Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) and Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR) reintroduced the Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of 2015, a companion to a bill introduced by Senators Feinstein and Grassley. The legislation is intended to curtail the pervasiveness of the transnational drug trade and trafficking by making it easier for U.S. law enforcement officials to identify and target source-nation traffickers.
The bill also seeks to impose penalties on precursor chemical shipments to the United States which are used for the purpose of producing illegal drugs like methamphetamine. It also amends the Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act by adding a “knowing” clause that clearly articulates a seller must know the drug is counterfeit in order to be charged with a federal felony.
Congressman Marino said the following of this legislation:
“I appreciate Congressman Pierluisi’s support on this legislation and his hard work on the Judiciary Committee. Both he and I know all too well just how invasive and damaging drug trafficking has been to our country. Because we have prosecuted so many cases related to the trade, we have made this bill’s passage a top priority. It enables law enforcement to do their jobs and allows prosecutors to identify and put away criminals under a more clearly defined criminal code.”
Resident Commissioner Pierluisi issued the following statement:
“I want to express my gratitude to Congressman Marino, who has been a leader in Congress on issues relating to drug trafficking and related violence. This is a smart and sensible bill that I hope will advance through the House in an expeditious manner.”
Identical legislation unanimously passed the Senate in the 113th Congress.
Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) issued a statement on the Obama Administration’s negotiated deal with the Republic of Iran regarding its nuclear weapons development and fissile material procurement. Marino made his decision after yesterday’s House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing where he questioned Secretary of State John Kerry about the safety of America and our allies.
Marino said the following of how he plans to vote on the deal:
“I have been a skeptic of this deal since the Obama Administration announced it would begin negotiations with Iran. There was no need to legitimize a radical government that brutalizes its people, threatens peace between its neighbors and is directly responsible for the loss of American lives.
Iran has shown no serious commitment to peace and stability in the Middle East, nor demonstrated the diplomatic sanity to finally curtail its inflammatory rhetoric and death chants to America and Israel. It remains the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism and even vowed to continue its support for terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. Iran has no record of trustworthiness and has continued to openly display its deceitfulness during the supposed negotiation process.
I followed the developments of these negotiations thoroughly and saw an Iran unwilling to make meaningful concessions. They worked from a position of rigidity and stubbornness. As a result, the president and Secretary Kerry failed to secure even the most basic concessions like returning all Americans held captive in Iran, halting the development of weapons delivery systems and agreeing to a robust anytime-anywhere inspections agreement. Instead, we gave a 24 day inspection notice period and agreed to lift economic sanctions which only further the certainty of this deal’s rejection by Congress and the American people.
This is a bad deal for America, our allies and the entire world. I refuse to vote in favor of a deal which enables an evil state like Iran to proliferate nuclear weaponry while continuing its belligerency and perversion of religion and government.
Secretary Kerry said if the deal does not pass muster in Congress than it will fail. I say, good! My vote will be a resounding ‘No’ when this is put on the floor of the House for a vote.”
Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10), member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, attended a hearing entitled, Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Administration’s Case. Three Cabinet Secretaries, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, were present at the hearing to testify about the Iranian agreement’s contents.
Watch the video of Marino’s questions to Secretary Kerry below:
Read the full transcript of Marino’s exchange with Kerry below:
Congressman Tom Marino: Mr. Secretary of State-we all know what Iran has done as far as giving weapons to terrorist to do Iran’s dirty work. What will stop Iran from giving nuclear material to terrorist-or more weapons? How is a nuclear Iran going to make the world and the United States a safer place? How is a nuclear Iran going to make American citizens feel safer?
Secretary of State John Kerry: Well the opposite of your question is to suggest that you or we can have any nuclear program at all. Now, y’all have a responsibility to show us how that’s going to happen.
Congressman Tom Marino: (interrupting) I’m going to show you how that’s going to happen Mr. Secretary.
Secretary of State John Kerry: President George Bush-
Congressman Tom Marino: You’ve answered my question, I’m going to show you how that’s going to happen. I’m going to take Secretary Lew’s words. The sanctions have crippled Iran. If we ratchet them up, and get our allies to ratchet those sanctions up, you can bring Iran to its knees where it cannot financially function. That’s how to do it-because it has been proved that it has been done.
Secretary of State John Kerry: Let me suggest- very respectfully- that you go spend some time with the intel community- ask the people who have spent a lifetime following Iran very closely- whether or not they agree with your judgement, that an increase in sanctions will in fact bring Iran to its knees. They do not. They do not believe that there is a capitulation theory here. And you will not sanction Iran out of its commitment to what it has a right to. Iran is a NPT Country. There are 189 of them…
Congressman Tom Marino: …and we have the right to protect the American citizens from this disaster, this country having nuclear power. Sanctions have worked. Are you going to retract statements made by Secretary Lew- and anyone else that has said it has crippled them and it will take them years to get surfacing again?
Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew: Congressman, if you’re going to quote me, let me speak for myself.
Congressman Tom Marino: No, I quoted exactly what you said. “It crippled Iran, and will take them YEARS to recover.”
Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew: The other part of what I said, Congressman, is that the reason it was crippling is because we had international cooperation. We’ve worked very hard to get that, the parties that we’ve worked with have worked very hard to get that agreement…
Congressman Tom Marino: Look who we’ve worked with! We’ve worked with China, Russia…who want Iran to be in that position because it jeopardizes the United States!
Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew: The power of our sanctions is not going to have the effect that you want… that we want.
Congressman Tom Marino: I disagree with you. The economists disagree with you. The individuals that I’ve read article after article on disagree with you.
Secretary of State John Kerry: But congressman, we are absolutely committed that Iran will never get the material for one bomb. Not one bomb.
Congressman Tom Marino: You didn’t answer my original question Mr. Secretary. My original question was how is that going to make US citizens safer?
Secretary of State John Kerry: Let me tell you. I will tell you how it makes US citizens safer. Because, if Iran fully implements the agreement we have come to, Iran will not be able to make a nuclear weapon. And we have created an agreement that has sufficient level of intrusive inspection and verification, that we are confident in our ability to be able to deliver on preventing them to have enough fissile material for one bomb. Now, mind you that we started with them having enough fissile material for 10-12 bombs. We’ve already rolled that back, that made America safer. It also made Israel and our allies in the region safer. Everything that we have done thus far in the interim agreement in the past 2 years has the world safer.
Congressman Tom Marino: I’m going to reclaim my time, because you are repeating yourself. I have 46 seconds left. I hope that you are right because if not, you, the executive branch, and Congress have a disaster on our hands, and we need to be accountable to the American people.
This is an extremely important topic for the future of this country’s security, and the safety of the American people as well as our allies in the Middle East. I first want to ask you a simple yes or no question: In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget, as well as the National Archives and Records Administrations Directives, along with State Department policy, have you ever used a non-government personal email account to conduct official business?
Secretary of State John Kerry: No… I conduct my business on a government account.
Congressman Marino is a member of the Subcommittees on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats as well as Asia and the Pacific within the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) applauded the passage of H.R. 427 - the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015. The REINS Act reasserts Congress’ role in overseeing federal agencies that initiate, finalize and implement regulations with an economic impact of $100 million or more per year.
Congressman Marino’s Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform considered the REINS Act in mid-April. Marino, also a cosponsor of the legislation, then testified in support of the legislation before the Committee on Rules yesterday.
Representative Marino issued the following statement regarding the bill’s passage:
“The past six years of this administration have been absolutely brutal for American businesses as well as household budgets. In fact, the federal government set a new record of imposing over $200 billion worth of new regulations.
This is what happens when bureaucrats are allowed to run their agencies without proper oversight and direction from elected representatives. Ultimately Congress is to blame. For decades we have ceded power and responsibility to agencies that inherently grow in size and make rules which, whether well-intentioned or not, ultimately hurt American prosperity.
Today, Congress has taken a step to take power back and restore accountability. The REINS Act forces congressional review. It puts a time limit on our procedures so we move quickly, providing greater certainty within our economy. I am proud to support this legislation. It is crucial for our economic vitality and loosens restrictions which stifle innovation and prevent job growth.”
The REINS Act passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 243-165.
Washington D.C.—Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) issued a statement after the United Nations Security Council announced its approval of President Obama’s proposed Iranian nuclear weapons agreement:
“If we needed further proof this deal was terrible, this is it. Today’s U.N. vote demonstrates the framework for negotiation was established from a point of weakness. Allowing the likes of China and Russia a say in the deal’s approval, before congressional input, was a mistake – a mistake already acknowledged by Secretary Kerry. This is just another reason congress should kill the deal as soon as possible.”
Washington D.C.—Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) reacted to the news of President Obama’s visit to the El Reno Correctional Institution outside of Oklahoma City today urging him and the Department of Justice to focus more closely on prison officer safety and the assurance of adequate resources for officer protection.
