Sep 17 2012
This week, the House passed several pieces of important legislation to assist North Texans and all Americans. As your Member of Congress, I am dedicated to working with my colleagues to get our economy back on track and assist struggling Americans during this critical time in our nation.
North Texas Zebra Mussel Barrier Act of 2012
On Monday, the House approved in a bipartisan manner the North Texas Zebra Mussel Barrier Act of 2012, which I proudly cosponsored. Currently, 1.6 million customers of the North Texas Municipal Water District, many of whom reside in the 32nd Congressional District, have restricted access to water as a result of the discovery of zebra mussels in Lake Texoma. This water source constitutes roughly 28% of the North Texas Municipal Water District’s available supply of raw water. Such a reduction in available resources has put a tremendous stress on the District and its ability to assure its customers that there will be an adequate supply of water in the future.
I am pleased that the House passed this legislation to restore the adequate and steady stream of water to North Texans, without the use of taxpayer dollars, while complying with the Lacey Act’s intended goal of preventing the spread of invasive species. H.R. 6007 would allow North Texas Municipal Water District to resume water transfers from Lake Texoma through a completely closed conveyance system that delivers water directly into their water treatment facility. Such a conveyance system would provide safe and dependable means for the District to access the water they have legal rights to while ensuring, with 100% reliability, that zebra mussels will not be transferred into Texas waters. These techniques have been proven successful in other areas of the country and have been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
National Security and Job Protection Act
On Thursday, the House approved the National Security and Job Protection Act to address the sequester – arbitrary across-the-board spending cuts that would contribute to the fiscal cliff, threaten our national security, deprive our nation’s troops of critical resources and cause massive layoffs – scheduled to take effect in January 2013. As you may remember from previous newsletters, House Republicans have worked diligently to replace the sequester. Earlier this year, we passed a package of spending reductions and reforms to take the place of the dangerous cuts, and approved the Sequestration Transparency Act to prepare for the sequester in the event that the Administration refuses to act.
There is a bipartisan agreement that the sequester is bad policy, yet House Republicans are the only ones who have presented and passed a plan to replace the devastating cuts to our national defense and key domestic priorities. The National Security and Job Protection Act requires the Administration to submit a replacement plan to Congress by October 15, 2012. Our servicemen and women – and all Americans – deserve more from their President than for him to continually neglect to offer a proposal to replace these harmful cuts.
The No More Solyndras Act
On Friday, the House approved the No More Solyndras Act (H.R. 6213) to ensure that the American taxpayers will never again be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of the Administration’s politically-motivated risky bets. As Vice Chairman of the House Rules Committee, I was pleased to bring this legislation to the floor and manage debate for the rule.
H.R. 6213 draws on the lessons learned from the failed Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program, which invested $535 million in a solar energy company named Solyndra. Ultimately, Solyndra went bankrupt, leaving hard-working Americans with a check for over half a billion dollars. In testimony before the Rules committee on Wednesday, Congressman Ed Whitfield, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, testified that the DOE loan guarantee programs spent $15 billion, but only created 1,175 jobs. That means that each job created cost taxpayers $12.8 million.
In addition to ensuring that the federal government does not throw taxpayer dollars after bad investments, H.R. 6213 also highlights the need of the federal government to stop propping up failing companies which cannot support themselves on the open market. I strongly believe that the Administration should not pretend to be a venture capitalist with taxpayer’s money, and am pleased that the House took action this week to end to an ineffective government program and establish necessary oversight to hold executive branch officials accountable for their actions.
Direct Selling Association
On Tuesday, I was delighted to speak to the Direct Selling Association on Capitol Hill and was honored to receive their "2012 Champion of Free Enterprise" award. The Direct Selling Association members were visiting their representatives in Congress this week to discuss the important issues to their businesses.
Congressman Sessions with DSA members from Texas and the DSA President, Joe Mariano.
I was particularly pleased to meet the Direct Selling Association members from Texas during the event and thank them for their many contributions to our great state. As you may know, the Direct Selling Association is the national trade association of the leading firms that manufacture and distribute goods and services sold directly to consumers. To learn more, visit http://www.dsa.org/.