AUSTIN, TEXAS – Congressman Roger Williams (R – Austin), who represents Fort Hood in the U.S. Congress, had three of his requests included in the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to address the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) patient backlog, project cost overruns and the toll-free crisis hotline after calls went unanswered.
“Right now, the Obama Administration is not honoring its part of the deal in taking care of our veterans when they return home,” said Williams. “From patient backlogs to wasteful spending to an unanswered suicide hotline, we have a lot of cleanup to do to remind our brave men and women that we love them and that we will take care of them. This is the very least we can do for those who so selflessly put their country before all else.”
The legislation contains $81.6 billion in funding to house, train, and equip military personnel, to provide housing and services to military families, to maintain base infrastructure, and to support veterans’ benefits and programs.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the appropriations bill, which included Williams’ requests. The bill is now headed to the U.S. Senate.
Williams’ requests led to the following provisions:
• None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pay a performance award to top executives.
Project Cost Overruns
• In response to the egregious management of the Denver hospital construction project, funding for major construction projects over $100,000,000 in cost is fenced until the Department of Veterans Affairs certifies that it has contracted with a non-VA governmental entity to design and manage the project.
• No funding greater than $5,000,000 may be reprogrammed between construction projects unless approved by the Committees on Appropriations in both the House and the Senate.
• Any change to the scope of a construction project is prohibited without the approval of the Committees on Appropriations in both the House and the Senate.
• The VA must report any bid savings of $5,000,000 or more on projects as soon as they are identified.
Veterans Crisis Hotline
• The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that the toll-free suicide hotline provides to individuals, who contact the hotline, immediate assistance from a trained professional and adheres to all requirements of the American Association of Suicidology.
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WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Roger Williams (R – Austin), who represents Fort Hood in the U.S. Congress, last night voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017.
“In a time of so much uncertainty, we must ensure our military remains the strongest fighting force in the world,” said Williams. “By passing this defense bill we are giving them the tools they need to accomplish their missions and remain ready to defeat our enemies.”
The 2017 NDAA fully funds a pay increase for troops and authorizes the Secretary of the Army to carry out $7.6 million in military construction projects for Fort Hood.
“While I am grateful The Great Place will now have resources to complete some of the much needed improvements to infrastructure, we have a long way to go,” said Williams who visited Fort Hood earlier this month. “I have seen firsthand the much needed improvements that will have to be completed if Fort Hood is to remain the gold standard. Going forward, I will continue to advocate for Fort Hood to make sure it remains The Great Place that we know and love.”
Congressman Williams’ bill, which authorized a “land exchange” between Fort Hood and Copperas Cove, was included in the 2017 NDAA which passed the House and will now go before the U.S. Senate.
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WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Roger Williams’ (R – Austin) authorization of a “land exchange” between Fort Hood and Copperas Cove was included in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an annual military policy bill that has passed through Congress for the last 54 years.
“I am pleased that my authorization was included in one of the most important pieces of legislation of the year,” said Williams. “This legal framework will enhance Fort Hood’s efforts to train the greatest Army in the world and provide Copperas Cove with the tools it needs for economic development.”
The bill, which was authored at the requests of Fort Hood and Copperas Cove, specifies that approximately 437 acres at Fort Hood will be transferred over to the City of Copperas Cove, which, in turn, will allow Fort Hood to acquire land equal to fair market value. According to the bill, the exact size of the land is to be determined by surveys approved by the Secretary of the Army.
The 2017 NDAA will be voted on this week in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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AUSTIN, TEXAS – Congressman Roger Williams (R – Austin) today announced the winning submission for the 2016 Congressional Art Competition from Texas’ 25th congressional district.
“I am proud to announce Jennifer Good of Lake Travis High School is this year’s winner,” said Williams. “Jennifer’s painting, Home, accurately captures music’s important role to Austin, and I look forward to having it displayed in our nation’s capital. I want to thank all of the artists who demonstrated the creative talent that is in central Texas.”
Jennifer’s acrylic painting depicts her father playing an electric guitar.
Winning entries from U.S. congressional districts will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year. The contest winners will receive two round-trip airline tickets to Washington, D.C. to attend the unveiling of their artwork and a reception honoring the winners in June.