Marino said the following of President Obama’s visit to the facility in Oklahoma:
“I appreciate President Obama’s decision to visit a federal prison today. When he visits the El Reno Correctional Institution, I hope he focuses on the well-being of our federal corrections officers and providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs safely. The President must remember that in 2013 two federal corrections officers, including Senior Officer Eric J. Williams in PA-10, were killed in the line of duty. I am proud to work in Congress on behalf of the Bureau of Prisons employees at FCC Allenwood, USP Lewisburg and USP Canaan. My first priority is to make sure corrections officers have exactly what they need to do one of the most difficult jobs in America.”
Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation late last week introduced by Pennsylvania State Representative Gerald Mullery dedicating a Conyngham Township bridge to be named after Senior Officer Eric J. Williams. Officer Williams tragically lost his life in the line of duty at United States Penitentiary (USP) Canaan, a federal facility located inside Marino’s district.
In January of this year, Congressman Marino signed on as an original cosponsor to H.R.472 – the Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act of 2015.
In late June, Marino, Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law and full committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte visited Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) Allenwood and United States Penitentiary (USP) Lewisburg as part of their efforts to connect with Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officials regarding officer safety.
On July 14, 2015, Congressman Marino signed a letter with 18 Republican Members of the House Judiciary Committee pressing Attorney General Lynch for answers regarding the President’s “unprecedented clemency program.” Marino and his colleagues expressed their concerns over the legality of DOJ’s clemency program and the release of dangerous criminals into otherwise safe communities across the country.
Washington D.C.—Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in yesterday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing “on the department’s poor record on immigration enforcement and failure to crack down on dangerous sanctuary city policies.”
Secretary Johnson testified before the full committee regarding his department’s oversight of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s policy of allowing cities to ignore federal law and release criminal aliens at the discretion of local officials.
See the video of Congressman Marino questioning Secretary Johnson here.
Read the full transcript of Marino’s questioning and Secretary Johnson’s responses below:
Representative Marino: As a former US Attorney I realize the complications involved in dealing with all kinds of local law enforcement entities can be quite chaotic, and I am disappointed with the administration and the way I think it is not directly handling sanctuary cities. I think the administration can have a much more direct impact by being aggressive as it has in other areas to force sanctuary cities to be in contact with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). I have worked with ICE for a great deal of time. I think they are some of the best agents that we have in the federal system, and I do agree with your position on the pay. I put most of the blame on sanctuary cities at this point; however I put part of the blame on Homeland because of the void between the detainer and a warrant. I know in some situations that a warrant may not be applicable, but give me some insight on how you see, or what directive you can give to sanctuary cities in particular of letting ICE know when an illegal individual is being released from any facility. Do you have anything in mind at this point?
Secretary Jeh Johnson replied: Well if it’s somebody that we want for detention or removal purposes, my hope is that they not be released, period. I honestly believe that the most effective way to go about getting at undocumented criminals in local jails is through a cooperative constructive effort.
Congressman Marino replied: But that isn’t working. I think you have the authority that you need to take the tough position to say in that directive ‘you will respond to us, and if you need something done legislatively, come back to us.’ With all due respect sir, I think that the administration is avoiding this because of its propensity to want amnesty the way that it does, but that is a matter for another day.
Secretary Jeh Johnson replied: The problem if I may, is for a long time, we did take the position that detainers were mandatory, and that was leading to a lot of litigation in the courts. We’re losing for reasons of the due process clause in the constitution.
Congressman Marino: So maybe you need us to help out a little bit.
Secretary Jeh Johnson replied: Frankly we’re losing a lot with these jurisdictions who were passing all these laws saying ‘Thou shall not cooperate with ICE,’ and that led to a real public safety problem in my view, which I think we are correcting now.
Congressman Marino: Well if at any time, you think you need the legislation to help you in that direction, please contact us.
Congressman Marino: I want to switch now to a different situation here particularly in my district, but it is happening across the U.S. Last year, the U.S Sentencing Commission promulgated an amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines. Amendment 782 reduced the base offense level for all drug trafficking by two levels. The amendment was also made retroactive, and as a result, more than 10,000 drug trafficking offenders will be released early from prison starting on November 1 of this year. Pertaining to the Middle District, there will be 68 people released before November 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016 and many more after 2016. And as a state gets closer to the border those numbers increase because on my list of the sixty eight people, there are about 20 percent, or 19 of them from outside the country. Now this list does not tell me if they are illegals or not, but I would ask if you could take a look at this, pay particular attention to the list of people outside the country to see if they are violent illegals. That is probably another way that we could stop a great deal of what has been taking place, particularly what has taken place over the last two weeks. And my condolences go out to that family. Would you please respond?
