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 email@example.com.
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.
The House today voted 253-166 to pass legislation that would stop the Obama administration’s overreaching “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule. The bill utilizes the Congressional Review Act to nullify this rule and prevent its implementation by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“The administration’s ‘waters of the United States’ rule is a blatant power grab that could bring millions of acres of private land under federal jurisdiction,” said U.S. Congressman Marchant (TX-24). “If the WOTUS rule is allowed to take effect, virtually all U.S. waters and wet areas – including small ponds and streams – would be subject to EPA regulation. This would infringe on states’ rights and come at a huge cost to Texas farmers and small businesses. Two federal courts have already blocked the WOTUS rule from going into effect. With today’s vote, both the House and Senate have now acted to nullify it altogether. Forcing the administration to scrap the WOTUS rule – as this bill does – is exactly what’s needed to protect the American people from this unacceptable overreach.”
For more information about this legislation, please click here.
U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) issued the following statement upon the conclusion of President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address:
“Tonight the president made clear that he will spend his final year in office pushing the same liberal agenda that has stunted our economy, restricted individual liberty, and eroded U.S. national security. Our nation faces a multitude of challenges that demand meaningful policy solutions. Campaign-style rhetoric cannot hide this fact or the failures of the Obama Administration. Moving forward, the president needs to put the American people first and work to build a safer, more prosperous nation. The people of my district deserve serious proposals for the future, not a liberal wish list.”
The House today voted 240-181 to agree to Senate-amended legislation that would repeal several major provisions of Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. With today’s vote, the bill now heads to the president’s desk, marking an important legislative victory in the fight to dismantle the president’s health care law and defend the right to life.
“Repealing Obamacare and protecting life are major priorities for the people of my district, and today I voted to put legislation on the president’s desk that advances both of them,” said U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24). “By utilizing the process of budget reconciliation, the Republican-controlled Congress has passed a bill that repeals the core pillars of Obamacare and defunds Planned Parenthood. This legislation would bring about the collapse of the president’s health care law and save taxpayers more than $500 billion over the next decade. Most importantly, it paves the way for patient-focused health care solutions that lower costs and expand access to care.
“President Obama certainly has the power to veto the reconciliation bill, but he is powerless to protect himself or his Democrat allies from the consequences of that decision. This legislation offers the American people a new way forward – one of individual freedom in health care and respect for the sanctity of life. If the president wants to slam that door in the faces of families and small businesses, it should only strengthen our commitment to tearing down Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood. Conservatives have now successfully put these priorities on the president’s desk. We can – and should – do it as many times as it takes to get them signed into law.”
For a detailed summary of the Obamacare repeals and Planned Parenthood provisions included in this legislation, please click here.
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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The House has voted to stop sanctions from being lifted on Iranian people/entities known to be engaged in terrorism https://t.co/1ivoRK69oY
It was a privilege to join fellow Texans at an event honoring Lt. Col. James "Maggie" Magellas, a WWII veteran who now lives in Texas' 24th District.
I've joined with a coalition of U.S. Representatives and Senators to file a brief in the Supreme Court arguing in support Texas HB 2. The Court
While ISIS works tirelessly to exploit our national security weaknesses, the administration is turning a blind eye to the vast majority of foreign
The House has voted to prohibit the administration from lifting sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities that are known to have engaged
Governor Abbott has issued a proclamation designating February 2nd as "Texas Military Heroes Day." Please join me in honoring all those throughout