Pete Sessions 141127

The Hill Report 
A Weekly Newsletter From Congressman Pete Sessions 
Week of November 24 – 28, 2014 


Today I join my fellow Americans in giving thanks for the many blessings that we enjoy in our great nation. Each year I am honored to highlight military heroes from the 32nd Congressional District of Texas who have valiantly served our nation and have made selfless sacrifices for the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans. During this season of thanks I would like to remember our brave men and women in uniform and their families and thank them for their invaluable contribution to our nation.

1Lt. James McCarthy, USA
James is a 2007 graduate of Berkner High School in Richardson, TX.  After graduating from West Point in 2011, he remained at the Academy as a Graduate Assistant for the Army Sprint Football Team. He was then stationed at Fort Sill, OK, with the 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery Regiment where he graduated from Basic Officer Leadership Course in April 2012. He then joined the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, NC, where he graduated from Airborne School.  James currently serves as the Fire Direction Officer for Battery A, 2nd Battalion 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment.  In July of 2015 he will return to Fort Sill to attend the Captain Career Course in Fort Sill, OK.

1Lt. James McCarthy

Captain Mike Koepke, USAF
Mike is a 2004 graduate of Richardson High School in Richardson, TX.  He attended the Air Force Academy Prep School before graduating from the Air Force Academy in 2009. He then became an intelligence officer stationed at Luke Air Force Base, AZ, where he served for the last four years. 

Captain Mike Koepke with his wife Liliana Koepke

Mike completed his deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in June of this year where he was the officer in charge of the Technical Exploitation Cell.  Last November he married Liliana Urrego, who is a 2011 Air Force Academy graduate.  Mike is currently stationed at Eglin Air Force Base where he cross-trained into acquisitions and now works in the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) program office.  

LT John Cavenaugh, USN
John is a 2004 graduate from Coppell High School who graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy with a degree in Marine Engineering Systems in 2008. Upon graduation he was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy and spent his first two and a half years attending flight school in Pensacola, FL, and Corpus Christi, TX. Upon completing flight school he was stationed in Norfolk, VA, where he spent the next four years flying the MH-60S Knighthawk.

LT John Cavenaugh returning from deployment last April

In July of 2013 he was deployed to the Middle East for nine months aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as a part of Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW-3). During this time, John served as an aircraft commander for missions such as Search and Rescue, Logistical Support, VIP Passenger Transfers, and Maritime Strike missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Currently, he is a Lieutenant in the Navy stationed in Austin, TX, as a Naval Officer Recruiter and Division Officer. John has recently been accepted as a student into the Class of 2017 Evening MBA Program at the University of Texas.

Academy Interviews 
Last Saturday I held my annual Service Academy Interview Event where 26 candidates were interviewed by my Academy Selection Board for nominations to four of the five of our nation’s military academies. This is one of the most important responsibilities that I have as a Member of Congress as well as one of my favorites.  As I am every year, this year I was honored to meet with these young men and women to nominate them to our nation’s Service Academies.  

Each candidate was interviewed by the Academy Selection Board, which is chaired by Chad Hennings, for the opportunity to receive a nomination to the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy or the United States Naval Academy. If you are interested in learning more about our nation’s Service Academies and the nomination process please visit my website or contact Jennifer Lang in my District Office at 972.392.0505 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

Pete Sessions
Member of Congress

 

Why Not Joe Straus?

THE GRASSROOTS TEXANS NETWORK

Despite the vigorous conversation going on over the Texas House Speaker, some Texas Republicans are still asking the question: "So, what's wrong with Joe Straus as Speaker, anyway?"

