A Busy December
I hope you and your family had a blessed Thanksgiving! Congress is back in session today and there is a lot of work to be done on some important end-of-the-year funding bills. This Friday, federal funding for our nation’s highway and transit programs expires. While the House and Senate passed separate funding bills, we are currently negotiating a final version. I’m hopeful the final version is a long-term bill that is fully paid for and fiscally responsible. On December 11th, funding for the federal government expires. I believe we must use Congress’ power-of-the-purse to fight for the inclusion of conservative policies in the spending bill. That is why I recently signed a letter with other House conservatives urging House Leadership to include “policies that will protect unborn children from the violence of abortion.” As we move closer to the deadline, I believe the House will also use the spending bill to debate the inclusion of additional policies to keep America safe and reform the Syrian refugee program.
Additionally, it is critical that Congress extend tax provisions such as Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation before the end of the year. These tax provisions are vital to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and small businesses and I am hopeful that they will be extended for the current tax year as well as into 2016.
National Defense Authorization Act Finally Becomes Law
In late October, President Obama shockingly vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act—a bill that overwhelmingly passed Congress with bipartisan support. After much delay, the President finally signed a new version of the National Defense Authorization Act into law. This bill ensures our servicemen and women receive the pay and benefits they deserve, and creates a new retirement system similar to a 401(k). Furthermore, this bill holds President Obama accountable by requiring the Administration to submit to Congress a plan to defeat and destroy ISIS, not just contain them. And to continue to keep America safe, the bill prohibits the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House to prioritize our national defense.
Holding the Environmental Protection Agency Accountable
This week, the House is expected to consider two important resolutions (S.J. Res. 23 and S.J. Res. 24) to disapprove of recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. Together, these resolutions would disapprove of the EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions rules for both new and existing power plants as well as other sources of energy. We can keep our environment safe without launching a regulatory assault that would only raise energy prices and harm economic growth and opportunity. These resolutions are an important tool to hold the EPA and the Obama Administration accountable.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX-19) released the following statement today after voting for the American SAFE Act of 2015 (H.R. 4038), a bill Neugebauer cosponsored to require enhanced background investigations to be completed by American intelligence agencies prior to admitting additional refugees:
“Last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris—carried out by radical Islamic terrorists—should serve as a wake up call that the United States must do more to prioritize our national security and keep the American people safe. While our nation has a long history of welcoming refugees and showing our compassion to those in need, we live in an increasingly dangerous world. We must do everything possible to protect ourselves from ISIS and other terrorists looking to exploit our refugee program.
“While President Obama continues to play politics and ignore the realities of the ISIS threat, this common sense bill prioritizes our security—the most important responsibility of the federal government. This bill is an important first step, and I expect the House to continue to do more on this issue in the coming weeks. In the absence of the President’s leadership, including no clear strategy to defeat and destroy ISIS, Congress must use all available opportunities to keep the American people safe.”
The American SAFE Act of 2015 requires the FBI Director to conduct a background investigation on each refugee, and requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, FBI Director, and Director of National Intelligence to certify to Congress that each refugee poses no security threat to the United States.
The Paris Attacks
Dana and I send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Paris and all of France. We mourn with the victims of Friday evening’s terrorist attacks—carried out by the radical Islamic terrorist group ISIS—that left 129 dead in the French capital. During this difficult time, we must stand with France and support their efforts to defeat ISIS. While President Obama has previously claimed that ISIS is contained, or that the group only has regional power, the attacks in Paris should serve as a wakeup call. The President’s strategy is not working. We need to take this global threat seriously and be more aggressive to defeat and destroy ISIS. Now more than ever, the world needs American leadership to stop the spread of radical Islamic terrorism.
Texas Will Not Accept Syrian Refugees
This morning, Governor Abbott wrote a letter to President Obama, informing the President that Texas “will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris.” I have heard from many of you on this very topic, and I fully support Governor Abbott’s decision. America is a compassionate place, but as the Governor rightly notes, “A Syrian ‘refugee’ appears to have been part of the Paris terror attack. American humanitarian compassion could be exploited to expose Americans to similar deadly danger.” The risk is just too great to allow more Syrian refugees into the country at this time because we cannot conduct proper background checks to learn the full history of the refugees. FBI Director Comey also expressed similar concerns in recent testimony before Congress. My top priority is to keep America safe and I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress to prioritize our national security.
Back Home in Texas 19
It was great to be back home in Texas 19 last week. On Veterans Day, I had the honor of attending the Coronado High School Assembly. At Coronado, I had the opportunity to thank many of our West Texas veterans for their service in defense of our freedom. I also made it to Texas Tech for their military and veterans program. I was impressed with the many ROTC Cadets I met and their desire to serve. When our nation’s veterans come home, it is important that they have good-paying job opportunities should they choose to pursue careers outside of the military. That is why I enjoyed participating in the veterans job fair in Lubbock to encourage businesses to hire more of our heroes. Aside from attending veterans-related events, I also had the opportunity to tour some hardworking TX19 businesses and meet with many constituents to discuss the issues most important to them.
