The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed H.R 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act. This legislation, which passed the House in December, would modernize and streamline U.S. customs procedures to enhance the flow of legitimate trade. The bill now heads to the president.
Included in H.R. 644 is the legislative text of the REST Act authored by U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24). Marchant’s legislation removes a costly requirement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that would impede trade flows at America’s borders and ports of entry.
“Trade is a central pillar of the Texas economy that has created thousands of jobs for the people of my district,” said Marchant. “To support future job growth through trade, we need smart trade enforcement policies that support a 21st Century American economy. That’s what is delivered by the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act. I am pleased the bill includes the legislative text of the REST Act – a bill I introduced to harmonize trade practices at our borders – as well as a permanent ban on taxation of Internet access. This trade enforcement bill is an important win for American businesses and consumers. I encourage the president to quickly sign it into law.”
The Senate-passed trade enforcement bill includes provisions similar to those of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. This bill, which was cosponsored by Marchant and passed by the House in June of 2015, would permanently prohibit state and local governments from taxing Internet access or placing certain taxes on Internet commerce.
The House today voted 267-151 to pass the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act, legislation by U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) that would help get a handle on America’s $19 trillion national debt. The bill creates a more accountable and timely debt limit process that would put greater emphasis on finding debt reduction solutions.
“I authored this legislation because greater focus must be placed on finding solutions to reduce our national debt,” said Marchant. “Our national debt now stands at $19 trillion and is growing larger every day. Congress and the administration must work together to get the debt under control before it’s too late. That’s what the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act is all about. By injecting transparency, accountability, and timeliness into the debt limit process, this bill narrows the focus to analyzing the drivers of our debt and finding responsible debt reduction solutions. This is a critical step toward putting the national debt back on a sustainable path.”
“Despite the simple, collaborative steps this bill takes to get a handle on our nation’s debt, the White House has threatened to veto it. In doing so, they are helping preserve a debt limit process that has completely failed to stabilize, much less improve, America’s debt burden. The national debt is a shared responsibility between Congress and the administration. To get it under control, we need a shared executive-legislative approach.
“Like so many Americans, the people of my district have watched with great concern as the national debt has grown to $19 trillion. They’re worried about what kind of country we’re leaving our children and grandchildren. As a grandfather myself, I’m worried too. But, I know that if we act now we can put our national debt on a more sustainable path. If the president cares at all about our nation’s future, he will support this legislation. Congress and the administration must work to get a handle on the national debt while we still have the chance.”
Follow the link below for video of Marchant’s closing remarks during debate of the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act.
U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) issued the following statement on the release of President Obama’s $4.1 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2017:
“You would think that President Obama might want to put together a serious budget for his final year in office. You would be wrong,” said Marchant. “The president is eight-for-eight in putting out a budget that never balances, hikes taxes by trillions, and pushes government spending to astonishing new levels. Among the $3.4 trillion in tax hikes included in this budget is a $10 per-barrel tax on oil. This would be especially harmful for Texans. It would drive up gasoline prices by an estimated 25 cents per-gallon and destroy well-paying jobs throughout the oil and gas industry – jobs that put food on the table for many working families in my district.
“Perhaps the most alarming aspect of the president’s budget is that it adds trillions more to the national debt with reckless disregard for our country’s future. This is completely unacceptable to the people of my district. Meaningful action needs to be taken to get spending and debt under control. That includes adopting a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Unlike President Obama’s budget, we need a fiscally conservative approach that respects taxpayers and builds a healthier economy for the long-term.”
U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) has joined a broad congressional coalition in filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of Texas HB 2, a state law to establish stricter standards for abortion providers and facilities. The coalition is comprised of 140 members of the House and 34 members of the Senate, including Texas Senators Cornyn and Cruz.
“I strongly support Texas’ efforts to hold abortion clinics to the same health and safety standards as hospitals,” said Marchant. “This is a democratically-enacted state law that protects women’s health and defends the right to life. As it comes before the Supreme Court, the Texans I serve in Congress deserve to have their voices heard. I stand united with Texas Senators Cornyn and Cruz and nearly 175 other members of Congress in urging the Court to respect the laws of Texas. This important effort to protect the lives of women and unborn children should be upheld.”
