Ted Poe

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Congressman Poe Sends Letter in Support of Holding the 23rd World Petroleum Congress in Houston

2016/08/15


Simone Biles encapsulates the American spirit

2016/08/08

Houston Observer

By U.S. Representative Ted Poe

Like superwoman, Simone Biles bounds down the runway, sprinting at full speed. She throws herself into a back handspring over the vault, and manages to add a two-and-a-half twisting layout off of it, and sticks the landing.

While she makes it look almost effortless, it’s the second hardest vault performed in the world.

Biles’s successes read like an action story book: three-time World All- Around Champion. Four-time U.S. All-Around Champion. A record-setting 10 World Championships wins, the most in U.S. history. Sound impressive? Well, that’s because it is. Now, Houston Texas’s own superwoman is set to make the history books again.

Four-foot-nine Biles is the overwhelming favorite to not just represent Team USA at the 2016 Olympics, but to bring home the All-Around gold for Team USA Gymnastics. For many young athletes, the Olympics is a far off dream. But for Biles, it’s a dream turned into true accomplishment.

As Rio is about to kick-off on Friday, Biles has trained with her fellow members of the “Fantastic Five”, ready to represent Team USA over the next few weeks. In fact, many say that she is practically unbeatable, and in a league all of her own. Many of us remember the ’84 Olympics when American starlet Mary Lou Retton won the first ever gymnastics Olympic gold for the U.S. Retton, who first set the US standard for Olympic excellence in gymnastics, said “[Simone] may be the most talented gymnast I’ve ever seen in my life, honestly. And I don’t think she’s tapped into what she can really do. I think she’s unbeatable.”

Her remarkable talent has brought gymnastics to an even higher level of difficulty. For example, the 19-year-old already has her very own skill named after her, appropriately named a “Biles.” To compete a Biles, a gymnast must perform a tumbling pass, consisting of a double back layout with a half-twist. Not to mention, stick it. To get such a skill named after her, Biles had to not just perform the skill during competition but also be the first person ever to do so.

Texas has a long tradition of producing Olympic-caliber gymnasts, including Marry Lou Retton, Kim Zmeskal, Dominique Moceanu, Nastia Liukin, and Carly Patterson. The Lone Star State

is also home the most famous of the national team training centers, Bela Karolyi’s Ranch. Soon, Biles name will be added to the list of Texas gymnasts who have brought home gold for Team USA.

Off the mat, nineteen-year-old Biles serves as a role model and inspiration to many young girls and athletes throughout America. Not surprisingly, she displays extreme focus in her everyday life. Her humble attitude exhibits the mark of good sportsmanship. Her family has instilled in her the confidence to succeed and the drive to accomplish her dreams, something that every young Texan should strive to exemplify.

With Biles in Rio, we are enthusiastically excited to have a hometown hero representing Team USA and her neighborhood of Spring. We’ll all be glued to our TVs, watching her compete on the international stage and rooting her in her quest to bring home the gold. Simone! Simone! — This firecracker has captured the hearts of our community, Texas and the red, white, and blue. Simone’s determination and character is an example of the best of the American Spirit.

And that’s just the way it is.

Read More

Congressman Poe joins the Texas GOP Delegation in Sending Letter to President Obama Demanding Answers on Anti-Zika Funding for the State

2016/08/08

WASHINGTONCongressman Ted Poe (R-TX), along with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other Members of the Texas Congressional Delegation, sent a letter to President Obama demanding answers regarding the Administration's failure to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in appropriated health prevention funding on Zika. The Zika virus is expected to have a significant impact on Texas and the local Houston area.

"The Zika virus has come to America. Our citizens have contracted the virus not only by traveling abroad, but also through domestic mosquitoes infected with Zika. Harris County has a tropical climate and a high mosquito population, making it a potential hotbed for the Zika virus.  The effects of Zika in Houston could be large and long lasting. The Texas Department of State Health Services reports that as of August 5th, Texas has 96 reported cases of Zika, including three pregnant women and an infant.  Fortunately these cases are not suspected to be locally acquired, although there is a possibility that Texas could see locally acquired cases soon. The President has made this health issue a political dispute, blaming Congress for not passing his Zika funding bill. The truth is Congress previously appropriated funds for health emergencies, of which nearly $400 million has not been spent. The Administration should have repurposed these funds that it already had at its disposal instead of mounting a political fight. We must use all tools available to protect not only Texas but the rest of America from the threat of the Zika virus.”

The Delegation’s letter also asks the Administration how much funding the Administration plans on specifically allocating for anti-Zika efforts in Texas. In June, the House passed a bi-partisan bill allocating an additional $1.1 billion for Zika prevention and research. Despite best efforts, the Democrats blocked the compromise bill twice.

Attached is a copy of the letter.

###

Read More

Meet the 34 lawmakers who actually managed to pass bills this year

2016/08/08

By PETE KASPEROWICZ

Everyone knows Congress has been in a years-long rut when it comes to productivity.

Republicans have resisted President Obama's policy goals and instead passed hundreds of their own, only to watch Obama ignore or veto most of those ideas.

But some members are finding ways to get their ideas through Congress, onto Obama's desk and signed into law. Most of these bills are non-controversial and pass easily, but the few dozen that have become law this year show just how difficult it is to find these non-controversial ideas.

Below are the lucky members of the House and Senate who found the right idea and managed to turn them into laws. Our list focuses on the more substantive bills that Obama has signed this year and skips over some of the bills that simply reauthorized existing federal programs:

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.