The answer is quite simple.  If Joe Straus is reelected as Speaker of the Texas House, he will continue his pattern of obstruction, and Texas conservatives will almost certainly be forced to endure another frustrating session during which conservative legislation is killed while Democrat-sponsored legislation moves forward.  A partial list of reforms that have been killed and will not likely ever see the light of day under Speaker Straus include:

Elimination of 'Sanctuary' Policies Tying the Hands of Law Enforcement

Expanded School Choice Opportunities

Employment Verification for State Employees and Contractors

Expanded Self-Defense Rights on Texas College Campuses

Restrictions on Welfare Benefits to Illegal Aliens

Restriction of 'Abortion on Demand' in Texas

Strict Constitutional Spending Limits

Zero-based Budgeting

Franchise Tax (a.k.a. Gross Margins Tax) Elimination

Property Tax Reform

Protections from Tax Increases

Requiring Legislators to Disclose Government Contracts

Ending Gas Tax/Highway Fund Diversions

Eliminating Corporate Welfare Programs

Requiring Transparency Provisions for Local Bond Elections

Eliminating Pensions for Convicted Former Legislators

Simply put, a vote for Joe Straus is a vote to KILL the types of conservative reform legislation that strong majorities of Texans support.

If your State Representative votes for Joe Straus, your State Rep is voting to KILL conservative policy ideas in the Texas House.

You don't have to take our word for it.  A wide variety of media outlets and conservative groups have reported on Joe Straus' horrible record as Texas House Speaker.  A partial list:

Dr. Mark Jones: Red State, Purple Legislation

Forbes: Meet the Harry Reid of Texas

Wall Street Journal: Texas Goes Sacramento

Empower Texans: Straus' JV Fumbles Attack

Politifact: Planned Parenthood Thanked Joe Straus after Session

Empower Texans: The Joe Straus Record

Speaker Straus: Painting Texas Purple 

Empower Texans: 'Obstructionist'

RedState: 'Corruption'

Empower Texans: ‘Ethics’ Chair Admits: Attacking Conservatives to Appease Straus Team

RedState: The Myth of Joe Straus

RedState: Joe Straus' War Against Conservatives

RedState: Conservatives: Joe Straus is Not Your Friend

Busting the State Spending Cap

Debt TrainTODAY...

Some trying to bust the state spending cap... Illegal aliens cost HISD $28 million... Funds flow for new toll roads... Dallas GOP endorses in speakership race...
 
Very Thankful!
 
What a year 2014 has been! Without a doubt, this has been the most successful year we’ve had at Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. 
 
More than ever, we’re empowering Texas voters with the truth about what happens in their state and local governments. It hasn’t made us popular in Austin, but that’s also a good sign!
 
We at Texans for Fiscal Responsibility have a lot for which to be thankful. And while we’d love to list everything, here’s our top five:
 
5. Opportunity
Living and working in Texas is a blessing unlike any other. Like millions before us, the Lone Star State has afforded our staff the opportunity to work towards seeing a dream realized. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility’s goal is to empower citizens with the truth, all based around the simple idea that government and elected officials exist to serve taxpayers, and not the other way around.
 
We’ve seen a lot of success, but there’s still much more to be done.
 
4. Coalition Partners
This year Texans for Fiscal Responsibility began working with other conservative organizations from across the state in what’s been dubbed the Life, Liberty and Property Tour. Its purpose? To make sure that what happens in Austin, no longer stays in Austin.
 
We’re proud to partner and tour the state with Texas Right to Life, Texas Home School Coalition, Grassroots America - We the People, Texas Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America, and Texas Values in the effort to shine a bright light on your state and local governments.
 
3. Steadfast Support
No matter what we’ve gone through. No matter what the naysayers may claim. No matter how loud the noise becomes. You always have our back, and we always have yours.
 
Standing on principle isn’t easy, but knowing we're standing together makes all the difference.
 
2. The People of Texas
The Lone Star State has quite a reputation, and for good reason. But despite what some may say, Texas isn’t great because of her resources or economic success. Texas is great because of her people. From McAllen to Dalhart, Texarkana to El Paso, and everywhere in between, our state is full of men and women who place principles over politics and a hand up over a hand out.
 
Texas embodies the American dream, and we’re grateful to be a part of it.
 
1. You
We can’t say enough how thankful we are for your support. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility has become the most trusted name in the conservative movement in Texas, and it’s thanks to friends like you.
 
