Ted Poe

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

PROTECTING REFUGEES: CAMP LIBERTY

2016/09/22

Mr. Speaker, an estimated 1,200 Iranian dissidents remain in Camp Liberty in Iraq at the mercies of the proIranian government in Baghdad. These refugees, mainly members of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (otherwise known as the MEK) are unarmed, innocent people who have been forced to flee their homes because of their opposition to the tyrannical theocratic regime in Tehran.

They have endured decades of exile outside of Iran marked by continuous suffering and persecution. Since 2013, seven rocket attacks have targeted Camp Liberty, wounding hundreds and killing at least 139 residents. All of these attacks are believed to have been carried out either by Shiite militias in Iraq linked to the Iranian regime or by agents of the Iranian Quds Force.

No one has been held accountable for these attacks. In fact, no one has even been arrested. Despite the fact that the Iraqi government signed a Memorandum of Understanding ensuring the safety and security of the residents of Camp Liberty, it appears that the Iraqi government’s subservience to Iran takes precedence.

These dissidents are not safe in Iraq and must be relocated as soon as possible to some other country. Thankfully, 1,800 residents have already been resettled outside of the country, particularly in Albania, which took in the most recent batches of refugees leaving Camp Liberty in early August. However, recent reports from MEK sources within Tehran now suggest that the Quds Force is contemplating another major strike on Camp Liberty before the remaining refugees are allowed to leave.

At the same time, Quds Force-linked paramilitary forces have been increasing their presence in Baghdad International Airport—a troubling sign that could presage another strike on the camp that is located not too far from the airport. The Iranian government would like to extend the reign of terror it wages at home against any and all people who speak out against it— including the dissidents in neighboring Iraq. How many more people have to die? How many more times will unarmed refugees be attacked by rockets? The Iraqi government must live up to its commitment and protect these refugees until every last one of them finds his or her way to safety.

And that’s just the way it is.

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PAKISTAN: FRIEND OR FOE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM?

2016/09/22

Mr. Speaker, on May 21, 2016, a U.S. drone strike killed the leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mansour. To no one’s surprise, at the time of his death Mansour was in southwestern Pakistan. The drone strike Pakistan’s longstanding support for terrorist groups. For example, Pakistan openly supported the Afghan Taliban both before and after the extremists took control of Kabul in 1996. Islamabad’s connection to terrorist groups is so close that in 2011 Admiral Mike Mullen, then chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the Senate that ‘‘the Haqqani network acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.’’ The InterServices Intelligence Agency or the ‘‘ISI’’ is Pakistan’s version of the CIA.

The Haqqani Network is not a nice group of people. They have killed more Americans in the region than any other terrorist group. A leaked NATO report in 2012 detailed Pakistan’s ongoing relationship with the Taliban. The report described Pakistan’s ‘‘manipulation of the Taliban senior leadership’’ and claimed that the government was aware of locations of senior Taliban leaders, including some who lived in the vicinity of the ISI headquarters in Islamabad. The laundry list of evidence of Pakistan’s support for terrorists goes on and on. We all remember where al-Qaeda’s leader and America’s most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden was found: in Pakistan, of course.

In response to the bin Laden raid, Pakistan put the doctor who helped us in jail and closed the U.S. military’s supply route from Karachi port to Afghanistan for 7 months. While Pakistan has been harboring and supporting terrorists with American blood on their hands, it also has been receiving billions in U.S. foreign assistance. In fact, Pakistan is one of the leading recipients of U.S. aid in the last 14 years. Congress has appropriated more than $33 billion to Pakistan since fiscal year 2002. One of the ways we have given Pakistan money over the years is by reimbursing them for efforts they take to fight terrorists. But a GAO study from 2008 found that the Department of Defense could not verify the validity of Pakistan’s claims. The GAO study concluded that some reimbursed costs were potentially duplicative or not based on actual activity.

In 2010, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Holbrook said that roughly 40 percent of Pakistan’s reimbursement requests were rejected. Each year we say that Pakistan is at the crossroads and needs to decide whether it is going to fight terrorists or fight on our side. In fact, just two months ago the State Department’s Ambassador Richard Olson, used this very line. But the United States has been using this line for the last 15 years.

Enough is enough. Pakistan is playing us. They are trying to have it both ways. They want our money and they keep supporting terrorists who target Americans. I invited Ambassador Olson to come testify before us and explain himself, but he refused. Instead, the State Department said this was a ‘‘particularly sensitive time in our relationship with Pakistan’’. In other words, he was afraid Pakistan would come away looking bad. Well that might be just because Pakistan is bad. Now we have put conditions on aid to Pakistan before, requiring them to really go after terrorists if they want our money. But those conditions have always had a waiver attached to them and every year, the President has exercised that waiver. In other words, we paid Pakistan even though it did not go after terrorist groups. Well, for the first time last year, we did not include a waiver on $300 million of money for Pakistan. And guess what? Pakistan did not get the money because it had not gone after the terrorist groups.

