Kay Granger

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

U.S Must Support Allies In Islamic State Fight

2015/02/25

Dear Friend,

Last week, I sent a letter to President Obama urging him to immediately provide the assistance that our allies and partners in the Middle East need as they battle against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

ISIL continues to demonstrate their savagery through brutal acts, including the execution of four Americans and the execution of Japanese, Egyptian, Iraqi, and Jordanian citizens. There is no mistaking that this is a war against violent extremists who want to destroy the U.S. and our allies.

As I expressed in my letter to the President, the Egyptians, Jordanians, and Kurds have retaliated and are defending themselves against ISIL’s heinous acts, but U.S. security assistance to them is being held up and delayed by bureaucratic processes and ill-advised policy decisions by the Administration.

These delays must stop now. The U.S. cannot, and should not, fight ISIL alone. We have courageous partners in the region willing and eager to fight with us, but they need our help. In order to successfully fight and defeat ISIL our partners and allies need weapons, training, and equipment.

I have consistently raised my concerns about these issues and have received various explanations and excuses from Administration officials. Our adversaries and partners in this fight should know with complete certainty that the U.S. is willing to stand with its friends when they need our assistance and that we are united against this common enemy.

As I told President Obama in my letter, I am prepared to do everything within my power as Chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee to make sure assistance is given, including placing holds on Congressional Notifications received from the Administration and drafting legislation to hold this Administration accountable.   Sincerely,   Kay Granger Member of Congress

P.S. My letter to the President was discussed as last Friday’s White House Press Briefing. To watch the exchange, click here

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Granger Opening Statement: Budget Hearing - Department of State

2015/02/25

The Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs will come to order.

Mr. Secretary, I want to welcome you back to the subcommittee. There are many serious foreign policy matters and budget issues that Members will want to address during our time with you. We look forward to your testimony today.   

At the top of the list is addressing the threat of the Islamic State and terrorists affiliated with ISIL. As Egypt, Jordan, and the Kurds in Iraq are retaliating and defending themselves against the group’s heinous acts, security assistance is being delayed by bureaucratic processes across many agencies and poor policy decisions by this Administration. As a result, our most trusted and capable partners in the region are not getting the help they need. Mr. Secretary, there are no excuses for this delay. I know that this delay is not your responsibility alone and I have voiced my concerns directly to the President. Our allies and partners in the Middle East must get the help they need now to combat ISIL – not next week, not next month, and not next year.      In Ukraine, violence continues despite a ceasefire that was reached almost two weeks ago. We want to hear your thoughts on steps being taken to resolve the situation and what assistance is needed to support the people of Ukraine and the region to combat Russian aggression.

In Afghanistan, even with a new government in office and a signed Bilateral Security Agreement, there are continued challenges, and in fact, the security environment remains so unstable that our diplomatic and development personnel are pulling back to Kabul.

In Africa, Boko Haram has not backed down. They are still on the offensive committing unspeakable acts of brutality. And while there has been progress in ending the violence caused by the Lord’s Resistance Army, the leader of that group, Joseph Kony, remains at large.

For nearly a year and a half, you have worked with our international partners to put in place an agreement with Iran, and the United States must keep the pressure on as a final deal is negotiated. I am closely watching the elements of an agreement, and I know many of my colleagues share my concerns. The security of the United States and our steadfast ally, Israel, is at stake.    

I hope you will address each of these policy issues today.

In addition, we have questions about the budget request for your department’s operations and foreign assistance programs. The total funding level requested for the State Department and U.S.A.I.D. is six percent above last year. But even at that level you have sacrificed some of the priorities of the Members of this committee to make room for the Administration’s initiatives.  

It is difficult for me to justify a new $500 million program at the United Nations to fight global climate change and additional funds for an embassy in Cuba, when once again many programs that have bipartisan support have been reduced below last year’s level, such as democracy assistance and humanitarian programs. Another issue we will continue to address together is ensuring the safety of our nation’s diplomats. We need assurance that funding is being used effectively to address the most urgent security needs.

Next, I want to mention an issue that I know is a priority for you -- Middle East Peace. Negotiating a peace deal requires trusted partners, and the recent actions by President Abbas at the International Criminal Court have jeopardized the trust that has been built over the years. We want to hear how you plan to respond to the Palestinians’ move to join the I.C.C., and we question why the Administration’s budget request includes another $440 million for the West Bank and Gaza in light of these very troubling actions by the Palestinian leadership.