To read the amicus brief in full, please click here.
U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) took to the House floor today to call attention to the growing problem of visa overstays inside the United States.
The remarks by the North Texas Congressman come in response to a recent Department of Homeland Security report stating that nearly 500,000 foreign nationals overstayed visas in fiscal year 2015. Ensuing congressional testimony by a DHS official further revealed that only 3,000 of these individuals – less than 1 percent – are currently being investigated by DHS.
Marchant earlier this week wrote Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to demand that the administration take meaningful action to address visa overstays and hold accountable those who have violated the law.
Below are Marchant’s remarks before the House as prepared for delivery. To view the Congressman’s February 1 letter to Secretary Johnson, please click here.
Mr. Speaker: According to a recent report by the Department of Homeland Security, nearly 500,000 foreign nationals overstayed their visa in fiscal year 2015. This is unacceptable and dangerous. These people are breaking the law and they have violated the trust of the American people.
Visa overstays are an ongoing failure by this administration. Approximately 12 million illegal immigrants now live in our country. An estimated 40 percent can be attributed to visa overstays. Now there are half-a-million more.
ISIS is working tirelessly to exploit our national security weaknesses. Meanwhile, the administration is turning a blind eye to the vast majority of visa overstays. Half-a-million foreign nationals overstayed their visas last year, but less than 1 percent of that group is currently being investigated.
I have written Secretary Johnson to demand that immediate action be taken to crack down on visa overstays. This issue poses a clear risk to our safety and the safety of my constituents.
Thank you, I yield back.
The House Committee on Ways and Means, of which U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) is a member, will hold a markup of H.R. 4294, the SAVERS Act. This bill comes in response to the Department of Labor’s proposed “fiduciary rule” that could restrict Americans’ access to financial advice. The SAVERS Act would protect this access while also helping to ensure that financial advisors act in the best interest of the retirees and families they serve.
The Committee markup of H.R. 4294 is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 10:00 A.M. in room 1100 of the Longworth House office building.
U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) today sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson demanding that the Obama Administration take meaningful action to address visa overstays in the United States. Marchant’s letter comes in direct response to a recent report by the Department of Homeland Security which states that nearly 500,000 foreign nationals overstayed their visas in fiscal year 2015.
“In overstaying their visas, these half-million individuals have effectively become illegal immigrants, adding to the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the US, approximately 40% of whom may be attributed to visa overstays,” wrote Marchant. “While this Administration has made clear its intent to not enforce the law with respect to certain illegal immigrants, a decision with which I fiercely disagree and which has been stayed by the courts, we should at least be able to agree on the paramount importance of national security. Unfortunately, it appears that DHS lacks either the will or ability to track the hundreds of thousands of visa overstays, among whom may be persons who wish to harm innocent Americans.”
The full text of Marchant’s letter to Secretary Johnson can be found below. For a PDF version, please click here.
Dear Secretary Johnson:
I am writing with great concern regarding the “Entry/Exit Overstay Report” for fiscal year 2015, issued by the Department of Homeland Security on January 19, as well as the testimony of DHS officials at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration the following day. As you are aware, this report and the ensuing testimony stated that nearly 500,000 foreign nationals overstayed their visas in fiscal 2015 alone. Worse yet, these numbers don’t include certain prominent visa types and modes of travel. This is dangerous and unacceptable.
In overstaying their visas, these half-million individuals have effectively become illegal immigrants, adding to the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the US, approximately 40% of whom may be attributed to visa overstays. While this Administration has made clear its intent to not enforce the law with respect to certain illegal immigrants, a decision with which I fiercely disagree and which has been stayed by the courts, we should at least be able to agree on the paramount importance of national security. Unfortunately, it appears that DHS lacks either the will or ability to track the hundreds of thousands of visa overstays, among whom may be persons who wish to harm innocent Americans.