Even when there are hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, Pakistan refuses to go after terrorist groups. The reality is that Pakistan has chosen sides. And it isn’t ours. It is time to change our policy towards Pakistan. We do not need to pay Pakistan to betray us. They will do it for free.

And that’s just the way it is.

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Congressman Poe Supports Texas's Withdrawal from Refugee Resettlement Program

2016/09/21

Houston, TX- "I fully support Governor Greg Abbott's request to withdraw Texas from the Refugee Resettlement Program,"said Congressman Ted Poe. "My bill, H.R. 4197, the State Refugee Security Act guarantees that states can withdraw from the program upon request from their governor. The reality is that ISIS has vowed to attack America. It is dangerous and irresponsible to let thousands of refugees in to this country when FBI Director Comey admitted we cannot properly vet them. Until the federal government can conduct thorough security screenings and confirm that there are no security risks, states should to be able to protect their citizens by withdrawing from participation in this program." Read More

US–UK TRADE

2016/09/20

Mr. Speaker, in the days leading up to the Brexit referendum, the President told our friend, Britain that if they were to leave the European Union, they would end up at the ‘‘back of the queue’’ for a trade deal. What an absurd statement to make to our most important ally. Throughout history we have worked side by side with the U.K. to overcome global crises. After the disastrous foreign policy for the last eight years, America has few true friends left in this world. A free trade agreement between the U.S. and the U.K. should not be at the back of the line, but at the front. The U.S. and Britain share a common heritage and values.

We also have a deep and longstanding trade relationship grounded in our complimentary economies. The U.S. exported over $76 billion in planes, helicopters, spacecraft, and aircraft parts to the U.K. in 2014. Our inability to work towards a trade agreement with the U.K. will negatively affect more than 40 Aerospace companies in Texas alone. We are Britain’s most important trading partner. The U.S. imports over $56 billion in goods every year from Britain and 20 percent of our exports bound for the EU end up in the U.K. market. We are also a major investor in the British economy, with U.S. foreign direct investment nearing $588 billion in 2014. Unlike the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a trade deal with the U.K. would be simple to broker. It could be as easy as expanding NAFTA to include the U.K., or creating a new model for more simplified trade agreements with individual countries in the future. A trade agreement with the U.K. would not only deepen our close friendship, but would also chip away at non-tariff regulatory barriers that are being built around the European Union, such as the different requirements for testing the safety of cars and drugs. A more streamlined and efficient trading relationship would reap benefits for both Washington and London. Britain’s exit from the EU should be looked at as an American opportunity. The prospect of a bilateral U.S.–U.K. trade agreement is exciting; such an agreement would promote economic freedom, champion national sovereignty, and create a new model for other bilateral trade agreements. We have entered a strange time in politics— one in which free trade has never been more unpopular. Brexit presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the positive impacts of free trade with one of our closest allies. We have already seen what can happen to global markets if the U.K. appears isolated: in the wake of the Brexit referendum the British pound plummeted by 7.6 percent against the dollar. Britain’s continued seclusion will only cause more harm than good for the rest of us. And it doesn’t end there. Economic disaster in London will translate into a reassessment of military and diplomatic relations in Washington. For the Administration to ignore both these risks and opportunities is a disservice to both our interests and those of our friends across the pond. And that’s just the way it is.

We are also a major investor in the British economy, with U.S. foreign direct investment nearing $588 billion in 2014. Unlike the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a trade deal with the U.K. would be simple to broker. It could be as easy as expanding NAFTA to include the U.K., or creating a new model for more simplified trade agreements with individual countries in the future. A trade agreement with the U.K. would not only deepen our close friendship, but would also chip away at non-tariff regulatory barriers that are being built around the European Union, such as the different requirements for testing the safety of cars and drugs. A more streamlined and efficient trading relationship would reap benefits for both Washington and London. Britain’s exit from the EU should be looked at as an American opportunity. The prospect of a bilateral U.S.–U.K. trade agreement is exciting; such an agreement would promote economic freedom, champion national sovereignty, and create a new model for other bilateral trade agreements. We have entered a strange time in politics— one in which free trade has never been more unpopular. Brexit presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the positive impacts of free trade with one of our closest allies. We have already seen what can happen to global markets if the U.K. appears isolated: in the wake of the Brexit referendum the British pound plummeted by 7.6 percent against the dollar. Britain’s continued seclusion will only cause more harm than good for the rest of us. And it doesn’t end there. Economic disaster in London will translate into a reassessment of military and diplomatic relations in Washington. For the Administration to ignore both these risks and opportunities is a disservice to both our interests and those of our friends across the pond. And that’s just the way it is.