Finally, I want to mention an issue that is a priority for me -- a foreign policy issue in our own back yard. The Administration’s budget request includes $1 billion for the Central American countries - more than double the amount provided last year. Many Members of this subcommittee understand the need for an increased investment in these countries to stop the flow of illegal immigration into the United States. I have myself visited these countries, and the U.S.-Mexico border, several times and have seen this crisis first-hand. We need your help today to understand how such a large investment would change the situation on our border. Our neighbor, Mexico, is on the front lines of combating these troubling patterns of immigration from Central America. We must do all we can to help Mexico strengthen its borders and turn away those traveling illegally from Central American countries. We must also support and use the capabilities of partners in the region, such as Colombia, to continue to develop and implement a comprehensive security strategy.  

In closing, I want to thank you and the thousands of diplomats, development officers, and implementing partners for what you do every day to promote U.S. interests abroad. You have a very difficult job and all of the Members of the subcommittee recognize that, but we also know that the United States must lead in these troubling times. It is our responsibility to hold you to account for managing the funds this committee provides to address these challenges.

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Granger pushes Obama to send F-16s to Egypt

2015/02/23

By Maria Recio - Star-Telegram Washington Bureau

One of North Texas’ most powerful members of Congress is taking on the Obama administration over delays in providing military assistance to nations on the front lines of combat against the Islamic State.

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, is pushing the White House to release weapons systems, especially F-16 fighter jets, to Egypt as well as aid to Jordan and the Iraqi Kurds, as the region warily eyes the military intentions of the Islamic State.

In a letter to President Barack Obama last week, Granger, chairwoman of a key funding subcommittee, sharply criticized the administration for failing to provide arms that have been withheld from Egypt since 2013.

“As Egypt, Jordan and the Kurds retaliate and defend themselves against ISIL’s heinous acts,” Granger wrote, using one of the common acronyms for the Islamic State, “U.S. security assistance is being held or delayed by bureaucratic processes and ill-advised policy decisions by your administration.”

She pointed out that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi retaliated against the Islamic State with F-16 strikes after the militants beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in neighboring Libya.

“However, it is more of the same F-16s that your administration continues to prevent from being delivered to Egypt,” said Granger.

The U.S. withheld arms to Egypt, including 20 F-16 fighter jets, 20 Harpoon missiles and 125 M1A1 battle tank kits, in 2013 after the military overthrew the elected leadership. The Pentagon is paying the F-16 builders, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Corp. of Fort Worth, to store the aircraft there. Granger represents Fort Worth.

“We cannot, and need not, do this alone,” Granger said of the fight against the Islamic State, in her letter to the president. “We have partners willing and eager to fight with us, to be the ‘pointy end of the spear.’”

The Obama administration has said that it will not commit U.S. troops to fight the Islamic State.

White House reacts

Asked about Granger’s concerns, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday, “We’ve obviously worked through and, in some cases, are even still working through some of the differences that we have with that government. But there is an important counterterrorism relationship between the United States and Egypt, and we continue to believe that the interests of the United States are well served by continuing to have a strong counterterrorism relationship with them.”

He added that “we certainly welcome her interest in this issue” and said the administration was also supportive of “a strong security relationship” with Jordan and the Kurds.

Granger is the chairwoman of the subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee that oversees funding for the State Department and foreign operations, and is threatening to hold up funding unless the administration acts.

One defense expert thinks the pressure will work.

“Rep. Granger is likely to get what she wants,” said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute, a Virginia-based conservative think tank, “because the Obama administration has a renewed appreciation for the value of Egypt’s military. The Egyptians have demonstrated a willingness to get involved in fighting” the Islamic State.

http://www.star-telegram.com/news/nation-world/article11037614.html

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Granger pushes Obama to send F-16s to Egypt

2015/02/23

By Maria Recio - Star-Telegram Washington Bureau

One of North Texas’ most powerful members of Congress is taking on the Obama administration over delays in providing military assistance to nations on the front lines of combat against the Islamic State.

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, is pushing the White House to release weapons systems, especially F-16 fighter jets, to Egypt as well as aid to Jordan and the Iraqi Kurds, as the region warily eyes the military intentions of the Islamic State.

In a letter to President Barack Obama last week, Granger, chairwoman of a key funding subcommittee, sharply criticized the administration for failing to provide arms that have been withheld from Egypt since 2013.

“As Egypt, Jordan and the Kurds retaliate and defend themselves against ISIL’s heinous acts,” Granger wrote, using one of the common acronyms for the Islamic State, “U.S. security assistance is being held or delayed by bureaucratic processes and ill-advised policy decisions by your administration.”

She pointed out that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi retaliated against the Islamic State with F-16 strikes after the militants beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in neighboring Libya.

“However, it is more of the same F-16s that your administration continues to prevent from being delivered to Egypt,” said Granger.

