«Will Hurd (TX-23) Research Report The following report contains research on Will Hurd, a Republican member of Congress in Texas’ 23rd district. ...»
Democratic Leader – Previous Questions, 12/03/15] Voted For Blocking Consideration Of Bill Stopping Suspected Terrorists From Buying Firearms. In December 2015, Hurd voted for to block consideration of a vote “to protect the American people by closing the terrorist gun loophole and preventing people on the terrorist watchlist from buying firearms.” The previous question carried, 243-179. [Democratic Leader – Previous Questions, 2/03/15; H Res 542, Vote #653, 12/02/15] Voted For Blocking Consideration Of Bill Prohibiting Suspected Terrorists From Buying Guns. In December 2015, Hurd voted for a motion to order the previous question (thus ending debate and possibility of amendment) on the rule H Res 539. “The Democratic Previous Question would call for an immediate vote on Republican Congressman Peter King’s Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, H.R. 1076, to protect the American people by closing the terrorist gun loophole and preventing people on the terrorist watchlist from buying firearms.” [H RES 539, Vote #646, 12/1/15; Democratic Leader – Previous Questions, 4/14/15] CQ VoteWatch: Hurd Voted With His Party 96 Percent Of The Time;
Rated “True” By PolitiFact CQ Votewatch: Hurd Voted With His Party 96 Percent Of The Time. As Of April 15, 2016, Hurd had voted with his own party on 96 percent votes, 486 of 508 possible votes. [CQ Votewatch, accessed 4/15/16] PolitiFact Rated Gallego’s Claim That Hurd “Tends To Have A 96 Percent Straight Republican” Voting Record As “True.” “Pete Gallego said Will Hurd ‘tends to have a 96 percent straight Republican, straight party voting record.’ At the time of the statement, Pete Gallego’s claim and the percentage were consistent with Hurd’s voting record. We rate this claim True. TRUE – The statement is accurate and there’s nothing significant missing” [PolitiFact,11/15/15] Repeated GOP Talking Point On Appointment Of Scalia Successor Which Had Been Designated “Mostly False” By PolitiFact Claimed In Rambling Answer To Interviewer That It Had Been 80 Years Since A President Made A Supreme Court Nomination In His Final Year. In February 2016, during an interview on the National Border Patrol Council’s Greenline Podcast, Hurd was asked by host Shawn Moran for his thoughts on whether a President in his last yeah or final half of his term should be making a nomination to any court and whether the debate over the issue was just based on partisanship. MORAN: How are members of Congress viewing this debate, over whether or not a President in his last year, or the final half of his term, should be making a nomination to any court. Is this just viewed as partisan silliness, or is this actually something that both parties view as a real issue? HURD: I think both parties see it as a real issue, and I think both parties can accuse the other of partisanship. The realities are this – the president can nominate someone and the Senate doesn’t have to hear it. That’s the separation of powers and I think that is the clear stance Mitch McConnell – you know, I think he has that ability. We’ll see what happens in this presidential election. And look, there’s 80 years of precedent of a president not making a Supreme Court nomination in the last year of office. Some folks bring it up and I think it may have been Clarence Thomas, but he was nominated way before the last year of the Bush years, but it was just the actual hearing was in the final year. That’s not an example or deviation of that 80 year history.” [National Border Patrol Council’s Greenline Podcast, 61:41, 2/18/16] Marco Rubio Given “Mostly False” Rating For Saying It Has Been 80 Years Since “Lame Duck” Made Supreme Court Nomination.
“Rubio’s statement prompted several comments on Twitter from those who noted a specific exception to his claim: the nomination of Justice Anthony Kennedy. The Senate confirmed Kennedy 97-0 on Feb. 4, 1988.
