Washington, D.C. – Texas’ 14th Congressional District received art submissions from 65 high school students for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition. In late April, a judging panel selected the winner and honorable mention pieces. Jeffrey Lim, a junior from Clear Creek High School, submitted the winning piece entitled “Lone Star”.
Lim used colored pencils to give the piece a realistic feeling, and used values for the purposes of unity and form.
“Approaching the art competition, I wanted to draw something that was the definition of Texas,” Lim said. “It’s my first year in Texas, so it was actually a bit challenging. Overall, I’m happy with the piece.”
“The art competition is an event I look forward to each year. Texas 14 is home to many talented, inspiring, young artists. It is an honor to represent them and their families,” Congressman Randy Weber (R – Friendswood) said.
Friendswood High School students Caroline Velek and Brooke Langston received second place and third place honors, respectively. Fourth place honors went to Mackenzie Patureau of Brazoswood High School.
“Lone Star” will be displayed in the Capitol for the following year. The other top three pieces of art will be displayed in the district offices in Beaumont, Lake Jackson and League City.
Washington, D.C. – H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017, passed the House floor today. Representative Randy Weber (R – Friendswood), who voted in favor of the bill, issued the following statement:
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act has been a priority for me, since before I took office in January 2013. After years of proposing different solutions, House Republicans introduced a focused plan this March. The original text provided a good foundation to reduce burdens generated under the Affordable Care Act, but I did not believe the language went far enough to reduce premiums and ensure patient choice. For the past several weeks, I have continued to work tirelessly with my colleagues to negotiate language for a bill that is best for you, your family, and fellow Texans.
The bill I supported today begins the long awaited and sought after repeal of all taxes imposed by the Affordable Care Act. AHCA also takes great strides in rolling back the constitutionally-questionable regulations enacted through the Affordable Care Act, such as the employer and individuate mandates. The bill does protect those with pre-existing conditions, and also provides refundable tax benefits to encourage individuals to choose a health plan that is right for them. Additionally, it brings Medicaid into the 21st Century with the largest reforms ever enacted on the program to better serve patients. Equally important, this legislation returns decision-making power back to the state, letting Texas decide what is best for Texans. Healthcare decisions ought to be made by Texans, not by bureaucrats in Washington, DC.
AHCA affords the opportunity for the free-market to prevail, for states to best help their residents, and for the sanctity of life to be protected. With this vote, we send the legislation to the Senate for consideration. I look forward to seeing our Texas senators lead the fight to ensure our strong, conservative provisions are maintained in this important legislation.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House passed legislation to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. The final vote was 309 to 118. Representative Randy Weber (R – Friendswood) opposed passage of this omnibus funding bill. After the vote, Representative Weber issued the following statement:
“Part of our responsibility as Members of Congress is to balance the budget, but instead we have once again passed the buck, thereby avoiding the problem. Though there are some positive provisions in the continuing resolution, there are arguably not enough. We had an opportunity, with the majority in both Chambers, to bring about real change asked for by our constituents. Instead, this bill sticks with the status quo.
I could not support yet another funding bill that lacks accountability with my constituents. Through regular order and independent appropriation bills, we can responsibly fund the government, and see real change occur."
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, April 27, Joseph “Ray” Perry, father U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, passed away. Representative Randy Weber (R – Friendswood) issued the following statement:
“It is with great sadness that we learn of Ray Perry’s passing. He was a good man and true Texan who raised his son with those same values. The Perry’s are a kind, hard-working family who love this great nation and our great state. My thoughts and prayers go out to Secretary Rick Perry and his family.”
Washington, D.C. – After the passing of former Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas, Representative Randy Weber (R – Friendswood) issued the following statement:
“Lyda Ann Thomas, former mayor of Galveston, passed away yesterday. She served as mayor from 2004 - 2010. During her tenure in office, the Island was hit by two major hurricanes. Ms. Thomas knew better than most that it’s not a matter of if the next storm hits, it’s simply a matter of when the next storm will hit. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.”
Washington, D.C. – In response to the actions that occurred in Syria this week, Representative Randy Weber (R – Friendswood) issued the following statement:
“Earlier this week, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried out yet another chemical attack on his countrymen -- innocent men, women and children. Assad’s actions are continuously senseless and barbaric. He must be held accountable for his actions.
For six long years, the Obama Administration did nothing but draw red lines in the sand, only to let Assad step over them with no repercussions. This is no longer the case.
President Trump showed that he is ready and willing to act with appropriate speed and strength. I support President Trump’s targeted military strike on the Syrian airfield.”
