Monday, March 2, 2015

Congressman Robert Hurt's Office to Hold Local Office Hours in Madison County

Monday, March 2, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Staff members from Congressman Robert Hurt's (R-Virginia) office will hold Local Office Hours in Madison County on Friday, March 6 to meet with constituents who need assistance with federal agencies. For more information, please visit our Local Office Hours Interactive Map.  In the event of inclement weather, please contact our Charlottesville office at (434) 973-9631 to confirm Local Office Hours will be held as scheduled.

Friday, March 6, 2015

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Madison County Public Library

402 N. Main Street

Madison, VA

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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


Monday, February 23, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Staff members from Congressman Robert Hurt's (R-Virginia) office will hold Local Office Hours in Henry County on Friday, February 27 to meet with constituents who need assistance with federal agencies. For more information, please visit our Local Office Hours Interactive Map.  In the event of inclement weather, please contact our Danville office at (434) 791-2596 to confirm Local Office Hours will be held as scheduled.

Friday, February 27, 2015

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Blue Ridge Regional Library, Ridgeway Branch - Meeting Room

900 Vista View Lane

Ridgeway, VA

 

CAAP Calls on Biased Justices to Recuse Themselves from SCOTUS Same-Sex Marriage Case


Rev. William Owens Notes That Comments and Actions from Justices Kagan and Ginsburg Cast Serious Doubt on Impartiality

 

Memphis, TN – Today, Rev. Williams Owens, President and Founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) called on Supreme Court Justices Ginsburg and Kagan to recuse themselves from the same-sex marriage case to be heard by the Court this session, citing their stated bias. In order to preserve the integrity of the Court, CAAP also announced its intention of launching a petition campaign that would bring attention to the Justice's lack of impartiality.

The move sprung from public comments made by Justice Ginsburg regarding her conviction that that American public would accept a ruling for same-sex marriage as well as actions by both Ginsburg and Kagan that confirm their biased position on the issue. Both Justices have performed same-sex weddings.

"A Justice of the Supreme Court is called on to avoid the appearance of bias—especially on a highly controversial and sensitive issue that is currently before the Court," stated Rev. William Owens, President of the Coalition of African American Pastors. "And yet, both Justice Ginsburg and Justice Kagan have taken a public stance in favor of same-sex marriage, even going so far as to officiate at a same-sex wedding."

"Not only is this a breach of ethics, but it calls into question the integrity of the Court and the supposed balance that the judicial branch is meant to provide in Constitutional interpretation," Rev. Owens continued. "It is beyond objectionable that no action has yet been taken to ensure that the case will be adjudicated fairly. And so it falls to us, the people, to take action. CAAP is launching a petition urging Justices Kagan and Ginsburg remove themselves from decision-making on this issue and prevent a crisis brought on by the taint of a biased judiciary."

Rev. Owens noted that members of the public were welcome to sign the petition on the CAAP website at caapusa.org. "The Court has shown willingness in the past to insert itself in matters that are more properly the domain of the voters," he said. "For a case that promises to dramatically affect the future of family, religious freedom, and much more, there cannot be any question of political bias on the part of the judges involved. We ask that Justice Ginsburg and Justice Kagan disqualify themselves from involvement in this case or that the Chief Justice Roberts takes the action needed to protect the integrity of the Court."



Senator Mark Obenshain's Charter School Amendment (SJ 256) Passes General Assembly


Amendment to Encourage Charter School Expansion

 RICHMOND—Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) expressed his gratitude that his constitutional amendment giving  charter schools a chance to succeed in Virginia passed the House of Delegates today. 

 "New York City has 197 public charter schools while Virginia only has seven statewide. If we're serious about providing  families with meaningful educational choices, then that has to change," said Obenshain. "I commend my colleagues in the  House of Delegates for passing such an important measure.  I especially want to thank Delegate Rob Bell (R-Albemarle)  who has worked diligently on this issue as well."