A more streamlined and efficient trading relationship would reap benefits for both Washington and London. Britain’s exit from the EU should be looked at as an American opportunity. The prospect of a bilateral U.S.–U.K. trade agreement is exciting; such an agreement would promote economic freedom, champion national sovereignty, and create a new model for other bilateral trade agreements. We have entered a strange time in politics— one in which free trade has never been more unpopular. Brexit presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the positive impacts of free trade with one of our closest allies. We have already seen what can happen to global markets if the U.K. appears isolated: in the wake of the Brexit referendum the British pound plummeted by 7.6 percent against the dollar. Britain’s continued seclusion will only cause more harm than good for the rest of us. And it doesn’t end there. Economic disaster in London will translate into a reassessment of military and diplomatic relations in Washington. For the Administration to ignore both these risks and opportunities is a disservice to both our interests and those of our friends across the pond. And that’s just the way it is.

We have already seen what can happen to global markets if the U.K. appears isolated: in the wake of the Brexit referendum the British pound plummeted by 7.6 percent against the dollar. Britain’s continued seclusion will only cause more harm than good for the rest of us. And it doesn’t end there. Economic disaster in London will translate into a reassessment of military and diplomatic relations in Washington. For the Administration to ignore both these risks and opportunities is a disservice to both our interests and those of our friends across the pond. And that’s just the way it is.

And that’s just the way it is.

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DAY OF RECKONING—PAKISTAN IS NOT A TRUSTWORTHY ALLY

2016/09/20

Mr. Speaker, Pakistan is not America’s trustworthy ally.

For years, Pakistan has been aiding and abetting the enemies of the United States of America. These are not enemies who simply profess to hate us. These are groups and individuals with American blood on their hands.

However, the United States continues to give billions of money to Pakistan.

Frankly, Pakistan has been playing both sides on the war on terror. Pakistan openly supported the Taliban both before and after they came to power in Afghanistan. They provided the radical extremists with cover, cash, and weapons to conduct attacks. Senior Taliban leaders still live in Pakistan to this day. They are not all hiding in remote caves in the mountains far from the eyes of Pakistani officials. Some of these terrorist leaders are known to live in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. It came as no surprise that the leader of the Afghan Taliban was killed by a U.S. drone strike while in Pakistan in May.

In fact, Mr. Speaker, the worldwide Taliban headquarters is . . . in the Pakistan city of Quetta.

Pakistan is not America’s trustworthy ally.

There is more. The Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Agency fosters close, cozy ties with the Taliban leaders, directly assisting them to carry out a terrorist agenda approved by Islamabad. Documents leaked in 2010 revealed direct meetings between the ISI and the Taliban to organize and orchestrate attacks on American soldiers in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s security services also maintain illegal ties to the Haqqani network, a rabid criminal terrorist syndicate that has claimed responsibility for numerous bloody attacks against American and NATO forces.

Admiral Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified in 2011 that Pakistan supported many Haqqani network attacks in Afghanistan, including an assault on the U.S. Embassy. Admiral Mullen even called the Haqqani network ‘‘the veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency.’’ Five years later, little has changed. This summer, the Department of Defense announced that it could not certify that Pakistan has taken action against the Haqqani network. Therefore, Pakistan lost hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. aid.

Pakistan is not America’s trustworthy ally.

Yet another terrorist group protected by the ISI is Lashkar-e-Taiba, the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai, India massacre. This murderous rampage claimed the lives of 166 individuals and left over 600 wounded. This group arrogantly operates freely within Pakistan. Its founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is an open public figure in the country despite a $10 million dollar U.S. bounty on his head. Pakistan has even maintained contact with the perpetrators of the most devastating attacks on our homeland, al-Qaeda. In fact, in 1998 Pakistani nuclear scientists met with senior alQaeda leaders to discuss the possibility of the terrorist group developing a nuclear weapon.

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the invasion of Afghanistan, outlaw leaders of al-Qaeda and the Taliban knew just where to find a hideout—across the border to Pakistan. Home sweet home.

Evidence emerged in 2005 and 2008 that Pakistan’s ISI was working hand in hand with al-Qaeda operatives to purchase arms. Further evidence shows the bandit groups moved Arab fighters to fight against Americans trying to bring peace to Afghanistan.

Finally, Pakistan was harboring public enemy Number 1, the coward Osama bin Laden, in a luxurious home near a military compound. American Navy SEALs brought justice upon his head in 2011.

These are well established facts that even the Administration has acknowledged Pakistan’s despicable record of combatting terrorism. The most recent edition of the State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism plainly states that Pakistan ‘‘did not take substantial action’’ against terrorist groups nor did it limit their ability to attack U.S. interests in neighboring Afghanistan. It details the ongoing capabilities of terrorist groups to ‘‘operate, train, organize, and fundraise in Pakistan.’’

Pakistan is not America’s trustworthy ally.

In spite of this overwhelming evidence, the State Department still perversely and blissfully maintains that Pakistan is a ‘‘critical counterterrorism partner.’’ This simply does not make sense. The American people demand an explanation. Is Pakistan a friend or a foe in the fight against terrorism?