Washington, D.C. – Representative Randy Weber (R – Friendswood) introduced H.R. 1866, the Animal Fat Tax Act of 2017. Similar legislation was introduced last Congress. Representative Weber’s statement is as follows:
“U.S. cleaning manufacturers rely on animal fat byproducts as an ingredient in many personal care products we use every day. Unfortunately, the costs for these raw materials have increased 116 percent over the last decade because of federal intervention in the free-market. Biodiesel tax credits, introduced in 2006, have been picking winner and losers – placing American manufacturers at a tremendous market disadvantage.
The biodiesel tax credit was allowed to expire at the end of the 2016. However, with this credit lapsing four times since 2010, U.S. manufacturers need more certainty that the domestic market for animal fats will not be distorted if the credits are extended this year. As a byproduct of the livestock industry, this important ingredient in soaps and detergents is inelastic – we cannot raise more animals to meet the growing demand created by the renewable fuel industry. The only viable alternative is palm oil produced abroad. Without a long-term fix, we risk sending production and American jobs overseas.
My legislation provides this solution by simply disallowing tax credits for fuels derived from animal fats. As we discuss tax reform in the 115th Congress, H.R. 1866 will be an important factor to correct the unintended artificial market manipulation while we work to clean up the tax code.”
Washington, D.C. – Representative Randy Weber (R – Friendswood) encourages students in the 14th Congressional District of Texas to participate in the annual Congressional Art Competition -- An Artistic Discovery. The art competition provides an opportunity for young, artistic talent to be recognized and shared in our Nation’s capital.
In order to participate, students must be residents of the 14th District and may submit one original entry, no larger than 26” x 26” x 4”, including the frame. Acceptable mediums include paintings, drawings, watercolors, pastels, collages, or prints. The submission deadline for 2017 competition entries is Thursday, April 13.
The winning entry will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. for the following year. The art will be displayed among the works of fellow student-artists. Pieces of art that receive honorable mention will be displayed in Representative Weber’s district offices.
For additional information about the Congressional Art Competition and to receive a 14th District participation form, please visit his website, www.weber.house.gov, or contact the Beaumont district office at 409-853-4193.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Randy Weber (TX-14) today praised the passage of H.J. Res. 43, which passed the House with a vote of 230 to 188. This legislation overturns the Obama Administration’s midnight rule directing funds to abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood.
“I applaud Chairman Diane Black and my colleagues for standing up for women and their babies,” Weber said. “In my district, over 30 clinics are committed to supporting women in both during and immediately after pregnancy. In particular, low-income women receive support in maternity homes, acquire referrals to community assistance and social service programs like child-care. They also may take advantage of classes on life skills, budgeting, parenting, stress management and GED preparation. I am proud that H.J. Res. 43 supports integral programs that not only support mothers, but also help support their babies to ensure that both parties receive the care that they deserve.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14), chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology (SST) Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, delivered the following opening statement today during the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing entitled "Risky Business: The DOE Loan Guarantee Program.”
The witnesses included: Ms. Diane Katz, senior research fellow in regulatory policy, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation; Mr. Chris Edwards, director, Tax Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Mr. Dan Reicher, executive director, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University; and Dr. Ryan Yonk, assistant research professor, Department of Economics and Finance, Utah State University, research director, Institute of Political Economy, Utah State University.
As prepared for delivery:
Today, we will have the opportunity to review the past, present, and future of the Department of Energy’s loan program. I want to thank our panel of witnesses for joining us in this important discussion about the appropriate federal role in supporting energy innovation.
Established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the DOE loan guarantee program was designed to give federal support to risky, innovative, clean energy technology. Under a federal loan guarantee, instead of the private sector taking on risk to fund the scale up of new technology, the government steps in, risking federal dollars on the hopes for success of energy projects.
Through the Section 1703 and 1705 programs, the Department guaranteed loans to 30 energy companies, putting $28 billion in taxpayer money on the line.
After Congress approved over $2 billion to subsidize the costs of loan guarantees, the DOE issued more than $16 billion in guarantees to 26 different projects. In these subsidized loans, known as Section 1705 loans, companies not only received government backing for their loan, but additional taxpayer dollars were authorized to pay the “credit subsidy cost” of the loan, or the estimated cost to the federal government to manage the loan over its lifetime.
Easy money combined with political pressure to issue loans before the temporary subsidy program expired led the DOE to rush loan applications. Both the DOE Inspector General and Government Accountability Office found that the DOE did not have the necessary expertise or metrics to effectively evaluate these loans.
Predictably, a number of companies that received Section 1705 loans went into default. In total, over $800 million dollars in taxpayer money has been wasted by the DOE loan program.
It’s clear the DOE loan guarantee program is expensive – the GAO estimates that the cost for the current loan guarantees is $2.2 billion – but supporters argue the cost is justified if we can help innovative technologies make the leap to the commercial market.