The U.S. withheld arms to Egypt, including 20 F-16 fighter jets, 20 Harpoon missiles and 125 M1A1 battle tank kits, in 2013 after the military overthrew the elected leadership. The Pentagon is paying the F-16 builders, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Corp. of Fort Worth, to store the aircraft there. Granger represents Fort Worth.

“We cannot, and need not, do this alone,” Granger said of the fight against the Islamic State, in her letter to the president. “We have partners willing and eager to fight with us, to be the ‘pointy end of the spear.’”

The Obama administration has said that it will not commit U.S. troops to fight the Islamic State.

White House reacts

Asked about Granger’s concerns, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday, “We’ve obviously worked through and, in some cases, are even still working through some of the differences that we have with that government. But there is an important counterterrorism relationship between the United States and Egypt, and we continue to believe that the interests of the United States are well served by continuing to have a strong counterterrorism relationship with them.”

He added that “we certainly welcome her interest in this issue” and said the administration was also supportive of “a strong security relationship” with Jordan and the Kurds.

Granger is the chairwoman of the subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee that oversees funding for the State Department and foreign operations, and is threatening to hold up funding unless the administration acts.

One defense expert thinks the pressure will work.

“Rep. Granger is likely to get what she wants,” said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute, a Virginia-based conservative think tank, “because the Obama administration has a renewed appreciation for the value of Egypt’s military. The Egyptians have demonstrated a willingness to get involved in fighting” the Islamic State.

http://www.star-telegram.com/news/nation-world/article11037614.html  

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Exclusive: U.S. lawmaker pushes White House to aid allies in Islamic State fight

2015/02/20

By Patricia Zengerle

(Reuters) - A senior Republican lawmaker has told President Barack Obama she was prepared to block foreign aid money if the administration did not provide fighter jets and tanks to Egypt and arms to other regional allies fighting Islamic State militants.

In a letter to Obama, Kay Granger, chairwoman of the House of Representatives State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee, said Egypt needs F-16 aircraft, M1A1 Abrams tanks and other weapons that have been held up since 2013. Granger has the power to place holds on foreign aid, including general assistance and weapons shipments.

Granger urged the administration to give Iraqi Kurds tools and training to fight Islamic State and to make providing weapons to Jordan a priority, according to the letter, seen by Reuters on Friday.

Dated Thursday, the letter criticized the administration as Congress is about to consider Obama's request for formal authority for a military campaign against Islamic State.

Republicans, who took control of the U.S. Congress in January, have pressed for more robust U.S. military involvement in fighting the militants, who have killed thousands of civilians while seizing territory in Iraq and Syria.

"As Egypt, Jordan, and the Kurds retaliate and defend themselves against ISIL's heinous acts, U.S. security assistance is being held or delayed by bureaucratic processes and ill-advised policy decisions by your administration," Granger wrote, using an acronym for Islamic State.

The U.S. State Department referred requests for comment to the White House, where officials did not immediately respond.

AID TO JORDAN

Granger said she was calling on the White House to "immediately release" remaining weapons and funds to Egypt, provide Jordan with weapons it had requested and ensure the Kurdish Peshmerga have equipment they need.

"I am prepared to do everything within my power to make sure this occurs, including placing holds on Congressional Notifications (spending plans) and drafting legislation to hold your Administration accountable," Granger wrote.

Egyptian warplanes bombed sites in Libya on Monday in response to the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by Islamic State militants there.

Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), which makes the F-16, said the aircraft built for Egypt were part of a foreign military sales agreement between the United States and Egypt. The Abrams tanks are made by General Dynamics Corp. (GD.N)

Twelve of 20 F-16s built by Lockheed under its last contract with Egypt are in storage at Lockheed’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility. They have been formally transferred to the U.S. government, which is paying Lockheed to store and maintain them.

The current U.S. policy on Egypt is to hold up many shipments of big-ticket weapons until Washington can certify that Cairo has made progress on human rights.

Granger represents the district where Lockheed’s facility is based, but the company would not necessarily profit from a move to release the planes since the U.S. government has already paid Lockheed for them.

U.S. officials said last week that planning was well under way to help replenish Jordan's supplies of ordnance. Jordan's King Abdullah visited Congress earlier this month, the same day Islamic State released a video of the murder of a Jordanian pilot.

The administration has said it is supplying guns and ammunition to the Kurds, who are fighting Islamic State in northern Iraq, but it is channeling them through Baghdad. Some Republicans have said the supplies should go directly to the Kurds.

(Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal and Roberta Rampton; Editing by David Storey, Toni Reinhold)

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Exclusive: Lawmaker pushes Obama to aid allies in Islamic State fight

2015/02/20

By Patricia Zengerle

A senior Republican lawmaker has told President Barack Obama she was prepared to block foreign aid money if the administration did not provide fighter jets and tanks to Egypt and arms to other regional allies fighting Islamic State militants.

