Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Monday, December 30, 2013
The New York Times is taking heat today for some revisionist history on the Benghazi attacks. Four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya, died when the U.S. consulate in Benghazi came under siege on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the Obama Administration abandoned them.
In a massive 7,000-word report, the Times declared that there is "no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault," which the paper asserted, "was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam."
This latest Times rewrite on Benghazi contradicts its prior reporting, and even the Obama Administration's belated admissions. Fox News reports that "sources who were on the ground that night" are blasting the New York Times' essay as "completely false."
Benghazi is a huge stain on the credibility of the Obama Administration, including the credibility of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. With speculation about 2016 growing every day, perhaps that is why the Times felt the urgent need to attempt to expunge the record.
By trying to resurrect the "blame the video" lie, perhaps the lefties at the New York Times thought they were doing Hillary Clinton a favor. Instead, they have only stirred up a hornet's nest. Congressional Republicans pushed back yesterday on the Sunday talk shows. Even one California Democrat conceded, "…the intelligence indicates that al-Qaeda was involved."
But if the New York Times wants to have this fight, bring it on. Let's empower a select committee to issue subpoenas and hold public hearings. No more stonewalling. Let's hear from the CIA and State Department witnesses who have been bullied into silence. Let's finally get the answers that the families of Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty deserve.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Staff members from Congressman Robert Hurt's (R-Virginia) office will hold Local Office Hours in Fauquier and Greene Counties on Friday, January 3 to meet with constituents who need assistance with federal agencies. For more information, please visit our Local Office Hours Interactive Map.
9:00 to 11:00 am
Warren Green Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
10 Hotel Street
1:00 to 3:00 pm
Greene County Administration Building
Board Conference Room
40 Celt Road
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
- Obama is touting figures suggesting that as many as one million Americans have signed up for Obamacare. But industry experts are saying that far fewer people are technically enrolled. While people are filling out applications online, some insurance companies report that only 10% of applicants have actually paid their premiums. And if you don't pay, you're not enrolled.
- Why aren't people paying their premiums? Sticker shock. According to this analysis from USA Today, "More than half of the counties in 34 states using the federal health insurance exchange lack even a bronze plan that's affordable -- by the government's own definition " Obama's Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was sold on a myriad of lies, one of the biggest being that it would be "affordable."
- In what the New York Times labeled as a "vague announcement," the Obama Administration moved the goal posts yet again Tuesday, declaring a "special enrollment period" for anyone whose policy was cancelled and who experiences trouble with the glitchy healthcare.gov site. Even the left-wing Times conceded that Obama's constant unilateral changes to the law "amount to a sweeping exercise of executive power "
- Politico labeled the ongoing disastrous rollout of Obamacare a "PR nightmare," and compared its many problems to a monster in a horror film that just keeps coming back.
VISIT AMERICAN VALUES
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
VISIT AMERICAN VALUES
The story was based on a recent Pew poll finding that while 92% of Americans will celebrate Christmas, only 51% say it is more of a religious holiday. If barely half the country recognizes that Christmas is a celebration of Christ's birth, is it any wonder that God is increasingly unwelcome in the public square?
Looking back at 2013, it is hard to not get discouraged: The Supreme Court overturned thousands of years of history and religious teaching by accepting a radical redefinition of marriage. The trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell highlighted the horror of the culture of death that exists in America today. And the controversy involving Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson shows just how far the left has pulled America from our moral foundation.
America is at cultural crossroads.
But no headline, no sorrow of life should turn our hearts from the love of God and the greatest gift ever given!
When the Christ Child came into the world, his cry pierced the night and split all of human history in half. No one can predict the headlines in the weeks and months ahead, but we can rest assured that one day every head will bow and every knee will bend before the King of Kings.
PBS notwithstanding, Christmas is indeed a religious celebration. To help set the tone, I'd like to share with you the lyrics to the classic Christmas hymn, O Holy Night:
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, oh, hear the angel voices!
Oh, night divine, oh, night when Christ was born!
Oh, night divine, oh, night, oh, night divine!
Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! Oh, praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!
Merry Christmas! And may you enjoy all of God's richest blessings in the year ahead.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Friday, December 13, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting in favor of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, which passed the House 332-94.
“Fifth District Virginians know that we need to put an end to the reckless government spending in Washington that has brought us to a $17 trillion debt. Since coming to Congress, addressing the crippling national deficit and debt has been my top priority.
