Friday, September 11, 2015
Friday, September 11, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting against the nuclear agreement the Obama Administration and the nations of China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom reached with Iran:
"After closely reviewing the Iran Nuclear Agreement and attending classified briefings last month with Secretary Kerry and other Administration officials on the subject, my concerns about the Iran Nuclear Agreement were only solidified. Iranian leaders clearly remain focused on expanding their nuclear capabilities and are only willing to do the bare minimum to reduce the stringent international economic sanctions that have crippled their economy. Given its nuclear ambitions and history, I believe this is a dangerous deal for our nation, our allies, and the world. This nuclear agreement allows the Iranian regime to maintain much of its current nuclear infrastructure; to continue to advance its nuclear ambitions; and to facilitate its ability to promote terror throughout the world. All of this without the adequate oversight we have worked so hard to implement for decades now. Making a deal just for the sake of doing so is not worth putting the safety and security of our allies and our own country at risk.
"I am disappointed that the Senate voted to filibuster debate on this historically significant issue. This deal has implications on both our national security and the stability of our world, and the American people and their representatives in both houses of Congress should have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in this vital debate."
· Congressman Hurt voted in favor of H.R. 3460, which would suspend the President's authority to waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of sanctions pursuant to an agreement related to the nuclear program of Iran until January 21, 2017.
· Congressman Hurt voted in favor of H. Res. 411, finding that the President has not complied with section 2 of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.
· Congressman Hurt voted against H.R. 3461, which would approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed at Vienna on July 14, 2015, relating to the nuclear program of Iran.
Friday, September 11, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement in remembrance of the fourteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:
"On September 11th, 2001, our country was struck by an unspeakable act of terror. Each day, and especially on this day, we remember the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost 14 years ago in the terrorists attacks in New York City, in a peaceful field in Pennsylvania, and right here in our beloved Virginia at the Pentagon.
"We mourn for all of the lives lost on that horrific day in 2001. We also honor the tremendous sacrifice we witnessed in response to the terrible acts of terror which took place. Let us take time today to thank our first responders who put others before themselves on a daily basis and all of the brave men and women in our military and intelligence communities. Their great sacrifices are the reason we continue to live in peace and in freedom, and we are forever grateful for their service.
"As we remember this day 14 years ago, and as we honor those we lost, I hope that Americans across the country will join together in shared commitment to preserving and protecting our freedoms, ideals, and our American way of life."
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Congressman Robert Hurt
September 8, 2015
Fighting Against the Iran Nuclear Agreement
For many weeks now, the House and the Senate have been carefully reviewing the nuclear agreement the Obama Administration and the nations of China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom reached with Iran in July. On our Main Street Tour, I heard from many Fifth District Virginians who are sincerely concerned about this agreement, and I share these concerns.
Iran has never given the impression that they would act in good faith and follow the terms of any deal that did not essentially give them complete control over their own nuclear program. Iranian leaders clearly remain focused on expanding their nuclear capabilities and are only willing to do the bare minimum to reduce the stringent international economic sanctions that have crippled their economy. While many of us share the desire to prevent a nuclear Iran, Iran does not have the same interest, and making a deal just for the sake of doing so is not worth putting the safety and security of our allies and our own country at risk. No deal is better than a dangerous deal.
After closely reviewing the Iran Nuclear Agreement and attending classified briefings with Secretary Kerry and other Administration officials on the subject last month, my concerns about the Iran Nuclear Agreement have only escalated. I am further concerned by the Administration's recent admission of these so-called "side deals" involving Iran, of which Congress has no oversight.
Initially, the Obama Administration advocated for "anywhere, anytime" inspections, but it has since abandoned that position and is prepared to permit Iran to conduct its own inspections of many of its facilities. Reports indicate that international inspectors will take up to 24 days to begin investigating suspicious sites. Just last week, Secretary of State John Kerry said that he was "satisfied" with the inspection process. However, members of Congress are not permitted to know the details of the inspection process, as that is left up to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Given Iran's nuclear ambitions and history, I certainly do not share the same confidence evident within the Obama Administration – rather, I believe this is a dangerous deal for our nation, our allies, and the world. This nuclear agreement allows the Iranian regime to maintain much of its current nuclear infrastructure; to continue to advance its nuclear ambitions; and to facilitate its ability to promote terror across the world. All of this without the adequate oversight we have worked so hard to implement for decades now.
Because of the grave consequences of this nuclear agreement, I have joined as a cosponsor of Congressman Roskam's Disapproval Resolution. This week, the House will vote on this critical national security issue, pursuant to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. Though reports indicate there may not be support in the Senate to override a veto, we must have a full and open debate, and it is my hope that all members of Congress will keep an open mind as new facts, like the existence of "side deals" emerge.
