Nov 26 2012
This week, I was delighted to welcome 14 Texas Rangers “Faces of Freedom” honorees to the U.S. Capitol for a tour and to thank them for their dedicated service to our nation. These veterans served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Korea, and there were several Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipients in the group.
The Faces of Freedom program is an initiative sponsored by the Texas Rangers baseball club and Southwest Airlines to honor the extraordinary service of active duty and retired servicemen and women. Throughout the baseball season, family, friends and members of the military nominated individuals who have shown tremendous strength, courage and patriotism in the line of duty.
Congressman Pete Sessions with the Faces of Freedom Honorees
I was extremely pleased for the opportunity to meet these outstanding Texans, and will continue to fight for providing our military with the support and resources they need and deserve. The freedoms we enjoy as Americans are not free, and we must never forget the invaluable contributions of our courageous men and women in uniform.
Permanent Normalized Trade Relations
On Friday, the House approved – in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner – the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012 (H.R. 6156). This common-sense legislation would establish Permanent Normalized Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia and Moldova and provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy. PNTR would double exports to Russia in five years and help create jobs across every sector of our economy, especially in manufacturing, agriculture, and the service industry.
With the world’s 9th largest economy and a population of 142 million, Russia provides United States companies and workers with great potential to export more goods and services. Additionally, Texas is the top exporter to Russia in the U.S. and exported $1.6 billion worth of goods to Russia in 2011. These exports directly supported an estimated 4,100 jobs. I am pleased that the Members of the House came together this week to pass legislation that will help grow our economy and allow America to remain competitive with the world.
Rules Committee in the 113th Congress
On Wednesday, I was honored to be nominated by Speaker John Boehner to serve as the Chairman of the House Committee on Rules in the 113th Congress, which begins in January. In this new role, I will to continue to stand up for the people of North Texas on the House Republican leadership team.
As you may know, I currently serve as the Vice Chairman of the House Rules Committee and the Chairman of the Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process. The Rules Committee is best known for its role as the legislative gatekeeper, and it assists in scheduling legislation for floor consideration. The committee also has important oversight responsibilities – including oversight of the rules of the House, the House’s internal organization, the Congressional budget process, the ethics process, and relations between Congress and the Executive and Judicial Branches.
The Rules Committee assignment allows me to use my experience and personal values to influence every piece of legislation before it reaches the House floor in a responsible, transparent and reform-minded manner. To learn more about the committee, visit http://www.rules.house.gov/.
Have a good weekend.