My bill, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act of 2016, will require the Administration to answer this question. The President must issue a report in 90 days detailing whether or not Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism. Thirty days later, the Secretary of State must issue a follow-up report containing either a determination that Pakistan is state sponsor of terrorism or a detailed justification as to why Islamabad does not meet the legal criteria for designation.

A day of reckoning has arrived. Fifteen years after September 11, 2001, we have more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on. And it’s not America’s.

And that’s just the way it is.

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CHAIRMAN POE INTRODUCES THE PAKISTAN STATE SPONSOR OF TERRORISM DESIGNATION ACT

2016/09/20

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02), the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), introduced H.R.6069, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act.

Chairman Poe: “Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years.  From harboring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it’s not America’s. This bill will require the Administration to formally answer this question.  The President must issue a report within 90 days of passage detailing whether or not Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism.  Thirty days after that, the Secretary of State must issue a follow-up report containing either a determination that Pakistan is State Sponsor of Terrorism or a detailed justification as to why Pakistan does not meet the legal criteria for designation. It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a State Sponsor of Terrorism.” 

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TUESDAY’S IN TEXAS: RICHARD KING

2016/09/20

Mr. Speaker, Richard King is one of the many faces who shaped the ethics of hard work and endurance that define Texan values. He is the founder of King Ranch, but started his career as a river man, steamboat businessman, and later a livestock capitalist. He was born in New York City in 1824 to a poor Irish family. At only nine years old, Richard was indentured to a jeweler. However, he soon escaped as a stowaway on the Desdemona, a massive ship headed to Alabama.

Once arriving, he spent the majority of his on the Alabama river learning from other boaters, and by the time he was 16 years old, he was a steamboat pilot. Richard joined the army in 1842 to fight the Seminole War in Florida, and it is there that he met Mifflin Kenedy, who eventually became a longtime business partner. During the war, Richard King started and commanded the ‘‘Colonel Cross’’ to transport troops and supplies down the river.

When peace was made, Richard became a partner of M. Kenedy and Company, Mr. Mifflin Kennedy’s steamboat company. But he didn’t stop there. Richard began to expand his property, and after years scattered with trials, failures, and finally success, he became a master businessman. This aspiring gentleman’s purchases and income grew greater and greater by the day. In several partnerships, he bought land in the Nueces Strip in 1853, when he purchased the 15,500- acre Rinco´n de Santa Gertrudis grant from the heirs of Juan Mendiola, then 53,000-acre Santa Gertrudis de la Garza grant from Jose´ Pe´rez Rey.

These pieces of at first barren land became the birthplace of King Ranch. With expansions and renovations, this land increased, and by the time of his death in 1885, King had made over sixty major purchases of land and amassed some 614,000 acres. Every good Texan knows of the trails to northern markets and Ft. Worth stock market.

Richard sent more than 100,000 livestock up these trails, taking it upon himself to expand the Texas ranching industry. Richard King was not only a rancher, river man, and businessman, but a man of generosity and service to his country, using his resources as he could in every battle. He symbolizes the heart of the American dream, rising from an indentured servant and runaway boy, to one of the wealthiest and most powerful men of the West. He died at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio. His last instruction to his lawyer was, ‘‘Not to let a foot of dear old Santa Gertrudis get away’’.

And that is just the way it is.

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KENNETH RAY HOUSTON

2016/09/20

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I recognize Pro Football Hall of Famer, Kenny Houston, and pay tribute to his contributions to his alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. Kenny is one of the best football players to ever play the game; he is an outstanding member of our community, on and off the field.

Kenny was born and raised in Lufkin, Texas and attended Dunbar High School where he started his long career in one of Texas’ favorite past times, football. After graduating from high school in 1962, he chose to play football for Prairie View A&M University. During his time at Prairie View, he was a standout AllAmerican in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and the Panthers won the 1963–1964 Black College National Championship Football title.

The Houston Oilers made Kenny their 9th round pick in the 1967 draft, once again keeping him close to Texas. He played six seasons with the Houston Oilers, four under head coach Wally Lemm. Houston fans were upset when the Oilers traded Kenny in 1973 to the Washington Redskins. He then went on to play eight seasons in the prime of his career until he retired in 1980. He played a total of 14 seasons and 196 games in the National Football League.

In recognition of his tremendous talent, he played in ten pro bowls and was named to the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team, the NFL’s All-Time 75th Anniversary Team and in 1999, Sporting News named him one of the 100 greatest players in NFL history. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. Despite his big league career and national stardom, Kenny has never lost the small town values that helped shape him. After his professional football career, he followed his passion to teach and coach and remains a strong advocate for students.

He is a dedicated family man, having been married to his wife Gustie for 49 years, and he is also the proud father of two grown children. On behalf of the Second Congressional District of Texas, I commend this remarkable leader for giving back to our community, being a role model for our youth, and helping the next generation of athletes achieve their dream of attending college and playing football at the collegiate level.

And that’s just the way it is.

