Saturday, August 2, 2014

Virginia Gov. Puts Emergency Care for Women on Hold


Family Research Council

How much political cover can $1.7 million buy Planned Parenthood? That's how much America's leading abortion provider gave to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's election campaign, and judging by how recklessly he's working to roll back common-sense regulations on abortion providers, the answer seems to be: quite a lot.

Before McAuliffe was elected, the Virginia General Assembly passed abortion regulations in the wake of revelations the now infamous Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell's "house of horrors." (Gosnell would ultimately be convicted on three counts of manslaughter and is now serving time.) A lot of state legislatures responded by plugging holes in their statutes recently: In the past four years, 226 pro-life state bills passed -- the four best years for pro-life state measures since Roe v. Wade -- and that doesn't even begin to count the number of states where pro-abortion governors and health officials quietly revised their regulations. (Maryland's Health Department, for example, made it illegal to transport women, mid-abortion, across state lines in order to dodge tighter abortion laws in other states.)

Gov. McAuliffe quickly appointed new members to the Virginia state Board of Health and charged them with re-examining the new regulations -- regulations that require abortion providers to meet basic health and safety requirements for ambulatory surgical centers in Virginia. One example is requiring hallways wide enough to move a patient to an ambulance in case of complications. This isn't a theoretical concern: A woman bled to death in Gosnell's Philadelphia clinic when EMT's had to clear cramped and cluttered hallways before wheeling her out.

Ironically, one of the abortion providers McAuliffe is protecting was charged in Maryland with transporting women across state lines during their abortions to dodge state abortion laws. Dr. Steven Brigham now operates two abortion facilities in Virginia, even though he's had his license to perform abortions revoked, suspended, or allowed to lapse in multiple states. Brigham has been kicked out of Maryland, Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania, but although his medical license was revoked in Virginia he has been allowed to continue operating abortion facilities in the state.

Gov. McAuliffe claims his pro-abortion policies make him an advocate for women. How many Virginia women will have to die before he shakes off Planned Parenthood's hush money and stops defending abortionists like Steven Brigham?


Congressman Robert Hurt's July Monthly Video Address

 

Friday, August 1, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt's (R-Virginia) July Video

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Congressman Robert Hurt's Statement on House Passage of Legislation to Address Border Crisis


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 5230 and H.R. 5272, which address the current immigration crisis at our southern border:

 

“There is no denying that we face a crisis at our southern border as thousands have streamed into our country illegally, overwhelming our nation’s resources and often endangering the lives of the young children who make the illegal journey.  This crisis is largely attributable to our country’s failure to secure our border and refusal to adhere to our immigration laws under the leadership of our president, who chooses to undermine both our border security and the rule of law – policies that invite the poor and the desperate from foreign countries to cross our borders illegally – making this a crisis of his own creation. 

 

“The bills passed by the House tonight seek to address the root causes of the crisis and stop the flow of illegal border crossings by giving targeted resources to bolster our border security personnel, allowing border states to deploy the National Guard, and implementing meaningful reforms that will discourage, rather than encourage, illegal migration.  I call on our colleagues in the Senate and the White House to join us in embracing an immigration policy rooted in the rule of law, put an end to illegal immigration, and repair our broken legal migration system.”

 

Clinton Bragged While New York Burned



 Gary L. Bauer
American Values


“He's a very smart guy, I've spent a lot of time thinking about him - and I nearly got him once. I nearly got him. And I could have killed him.”

Those are the words of former President Bill Clinton speaking to an audience of businessmen in Australia on September 10, 2001.

The “very smart guy” Clinton “could have killed”? That was Osama bin Laden who, just a few hours later, would become responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans in the most devastating attack on American soil in history.

Audio of Clinton’s speech became public yesterday when SkyNews, a British TV network, obtained a copy from an Australian politician.

Clinton went on to explain that he opted not to take out bin Laden because “I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him. And so I didn'’t do it.”

That Clinton had opportunities to kill the Al Qaeda leader is common knowledge. Several books and the 9/11 Commission Report revealed that the Clinton Administration considered a December 1998 strike against bin Laden but rejected the plan over possible collateral damage.

But this is the first time we’ve heard Clinton say that he “would have been no better than” the 9/11 mastermind had he followed through with the attack. This is typical moral preening from Clinton. But it’s also another example of the moral confusion that infects the left.

I’'ve written many times that when the U.S. goes to war we make it very difficult to win because we play by the rules of leftist ideology. One of the reasons why the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have dragged on so long is that President Bush felt constrained by questions about what actions are permissible in a war. Those are important questions, but it rarely enters into the leftist’s mind that the point of a war is to win it.