But, what if federal meddling in the market actually hurts innovation? As we will hear in testimony today, when the federal government provides loans and loan guarantees to favored technologies, innovation stalls. While federal government support helps loan guarantee winners attract capital, it draws capital away from other innovative ideas in the market.
And since large companies with the resources to lobby on behalf of their projects often have an advantage in the loan application process, the DOE loan guarantee program pushes capital away from the start-ups and entrepreneurs that often have the most innovative ideas. We need to be opening doors for these small innovators – not closing them by pushing investors towards federally backed, risk-free investments.
Additionally, taxpayers often end up paying higher prices for their power because of federal government meddling in the energy market. For example, when the DOE provided a $1.6 billion loan guarantee to the Ivanpah solar project in California, the state mandated the use of renewable power, and utilities entered into contracts to buy power from the DOE-backed facility. Unfortunately, the ratepayers in Southern California will now pay two to five times more for power generated by this facility in addition to being stuck with the bill if the project fails and goes into default.
The truth is, when the DOE provides loan guarantees, there is no benefit for the taxpayer even if the guaranteed loan is paid in full.
Regular Americans take on the liability of the full loan, they don’t see a return, and can end up paying more for their electricity if the project is actually built.
The DOE loan guarantee program is just another way the federal government picks winners and losers in the energy market. It doesn’t guarantee innovation or cost savings, and it doesn’t guarantee access to capital for the next generation of energy technology. The only thing guaranteed for the taxpayer is extra cost and extra risk.
It’s our responsibility in this Committee to examine Department of Energy programs, and ensure our limited resources prioritize the kind of research and science facilities that open doors for all kinds of innovators.
The Department can’t prioritize the basic research it does best when it’s playing venture capitalist.
Therefore, I think we need to take a hard look at the DOE loan guarantee program, and determine whether it’s an appropriate way to spend federal research dollars.
In my opinion, and in the testimony you’ll hear today, the American people would be better served if the federal government stopped picking winners and losers, focused on research and development, and let the market drive investment for energy innovation.
510 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Randy Weber is a public servant, proven conservative and successful small business owner representing the 14th District of Texas.
Weber is a member of the Science, Space and Technology committee as well as the House Foreign Affairs committee. He holds leadership roles on both committees: Vice Chair of the Energy subcommittee and Vice Chair of the Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations subcommittee.
For the past 40 years, Randy Weber has called the Gulf Coast home – a place to start a family and build a business. Although juggling work and family takes great amounts of time and effort, Weber makes time to be an active member of his church and community.
Weber built his air conditioning company, Weber’s Air & Heat, in 1981 from scratch, and grew his business by using, what his grandfather used to call, ‘good old-fashion Texas horse sense and a strong work ethic.’ Like others who have successfully moved from business to public service, it is Weber’s real-world experience in the private sector that underpins his commitment to lower taxes, his contempt for wasteful spending and his firm dedication to better schools.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Weber served four years in the Texas State House. During his tenure, Weber served on the committees of Environmental Regulation, Public Education, and as Vice Chair of Border and Intergovernmental Affairs.
As the Vice Chair of the Energy subcommittee of Science, Space, and Technology, Randy Weber has been a leader in the effort to unleash the energy industry. On May 22, Weber’s first amendment passed the House floor, this amendment incorporates the scientific findings to provide further reason why the Keystone XL Pipeline permits should be approved.
While serving at the Texas House, Randy Weber authored landmark legislation to combat human trafficking and protect women, young girls and boys – some as young as 12 years old. On the House Foreign Affairs committee, Weber is continuing the fight against human trafficking, as well as, co-sponsoring legislation to strengthen our foreign policies and relationship with our allies across the globe.
As a freshman member of Congress, Weber is committed to advocating for America’s job creators and hardworking families. He understands that lower taxes and less government mandates will help relieve taxpayers’ tightened purse strings and allow job creators to cultivate and grow their business in a more stable environment.
Weber has lived in a 20-mile radius for all his life, and has been married to Brenda Weber, a retired schoolteacher, for over 37 years. He is a graduate of Alvin Community College and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. Randy and Brenda have three children and six wonderful grandchildren.
HR 1761 & HR 1973 combat child abuse & exploitation. HR 2288 & HR 2052 support our vets. For more info, visit https://t.co/z6IHjPFpNO
Several important bills passed the floor this week. Our focus was (1) combating child abuse and exploitation (2) supporting our veterans.
NOAA's Galveston Lab makes tremendous efforts toward protecting sea turtles. Glad to have them in TX14! https://t.co/iKZQSkp5qf
The events that unfolded in Manchester are horrifying...to attack children is a new low. The US stands with the UK. Terrorism will not win.
Met with @SecretaryPerry this morning. Always a pleasure to meet with a fellow Texan. Looking forward to working with him & DOE.
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