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Congressman Poe on Bear Creek District Flooding Progress

2016/09/19

Washington, D.C.- “I am pleased to see that the Harris County Commissioners Court authorized a de-silting study and work for the Bear Creek area,” said Congressman Ted Poe. “Since the massive floods earlier this year, I have been working very closely with Harris County Flood Control District to ensure that we protect the community and neighborhoods in the surrounding area. I look forward to working with the community, Corps of Engineers and the Harris County Flood Control District as we continue to make progress on alleviating the flooding risk for my constituents living around Addicks and Barker reservoirs.”

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Congressman Poe on Attack on Indian Army Base in Pakistan

2016/09/19

Houston, TX-This weekend's attack on an Indian army base in the garrison town of Uri left 18 Indian soldiers dead and marked the deadliest assault in Indian-administered Kashmir in over two decades. It is a reminder to democracies the world over that terrorism seeks to destroy peace loving societies everywhere. It is still unclear which terrorist group carried out this cowardly attack, but one thing is certain. This is just the latest consequence of Pakistan’s longstanding irresponsible policy of supporting and providing operational space for all stripes of jihadi terrorist groups. Pakistan’s reckless behavior in this regard is a serious security risk to its neighbors – and India unfortunately pays the price all too often. We condemn this tragic attack, as well as Pakistan’s support for many criminals like the ones who carried it out, and stand firm in our commitment to our friends in India. A threat to democracy in India is a threat to democracy everywhere. And that’s just the way it is. 

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Congressmen Ted Poe & Sam Farr Introduce Bill to Strengthen Peace Corps

2016/09/15

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) and Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act (H.R. 6037) to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of current and returned Peace Corps volunteers.

“Congress took a historic step in passing the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act in 2011, but there is more work to be done to protect our angels abroad,” said Congressman Poe. “These young ambassadors from the United States must know that when they go to countries far away, their government has their back. This bill will go even further to both keep volunteers healthy and ensure that those who have experienced sexual assault have the assistance and protection they need. These safeguards are necessary not only to protect current volunteers, but also to ensure more young Americans join the Peace Corps in the future.”

“Since its establishment in 1961, Peace Corps has served as a vehicle for peace, hope and compassion,” said Rep. Farr. “I’m deeply humbled to have Judge Poe, a strong advocate for Peace Corps Volunteers in his own right, name this bill after me and I’m honored to cosponsor it. Expanding, promoting and improving Peace Corps has been a passion of mine since serving in Colombia from 1964-1966 and I look forward to using my remaining few months in Congress to continue this important mission.”

More specifically, the bill:

• Improves health care standards for current Peace Corps Volunteers;

• Enhances access to health care for returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) by extending the time period they’re eligible to receive treatment for service-related conditions;

• Expands and improves provisions of the Kate Puzey Peace Corps' Volunteer Protection Act to enhance Peace Corps ability to assist and protect volunteers that have experienced sexual assault;

• Increases disability payments for RPCVs that are disabled and unable to work due to service-related conditions; and

• Provides further reforms to improve oversight, management and efficiency of Peace Corps.

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Poe and Cohen Introduce Extending Justice for Sex Crime Victims Act

2016/09/15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                

Contact Poe: Shaylyn Hynes, 202-225-6565, Shaylyn.Hynes@mail.house.gov                                          

Contact Poe: Michael Eisenstatt, 202-225-3265, michael.eisenstatt@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), co-founder of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced H.R. 6036, Extending Justice for Sex Crime Victims Act of 2016. The bi-partisan bill harmonizes the statute of limitations for sex abuse victims and sex trafficking victim minors to 28, rather than the current age of 21.

Under current law, victims of both trafficking and other federal sex offenses are able to obtain justice by bringing civil claims against their perpetrators. While both sections allow claims for 10 years after the underlying offense, Section 1595 (trafficking) also allows claims until the minor is 28, but Section 2255 (other sex crimes) only permits the claim until age 21. The legislation also clarifies that the statute of limitations does not begin until the victim actually discovers the violation or the injury.

“Love never comes with black eyes and bruises,” said Congressman Poe. “Trafficking and sexual abuse occur every day. Unfortunately, the vast majority of this abuse often goes unreported. Children are often victimized before their memories form, sometimes as young as three-years-old. This legislation takes the necessary steps to make the statute of limitations consistent for reporting sexual abuse and trafficking. Congress must stand up and be an advocate for children and victims.”

“Sexual abuse of children is a very serious crime that too often goes unreported,” said Congressman Cohen. “Our bill increases the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse to ensure that they have the time and resources they need to seek justice.  Sex crimes often happen to young children who may not become fully aware of these crimes until later in their life. This is a common-sense, bipartisan bill, and I hope Congress will pass it.” 

 

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Little Kim Wants War With The United States

2016/09/14

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Little Kim Wants War With The United States

2016/09/14

Mr. Speaker, ‘‘This is not directed at Japan. The nuclear development is toward the United States,’’ said an adviser to North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un.

