«Will Hurd (TX-23) Research Report The following report contains research on Will Hurd, a Republican member of Congress in Texas’ 23rd district. ...»
effective teacher preparation and continuing professional development; education administration; and international comparisons of education.” The amendment failed 186 to 245. [HR 5, Amendment 35, Vote #414, 7/08/15] Voted Against An Amendment Awarding Grants For Digital Learning Technologies In Rural Schools Voted Against An Amendment Awarding Grants For Digital Learning Technologies In Rural Schools. In July 2015, Hurd voted against an amendment to the Student Success Act that would, “authorize the issuance of Education Department grants to rural schools for the deployment of digital learning technologies. Loebsack said educational software and other technology held the promise of ‘vastly expanding the educational options and opportunities available to students in rural areas,’ providing them with an advanced education similar to that available for urban students.” The amendment passed 218 to 213. [HR 5, Vote #416, 7/08/15; Albany Herald, 7/12/15]
Voted Against Ensuring D.C. Students Be Protected By Civil Rights Laws
Voted Against Ensuring D.C. Students Be Protected By Civil Rights Laws. In October 2015, Hurd voted against requiring voucher students in the District of Columbia be protected by civil rights, age discrimination, and disability laws, a guarantee not found in the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Reauthorization Act. The motion failed, 185 to 242. [H.R. 10, Vote #558, 10/21/15; CQ Floor Votes, 10/21/15] Voted For D.C. Private School Voucher Program; Voucher Program Has Been Criticized For Lack Of Academic Gains, Poor Management Voted For D.C. Private School Voucher Program. In October 2015, Hurd voted for the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act, a bill providing funds for a private school voucher program for K-12 students in the District of Columbia. “House Republicans approved a bill Wednesday to extend the D.C.
Opportunity Scholarship Program, the only federally funded, private school voucher program for K-12 students, through 2021. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) authored the bill, which for the first time would require that some students with vouchers take the same standardized tests in math and reading administered to public school students in the District.” The bill passed, 240 to 191. [HR 10, Vote #559, 10/21/15; Washington Post, 10/21/15] Critics Cite Lack Of Academic Gains And Poor Management. “[F]ederal studies have found that the program does not result in statistically significant academic gains for students. And at a time when public schools face increasing scrutiny, the private schools that have received millions of federal voucher dollars have been subject to few quality controls and offer widely disparate experiences, according to a 2012 Washington Post investigation. A Government Accountability Office report the following year found that the voucher program was poorly managed.” [Washington Post, 10/21/15] HEADLINE: “Quality Controls Lacking For D.C. Schools Accepting Federal Vouchers” [Washington Post, 11/17/12] Voted For Replacing No Child Left Behind And Shifting Accountability Back To States And School Districts Voted For Replacing No Child Left Behind And Shifting Accountability Back To States And School Districts. In December 2015, Hurd voted for the Every Student Succeeds Act, which would “replace the No Child Left Behind Act, ending the federal accountability system and shifting academic standards and school accountability authority back to states and local school districts.” The bill passed 359-64. [S 1177, Vote #665, 12/02/15; CQ Floor Votes, 12/02/15] States Still Required To Test Students Annually And Report Scores. “States will still be required to test students annually in math and reading in grades three through eight and once in high school and to publicly report the scores according to race, income, ethnicity, disability and whether students are English-language learners.” [Washington Post, 12/10/15] States Will Decide How To Remedy Troubled Schools, How To Weigh Test Scores, And How To Evaluate Teachers. “[S]tates will decide what to do about the most troubled schools, those where test scores are in the lowest 5 percent, achievement gaps between groups of students are greatest, or where fewer than two-thirds of students graduate on time. And states will decide how to weigh test scores and whether or how to evaluate teachers. They will be allowed to consider other factors, such as whether a school offers challenging courses or the degree of parent involvement. They will set their own goals and timelines for academic progress, though their plans must be approved by the federal Department of Education.” [Washington Post, 12/10/15] Energy Issues
Voted to require the Department of Energy to expedite consideration of liquefied natural gas export petitions Voted for expedited permitting for natural gas pipeline projects Voted to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline Submitted letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking them to address concerns over the Trans-Pecos Pipeline before issuing approval, having previously demonstrating a lack of familiarity with the details of the project Hurd voted to require the Department of Energy to expedite consideration of liquefied natural gas export permit applications and to require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve or deny natural gas pipeline project proposals within a year of receiving the complete application. Though Hurd also supports the Keystone XL Pipeline, he is more sensitive to converse with pipelines closer to his own district as he submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking them to address local concerns over the proposed Trans-Pecos pipeline before issuing approval. Hurd had previously struggled to answer constituents’ questions over the pipeline at a public meeting, providing incomplete and incorrect information in some cases.