I remain committed to working with my colleagues to enhance the necessary sanctions against the Iranian regime and to do everything within our power to prevent Iran from building or acquiring a nuclear bomb.
If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, 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.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Friday, July 3, 2015
By Gary L. Bauer
Unlike the Iraqi military, the Kurds are a competent fighting force. But the report notes that they are fighting ISIS, which has captured a lot of modern U.S. military equipment, with old Soviet-era weaponry. They need help.
President Obama insists he does not want to put boots on the ground in Iraq. Fine. But at least give those willing to fight these barbarians the weapons they need to win!
Not surprisingly, our Arab allies are furious. One senior Arab official told The Telegraph:
"If the Americans and the West are not prepared to do anything serious about defeating ISIL, then we will have to find new ways of dealing with the threat. With ISIL making ground all the time we simply cannot afford to wait for Washington to wake up to the enormity of the threat we face."
"ISIS is not just opposite the Golan Heights. At the moment it is also in Egypt, opposite Rafah, facing our borders, and we are joined with Egypt and with many other countries in the Middle East and the world in the struggle against the extremist Islamic terrorism that is guided by two elements -- Iran and the Shiite extremists, and ISIS and the Sunni extremists -- as well as other factions such as Hamas."
By Delegate Bob Marshall
As we mark our Nation's birthday on July 4th, we might benefit by reflecting on the words of American Patriot Thomas Paine:
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated. . . ."
It is easy to be discouraged when we consider that today there are threats to Liberty, coming not just from hostile foreign powers, but also from federal judges as well as indolent Members of Congress and state legislators who prefer to "go along to get along," rather than stand up for the Rights that come from our Creator.
Think back to the fact that our Founders measured their grievances against Great Britain by the "Laws of Nature and Nature's God." And further, that they placed their hope and success for the war efforts, on "a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
We must do the same. Happy Independence Day!
July 3, 2015
Today, I still feel the same sense of hope on the Fourth of July. Though today, I know what it is that I'm captured by: it's the spirit of American exceptionalism.
Critics knock the concept of exceptionalism because they say it expresses arrogance. But exceptionalism doesn't mean we are better, it means our nation is unique. American exceptionalism has everything to do with our origins. 239 years ago, our nation put its foot down against the rule of King George and we defeated the greatest superpower of that day. Our strategy for independence was novel. We relied on consensus, intellect, and courage.
The American experiment is unique because we were founded on the principles of liberty, opportunity, prosperity, and responsibility. Before America, no government in the history of the world had successfully committed to a limited, accountable government of the people, by the people, for the people. Perhaps even greater than that, no government had acknowledged that its citizens had God-given, inalienable rights – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – that could not be stripped away.
The greatness of America was birthed when quills were scratched on parchment as our Founders signed the Declaration of Independence and set in motion a nation that would become a beacon of peace and freedom to the world. The American experiment is distinct, and so it is exceptional.
Some say American exceptionalism is on the decline. Watching the news or looking around in Washington, it's easy to feel that way and to be discouraged. Many Americans face this weekend with deep concerns over our country's future and heavy hearts about the world we will leave our children to face. I share those concerns. Sometimes it feels like our country is slipping through our fingers. Yet, I still see expressions of American exceptionalism every day. I see it when families come together to start a business and work hard to turn a dream into a reality. I see it when communities pull together in the aftermath of tragedy or national disaster. I see it when individuals give their time and talent to different charities, expecting nothing in return. I see it when we make scientific discoveries, when we stand for the oppressed, when we fight for religious freedom, and when we build strong futures for our families. As Americans, we offer unique contributions that collectively build the American spirit.
And on the Fourth of July, I see it when we wave our American flags and stand a little taller in the face of Old Glory. I see it when our kids paint their faces with brightly colored red, white, and blue, expressing the innocence, hardiness, valor, vigilance, and justice for which our nation stands. I see it when we pause to shake the hand of a veteran, or bow our heads in prayer for those on the frontlines, far from their families today.
Exceptionalism cannot be stripped away because it is a part of our origins. The greatness of a nation comes from its foundation. Yet, we cannot treat our national values as a trophy to be set on the shelf and admired. We as a nation have a responsibility to cultivate them.
You see, the exceptional nature of our nation wasn't freely given. It was earned. Our Founding Fathers risked everything for it. They pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors over a fragile document that declared our nation independent. Our men and women in uniform still risk everything for it today.