Frankly, Little Kim makes his father look normal. His saber-rattling regime has once again attempted to fire intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Meanwhile, the administration is naively pursuing a strategy they call ‘‘strategic patience.’’ In layman’s language, that means ‘‘doing nothing.’’

This hopeless appeasement policy has not worked. The North Korean plan is to launch nuclear missiles from submarines at the United States. Isn’t that lovely? The rogue state’s belligerency has put the entire region at grave risk of aggression, nuclear proliferation, and war.

Historically, North Korea, like Iran, was a state sponsor of terrorism. Eight years ago, the United States withdrew the designation when North Korea lied and promised to halt its nuclear program.

But North Korea continues to develop nukes. Strategic patience is a blissfully ignorant failed foreign policy. North Korea must have consequences for its aggressive and belligerent actions. Time to put Junior Kim’s regime back on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, because he is a terror to world peace.

And that is just the way it is.

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GEORGIA AMBASSADOR ARCHIL GEGESHIDZE

2016/09/14

Mr. Speaker, as co-chair of the Georgia Caucus, I would like to take a moment to thank Ambassador Archil Gegeshidze for his dedication to developing a deep and meaningful U.S.-Georgia partnership. His Excellency Gegeshidze was appointed as the Ambassador of Georgia to the United States in March 2013. Since that time, he has served his country faithfully and worked tirelessly to improve Tbilisi’s relationship with Washington.

Georgia sits in a region full of dictators, but it remains a stalwart beacon of democracy. It is on the basis of democracy and freedom for all that Ambassador Gegeshidze has worked to strengthen Georgia’s ties with the United States. While there is still work to be done, with the Ambassador’s help, Georgia has made significant strides ensuring freedom of the press, preventing corruption, and pursuing a free market system. Throughout Ambassador Gegeshidze’s appointment in the U.S., he has shown time and time again that Georgians share the same values as Americans.

Georgian soldiers forged a strong bond with American soldiers as they fought alongside each other on the battlefield in Afghanistan. Georgians have also helped facilitate the growth of American law firms, colleges, energy and IT companies in their country. Our peoples’ mutual dedication to being forces for good in the international community shines through in all aspects of our relationship.

I am proud of the way Ambassador Gegeshidze has represented the Georgian people here in America and worked to achieve our shared strategic goals. Together Georgians and Americans alike must continue the good work of the Ambassador. Given Russia’s aggression in the region, we must continue to press for Georgia’s membership in NATO.

Also, in light of the increased trade between our two countries, it would be a smart move to start negotiations on a U.S-Georgia free trade agreement. Thanks to the efforts of Ambassador Gegeshidze, the bond between Georgia and the United States is strong. He will be greatly missed, but he leaves Washington with a robust U.S.-Georgia partnership in place for his successor.

And that’s just the way it is.

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TRUCKERS AGAINST TRAFFICKING

2016/09/14

Mr. Speaker, modern day slavery is happening all around us, and it occurs in the form of human trafficking. Victims are sold into sex slavery, drugged, beaten, threatened and forced to engage in horrifying acts at the demand of their captors. While many Americans are aware that human trafficking occurs, most think it exists primarily in faraway countries.

This assumption however, is wildly mistaken. Many of us do not realize that in this nation, and in our very own backyards, individuals are held against their will, their bodies sold repeatedly day in and day out. In every state, city and suburb traffickers prey upon the most vulnerable and chain them to a life of unimaginable misery.

As Americans, we cannot turn a blind eye to this fact any more. Human trafficking victims are constantly moved around by their traffickers, whether that’s across our borders or around the country. This movement helps them evade law enforcement and increase profits by shuffling victims from buyer to buyer. With traffickers constantly on the road, who could possibly find and rescue these victims? Kylla Lanier asked herself that exact question several years ago when she set out to battle the scourge of human trafficking. It seemed insurmountable. Trafficking was everywhere, but then again she thought, so were truckers.

Kylla, her mother and three sisters went on to pioneer the anti-trafficking group, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT). At 3.5 million strong, American truckers are an ideal ally in the war against trafficking. They have eyes and ears everywhere, from 12-lane freeways to dark back alleyways. The idea is simple.

TAT trains truckers to spot potential trafficking operations or victims and report to a 24-hour hotline. These tips have already freed hundreds of trafficking victims, and as TAT continues to educate more truckers, we expect that number to rise. Due to the simplicity and success of this strategy, many trucking schools now teach trafficking prevention as part of their core curriculum.

I whole-heartedly applaud the efforts of Kylla and her family, as well as those of all the truckers who have joined this fight against trafficking. We should all learn from this success story, but truckers cannot do this alone. We have a long road ahead of us in order to eradicate our country of modern day slavery. We must continue to raise awareness across all fields and in all parts of our society. The only way to defeat the evil of human trafficking is by banding together and working as one.

And that’s just the way it is.

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CONGRESSMAN POE INTRODUCES BILL TO BRING ACCOUNTABILTY TO FEDERALLY FUNDED BAIL PROGRAMS

2016/09/13

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) introduced the H.R. 6016 Citizens Right to Know Act. 