What passed into law: H.R. 3700, reforming U.S. housing law to boost housing aid to veterans and ensure housing allowances are not used by people who exceed the law's income limits.

When Obama signed it: July 29

What Luetkemeyer said: "For the first time in over 50 years, there will be real reforms to the programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Housing Service (RHS). I am proud to be part of a movement that will streamline and modernize housing programs, creating opportunity for American families and saving hard-earned taxpayer dollars."

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

What passed into law: S. 524, expanding grant funding for and requiring more coordination between government agencies aimed at reducing opioid addiction. It also requires the Department of Health and Human Services to reassess pain management practices with an eye toward reducing opioid use.

When Obama signed it: July 22

What Whitehouse said: "Addiction is an illness in need of care, and the law the president signed today will treat it like one. This legislation will help people suffering from addiction to find treatment and reclaim their lives. It will help to educate the public — especially young people — about the consequences of drug abuse."

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas

What passed into law: S. 2840, amending the law to allow federal grants to be used for active shooter training programs.

When Obama signed it: July 22

What Cornyn said: "As the city of Dallas tragically found out this month, communities across the country can be confronted with an active shooter situation at any moment. I'm glad the president has signed this bill into law so we can help our first responders be better prepared and keep our communities safe."

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.

What passed into law: S. 1252, the Global Food Security Act, requiring the president to develop a global food security strategy aimed at reducing hunger and malnutrition and building resilience to "food shocks" in vulnerable countries.

When Obama signed it: July 20

What Casey said: "I've worked on this legislation for years because it helps the world's most vulnerable and enhances American security by promoting stability in parts of the world experiencing challenges. The GFSA will ensure Feed the Future, which has helped improve nutrition for 12 million malnourished children and increased the income of 7 million farmers, will continue into the next administration."

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas

What passed into law: H.R. 3766, providing for increased transparency related to how U.S. foreign aid funds are spent overseas.

When Obama signed it: July 15

What Poe said: "As the current system sits, billions of taxpayer dollars are sent to countries around the world. Wowever, no one really knows just how far those dollars go. Now that this bill is law, the American people finally have the ability to see both where there money is sent and how effective the aid provided is."

Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis.

What passed into law: S. 2328, creating an oversight panel aimed at helping Puerto Rico restructure its $72 billion in debt.

When Obama signed it: June 30

What Duffy said: "When I started working to fix the Puerto Rico debt crisis, I knew it wouldn't be easy, but we built a bipartisan coalition to help the three and a half million Americans who have been suffering under the weight of bad financial decisions by leaders who made promises they couldn't afford or keep."

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas

What passed into law: S. 337, to improve the operation of the Freedom of Information Act, including by requiring federal agencies to make information available electronically and prohibiting agencies from charging fees when they miss FOIA deadlines.

When Obama signed it: June 30

What Cornyn said: "One of our country's hallmark values is a commitment to open and transparent government, and today is an important step towards ensuring the American people can hold their government accountable. I appreciate Sen. [Pat] Leahy's partnership on this bill, and I am pleased to see it become law today."

Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn.

What passed into law: H.R. 3209, allowing federal law enforcement officers to access tax returns for information related to missing or exploited children.

When Obama signed it: June 30

What Paulsen said: "This new law will help reunite families by giving law enforcement the critical and necessary tools to fill the 'information gap' in missing and abducted children cases. The Recovering Missing Children Act is a common-sense fix that will change the lives of children and families who face these scary and heartbreaking situations all across the country."

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.

What passed into law: S. 2133, requiring the federal government to set up guidelines aimed at identifying and reducing fraud and improper payments.

When Obama signed it: June 30

What Carper said: "This bill ... requires federal officials to determine what areas of government spending are at the greatest risk for fraud, develop an action plan to address vulnerabilities and then share those solutions with other agencies dealing with similar programs.

"This common-sense legislation will help to ensure that federal agencies do a better job managing federal programs and delivering services more efficiently and at a lower cost to taxpayers."

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

What passed into law: S. 2487, requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs to implement effective programs aimed at reducing the suicide rate of female veterans.

When Obama signed it: June 30

What Boxer said: "The alarming rate of suicide among female veterans demanded immediate action. I am proud that President Obama has signed into law our bill to help ensure women veterans get the mental healthcare and support they need at the VA. These courageous women deserve nothing less."

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill.

What passed into law: H.R. 2576, requiring the EPA to modernize the ways it determines when regulatory control of a chemical is warranted.

When Obama signed it: June 22

What Shimkus said: "There is a widespread acknowledgement and understandable concern that nobody is well-served by the current law. This bill takes a thoughtful approach to protecting people all across the country from unsafe chemical exposure by making long needed improvements to an outdated and ineffective law."

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga.

What passed into law: H.R. 2137, allowing federal law enforcement officers to carry government-issued firearms during a government shutdown.

When Obama signed it: June 22

What Collins said: "Crime does not stop during a government shutdown, and criminals do not get furloughed. Authorized officers need to be able to protect themselves and the public at all times, whether they are on duty or off."

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

What passed into law: S. 184, to establish protections for Native American children placed by tribal courts into the tribal foster care system.

When Obama signed it: June 3

What Hoeven said: "A decade ago, we worked in North Dakota to ensure that all adults living in a foster home were background checked to protect the children in their care, and now we have extended that same safety net for children in tribal foster care in North Dakota and across the nation. Starting today, it's the law of the land."

Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y.

What passed into law: H.R. 4238, to remove the term "oriental" anywhere it appears in U.S. law and replace it with "Asian-Americans."