To learn more about the annual Congressional Art Competition please visit my website at http://williams.house.gov/services/art-competition.
A photo of Jennifer Good’s painting, Home, is below and attached.
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The start of May reminds us all that summer is around the corner.
Students are preparing for final exams. Calendars are filling with family outings and weddings.
For the two of us, it means the beginning of baseball practices at sunrise in preparation for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity.
Our mutual love of baseball is not the only thing the two of us have in common. We’ve both owned small businesses.
This first week of May is Small Business Week.
It honors the foundation of our country’s workforce.
Half of private sector jobs, 98% of American exporters and 63% of the new jobs are created by small business.
As small businessmen, the two of us have worked on payrolls, counted inventory and risked everything we’ve had.
We know the feeling of reward. We know the emotions of joy and accomplishment that follow hard work and patience.
We also know what it’s like to have sleepless nights worrying not just about our immediate families’ livelihoods but the well-being of our extended families – our employees.
Together, we’ve been impacted by Washington red tape and a 70,000 page tax code that is costly, unfair and, frankly, a complete waste of time that could be spent hiring more workers, increasing productivity, paying people higher wages and planning for the future.
Ironically, although this nation was built on free enterprise and entrepreneurship, the greatest road blocks are our nation’s leaders.
We can tell you firsthand that small businesses have suffered from the job killing regulations put in place by Washington lawmakers and un-elected bureaucrats.
One of the unfortunate realities we quickly learned when we arrived on Capitol Hill was that the bureaucrats writing the regulations and lawmakers voting on important legislation almost never feel the consequences of the policies.
The poster-child of these misguided policies is the Dodd-Frank Act which passed while the Great Recession still filled the entirety of our nation’s rear-view mirror. Immediately following the financial crisis, this bloated, 2,300 page behemoth of a law was sold to the public as a restraint on Wall Street. It is not.
Instead, it is breaking the backs of community banks and small business. They did not cause the problem.
The law restricts access to capital by imposing arbitrary liquidity standards on big banks and ending short term lending for businesses. These and other misguided policies equate to an attack on our ability to start, grow or maintain businesses. This means less innovation, less development and a smaller economy. It means fewer jobs and less pay for the middle class.
To put it more bluntly, those who were in no way responsible for our nation’s economic downturn were punished. While that may not have been the law’s intent, those small business owners who survived a stressful at bat found themselves in a similar situation a few innings later.
This time, they felt their own team was against them.
The 28 million small businesses in the United States are the heartbeat of our nation’s economy.
When politicians talk about “pro-growth” policies they should be encouraging entrepreneurs to take risks instead of creating policies that discourage them.
We believe America’s greatest asset is its workers. Our nation’s work ethic is the best in the world. These are the key building blocks for victory. All we need now is a federal government to let us achieve the American dream.
Congressmen Roger Williams (R – Texas) and Steve Pearce (R – N.M.) serve on the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Roger Williams (R – Austin) this evening voted for the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act to help incorporate private insurance providers into the flood insurance market that is currently dominated by federally backed policies.
“As we’ve seen in Texas, both this year and last, flooding is a concern even in places where rainfall has historically been scarce,” said Williams. “Taxpayer funded flood insurance policies, which are perceived by many homeowners as their only option, are expensive, inflexible and driving the National Flood Insurance Program further into debt. We must encourage competition by leveling the playing field – clarifying that private sector flood insurance is legitimate and crucial to lowering prices, increasing service and allowing for greater protection for all Americans who seek to protect their livelihoods from Mother Nature’s unexpected fury.”
Williams was a cosponsor of the bill which passed the House this evening by a vote of 419 to 0.
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In 1939 a young man opened a car dealership to realize the American dream. He built his business up from nothing. He worked hard and he created jobs.
He developed a good reputation in his community – so much so that he was asked to supply the cars during President John Kennedy’s tragic visit to Texas in November 1963.
When the man passed away, his business was passed along to his only child who wanted to continue in his father’s footsteps. After the funeral, while still in grief, the IRS came to collect 55 percent of the value of the business from the son. He nearly declared bankruptcy.
Unlike many other victims of the “death tax,” the son was able to pull enough resources together to keep his father’s business afloat.