Our exceptionalism depends greatly on our willingness to defend it. If we allow ourselves to stray from our founding principles, then we are less likely to use them as a measuring stick as we make decisions about the future of our nation. A renewing of the American spirit starts by remembering who we are. Pulitzer prize winning historian Michael Kammen said "A civilization without memory ceases to be civilized. A civilization without history ceases to have identity. Without identity there is no purpose; without purpose civilization will wither."
This Fourth of July, let us be captivated by the celebration and magic of the day, but let us too remember where we've been, for it will guide us forward. Let us teach our children about our national identity and unique heritage. Let us look the future squarely in the face and recommit to fighting for the principles of liberty, justice, and limited, accountable government this nation was founded on. America has pulled through tough challenges in the past. America can do it once again, if we remember who we are and return to the ideals that made us exceptional in the first place. That is why, despite the challenges, we are able to look forward with hope and confidence -- because we are Americans, and because this grand experiment in liberty and democracy that we call America was worth fighting for in 1776, and is worth fighting for today.
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Congressman Robert Hurt Introduces Legislation to Give Private Property Owners a Voice in Shoreline Management Plan Development
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) recently introduced the Supporting Home Owners Rights Enforcement (SHORE) Act, H.R. 2929, along with Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-North Carolina), Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia), Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia), and Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma). This legislation would amend the Federal Power Act to ensure that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) considers private property ownership rights when issuing a license or enforcement action over hydro-power projects at Smith Mountain Lake and other similar areas throughout the country. Congressman Hurt said:
"The input I receive from Fifth District Virginians is my single greatest resource as a member of Congress. A group of citizens in the Smith Mountain Lake area came to me to express concerns about the unnecessary burdens and costs to residents caused by FERC regulations that are significantly impeding their private property rights. FERC requires hydropower licensees to file and abide by Shoreline Management Plans. These plans regulate activities that are not related to hydroelectric power production which can result in the removal of docks and other private recreational facilities. As it stands now, FERC is not required to even consider private property owners' rights when issuing a license or enforcement action. The SHORE Act is a direct response to FERC's absence of consideration of private property rights in the licenses for hydro-power projects in the Fifth District and other areas of the country. Property owners deserve a say in this process given that it can have such a significant and direct impact on them.
"Excessive federal overreach continues to contribute to our stalled economic recovery, holding us back from the job growth we so desperately need. The SHORE Act will help protect the private property ownership rights of individuals and small businesses so that overreaching federal regulations will not impede their ability to enjoy their private property, expand their businesses, and create jobs at a time when far too many Fifth District Virginians are out of work. I thank Congressmen Butterfield, Goodlatte, Griffith, and Mullin for their support as we work to move this bill through the legislative process and ensure that FERC considers private property rights when licensing hydro-power projects."
Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-North Carolina said, "Property owners' rights and concerns must be given sufficient weight in regulating docks, dredging, shoreline stabilization and other projects along waterfront properties near hydropower dams. Amending the Federal Power Act, through this bill, will ensure that. This legislation will benefit North Carolinians who live along Kerr Lake and Lake Gaston."
Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) stated, "If you like your dock, you should be able to keep it. I applaud Congressman Hurt for introducing the SHORE Act. This common sense bill protects the rights of property owners in the Commonwealth and throughout the nation in a practical manner from the harmful impact of federal regulations."
Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia) said, "Under Virginia common law, the laws regarding real property which lays under water can be complex and confusing. Not only do I believe that FERC regulations on the shores of our lakes are sometimes arbitrary and capricious, but their actions may also be an unlawful taking without just compensation depending on the status of the title of the real estate involved."
Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) added, "The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is an agency that was meant to regulate the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil and the licensing of hydropower. But, the agency now regulates well beyond what federal law and statute had intended. The SHORE Act is the type of common sense legislation I came to Washington to fight for, and I applaud Representative Hurt for taking the lead on this important bill that would put power back into the hands of private property owners and local economies."
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) today released his June Video Address. Text of the address is available below, as well as video. You may view the video by clicking the image below, or by clicking here.
"Hi, I'm Robert Hurt. Thank you for tuning into our Monthly Video Address for the month of June.
"Today, I am at the Buckingham County Courthouse in the heart of Virginia's Fifth District. Designed by Thomas Jefferson and originally constructed in 1824, this beautiful building is one of the only two Virginia courthouses that were actually designed by Jefferson himself. The other courthouse he designed is also still in use and is located in nearby Charlotte Court House in Charlotte County -- and also in Virginia's Fifth District.