That was about 28 years ago — not 80.” [PolitiFact, 2/14/16] Was Unable To Provide Coherent Response To Question On The Impact Of Scalia’s Death On Rulings On Executive Actions, Potential For Court Deadlock Was Unable To Provide Coherent Response To Question On The Impact Of Scalia’s Death On Rulings On Executive Actions, Potential For Court Deadlock. In February 2016, during an interview on the National Border Patrol Council’s Greenline Podcast, Hurd was asked by host Shawn Moran for his thoughts on the impact of Justice Scalia’s death on the court and potential for deadlock on decisions regarding the President’s executive actions. MORAN: Congressman, you mention the President’s executive actions and with the recent passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, how do you think that potential deadlock on the Supreme Court is going to impact the decisions, the cases that are going to be going before the Supreme Court in the future, what kind of outcome- HURD: It’s a great question. A lot of the major decisions over the last couple of years have been 5-4. I’m not a judicial scholar and what happens when there’s deadlock. I think this president will attempt to make a nomination, but I don’t think the Senate will let that nominee ever come to a vote. Mitch McConnell has been pretty firm on that over the last couple of days. The impact of that on the presidential election this year, it’s already seen and shown. More is gonna come out and I think there’s several cases in front of the Supreme Court now and we’ll see how those go, but this is gonna be an important issue. Ultimately, the rule of law should prevail, and we should be enforcing the laws on the books, and it’s the legislative branch that makes the laws and the executive branch that executes those laws, not the other way around. This is gonna be an interesting couple of months. [National Border Patrol Council’s Greenline Podcast, 59:51, 2/18/16] Voted For FY 2016 Budget Resolution Repealing The Affordable Care Act, Slash Pell Grants And End The Medicare Guarantee Voted For FY 2016 Republican Budget To Repeal The Affordable Care Act, Slash Pell Grants And Alter Medicare. In March 2015, Hurd voted for the FY16 Republican House budget that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, slash Pell grants and alter Medicare. “It also includes parliamentary language, called reconciliation that orders House committees to draft legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act. Under budget rules, that reconciliation repeal bill cannot be filibustered in the Senate and would need only a majority vote to pass. The budget would turn Medicaid into block grants to the states, cutting health care spending for the poor by $900 billion. The food stamp program would also be turned into block grants and cut by hundreds of billions of dollars. Special education, Pell Grants, job training and housing assistance would all be cut. Medicare would transition to a system where future seniors would be encouraged to use governmentfunded vouchers to purchase insurance in the private market.” The resolution passed 228 to 199. [H. Con Res. 27, Vote #142, 3/25/15; New York Times, 3/25/15] FY 2016 Budget Cut Non-Defense-Discretionary Programs By $759 Billion Over The Next Decade Including Education And Job Training, Public Safety And Public Health. According to the National Education Association the FY 2016 Republican Budget would “Cut NonDefense-Discretionary programs by $759 billion over the next decade, including education and job training, public safety, public health, among other critical programs already at historically low levels.” [National Education Association, 3/17/15] House GOP Budget Turns Medicare Into A Voucher Program For Those Age 56 & Younger “The GOP-run Budget Committee estimates nearly $150 billion in savings by turning Medicare into a voucher program for anyone 56 years old or younger, an idea previously proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the former Budget Committee chairman.
Republicans say their ‘premium support program’ would help control Medicare costs. It would not be implemented before 2024.” [Politico, 3/17/15] House GOP Budget Cuts Medicare By $148 Billion. “Price’s budget would cut Medicare by $148 billion through 2025. Starting in 2024, Medicare beneficiaries would choose from a range of options, including traditional Medicare and private coverage. The government would issue fixed payments directly to the plan.” [Bloomberg, 3/17/15] House Republican Budget Would Increase Prescription Drug Costs For As Many As 345,500 Texans. The House Republican budget proposal, which repeals the Affordable Care Act, would reopen the Medicare prescription drug donut hole. Closing the donut hole helped 345,500 Texas seniors and people with disabilities save an average of $950 in 2014 alone. [White House, 3/24/15]
April 2015: Lamented Proposals To Get Rid Of Pell Grants
April 2015: Lamented Proposals To Get Rid Of Pell Grants. “For example, when Hurd mentions that the U.S. government needlessly spends $80 billion a year on Information Technology procurement, he adds, ‘So we’re talking about getting rid of Pell Grants, and not helping poor kids go to college, but we’re wasting billions of dollars on this? It’s outrageous to me.’” [San Antonio Express-News, 3/17/15]
