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.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Randy Weber (R-Friendswood) released the following statement on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS):
“The legacy left behind by Justice Antonin Scalia is rooted in a deep respect and understanding of the United States’ most important legal document – the Constitution. I applaud President Trump’s thoughtful and measured nomination. Judge Gorsuch has an impeccable legal mind with an unmatched pedigree. I am confident he will faithfully follow the Constitution, and protect the pillars of our democracy for decades to come.”
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Congressman Randy Weber (R-Friendswood), Energy Subcommittee Chairman, spoke on the House Floor in support of H.R. 589, The Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act. This important legislation provides the Department of Energy with policy direction on basic science research, nuclear energy R&D, and research coordination and priorities, as well as important reforms to streamline national lab management.
Click here to watch the speech.
“Today, the House passed H.R. 589, The Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act, by unanimous consent. This bipartisan bill prioritizes fundamental research and development programs at the Department of Energy (DOE) allowing America to maintain our nuclear capabilities and continue to develop cutting edge technology here at home. The measure directs DOE to prioritize federal R&D infrastructure that enables the private sector to invest in advance nuclear reactor technologies and provides a clear path forward to attract private investment for prototype development at DOE labs.
I am proud to have my language from H.R. 431, the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017, included in this bill as Title IV. Title IV is vital to ensure this important research and development is signed into law. We cannot afford to miss the economic opportunity provided by next generation nuclear technology.”
(Washington, D.C.) – On January 5, the United States House of Representatives voted on House Resolution 11, Objecting to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 as an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace, and for other purposes. The resolution passed by a vote of 342 to 80. Congressman Randy Weber (R-Friendswood), a member of the Foreign Affairs committee, issued the following statement:
“In choosing to abstain from the Security Council’s resolution, which intentionally and unfairly targets Israel, the Administration once again showed cowardice instead of strength; abandonment instead of loyalty. The UN resolution places blame for the current state of affairs between Israel and the Palestinian Authority entirely on Israel, making a peaceful two-state solution even more difficult to achieve. The Administration’s actions on December 23 broke with a decades-old tradition of vetoing any one-sided, anti-Israeli actions. My House colleagues and I acted today to show Israel that our commitment to her well-being is unwavering, and that we are her committed ally.”Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Randy Weber (R-Friendswood) released the following statement on the recent passing of former Senator and Astronaut John Glenn:
“While John Glenn may have passed surrounded by his family, he will forever be immortalized in our history books as a pioneer of space, and the first American to orbit the Earth. John Glenn was a true American hero, who served our country in the military, in space and in Congress. My sincerest sympathies are with the Glenn family. Now, John Glenn may finally reach beyond the moon to stand in the presence of God.”Read More
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.