When Obama signed it: May 20

What Meng said: "The term 'oriental' has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good. No longer will any law of the United States refer to Asian-Americans in such an offensive way, and I applaud and thank President Obama for signing my bill to get rid of this antiquated term."

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz.

What passed into law: H.R. 4336, to overturn a decision by the secretary of the Army and restore the burial rights of Women Air Force Service Pilots, or WASPs, at Arlington National Cemetery. The WASPs flew non-combat missions during World War II, and 38 of them died during service.

When Obama signed it: May 20

What McSally said: "With this signing, generations of Americans will be able to come to Arlington and see how the WASPs served during a time of great need and, in doing so, paved the way for all women to serve in the military."

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas

What passed into law: H.R. 4923, the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, a bill to reform the way Congress considers and passes tariff cuts on products and services from overseas that are needed by U.S. manufacturers. The process for considering these tariff cuts, seen as tax cuts for manufacturers, has stymied Congress for years.

When Obama signed it: May 20

What Brady said: "This bill is about strengthening manufacturing jobs. It's about making sure our U.S. manufacturers don't pay extra costs or extra taxes. It's about lowering the costs for American consumers. It's really about growing the economy."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

What passed into law: S. 32, the Transnational Drug Trafficking Act, making it illegal for anyone to make or distribute drugs knowing that they will be illegally exported to or near the United States.

When Obama signed it: May 16

What Feinstein said: "Drug kingpins from countries like Colombia and Peru often use Mexican trafficking organizations as mules to bring illegal narcotics into the United States. Now, the Justice Department will be able to take legal action against these kingpins."

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

What passed into law: S. 125, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act. The bill reauthorizes a federal program aimed at ensuring police officers have access to bulletproof vests.

When Obama signed it: May 16

What Leahy said: "In Vermont, and across the nation, the bulletproof vest program has proven its effectiveness. It helps save lives among those who protect our communities."

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah

What passed into law: S. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, aimed at protecting U.S. trade secrets from theft by overseas competitors. His bill creates a uniform national standard for guarding against the theft of trade secrets and allows for injunctions and damage awards against those who steal these trade secrets.

When Obama signed it: May 11

What Hatch said: "Enacting the Defend Trade Secrets Act is the most significant intellectual property development in years, and it demonstrates that Republicans and Democrats can work across the aisle in seeking to advance important public policies that will benefit the American people and boost our nation's economy."

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.

What passed into law: H.R. 1493, the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act, which is meant to prevent the Islamic State from looting antiquities in Syria. It imposes new import restrictions on antiquities trafficked out of Syria.

When Obama signed it: May 9

What Engel said: "As part of America's effort to degrade and destroy [the Islamic State], we need to do all we can to cut off resources for this terrorist group. Today, we're putting a new tool to use. My legislation will crack down on the trafficking of looted Syrian artifacts, which has put millions of dollars in the hands of ISIS extremists."

Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo.

What passed into law: H.R. 2908, the National Bison Legacy Act, which makes the bison the national mammal of the United States.

When Obama signed it: May 9

What Clay said: "No other indigenous species tells America's story better than this noble creature. The American bison is an enduring symbol of strength, Native American culture and the boundless western wildness. It is an integral part of the still largely untold story of Native Americans and their historic contributions to our national identity."

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

What passed into law: S. 1638, the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters Consolidation Accountability Act, which requires DHS to provide details about its headquarters consolidation project and a schedule for when it will be completed. It is aimed at addressing the delays and cost overruns for the project, and Johnson said it will save taxpayers $700 million over the next three decades.

When Obama signed it: April 20

What Johnson said: "Ensuring taxpayer dollars are used effectively is one of my priorities as chairman of this committee. This bill will hold the administration accountable while ensuring future spending on facilities is done efficiently, and for the right reasons. Giving the DHS the resources it needs to keep our nation safe is important while also ensuring we aren't wasting taxpayer funds on things we don't need."

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah

What passed into law: S. 483, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act. The bill is meant to stop prescription drugs from going to unintended users. It directs the Drug Enforcement Agency to collaborate more with law enforcement and drug companies to fight prescription drug abuse.

When Obama signed it: April 19

What Hatch said: "Prescription drug abuse is a big problem in Utah. A recent study found that our state ranks fifth in the nation in drug overdose deaths. That's why I'm so glad Congress has passed the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act."

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.

What passed into law: S. 2512, the Adding Zika Virus to the FDA Priority Review Voucher Program Act. The bill is meant to speed up the development of Zika vaccines by making it a priority for the Food and Drug Administration.

When Obama signed it: April 19

What Franken said: "The Zika virus is spreading rapidly, and to fight back, we need to make sure we have the necessary tools to prevent and treat the disease. Our bipartisan bill will encourage innovators to help stop the virus in its tracks, and I'm very pleased that we got the measure across the finish line. This is an important step to combat Zika, and I look forward to President Obama signing it into law."

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

What passed into law: S. 1180, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act. The bill is meant to modernize the country's public alert system so that government officials at all levels can coordinate on threats to public safety.

When Obama signed it: April 11

What Johnson said: "In times of an emergency, information is crucial. This bill takes important steps to expand our nation's public warning system to ensure the largest number of people are reached. The IPAWS Modernization Act of 2015 also ensures effective training and collaboration so that when an emergency hits, we are ready."

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

What passed into law: S. 2393, the Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act. The measure extends foreclosure protection for people who served in the military. Without the bill, that protection lasted just 90 days after people leave the service, but his bill extends that protection for a full year.