Right now, U.S. taxpayers fund millions of dollars annually for the operation of pre-trial release programs – government-funded programs that allow accused criminals to await their trial at home.  These programs—filled with many cases that involve repeat, violent and hardened criminals--operate with little oversight. As a result, taxpayers are literally bailing out dangerous criminals around the country.  In some instances, those released commit terrible crimes while on pretrial release.  With increased oversight of the pre-trial release program, these crimes can be avoided.

“Right now the federal government is engaging in the ultimate taxpayer bailout, a bailout for hardened criminals,” said Congressman Poe. “Their crimes run the gamut, from shoplifting to murder. My bill will require record-keeping and reporting on participants in these federally funded pre-trial release programs, specifically whether the defendants have a history of criminal behavior, whether or not they actually appear for their trial, and whether they have ever failed to appear for trial in prior cases. Taxpayers deserve to know if their resources are being spent wisely, and that their communities are being protected.”

Note: Congressman Poe, a former judge, originally introduced similar legislation during the 112th Congress.  Read More

WILLIAM ‘‘BILL’’ SHERRILL— TEXAN

2016/09/13

Mr. Speaker, this month William ‘‘Bill’’ Sherrill turns 90 years young. This energetic veteran still has the same passion for our country and our military that he had the day he enlisted into the Marines at 15 years of age in 1941. As a young teenager, Bill served during World War Two and participated in the island hopping campaign until he was wounded in Iwo Jima. Born in the 1920s, Bill grew up in the Depression of the 1930s poor, in Houston, Texas. At the age of 15, two weeks after Pearl Harbor, Bill dropped out of Lanier Middle School and answered his country’s call of duty to serve by joining the U.S. Marines. Bill said ‘‘he didn’t lie about his age; I’m from Texas, I exaggerated my age.’’ During this time, the United States’ major strategy was launched against Japan in a strategy called island hopping. This tactic was employed by the United States to gain military bases and secure small islands in the Pacific. Our military took control of the islands and quickly constructed landing strips and military bases. Then they proceeded to attack other islands from the bases they had established. Bill belonged to the 3rd Marines, 9th Battalion, and they participated in several campaigns along Bougainville,

Bill said ‘‘he didn’t lie about his age; I’m from Texas, I exaggerated my age.’’ During this time, the United States’ major strategy was launched against Japan in a strategy called island hopping. This tactic was employed by the United States to gain military bases and secure small islands in the Pacific. Our military took control of the islands and quickly constructed landing strips and military bases. Then they proceeded to attack other islands from the bases they had established. Bill belonged to the 3rd Marines, 9th Battalion, and they participated in several campaigns along Bougainville,

Bill belonged to the 3rd Marines, 9th Battalion, and they participated in several campaigns along Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima. In February 1945, his troop invaded Iwo Jima on the seventh day. It was a month long bloody battle against Imperial Japan that resulted in 7,000 Marines who were killed and over 20,000 were injured; mostly young Marines. Bill lasted seven days, before being shot through the left arm; he went out on the fourteenth day of the battle. Bill recalls seeing the flag ‘‘Old Glory’’ that was famously waved over Mount Suribachi. From that experience, Bill knew that the Marines go where others fear to tread, and the timid are not found. For his injuries, Bill was treated at Oakland Naval Hospital. The bullet severed the nerve in his left arm, leaving his arm paralyzed and causing Bill to spiral into depression. But, Bill’s story is not over. For his service and bravery, Bill received the Purple Heart, American Campaign

The bullet severed the nerve in his left arm, leaving his arm paralyzed and causing Bill to spiral into depression. But, Bill’s story is not over. For his service and bravery, Bill received the Purple Heart, American Campaign Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. While recovering at the Naval Hospital, Bill also earned his GED (General Education Diploma). This would set him on a new course of training—from the battlefield to the classroom. After his discharge in 1946, he moved back to Texas and enrolled at the University of Houston. Four years later, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and then his Master’s at the Harvard School of Business. Bill never gave up. He was wounded, uneducated and paralyzed but he continued to press forward. With his determination to never give in, Bill has had many successes. He has owned several businesses and even helped develop Tiki and Jamaica Island in Galveston. Banking and real estate were his main interests. He was employed by the City of Houston, served as president of a local bank, owned a financial consulting firm, and even served on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. With this diverse and fascinating career, it wasn’t until 1990, that Bill discovered his true passion— teaching. He returned to his alma mater, the University of Houston, to teach at the Bauer College of Business Administration. Three years later, he founded the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at

Bill never gave up. He was wounded, uneducated and paralyzed but he continued to press forward. With his determination to never give in, Bill has had many successes. He has owned several businesses and even helped develop Tiki and Jamaica Island in Galveston. Banking and real estate were his main interests. He was employed by the City of Houston, served as president of a local bank, owned a financial consulting firm, and even served on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. With this diverse and fascinating career, it wasn’t until 1990, that Bill discovered his true passion— teaching. He returned to his alma mater, the University of Houston, to teach at the Bauer College of Business Administration. Three years later, he founded the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at

With this diverse and fascinating career, it wasn’t until 1990, that Bill discovered his true passion— teaching. He returned to his alma mater, the University of Houston, to teach at the Bauer College of Business Administration. Three years later, he founded the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at University of Houston. Ronald Reagan best summed it up when he said, ‘‘Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.’’ That’s certainly true for Bill, a remarkable man who has certainly made a difference in our community and in the lives of many. Happy 90th, Oooh Rah. Semper Fi. And that’s just the way it is. 

