This week was historic. With Speaker Boehner retiring early, conservatives worked their will to prevent the shoe-in candidate from taking the position. This was a long time coming after years of frustration with the status quo. The House went through a methodical and democratic process to find and elect the next Speaker, and the one with the most conservative record won. Procedural changes were promised, and in the coming weeks, the House will continue to discuss and debate these changes to our process. If the process becomes more inclusive and legislation is developed through regular order, I am cautiously optimistic that this will be a new chapter for the House.
As always, please let me know what’s most important to you and your family. Email me here to share your thoughts.
GOD and TEXAS,
Member of Congress
Poe Opposes Budget Act
I opposed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. It gives Washington a blank check until 2017—limitless spending on the taxpayer credit card—with the promise of spending cuts not now, but after the next election. With a $19 trillion national debt, we cannot afford to wait to get our fiscal house in order just for political expediency. American families do not get to operate on blank checks and limitless credit cards and neither should Washington. The agreement also robbed $1.5 billion from the Crime Victims’ Fund, a fund NOT paid for by taxpayers but my criminals who pay for the harm they’ve caused to their victims. That’s how justice should work. But, under the budget agreement, instead of these funds going to victims, this money will go to fund Washington’s reckless, never-ending spending spree. I sent a letter to House Leadership expressing my concern with this provision and asking that it be stripped from the bill. Unfortunately, both chambers passed the bill, and the President is expected to sign it.
No Fighter Jets; No Civilian Nuclear Agreement with Pakistan
Last week, President Obama, the Commander in Chief, vetoed money to fund our military in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA passed both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support. Despite this, the President chose to play politics with not only our men and women in uniform but the national security of the United States. Yet the same week that he played politics with our military, the White House agreed to sell 8 fighter jets to our Benedict Arnold ally, Pakistan – the same country who was caught red-handed shielding the world’s most wanted terrorist—Osama bin Laden; the same country who tried and convicted Dr. Afridi for helping the CIA locate bin Laden; and the same country who continues to harbor terrorist groups that attack American troops in Afghanistan. I have long called for the United States to cut military aid to Pakistan, and I also sent the Administration a letter expressing my deep concern with negotiations between our countries on civil nuclear agreement. Pakistan built its nuclear weapons program through theft of technology, deception and clandestine international cooperation. This country simply cannot be trusted.
IRS Impeachment Proceedings
This week, the DOJ announced that it was closing its investigation into the IRS’s targeting of conservative nonprofit organizations. Though DOJ admitted that the agency mishandled the applications, no charges were filed against anyone. There is no doubt that crimes were committed. Emails were destroyed to conceal evidence. There was a huge cover up that stonewalled the House’s investigation. Americans are rightfully tired of the political elite doing wrong and getting away with it. I take impeachment proceedings seriously – there are strict conditions to be met – but in this case, it is appropriate. That’s why I cosponsored legislation to impeach IRS Commissioner Koskinen.
Rubio Introduces Poe Bill to Reform Foreign Aid
Since the passage of the Foreign Aid Act in 1961, foreign aid programs have grown and spread across 12 federal departments, 22 agencies and almost 60 offices. Many have no monitoring and evaluation procedures, so we keep sending money without knowing if it’s effective. I’ve authored legislation to change this by requiring measurable goals, metrics and plans for ALL of our foreign aid programs and by increasing the amount of information posted online. Americans ought to know exactly where their money is spent, and this system will allow us to determine how efficient or effective that aid is. If it’s not working, it shouldn’t be sent! I was proud to have Senator Marco Rubio introduce the companion to my bill –the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act- in the Senate.
Congressman Poe visited with students at Spring Shadows Elementary School in Houston.