Craig Healy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement testified that only 3,000 people who overstayed their visas are under investigation – barely over 0.6%. Is this number deemed acceptable by DHS? If so, why? Healy indicated that there is prioritization of the visa-overstaying individuals who have committed additional crimes. While such criminals must be brought to justice and deported, the trouble is that strategic terrorists often make a point to live in the good graces of the law until they can strike. They must be sought out – they will not announce themselves by their conduct once in the US. Nor can we assume that all those who enter the US have been vetted sufficiently to guarantee that they are not terrorists. In December, the State Department admitted to Congress that it had revoked 9,500 visas in the last 15 years on account of discovering terrorism ties after the holders had been admitted into the US – and it had no idea where they were.
Lastly, the long delays associated with this issue are severely troubling, do not instill confidence, and demand public explanation. A report on overstays was first requested by Congress in 1997 and has only now been written. In addition, a biometric exit system at international ports, which DHS maintains is important but is only a first step that would help identify (not even find) those who overstay visas, has been required by law since 1996 under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Yet, despite seven subsequent acts of Congress and the 2004 recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, this mandated system remains nowhere near implementation.
While space and costs are often cited as obstacles, the Center for Immigration Studies estimated the cost of a biometric exit system would be $600 million and, as was pointed out at the January 20 hearing, $2 billion was actually put toward the project. With the stakes so high for protecting our citizens, this delay is unconscionable. I ask you to please explain why this situation has been allowed to continue and provide assurances to my constituents as to when it will be rectified.
Thank you for your review of this correspondence and I look forward to your reply. Should you have any questions regarding this letter, please feel free to contact me, or my Legislative Assistant, Robert Vega, at 202.225.6605 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member of Congress
The House Committee on Ways and Means, of which U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) is a member, will hold a hearing this week entitled, Reaching America’s Potential: Delivering Growth and Opportunity for All Americans. The focus of the hearing will be pro-growth policy solutions to strengthen the economy and promote opportunity for all Americans.
The hearing is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, February 2, 2015 at 10:00 AM in room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building. Witnesses include:
President, American Action Forum
Director of Economic Policy Studies and the State Farm James Q. Wilson Chair in American Politics and Culture, American Enterprise Institute
Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, The Heritage Foundation
To view the advisory for this hearing on the Ways and Means Committee website, please click here.
January 24, 2016
House Republicans were scheduled to pass legislation this week that would require the Obama administration to develop a plan for reducing the national debt, which is set to eclipse $19 trillion in the coming days.
The GOP on Sunday said Congress would stay out of session this week because of the blizzard, meaning the bill will have to come up the next time the House is in session. But when they return, the GOP is expected to call up the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act.
The bill is an attempt by Republicans to force the Obama administration to grapple with a debt that has grown by more than $8 trillion under Obama's seven years in office.
"It's about putting our national debt under a microscope for all Americans to examine, and finding debt reduction solutions to get our nation's fiscal house in order," Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, said about his bill in September.
Under the legislation, the Treasury Department would have to put forward a detailed plan for reducing the debt, and would have to report to Congress any time the government is about to bump up against the debt ceiling.
The debt ceiling has been suspended once again until mid-March of 2017, allowing the government to go into as much debt as necessary until that date. Marchant's bill would essentially require Treasury to report to Congress once the debt ceiling takes effect again more than a year from now.
Republicans say the point of the bill is to create some kind of periodic discussion about the debt, which has risen sharply in the face of annual budget deficits under Obama of anywhere between $400 billion to $1.4 trillion.
"The practice of raising the statutory debt limit without consideration of that which is driving the nation's debt and plans to reduce it is untenable," Republicans wrote in a House Ways & Means Committee report about the bill. That report said the bill aims to "establish a new debt limit communication framework that enhances accountability, reduces disruptive risk, and returns the focus to finding debt reduction solutions."
The bill is one of the last that former Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was able to move out of that committee before he became House speaker.
1110 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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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Today marks the 43rd "Returniversary" of my friend and fellow Texan Congressman Sam Johnson. After enduring nearly seven years of captivity and
“By injecting transparency, accountability, and timeliness into the debt limit process, this bill narrows the focus to analyzing the drivers
The House has passed my Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act with broad bipartisan support. This is an important step toward getting
Debate on my Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act has begun. You can watch live at the link below.
The House will vote today on the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act, a bill I authored to help get a handle on our unsustainable national