lottery are 1 in 22,957,480.

The odds of winning the Powerball is 1 in 175,223,510.

The odds of winning Mega Millions is 1 in 258,890,850.

The odds of a disk drive failing in any given month are roughly one in 36. The odds of two different drives failing in the same month are roughly one in 36 squared, or 1 in about 1,300. The odds of three drives failing in the same month is 36 cubed or 1 in 46,656.

The odds of seven different drives failing in the same month (like what happened at the IRS when they received a letter asking about emails targeting conservative and pro Israeli groups) is 37 to the 7th power = 1 in 78,664,164,096. (that's over 78 Billion) In other words, the odds are greater that you will win the Florida Lottery 342 times than having those seven IRS hard drives crashing in the same month.
 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Email of the Day




A float with an outhouse and the words “Obama Presidential Library” on it, in the Fourth of July parade in downtown Norfolk on Friday morning. A member of the parade committee said the float, which received criticism from a city councilman and the Nebraska Democratic Party, among others, was the most popular one in the parade.

http://www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/obama-presidential-library-float-at-norfolk-parade-draws-criticism/article_22f03464-04ab-11e4-bf54-0017a43b2370.html


Monday, June 30, 2014

Achieving American Energy Independence Will Reduce Gas Prices and Create Virginia Jobs


Congressman Robert Hurt

Weekly Column 6/30/14

 

With Independence Day approaching, AAA estimates that a record 1.16 million Virginians will hit the road for the July 4th weekend.  Whether you are going out of town or just driving to see your local display of fireworks, you are certainly continuing to feel the significant pain at the pump that has plagued our country for the last several years.  It is hard to believe that only five short years ago, the national average price for a gallon of gas was $2.35 compared to $3.68 today.  I often hear from constituents throughout the Fifth District about how today’s high energy costs are significantly harming our families, Main Street businesses, and family farms, all of which are struggling with higher costs not only for fuel, but also the goods and services that depend on fuel.  The increased electricity rates, grocery prices, and transportation costs make it harder and harder for families to achieve or maintain financial stability.

 

Last week, the House of Representatives once again took action to alleviate the effects of high fuel prices by approving H.R. 4899, the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act.  I was proud to support this measure, which expands onshore energy production, streamlines permitting processes, and reduces unnecessary red tape.  This bill represents a significant milestone in our goal to achieve energy independence by easing government regulations that hamper American energy production and job creation.  It also represents a central piece of our ‘all of the above’ energy strategy that includes increased oil and gas production, including off of Virginia’s coast, the use of alternative energies, as well as conservation. 

 

Over the last five years, this administration has unnecessarily restricted energy production on federal lands and canceled lease sales on over 85 percent of our domestic offshore areas.  It is time that we take advantage of the numerous natural resources Virginia has to offer and overcome the barriers to energy independence and job creation that this administration has created.   These proposals have enjoyed strong bipartisan and bicameral support for many years, and it is my hope that our colleagues in the Senate will help us to advance these policies and in turn create thousands of new Virginia jobs.

 

I am pleased that the House of Representatives has acted to encourage the creation of new jobs and lighten the burden on our hardworking families and small businesses, while harnessing the natural resources we have here in the United States.   I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to create a sensible and robust domestic energy policy that increases our energy security and strengthens our economy, and I hope the Senate and the President will join us in this crucial effort.

 

If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

FRC Responds to Reports Meriam Ibrahim May Be Released from Sudan's Death Row


May 31, 2014

Tony Perkins Renews Call for Obama administration to Immediately Grant Safe Haven in U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council President (FRC) Tony Perkins responded today to reports that the Sudan government may release Meriam Ibrahim from death row within the next "few days." She is a Sudanese Christian who was sentenced to death for the "crime" of converting from Islam.

Meriam languishes in a notoriously rank Sudanese prison with her 20-month-old son and her newborn daughter. Nearly 30,000 people have signed a WhiteHouse.gov petition asking President Obama to grant her expedited save haven in the United States.

FRC President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"We are encouraged by reports that Meriam and her two small children may be released from a prison that is notorious for torture and its high infant mortality rate. Nearly 30,000 Americans have signed a WhiteHouse.gov petition in the last three days asking that the administration immediately extend safe haven to Meriam and her two children who are eligible for U.S. citizenship. We remain deeply concerned about Meriam's safety in Sudan, especially if she is released back into Sudanese society.

"Earlier this week, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) that he wasn't sure he knew about her case but promised to look into the possibility of granting safe haven in the United States. Since then, he has said nothing more publicly.

"The Obama administration should grant immediate refugee status to Meriam and her children so that they will have the option of finding safe haven in the United States. Family Research Council joins thousands of Americans in demanding President Obama offer a safe haven to this suffering American family," concluded Perkins.



