Randy's Blog

RSS Feed
Posted by Randy | May 22, 2015
Every year, the government spends billions in duplicative programs. In the first four annual reports issued by The Government Accountability Office (GAO) from 2011 through 2014, 188 areas were identified where opportunities existed for executive branch agencies or Congress to reduce, eliminate, or better manage fragmentation, overlap, or duplication; achieve cost savings; or enhance revenue. Most recently, the GAO’s 2015 Annual Report identified 12 new areas of fragmentation, overlap, or duplication in federal programs and activities.

This year, a resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives aimed at cutting down on duplicative, underutilized, and unnecessary government programs. H.RES.45 requires that, when Congress proposes the creation of a new program or initiative, lawmakers must justify to the American people why the program is necessary and how it adds value, ensuring that it's not duplicative to programs already in place.

Congressman Randy Forbes is a cosponsor of this bill.

Question of the Week
: Do you support H.RES. 45 as a means of cutting down on duplicative government programs?

( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other.

Take the Poll here

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | May 19, 2015

Law enforcement officers put duty before self, working on the front lines to protect our homes, our communities, our children, and our lives.

While it is hard to convey our gratitude for such sacrifice, uniting as a country to recognize National Police Week this week affords us an opportunity to commemorate the dedication of these special patriots. We are truly grateful.

Recently, a bill I cosponsored called the National Blue Alert Act of 2015 (S. 665) passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, and is now headed to the President’s desk to become law. This bill will create a national Blue Alert communications network within the Justice Department, tasked with integrating existing and future Blue Alert systems throughout the United States. I’m pleased that this legislation passed, and I will continue working to increase public safety and ensure proper protection for our law enforcement officers and first responders. 

Posted by Randy | May 18, 2015

A recent study by American Action Forum (AAF), an independent policy institute, provides some data-driven insight into the impact that regulatory cost burdens are having on the private sector.

The study details how the Administration’s regulatory policies support big government and create big problems for the rest of America – particularly for small businesses. That’s not surprising: While today’s heavy load of regulations burden businesses of all sizes, larger businesses can be better able to adapt and absorb the costs associated with regulations. Small businesses, on the other hand, may not have the time or resources available to comply with the costs of burdensome, duplicative, or confusing regulations – which can result in companies closing and lost jobs.

To give you an idea of the enormous number of regulations on the books, below is a picture I took recently in Representative Bill Posey’s office, who says he has been stacking up all the new and proposed federal regulations from April 2011-present. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words – or in this case, thousands of regulations.

To me, it simply doesn’t make sense. We want our small businesses to be growing, thriving, innovating, and creating value and jobs – so why cripple them with a back-breaking amount of regulations to comply with? That is not to say certain regulations are not necessary and beneficial – they are. But they must be streamlined, make sense, and be weighed against the impact they will have on our small business owners who were responsible for generating 60% to 80% of net new jobs created annually over the last decade.

That’s why I recently cosponsored a bill to require federal agencies to provide timely, detailed information about how much proposed regulations will cost and what impact they will have on businesses, families, and communities – before the regulation is allowed to go into effect. It’s commonsense.
Posted by Randy | May 15, 2015

In case you missed it, I spoke on the House Floor this week in support of ending the NSA’s bulk data collection practices and protecting Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. You can watch here, or by clicking the image below.

Americans across the country have called for the NSA to listen less, and elected officials to listen more. The USA Freedom Act will end the NSA’s bulk collection program, which was established under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, and will further protect Americans Fourth Amendment rights by strengthening oversight and accountability of the intelligence community. You can learn more about the bill, here.

Striking this balance between safeguarding privacy and protecting Americans is a challenge in today’s post-9/11 world, but it is one that should not tip towards allowing the government to trample on our constitutional rights.
Posted by Randy | May 14, 2015
This week, a total of 113 Members of Congress filed an amicus brief with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a continued injunction against the Administration’s executive actions on immigration in the case of Texas v. United States. The amicus brief states that the President’s deferred action programs for unlawful immigrants are unconstitutional and contrary to Congressional intent. Signers of the brief include Congressman Randy Forbes, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and Senator Ted Cruz, among others.

In December, numerous states, led by Texas, filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Administration’s executive actions on immigration. On February 17, 2015 a federal judge temporarily blocked the unilateral immigration actions. Since then, political appointees at the Justice Department have filed an appeal to lift the injunction. Oral arguments were heard by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on April 17, 2015.

Question of the Week
: Do you support continued actions to halt the Administration’s executive actions on immigration?

(  ) Yes.
(  ) No.
(  ) I don’t know.
(  ) Other (share your thoughts on my blog here).