"The original Buckingham Courthouse, along with all of its records, burned in 1869 but was rebuilt in 1873 and continues to serve the people of Buckingham today. Prompted by the speculation that the current 1873 structure did not match the original 1824 design described in letters written by Jefferson, a team of archaeologists from Longwood University rediscovered and preserved the original footprint of the courthouse in 2003. Today, you can visit the courthouse and see their work. If you have not had the opportunity to visit the historic Buckingham County Courthouse or the Charlotte County Courthouse, I would encourage you to do so.
"Back in Washington, a lot has happened during the month of June, including the notable decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that upheld the President's healthcare law. This was disappointing news to me based upon the fact that so many of the people I represent continue to be negatively impacted by this law. We continue to see employers being forced to cut working hours for their employees; we see families unable to keep healthcare plans they have always counted on; and we see unsustainable increases in insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. It was my hope that the Court would reach a different conclusion about the constitutionality of this law and give the Congress and the American people the opportunity to begin work on the passage of positive healthcare reform that would actually result in higher quality of care and lower healthcare costs for the American people.
"However, despite the Court's adverse ruling, the House of Representatives continued its work to minimize the harmful effects of the healthcare law on the American people. This month, the House passed the Protect Medical Innovation Act to repeal significant tax increases imposed by the healthcare law on medical devices ranging from dentures to pacemakers to MRI machines. The House also voted to repeal provisions of the law creating the Independent Payment Advisory Board. Pursuant to the healthcare law, this panel of fifteen unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats has been given a staggering amount of control over the care Medicare patients receive. I supported both of these measures and will continue to support proposals that minimize the healthcare law's negative impact on the American people.
"In addition to the growing concern among my constituents about the impact of the President's healthcare, I also hear growing concern about the overreach of the federal government in the lives of the citizens it is supposed to serve. This month, Democratic Congressman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina and I introduced the SHORE Act. This bipartisan legislation amends the Federal Power Act to ensure that private property ownership rights are considered when issuing a license or enforcement action over hydro-power projects at Smith Mountain Lake and similar projects across the country. I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this bill through the House of Representatives and the Senate -- with the hope that we can get it to the President's desk for signature.
"On a lighter note, just last week, I was pleased to welcome our Fifth District Congressional Art Competition winner Sheridan Santinga to the Capitol for a reception recognizing her work. Sheridan is a recent graduate of Madison County High School, and her painting "Calico Summer" is now on display in the Capitol, where it will be viewed by the thousands of people who visit each year. You can also view her winning painting on our website.
"Finally, please join me in congratulating Coach Brian O'Connor and the University of Virginia baseball team on its stunning victory in the College World Series in Omaha. With their first-ever national championship, the team has made all of us in the Commonwealth proud.
"In conclusion, please remember that if you are planning a visit to our nation's capital this summer to contact us to see how we may be of assistance -- we are always glad to see folks from home. If we may ever be of service to you in any other way, please contact us at one of our district offices or at our Washington office.
"We can always be reached at our website at hurt.house.gov -- where you can also sign up for regular legislative updates. And don't forget to join the conversation on our social media pages.
"Once again, thank you for tuning in to our June video address."
It is especially concerning this week given the urgent warnings of law enforcement officials that ISIS may attempt to carry out terrorist attacks during the July 4th celebrations, hoping to inflict mass casualties.
But let's set aside those concerns for now to celebrate America -- our patriotism, our history, the tremendous courage, faith and sacrifices of our Founding Fathers and America's 239th birthday.
By all means, enjoy the Fourth of July! But please remind your children and grandchildren about America's exceptionalism and the significance of Independence Day. Tell them about America's "values statement," found in the second paragraph
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . . "
" we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
The mass disenfranchisement of men and women of faith was a chilling exercise of raw political power more suited to tin pot thugs and dictators. It was a sad day for freedom and self-governance.
This July 4th may well be one of the most important in our history. The values that birthed this great nation are under siege at home and abroad. Our future depends on whether folks like you and me can rediscover the courage of our Founding Fathers and reclaim our country.
I'll close with a word of encouragement to our pastors, who, now more than ever, are on the front lines of the culture war given the assault on marriage and religious liberty.
John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, a lesser-known hero of the War for Independence, was a pastor and a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1775, he preached a sermon on Ecclesiastes 3:1 -- "For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven."
Pastor Muhlenberg closed his sermon with these words:
"In the language of Holy Writ, there is a time for all things. There is a time to preach and a time to fight. And now is the time to fight."
He then removed his clerical robes and revealed to the congregation that he was wearing the uniform of an officer in the Continental Army.
Pastor Muhlenberg's example of a man of God fighting for our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should give increased fervor and devotion most especially to those who lead us in the fight for faith, family and freedom.
Like few times in our nation's history, this is a time to fight for the values we cherish!
God bless you, my friends, and may God bless the United States of America!