“After years of Senate unwillingness to act on budget policy, I am encouraged by the fact that we have stopped the pattern of handing over our congressional budgetary authority to the executive branch and exercised our constitutional duty to establish the spending priorities for our great nation. This budget plan reduces our long-term deficit without raising taxes. We have exchanged one-time cuts for long-term spending reforms that are not only good deficit reduction policy, but will also secure our military readiness by giving our troops the resources they need to defend our nation.
“This budget plan is not a solution to our debt crisis, but it is a step in the right direction. I look forward to continuing to fight for true spending reform and for policies that will balance our budget and guarantee a brighter future for all Virginians and Americans.”
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Late last month, President Obama quipped about his low approval ratings, [T]he good thing about when you're down is that usually you got nowhere to go but up. But Obamas statement was premature at best.
A new Quinnipiac University poll finds the presidents approval rating has dipped to 38 percent among registered voters, with barely one in three approving of Obamas actions on health care and only four in ten approving of his Iran policy.
Worst of all for Obama, his advantages among young and Hispanic voters have virtually vanished. A minority 49 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds now say they disapprove of Obamas job performance, while 50 percent of Hispanic voters feel the same way.
Whats more, majorities also believe Obama is not honest and trustworthy and that he lacks strong leadership qualities. Thats bad news as Obama looks ahead to his legacy.
Perhaps Obama can take solace in the rousing round of applause he received at Nelson Mandelas funeral in Pretoria, South Africa, on Tuesday. Unfortunately for Obama, Pretorias 8,000 miles away from the audience that matters: the American people. More and more, it seems Obamas most ardent supporters are those who are furthest removed from the effects of his policies.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) introduced legislation along with Congressman Phil Roe (R-Tennessee) that would level the playing field for generic drug user fees so that smaller manufacturers would be expected to pay fees that would reflect the relative size of their firms compared to drug company giants. Hurt released the following statement following its introduction:
"I am proud to have introduced this legislation that addresses an important issue harming small generic drug manufacturers in Virginia's Fifth District and across the country. The Food and Drug Administration is imposing user fees in a way that places a disproportionate burden on these small manufacturers, which create good jobs in places like Charlottesville, Virginia. The expectation that all manufacturers pay the same fees, regardless of their size, is unrealistic and should be adjusted to accommodate these smaller companies so they can continue to innovate, produce and compete. It is my hope that this bill moves swiftly through the legislative process so that these manufacturers are afforded relief in a timely manner," Hurt said.
Smaller companies across the nation have been grappling with the one-size-fits-all fee structure that the FDA created pursuant to the Generic Drug User Fee Act. One manufacturing facility in Charlottesville, Afton Scientific, which provides pre-sterilized and packaged components such as sterile vials, has seen first-hand the effects of FDA's unfair implementation of fees. Tom Thorpe, CEO of Afton Scientific, said, "I appreciate the recent action taken by Congressman Hurt on behalf of small generic drug manufacturers in the Fifth District and across the country and for his continued dedication to supporting small businesses as a key player in creating jobs. This amendment represents an important correction to the Generic Drug User Fee Act which now threatens our smaller and emerging drug manufacturing facilities that provide great jobs and many vital small quantity drugs."
ON THE WEB
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Staff members from Congressman Robert Hurt's (R-Virginia) office will hold Local Office Hours in Lunenburg County on Friday, December 13 to meet with constituents who need assistance with federal agencies. For more information, please visit our Local Office Hours Interactive Map.
Friday, December 13, 2013
9:00 am to 11:00 am
Local Office Hours in Lunenbur
Lunenburg County Administrator's Office
11413 Courthouse Road
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-VA) today released the following statement after the Department of Labor issued the latest unemployment report:
"While I was pleased to see that our national unemployment rate has dropped slightly, the continued threat of excessive regulations, tax increases, and Washington's out-of-control spending culture is stalling our economic recovery, as well as threatening the existence and creation of jobs across the country.
"My colleagues and I in the House have continued to pass bipartisan, pro-growth jobs bills that would help turn our economy around by removing the government as a barrier to job creation to restore certainty to the marketplace. This week, legislation I introduced, the 'Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act,' passed the House with bipartisan support. At a time when economic uncertainty and over-regulation are hindering job creation in Virginia and across our great nation, it is imperative that we implement policies like this pro-growth legislation to fuel job creation and move our economy forward."It is my hope that the Senate does not stall in passing these commonsense House-passed bills that would put us on the path to economic recovery and spur job growth across the nation."