Take the Poll here

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | May 13, 2015
A quick heads up: There are currently two provisions in this year’s defense policy bill that deal with immigration. One of them urges the Secretary of Defense to review allowing DACA recipients (young illegal immigrants) to serve in the armed forces, while the other calls on the Pentagon to analyze how DACA recipients could expand the number of potential recruits.

Both of these provisions were offered as amendments by Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee.  I voted against both during the Committee markup; however, they narrowly passed and were included in the defense policy bill.

That’s why I am supporting new amendments that will strip these provisions from the final defense policy bill
. Protecting and providing for our servicemembers and the United States’ military readiness should not be derailed by partisan agendas – on either side of the aisle – over other policy issues.
Posted by Randy | May 13, 2015
Did you know that unborn babies who are given life-saving operations while still in the womb are routinely given anesthesia?  That is because a growing body of scientific evidence is showing that unborn babies who are 20 weeks and older have the capacity to feel pain.  However, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute’s report, the United States is one of only 7 countries in the world—including China and North Korea—that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks, including dismembering these babies who can feel pain in the womb (although more countries permit late-term abortions under certain circumstances).

Today, I was proud to vote in favor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn babies who can feel pain. The bill passed the House with bipartisan support by a vote of 242-184.

H.R. 36 looks out for the health of both babies and their mothers by providing vital legal protections for unborn children and empowering the mother with a civil right of action if her baby does not receive the standard of medical care required under the law.  Specifically, H.R. 36 establishes federal legal protection for unborn children after 20 weeks post-fertilization – which is 5 months into pregnancy and the age at which they can feel pain – with exceptions to save the life of the mother or in the cases of rape or incest. If the baby is born alive the bill requires that the baby receive the same level of care that any other prematurely born baby would receive, including the presence of a second physician to attend to the baby’s health.  The presence of a second physician is vital for both the mother and the baby by ensuring that both have the attention of an attending physician, rather than forcing a choice between patients.The bill also ensures that providers are held accountable by empowering women with a civil right of action if their babies do not receive this required care.

Life is precious and deserves to be protected.
 You can count on me to keep fighting for those who have no voice. I will keep you updated on the status of this bill as it moves to the Senate.
Posted by Randy | May 08, 2015

This week, during National Nurses Week, I want to take a moment to thank all of the 4th District nurses, and those across the country, who make a difference in so many peoples’ lives.

Their job is more than a career, it is a calling
. They spend long hours and late nights caring for others, giving of themselves, serving faithfully. And when they get out of bed the next morning, they do it all over again. I’m grateful for the diligence and selflessness our nurses demonstrate every day.

Posted by Randy | May 07, 2015
In its 102 year history, the Federal Reserve has never had a complete, independent audit. This is due to the fact that some of its operations are exempt from regular audits.

Congress established the Federal Reserve System in 1913 to add consistency to the economy after a series of financial panics brought instability to the banking industry. Since that point, the Federal Reserve has evolved in its governance and mission. Twice a year, the Federal Reserve Board must report to Congress on the economy and monetary policy in the United States. However, while the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is tasked with regularly reviewing the actions of the Federal Reserve, it is also prohibited under current law from including some information in its review.

Additionally, the Federal Reserve’s budget is not subject to review by Congress.  According to the Congressional Research Service, unlike most other government agencies, the Federal Reserve is self-financing so there is no congressional oversight over its budget. Since its budget is not subject to the usual appropriations or authorization process, there is no regular avenue for Congress to ensure the Fed is allocating resources according to congressional priorities.

The Federal Reserve is led by a Board of Governors and these seven unelected, presidential appointed members guide the Fed’s policy actions, serving 14-year terms. Since many of their actions are excluded from annual, comprehensive audits, they are privy to vast decision-making authority with little scrutiny.

This year, Congressman Randy Forbes has cosponsored the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (H.R.24) to audit the Federal Reserve, and recently sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Carter, requesting that the Secretary publicly outline his plan to make the Department of Defense auditable by 2017, and submit audit results to Congress by 2019, as required by the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness Plan.

Question of the Week
: Do you support comprehensive audits of the Federal Reserve and Department of Defense?

(  ) Yes.
(  ) No.
(  ) I don’t know.
(  ) Other.

Take the Poll here

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randyu | May 07, 2015

It might seem small – reaching for the phone to make that call; picking up your pen and writing a quick note; or even pulling out your phone to send a text. But when we stop and take a moment out of our days to say “thank you” to those who have made a difference in our lives, it can be a powerful thing.

This week, during National Teacher Appreciation Week, let’s each remember to stop and show our gratitude to the teachers, parents, administrators, and many others who contribute to educating our children. They do so much to shape the future of our nation.

To learn about some of my recent work on education issues, visit my website here.