In a letter to Obama, Kay Granger, chairwoman of the House of Representatives State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee, said Egypt needs F-16 aircraft, M1A1 Abrams tanks and other weapons that have been held up since 2013. Granger has the power to place holds on foreign aid, including general assistance and weapons shipments.

Granger urged the administration to give Iraqi Kurds tools and training to fight Islamic State and to make providing weapons to Jordan a priority, according to the letter, seen by Reuters on Friday.

Dated Thursday, the letter criticized the administration as Congress is about to consider Obama's request for formal authority for a military campaign against Islamic State.

Republicans, who took control of the U.S. Congress in January, have pressed for more robust U.S. military involvement in fighting the militants, who have killed thousands of civilians while seizing territory in Iraq and Syria.

"As Egypt, Jordan, and the Kurds retaliate and defend themselves against ISIL's heinous acts, U.S. security assistance is being held or delayed by bureaucratic processes and ill-advised policy decisions by your administration," Granger wrote, using an acronym for Islamic State.

The U.S. State Department referred requests for comment to the White House, where officials did not immediately respond.

AID TO JORDAN

Granger said she was calling on the White House to "immediately release" remaining weapons and funds to Egypt, provide Jordan with weapons it had requested and ensure the Kurdish Peshmerga have equipment they need.

"I am prepared to do everything within my power to make sure this occurs, including placing holds on Congressional Notifications (spending plans) and drafting legislation to hold your Administration accountable," Granger wrote.

Egyptian warplanes bombed sites in Libya on Monday in response to the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by Islamic State militants there.

Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), which makes the F-16, said the aircraft built for Egypt were part of a foreign military sales agreement between the United States and Egypt. The Abrams tanks are made by General Dynamics Corp. (GD.N)

Twelve of 20 F-16s built by Lockheed under its last contract with Egypt are in storage at Lockheed’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility. They have been formally transferred to the U.S. government, which is paying Lockheed to store and maintain them.

The current U.S. policy on Egypt is to hold up many shipments of big-ticket weapons until Washington can certify that Cairo has made progress on human rights.

Granger represents the district where Lockheed’s facility is based, but the company would not necessarily profit from a move to release the planes since the U.S. government has already paid Lockheed for them.

U.S. officials said last week that planning was well under way to help replenish Jordan's supplies of ordnance. Jordan's King Abdullah visited Congress earlier this month, the same day Islamic State released a video of the murder of a Jordanian pilot.

The administration has said it is supplying guns and ammunition to the Kurds, who are fighting Islamic State in northern Iraq, but it is channeling them through Baghdad. Some Republicans have said the supplies should go directly to the Kurds.

(Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal and Roberta Rampton; Editing by David Storey, Toni Reinhold)

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Granger Urges Obama to Provide F-16s, Other Weapons to Allies

2015/02/20

By Megan Scully

The chairwoman of the House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee warned the White House it could face legislative repercussions if it does not provide weapons and funding to allies to assist in the fight against the Islamic State, including a key parochial interest: the long-stalled delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Egypt.

Rep. Kay Granger said in a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday she will do “everything in my power” to speed up the aid, and she blasted the administration for falling short on its promises to allies battling the terrorist group, also known as ISIL.

“As Egypt, Jordan and the Kurds retaliate and defend themselves against ISIL’s heinous acts, U.S. security assistance is being held or delayed by bureaucratic processes and ill-advised policy decisions by your administration,” the Texas Republican wrote. “As a result, our most trusted and capable partners in the region are limited in their ability to fight ISIL.”

Granger has long been a proponent of international sales and deliveries of F-16 fighter jets, which are assembled at Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Fort Worth facility in her district. In addition to the F-16s, Granger called on Obama to move forward with the delivery of M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt, which were among the weapons the administration suspended in 2013 amid concerns that the country’s leaders were not committed to an inclusive democracy following the military ouster of an elected president.

Aid to Egypt remains a contentious topic on Capitol Hill, but lawmakers agreed in the fiscal 2015 omnibus spending package (PL 113-235) to provide $1.3 billion in military financing to help Egypt buy U.S. weapons. The military aid is subject to democracy and human rights conditions, but the bill gives the secretary of State waiver authority.

“They need these planes and the other weapons immediately to continue the fight against ISIL and other terrorists threatening Egypt’s security, but your administration has refused to use the authority Congress provided you in law to provide Egypt these weapons,” Granger said.

In the letter, the congresswoman also reiterated frustrations voiced in Washington recently by King Abdullah II of Jordan that the United States has been slow to assist his country with tactical airlift, aircraft, aircraft parts, night vision equipment and precision munitions.