When Obama signed it: March 31

What Whitehouse said: "Some of the men and women who've served our country need time to find their financial footing as they leave active service. They should get it. Our service members keep us safe from all manner of threats around the globe. It's the least we can do to keep them and their families safe from foreclosure as they transition back to civilian life."

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

What passed into law: H.R. 1831, the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act. The legislation would create a panel tasked with measuring the effectiveness of federal programs, such as anti-poverty initiatives.

When Obama signed it: March 30

What Ryan said: "Creating this commission is the first step in a long-term effort to change the mindset in Washington. When we're making policy, we shouldn't focus on effort, but results. And we need the best minds in evidence-based policy to figure out how we can use the data we already collect to improve how government works. That's what this commission will do."

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.

What passed into law: S. 2426, directing the secretary of state to develop a plan for Taiwan's observer status in the International Criminal Police Organization. Taiwan was a member of INTERPOL until 1984, when the People's Republic of China applied for membership.

When Obama signed it: March 18

What Gardner said: "I'm pleased the House of Representatives acted swiftly to pass my legislation, which recognizes Taiwan as our ally and demonstrates the United States' commitment to this longstanding relationship.

I urge the president to sign this bill into law in order to pave the path for Taiwan to collaborate with the United States and our allies to address today's challenges that are not just isolated to a country or region, but span the globe."

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

What passed into law: S. 238, the Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act. The bill provides that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons must issue non-lethal pepper spray to guards in medium and high-security prisons for protection, and is named after a guard who was killed by a gang member in 2013.

When Obama signed it: March 9

What Toomey said: "Every day, America's law enforcement officers place their own lives at risk to defend the rest of us. For this, they deserve our gratitude and our support. We can now ensure that our correctional officers have a basic tool to defend themselves: non-lethal pepper spray.

"This bipartisan effort was made possible by the tireless efforts of Eric Williams' parents, Don and Jean Williams, who turned their family tragedy into a national effort to protect other officers."

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

What passed into law: S. 2109, the Directing Dollars to Disaster Relief Act, which directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency to trim administrative costs in an effort to direct more money to disaster relief.

When Obama signed it: Feb. 29

What Johnson said: "One of my top priorities is to ensure taxpayer money is being used in the most efficient and effective way possible. The steady rise in administrative costs for disaster relief means that more and more money each year is diverted away from helping struggling communities get back on their feet after a major disaster.

"The Directing Dollars to Disaster Relief Act challenges FEMA to address this issue so that more money can be spent on disaster relief."

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

What passed into law: H.R. 1428, the Judicial Redress Act, which is aimed at giving U.S. allies certain legal protections related to the data they share with the U.S. for law enforcement reasons. It is meant to assure European allies about how that data will be protected after the European Court of Justice invalidated an earlier data-sharing agreement.

When Obama signed it: Feb. 24.

What Sensenbrenner said: "The president's signing of the Judicial Redress Act shows America's commitment to rebuilding trust between allies and demonstrates our nation's willingness to act in good faith with our European allies to secure open lines of communication between law enforcement agencies. This is a significant achievement for our country, our allies and for the safety and security of the United States."

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y.

What passed into law: H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, a broad bill dealing with several trade-related issues, including customs enforcement, import health and safety, intellectual property and customs evasion.

When Obama signed it: Feb. 24

What Reed said: "From the mortgage forgiveness deduction tax credit, which helps middle-income families who are struggling to save their homes, to making sure seniors have access to the resources they need, and even making sure countries like China have to play by the rules and not unfairly undercut American workers, we have really fought to do a lot of good."

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas

What passed into law: H.R. 3033, the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act, to support research into dyslexia, including ways to detect it earlier and train teachers to help diagnosed students.

When Obama signed it: Feb. 18

What Smith said: "Today we can help millions of Americans have a brighter and more prosperous future. Despite the prevalence of dyslexia, many Americans remain undiagnosed, untreated and silently struggle at school or work. We need to enable those with dyslexia to achieve their maximum potential."

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif.

What passed into law: H.R. 757, the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, which boosted sanctions against North Korea to prevent its development of nuclear weapons.

When Obama signed it: Feb. 18

What Royce said: "We can't stand by while the North Korean regime develops a nuclear arsenal capable of striking the United States. Targeted sanctions aimed at banks and companies that do business with Kim Jong-un will cut off the cash he needs to sustain his illicit weapons programs, his army and the continued repression of the North Korean people. I look forward to the full and aggressive implementation of this new law."

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.

What passed into law: H.R. 907, the U.S.-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act, to support Jordan in its fight against the Islamic State.

When Obama signed it: Feb. 18

What Ros-Lehtinen said: "By passing this legislation and sending it to the president's desk, Congress is sending an important message to our ally Jordan that we will continue to support the kingdom as it faces potential threats by [the Islamic State] and a serious strain on its resources and its economy as a result of the challenges stemming from an influx of Syrian refugees.

"Jordan has been on the front lines in the coalition fight against ISIL and in the response to the Syrian humanitarian crisis, but we must ensure that Jordan has the resources and support it needs to remain stable and secure."

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.

What passed into law: H.R. 515, the International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders Act. The bill is aimed at closing loopholes that allow convicted pedophiles to travel in and out of the U.S. without law enforcement being notified.

When Obama signed it: Feb. 8

What Smith said: "This important legislation authorizes the creation of a comprehensive, reciprocal international notification system to significantly expand protections for children worldwide.

"Now foreign governments will know when convicted pedophiles, who are currently required to be on government sex-offender registries, are traveling to other countries. Now they can assess the potential danger and take reasonable precautions to protect children, including denial of a visa or limiting travel."