 Obenshain's SJ 256 empowers the Virginia Department of Education to authorize charter schools directly. Currently,  charter schools in Virginia can only be authorized by their public school division. Unfortunately, few school divisions have  been willing to authorize a competing public school, even upon a strong showing of local need and a compelling operating  plan.

 "Charter schools work because they provide the flexibility to meet the needs of students who don't excel in more  traditional school settings or who are looking for more specialized instruction. They also serve as an important outlet for children being left behind by other schools," said Obenshain.

 A recent American Federation for Children poll notes that almost 70% of American support school choice.  It also  reported that 81% of Republicans and 60% of Democrats support school choice.  Obenshain added, "Charter schools are  one of the great educational success stories of recent years, giving new hope to students in major cities like Philadelphia,  New Orleans, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C.  They are, moreover, a bipartisan success story, the product of  Democrats and Republicans working together all across the country to improve our educational system. They have been  embraced by conservatives and liberals and people everywhere in between – because they work."

 Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have multiple chartering authorities. The list includes left-leaning states like  New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan; "purple" states like Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, and  Colorado; and right-leaning states like Utah, Idaho, and South Carolina. "Clearly this has the potential to be a great  bipartisan issue," said Obenshain. "In fact, charter schools enjoy support across the spectrum, and have been  championed by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama."

 The fifteen states (including D.C.) with multiple authorizers have 80% of the charter schools, leaving the twenty-six with  school board authorization only with just 20%. "SJ 256 will allow Virginia to begin developing a strong charter school  system to benefit students regardless of zip code," Obenshain said.

 This is an historic first step towards amending the Virginia Constitution to reform Virginia's charter school process,  allowing more charter schools in Virginia.  The constitutional amendment must pass the General Assembly twice in  succeeding years.  Resolutions, unlike most bills, do not go to the Governor for approval so it cannot be vetoed.  If the  resolution passes next year it will be submitted to the voters in the November 2016 general election for approval.  This is  the first charter school constitutional amendment to ever receive "first year" approval.


 Senator Obenshain represents the twenty-sixth district in the Virginia Senate.  The district includes the city of  Harrisonburg and  the counties of Warren, Shenandoah, Page, Rappahannock and Rockingham (part).


Center Releases Dossier Documenting a House Intelligence Committee Member's Extensive Ties to the Muslim Brotherhood


February 24, 2015 

Rep. André Carson is a Potential Security Risk and/or Vehicle for Islamist Influence Operations

(Washington, D.C.): House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently appointed Rep. André Carson (D-IN) to a coveted position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  This panel is charged with oversight of the United States' most sensitive national intelligence capabilities and operations.  These include any directed at Islamic supremacists seeking to impose worldwide – through violent and, where necessary, through stealthy forms of jihad – the totalitarian program they call shariah. 
 
Preeminent among the practitioners of this jihadist agenda is the Muslim Brotherhood.  In fact, according to evidence introduced by the U.S. government into the Holy Land Foundation trial in 2008, the Brotherhood's self-declared mission in America is: "a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands [i.e., those of non-Muslims] and those of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions." (From the 1991 Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America, Government Exhibit 003-0085, 3:04-CR-240-G.)
 
It is, therefore, problematic and potentially detrimental to the national security that Rep. Carson has extensive and longstanding ties to organizations and individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.  As established in a dossier and video released today by the Center for Security Policy, the Indiana congressman has an extensive record of involvement with, support of and support from a virtual Who's Who of Brotherhood front organizations in America and leading figures in the jihad movement in this country.  The dossier makes it clear that, as a group, they have "a documented history of serving as unregistered foreign agents, engaging in material support for terrorism and possessing direct ties to the Brotherhood's Palestinian franchise, Hamas, a designated terrorist organization."
 
Among those with whom Rep. Carson has been involved as a guest speaker, panelist, fundraiser, recipient of funds, etc., are: the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a number of its chapters across the country; the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); the Muslim American Society (MAS); and the Brotherhood's new proto-political party, the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO).  
 
The Carson Dossier warns:
 
The fact that Rep. Carson's association with these organizations has persisted even after he has had every opportunity – as well as a responsibility – to know the threat they pose to U.S. national security displays, at the very best, a grave lack of judgment that is incompatible with service on the HPSCI.
 
