U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) today introduced legislation that would prohibit IRS officers and employees from using personal email accounts to conduct official business. The bill, H.R. 1152, is a direct response to the IRS political targeting scandal, abuses into which Marchant and the Ways and Means Committee led an investigation.
Marchant issued the following statement upon the bill’s introduction:
“The Ways and Means Committee investigation into IRS political targeting revealed that, among other abuses, one of the agency’s top officials used her personal email address for official business. She put confidential taxpayer information at direct risk of falling into the wrong hands. This is a breach of IRS protocol and betrays the trust of the American people. It should be against the law.
“To ensure the IRS’s irresponsible actions are not repeated and better secure taxpayers’ personal information, I have introduced legislation that would prohibit IRS officers and employees from using personal email accounts for official business. The last thing hardworking taxpayers should have to worry about is the security of their confidential information being compromised due to IRS negligence or abuse. My bill shines a light on the problem, takes action to solve it, and helps prevent IRS harassment of taxpayers from ever happening again.”
The text of H.R. 1152 can be read here.
U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) took to the House floor today to build support for H.R. 529. The bill, which Marchant has cosponsored, would strengthen and protect tax-free 529 college savings accounts.
“Mr. Speaker: I rise in support of H.R. 529 – a bill I’ve cosponsored that strengthens tax-free 529 college savings accounts.
“The cost of higher ed has increased by more than 500 percent since 1985. Yet, the president recently proposed a tax hike on 529 college savings of students and middle-class families.
“There is a big difference between being able to afford college and being able to pay for it. 529s help bridge that gap for millions of working Americans who make too little to cover tuition, but just enough to be ineligible for financial aid.
“Our nation’s long prosperity depends on our ability to prepare the next generation for success. Let’s start now by passing H.R. 529.
“Thank you. I yield back.”
President Obama proposed a tax hike on 529s as part of his 2016 budget request. The president abandoned the proposal after 10 days due to a public backlash.
U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s veto of legislation to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline:
“The president’s veto of Keystone shows how far out of touch he is with the American people. Our nation needs energy security and more good-paying jobs. Keystone would provide both. It also passed both Houses of Congress with bipartisan support. The president has been flying around on Air Force One for the last two months talking about how much he wants to work together to move our country forward. He should have spared taxpayers the expense. His immediate rejection of this important, bipartisan effort tells Americans all they need to know.”
U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) issued the following statement regarding the ruling of a Texas federal judge to temporarily block implementation of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration:
“The ruling to halt implementation of President Obama’s unilateral amnesty is a clear rebuke of the president’s overreach and an important victory for the rule of law. It also reaffirms the position that I and many of my constituents have taken from the beginning: the president has no standing to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants through executive fiat. As the legal fight advances, we must stand strong and keep pushing to strengthen border security and enforcement of law.”
In early December, Marchant joined 25 members of the Texas Congressional Delegation in writing Texas Governor Greg Abbott to express full support of Texas’ legal challenge to President Obama’s unilateral amnesty. The letter can be found here.
Today, the House passed the America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act (H.R. 636), a bill to make permanent some of our nation’s important, long-standing small business tax provisions. U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) issued the following statement after voting in favor of the bill’s passage:
“Today, I voted to provide some much-needed certainty for the small businesses and working families of my district. More certainty in the tax code will go a long way in strengthening our economy. According to analysis performed by the National Federation of Independent Business, making permanent 179 small business expensing alone is estimated to create 200,000 jobs and boost economic output by billions of dollars. That’s just one of many important provisions addressed in today’s legislation and other bills I worked to advance this week.
“The U.S. is the only country that allows important pieces of its tax code to expire every couple of years. A broken tax code full of moving pieces does our country no good. We must keep working to make the system simpler, flatter, and fairer across the board. It only makes sense to provide tax certainty for small businesses and working families so they have the peace of mind needed to plan for their futures.”
This week, Marchant also voted to pass the Fighting Hunger Incentive Act (H.R. 644), which takes strides to amplify the impactful work of our nation’s charitable organizations by making permanent a number of long-standing tax provisions that encourage charitable giving.
Additionally, Marchant helped advance a bill (H.R. 622) out of the Ways and Means Committee that would make the state and local sales tax deduction permanent. Marchant has long-supported making this provision permanent because it serves as an important source of tax relief for many working families in Texas’ 24th District and throughout the state. He is an original cosponsor of H.R. 622.
U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) was honored this morning with the Family Research Council’s “True Blue” award for voting 100 percent in defense of faith, family values, human life, and individual liberty during the 113th Congress. Marchant issued the following statement after accepting the award:
“I am honored to be recognized for my work throughout the 113th Congress to defend religious freedom, family values, human life, and individual liberty. My 100 percent voting record is a direct reflection of the commitment I share with the people of my district to preserving these fundamental ideals. I am grateful to the Family Research Council for the humbling recognition and will continue to stand strong for faith, family, life, and liberty on behalf of my constituents.”
The Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, of which U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) is the second highest-ranking Republican, held a hearing today to address IRS abuse of small businesses. The hearing focused on the IRS’s use of civil asset forfeiture laws to seize the assets of law-abiding small businessmen and women. Marchant issued the following statement after the hearing:
“Under current law, the IRS can seize the assets of a small business owner without presenting any concrete evidence of illegal activity. To gain a seizure warrant, the agency needs only to demonstrate probable cause by showing that a business has made deposits of less than $10,000. After that, it can take months and cost small business owners thousands of dollars in legal fees before they can recover what the IRS has taken.
“The IRS should not have the ability to completely derail the lives and livelihoods of honest small businessmen and women based on little more than suspicion. We must stop this abuse so that small business owners can spend less time worrying about the IRS and more time focused on growing their business and creating jobs.”
Today’s hearing consisted of two panels. On the first panel was IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The second panel was comprised of small business owners who have personally had their assets seized by the IRS for alleged suspicious activity.
The full video of today’s hearing can be found below or accessed here.
The House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, of which U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) is a member, will hold a hearing focused on protecting small businesses from IRS abuse. Specifically, the hearing will address the IRS’s use of civil asset forfeiture laws to seize the assets of law-abiding small business as well as the overbearing settlement tactics employed by the agency.
The hearing is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM in room B-318 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
To view the full Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing announcement, please click here.
U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) issued the following statement upon voting to pass H.R. 596, a bill to fully repeal Obamacare and provide for alternative policy solutions that expand individual choice, protect health care access, and foster job growth:
“Today, I voted to fully repeal Obamacare and pave the way for patient-focused alternatives that put Americans – not federal bureaucrats – in charge of their health care decisions. The president’s disastrous health care law was sold to the American people on a bed of false promises. Since the day it was enacted, it has done nothing but restrict choice, limit access, and burden families and small businesses with higher costs. The Obamacare experiment has run its course. The law must be fully repealed and replaced with solutions that protect jobs and restore health care choice and access for American families.”
The bill passed the House by a vote of 239 – 186.
During today's Ways and Means Committee hearing on President Obama's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request, U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) pressed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on the failure of the president's budget to address rising debt and deficits. Marchant also reinforced the importance of the energy industry for Texas and the American economy, and confronted Lew about the $95 billion tax hike on energy producers included in the president’s budget proposal.
The video and transcript of Marchant’s exchange with Secretary Lew during the hearing can be found below. The complete recording of the hearing can be found here.
CHAIRMAN PAUL RYAN: Mr. Marchant is recognized.
MARCHANT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary, I would like to discuss a couple of issues with you that I hear about every time I go back home and have a town hall meeting. In reading the Congressional Budget Office projection of budget and economic outlook, 2014 through 2024, it appears that we'll end up this 2014 with about a $492 billion deficit, and then about $469 billion or a little less than that in 2015. But in 2022 through '24, we will be back to $1 trillion a year deficits. And this is very upsetting to the people that I represent. It's very upsetting to all of us on this panel. Does this budget that the president has prepared and presented to us change the trajectory of that debt? Does it change the trajectory of the of the size of government? Does it do anything to return us to a balanced budget? Or does it end up in 10 years being back at a trillion dollars a year?
LEW: Congressman, if you look at the deficit as a percentage of our economy, as a percentage of GDP, we maintain it through the period of 2025 in the in the mid twos, 2.5 percent is where it ends up. Obviously, our economy is growing, and 2.5 percent of a larger number is a larger number. But the measure of whether we're making progress and maintaining the progress, I believe is looking at the deficit as a percentage of GDP.
MARCHANT: So the goal of the administration and the Treasury is to not balance the budget or diminish the debt we already have, but to maintain that percentage of GDP?
LEW: No, look, I think our goal is to grow the economy and to find the right balance between fiscal policies that keep us on a sustainable path and give us the ability to invest in the future and make sure that we have a growing economy. The real answer is to have a growing economy. I believe we've presented a plan, a framework for doing that. I think that if you look at when we hit what is called primary balance, when the only deficit is related to servicing past debt, it happens, you know, in this period, and then there's still need to focus on the future. I'm not saying that this is the end of the discussion on fiscal policy. I think if you look over the last few years, we have done a tremendous amount to reduce the deficit as a percentage of GDP. It's a fraction, it's a quarter of what it was.
MARCHANT: Define "primary balance" for the people that are out there listening.
LEW: Yeah, the question is, what is driving whatever deficit you have. And if the only deficit is interest on past debt, that's different than if you're building up new expenses by buying new things or paying for new things. And we hit that point in this window where the only deficits we have are attributable to servicing prior debt. That's not the same as balance. I wouldn't suggest that it's balanced. But it is something that's used as a test of fiscal sustainability, because the situation is under control if you're in primary balance.
MARCHANT: The other thing I want to discuss with you -- as you know, I'm from Texas, and we in Texas and in the entire West believe that the oil and gas industry was one of the most critical things and industries that took us out of this last recession, providing good jobs. And now we open this budget up and find out that the oil and gas industry, which, admittedly has had some setbacks in the last two months, is going to have a $95 billion additional tax bill in this budget. Can you give me an explanation for why the administration would feel like that would -- that that would be a great reward for this industry, for its performance in this economy, and how it could possibly handle that kind of an additional tax burden in the current scenario?