Secretary Jeh Johnson replied: I’m aware of this issue. I’m aware of the adjustment to the federal sentencing guidelines. I’m aware that a number of individuals will be released as a result. I’m aware that a number of them were probably undocumented, and we have been working with the DOJ to do the most effective thing for public safety in that regard, and we will continue to do so.
Congressman Marino: I appreciate that and I yield back the one second of my time.
Washington D.C.—Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) issued the following statement after the Obama Administration announced it had structured a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding its nuclear weapons program:
“It is a complete fallacy to say the negotiations with Iran were complicated or even necessary. In fact, it is quite simple; we should have never begun negotiations in the first place. Once we began, Iran was legitimized. Our time and effort would have been better spent squeezing them further with more severe sanctions.
Instead, President Obama embarked on this needless effort to broker a deal which is nothing more than an attempt to mark history with an otherwise empty presidential legacy. Now Iran will receive billions in economic sanctions relief and will be allowed to further enrich materials for its centrifuges – many of which are already identified as weapons grade and unnecessary for their so-called ‘peaceful energy use.’ To suggest otherwise is reckless, ignorant and dangerous.
Iran is encouraged. They will continue to develop Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capabilities, sponsor terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and further threaten peace and stability throughout our world. Dissolved sanctions surely mean terrorists will receive new supplies and cash injections to carry out terror operations.
You know this is a bad deal when Putin says it brings the world a sigh of relief. You know it is a bad deal when Assad hails it and when foreign business interests are itching to make a quick buck in a frozen market. Neither Russia nor Syria are friends to the United States, nor are they friends to our allies. I find their support a clear indication the United States has failed to secure the toughness and seriousness needed to end Iran’s nuclear weapons programs.
When the world’s most untrustworthy leaders hail a deal like this it makes Neville Chamberlain look like a tough guy.
What I fear most is what America and our allies may be called to do when Iran breaks this agreement, as I suspect it will.”
Washington D.C.—Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) issued the following statement after a hearing in the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law regarding H.R. 2947 – the Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act of 2015 (FIBA):
“As America approaches the fifth anniversary of Dodd-Frank we have plainly seen the damage caused by this legislation and the uncertainty that remains in our financial system. Today, my colleagues and I examined the Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act, which is the most positive and significant step toward ensuring a healthy and prosperous financial system. We are seeking to end the ‘too big to fail’ modus operandi as well as the susceptibility for financial institutions to look towards the treasury and taxpayers for bailouts.
We heard excellent testimony from experts in the financial industry and I thank them for their willingness to share their suggestions regarding this important legislation. What remained abundantly clear after this hearing was the ever-pressing need to implement reforms which work efficiently with the fluidity of our markets instead of impairing them.
FIBA is a meaningful solution. It is a stabilizing force which repairs processes for bankruptcy and brings some much needed predictability to the way in which institutions navigate financial hardships.”
Congressman Marino’s opening remarks a Chairman of the Subcommittee are below:
Last congress, the “financial institution bankruptcy act” was reported favorably by this committee and passed the house under suspension of the rules.
This week, the legislation was reintroduced, and today, we build on last year’s record by further examining the bill.
In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, congress enacted the Dodd-frank Wall Street reform and consumer protection act.
That legislation was intended to address, among other things, the potential failure of large, financial institutions.
While the Dodd-frank act created a regulatory process for such an event, the act states that the preferred method of resolution for a financial institution is through the bankruptcy process.
However, the Dodd-frank act did not make any amendments to the bankruptcy code to account for the unique characteristics of a financial institution.
The legislation before us today fills that void.
The financial institution bankruptcy act is the product of years of study by industry, legal and financial regulatory experts
As well as bipartisan review over the course of three separate committee hearings last congress.
The legislation includes several provisions that improve the ability of a financial institution to be resolved through the bankruptcy process.
It allows for a speedy transfer of a financial firm’s assets to a newly-formed company.
That company would continue the firm’s operations for the benefit of its customers, employees, and creditors, and ensure the financial stability of the marketplace.
This quick transfer is overseen by, and subject to the approval of, an experienced bankruptcy judge, and includes due process protections for parties-in-interest.
The bill also creates an explicit role in the bankruptcy process for the key financial regulators.
In addition, there are provisions that facilitate the transfer of derivative and similarly-structured contracts to the newly-formed company
This will improve the ability of the company to continue the financial institution’s operations.
Finally, the legislation recognizes the factually and legally complicated questions presented by the resolution of a financial institution.
To that end, the bill provides that specialized bankruptcy and appellate judges will be designated in advance to preside over these cases.