In addition, the prospect that the nation's most highly-classified information could fall into Muslim Brotherhood hands – whether purposefully or by accident – by way of a HPSCI member who associates on a regular, friendly and ongoing basis with its operatives is a grave one.  It merits a rigorous counter-intelligence assessment of the potential risks associated with Rep. Carson's vulnerabilities to recruitment, blackmail or other suborning.
 
Center President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. unveiled the Carson Dossier in the course of a presentation about the Muslim Brotherhood, its civilization jihad and its success in advancing its stated mission of "destroying Western civilization from within" before the National Religious Broadcasters today. Mr. Gaffney observed:
 
Given the Muslim Brotherhood's unalterable commitment to Islamic supremacism, the imposition of shariah worldwide and the establishment of a caliphate to rule globally in accordance with that totalitarian program – in place of our constitutional republic and all other forms of government, what the Obama administration is doing is bad enough.  Its serial efforts to engage, legitimate, fund, arm and otherwise empower the Brotherhood overseas and to rely upon the Brothers' domestic front organizations as representatives of and outreach vehicles to the Muslim community in this country are intensifying the dangers we face from the Global Jihad Movement.
 
It is wholly unacceptable to have as a member of a key congressional committee charged with overseeing U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence an individual with extensive personal and political associations with the Muslim Brotherhood's civilization jihadist infrastructure in America.  At a minimum, Rep. Andre Carson's presence on the House Intelligence Committee will necessitate restrictions on his access to classified information about the presence and operations in this country of what amounts to a subversive Islamist Fifth Column and his participation in the panel's deliberations concerning how it can best be countered. 
 
Since there are, at the moment, few topics more in need of assiduous oversight by the Congress – even if there were no actual risk of compromise of national security secrets or Muslim Brotherhood influence operations associated with Rep. Carson's presence on the House Intelligence Committee, the potential impediment he may constitute to such work demands his removal from this panel.
 
The Center for Security Policy recently released a Secure Freedom Strategy a comprehensive strategy to defeat the Global Jihad Movement.  The Secure Freedom Strategy is adapted from the one employed by President Reagan to defeat the last totalitarian ideology that sought our destruction (Soviet communism).  As formalized in the President's National Security Decision Directive 75, this plan successfully brought to bear all instruments of national power, a template for victory that stands in stark contrast to President Obama's hapless draft Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the Islamic State.
 

 

The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public. For more information visit www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org
 

Congressman Robert Hurt Votes to Expand, Strengthen 529 College Savings Plans


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 529, which amends the Internal Revenue Code to expand, strengthen, and modernize 529 college savings accounts:

"A well-educated, well-trained workforce is essential to maintaining a competitive economy, and we must ensure that Fifth District Virginians, and Americans across the country, have access to higher education that provides them the necessary tools to help build a stronger economy.  Yet, each year we see the costs of higher education continue to rise, leaving many families straining to find ways to meet those costs.  It is essential that hardworking American families have access to financial planning programs that help them prepare for the rapidly rising costs of college.

"This commonsense, bipartisan legislation strengthens and modernizes the regulations for 529 college savings accounts, allowing families who invest in these prepaid college savings plans to save for higher education more efficiently.  I look forward to continuing to strengthen 529 savings accounts and pursuing new avenues to ensure that hardworking families are able to effectively invest in their children's futures."

 

Note: Last Congress, Congressman Hurt  introduced the College Savings Enhancement Act, which would update current securities laws to allow state-run prepaid college savings plans the freedom to invest more broadly.  He plans to reintroduce this legislation in the 114th Congress. 


Walker Whacked For His Faith


By Gary L. Bauer

A few days ago, reporters tried to trap Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a game of "gotcha," asking whether he thought President Obama was a Christian. When the governor answered honestly, saying, "I don't know," big media pummeled him for doubting their political messiah. Now they are mocking Walker for his faith.

Like most Americans, Governor Walker is a man of faith. He has often said that as he considers his future, he is trying to "discern God's calling" for him.