Today, the son still runs his father’s car dealership and employs more than one hundred dedicated workers. That son is me.
To the average lawmaker on Capitol Hill, my story is unique. To the average hardworking American, my story is not.
The reality of our tax code is that it is a bloated, costly mess of business-killing measures that does nothing but line the pockets of an out-of-control, wasteful federal government that is 19 trillion dollars in debt.
As someone who has been in business for 44 years and now serves in Congress, I know this to be true firsthand.
While politicians – many of whom have never worked in the private sector, let alone owned a business themselves – devote all of their attention to Wall Street, they have forgotten about the 28 million small businesses that are forced to play defense every single day.
Instead of setting up American entrepreneurs for success, the U.S. government is constantly throwing barriers in front of them.
I first ran for Congress four years ago to fight for moms and dads who have risked everything to achieve the American dream. To fight for those who do not have the means to hire teams of lawyers and accountants to navigate our 70,000 page tax code and comply with unnecessary rules and regulations.
So last summer, I introduced seven bills that make up a comprehensive tax reform plan I call Jumpstart America. It will lower individual, corporate, payroll and capital gains taxes. It will allow for 100 percent expensing of fixed asset purchases and allow business owners to continue the use of the last in, first out method of accounting.
Jumpstart America will implement repatriation at 5 percent so U.S. companies are incentivized to return home.
As a business owner of many years, I have seen friends and colleagues lose gains earned from a lifetime of hard-work because of Washington’s failed tax policies that have not seen significant reform in 30 years.
It is for that reason that my plan calls for help for cash flowing middle class families and the businesses they run.
While certain presidential candidates are charging corporations for “destroying the moral fabric” of our great country, let us not forget, on this tax day, the hardest hit victims of our nation’s disastrous tax policies – hardworking American families and the small businesses that are run by them.
Republican Roger Williams represents Texas’s 25th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives where he serves as a member of the Financial Services Committee.
1122 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Roger Williams represents the 25th District of Texas in the United States Congress, a district that stretches from Tarrant County in the North to Hays County in the South and includes much of Austin and the Texas Hill Country.
Prior to his election in November 2012, Congressman Williams served his country in a number of ways and brings a unique background to Congress. He was raised in the Fort Worth area where he graduated from high school and later played baseball at Texas Christian University.
After graduating from college, he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves where he played in their farm system before an injury ended his sports career and forced him to begin his business career. He began working in the family car business and has owned and operated the business for 40 years.
Along the way, he also became involved civically and politically. He served as Regional Finance Chairman for Governor Bush in 1994 and 1998 before he went on to later serve as the North Texas Chairman for the Bush/Cheney 2000 campaign. Additionally, as well as the North Texas Finance Chairman and National Grassroots Fundraising Chairman for Bush/Cheney ’04, Inc. Williams was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001 as the Chairman of the Republican National Finance Committee’s Eagles Program. He has also served as State Finance Chair for John Cornyn for U.S. Senate, Inc., in 2002 and as the National Director of the “Patriots” program for Senator Cornyn.
In 2005, Governor Rick Perry appointed Congressman Williams to serve as Texas Secretary of State. As Chief Election Officer for Texas, he worked to ensure the uniform application and interpretation of election laws throughout the state. The Congressman worked tirelessly to promote economic development, investment and job creation in Texas. He also served as the state’s Chief Liaison for Texas Border and Mexican Affairs as well as Chair of the state’s 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Response Strike Force.
Congressman Williams was elected to his first term in Congress on November 6th, 2012 and was selected to serve on the House Committee on the Budget, along with the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure.
In Wimberley on Sat we remembered last year's floods but also the first responders, the support & how far we've come https://t.co/DjEGrESz4I
Only 27 days until the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. Early morning practices are in full swing. Proud to return as coach.
Here is my latest email newsletter where I discuss the one year anniversary of the Memorial Day Weekend Floods, recent House passed legislation
Earlier this week, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald compared the length of time veterans wait to receive care to lines at
"U.S. Rep. Roger Williams’ authorization of a 'land exchange' between Fort Hood and Copperas Cove was included in the 2017 National Defense
It was incredibly moving to be back in Wimberley on Saturday, one year after the Memorial Day Weekend Flood. I told the community that this anniversary