Voted For Requiring Expedited Consideration Of LNG Export Permit Applications
Voted For Legislation To Require Expedited Consideration Of LNG Export Permit Applications. In January 2015, Hurd voted for legislation that “would require the Energy Department to make a decision on pending applications to export liquefied natural gas within 30 days of the bill’s enactment or at the end of the public comment period, whichever is later. Under the bill, applications would have to publicly disclose the countries that would receive the proposed exports. It also would authorize the U.S. Court of Appeals for the circuit where the proposed export facility will be located to exercise original and exclusive jurisdiction over any civil action pertaining to such applications. The court would be required to order the Energy Department to approve any applications within 30 days if it finds the agency did not issue a decision by the bill’s deadline.” [HR 351, Vote #50, 1/28/15; CQ]
Voted For Expedited Permitting For Natural Gas Pipeline Projects
Voted For Bill To Expedite FERC Permitting For Natural Gas Pipeline Projects. In January 2015, Hurd voted for a bill that “would require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve or deny a natural gas pipeline project within one year after receiving a completed application. Federal agencies responsible for issuing permits would have to issue a ruling within 90 days of when FERC issues its final environmental statement for the project. Under the bill, FERC could extend that period for another 30 days. The bill would provide that if a federal agency does not rule within the required time period, the permit will be deemed approved 30 days later.” The bill passed, 253 to 169. [HR 161, Vote #41, 1/21/15;
Voted For Approving The Keystone XL Pipeline
Voted For Approving The Keystone XL Pipeline. In January 2015, Hurd voted for approving the Keystone XL pipeline. “The House voted Friday to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, seizing on the momentum from a Nebraska Supreme Court ruling hours earlier that removed the last major legal obstacle to building the politically charged oil project.” The bill passed 266 to 153. [HR 3, Vote #16, 1/09/15; Politico, 1/09/15] Submitted Letter To Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Asking Them To Address Concerns Over Trans-Pecos Pipeline Before Issuing Approval Submitted Letter To Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Asking Them To Address Concerns Over Trans-Pecos Pipeline Before Issuing Approval. “I have listened to a number of questions, comments and concerns from elected officials and constituents regarding the proposed Trans-Pecos Pipeline. In response, I have compiled an extensive list of concerns and inquiries put forward by my constituents and directed them to Energy Transfer Partners, the company proposing to build the pipeline. Energy Transfer Partners remains unfortunately vague on important details and should be more cooperative in addressing these matters. For the reasons above, I am submitting a letter to FERC, who has federal jurisdiction over this project, which calls on them to address residents’ concerns over the proposed pipeline before it issues an approval. I share their frustration over the lack of transparency displayed by Energy Transfer Partners, and I believe each of them must be thoroughly addressed before FERC moves forward.” [Hurd.House.Gov, Press Release “Hurd Demands Answers for Constituents on Proposed TransPecos Pipeline, 6/10/15; Hurd Letter FERC Chairman Norman Bay, 6/09/15] Had Previously Provided Incomplete and Incorrect Information In Response To Local Concerns Over Trans-Pecos Pipeline Was Unable To Provide Answers At Town Hall Meeting On Pipeline. “However, it became evident that the congressman could not supply many of those answers, and that the ambiguity surrounding many details of the pipeline project and its lack of transparency – most especially, the question of regulatory oversight – also posed a hurdle for Hurd.” [Big Bend Sentinel, 5/28/15] Hurd And Staff Incorrectly Referred To Pipeline As