WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12) issued the following statement on the United Nations Human Rights Council report on the Gaza conflict:
“The UN Human Rights Council’s report on last summer’s conflict in the Gaza Strip continues the Council’s blatant bias against Israel. The report was unfairly critical of Israel while at the same time it fails to condemn Hamas’ terrorist tactics. The report said nothing about Hamas’ indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel, their use of underground tunnels to launch attacks against Israel and their storage of missiles at hospitals and schools. The report also recommends the International Criminal Court, which has a clear bias against Israel, conduct an investigation into Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip.
“I have been very vocal with my concerns regarding the UN Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court. I included language in the Fiscal Year 2016 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill to address these concerns. The bill prohibits the UN Human Rights Council from receiving taxpayer dollars unless the Secretary of State determines and reports that participation in the Council is in the national security interest of the United States and that the Council is taking significant steps to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item. In addition, the bill prohibits economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority if they initiate or actively support an International Criminal Court investigation that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.
“I urge the Administration to adamantly oppose this biased account against Israel and support Israel’s right to defend itself. Should this come up for a vote, members of the UN Human Rights Council must also stand up against such blatant bias and vote against this report.”
WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12) issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision that ObamaCare subsidies for 34 states that use the federal insurance exchange are legal:
“Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, ObamaCare has had a deeply negative impact on my constituents’ personal health care and our nation’s health care system. The law raised taxes, forced many Americans to change their insurance, reduced coverage options and imposed new government mandates on the American people. I remain committed to working to make high quality healthcare affordable and accessible to my constituents.”
WASHINGTON, DC—Last night, Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12) met with Malala Yousafzai, who earned a Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy of education for young women. Congresswoman Granger released the following statement about the meeting:
“Malala Yousafzai’s accomplishments are a source of inspiration for me and many others. As the daughter of a teacher and principal, and a former educator myself, I know firsthand the profound impact that an education can have on a young adult.
“The work that Malala does improves the lives of young men and women throughout the world.
“Malala has managed to accomplish so much good without a title or a position of power. She has earned recognition because of the importance of her message and her willingness to stand up to those who deny young women an education. In doing this work she has placed her life in jeopardy.
“We often mistake those who are physically imposing or in a position of power for the strongest individuals in our society. But as Abraham Lincoln said, ‘There is nothing stronger than gentleness.’ Malala is one of the strongest individuals whom I have ever had the honor of meeting.
“Through my past work as Co-Chairwoman of the Iraqi Women’s Caucus and Co-Chairwoman of Women's Caucus Task Force on Afghan Women, and through my work as Chairwoman of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee, I have led several efforts to make sure that young women have access to an education and opportunities to participate in the political process.
“I wish Malala the best as she continues her vital work and I am committed to doing whatever possible to ensure that an education is a right rather than a privilege.”
I thank the Chairman for yielding and for his exceptional leadership of the Committee this year.
I also want to acknowledge the work of my friend, Mrs. Lowey, as Ranking Member of the Full Committee and the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. Even in a year when total spending in the bill is reduced by 11% below the request, we have tried to work together to find solutions our members can support.
We have many amendments to consider this morning, so I will give just a few brief highlights of the bill.
All of our Committee members know that we live in a dangerous world where terrorists threaten the United States, our allies and partners, and our way of life. We see Russia and China continuing to assert territorial claims against their neighbors, and the threat of a nuclear Iran is real. That is why this bill at $47.8 billion, 3% below last year’s level, must prioritize programs that are in our national security interest, including o embassy security; o assistance to key countries - such as Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Ukraine; o preventing terrorist safe havens and stopping the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, and; o democracy programs and international broadcasting. The bill provides robust funding for security initiatives to help our neighbors in Mexico, Colombia, the Caribbean, and Central America. The funding provided for Central America continues to address the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children that have come to the United States over the last year. As I said when we marked up this bill last summer, changes will not happen overnight in these countries. While there is now a joint plan to address shared challenges in the region, more needs to be done by the Central American countries. Security must come first before there can be prosperity.
The bill continues our bipartisan commitment to address human trafficking. We must do our part to put an end to what equates to modern day slavery. The bill also devotes funds to combat wildlife poaching and trafficking. Many members of this committee are concerned that criminal organizations are getting rich off of this illegal activity, and we want to protect some of the world’s most unique wildlife from extinction.
The bill also focuses on critical humanitarian aid and health programs by rejecting the cuts proposed for these accounts in the President’s budget. To address all of these needs, the bill excludes funding for many of the international banks, reduces the United Nations and international organizations by a billion dollars below the request, and rescinds accounts where balances have accumulated due to slow spending. This bill addresses key policy issues, including aid to Egypt. At a time of unrest in the Middle East, the U.S. needs Egypt as our stable ally. Funds in the bill, and the conditions placed on those funds, reflect our commitment to maintaining our relationship with Egypt. The bill makes clear statements about the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). The P.A. will not receive economic aid as long as they continue to pursue unilateral efforts at the U.N. and other international organizations, outside of a negotiated peace agreement with Israel. The bill also stops the Palestinians from having representation in Washington, D.C., if their hostile actions continue.