I would also like to especially thank Texas Tech and the Health Sciences Center for hosting me last Thursday evening to share my experience with prostate cancer. Since my diagnoses, I have actively sought to raise awareness and help educate our community about this disease. Texas Tech has been a terrific partner.
Honoring Our Nation’s Veterans
This Wednesday is Veterans Day and I will be back in Texas to honor our veterans and their families who do so much to keep us safe. On November 11, 1988, President Ronald Reagan delivered an address at Arlington National Cemetery. The President said, “Those who live today remember those who do not. Those who know freedom remember today those who gave up life for freedom.” This Veterans Day is especially important as we remember last month’s tragic plane crash in Afghanistan that killed six U.S. servicemembers—including four Dyess Airmen—and five civilians. On Wednesday, I will participate in the Veterans Day assembly at Coronado High School. Jordan Pierson, a 2005 Coronado graduate, was among those killed in last month’s plane crash. He gave up his life for our freedom. I had the honor of nominating Jordan to the Air Force Academy and he represented the very best of America. I was always impressed with his desire to selflessly serve our nation. We are eternally grateful for Jordan’s sacrifice and all of our veterans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. As we honor them this Veterans Day, it is the ultimate reminder that freedom is not free. I want to wish all our servicemen and women a very happy Veterans Day and may God continue to bless the United States of America.
Neugebauer Fuel Transport Amendment Approved by the House
Last week, the House approved a transportation funding bill that included my fuel transport amendment which would make it easier for farmers, custom harvesters, and agricultural producers to safely transport the fuel they need for a day of field work. Currently, Class A commercial drivers can only haul up to 119 gallons of fuel unless they have a hazardous materials endorsement, which is costly and time-consuming to obtain. There is already an exemption to these requirements for Class B commercial drivers. My amendment simply broadens that exemption to Class A drivers, who are more stringently tested, and allows the transport of up to 1,000 gallons of fuel. The concepts behind this amendment came out of a bipartisan bill I have been introducing since 2011. I’m especially glad it received such overwhelming support as an amendment and moved a step closer to becoming law.
President Obama Blocks Keystone XL Pipeline
Last Friday, President Obama blocked approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline—a “shovel-ready” project that would have delivered thousands of quality jobs and moved North America closer to a more secure energy future. Despite numerous positive reviews from President Obama’s own State Department, and overwhelmingly bipartisan votes in the House and Senate, the President chose to play politics and appease a small minority of radical environmentalists in the Democratic party. This is unacceptable. For our economy to reach its full potential moving forward, we need to approve these common sense proposals like the Keystone XL Pipeline.
A Bad Budget Deal
Last week, Congress passed a budget deal that raises the debt ceiling through March 2017 while failing to address the main drivers of our spending-driven debt crisis. I voted against this deal because it busts through spending caps we worked hard to keep in place, takes money from the social security trust fund, and uses budget gimmicks with the promise of future spending cuts to pay for it. At a time when our nation is nearly $18.5 trillion in debt, Washington cannot continue to kick the can down the road.
Also included in the budget deal was a $3 billion cut to crop insurance. I am strongly opposed to these cuts. It hasn’t even been two years after passage of the 2014 Farm Bill which already asked farmers to endure a $23 billion cut to farm programs. While this is unacceptable, it is of particular concern for our cotton producers as crop insurance is now the sole means of risk management available. While these cuts were in the final agreement, I am optimistic that they will be reversed in December. Chairman Conaway has gotten assurances from House leadership that these cuts—which don’t take effect until a year from now—will be reversed. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure these devastating cuts are reversed and hold Washington accountable to our hardworking farmers in the 19th District.
House to Consider Highway Funding Bill
This week, the House is expected to consider legislation to fund federal transportation projects through the Highway Trust Fund. The Highway Trust Fund has been bailed out before and represents many of Washington’s most inefficient ways. The legislation under consideration this week would extend the program for six years at a cost of $325 billion.
While I am reviewing the legislation, I also plan to offer an amendment that would make it easier for farmers, custom harvesters, and agricultural producers to safely transport the fuel they need for a day of field work. Currently, Class A commercial drivers can only haul up to 119 gallons of fuel unless they have a hazardous materials endorsement, which is costly and time-consuming to obtain. There is already an exemption to these requirements for Class B commercial drivers. My amendment simply broadens that exemption to Class A drivers, who are more stringently tested, and allows the transport of up to 1,000 gallons of fuel. This common sense proposal modernizes federal law and reduces the regulatory burden on rural America. I am hopeful it will be included in the final version of the bill.