Campaign for Working Families
Since the December 1st relaunch of Healthcare.gov, Obama and his Democrat allies have been desperately trying to convince the American people that Obamacare is now working smoothly. They are even touting a "surge" of enrollments, which in two days this week exceeded October's total. But despite their wishful thinking and self-delusion, the headlines tell a different story.
- CBS News reported Wednesday that "insurance companies are still receiving either no data or garbled data from people who put their information in. If that isn't improved, people who think they've enrolled will not have a health insurance policy."
- One of the major reasons people won't be covered by these technical "glitches" is that the backend payment system on Healthcare.gov is not working. Administration officials tried to address the problem this week by instructing applicants to "pay your premium to the insurance company directly -- not to the Health Insurance Marketplace."
How many people who have already signed up will know to do this? One Indiana insurance company reports that only 20% of applicants have actually paid. And what happens if they haven't paid by January 1st? Their application is voided and individuals must start the infuriating process all over again.
- Technical "glitches" aren't limited to the federal website. State exchanges are reporting similar problems. Washington state officials recently discovered errors in nearly 8,000 applications. California has yet to process tens of thousands of paper applications.
- Meanwhile, vastly more people continue to be enrolled in Medicaid, rather than Obamacare. In Washington state, nearly nine times more people were signed up for taxpayer-financed Medicaid assistance than purchased their own plan through the state exchange. (That entitlement program's costs are certain to skyrocket.)
But because of all the glitches, some states may stop processing those applications too, potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of low-income individuals.
Obamacare is the president's signature initiative. It was the most sweeping legislative change in decades. It is a massive tax increase that radically alters one-sixth of the American economy and vastly expands the IRS and the government's intrusion into our lives.
Given Obamacare's importance to Obama's legacy (not to mention the political careers of many Democrats), how many times do you think Obama sat down face-to-face with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose office was charged with implementing Obamacare? Just once.
Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan wrote a brilliant column this week critiquing Obama's leadership (or lack thereof) given the calamitous failure of Obamacare. She described Obama as a "low-information leader," out-of-touch with the real world and overly impressed by his own words. Here are few key excerpts:
- "It's a leader's job to be skeptical of grand schemes. Sorry, that's a conservative leader's job. It is a liberal leader's job to be skeptical that grand schemes will work as intended. You have to guide and goad and be careful.
"And this president wasn't. I think part of the reason he wasn't careful is because he sort of lives in words. That's been his whole professional life -- books, speeches. Say something and it magically exists as something said, and if it's been said and publicized it must be real. He never had to push a lever, see the machine not respond, puzzle it out and fix it. …He never had to stock a store, run a sale and see lots of people come but the expenses turn out to be larger than you'd expected and the profits smaller, and you have to figure out what went wrong and do better next time. …
"Commentators like to decry low-information voters -- the stupid are picking our leaders. I think the real problem is low-information leaders. They have so little experience of life and have so much faith in magic -- in media, in words -- that they don't understand people will get angry at you when you mislead them, and never see you the same way again."
December 04, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC) is encouraged by a new story from the Washington Times highlighting recent findings from the Charlotte Lozier Institute on state funding for stem cell research. The institute has found that the bulk of stem cell funding grants in California and Maryland are now going to ethical stem cell research, and not unethical embryonic stem cell research - a decided shift in focus for these states.
Of the findings FRC's Senior Fellow Dr. David Prentice said:
"This latest news simply emphasizes what advocates of ethical stem cell research have said for years - adult stem cells are the true gold standard for stem cells. They are certainly golden for patients; more than 60,000 people a year around the world are currently treated with adult stem cells.
"We heard for years that embryonic stem cells were the 'only' stem cells for treatment as well as lab research, and the federal government as well as several states rushed to pour money onto this research. But even in states previously devoted exclusively to embryonic stem cell and cloning research, the majority of grants now are going to ethical, successful adult stem cell studies.
"Embryonic stem cell research relies on the destruction of young human life, and has zero proven successes for patients. Adult stem cells provide effective treatments now for dozens of diseases and conditions, with many more therapies under development. They're the best cells for the job, and all without harming the stem cell donors.
"States such as Kansas, with its new comprehensive Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center devoted to adult stem cell therapies, research, education and physician training, are at the leading edge of the science. Adult stem cell research is showing tremendous progress, while holding the ethical line that defends all human life at every stage of life.
"Adult stem cells save lives," Prentice concluded.
