This week, I will be visiting with active duty members of the military and veterans in Abilene and Big Spring. On Wednesday, I will attend the Dyess Enlisted Promotion Ceremony where non-commissioned officers will be promoted to Staff Sergeant, Technical Sergeant, Master Sergeant or Senior Master Sergeant. I look forward to watching these men and women take the next steps in their military careers. I will be in the KTAB/KRBC studio in Abilene on Wednesday evening to discuss the economy, the national debt and other important issues.
On Thursday, September 1st, I will visit the Big Spring Veteran Administration (VA) Hospital with two of my colleagues: Representative Jeff Miller (FL-1), Chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, and Representative Mike Conaway (TX-11), a fellow Texan and member of the House Armed Services Committee. Following that visit, I will have lunch with 155 veterans that live in Texas State Veterans Home of Big Spring. These homes are a blend of state, federal and private businesses that work together to provide quality living facilities for veterans. The homes are owned by the Texas Veterans Land Board, operated by long-term care providers. The VA also helps veterans with the costs associated with living in these homes. Thursday afternoon, I am excited to speak to an American Government class at Howard College. I am looking forward to answering students' questions and hope to provide some insight on this Congress and current challenges facing the United States.
H.R. 2497 -- "HALT ACT"
I wanted to share with you my endorsement of the "HALT Act", H.R. 2497. As you may know, the Obama Administration wants to grant "backdoor amnesty" to illegal immigrants. The American people have called upon Congress to defeat several amnesty bills in recent years and this legislation would once again reject the policy of amnesty.
The "rumors" of backdoor amnesty that had once been fueled by leaked administration memos have now become official Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy as of last month. The Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued two directives on the scope of DHS officers' prosecutorial discretion that could allow millions of illegal and criminal immigrants to avoid our immigration laws. The memos tell agency officials when to exercise "prosecutorial discretion," such as when to defer the removal of immigrants, when not to stop, question, arrest or detain an immigrant, and when to dismiss a removal proceeding. Unfortunately, the ICE memos make clear that DHS plans not to use but to abuse these powers. If the Obama administration has its way, millions of illegal immigrants will be able to live and work legally in the United States. This unilateral decision will saddle American communities with the costs of providing education and medical care to illegal immigrants. It will also place our communities at risk by not deporting criminal immigrants.
I have joined 32 of my colleagues, including House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) in support of this legislation and will continue to oppose Obama Adminstration efforts to weaken our immigration laws.
Fighting Costly Federal Regulations
When Congress reconvenes after Labor Day, House Republicans will be tackling the onerous collection of job-killing federal regulations the Obama Administration has dumped on Americans and small businesses. Since passage of H.Res. 72 this past February, House committee chairmen have been investigating and inventorying regulatory burdens to job creators. They've found many that have tied the hands of small business people and prevented job growth all across the country. At a time when unemployment continues to exceed 9%, we need to untie the hands of our job creators and get Americans back to work. By pursuing a steady repeal of job-destroying regulations, we can help lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over small and large employers alike, empowering them to hire more workers.
Question of the Week:
"Do you support more federal government involvement in local school districts?"
Please visit my website to submit your answer to this week's question.
Thank you for your continuing responses to our "Question of the Week." Here are the results from last week's question:
"Would you support the expiration of the 18.4 cent per gallon gasoline tax, which is set to expire September 30th, if it cuts the revenue that funds highway maintenance and construction?"
Yes -- 31%
No -- 65%
Undecided -- 3%