“His Majesty has been courageous in taking on the fight against terrorists, and there is no reason the King of Jordan, a steadfast U.S. ally, should be waiting, sometimes for years, to know how their needs can be addressed,” said Granger, who added she has received assurances from Secretary of State John Kerry that expediting weapons to Jordan is a priority.

The entire Senate Armed Services Committee sent a letter to Kerry and then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel earlier this month raising many of the same concerns.

During his confirmation hearing Feb. 4, newly sworn-in Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter acknowledged his own frustrations with the slow process of providing allies with arms and aid.

“I don’t know what you heard [from Abdullah ], but I can well believe what you heard, because I have a long experience of frustration with getting equipment to our war fighters, never mind partner war fighters, on time,” said Carter, who previously served as the Pentagon’s deputy secretary and its acquisition chief.

At the White House on Friday, press secretary Josh Earnest said the administration continues to work through some of its differences with Egypt and he defended the administration’s outreach to allies in the region.   “The administration has been focused for quite some time on making sure that we are working to maintain a strong security relationship with our allies and partners in the Middle East,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Kurdish government in Iraq has been waiting for months for much of its requested U.S. assistance, a fact that Granger said makes “no strategic sense.”

“While we have provided them some weapons, it has been a slow process and we are not providing them all of the heavy weapons required to counter well-armed terrorists,” Granger said.

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Inaction by Congress poses threat to health care centers

2015/02/19

By Lora Hines

Millions of low-income Americans - both insured and not - could lose medical, dental and mental health services if Congress fails to reauthorize spending billions of dollars on the national network of community health centers.

The centers, including about 85 in the Houston area, are charged with increasing medical access by providing services in poor urban and rural neighborhoods. They were begun 50 years ago as part of President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, and provisions in the Affordable Care Act dramatically increased federal support.

But the ACA portion of that funding is now up for reauthorization. If Congress fails to act on it by Sept. 30, the clinics cumulatively could lose more than half of what they currently receive, forcing almost all of them to close, cut services or raise fees to survive. Their patients, some of the nation's neediest who often have few other affordable health care alternatives, probably would resort to using hospital emergency rooms for medical treatment, costing billions of dollars, advocates and experts said.

"Then, we will all end up paying," said Daniel Hawkins, senior vice president of public policy and research for the National Association of Community Health Centers in Bethesda, Md. "We will all pay a lot more later."

In 2011, Congress set aside $11 billion under the health law to distribute to the centers over five years to expand services as more people became insured and needed providers to care for them. That funding, which expires after Sept. 30, has supplemented about $1.5 billion in discretionary funding that community health centers have received annually.

Community Health Centers used to receive nearly $2.2 billion annually before passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Without action, more than 1,300 health center organizations that operate about 9,000 sites serving an estimated 23 million patients nationwide will face dramatic budget shortfalls and many could close or lay off staff by the end of the year, Hawkins said. Centers depend on Medicaid and federal, state and local grants and contracts.

"It's pretty bad," Hawkins said of the situation. "The funding supports care for a lot of people who are working hard every day, trying to make ends meet."

In Texas, more than 70 community health center organizations provide care at about 350 clinics, treating nearly 1.1 million Texans, regardless of ability to pay.

Nothing simple about it

Although community health centers historically have received bipartisan support, finding a funding solution won't be simple, experts and advocates said. House members and senators elected based on vehement opposition to the Affordable Care Act probably won't support another round of mandatory funding under the law. Members fiercely opposed to annual appropriations increases also won't be easily swayed.

"What I find perplexing is the funding kept increasing, then it got soft," said Devon Herrick, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative Dallas think tank. "They've been deepening funding for them, and then made funding in 2016 uncertain."

In 1965, Congress approved funding for the first two neighborhood health center projects, one in Boston and the other in the Mississippi Delta town of Mound Bayou, about 100 miles southwest of Memphis.

Community health centers experienced some of their most significant growth under President George W. Bush, whose administration opened and expanded almost 1,300 clinics across the country.

Not many choices

No matter whether they're in the heart of Houston's bustling Chinatown or in the less-urban Conroe area, these centers often are the only place for low-income residents, especially those without transportation, to go for treatment of chronic conditions, cancer screenings or prenatal and pediatric care.

According to Hawkins' organization, community health centers save taxpayers about $24 billion annually in emergency room treatments, hospital stays and specialty care by providing preventive care.

Even as millions of people buy insurance or receive government health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, community health care centers still provide care for millions of people in communities with few provider choices.

In a study released last summer, researchers at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University found community health centers would have to reduce services or close without renewed funding at a time where millions more people have become insured or gained health coverage under Medicaid.

