Saturday, August 31, 2013
Mark Obenshain Proposes Measure to Increase Accountability and Transparency for the Attorney General’s Office
August 27, 2013
Mark's website: http://www.markobenshain.com
Mark on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/markobenshain
Mark on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/markobenshain
Congressman Robert Hurt
Over the course of my time in Washington, my Republican colleagues in the House and I have made it a priority to develop a way to bring meaningful reform to our healthcare system that does not harm our economy and reduce jobs. Americans deserve a plan to reform healthcare in a way that does not put our small businesses and families at risk with overwhelming tax increases and unnecessary regulatory burdens.
It seems like every week, another aspect of the President's health care law is deemed unworkable and unsustainable. The latest in this series came last week as local governments began announcing that they would be cutting employee hours due to the costs associated with the law. Cities and counties across the country are desperate for ways to compensate for the hundreds of thousands of dollars the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is going to cost them, and many are being forced to reduce their part-time employees' hours to do so.
Under the Affordable Care Act, state and local governments are required to provide health care coverage to employees working upwards of 30 hours each week. In order to avoid these high costs, these public entities are being forced to make the difficult decision to reduce employee hours.
This news comes on the heels of the one-year delay of the employer mandate last month, which requires companies with over 50 employees to provide health care under the overhaul. By implementing this delay, the Administration admitted that the Affordable Care Act is unaffordable and unworkable for businesses. Unfortunately, the same is being proven true for state and local governments.
Within Virginia, the City of Lynchburg has had to cut hours for 35 to 40 part-time employees, and Chesterfield County is predicting cutting hours of several hundred of their employees. Earlier this year, Danville Community College had to cut hours as a result of ACA mandating that employers provide coverage for employees working over 30 hours per week, which would have cost the college from $220,000 to $250,000.
Virginians, like all Americans, are struggling with higher costs for food, fuel, and utilities - the last thing they need are fewer hours and lower pay. This is just another example demonstrating why the government takeover of health care is the wrong prescription for reducing health care costs and enhancing access to care.
We should instead adopt reforms that use patient choice and market forces to make health care less expensive. This includes permitting the sales of insurance policies across state lines and meaningful tort reform to eliminate the costs associated with defensive medicine. We should also expand the use of health savings accounts to control costs, but the President's health care law actually reduces the effectiveness of these important tools for consumers - yet another reason why the law must be scrapped so real reforms can help the American people.
I have voted time and again to protect the American people from the harmful effects of the President's misguided health care law, and I will continue to work toward economically sound solutions that will enhance Americans' access to quality, affordable care.
Calling all bikers! On, Saturday, September 14th, The Family Foundation will hold its 2nd annual Ride for the Unborn – an event where motorcycle ministries and pro-life advocates join from across the Commonwealth to celebrate God’s precious gift of life!
Even if you don’t ride, come join us for this incredible event – it is an experience you will not want to miss! Can you picture (and imagine the sound of) 100+ riding to our state’s Capitol in support of life? What a statement on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves! Click to view some pictures and a video of last year’s successful ride.
The program will begin at 10am at Colonial Heights Baptist Church (check-in begins at 9am), followed by a ride through historic Richmond including the Capitol, and finish at the church with an optional BBQ lunch. The program and ride are free, but there is a $10 fee for those desiring to stay for lunch.
So that we can provide enough food and make the proper preparations, please register at www.familyfoundation.org/bike.We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, September 14th!
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
"This is a clear attempt by a lawless White House to aid and abet voter fraud. Whether it is blocking the prosecution of voter intimidation in Philadelphia, illegally running guns to Mexican drug lords or assisting voter fraud in Texas Barack Obama has decided the rule of law takes a back seat to 'Rules for Radicals.'
"A Marist poll conducted July 25 shows 83 percent of minority voters support voter ID laws. Obama's actions what you see in Venezuela, a president falsely claiming to on behalf of people in order to cover up an unpopular political play.
"I encourage the federal courts to do their constitutional duty and thwart this latest attempt to abuse presidential power to pervert free and clean elections. The only people with an interest in preventing voter ID are people engaged in voter fraud."
Congressman Steve Stockman in response to an attempt by the Obama Justice Department to invalidate voter ID laws in Texas.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Jackson Receives Gun Owners of America and Police Benevolent Association Endorsements
New Mexico Supreme Court Ruling Against Christian Photographer a Gross Violation of Free Speech, Rel
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, the New Mexico Supreme Court in Elane Photography v. Willock, ruled against a Christian photographer who, citing her deeply held religious beliefs, declined to work a same-sex commitment ceremony. New Mexico law does not recognize gay marriage or gay civil unions. A recent Rasmussen survey found that 85 percent of Americans support the right of a photographer to refuse participation in a same-sex "wedding."