President Obama’s inability to understand this basic principle of war has had devastating effects not just for the United States and its allies but also, not ironically, for the cause of peace.

I bring this up because there seems to be a consensus that the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary—, belong to the more serious wing of the left that understands the moral case for defeating evil.

But in view of this disclosure, and others, anyone tempted to believe this about the Clintons might want to think again. Some people consider Mrs. Clinton a hawk compared to her husband. But there’s no real evidence that she takes seriously the foreign policy challenges of America and its allies.

When asked recently about Israel’s defense of itself in the current war, Clinton appeared to justify Hamas’ use of civilian areas to launch attacks against Israel by saying that Gaza is too small and densely populated to avoid launching attacks next to civilians.

Make no mistake: The Clintons aren't exceptions to the left-wing view that the enemy deserves to be treated as well as or better than we treat our own citizens and allies; they are among its most vocal advocates.

Friday, August 1, 2014

See You In Court, Mr. President



Gary L. Bauer
American Values


Last night, the House approved a resolution authorizing a federal lawsuit against President Obama for abusing his executive authority. The resolution cites President Obama's repeated waivers of statutory language in Obamacare. Obama's actions were not simply exercises of regulatory discretion, but direct violations of the plain language of the law.

With Congress divided between the Democrat Senate and the Republican House, it is hard for Congress to respond to Obama's abuses. But the president's critics have had some success in the courts.

For example, the Supreme Court declared that Obama exceeded his authority when he made certain recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. One columnist noted that the Obama Administration has lost 13 cases on 9-to-0 votes before the high court in the last two terms.

In the critical Halbig case, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently declared that taxpayer-funded subsidies granted through the federal Obamacare exchange are unconstitutional because the law is very clear that subsidies are supposed to be available only through state-based exchanges.

By the way, while liberals claim that conservatives are pushing an absurd interpretation in Halbig, a key Obamacare architect told various audiences that that was exactly what the law meant.

Supporters of Boehner's lawsuit also point to two Supreme Court cases, one striking down the line-item veto and a recent opinion on the EPA's authority.

In 1998, the Supreme Court struck down the line-item veto because it essentially permitted the president to amend legislation, a power the Constitution did not grant to the executive branch. Obama's executive orders have had the same effect -- essentially amending Obamacare without Congress' assent.

In the EPA decision, Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, declared, "The power to execute the laws does not include a power to revise clear statutory terms that turn out not to work in practice." Justice Scalia could have been referring to the administration's haphazard implementation of Obamacare -- making it up as it goes along and ignoring whatever isn't working or causing too much political pain.


Robert Hurt's Statement on Initiation of Legal Action to Require the Administration to Faithfully Execute the Law



Wednesday, July 30, 2014


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting in favor of H. Res. 676, a resolution to allow the U.S. House of Representatives to initiate litigation against the Executive Branch for failure to take care that the laws be faithfully executed:

 

"In the Constitution, our Founders established a system of government with separate powers and explicit checks and balances.  Under our Constitution, Congress makes the laws, the President executes the laws, and the Judiciary settles legal disputes in a way that protects the Constitution and the constitutional rights of our citizens. The Founders meticulously designed this system in a way that does not concentrate too much power in any single branch because they knew that if one branch possessed too much authority to act unilaterally, it could harm the inherent rights of the people without recourse. 

 

"Unfortunately, we have seen this administration act time and time again in a manner that exceeds the authority granted to it by the Constitution and by Congress.  It has disregarded the constitutional constraints on its powers and effectively re-written laws without Congress's consent.  Efforts to rein in this activity through congressional oversight have been ignored, and now we must petition the Judiciary to compel the Executive to faithfully execute the law as provided by the Constitution.  This is an action we do not take lightly, but each of us in the House has been sworn to protect and defend the Constitution – just as the President has.  It is with that solemn obligation in mind that I support this action to preserve the balance of powers and to protect and preserve the freedom of the American people."


Congressman Robert Hurt's Statement on House Passage of Legislation to Address Structural Problems Within Department of Veterans Affairs


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 3230, the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, which addresses the excessively long wait times and unacceptable mismanagement within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):

 

"It is a national shame that thousands of our nation's veterans have suffered due to the gross mismanagement at the VA.  These glaring problems are undoubtedly the result of a broken system that must be meaningfully and structurally reformed.  I was proud to support this legislation today, which provides immediate relief to our veterans who are currently being short-changed by their VA and increases accountability for those officials entrusted with their care.  The structural issues within the VA have resulted in tragic outcomes for those who have made countless sacrifices to protect our nation's freedoms, so it is of the utmost importance that we implement these much-needed, meaningful reforms and begin the process of changing the culture within the VA."