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

What passed into law: S. 2152, the Electrify Africa Act, which will provide loan guarantees to help millions of Africans gain access to electricity.

When Obama signed it: Feb. 8

What Corker said: "With limited foreign assistance dollars, we need to focus on projects like energy that can be a catalyst for long-term growth throughout the region and reduce poverty. Our legislation will establish an all-of-the-above approach to energy generation while helping implement the best practices necessary for maintaining a reliable and financially viable electric grid."

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

What passed into law: S. 142, the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act, which requires child-proof caps on bottles of liquid nicotine.

When Obama signed it: Jan. 28

What Nelson said: "A few drops of this stuff can cause a child to become extremely ill. Requiring child-proof caps on these bottles is just common sense."

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.

What passed into law: S. 1115, the Grants Oversight and New Efficiency Act, which aims to boost financial accountability of federal grant programs.

When Obama signed it: Jan. 28

What Fischer said: "I'm pleased to see the GONE Act signed into law. Through teamwork and bipartisan common sense, I was proud to join Sen. [Joe] Manchin and Sen. [Ron] Johnson to target government waste and find some relief for taxpayers. This is a small but important first step in our effort to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and efficiently in the federal grant process."

Read More

US Ransom Payments to Iran

2016/08/03

WASHINGTON, D.C.- "It has been the long standing policy of this country to not negotiate with terrorists. This Administration has not only negotiated with the largest State Sponsor of Terrorism, it has rewarded them. According to the Wall Street Journal, the White House facilitated a secret ransom payment for our citizens who were held hostage by the Iranians. That payment was just the first 'installment' of the $1.7 billion the President has agreed to send to Tehran.Time and again, this Administration goes out of its way to keep both Congress and the American people in the dark. These funds will fill the coffers of the country who has facilitated and sponsored terrorism against the United States and our allies for decades. This blood money will come back to haunt us. More lives will be lost, more Americans will be kidnapped and our enemy will be stronger than ever. When will the Administration learn that those who call for “Death to America” mean what they say?"

###

Read More

Foreign Aid Act Signed into Law

2016/07/22

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today Congressman Poe released the following statement after President Obama signed the bipartisan Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act (HR 3766) into law.

“I am pleased to hear that the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act has been signed into law”, said Congressman Poe. “A rigorous evaluation of our foreign aid system is completely necessary. For over 50 years, the United States has been operating on an outdated system.  I authored the bill because taxpayers deserve to know where the federal government is spending their hard earned dollars. As the current system sits, billions of taxpayer dollars are sent to countries around the world, however, no one really knows just how far those dollars go. Now that this bill is law, the American people finally have the ability to see both where there money is sent and how effective the aid provided is. “

###

Read More

CONGRESSMAN POE RESPONDS TO RECENT ATTACKS ON POLICE

2016/07/18

 

WASHIGTON- U.S. Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) introduced the Back the Blue Act of 2016, a bill that would increase the penalties for cowardly criminals who intentionally target law enforcement officers, and provides new tools for officers to protect themselves.

“As a prosecutor for over 30 years, I have had the privilege of working alongside some of America’s best, the men and women behind the badge, said Poe. Each day these heroes go into the field, their families not knowing if they are going to return home. These officers separate the good from evil, a thin line that protects a civil society from anarchy. “

The bill also approves grant funding to foster relationships between the police departments and the local communities. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced the companion bill in the Senate.

“Peace officers risk their lives every day to administer justice and create order in our communities. In turn we must work together to support law enforcement. In Dallas and Baton Rouge, our officers have been attacked, harmed and killed for just doing their job. Assault in any way is wrong. This legislation promotes security for those that protect the rest of us. Today, Congress is sending the message that blue lives matter. The thin blue line stands strong.” 

Background on the Back the Blue Act

Creates New Criminal Provisions to Protect Law Enforcement Officers

  • Creates a new federal crime for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to the death penalty and a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if death results; the offender would otherwise face a minimum sentence of 10 years.
  • Creates a new federal crime for assaulting a federally funded law enforcement officer with escalating penalties, including mandatory minimums, based on the extent of any injury and the use of a dangerous weapon. However, no prosecution can be commenced absent certification by the Attorney General that prosecution is appropriate.
  • Creates a new federal crime for interstate flight from justice to avoid prosecution for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for this offense.

Creates a Specific Aggravating Factor for Federal Death Penalty Prosecutions

  • Clarifies that the murder or attempted murder of a law enforcement officer or first responder is a statutory aggravating favor for purposes of the federal death penalty.

Limits Federal Habeas Relief for Murders of Law Enforcement Officers

  • Imposes time limits and substantive limits on federal courts’ review of challenges to state-court convictions for crimes involving the murder of a public safety officer, when the public safety officer was engaged in the performance of official duties or on account of the performance of official duties. These changes are consistent with the fast-track procedures created in 1996, which are applied to federal death penalty cases.

Limits Recovery of Certain Damages and Fees for Individuals Engaged in Felonies

  • Limits the type of civil damages and attorney’s fees recoverable by a criminal as a result of purported injuries incurred during the commission of a felony or crime of violence.

Expands Self-Defense and Second Amendment Rights for Law Enforcement Officers

  • Allows law enforcement officers, subject to limited regulation, to carry firearms into federal facilities and other jurisdictions where such possession is otherwise prohibited.

