Ted Poe

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

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 For over 50 years, the United States has been operating on an outdated system.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. “

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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
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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.

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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.

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Congressman Poe leads Letter Supporting Dallas Police

2016/07/13


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. 

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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).”

 

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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. 

 

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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.

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MARITIME PIRACY AND PIRATES

2016/06/14

Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, when the word pirate comes to mind, many envision treasure seeking ruffians with eye patches. Unbeknownst to most of us, pirates still exist: lurking the coast of East Africa, specifically Somalia and Kenya, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Guinea, The Malacca Strait, and the Indian subcontinent. Pirates today, however, can do more damage than forcing a poor fellow to walk the plank.
Regions plagued by poverty and extreme terrorism have raised a whole new breed of manipulative, violent, maritime hijackers who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Modern piracy is not simply a matter of economic loss or threatened safety, but a risk to the entire globe due to the close-knit ties pirates have with terrorists. All eyes of the international community were suddenly turned to the coast of Somalia when pirates hijacked a Russian supertanker full of oil and army tanks. 
What did the American government do? Nothing. Nothing that is, until the unimaginable happened. A U.S. cargo ship was openly attacked by pirates, and the captain was held as ransom for several days. Since then, efforts have been taken to defend ships from maritime crime, such as legalization of weapons on board for commercial shipping vessels. 
Is this passive defense enough? When analyzing the cost of insurance, freight, rerouting, and ransoms, the price we pay to watch these pirates roam the high seas ranges to as high as $16 billion a year. Yet there are far greater non-monetary costs awaiting us in the future. If a ship is attacked at just the right place, it could result in the closure and seizure of invaluable international waterways. 
Though many pirates have different motives than terrorists, terrorist tactics are frequently used in hijackings. Both terrorists and pirates traumatize civilians and prey off of fear. As of now there is no international community specifically designated to prevent piracy like there is for terrorism, simply because the legal jurisdiction of piracy is in question. 
What we all should agree on, however, is that maritime piracy is a devastating form of terrorism. The topic of most apprehension is the proven fact that modern pirates fund terrorist groups. Whether taken by force or friendship from the pirates, Al-Qaeda now possesses around 15 cargo vessels. Confiscation of vessels hasn’t been the only recent breach in maritime security. Thanks to unobstructed leadership of Somali pirates, we’ve experienced an increase in maritime trafficking of narcotics, people and illicit goods, and arms proliferation. 
The evidence shows that maritime terrorism has recently gained the attention of most terrorist groups. Large and heavily loaded commercial vessels, offshore gas rigs, and maritime hub ports are easy shots for maritime terrorists, who seek mass destruction of human life, infrastructure, and nature. Though piracy off the Somalia coast has recently decreased, it has caught flame and prospered in other regions of Africa, such as the waters of Guinea and Nigeria. Squashing these pirates once and for all is easier said than done.
They do not proudly announce their presence on the sea, but rather use silence and stealth to steal an average of $5,000 to $15,000 per ship. Some of these raids are exceedingly violent, while others are bloodless. In both terrorism and maritime piracy, there must be extensive planning, and those involved must be willing to sacrifice their lives. Our friends in England recently recognized a dire loophole in worldwide attempts to combat terrorism. Since 2010, the international community has poured billions into the hands of pirates as ransom for the release of vessels and crew. These pirates are not necessarily terrorists themselves, yet many have direct connections to major terror groups. We can be sure that piracy has summoned nearby terrorist groups with the scent of money and the bribe of civilian fear. 
Maritime piracy is now used as the ever-prosperous bank for terrorists. Great Britain understands this and is in the midst of editing a bill which prohibits all forms of ransom payments to terrorists. Somali pirates appear to give the ransoms from their pirated material to al-Qaeda. There is no doubt that piracy could not only fund, but also be used as a form of terrorism or for political purposes, especially because of the unusual amount of security breaches easily accessible on ports and at sea compared to land. Take for example al-Qaeda’s attack on United States. It only took two men in a tiny boat to kill seventeen U.S. citizens and injure 39 more, just by placing a shape charge against the hull of the USS Cole while it was refueling at a Yemeni port. 
We must ensure the future does not hold a pirate-terrorist group merger. This event would spin to a halt all anti-terrorism efforts. Al Shabaab and al-Qaeda are difficult and resilient as it is, but imagine these groups with access to strategic waterways, billions of dollars, high grade ships in their grasp, and American captives at their disposal. Debate on the floor of the House has found, Piracy is ‘‘Booming without any credible deterrence, without the type of deterrence you saw at one point in time from the British navy or from the U.S. fleet. As we speak, there are 27 vessels and 449 hostages being held by Somali pirates’’ 
Yet nothing substantial is done. Though many ships are now well-armed, piracy continues without hiccup. It’s time the United States takes some action and put these outlaws in the high seas out of business and send them to Davy Jones’ locker. An estimated $160 million was paid as ransoms to pirates in one year alone. Using a private navy is almost as drastic of a cost. So, the question is: what should we do? One of the most considered solutions is that of modern privateering. 
Privateers as defined by international law are ‘‘vessels belonging to private owners, and sailing under commission of war empowering the person to whom it is granted to carry on all forms of hostility which are permissible at sea by the usages of war.’’ 
Privateers will be given the opportunity to disable dangerous non-state enemies, and in the process, create revenue. This is not a hard decision. It’s a win-win. The U.S. military has used a form of privateering in the past certain types of air combat and warfare. In fact, in the 1930’s, the U.S. Navy bought blimps from—and hired—a private company, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, to build a fleet of airships and blimps. These blimps were previously used for advertising, yet the Navy used these simple civilian mechanisms to help defend the country. 
In the past, the problem of piracy was largely wiped out due to privateers. The privateers, though used as a sort of political pawn, were extremely successful and motivated. In a system of capitalism, it’s important to consider all parties, and the relationship in which each benefits another. If privateering and letters of marque were used by the United States government today, the government would gain a significant amount of hegemony, credibility, and sea power. 
The privateering ship owners would receive rewards or payments in return for the seized pirate ships, as well as a higher safety and low insurance prices. Maritime piracy is indeed a threat that, if not soon stopped, will lead to increased terrorism and economic disaster. In my Congressional office, we employ interns to help with writing and tasks around the office. 
One of our interns, Rachel Jones, researched this issue regarding piracy on the open seas. Her help this summer was valuable and I thank her for all of her work and assistance. I wish Rachel luck in her future endeavors and with the rest of her time at my alma mater—Abilene Christian University. 
And that’s just the way it is.
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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.