The bankruptcy process has long been favored as the primary mechanism for dealing with distressed and failing companies.
This is due to its impartial nature, adherence to established precedent, judicial oversight, and grounding in the principles of due process and the rule of law.
We are here today as part of an effort to structure a bankruptcy process that is better equipped to deal with the specific issues rose by failing financial firms.
As an original cosponsor of the bill, I look forward to hearing from today’s expert panel of witnesses on the merits of the financial institution bankruptcy act and whether any further refinements to the bill are necessary.”
Washington D.C.—Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) issued a statement regarding a meeting among Members of the House Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law to discuss Puerto Rico’s financial hardships. The meeting was planned as a follow-on discussion regarding February’s hearing on H.R. 870, the Puerto Rico Chapter 9 Uniformity Act of 2015 and a congressional delegation earlier this spring during which Puerto Rico was among the destinations visited.
Congressman Marino issued the following statement regarding his take on the meeting and the views expressed therein:
“Puerto Rico must make serious, timely and demonstrable steps towards righting its fiscal ship before anything moves legislatively. It should also be abundantly clear that we are not discussing a bailout or even the specifics of what Chapter 9 bankruptcy may look like for Puerto Rican municipalities. We are going to continue our diligent examination of including Puerto Rico in Chapter 9 bankruptcy, including any potential economic impacts on bondholders in the U.S. as well as the larger municipal bond market. Puerto Rico’s problems did not occur overnight and neither will a solution, especially from Washington.”
410 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Tom Marino came to Congress in January 2011 in much the same way he arrived at other destinations throughout this life: with a sense of purpose, a clear set of goals, and a common-sense approach to finding solution to serious problems.
Though he had previously talked about running for Congress, it wasn’t until he found himself so frustrated by the direction the nation was taking that he declared himself a candidate in early 2010.
He emerged the victor of a three-man Republican primary race and went on to defeat two-term Democrat incumbent Chris Carney by 10 percentage points in November 2010.
With his two children at his side, he was sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives on January 5, 2011, becoming part of the largest freshman class in decades.
Tom was re-elected to serve a second term in 2012, receiving 66 percent of the vote in the general election.
Marino maintained his standing on three House committees – Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, and the Judiciary – and six subcommittees, two of which he serves as Vice Chairman.
The assignments are a good fit for the attorney who gained a reputation as a tough prosecutor, first as Lycoming County District Attorney and then as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
But when Congressman Marino tells working people that he knows where they are coming from, he means it.
That’s because he is never far from his blue-collar roots and the middle-class Williamsport neighborhood home where his mother still lives.
Tom, one of four children to Vivian Marino and the late Joseph Marino, is a second-generation Italian-American. His father was a janitor and a fireman and his mother was a homemaker.
Tom married his high school sweetheart, Edie, and went to work in the manufacturing field. It wasn’t until he was passed over for a promotion that he realized the importance of a college education.
So, at 30 years old, Tom sold his truck and Edie worked full time as he enrolled in college. Tom earned his bachelor’s and law degrees in five years, attending the former Williamsport Area Community College, Lycoming College and Dickinson School of Law.
He practiced law for several years before being elected to two terms as District Attorney for Lycoming County. He later served as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, where his name became synonymous with cracking down on organized crime and drug trafficking. He was the first U.S. Attorney to attend the Top Gun PA X training classes and completed a National Security Seminar at the U.S. Army War College at the Carlisle Barracks.
Tom returned to work as a private-practice attorney for two years before deciding to run for Congress.
Tom and Edie have two adopted children, Chloe and Victor, and live in Cogan Station, Lycoming County.
A three-time cancer survivor, Tom is active in community events and enjoys reading, motorcycle riding, weightlifting, running, and spending time with his family.
Besides his committee work, Tom is involved with a number of congressional caucuses, and serves as Co-Chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Caucus, Congressional Kidney Caucus, and the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth.
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@jason_howerton glad you caught that - It's important to ask all officials that come before Congress given what we've know about Hillary
'“Dan O’Neill was probably one of the most special people in the world,” Mr. Pudlowski said."' Honesdale, PA-10 and all of Pennsylvania
Correctional officer safety and treatment is a priority to me. We should never forget the life of Eric Williams, who was killed in the line of
Proud to cosponsor this and glad we got this passed yesterday. It's an important step in our regulatory reform endeavors.
HAPPENING NOW: I am at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing with Secretary Kerry regarding the #IranDeal. What question(s) should I ask
This week the REINS Act will be considered on the Floor and I am glad that FreedomWorks will make a vote in favor of the bill a ‘key vote.’