Suggested Raising the Social Security Retirement Age
Suggested Raising the Social Security Retirement Age. In January 2014, Hurd said in a Tea Party debate that social security was “crucial” but that steps should be taken to strengthen it, such as raising the retirement age and ensuring that “guys like Warren Buffet” aren’t receiving benefits. “Social security is crucial [to those who rely on it]. We have to stop raiding the trust fund,” Hurd said. [saraforamerica.com, 1/17/14] Voted For Increasing Definition Of Full-Time Under Affordable Care Act Voted For Increasing Definition Of Full-Time From 30 Hours To 40 Hours Under Affordable Care Act. In January 2015, Hurd voted for a bill that would lengthen the Affordable Care Act’s definition of a full-time work week to 40 hours from 30 hours. “The House will vote again on Thursday to lengthen Obamacare’s full-time workweek definition to 40 hours, but the Senate has work to do before it can hope to get its first anti-Obamacare bill to the president’s desk.” The bill passed, 252-172. [HR 30, Vote #14, 1/08/15; Politico, 1/08/15] Bill Would Increase Deficit By $53.2 Billion And Cut Healthcare For About 1 Million Workers. “The independent Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that the House’s bill would add $53.2 billion to the deficit from 2015 to 2025. That’s because fewer businesses would pay fines and because some of the employees who would have been covered at work will instead get subsidies to buy plans on the Obamacare exchanges. The CBO estimated that about 1 million people would lose their work-based coverage, a fact that Democrats intend to highlight.” [Politico, 1/08/15] Supported Simpler Tax Code, “Possibly a Flat Tax” Which Would Shift Burden From Rich To Non-Rich Supported Simpler Tax Code, “Possibly a Flat Tax.” In 2014, Hurd favored a simpler tax code, “possibly a flat tax,” according to the ExpressNews. [San Antonio Express-News, 1/30/14] Flat Tax Would Shift Burden from Rich to Non Rich. According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute, lower tax rates for the wealthy under a flat tax will have to be financed by some combination of higher taxes on the middle class and larger budget deficits. A flat tax that raises the same revenues as our current tax code would shift a significant portion of the tax burden from the rich to average workers. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, under a flat tax, the fortunate few with incomes above $200,000 will see their taxes fall by an average of $53,940.
[Falling Flat: The Dubious Case for a Flat Tax, Economic Policy Institute, 1/17/96] Flatter Tax Would Make the Tax System “Far Less Progressive,” Giving Millionaires a Tax Break. In 2011, Alan Binder, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Eliminating the biggest deductions and exclusions is extremely unlikely, and flatter rates alone won’t make the tax system any simpler. It would, however, make it far less progressive […] Someone with $20 million in taxable income pays nearly $7 million in taxes under the current rate structure, with its 35% top rate. Replace that with a 23% flat tax, and the bill drops to just under $4.6 million. With a 9% tax (where in the world did I get that idea?), it’s below $1.8 million.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/14/11] Supported Eliminating the IRS Supported Eliminating the IRS. In January 2014, Hurd said in a debate that he would support abolishing the IRS and revamping the tax code.
“Physician Robert Lowry and former CIA agent Will Hurd largely agreed on goals including abolishing the IRS, revamping the tax code and eliminating the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare,” the San Antonio ExpressNews reported. [San Antonio Express-News, 1/16/14] National Review Opinion Editor: Eliminating IRS “Probably Isn’t Feasible And Has Almost No Merits As A Public Policy. “The basic idea, according to Cruz’s speeches and a conversation I had with a Cruz adviser, is this: If you radically simplify the individual-income-tax code, you can reduce the size of the federal tax-collection bureaucracy so much that you could then get rid of the IRS and disperse its functions across other agencies. This is a great applause line: Americans hate how complicated their taxes are, and they hate the IRS. It’s such a good line, in fact, that other probable presidential candidates, such as Senator Rand
Paul and neurosurgeon Ben Carson, have adopted it too. The problem:
The idea probably isn’t feasible and has almost no merits as a public policy.” [National Review, Patrick Brennan Column, 4/23/15] Voted For Blocking Consideration Of Bill Preventing U.S. Corporations From Moving Overseas To Dodge Paying Taxes Voted For Blocking Consideration Of Bill Preventing U.S. Corporations From Moving Overseas To Dodge Paying Taxes. In January 2015, Hurd voted for blocking consideration of the Stop Corporate Expatriation and Invest in America’s Infrastructure Act, a bill that would prevent U.S.