Ken Klukowski, Family Research Council's Director for the Center for Religious Liberty released the following statement:
"The New Mexico Supreme Court's decision is profoundly disturbing. That court explicitly declares that a person's sincerely-held religious beliefs--in this case, traditional and orthodox Christian beliefs--do not permit them to run their privately-owned business in accordance with their religious beliefs. This decision would stun the Framers of the U.S. Constitution, is a gross violation of the First Amendment, and should now be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court to reaffirm the basic principle that the fundamental rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion do not stop at the exit door of your local church, and instead extend to every area of a religious person's life.
"This decision may bring to Americans' attention the serious threat to religious liberty posed by overbearing government agencies when it comes to redefining marriage. Rather than live-and-let-live, this is forcing religious Americans to violate the basic teachings of their faith, or lose their jobs," concluded Klukowski.
WASHINGTON, D.C., The Office of Congressman Robert Hurt will be hosting a Fall Academy Day on Saturday, September 7, 2013. This will be an informational session that will bring together representatives from our five service academies, the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Military Academy, and U.S. Naval Academy, and prospective students who are interested in applying to these academies. The parents of prospective students and guidance counselors are also invited to attend this learning session. For more information, please visit our website at hurt.house.gov or contact Shani Shorter in our Danville office at (434) 791-2596.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
10:00 AM, 12:00 PM
Robert Hurt Office To Host 2013 Fall Academy Day
Hargrave Military Academy
200 Military Drive
Thursday, August 22, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) and Congressman John Delaney (D-Maryland) have introduced H.R. 3029, 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, enhancing their ability to meet their obligations to the families purchasing their plans.
"I am proud to introduce this bill along with my colleague, Rep. Delaney," said Congressman Hurt. "This bipartisan legislation provides a commonsense update to our securities laws, allowing families who invest in these prepaid college savings plans to get the most return on their investments. Virginia, along with several other states throughout the country, offers these plans, which are excellent avenues for hardworking families to plan for the costs of their children's higher education over time. I look forward to doing all I can to ensure this bill moves forward so that prepaid college savings plans like the Virginia 529 Plan are able to best serve families investing in their children's futures," Hurt continued.
Congressman Delaney added, "Making college more affordable is imperative to keeping the American Dream in reach for all Americans. 529 Plans are an important part of the equation for many families, including those in Maryland. I'm proud to join Congressman Hurt on the bipartisan College Savings Enhancement Act, which strengthens 529 programs around the country. Making higher education more affordable and accessible isn't just the right thing to do; in a global economy, it's the smart thing to do. Training a high-skill workforce is critical to making our economy more competitive, and Republicans, Democrats, and Independents understand that education leads to better jobs."
Currently, prepaid college savings programs, which allow families to prepay future tuition and fees at public colleges or universities within the state the plans are offered, are not considered Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) or Accredited Investors (AIs) under federal securities laws. This restricts them from investing in ways to maximize returns and meet the obligations to those who participate in their plans. Similar entities, however, such as state-run employee pension funds, are included in the definitions for these rules.
The College Savings Enhancement Act permits these prepaid college savings plans to come under these rules and allow them, like state pension funds, to invest in a wider portfolio and better meet their obligations to the families investing for their children's education.
Congressman Robert Hurt
This week, as the new academic year is starting at many of Virginia's colleges and universities, we are reminded of the sacrifice and hard work that so many families put forth for the opportunity to send their children to college.
The expenses associated with going to college, whether it be tuition, room and board, or commuting costs, are on the rise. Planning ahead and starting early to account for these costs is key, and Virginia, along with many other states across the country, provides a way for families to invest in their children's futures.
The prepaid 529 plan, which is offered in Virginia and several other states, is a prepaid college savings program that allows families to prepay future tuition and fees at public colleges and universities. While the plan is designed to work with in-state public schools, the benefits can also be applied to tuition costs at private or out-of-state schools. Further, it can be used to prepay for two-year community colleges.
Currently, state-run prepaid college savings programs like the 529 Plan are not allowed to purchase certain securities, limiting them in terms of their investments. This restricts them from investing in ways to maximize returns and meet the obligations to those who buy credits under their plans.
However, similar entities to these college savings plans, such as state-run employee pension funds, are included in the definitions for these rules and are therefore permitted to purchase certain securities. College savings plans should be afforded the same opportunity.
That is why I, along with Congressman John Delaney (D-MD), have introduced H.R. 3029, the College Savings Enhancement Act, which would update these securities laws to include college savings plans like the Virginia 529 Plan in these rules and allow them to better meet their obligations to the families investing in their children's education.
This bipartisan legislation is a commonsense update to our securities laws to ensure that these prepaid college savings plans can best serve families investing in their children's futures throughout Virginia and the United States. College costs are rising every day, and our bill allows hardworking families one avenue to get more bang for their buck by investing in these plans.
Recognizing the importance of education, I worked with my colleague, Congressman Delaney, because educating our children is not a Democrat or Republican issue; it is a fundamental pillar of the American Dream, and the College Savings Enhancement Act makes strides toward achieving the goal of an affordable education. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to move our bill forward and provide real solutions to advancing America's future.
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.