 


  •         H.R. 3230 authorizes 27 major medical facility leases throughout the nation and provides funding to the VA to hire physicians and medical staff, increasing access to care.
  •        The bill also requires the VA to allow veterans unable to obtain appointments at VA medical facilities within 30 days to receive care outside the VA system.  This would also apply to those veterans residing over 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility.
  •          To provide accountability within the VA, H.R. 3230 allows for easier removal of ineffective senior level officials at the agency and eliminates exorbitant bonuses for VA employees through FY 2024.
 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Congressman Robert Hurt's Statement on Financial Services Hearing: "Assessing the Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act Four Years Later"



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Assessing the Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act Four Years Later"

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after attending a hearing held by the Financial Service Committee entitled, "Assessing the Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act Four Years Later":

 

"Four years ago, Dodd-Frank was sold to the American people as a solution to the financial crisis of 2008, which wreaked havoc on our economy and left many families struggling with unemployment.  Yet, this misguided law has done just the opposite by burdening our Main Street banks, credit unions and their customers with extensive regulations leading to slow economic growth and unnecessarily high unemployment throughout the country.   

 

"With more than 2,300 pages and almost 400 new government mandates, as well as the formation of many new and unnecessary bureaucracies, Dodd-Frank puts an unprecedented amount of power in the hands of Washington regulators.  This nation's economic system was founded upon the principles of free enterprise and free markets that allow Americans to thrive, and Dodd-Frank simply ignores these ideals, instead trusting that Washington can regulate our country to economic growth and security.

 

"In the aftermath of Dodd-Frank's implementation, I have worked with my Financial Services Committee colleagues on both sides of the aisle to examine what we can be doing to implement more commonsense and effective policies to promote economic growth, increase capital access for small businesses and families, and protect consumers.  I look forward to continuing to work toward this very important goal of eliminating the burdens holding our economy back, and I remain committed to relieving Fifth District Virginians from the federal overregulation that is making it harder to fulfill their aspirations."


Click on the image below or click here for video of Congressman Hurt questioning the panel on the impacts of Dodd-Frank on our community banks.

 

 

Quote of the Day


Hamas is an Islamofascist organization. Israel is a pro-American democracy. In a war between good and evil, why are we pressuring good to stop fighting evil?

Gary Bauer


State Senator Bryce Reeves passes bill to protect gun dealers


FREDERICKSBURG, Va- July 22, 2014, Senator Reeves presented the signed copy of Senate Bill 377 to the owners of SSG Tactical, Doug Stockman and Curt Sebastian, in appreciation of their help spearheading this legislation.

 

Senate Bill 377, will allow gun dealers who wish to purchase, transfer, or trade a firearm from a non-dealer person to submit information on that firearm to law enforcement in order to find out if it has been lost or stolen.  For this to occur, there must be a consent form that includes all identification in writing from the individual selling, trading or transferring the firearm to the dealer, as well as information on the firearm itself.  As passed in the General Assembly, Senate Bill 377 specifies that if the firearm is determined to not have been stolen or lost, the dealer is then required to destroy the consent form within a two week period. 

 

"Doug and Curt have been essential in fixing this problem that has been affecting gun dealers across the Commonwealth. By bringing this issue to our attention, they have allowed stolen property to be returned to their rightful owners and dealers to protect their businesses from loss of profit and extreme fines," stated Senator Reeves in response to the bill taking effect.

 

This bill will now make it possible for individuals to buy and sell guns without the seller falling into trouble, provide the ability to check backgrounds of persons and their guns to ensure safety, reassure the returning of stolen property without penalizing the seller, and it will lead to the growth and protection of small businesses.  The passed and now enacted bill gives an optional process for gun dealers to determine if a firearm is stolen or lost through the Virginia State Police, and requires gun dealers to destroy all submitted consent forms for transfer of a firearm determined not to be stolen or lost within two weeks.  This legislation will officially take effect on January 1, 2015.


Marshall Message: Immigration Action Item


Delegate Bob Marshall

Southern Border Crisis Alert

Between October, 2013 and May, 2014 more than 47,000 unaccompanied minors, mostly Central Americans, crossed our border without authorization and over 100,000 more are expected by the end of the year.  Unlike illegal entrants from Mexico or Canada who can be legally deported immediately by our Border Patrol without a hearing, persons from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, etc. must be given a hearing before deportation under a Bush-era law.   
 