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Texas Fathers Response to Stanford Rape Case

2016/06/14


8 Year Old Human Trafficking Victim

2016/06/13


POE RESPONDS TO ORLANDO TERRORIST ATTACK

2016/06/13

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, issued the following statement on the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida.

“This weekend, as innocent young men and women were ending their Saturday night celebration, a radical Islamic gunman stormed Pulse night club in Orlando, murdering 49 people and injuring dozens of others. This radical Islamic terrorist pledged allegiance to ISIS during the horrific massacre. ISIS’s hatred knows few bounds: they hate Americans, Christians, Jews, other Muslims who don’t hold its radical beliefs, women, and the gay community. This terrorist attack was an attack on the gay community in Orlando, but it was also an attack on our nation – the worst attack on U.S. soil since September 11th.  A terrorist attack on one community is an attack on us all. This is a reminder to all of us that we are at war with an evil ideology that has already infiltrated our borders, that hates our nation and our people – as individuals and as groups -- and is determined to attack us wherever it can.  As Americans, we should ALL come together to stand united against those radical ideologies that seek to destroy our communities based on their own distorted faith. The Administration must eliminate this 21st Century enemy-without-borders and do everything it can to better protect our citizens. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims as they grieve and mourn.”

 

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8-YEAR-OLD VICTIM OF SEX SLAVERY

2016/06/13

Mr. Speaker, it happened right under the entire community’s nose: 8-year-old Jen—that is correct, 8 years old—was raped and tortured almost on a daily basis. 
Jen was not kidnapped by a stranger or abused by a relative. She was sold for sex by a neighbor at the neighbor’s house. It was not just Jen who was sold for sex. It was also her younger sister, a male cousin, and a whole group of kids from her hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania. 
She and her fellow victims were coerced into participating and keeping it a secret through an elaborate con of gifts and threats. No one ever went looking for Jen because she was not ever missing. 
From 3 to 6 p.m., she was forced to have sex with strangers. The trafficking finally ended when she was about 10 years of age because the neighbor just disappeared. 
Mr. Speaker, sex slavery happens. As parents and grandparents, we need to know where our kids are because monsters that hurt victims must be prosecuted, both the sellers and the buyers, even if they are neighbors. 
The message is clear: Our children are not for sale. Leave them alone. 
And that is just the way it is.
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BRETAGNE: A K–9 HERO

2016/06/10

Mr. Speaker, heroes and servants of our country come in all shapes and sizes. Sept. 11, 2001 is one of those days that will live in infamy. The shameful attack of that morning, as President Bush noted in his address, was meant to frighten our nation. But we did not descend into chaos and retreat.
September 12 was a day that saw our country united and resolved. A helping hand was extended by individuals and organizations from all across this nation. We all came together, and in doing so we won the first battle of the war on terror. The men responsible for that attack wanted to shake the foundations of America, but in the wake of the disaster we demonstrated the power of our country, e pluribus unum, in full glory. 
An example of that glory manifested can be found in Texas Task Force One, which came over 1600 miles to lend a hand in the search for survivors. One invaluable member of that force was Bretagne (pronounced Britney), a rescue dog of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department in Cypress, Texas. 
She helped members of the rescue team search the rubble of the World Trade Center. It is important that we show tribute to all, even the four-legged soldiers. Sixteen year old Bretagne, a golden retriever from Cypress, Texas, was the last living search and rescue dog who worked at Ground Zero after the 9/ 11 terrorist attacks. 
She recently passed away at age 16. She was a beloved member of the team, and we are grateful for her service to this country. She first became a rescue dog in 2000, at the Cy-Fair Fire Department. Bretagne not only aided the heroes of 9/11, but also located and rescued hundreds of citizens after natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. When in Houston, Bretagne visited elementary schools, as a symbol to the children that courage doesn’t just have one face. 
To the despair of the Cypress community that so loved and adored her, brave little Bretagne’s health declined. Her years of loyal service and devotion to the American people began to take a toll, and the veterinarians were given no choice but to put her down. She was given the hero’s salute by the fire department just the other day, as she made her last walk into the office. I too salute you, Bretagne, and all other surviving heroes of 9/ 11. Our nation deeply thanks all of you. 
And that is just the way it is. 
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Contact Information

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

Committee Assignments

Foreign Affairs

Judiciary

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

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

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


Serving With

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

John Ratcliffe

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

John Culberson

TEXAS' 7th DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Randy Neugebauer

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Blake Farenthold

TEXAS' 27th DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Pete Sessions

TEXAS' 32nd DISTRICT

Brian Babin

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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