That innocuous comment led the anti-Christian bigots at the Freedom From Religion Foundation to file an official records request demanding the governor's office "provide a copy/transcript of all communications with God, the Lord, Christ, Jesus or any other form of deity."

Left-wing blogger Taegan Goddard piled on, tweeting yesterday, "Gov. Scott Walker's office was unable to provide any transcripts of his conversations with God." This was a dog whistle to the left, mocking Walker as an unstable nut who hears voices in his head. Other liberal bloggers and columnists soon joined in.

The media's double standard is disgusting. To them Obama's faith is to be accepted without question, while Governor Walker's faith is fair game.

Congressman Robert Hurt Questions Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen

 
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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":

"I appreciate Chair Yellen's testimony today on 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 hardworking Americans and disproportionately diminish the ability of Main Street banks to provide vital capital in our rural communities. 

"I am particularly concerned by the Dodd-Frank Act's negative impacts and costs for community banks, small businesses, and consumers.  These regulatory impacts represent real costs and eliminate choices for consumers – both families and small businesses – on Main Streets from Chatham to Warrenton.  At a time when our national debt exceeds $18 trillion, too many Fifth District Virginians remain out of work and others are struggling with stagnant wages.  Ensuring that any policy coming out of Washington fosters dynamic economic growth is crucial to getting our economy back on track.   

"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."

Click on the image below or click here for video of Congressman Hurt questioning Chair Yellen on the importance of community banks in Virginia's Fifth District.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Obama's Losing, Dems Diss Israel


Virginia Liberals Diss Israel

Once upon a time -- oh, say about ten years ago -- support for Israel in America was bi-partisan. But something has changed. Left-wing hostility toward Israel can be measured in polling and through actions.

Two weeks ago, a resolution of support for the state of Israel was offered on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates. The resolution passed 70-to-2.

A near unanimous vote sounds good, right? But there are 100 members in the House of Delegates. What happened to the missing 28 votes?

Only four Democrats supported the resolution, while most of them literally walked off the floor to avoid the vote. The resolution was brought up a second time and they walked out again. You can watch this display of liberal disrespect for Israel here.

Gary L. Bauer
VISIT AMERICAN VALUES


Family Research Council, National Religious Broadcasters to Host News Conference


February 20, 2015

Family Research Council, National Religious Broadcasters to Host News Conference Featuring Bakers Facing $ 150,000 in Fines, Fired Sports Analyst

Will Release New Polling on Religious Liberty, Upcoming Supreme Court Decision on Marriage

NASHVILLE, TN - Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) President Jerry Johnson will hold a news conference on Tuesday, February 24, at 2 p.m. CT at the NRB Convention in Nashville, TN.

New polling will be released regarding the mounting attacks on religious liberty in the United States and the U.S. Supreme Court's announcement that it will decide whether to redefine marriage for all 50 states. The news conference will address the next steps that American Christians and broadcasters should take in light of these challenges.

The news conference will also feature Aaron and Melissa Klein, former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, who are being threatened with $150,000 in fines because they declined to bake a same-sex "wedding" cake. Craig James, a Fox Sports Network football analyst, who was fired by the network after learning that he had expressed his views in support of natural marriage, will also share his story.

WHO: Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

Jerry Johnson, President, National Religious Broadcasters

Aaron and Melissa Klein, former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa

Craig James, Special Assistant to the President, Family Research Council; former football analyst

WHAT: News conference to release new polling on religious liberty in America and the U.S. Supreme Court's marriage case

WHEN: February 24, 2015, 2 PM CT

WHERE: News Conference Room, Delta Ballroom B (located inside the Media Center), Gaylord Opryland Convention Center

The convention website can be found here: http://www.nrbconvention.org. To request an interview with news conference speakers, please email media@frc.org or call 202-637-4615 or 202-679-6800.


Congressman Robert Hurt Announces the 2015 Congressional Art Competition


Friday, February 20, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This spring marks the 34th annual Congressional Art Competition for high school students across the country.  This competition is a unique opportunity for students to showcase their artistic abilities and represent Virginia's Fifth District in the United States Capitol.  The theme of the Fifth District's 2015 contest is Landscapes of Virginia.