Congressman Robert Hurt's Statement on Secretary Eric Shinseki’s Resignation


Friday, May 30, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) today released the following statement in response to the resignation of Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric Shinseki:

 

"I thank Secretary Shinseki for his service to our country and his willingness to accept responsibility for the failures that have occurred during his tenure as Secretary of the VA.  As we move forward, we must recognize that one man alone is not responsible for the broken system of veterans health care – the VA must be meaningfully and structurally reformed to ensure that our veterans receive the level of care they so genuinely deserve.  Our nation's veterans have made countless sacrifices in the name of our liberty, and it is of the utmost importance that we continue to promote greater accountability within the VA to restore our commitment to those who serve."

 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

First Health Care, Now The Weather


Gary L. Bauer
VISIT AMERICAN VALUES

Having seized control of the nation's healthcare industries, the left is now aiming for the rest of the economy under the guise of fighting climate change. Today the government unveiled its "National Climate Assessment." The report is an action plan to combat global warming.

The "National Climate Assessment" warns of impending doom unless big government steps in to save us from ourselves. According to the White House, "The findings … underscore the need for urgent action to combat the threats from climate change, protect American citizens and communities today…"

We are getting this dire call to arms just as we have experienced below average hurricane seasons for the past three years and late starts to the tornado seasons. We've just had the coldest winter on record. In most of the country, folks would have paid good money for a little "global warming."

Government bureaucrats couldn't make the Obamacare website work. But we're supposed to believe they can control the weather?

Several years ago, Professor Walter Williams published a great column about the wild predictions of environmentalists. Consider these excerpts:

"In 1968, Professor Paul Ehrlich … predicted there would be a major food shortage in the U.S. and 'in the 1970s ... hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.' … Ehrlich's predictions about England were gloomier: 'If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.'

"Here are my questions: In 1970, when environmentalists were making predictions of manmade global cooling and the threat of an ice age and millions of Americans starving to death, what kind of government policy should we have undertaken to prevent such a calamity? When Ehrlich predicted that England would not exist in the year 2000, what steps should the British Parliament have taken in 1970 to prevent such a dire outcome?"


The left's environmental alarmism borders on the "big lie." The extremists have been so wrong, for so long, yet they keep coming back to it. But one thing hasn't changed -- their solution is always the same: bigger government, higher taxes and less freedom. The environmentalist movement is riddled with socialists and some proudly admit it.

Congressman Robert Hurt's Statement on China’s Lift of Virginia Poultry Products Ban

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement regarding China's recent action to end its ban on the importation of Virginia poultry and poultry products:

 

"I am pleased by the news that China will once again accept Virginia poultry exports, as my Virginia colleagues and I have long worked to resolve this impasse.  Agriculture represents the largest sector of the Commonwealth's economy in large part due to international demand for the high quality products our growers and producers can export.  It is vitally important that we foster good trade relationships so our farmers have access to foreign markets, generating more economic activity and jobs in the Fifth District.  I look forward to continuing our work to advance our agriculture industry and help Virginia's family farmers succeed within the global market."

 

Congressman Randy Forbes: Court’s Decision in Galloway a victory for prayer


Washington, D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld our Nation's longstanding tradition of legislative prayer case of Town of Greece v. Galloway.  The town of Greece, New York, has a policy allowing anyone who wishes to offer a prayer before their meetings to request to do so. Despite the town's highly inclusive prayer policy, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit departed from Supreme Court precedent and declared the prayer practice unconstitutional. The Court has overturned the decision of the Second Circuit.

Congressman J. Randy Forbes issued the following statement:

The Court's decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway is a victory for the practice of legislative prayer.  The Court not only reinforced in detail the deep historical significance of legislative prayer in our Nation, but also affirmed how a practice of legislative prayer that is open to all religious creeds acknowledges and celebrates our diversity.  One need not agree with every theological implication of a proffered prayer to unite behind the symbolic importance of a ceremonial prayer.  Today's decision affirms our tradition of prayer for generations to come."

In an opinion authored by Justice Kennedy, the Court highlighted our Nation's long tradition of legislative prayer, stating, "That the First Congress provided for the appointment of chaplains only days after approving language for the First Amendment demonstrates that the Framers considered legislative prayer a benign acknowledgment of religion's role in society. . . . As a practice that has long endured, legislative prayer has become part of our heritage and tradition, part of our expressive idiom, similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, inaugural prayer, or the recitation of "God save the United States and this honorable Court" at the opening of this Court's sessions."

The Court's decision also addresses the way in which prayer unites us as a people: "These ceremonial prayers strive for the idea that people of many faiths may be united in a community of tolerance and devotion. Even those who disagree as to religious doctrine may find common ground in the desire to show respect for the divine in all aspects of their lives and being. Our tradition assumes that adult citizens, firm in their own beliefs, can tolerate and perhaps appreciate a ceremonial prayer delivered by a person of a different faith."

Congressman Forbes, along with Congressman Steve Scalise, led eighty-five Members of Congress in an amicus curiae brief in support of the town's legislative prayer practice. Congressman Forbes is the Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, a bipartisan group of 100 Members of Congress who are committed to defending America's heritage of religious freedom.