In closing, I hope that we can work quickly to report the bill out of Committee today. I yield back to the Chairman.Read More
WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12) released the following statement on her decision to vote for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation that would establish the rules for how the President can negotiate trade agreements. “American companies and workers depend on a global economy and it is essential that they are in a position to take full advantage of global markets,” Congresswoman Granger said. “The worst thing that can happen is for America to be shut out of these markets. In Texas alone, more than 40,000 companies export $325 million in goods annually. Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-1) has written the TPA bill in such a way that the President is required to negotiate in a manner that is both accountable and transparent. Congress will have the ability to weigh in as the agreements are being negotiated and would retain the authority to veto an agreement that they determine is not in America’s best interest. I will vote for Trade Promotion Authority because it gives the United States the leverage needed to negotiate favorable trade agreements that open foreign markets to American exports, grow our economy, and create American jobs.”Read More
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12) released the following statement after former Speaker of the House Jim Wright passed away earlier today.
“Speaker Jim Wright’s footprint in Fort Worth and North Texas is large. He was instrumental in projects that helped build this state and particularly North Texas to the prominent place it holds today. He helped save the Historic Stockyards District and authored the Wright Amendment which settled a bitter fight over DFW International Airport, allowing Fort Worth and Dallas to work together and share the economic growth largely credited to the success of the airport.”
“My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and I join with so many others in mourning the loss of a true giant who worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Texas and the United States of America.”Read More
As many of you might have heard, there will be a military exercise involving about 1,200 service-members occurring from July to September. Known as “Jade Helm 15,” this military training operation is being planned and executed by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and will take place in seven western states, including Texas.
The U.S. military routinely conducts training exercises in the U.S. and around the world with our allies overseas. With the nature of warfare constantly changing, it is important to make sure that our elite warriors are trained, equipped and organized to successfully conduct worldwide operations in support of America’s security interests.
I know there has been some concern expressed by Texans because the upcoming training missions cite several states, including Texas, as “hostile” territory for the purpose of these training exercises. This is not an official designation and is solely for the purpose of the training exercise. The designation has led some to believe the incursion of martial law will be enforced on the citizens of Texas. I want you to know that these rumors are entirely false.
However, it is critically important that the military works with local officials to ensure the training missions are operated in a safe manner and the rights of Texans are not infringed upon during this period of time. These sort of military exercises have been conducted safely in the past and I am confident that will continue to be the case here, but it is important there is an open line of communication so that everyone is aware of what is going to be taking place inside our state.
As I learn more details about the training exercises and the impact it will have on Texas, I will be sure to pass information along to you. Sincerely, Kay Granger Member of CongressRead More
Dallas – President George W. Bush was honored at a gala last night in Dallas for his unprecedented commitment in the fight against malaria. President Bush was given the Global Leadership Award by Malaria No More in recognition of the pioneering role that he played in founding the President’s Malaria Initiative and supporting the Global Fund, which together have contributed to more than 4.3 million lives saved and 670 million malaria cases averted since 2000.
“I am honored to receive this award from Malaria No More tonight and I thank the American people for their generosity and leadership which has saved millions of lives and set us on the path toward achieving a world without malaria,” said President Bush in Freedom Hall of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. “I am confident that with renewed focus and determination, we can finish the job, and ensure that no child dies from a mosquito bite.”
The event also honored ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson and Kimberly-Clark CEO Tom Falk for their contributions to the global malaria effort. ExxonMobil has been involved for more than a decade in the fight against malaria, through its employees and operations in Africa, committing over $120 million to the cause. Malaria No More’s partnership with Kimberly-Clark, and its Huggies diaper brand, began in Kenya last year delivering 400,000 live-saving malaria treatments and reaching millions of Kenyan mothers with health education.
Admiral Tim Ziemer, who leads the President’s Malaria Initiative and serves as the U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator, attended the gala and presented on the progress to date. Texas Congresswoman Kay Granger, who has been instrumental in preserving funding for critical U.S. foreign aid global-health programs, also spoke at the gala. As Chairwoman of the House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, she emphasized the importance of continuing to effectively fund these important programs. The event, held in advance of World Malaria Day on April 25, also acknowledged the work that remains.
“President Bush was a man of action during his presidency. The initiatives he championed were groundbreaking at the time and the results today are undeniable,” said Congresswoman Kay Granger. “The President’s Malaria Initiative has been extraordinary successful. The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief have changed the way the U.S. invests in worldwide challenges like Malaria and other diseases that can be prevented and cured.”
