«Will Hurd (TX-23) Research Report The following report contains research on Will Hurd, a Republican member of Congress in Texas’ 23rd district. ...»
Voted Against Ending Backdoor Surveillance Of Americans. In June 2016, Hurd voted against restricting the use of “funds to query a collection of foreign intelligence information acquired under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 using a United States person identifier.
The amendment also would bar use of funds by the National Security Agency or the Central Intelligence Agency to mandate that a company alter products or services to permit electronic surveillance of users, except for mandates or requests authorized under the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act.” The amendment passed, 255-174. [HR 2685, Vote #356; CQ Floor Votes, 6/11/15] Amendment Would End Spying On American Citizens Whose Data Was Incidentally Collected During Foreign Surveillance. “The House passed legislation Thursday that would prevent the NSA from spying on American citizens whose data was incidentally collected during foreign dragnets, marking the second year in a row that the lower chamber has put the kibosh on backdoor domestic spying. Sponsored by Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Zoe Lofgren, DCalif., the amendment to the Department of Defense spending bill was approved in a 255-174 vote across party lines.” [Intercept, 6/12/15] Hurd: “You Can Chase Terrorists And Protect Our Civil Liberties At The Same Time, I’ve Done It” Hurd: “You Can Chase Terrorists And Protect Our Civil Liberties At The Same Time, I’ve Done It.” “‘You can chase terrorists and protect our civil liberties at the same time,’ Hurd said. ‘I’ve done it.’” [Politico, 11/03/14] Sided With Apple In Dispute Over Unlocking San Bernadino Shooter’s Phone, Arguing That Such A Policy Could Backfire Sided With Apple In Dispute Over Unlocking San Bernadino Shooter’s Phone, Arguing That Such A Policy Could Backfire. “San Antonio Republican Rep. Will Hurd has sided with Apple in a battle between the tech giant and the FBI for access to the cell phones of the San Bernardino shooters. The FBI has demanded Apple unlock the shooters’ phones via court order, which Hurd calls a dangerous precedent without enough evidence to warrant the action. Both sides have asked Congress to step in.” [Dallas Morning News, Trail Blazers Blog, 2/26/16] Expressed Concern about NSA Spying Expressed Concern about NSA Spying. In March 2014, Hurd said that he was especially concerned about the National Security Agency spying on Americans and that the government can keep the public sage without intruding on its privacy. [El Paso Times, 3/31/14] Voted For Reining In Government Surveillance Of American Citizens Voted For NSA Surveillance Reform. In May 2015, Hurd voted for the USA FREEDOM Act “which would prevent the NSA from collecting bulk metadata about the phone numbers people dial and when their calls are placed … The bill would require the NSA to obtain a court order to look at data, which would be held by phone companies. It would also be required to ask for a ‘specific selection term,’ so that records could not be collected in bulk. It would place limits on other types of data collection as well, add new transparency measures to make more information public and create a special team of experts to weigh in on some unique cases before the secretive federal court that oversees intelligence programs.” The bill passed 338 to 88. [HR 2048, Vote #224, 5/13/15; The Hill, 5/13/15]
Said That He Would Tell the NSA to Protect People’s Privacy
Said That He Would Tell the NSA to Protect People’s Privacy. In January 2014, Hurd said that, if he was in Congress, he would tell the NSA to curtail its domestic spying operations. “I was an undercover officer in the CIA. I fought the Taliban, I fought Al Qaeda. I know what is at risk when it comes to the global war on terrorism. Terrorists are trying to do two things. They’re trying to kill a lot of people, and they’re trying to elicit responses in our government that upset a majority of the population. When 46 percent of the population thinks something is wrong, then we need to stop doing it. So what I would do is go to the NSA and say listen guys, you gotta curtail this, you gotta protect people’s privacy,” Hurd said.