Opens Up Grant Funding to Strengthen Relationships Between Police and Communities

  • Expands opportunities to use grant funding to promote trust and improve relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve
Read More

Congressman Poe on Nice, France Attacks

2016/07/15

Last night, a cowardly terrorist plowed a heavy truck full of weapons and explosives into the crowds who were gathered to celebrate Bastille Day in Nice, France. The killer, identified by police sources as a 31-year-old Tunisian-born Frenchman opened fire before officers killed him. Now more than ever is a time to be vigilant about our counterterrorism efforts.  I have continuously voiced my concern about President Obama’s absence of a coherent and comprehensive strategy to defeat terrorism.  One was just finally delivered but it’s classified---Radical Islamic terrorists will deliver on their promise to bring terror to not just the United States, but freedom loving countries around the world if we do not put our resources towards neutralizing this determined enemy. Eighty-Four people are dead, including two Texans. This latest attack is just the latest example of what has unfortunately become the new normal. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the people of France.

Read More

Congressman Poe leads Letter Supporting Dallas Police

2016/07/13


Announcement from Congressman Ted Poe

2016/07/13

HOUSTON, TX--During the Congressional recess I will be spending time in Texas  and focusing on my health. I have been diagnosed with leukemia. In the interim, my staff will be available as usual to assist with any and all casework or federal matters you may have.  I am fortunate enough to be treated by the finest  physicians in the world right here in Houston at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. It is my intention to beat cancer and have a full recovery and continue to represent the people of Texas. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and your prayers. The Good Lord will fix this, I believe. And that's just the way it is.

Read More

Bipartisan House Members Announce Fourth Amendment Caucus

2016/07/13

WASHINGTON, D.C – Today, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by co-chairs Ted Poe (R-Texas) and U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), announced the newly formed Fourth Amendment Caucus to protect the privacy and security of Americans in the digital age.

 The bipartisan caucus is comprised of twenty-five founding members, thirteen Republicans and twelve Democrats. The members will lead efforts in the House of Representatives to protect against warrantless searches and seizures, close privacy-violating surveillance loopholes, and champion reform efforts to protect and restore Fourth Amendment rights.

“As technology continues to evolve and improve, Congress must ensure that the Fourth Amendment rights of citizens are protected,” said Poe. “Technology may change, but the Constitution does not.”

 “Members of the House of Representatives from both parties are eager to debate and vote on privacy and surveillance issues that are far too often drafted in secret and jammed through the legislative process under tight deadlines, restrictive procedures, and little debate,” said Lofgren. “From shutting the backdoor on warrantless spying to leading efforts to protect privacy, this Fourth Amendment Caucus gives members a new, nonpartisan forum for ideas, organization, and strategy as we fight to protect the Constitution and the American people.”

 “Our laws regarding freedom, privacy and civil liberties have not kept up with the rapid expansion of technology in today’s digital age,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). “I look forward to working with the bipartisan coalition united behind this caucus to protect and strengthen the Fourth Amendment rights granted to each and every American under our Constitution.”

 “A caucus dedicated to defending Americans’ Fourth Amendment-secured rights is needed now more than ever, and its formation illustrates the growing awareness among the American public and their representatives in Congress of the far-reaching implications of the surveillance state,” said Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.). “In the face of difficult circumstances, some are quick to pursue extreme, unconstitutional measures; the Fourth Amendment Caucus will be a moderating influence that gives voice to countless Americans whose rights are violated by these ill-conceived policies.”

 "Our founding fathers crafted the Fourth Amendment to withstand the test of time and protect our fundamental right to privacy, but they never could have anticipated today’s world of smartphones and connected cars, said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). “With rapidly changing technology and evolving security threats come constant pressures to shift the line between our privacy and acceptable government access to our information. It is time that that Congress had a formal, bipartisan group to share ideas and strategize how to keep that line in check. I am honored to stand with my colleagues today to launch the Fourth Amendment Caucus to keep privacy concerns at the forefront of our debates."

 "Congress has passed, and continues to pass, dangerous legislation without regard for our Constitution,” said Rep. TomMassie (R-Ky.). "The Fourth Amendment Caucus presents a nonpartisan opportunity to discuss ways to protect our right to privacy."

 In addition to the announcement, an expert panel discussed Fourth Amendment Issues confronting Congress, moderated by the newly formed Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee. Panel members included Alvaro M. Bedoya, Executive Director of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law, Mike Godwin from the R Street Institute, Neema Singh Guliani, Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, and Sean Vitka, Director of the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee.

 Founding Members of the Fourth Amendment Caucus:

Ted Poe (R-TX) [Co-Chair]
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) [Co-Chair]
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Beto O'Rourke (D-TX)
Blake Farenthold (R-TX)
Dan Kildee  (D-MI)
David Schweikert (R-AZ)
Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Jared Polis (D-CO)
Jim Jordan (R-OH)
John Lewis (D-GA)
Justin Amash (R-MI)
Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Michael Capuano (D-MA)
Mo Brooks (R-AL)
Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
Scott Perry (R-PA)
Suzan DelBene (D-WA)
Ted Lieu (D-CA)
Thomas Massie (R-KY)
Tom McClintock (R-CA)
Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Walter Jones (R-NC) 

###

Read More

Pakistan's Safe Havens For Terrorists

2016/07/12

  • 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 Inter-Services 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 andclosed 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% 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 Amb. 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 Amb. 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. 