Paul Ryan Elected Speaker of the House
Last Wednesday, House Republicans had a meeting to elect a new Speaker of the House. Like many of my colleagues, I believed we needed new leadership, to change how the House does business, and to push a bold conservative agenda. From that meeting, we elected Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), and he was formally elected Speaker of the House the following day. I have worked with Paul Ryan throughout my entire tenure in Congress, and in working with him over the years, it is clear that he understands the challenges facing our nation and the conservative solutions we need to get our country back on track. He has proven himself to be a thoughtful leader as Chairman of the Budget Committee, as a candidate for Vice President, and as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He is also a great communicator who can effectively express our conservative message to the American people. I look forward to working with him in my final term to make Texas and America stronger.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) released the following statement today after Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives:
“I want to congratulate Paul Ryan on his election as Speaker of the House. I have had the pleasure of serving with Paul Ryan throughout my entire tenure in Congress, and in working with him over the years, it is clear that he understands the challenges facing our nation and the conservative solutions we need to get our country back on track. He has proven himself to be a thoughtful leader as Chairman of the Budget Committee, as a candidate for Vice President, and as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He is also a great communicator who can effectively express our conservative message to the American people. It is clear that we needed new leadership in the House of Representatives and I look forward to working together to make America stronger.”
WASHINGTON – Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Vice-Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today regarding the proposed $3 billion in cuts to crop insurance in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015:
“Agriculture is one of the major drivers of economic growth in the 19th District of Texas, and Washington has targeted our hardworking farmers and the Federal Crop Insurance Program far too many times to foot the bill for our nation’s spending-driven debt crisis. These proposed cuts are occurring not even two years after passage of the 2014 Farm Bill which already asked farmers to endure a $23 billion cut to farm programs. While this is unacceptable, it is of particular concern for cotton producers in my district as crop insurance is now the sole means of risk management available. Furthermore, the House Agriculture Committee was not even consulted during this process, and the Committee has overwhelmingly rejected similar proposals at every recent occasion—America’s farmers deserve better. Before moving forward, these devastating cuts to crop insurance should be immediately removed from the budget agreement. If these cuts are not removed, I will work with Chairman Conaway and my colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee to defeat the bill.”
1424 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Randy Neugebauer proudly represents the 19th Congressional District of Texas, which stretches across 29 counties. He has offices in the cities of Abilene, Big Spring and Lubbock.
As one of the most conservative Members of Congress, Randy works to keep Washington accountable to hardworking American taxpayers by requiring commonsense spending and borrowing limits.
Randy was raised in West Texas, and he is a voice for traditional Texan values in Washington. Randy graduated from Texas Tech in 1972 with a degree in accounting. He went on to work in real estate management, eventually starting his own land development company.
As a small business owner, Randy knows first-hand the dedication and commitment it takes to own and manage a successful company. He also knows how government regulations can quickly deplete the resources of a small business, causing hard times for families and communities. Randy brings this businessman’s perspective to Congress where he advocates for reduced spending, fiscal discipline, free markets, and limited government.
Randy serves on three committees in the House of Representatives, where he can work on legislation that directly benefits his constituents. He is a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Additionally, he serves as the Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance.
As Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Chairman, he’s working to reform the housing market, cut regulatory burdens, and shift risk away from American taxpayers and back into the private sector.
Randy’s legislative initiatives include eliminating wasteful federal spending, improving crop insurance, and supporting diverse domestic energy sources. He continues to work on legislation that will empower the constituents of the 19th Congressional District.
Randy’s support of conservative principles has been recognized by many groups and organizations. He has received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award, the Club for Growth Defender of Economic Freedom Award, and the Taxpayer’s Friend Award from the National Taxpayers Union. He has earned a 100% lifetime rating by National Right to Life. He has been recognized by National Journal as one of the six most conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, Randy serves as an Assistant Republican Whip to House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy.
Randy is married to his high school sweetheart, Dana, who is a Ropesville native. Together they have two sons, two daughters-in-law, and are the proud grandparents of three boys and one girl.
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From Congressman Randy Neugebauer: The Paris Attacks Dana and I send our thoughts and prayers to the people of... https://t.co/kQS6LzxNaa
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Sending our thoughts & prayers to the people of Paris & all of France tonight. We must continue to stand with France to destroy terrorism.
Dana and I want to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! This Thanksgiving, we continue to express our gratitude to God for the freedoms
Last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris—carried out by radical Islamic terrorists—should serve as a wake up call that the United States
This morning, the House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the Syrian Refugee Crisis and its impact on national security. You can click
Check out this week’s Roundup for my thoughts on the Paris attacks and what we need to do to destroy ISIS, why I believe we cannot accept more
Dana and I send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Paris and all of France tonight. We must continue to stand with France and defeat and