LEW: Congressman, the energy revolution has done a tremendous amount to drive our economy forward. And it is -- it is -- you know, energy prices go up and down and there will be, you know, natural tendencies for the industry to grow in some periods more than in others. We don't believe that the tax code should be driving activity in a way that -- that makes investment in energy as specially treated as it is right now under current law. We don't think that that's necessary for there to be profitable businesses in the energy area. Obviously, this is a moment where lower energy prices are creating special pressures which we're very sensitive to. There's going to be a regional impact. But over time, we've seen that you know, letting the market forces work is -- is better than having a tax code that drives investment.
RYAN: Very enlightening, thank you. Ms. Black.
MARCHANT (TO LEW): You probably misspoke about that?
RYAN: Yeah, did you mean -- you don't think there ought to be profitable businesses in this area?
LEW: No, I said I don't think that we need the current tax provisions for there to be profitable businesses.
RYAN: I think you did misspeak, OK.
LEW: If I misspoke, let me correct.
LEW: I was speaking to the tax provisions, not to -- we support...
RYAN: It didn't come off the right way.
LEW: We support a strong and thriving energy industry.
RYAN: All right.
LEW: And we wish them to be profitable.
1110 Longworth HOB
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As a lifelong conservative, Congressman Kenny Marchant is committed to the values of limited government and fiscal responsibility. Congressman Marchant has a strong record of fighting for lower taxes, eliminating wasteful government spending, bringing accountability and transparency to government, supporting free markets and opposing bailouts, securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws, and protecting human life in all its stages.
Congressman Marchant was born in Bonham, Texas on February 23, 1951, and was then raised in Carrollton. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Southern Nazarene University.
After graduating from Southern Nazarene University, Congressman Marchant started his own construction and home building business. As a small business owner, he was responsible for creating jobs and meeting a regular payroll, an experience that taught him the importance of entrepreneurship and free enterprise.
Congressman Marchant’s commitment to public service led him to run for the Carrollton City Council, where he was elected and served for four years before being elected mayor of Carrollton. After serving two years as mayor of Carrollton, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1986.
As a state representative, Congressman Marchant earned a reputation as a strong conservative leader and consensus-builder. In the Texas House, he served as Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Investments, where he authored legislation strengthening oversight of credit unions, allowing interstate branch banking, enforcing state laws relating to corporate fraud, securing public investments, and allowing access to home equity. In 1999, his colleagues elected him Chair of the House Republican Caucus, a position he held for four years.
During his time in the Texas House, Congressman Marchant was named a “Top Ten Legislator” by Texas Monthly, “Legislator of the Year” by the Texas Municipal League, and “Top Pro-Family Legislator of the Year” by the American Family Association for his consistent record of sponsoring and supporting pro-family legislation.
In 2004, he was elected to represent Texas’ 24th Congressional District. As a member of Congress, he has received numerous honors and awards, including the Center for Security Policy’s “Champion of National Security” Award for his strong record of defending America’s sovereignty, safety, and freedom; the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste’s “Taxpayer Hero” Award for his principled stand against earmarks and excessive government spending; the Club for Growth’s “Defender of Economic Freedom” Award for his consistent record of cutting taxes and reducing the size of government; the American Conservative Union’s “Defender of Liberty” Award for his commitment to conservative principles; and the National Federation of Independent Business’ “Guardian of Small Business” Award for his unwavering support for small business.
Congressman Marchant currently serves on the House Committee on Ways & Means. The Ways and Means Committee is often said to be the most influential committee because of its broad jurisdiction that includes tax policy, Social Security, trade, and Medicare. Congressman Marchant serves as a member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. In the 113th Congress, he was selected by Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp to Chair the Tax Reform Working Group on Debt, Equity and Capital as part of the Committee’s effort to achieve comprehensive tax reform.
In addition, Congressman Marchant serves as a senior member on the House Committee on Education and Workforce which handles education, health, workforce, and pension policy. This marks a return to a committee he served on in the 109th and 110th Congresses.
Congressman Marchant is also an active member of the Republican Study Committee (RSC). The RSC is a group of House Republicans organized for the purpose of advancing a conservative social and economic agenda in the House of Representatives.
Congressman Marchant and his wife Donna reside in Coppell, Texas. They raised their four children (three sons and one daughter) in the 24th District and are proud grandparents of two granddaughters. He is a graduate of R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton, Texas and holds an honorary doctorate degree from Southern Nazarene University.
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Took to the House floor to rally support for legislation that strengthens tax-free 529 college savings plans. http://t.co/0zbg8AifT6
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Today I introduced legislation that would prohibit IRS officers and employees from using personal email accounts for official business. This
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I took the House floor to rally support for H.R. 529 – legislation I've cosponsored that strengthens tax-free "529" college savings accounts.