"A shortfall in federal grants after the 2015 funding cliff would leave health centers unable to sustain current caseloads, sharply damaging primary care access for the insured and uninsured alike and potentially leading to more costly increases in specialty, emergency and inpatient care," the report states. " ... Continued growth of community health centers is a critical element of policies to support the primary care infrastructure of the nation."

'Devastating' blow

Lawmakers have been aware of the impending community health center funding cliff for at least a year. U.S. Reps. Gene Green, D-Houston, and Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, collected 250 signatures on a letter in support of finding a solution.

Green said the dramatic loss of community health center funding would be "devastating" to residents in his east Houston district, an area that needs more services, not less.

"There is a high number of people who work without having insurance," he said. "Loss of funding could end up costing literally tens of thousands of dollars."

"People are talking about the problem," said Jose Camacho, executive director of the Texas Association of Community Health Centers. "But no legislation has been drafted. There are areas of the state where we are the only provider in the county. I'm fearful it may take a rude awakening before Congress realizes what a vital resource it's squandering."

They can't pay much

In east Houston, more than 10,000 patients seek care annually from El Centro de Corazon's three clinics, which provide medical, dental and mental health services. Most of them are poor and uninsured.

On a recent morning, patients began filling the waiting room at El Centro's Magnolia health center. The patients, mostly young women, watched a Spanish-language talk show on Univision as they waited. They were unaware of the precariousness of the center's financial status.

"This is one of Houston's poorest areas," said Marcie Mir, El Centro's CEO. "We have a sliding scale. People pay what they can. Sometimes that's $5. We will not turn them away because they cannot pay."

Mir said the organization could lose as much as $1.2 million in funding for its annual $1.7 budget if Congress can't find a solution. She and other community health center leaders have said little publicly about the funding dilemma because they don't want to scare patients, Mir said. She and her organization's board of directors started discussing it about six months ago.

"This has been an eye-opener for me," Mir said of the potential funding crisis. "Of how big of an impact this can have on us and in Houston. It becomes a scary thought. There's no way we could make (the loss) up."

El Centro patient Mireya Gonzalez said she would lobby to ensure the clinic receives the money it needs. Through an interpreter, the 36-year-old Houston mother of three said a friend referred her to El Centro three years ago. Gonzalez, an uninsured small-business owner, said she likes the clinic because it's clean and the staff is friendly.

"It would be harder for me because the other clinics are more expensive," Gonzalez said. "I would have to think about where to go. Not just me, everybody."

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House Republicans Demand Senate Democrats Allow Debate on Bill to End Obama’s Unconstitutional Immigration Actions

2015/02/13

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and 169 other House Republicans today sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) demanding him to stop censoring debate on a critical bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security’s operations for Fiscal Year 2015 and defund unconstitutional programs created unilaterally by President Obama. These signatures were gathered in about 24 hours. In their letter, the Republican Members of Congress note that Senate Democrats have repeatedly obstructed even debating this bill in order to protect President Obama’s unconstitutional acts and shield Senate Democrats – many of whom have publicly stated that they oppose the President’s unilateral actions – from voting on the substance of the House-passed bill.

Chairman Goodlatte said the following about the Senate Democrats’ obstructionism: “Why are they so afraid to debate this bill?  Senate Democrats would rather stifle free speech on the Senate floor than debate a bill they know is supported by the American people.”

Below is the text of the letter to Senator Reid.

Dear Minority Leader Reid,

We write to express our strong concern that Senate Democrats are blocking debate on a critical bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security’s operations for Fiscal Year 2015 and defund unconstitutional programs created unilaterally by President Obama.

Three times, you and other members of your caucus have prevented even a debate of the House-passed Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. While we understand that you and many of your Democrat colleagues are opposed to the provisions in the House-passed bill that would defund President Obama’s effective rewriting of our immigration laws, you should at least support debating the merits of such an important funding bill and offer amendments to the provisions you wish to change.

However, you have repeatedly obstructed even debating this bill in order to protect President Obama’s unconstitutional acts and shield Senators of your party – many of whom have publicly stated that they oppose the President’s unilateral actions – from voting on the substance of the House-passed bill. It is utterly appalling that you and other Senate Democrats believe that protecting the President’s unconstitutional actions is more important than funding a Department tasked with keeping Americans safe.  

By preventing the Senate from taking up the House-passed bill, you are also denying the American people a fair debate on this issue. And a fair debate is what the American people want – they fundamentally disagree with President Obama’s actions and believe that he has unlawfully acted alone. For example, a Washington Post/ABC News poll last month found that 57% of registered voters believe that President Obama’s grant of deferred action should be blocked.