The President’s Malaria Initiative, founded a decade ago under the leadership of President Bush, has distributed over 140 million mosquito nets, procured 318 million antimalarial treatments and over 174 million rapid diagnostic tests. This and other efforts have helped decrease malaria deaths by nearly 50 percent since 2000. Malaria, one of the world’s oldest, deadliest and costliest diseases, still takes the life of a child nearly every minute.
“The strides that have been made in fighting malaria would not have been possible without the leadership and vision of President Bush,” said Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More. “We are thrilled to have continued that progress under President Obama and we are excited to see that people from both sides of the aisle are committed to the cause.”
For more information about Malaria No More and efforts to eradicate the disease, visit www.malarianomore.org/.
The gala was closed to the press but photos and other assets are available at www.malarianomore.org/
Contact: Dena GudaitisDena.Gudaitis@malarianomore.org (202) 999-2034Read More
Over the last year many of us, especially from the Texas Congressional delegation, have been pushing to make permanent the state and local sales tax deduction. We were successful in having a temporary solution signed into law in December to prevent a tax increase on Texans, but that was only a short-term fix.
In Texas, and several other states, since we don’t have a state income tax, we have been able to deduct state and local sales taxes when filing our federal income tax returns. This has provided some parity with other states who can deduct their state and local income taxes when filing their returns. However, the deduction is currently not permanent and that has provided a lot of uncertainty to millions of Texas taxpayers who are concerned about whether or not their taxes could go up in the future.
In January, my colleague from Texas, Congressman Kevin Brady, who serves on the Ways and Means committee, which is the tax writing committee in the House, introduced the State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act, H.R. 622. This bill, which I am an original co-sponsor, would make permanent the state and local sales tax deduction. Earlier today, this bill passed the House with bipartisan support. I am hopeful the Senate will take action on this bill soon, so that it can be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law without further delay.
Additionally, this week, the House passed The Death Tax Repeal Act, also known as the estate tax. This is a 40 percent tax on an individual’s transfer of their assets to the next generation at the time of their death. This tax particularly hurts small businesses and family farms, which are passed from generation to generation to keep the businesses within the family. Also we passed several bills focused on preventing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from targeting individuals again like they have done in the past with conservative organizations. Sincerely, Kay Granger Member of Congress
P.S. I was honored to be recognized last week by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for my efforts to combat illegal poaching and stop wildlife trafficking, specifically rhinos and elephants for their horns and tusks. These crimes have almost wiped out two of the most unique species we have on the plant. At the Fort Worth Zoo, we are fortunate to have on exhibit a Black Rhino and Asian Elephant, both of which are on the endangered species list. To read my op-ed in the Star-Telegram from last week, click here.Read More
The Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs will come to order.
Ambassador Power, thank you for being here to testify. We have many important policy and budget issues to discuss with you today.
First, I would like to address the recent announcement of a framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. With each passing day, conflicting reports emerge about the parameters of this deal. I have serious concerns about promises that may have been made to lift sanctions on Iran and I hope you can address this issue today. The International Atomic Energy Agency has a critical role to play in implementing any agreement. Yet we all know Iran’s record of cooperating with the I.A.E.A. is not good. I hope you can help the committee understand why we should have confidence that Iran will live up to its commitments this time and allow the I.A.E.A. the access required.
I am also deeply disappointed by the hostile actions taken by the Palestinian Authority to join international bodies over the last year. Their steps at the International Criminal Court have put U.S assistance to the Palestinians in jeopardy. I am also very concerned about recent statements from Administration officials that suggest the United States is re-evaluating its approach to the peace process and reports that the U.S. may support a U.N. Security Council resolution laying out conditions and establishing deadlines. The Administration must send a clear message to the Palestinians that the only path to statehood is through a negotiated settlement with Israel.
Concerns also remain about the U.N. Human Rights Council. I fear that the Council’s upcoming report on last year’s hostilities in Gaza will unfairly criticize Israel’s right to defend itself. There are Members of Congress who question why we should support the Council at all, and I welcome your comments on this issue.
Regarding budget issues, the request includes a significant increase for accounts that fund the United Nations and other international organizations – approximately 25% higher than last year. Like many increases in the President’s request, this one is difficult for me to justify. The United States is by far the largest contributor to the U.N. and more work needs to be done to ensure that the U.N. has its budget under control. For example, U.N. peacekeeping costs have skyrocketed. The Administration should work with the U.N. to phase out peacekeeping missions when possible and lower the rate the United States pays for them.
Madam Ambassador, you have committed to reform the U.N. and as you know, our appropriations bill contains strong transparency and accountability requirements. Some progress has been made, but many international organizations continue to fall short. After all of these years, there is simply no excuse for this.
I look forward to your thoughts on all of these important issues. In closing, I want to thank you and the American delegations in New York and around the world for the work you do to advance U.S. interests.Read More
1026 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
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