Foreign Governments Undermine US Immigration Law  
 
The presidents of Mexico and Guatemala have agreed to expedite safe and assisted 72 hour passage for even more unaccompanied minors and adults to travel across Mexico so they may illegally enter the U.S. 
 
Reuters News reported (6/20/14) that an aide to the president of Honduras stated at a meeting in Guatemala City attended by Vice President Biden, that,  "...'As long as (U.S.) immigration reform is not approved, the exodus of children to the United States will continue,'"
 
Obama Administration Non-Response 
 
Rather than increase Border Patrol or establish National Guard presence on our 1900 mile border with Mexico, (as Texas Governor Rick Perry is now doing) the Obama Administration is preparing for long term stays by illegal entrants and is seeking to house growing numbers of unauthorized immigrants in upscale hotels across the U.S. through contracts to various church groups and non-profits.  
 
The San Jose Mercury-News (7-29-24) reports, "Along with dealing with the flood of children traveling alone, the Border Patrol has also arrested more than 55,000 people traveling as families, mostly mothers with young children. Because of a lack of detention space many of those people have been released with a notice to report back to immigration authorities at a later date. The Obama administration has repeatedly declined to say how many people have been released and how many have reported as ordered."
 
This Administration calls the influx a new crisis.  However, they have been soliciting contractors to feed and house tens of thousands of undocumented children for some time. Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, disclosed recently that he had been approached by the Obama Administration for assistance.   "A few weeks ago, the Regional Office of HHS asked us (and several other states) whether we could and would temporarily shelter some of these children while they are processed under our law for deportation or for reuniting with their families in the States.  The request was for up 90,000 square feet of space to use for up to 4 months to accommodate up to 1,000 stranded children.  The types of facilities sought by HHS and FEMA ranged from military bases to unused shopping malls."

I wrote Governor McAuliffe urging him to identify Virginians who are qualified to act as Administrative Law Judges (magistrates, retired or substitute state judges, members of the Virginia Bar) to assist ICE in quickly determining the status of those who illegally entered the U.S. through our southern border.  This is important because many who arrive hope that the federal delays become de facto legal status or at least allow stays of several years.
 
I also asked two Congressmen for documents from our State Department regarding the true number of actual refugee applications our Central American embassies have received.  In the past year, Virginia relocated approximately 2,100 persons determined to be bona fide refugees by our foreign embassies from countries worldwide. 
  
ACTION ITEM # 1
 
Please contact Governor McAuliffe and urge him to identify qualified individuals in Virginia (retired or substitute judges, magistrates, attorneys) to help serve as Administrative Law Judges to clear the backlog of deportation hearings.   Virginia judges with local roots in the community are more likely to administer federal asylum laws and regulations fairly and without undo influence from the Obama Administration than invisible administrators hired by Washington.     

Also, urge Governor McAuliffe to ask fellow Governors to do the same in their states.
   
ACTION ITEM # 2 - State Construction of a Security Fence   
 
Please contact the Governors of the Border States with Mexico, and ask them to build National Security fences in their states just as Israel did to significantly reduce terrorist incursions.  If you have friends living in these states please urge them to contact their governors as well.  I wrote all four border state governors in 2010 urging them do this since Congress has not done so.  Unfortunately, none wrote back.   
 
You can contact the Governors of the Border States by going to the links below:
Governor of Texas
Governor of New Mexico
Governor of Arizona
Governor of California

Dangers to the Community and to Unaccompanied Minors  

 
As a father and grandfather, it greatly concerns me that parents having difficulty supporting their children would be willing to send their children away.   However, our emotional reaction must not substitute for prudential judgment.   
 
Immigration officials are clearly overwhelmed by the numbers of background checks they must do to prevent gang members and terrorists from crossing our southern border.   Furthermore, if children can so easily illegally enter the USA, so can terrorists.  The Obama Administration testified on July 22, 2010, before a House of Representatives Subcommittee that terrorists and persons from watch list countries were coming across the Southern Border.  How many more are taking advantage of the chaos at the border now?
 
The Washington Times (5/14/14) cites documentation compiled by the Center for Immigration Studies that in 2013 Obama's  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials freed 36,007 convicted criminal aliens (felonies and misdemeanors) from jail who were awaiting the outcome of deportation proceedings.  They had accumulated nearly 88,000 convictions.
 
Overwhelmed federal officials could also allow minors to be "claimed" by individuals who could exploit them in prostitution, drug activities or slave wage jobs.   How many will be recruited by gangs?  How many gang members are coming in to the US?  Who verifies that parents actually arranged for their children to leave home?    
 