President Obama’s actions are tilting the scales of our government in the executive’s favor, threatening to unravel our system of checks and balances and imperiling all our liberties.  The House of Representatives has acted decisively to defend the Constitution from this clear and present danger by voting to defund the president’s executive actions.  For the sake of our nation, our two bodies must stand together on a bipartisan basis. But in order to do this, the Senate Democrat caucus must cease to play politics with the Constitution.  You must end your filibuster of the House-passed bill and allow it to proceed to the floor for consideration.  History will record our actions and how we honor the trust placed in all of us by the American people.

Sincerely,

Bob Goodlatte (VA-06)              Luke Messer (IN-06) Ann Wagner (MO-02)                Blake Farenthold (TX-27) Tom Rice (SC-07)                      Kevin Yoder (KS-03) Andy Harris (MD-01)                  Mike Bishop (MI-08) Ken Calvert (CA-42)                  Scott Garrett (NJ-05) Doug Collins (GA-09)                Robert Wittman (VA-01) Lamar Smith (TX-21)                 Mark Amodei (NV-02) Steve Chabot (OH-01)              Todd Young (IN-09) J. Randy Forbes (VA-04)           Renee Ellmers (NC-02) Trent Franks (AZ-08)                Cresent Hardy (NV-04) Richard Nugent (FL-11)            Bill Posey (FL-08) Brett Guthrie (KY-02)                Greg Harper (MS-03) Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (GA-01) Thomas MacArthur (NJ-03) Jason Smith (MO-08)                John Shimkus (IL-05) Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03)    Mo Brooks (AL-05) Steve King (IA-04)                    Cathy McMorris Rogers (WA-05) Daniel Webster (FL-10)            John Mica (FL-07) Darrell Issa (CA-49)                  Tim Huelskamp (KS-01) Brad Wenstrup (OH-02)            Tom Emmer (MN-06) Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03)    Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01) Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)        Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) David Joyce (OH-14)                 David Young (IA-03) Fred Upton (MI-06)                   Tom McClintock (CA-04) Louie Gohmert (TX-01)             Marlin Stuzman (IN-03) Peter King (NY-02)                    Joe Pitts (PA-16) Pete Sessions (TX-32)              Bruce Poliquin (ME-02) Jim Jordan (OH- 04)                  Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) Dan Benishek (MI-01)               H. Morgan Griffith (VA-09) Daniel Webster (FL-10)            Roger Williams (TX-25) Tom Graves (GA-14)                Dave Reichert (WA-08) George Holding (NC-13)           Mark Meadows (NC-11) Patrick McHenry (NC-10)          Don Young (AK at large) Susan Brooks (IN-05)               Tom Marino (PA-10) John Ratcliffe (TX-04)               Ryan Costello (PA-06) Mike Kelly (PA-03)                    Robert Dold (IL-10) Robert Hurt (VA-05)                  Barbara Comstock (VA-10) John Culberson (TX-07)           John Carter (TX-31) Sam Johnson (TX-03)               Kay Granger (TX-12) Ted Poe (TX-02)                       Bill Flores (TX-19) Richard Hudson (NC-08)          Randy Neugebauer (TX-19) Brian Babin (TX-31)                 Randy Weber (TX-14) Candace Miller (MI-10)             Pat Tiberi (OH-12) David Brat (VA-07)                   Robert Latta (OH-05) Vicky Hartzler (MO-04)             Bill Shuster (PA-09) Keith Rothfus (PA-12)              Ed Whitfield (KY-01) Tim Murphy (PA-18)                 Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) Larry Bucshon (IN-08)             Ander Crenshaw (FL-04) John Duncan, Jr. (TN-02)        Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) Jeff Miller (FL-01)                    Dennis Ross (FL-15) Joe Wilson (SC-02)    Rick Allen (GA-12)                   David Jolly (FL-13) Gary Palmer (AL-06)               Joe Barton (TX-06) Bob Gibbs (OH-07)                  Michael Burgess (TX-26) Frank Guinta (NH-01)              Rob Woodall (GA-07) Greg Walden (OR-02)             Jeff Duncan (SC-03) Michael Conaway (TX-11)        Bradley Byrne (AL-01) David Rouzer (NC-07)             Todd Rokita (IN-04) Mark Walker (NC-06)               Rodney Davis (IL-13) Steve Stivers (OH-15)              Paul Gosar (AZ-04) Jeb Hensarling (TX-05)            John Kline (MN-02) Glenn Thompson (PA-05)       Steven Palazzo (MS-04) Scott Tipton (CO-03)               Michael McCaul (TX-10) Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (LA-03)    Kevin Brady (TX-08) Thomas Massie (KY-04)          Peter Roskam (IL-06) Alex Mooney (WV-02)              Tom Price (GA-06) Evan Jenkins (WV-03)             Matt Salmon (AZ-05) Mimi Walters (CA-45)               Stephen Knight (CA-25) Mark Sanford (SC-01)             Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) Curt Clawson (FL-19)              Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48) Trey Gowdy (SC-04)                David Roe (TN-01) Raul Labrador (ID-01)             Doug LaMalfa (CA-09) Pete Olson (TX-22)    Rick Crawford ( (AR-01)           Andy Barr (KY-06) Kevin Cramer (ND at large)      Ryan Zinke (MT at large) Lou Barletta (PA-11)                Jim Bridenstine (OK-01) Curt Clawson (FL-19)              Ron DeSantis (FL-06) Ted Yoho (FL-03)                    Ken Buck (CO-04) Jody Hice (GA-10)                   Cynthia Lummis (WY at large) John Fleming (LA-04)              Walter B. Jones (NC-03) Aaron Schock (IL-18)               Charles W. Dent (PA-15) Stephen Lee Fincher (TN-08)  Doug Lamborn (CO-05) Martha Roby (AL-02)               Barry LouderMilk (GA-11) Robert Pittenger (NC-09)         Robert Hurt (VA-05) Mike Bost (IL-12)                     Reid Ribble (WI-08) Paul Cook (CA-08)                  Sean Duffy (WI-07) Steve Womack (AR-03)    