We’re honored you’ve put your trust in us. We look forward to continuing to work alongside you to promote a stronger, freer, and more prosperous Texas!
 
Thankfully Yours,   
Michael Quinn Sullivan
& the EmpowerTexans.com Team
 
 
November 23, 2014
 
QUOTING...
“They have the usual socialist disease; they have run out of other people's money.” - Margaret Thatcher
 
 
________
 
 
In Today's
News Digest
 
Despite unprecedented increases in state spending in 2013, some lawmakers are itching to spend even more...
 
A move is on to bust the state's spending cap. Where do you stand? Where does your legislator stand?
 
The cost for the 3,000 recently enrolled illegal minors will leave HISD taxpayers with a roughly $28 million bill...
 
Despite being promised Proposition 1 would not support the creation of new toll roads, officials now admit the new dollars will make it easier to fund toll projects without reform...
 
The Dallas County GOP endorsed Scott Turner for Speaker of the Texas House...
 
Always fresh content at EmpowerTexans.com!
 
________
 
 
Our 2nd Annual Conservative Leaders Gala in the Metroplex on Dec. 6th. The dinner event will feature awards to grassroots citizen leaders and a keynote address by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
 
 
 
TODAY'S NEWS
Democrats
The Joe Straus Record
by Empower Texans Foundation
At the beginning of the upcoming Texas Legislative Session, members of the Texas House will decide who the state’s third-ranking constitutional officer will be for the current biennium. Texans should be informed about who their representatives are supporting — whether they are enabling the obstructionist tendencies of past sessions, or standing with a principled leader.  Read more»
 
  Roads  
Don't Bust The Cap
Texas leads the nation in job growth and economic opportunity. So why do some in Austin want lawmakers to bust the state's spending cap and grow spending beyond our economic means?
 
Learn more at DontBustTheCap.com
 
  Gavel  
Unaccompanied Minors Costing Houston Taxpayers Millions
by Charles Blain
In a progress report Empower Texans obtained, HISD’s Government Relations Director, Ashlea Graves released the shocking numbers that show a dramatic increase in enrollment of unaccompanied Central American minors over this past summer.   Read more»
 
  Craig Estes  
Dallas County GOP Endorses Turner
by Ross Kecseg
The executive committee of the Dallas County Republican Party passed a resolution endorsing Rep. Scott Turner (R-Frisco) for Texas House Speaker. The resolution described Turner’s reputation as a leader who has “fought for government transparency and efficiency, fought for tax relief for hard-working Texans and small business owners, supports pro-life, and supports school choice.”   Read more»
 
  Craig Estes  
Prop 1’s Toll Prohibition Is Effectively Meaningless
by Christopher Paxton
Proposition 1’s largest “selling point” was that funds diverted from the state’s emergency savings account to transportation would only be spent on non-tolled roads. At last week’s RTC meeting, however, officials admitted that increases in state funding will actually make it easier for them to build more tollways and passenger rail by freeing up existing revenue that can now be replaced by Prop 1 money.   Read more»
 
AROUND TEXAS
  Texas Right to Life  
Grassroots America We The People
Based in east Texas' Smith County, Grassroots America We The People sponsors Constitutional studies training, conservative activist and candidate training, and government watchdog committees in support of limited government and fiscal responsibility.  Get to know GAWTP!

Ted Cruz 141121

Sadly, we predicted it. Weeks ago, we warned that President Obama would defy Congress and the American people and unilaterally try to grant amnesty after the election.

And on November fourth, the American people spoke out loudly. You sent the largest Republican majority to Congress in decades to put a stop to the President's lawless amnesty.

But unfortunately, President Obama -- just last night -- did what he had previously and repeatedly admitted would be illegal.

Last night, in defiance of you, President Obama announced his plan for unconstitutional executive amnesty against the will of the American people. We must do everything humanly possible to stop it.

StopAmnesty.png

It’s incumbent upon the Republicans -- who were just elected by the American people as a referendum against this illegal amnesty -- to put an end to it. We have a plan to do just that.