Prentice is an internationally-recognized expert on stem cells and cloning, and has testified before the U.S. Congress, numerous state legislatures, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the President's Council on Bioethics, European Parliament, British Parliament, Canadian Parliament, Australian Parliament, German Bundestag, French Senate, Swedish Parliament, the Vatican, and the United Nations. This year he helped the state of Kansas establish its Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after House passage of H.R. 1105, the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act, which was introduced by Hurt in May 2013 and passed with a bipartisan 254-159 vote:
"I am pleased this important bill has passed the House with bipartisan support. At a time when economic uncertainty and over-regulation are hindering job creation in Virginia and across our great nation, it is imperative that we implement policies to fuel job growth and move our economy forward.
"The Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act will reduce unnecessary regulations implemented by Dodd-Frank that inhibit private equity firms from investing private capital into small businesses. By reducing over-regulation, this bill will promote greater access to capital for small businesses, encouraging the creation of new jobs and economic stimulation across the country.
"I thank my colleagues for joining me in this effort to grow our economy and create much-needed jobs throughout Virginia and America."
- Reduces complicated and unnecessary registration requirements that unfairly burden private equity firms that are not highly leveraged. Private equity invests hundreds of billions of dollars into U.S. businesses each year. Private equity funds did not cause the financial crisis, and they continue to pose no systemic risk to the U.S. economy.
- By eliminating unnecessary regulations, this bill seeks to expand capital formation so that companies can innovate and expand. H.R. 1105 is a crucial aspect of the bipartisan Financial Services Committee agenda to improve access to capital for businesses so they can infuse much-needed jobs into our fragile economy.
- For more information on H.R. 1105, click here.
[To view Congressman Hurt's Floor Speech, click here or below.]
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
People are right to be skeptical. During an interview on CNBC last week, cybersecurity expert David Kennedy warned that it could take "over a year to at least address some of the critical-to-high exposures on the website itself." Morgan Wright, another cybersecurity specialist, said, "There's not a plan to fix this that meets the sniff test of being reasonable."
Security aside, the website continues to produce faulty data. In a front page story today, the Washington Post reports that nearly one-third of applications processed through the Obamacare website contain errors. The Post writes:
- "The mistakes include failure to notify insurers about new customers, duplicate enrollments or cancellation notices for the same person, incorrect information about family members, and mistakes involving federal subsidies.
- "The errors, if not corrected, mean that tens of thousands of consumers are at risk of not having coverage when the insurance goes into effect Jan. 1"
Monday, December 2, 2013
Gary L. Bauer
We are getting reports from all over the country of a possible Thanksgiving miracle. Truly, something appears to have happened once believed to be impossible.
On farms in Iowa and in gritty working class neighborhoods in Pittsburg, from sunny L.A. to windy Chicago, we have seen reports that at Thanksgiving meals across the nation, lost sheep came home. As families gazed in wonder in home after home, former "Obamabots" renounced their indoctrination and admitted they had been wrong when they bought into the doubletalk from our community organizer-in-chief.
Sure, these conversions aren't quite a "road to Damascus" experience and backsliding is still possible. But from unemployed college graduates to recently insurance-deprived consumers, the "faith" in "O" has collapsed. God bless America!
The White House is hailing the relaunch of the Obamacare website, Healthcare.gov, as a success now that it supposedly remains online 90% of the time. Despite all the hype, all is not well. The site crashed when CNN tested it yesterday.
In a report detailing its efforts to rebuild the site, the administration included this telling line: "While there is more work to be done, the team is operating with private sector velocity and effectiveness, and will continue their work to improve and enhance the website in the weeks and months ahead."
After three years and hundreds of millions of dollars down the drain, the administration is now attempting to emulate the private sector. As MSNBC's Chuck Todd put it, "That is an indictment on the whole idea of government as a solution."
The editors of USA Today were particularly harsh in their assessment. In a scathing editorial, the paper noted, as we have many times, that designing a website should have been the easiest part. They wrote:
Obama and his signature effort are nowhere near out of the woods. The system still doesn't have enough capacity to handle a rush.
problems that were overshadowed by the website's catastrophic early failures will loom much larger.
and the almost incomprehensible mismanagement exposed by the website fiasco does not inspire confidence
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Staff members from Congressman Robert Hurt's (R-Virginia) office will hold Local Office Hours in Madison and Halifax Counties on Friday, December 6 to meet with constituents who need assistance with federal agencies. For more information, please visit our Local Office Hours Interactive Map.
Friday, December 6, 2013
9:00 am to 11:00 am
Local Office Hours in Madison
Madison County Administration Building
414 N. Main St.
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Local Office Hours in Halifax
Mary Bethune Office Complex
Public Meeting Room, 2nd Floor
1030 Mary Bethune Street