Liquefied Natural Gas Pipeline. “For one, he and his staff referred to the pipeline as a liquefied natural gas pipeline. However, according to Energy Transfer Partners representative Lisa Dillinger, as well as the T-4 permit application filed by Energy Transfer Partners with the Railroad Commission of Texas, the pipeline won’t transport liquefied natural gas (LNG).” [Big Bend Sentinel, 5/28/15] Schedule For Completion In 2017, Trans Pecos Pipeline Is A Natural Gas Pipeline From Texas’s Permian Basin To Ojinaga Mexico From Which It Will Be Sent Deeper Into Mexico. “At 42 inches wide and under 1,400 pounds of pressure per square inch, the Trans-Pecos pipeline will carry as much as
1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day after its projected completion in early 2017. The gas will originate in Texas's Permian Basin, travel the length of the pipeline to the border at Presidio, Texas, and Ojinaga, Mexico, where it will be piped further into Mexico for industrial use and power generation. The project was commissioned by the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) as part of the country's push to modernize its energy systems.” [Mother Jones, 5/15/15] Some Big Bend Locals Were Frustrated By A Lack Of Transparency And Clarity As To What Agency Will Oversee The Project. “ETP [Energy Transfer Partners], is running construction of the pipeline on the US side of the border, and Big Bend locals are frustrated with what they're calling a lack of transparency from the company. Among their key complaints is confusion from ETP on which agency will provide regulatory oversight for the pipeline. This question hinges on whether the pipeline is designated as “interstate” or ‘intrastate.’ The former means that the pipeline is crossing an international border, which would require a Presidential Permit, triggering more rigorous federal guidelines for the pipeline's construction and operation. The latter, ‘intrastate,’ would require a T-4 form from the Railroad Commission of Texas, the standard application for a permit to own and operate a pipeline through Texas.” [Mother Jones, 5/15/15] Voted Against Amendment Eliminating Funding For Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program Voted Against Amendment Eliminating Funding For Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program. In April 2015, Hurd voted against an amendment eliminating funding for advanced technology vehicles program. “The House also rejected 171-250 an amendment by South Carolina Republican Mark Sanford to eliminate funding for the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program for advanced technology vehicle manufacturing. Sanford argued that the program is dated and has outlived its purpose, but Energy-Water cardinal Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, said zeroing out its funding would hamper oversight of the $8 billion in loans already doled out.” The amendment failed, 171 to 250.
[H.R. 2028, Vote #206, 4/30/15; CQ Roll Call, 4/30/15] Republican Rep. Mike Simpson Opposed Eliminating Funding, Believing It Would “Hamper Oversight Of The $8 Billion In Loans Already Doled Out.” “Sanford argued that the program is dated and has outlived its purpose, but Energy-Water cardinal Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, said zeroing out its funding would hamper oversight of the $8 billion in loans already doled out.” [CQ Roll Call, 4/30/15] Voted Against Amendment Increasing Fees On Oil Companies To Bolster The Pipeline And Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Voted Against Amendment Increasing Fees On Oil Companies To Bolster The Pipeline And Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. In June 2015, Hurd voted against an amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 that would have “raised fees on oil companies to increase funding for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which regulates oil pipelines.” The amendment failed 202 to 222. [HR 2577, Vote #305, 6/04/15; Scripps Howard Foundation, 6/16/15]
Voted Against Prohibiting LNG Exports To State Sponsors Of Terrorism