 

"I encourage all high school students who live the Fifth Congressional District to participate in this enduring, outstanding competition," said Congressman Hurt.  

"The arts contribute greatly to our culture and communities and this competition presents a rare opportunity to have student artwork displayed in the United States Capitol, where it will be viewed by members of Congress and countless visitors from around the world who pass through the Capitol each day," Hurt continued.  "We look forward to reviewing all of the entries, which will be judged by our Art Advisory Committee, and we know we will be impressed by the talent and creativity of our youth in the Fifth District."

The overall winning piece of artwork submitted from the Fifth District will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol among the other nationwide contest winners and the winner will be invited to a reception in Washington, D.C.

Artwork submitted must not exceed 28 inches high by 28 inches wide by 4 inches deep and must weigh less than 15 pounds.  Entries do not need to be framed, unless they are selected as the winner of the Fifth District's contest.  Paintings, drawings, collages, prints, mixed media, computer-generated art, and photography are all acceptable mediums.  All entries must be two-dimensional and original in concept, design, and execution.  Submitted artwork also must adhere to our district's theme of Landscapes of Virginia.

To review the rules and guidelines, to find a student participation form, and to view past winning artwork, please visit our website at hurt.house.gov.  The deadline for submission is April 15, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.  If you have any additional questions, please contact Denise Van Valkenburg in our Danville office at (434) 791-2596.




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pic of the Day


Email of the Day



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Staff Members from Congressman Robert Hurt's Office to Hold Local Office Hours in Fluvanna and Appomattox Counties

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Staff members from Congressman Robert Hurt's (R-Virginia) office will hold Local Office Hours in Fluvanna and Appomattox Counties on Friday, February 20 to meet with constituents who need assistance with federal agencies. For more information, please visit our Local Office Hours Interactive Map.

 

Friday, February 20, 2015

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Fluvanna Public Library - Conference Room

214 Commons Blvd.

Palmyra, VA

 

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Appomattox Administration Building - Board Conference Room

153-A Morton Lane

Appomattox, VA

 


Monday, February 16, 2015

Senator Reeves Takes Hard Stance on Cigarette Trafficking


February 13, 2015


RICHMOND, Va-Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) held a a press conference today with Virginia law enforcement officials and representatives of the Virginia Crime Commission to discuss Senate Bill 1230, which pertains to illegal trafficking of cigarettes from Virginia, and the black market sales to funding international terrorism.

 

SB 1230 seeks to solve the systemic problem of illegal cigarette trafficking. This legislation would place the authority to regulate the distribution and sales of tobacco products to the Alcohol Beverage Control Board, and create common-sense licensing requirements that would create a larger burden on traffickers.

 

The price disparity of tobacco in various other States have aided in creating this black market commodity.The legislation also will create licensing requirements that will weaken the ability for those who seek to profit from the illegal resale tobacco products in more expensive markets, like New York State.

 

"I am asking for your help today," said Sen. Reeves."In fact I am making a plea to the citizens of the Commonwealth to ask for your support to combat terrorism.Stopping the flow of funds from illegal cigarette transactions and asking for reasonable, prudent, licensing so we know who is legitimately and  illegitimately selling cigarettes to the public is critical."

 

Senator Reeves also called on law-abiding retailers who sell tobacco products to think beyond the scope of single transactions, and focus on the larger issues that follow Cigarette Trafficking. "I find it very hard to believe that any legitimate seller of tobacco wants the proceeds of their sales going to kill our men and women who wear the cloth of our country." Senator Reeves continued by saying, "The last thing I want to do is put an undue burden on our businesses that sell tobacco. Our Mom and Pop retailers are trying to figure out how to scrape together enough to pay for payroll and quarterly taxes, medical care, invoices, payroll and still have some left over to buy gas and groceries."

 

After its initial reading in the House of Delegates, SB 1230 has been referred to a General Law subcommittee.