If you support the rule of law and want to uphold the Constitution, I hope you’ll join us and take a stand against President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty.

Now is the time to lead. And we need your help to do it.

For Liberty,
tcsig.png
Ted Cruz

Pete Sessions 141121

The Hill Report
A Weekly Newsletter from Congressman Pete Sessions
Week of November 17 – 21, 2014


Last night President Obama announced plans to use an executive fiat to grant blanket amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.  The President’s unilateral action is a blatant abuse of power that disregards the Constitution.  Remarkably, the President is acting in a way that he himself admitted he could not do just a few years ago.  In refusing to work with Congress, the President has poisoned the well for any opportunity for real reform, undermined the rule of law, and ignored the wishes of the American people.

As a proud Texan, I understand the need to reform our broken immigration system. However, the President’s plan will only make a dangerous situation at the border worse. Individuals who have followed the law and gone through our immigration system the right way deserve better than this.  If the President wants real reform, he should listen to the voice of the American people through their elected representatives in Congress and follow the constitutional law making process instead of unilaterally ruling behind the guise of executive power.

I believe for true immigration reform to be effective we must first and foremost secure our borders, strengthen interior enforcement, and prosecute and deport criminal aliens who are currently in the United States. I remain committed to vigorously working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives and the Senate to offer real meaningful solutions that address the problems of our severely broken immigration system.

Legislation passed this week in the House of Representatives 
This week the House of Representatives acted to pass legislation that would provide much needed reform to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and that would help spur robust job growth in our manufacturing sector.  

On Tuesday the House passed H.R. 1422, the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, to ensure unbiased and balanced participation on the panel that provides the foundation for costly EPA regulations. On Wednesday the House passed H.R. 4012, the Secret Science Reform Act, which would require the EPA to base its regulations on science that is available to the public and subject to independent review. These two bills would serve as a critical step to create greater transparency in the federal government and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently and effectively. 

On Thursday the House passed H.R. 4795, the Promoting New Manufacturing Act. Recently our country has seen a historic expansion in our energy sector, which has created a historic opportunity for a manufacturing boom. Increased manufacturing projects would generate much-needed economic investment and create thousands of good-paying jobs for hard-working Americans. However, investment in such projects has been hindered due to burdensome regulations and unnecessary red tape imposed by the EPA’s lengthy preconstruction permitting process. H.R. 4795 would cut through the red tape, create a more efficient and transparent process, and get government out of the way  in order to jumpstart new manufacturing projects and create much-needed jobs. 

Meetings with Students
On Tuesday I met with North Texas students participating in AIPAC’s Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit in Washington, D.C. Each year AIPAC selects student leaders from around the country to participate in a national leadership conference. Students learn about the American political process and interact with Washington policy makers. I was impressed with the student’s articulate questions and delighted to see their interest in actions that the House of Representatives has taken which would support our ally, Israel. As we move forward in the fight against terrorism both in the Middle East and around the world please know that I remain a steadfast supporter of the Jewish State and committed to maintaining and protecting our nation’s ties with Israel – our strongest ally in the Middle East. 

Congressman Sessions meeting with students participating in AIPAC's Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday afternoon I had the opportunity to meet with students from universities across the nation participating in the Washington Semester Program at American University. I enjoyed speaking with them about my role as Chairman of the House Rules Committee and explaining the Committee’s role in the legislative process. It is always a pleasure to hear the perspectives of the young leaders in our communities and to see their enthusiasm to participate in our nation’s democratic process.

Congressman Sessions talking with students from the Washington Semester Program at American University

North Texas Crime Commission
Monday night I had the pleasure of taking members of the North Texas Crime Commission on a tour of the Capitol. After the tour the group visited my office and we had a very productive discussion about the importance of law enforcement and the initiatives which keep the North Texas community safe. I always enjoy their annual visit and discussing their noteworthy work in the 32nd Congressional District. To learn more about their efforts, click here

Congressman Sessions meeting with the North Texas Crime Commission in a hearing room in the Capitol


Have a good weekend.

Sincerely,

Pete Sessions
Member of Congress