ACTION ITEM # 3
 
Please contact your congressman and urge him to take action to secure our borders and also to change the 2008 law prohibiting immediate deportation of persons. Religious Service Groups Targeted
 
Yesterday, President Obama, with Governor Terry McAuliffe and numerous LGBT activists standing by his side in the White House, signed an executive order (7-21-14) claiming vague authority under the US Constitution, to require all federal contractors and sub-contractors to hire applicants regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 
 
Obama had been asked by Faith groups, including many of his supporters, to provide an exemption for religious groups.   Obama, in a stunning display of intolerance, defied them to side with activists who will now be able to initiate workplace law suits against church agencies. 
 
The implementation of Obama's immigration policies depends greatly on the co-operation of religious organizations which have received literally hundreds of millions in federal dollars for refugee resettlement and services.  Now that the Federal Government has all these contracts with religious agencies they are going to force them to violate their religious beliefs in their hiring practices.  Will Obama, if religious leaders balk, back away from his executive order?  Will religious leaders choose to accept this assault on their Faith or morals and continue accepting federal dollars?  
 
Conclusion
 
I was reliably informed a few years ago about a woman working in a cleaning crew in a Manassas building.  She did not come to America legally, and she was extorted to have sex with her supervisor who threatened to turn her over to authorities.  The victim refused to report this to authorities.  How many of these children will be the victims of human traffickers and other people looking to exploit them in this same way?  
 
If we really care about children we would not want harm to come to them.   Facilitating the present lawless entry is harmful.   Thank you for caring about children and the security of our homes, communities and nation.  
 
If you'd like more information about the Southern Border Crisis please check out my latest post on my website.  
 
Thank you for your help!


Staff Members from Robert Hurt's Office to Hold Local Office Hours in Franklin County

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Staff members from Congressman Robert Hurt's (R-Virginia) office will hold Local Office Hours in Franklin County on Friday, July 25 to meet with constituents who need assistance with federal agencies. For more information, please visit our Local Office Hours Interactive Map.

 

July 25, 2014

 

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Franklin Government Center

B-75 Training Room

1255 Franklin Street

Rocky Mount, VA

 

Robert's Round-Up: Four Years Later, Dodd Frank’s Impacts Continue to Hamper Main Streets


Congressman Robert Hurt
July 22, 2014

Four years ago, President Obama signed the Dodd Frank Act, which was intended to address the underlying issues that led to the financial crisis and create a safer financial system. Instead, this 2,300 page law, which establishes 400 new government regulations, has led to disproportionately negative impacts and costs for community banks, small businesses, and consumers, while doing little to tackle the issues that truly drove the crisis.

Proponents of the Dodd-Frank Act billed it as a means of ending the idea of 'too big to fail' financial institutions that have the potential to wreak havoc on our economy. And yet, the Dodd-Frank Act does the opposite by officially designating many large companies as 'too big to fail' and allocating taxpayer resources to these entities should they become insolvent. Giving these companies advantages over others in the market is terrible economic policy because it distorts market discipline and permits unnecessary risks that could lead to more taxpayer-funded bailouts.

Dodd-Frank was also intended to rein in bad actors on Wall Street, but since its passage, we have seen that it is disproportionately harming small Main Street banks, credit unions, and their customers by imposing one-size-fits-all regulatory schemes on community financial institutions. These regulatory impacts represent real costs and eliminate choices for consumers – both families and small businesses – on Main Streets from Chatham to Warrenton. The House has worked in a bipartisan way over the last four years to adopt numerous bipartisan measures to mitigate the impacts on Dodd Frank regulations on community lenders; however, the Senate has failed to act on almost every one.

For all of Dodd Frank's regulations, it also failed to address one of the leading causes of the financial crisis - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Almost six years after the financial crisis, these government sponsored enterprises continue to elude reform, putting taxpayers at risk for hundreds of billions of dollars in future bailouts.

As a member of the Financial Services Committee, I have worked with my colleagues extensively to examine how the actions taken by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have caused boom-bust cycles in the housing market, contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, and forced hardworking taxpayers to bail out the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) at a cost of almost $200 billion. That is why House Republicans introduced the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners (PATH) Act, a plan designed to protect homeowners and taxpayers by ending taxpayer-funded bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and freeing America's housing markets from government distortion by implementing these reforms and increasing private sector participation in housing finance will increase competition, enhance transparency, and maximize consumer choice, making for a stronger and more sustainable system.

This week, the Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing to assess the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act four years after its implementation and demand accountability for the costs that are impacting our small businesses and families. I look forward to this week's hearing, which will focus on what we can be doing to implement more commonsense and effective policies to eliminate the burdens holding our economy back and get our fiscal house in order.

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.



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.