###

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100 Percent

2015/02/13

Dear Friend,

I wanted to share the news with you about an award I received earlier this week. On Thursday, I was recognized with the “True Blue” award by Family Research Council (FRC) Action for my 100 percent voting record on pro-life and pro-family legislation they tracked during the last Congress.

During the awards presentation, I had the chance to visit with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins who presented me with their award and other Members of Congress who also received this honor.

The key pieces of legislation they monitored included pro-life votes, like the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, and voting in favor of amendments to delay implementation of the president’s health care law and ensure it includes religious conscience protections.

Sincerely, Kay Granger

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Contact Information

1026 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5071
Fax 202-225-5683
kaygranger.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Appropriations

A former teacher, small business owner and Mayor of Fort Worth, Congresswoman Kay Granger was first elected to represent the 12th congressional district of Texas in 1997.  Earning a reputation for pragmatic leadership and serving as a powerful voice for Texas values, Kay fervently fights for the issues that matter most to Texas’ 12th congressional district and our country.

Since arriving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Kay has distinguished herself as one of the most recognized and influential leaders on defense and foreign policy – an expertise she began developing as the Mayor of Fort Worth, which is home to the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base and Lockheed Martin.  As a senior member of the powerful Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, she has continually strengthened the 12th District’s contribution to America’s defense system and supported efforts to provide for our women and men in uniform – both on the battlefield and when they return home from combat.

In 2012, Kay stood with Governor Rick Perry and members of the 136th Airlift Wing of the Texas Air National Guard to fight a costly and unnecessary Air Force proposal that looked to move Texas’ prized C-130 squadron to Montana.  To the Air Force, Texans, and the millions of Americans who depend on the C-130 aircraft to respond to natural disaster emergencies, Kay delivered a powerful message:  C-130s will not be moved without a fight.  Thanks to her work as well as that of Governor Perry, Senator Cornyn, Senator Hutchinson and the entire Texas delegation, the C-130’s stayed where they are needed and where they belong:  Fort Worth.

Kay has long believed that national security and foreign policy go hand in hand.  As the top Republican on the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, she has worked to increase global stability and security as well enrich the lives of millions in the developing world through efforts that center on bettering global health, improving the lives of women and teaching emerging democracies how to sustain newly-discovered freedoms.

Kay is also a Majority Deputy Whip and serves on the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

In recognition of her achievements, Kay has received the Air Force Foundation Award and the Marine Corps’ Semper Fidelis Award.  She has also been honored with the Tax Fighter Award by the National Tax Limitation Committee and the Spirit of Enterprise Award by the U.S. Chamber of Congress.  Additionally, the National Association of Manufacturers has recognized her for her pro-growth, pro-worker voting record.  For a full list of the awards she’s received, please click here.

Born in Greenville, TX, Kay was raised in Fort Worth.  Majoring in education, Kay – a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution – graduated from Texas Wesleyan University and became a high school journalism and English teacher.  In 1978, she opened her own insurance agency and operated it for over 20 years, leading her to become the first woman inducted into the Fort Worth Business Hall of Fame.  In 1991, she was elected as the first female Mayor of Fort Worth where she cut crime by 49 percent and led the city to win the coveted All-American City Award.  Kay, who attends the First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, is a mother of three and a proud grandmother to five.


Serving With

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

John Ratcliffe

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

John Culberson

TEXAS' 7th DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Randy Neugebauer

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Blake Farenthold

TEXAS' 27th DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Pete Sessions

TEXAS' 32nd DISTRICT

Brian Babin

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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