And that’s just the way it is. 

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THE CLANKING BAGS OF FILTHY LUCRE TO IRAN

2016/09/13

Mr. Speaker, during negotiations with the criminal Ayatollah, the U.S. paid Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, a $400 million ransom to free hostages.

Shockingly, the administration now has made two additional payments, totaling $1.3 billion. Speculation is our government may have used underhanded and sneaky tactics, multiple hard currencies, and precious metals to hide the filthy lucre from Americans.

The government’s payments of bags of clanking coins to the outlaw nation will not go to build roads and bridges and hospitals. Instead, it is going to Iran’s corrupt military and helping radical terrorists continue to spread murder and aggression.

Illusionaries say that the Iranian nuclear bribe deal will help us live together in peace and harmony. Peace is not what the rogue nation wants.

They want death to America. Why did our government pay off the Ayatollah to preach hate and prepare for war? We don’t need to pay Iran to hate us. They will do it for free.

And that is just the way it is.

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TEXAS RANGER—LAWRENCE SULLIVAN ROSS

2016/09/13

Mr. Speaker, the year was 1839 and thousands of families were looking to settle new lands for their families across the prairies and for the Ross family, Texas was where they chose to raise their young children. Lawrence Sullivan Ross was still an infant when they moved to Texas, and he grew up seeing just how wild the land of this fledgling nation was.

He was only eleven when he was involved in his first Indian fight, and through the years helped his father protect the area around Waco from attacks. Though he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an Indian fighter, as a young man he realized the need for an education and enrolled at Baylor University.

After graduation, he joined the Texas Rangers and quickly won favor among many of his superiors, including the governor of Texas, Sam Houston. Houston gave Ross the authority to raise a small militia and Ross spent the next several years fighting against Comanche raiding parties.

He only halted his service when the Civil War broke out. He fought in the Sixth Texas Calvary division and was promoted to brigadier general in 1863, and began commanding the Texas Calvary Brigade (later called ‘‘Ross’s Brigade.’’) While his health suffered during the war, Ross’s desire to serve the state that he loved stayed as strong as ever.

So instead of continuing to fight, his friends convinced him to run for public office. He served in the Senate for a full term, but later found that state politics were more agreeable with him, and ran for governor. Working hard to serve those around him, people would later describe his terms in office as ‘‘one of good will and harmony.’’

But it wasn’t until he left office that he started doing what he considered his greatest public service. After his last term finished as governor, he stepped right into his role as the new president of the small, failing Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. Through his leadership the school was able to start growing again, and many new buildings were added on. Today that college enjoys its status as a world-class school, and goes by the name of Texas A&M University.

He passed away during his tenure as president in the then-small town of College Station. His love for the people of Texas was evident in all that he did. Whether it in the armed forces, up here on Capitol Hill, or paving the way for Texas’s next generation, he was always striving to serve his community. Mr. Speaker, I hope that every one of us here, regardless of our party or political stance, would take after his example, always viewing our time here as an opportunity to serve the great people of this nation.

And that’s just the way it is.

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Contact Information

2412 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6565
Fax 202-225-5547
poe.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Foreign Affairs

Judiciary

Texas Congressman Ted Poe is a leading advocate in Washington for limited government, free markets, low taxes and individual liberty.

Prior to serving in Congress, Ted Poe served for 22 years as a criminal court judge in Houston where he garnered national media attention for his innovative sentences – dubbed “Poetic Justice.” Prior to that, he served for 8 years in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, where he became the chief felony prosecutor and never lost a jury trial.

Congressman Ted Poe serves on the House Judiciary Committee, and the Foreign Affairs Committee as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade. An outspoken advocate on border security, he travels regularly to the southern border to meet directly with local law enforcement and residents. He also often visits our troops in Afghanistan and around the world. Congressman Ted Poe established the bipartisan Victims’ Rights Caucus (VRC) to advocate on behalf of victims in our nation’s capital. A strong constitutionalist, Congressman Poe stands firmly in the belief of “we the people” not “we the subjects.”


Serving With

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

John Ratcliffe

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

John Culberson

TEXAS' 7th DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Randy Neugebauer

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Blake Farenthold

TEXAS' 27th DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Pete Sessions

TEXAS' 32nd DISTRICT

Brian Babin

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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