Read More

Congressman Poe on Dallas, Texas Officer Shooting

2016/07/08

Last night, citizens exercised their right to protest in the streets of Dallas. As always, Peace Officers were standing nearby, protecting civilians so that they could exercise their first amendment right. Suddenly the protest turned into a war zone when cowardly snipers deliberately targeted and attacked the Peace Officers, spraying them with bullets and leaving the streets in bloody chaos. Twelve officers were shot. Five Peace Officers are dead. Two citizens are injured. Many in our nation are devastated by the two recent police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. I believe these cases should be tried by a grand jury as soon as possible. Executing the Peace Officers who risk their lives to protect the rest of us from killers like the cowards in Dallas will lead to more death and anarchy, not a safer America. All lives Matter. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Dallas today. Read More

ADA EDUCATION AND REFORM ACT CLEARS HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

2016/07/07

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Today, Congressmen Ted Poe (TX-02) issued the following statement on the passage of H.R.3765, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015 out of the House Judiciary Committee. This legislation, sponsored by Congressman Poe, will curb frivolous lawsuits filed by cash-hungry attorneys and plaintiffs that abuse the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

“The ADA is a vital law that is meant to make American businesses more accessible to the disabled. But the integrity of this important law is being threatened.  The vast majority of small businesses in America strive to serve their customers to the best of their ability – relying on the ADA as another tool to help ensure that costumers with disabilities can enjoy the services that they provide,” said Congressman Poe. “There is a now whole industry made up of people who prey on small business owners and file unnecessary abusive lawsuits that abuse both the ADA and the business owners. This bill will change that by requiring that the business owners have time to fix what is allegedly broken. If they fail to correct the infractions the plaintiff retains all of their rights to pursue legal action. This legislation restores the purpose of the ADA: to provide access and accommodation to disabled Americans, not to fatten the wallets of attorneys.”

The legislation has broad support by organizations including ICSC, the U.S. Chamber of Congress, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Asian American Hotel Owners Association, National Apartment Association, National Federation of Independent Businesses, National Restaurant Association, and the Retail Industry Leaders Association among others.

Read More

FOREIGN AID TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT HEADING TO PRESIDENT OBAMA'S DESK

2016/07/06

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Today, Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) released the following statement following the House passage of the bipartisan Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act (HR 3766). HR 3766 first passed the House unanimously in December.  Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) sponsored the bill in the Senate. The amended version of the House bill passed the Senate earlier this month and passed the House as amended this evening. It will now head to President Obama’s desk.

The “Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act” requires the President to establish guidelines on measurable goals, performance metrics, and monitoring and evaluation plans for foreign aid programs. Secondly, it would increase aid transparency by codifying what is currently being done through the Foreign Assistance Dashboard and increasing the amount of information required to be posted online, including actual expenditures and evaluations.

Congressman Poe: “It is time to modernize and reform our outdated foreign aid system. For the first time in over 50 years, a bill requiring our foreign aid to be rigorously evaluated is heading to the President’s desk. Under the current system, billions of taxpayer dollars are sent to a majority of the countries in the world, but no one really knows how far those dollars go. Once the President signs this bill into law the American people will finally have the ability to see not only where their money is sent but also how efficient and effective that aid is.”

Congressman Connolly: “Foreign assistance is a critical and necessary tool for protecting and proliferating democratic values. We need to expand, not disinvest, in our global leadership,” said Rep. Connolly. “This bill will bring needed transparency to an often misunderstood part of the federal budget, which will in turn allow us to continue to grow our investment in stability and prosperity abroad.”

Read More

POE CONDEMNS ATTACK ON CAMP LIBERTY

2016/07/05

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, issued the following statement on the latest attack on Camp Liberty:

Chairman Poe: “This weekend, Camp Liberty once again came under heavy fire when some 50 rockets rained down on the home of Iranian dissidents living there. This latest attack on the Camp is unfortunately not a surprise. Empty promises from our State Department  to protect the residents of Camp Liberty has delivered nothing but more violence. Iraq cannot and does not want to protect these freedom fighters. It is time to expedite their safe removal from Iraq to other countries.”

Read More

POE HAILS SENATE PASSAGE OF H.R. 3766, THE FOREIGN AID TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT

2016/06/28

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Today, Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) released the following statement following the Senate passage of the bipartisan Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act (HR 3766). HR 3766 first passed the House unanimously in December.  Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) sponsored the bill in the Senate. The amended version of the House bill passed the Senate today and the House is expected to take it up soon.

The “Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act” requires the President to establish guidelines on measurable goals, performance metrics, and monitoring and evaluation plans for foreign aid programs. Secondly, it would increase aid transparency by codifying what is currently being done through the Foreign Assistance Dashboard and increasing the amount of information required to be posted online, including actual expenditures and evaluations.

Congressman Poe: “It is time to modernize and reform our outdated foreign aid system. For the first time in over 50 years, this bill requires our foreign aid to be rigorously evaluated. This bipartisan bill would increase public oversight over foreign aid by requiring federal agencies to show both where taxpayer money is spent around the world and how effective that aid is. Under the current system, billions of taxpayer dollars are sent to a majority of the countries in the world, but no one really knows how efficient or effective that aid is. Implementing a system to evaluate the success (or failure) of each program will increase accountability.  It is also important for Americans to know exactly where their money is sent, which is why the new transparency requirements in this bill are so important. The unanimous passage in the Senate today shows just how common sense this bill is. I look forward to the House quickly taking it up.”

Congressman Connolly: "I welcome the Senate’s passage of the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act. Foreign assistance is a critical and necessary tool for protecting and proliferating democratic values. We need to expand, not disinvest, in our global leadership. This bill will bring needed transparency to an often misunderstood part of the federal budget, which will in turn allow us to continue to grow our investment in stability and prosperity abroad. I look forward to moving quickly to consideration in the House of Representatives, which passed a version of the bill by voice vote in December.”

Senator Rubio: “Foreign assistance programs help us to advance American interests, reinforce our alliances and support the spread of economic and political freedom around the world, but we must remember that they are funded here at home by the American people, who have a right to know how and where their money is being spent. Not only will this act increase the amount of information that is shared regarding these programs, it will also help us to evaluate their efficiency and effectiveness, ensuring that American dollars are spent wisely.”

Senator Cardin: “The United States remains a generous leader on foreign development, aid programs and economic assistance worldwide. But with more than a dozen federal departments and agencies delivering U.S. foreign assistance, we must ensure the highest possible efficiency,  effectiveness, and transparency of our precious foreign assistance investments. The Senate’s passage of the Foreign Assistance Transparency and Accountability Act sends a clear message to the American taxpayer, as well as governments and civil society in developing countries,  that transparency and accountability are absolutely critical to the effectiveness of our foreign assistance programs. This information will not only enable American citizens to better understand our foreign assistance efforts, but will allow recipient countries to better include aid flows in their budgets and planning, and will provide NGOs, legislators and citizens in the developing world with the information they need to hold their governments accountable for the assistance they receive. Today’s Senate passage also takes us one step closer toward fulfilling our obligations under the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).”

 

###

Read More

POE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: SHOW US YOUR STRATEGY

2016/06/24

WASHINGTON, D.C.—This week, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, sent a letter to the White House inquiring about the Administration’s failure to meet a June 18th deadline required by law for the Administration to submit a report to Congress on the U.S. government’s counterterrorism strategy to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and their affiliated groups.

“The Administration has yet again ignored the law and missed a mandated deadline, this time one affecting our national security. Nearly two years after the President admitted that ‘we don’t have a strategy’, we still don’t have a strategy. In the meantime, according to CIA Director John Brennan, ISIS’ capability and global reach have not reduced. ISIS continues to inspire attackers who murder innocent Americans right here in the United States. Last December, the House passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which included language I authored requiring the President to submit to Congress his strategy to defeat ISIS by June 18. June 18th has come and gone with no strategy in sight or response from the White House. There is no excuse not to have a strategy. Too many Americans have already lost their lives.”

CLICK HERE for full text of letter. 

 

Read More

A DAUGHTER WILL NOT BE WITH HER FATHER THIS FATHER’S DAY

2016/06/14

Mr. Speaker, a Texas father wrote me this week:

‘‘I heard your statements . . . about removing the so-called judge in the Stanford swimmer’s rape case. I do hope you pursue this all the way to his elimination. As the father of a daughter that was raped a number of years ago while she was jogging at night near a college campus in Texas, I would even consider the death penalty for the perpetrator.

Why? Because that is what happened to my daughter.

The feeling of violation and uncleanness caused her to take her own life in later years. The judge does not know the meaning of rape and the effects it has on a female.’’

Mr. Speaker, the father is correct. Rape victims live lives of quiet hopelessness and despair.

That is why the weak-kneed judges like the one in California need to be removed. Sunday is Father’s Day, and I will be with my 4 kids and 11 grandkids.

The father I referenced here will not be with his daughter. We must deliver justice for rape victims, daughters, and families because, Mr. Speaker, justice is what we do in America.

And that is just the way it is.

Read More

TUESDAY’S IN TEXAS: RED ADAIR

2016/06/14

Mr. Speaker, born the son of an Irish blacksmith in Houston, Paul Neal Adair, commonly known as ‘‘Red’’ started his long service as a fire fighter in World War II with the 139th Bomb Disposal Squadron.

While enlisted, he was sent across Japan to find undetonated bombs and safely disarm them. However, it wasn’t until after his service in the Army that he became renowned for his bravery and skill as a fire fighter. He began working under Myron Kinley, a pioneer and innovator in oil-well firefighting.

Adair worked diligently to learn the many new inventions and techniques Kinley had created, and by 1959 he was ready to strike out on his own. He founded the Red Adair Co., a private company solely devoted to fighting large scale oil fires, and over the course of his career he put out more than two thousand of these fires, both on land and on offshore platforms.

In November of 1961, a particularly large fire, nicknamed the ‘‘Devil’s Cigarette Lighter,’’ broke out in the middle of the Algerian Sahara. Mr. Speaker, the flame was over four hundred and fifty feet high.

Despite best efforts, the fire burned continuously, with no end in sight. That was, until Adair and his crew were called to the scene. Driving a modified bulldozer right up to the well where the fire was burning, Adair was able to get a large nitroglycerin charge into the well, allowing the explosion to displace enough oxygen that the monster of a fire was finally extinguished.

His feats in the Sahara gained him and his crew a reputation worldwide. They additionally helped with a large gas leak off the coast of Australia, and contributed to capping the biggest oil well blowout to have ever been recorded in the North Sea. Even in 1991 at the age of seventy-five, Adair took part in the extinguishing of countless oil well fires that were set by Iraqi troops in Kuwait during the Gulf War.

Soon after he retired, he sold his world famous company. His top employees went on to form their own company, the International Well Control. His great courage and success in his field led to a John Wayne movie called ‘‘Hellfighters’’ to be made, which was loosely based on his encounters in the Sahara. In 2004, at the age of eighty-nine, Paul Adair passed away, but both his men and many others will remember him as a pioneer in firefighting who not only saved many cities from millions of dollars in damages from these large scale oil fires, but also thousands of lives.

And that’s just the way it is.

Read More

Loading legislation ... one moment please
Loading votes ... one moment please

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

Recent Videos