[KLRN, 1/31/14] Said the NSA Would Listen to Him Because He Worked With Them. When asked why the NSA would listen to a freshman congressman, Hurd said that he would likely be on the House Intelligence Committee and that he worked with the NSA during his CIA career. “Well I think they’ll listen to me,
1) because I’ll likely be on the House Intelligence Committee. I understand their business. I’ve worked with the NSA when I was in the CIA. And also I’ll work to pass legislation that actually curtails what their activities are. And I would know how to do it to where we protect our citizens’ privacy but also give them the tools that they need to be effective,” Hurd said. [KLRN, 1/31/14]
Wanted to Serve on House Intelligence Committee to Investigate NSA and Benghazi
Wanted to Serve on House Intelligence Committee to Investigate NSA and Benghazi. In 2014, Hurd said that he wanted to serve on the House Intelligence Committee if elected to Congress. “…things like what’s going on with the NSA and making sure the NSA is protecting the privacy of our citizens as well as going after terrorists. Talk about what really happened with Benghazi,” Hurd said. [KLRN, 1/31/14]
Said He Would Not Modify Patriot Act
Said He Would Not Modify Patriot Act. In 2010, Hurd said he would not modify the Patriot Act because he had seen how it helped combat terrorism. “I’ve seen how the Patriot Act has helped us stop terrorists in this country, how it’s an important tool in our toolkit to take the fight to Al Qaeda and other foreign terrorist organizations. With anything, with that type of power comes a lot of great responsibility and I think the FBI did a recent inspector general audit talking about how there are ways to streamline the implementation. So I think the Patriot Act is a very important tool and I think with most tools you should always be reviewing them, making sure that we’re not overstepping our legal bounds,” Hurd said. [KTSA Debate, 4/01/10] NOTE: Audio available from the DCCC Called For Expansion Of Conventional, Human Intelligence Operations Called For Expansion Of Conventional, Human Intelligence Operations. “Two weeks ago, Representative Will Hurd, a freshman Republican from Texas and the only former CIA operative in Congress, argued that traditional espionage operations against ISIS had to be beefed up. ‘We’re not doing it at the level we should be doing it,’ Hurd said in a November 19 interview. ‘That works and we need to be doing more of it. ISIS is looking for Americans or westerners, so that creates opportunities … to infiltrate their organization,’ he added. ‘We know what they’re looking for and can seed people into their operations. You need human intelligence to do that.’ Hurd said such spying operations had waned in recent years he said, with the U.S. wind-down in Afghanistan and Iraq.” [Newsweek, 12/01/15] Voted Against A Motion To Place Restrictions On Individuals Who Finance Terrorism Voted Against A Motion To Place Restrictions On Individuals Who Finance Terrorism. In January 2015, Hurd voted against a motion that would disqualify anyone convicted of providing financial assistance to terrorist organizations or state sponsors of terrorism from regulatory relief under the underlying bill, the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act. “But House members also took up a narrower measure that would slow enforcement of Dodd-Frank requirements and weaken other regulations on financial services companies.” The motion failed 183 to 242. [HR 37, Vote #37, 1/14/15; Motion to Recommit, 1/14/15; CQ Floor Votes, 1/14/15; New York Times, 1/13/15] Voted Against Motion To Block Elimination Of Regulations That Prevent Terrorism And Crime, Protect Wages Voted Against Motion To Block Elimination Of Regulations That Prevent Terrorism And Crime, Protect Wages. In January 2015, Hurd voted against a motion that would block Republicans from eliminating regulations that help prevent terrorism and crime, protect wages and gender pay equity, save taxpayer dollars, help small businesses, and prevent discrimination. The motion failed 245 to 180. [HR 185, Vote #27, 1/13/15; Motion To Recommit, 1/13/15] Voted Against Protecting Department Of Homeland Security Regulations From Significant Delays Voted Against Protecting Department Of Homeland Security Regulations From Significant Delays.
In January 2015, Hurd voted against an amendment exempting rules issued by the Department of Homeland Security from the bill’s burdensome requirements. The amendment failed 242 to 176. [HR 185, Amendment No. 3, Vote #25, 1/13/15, CQ Floor Votes, 1/13/15]
Four Times Voted Against Clean DHS Funding Bill
January 2015: Voted Against Clean DHS Funding Bill. In January 2015, Hurd voted against a motion that would allow a clean version of the Homeland Security funding bill—without amendments defunding Obama’s executive order on immigration—to pass, removing the threat of shutdown for the Department.
The measure failed 244 to 184. [HR 240, Vote #34, 1/14/15] February 2015 #1: Voted For Blocking Consideration Of Clean Department Of Homeland Security Funding Bill. In February 2015, Hurd voted for blocking consideration of a motion to “force a vote on clean legislation to provide long-term funding for the Department Homeland Security, without radical, anti-immigrant riders.” The previous question passed, 242 to 183. A vote against the previous question would have allowed the bill to be considered. [H.RES.100, Vote #71, 2/11/15; Democratic Leadership Summary, 2/11/15] February 2015 #2: Voted For Blocking Consideration Of Clean DHS Funding Bill. In February 2015, Hurd voted for blocking consideration of a motion to force a clean vote on the DHS funding bill without anti-immigration riders. The previous question passed, 232 to 164. A vote against the previous question would have allowed the bill to be considered. [H Res 101, Vote #77, 2/12/15] February 2015 #3: Voted For Blocking Consideration Of Clean DHS Funding Bill. In February 2015, Hurd voted for blocking consideration of a motion to force a clean vote on the DHS funding bill without anti-immigration riders. The previous question passed, 241 to 181. A vote against the previous question would have allowed the bill to be considered. [H Res 121, Vote #86, 2/25/15]
Voted For Bill Funding Department Of Homeland Security
Voted For Bill To Fund Department Of Homeland Security. On March 3, 2015, Hurd voted for a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security. “The House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday funding the Department of Homeland Security through the end of September, effectively ending a congressional standoff that nearly shut the department down at the end of last week. The bill, identical to a measure that cleared the Senate last Friday, passed by a margin of 257 to 167, with 75 Republicans and 182 Democrats voting in favor.” [HR 240, Vote #109, 3/03/15; CBS, 3/03/15] Criticized Republican Strategy As “Flawed,” “You Don’t Take A Hostage You’re Not Willing To Shoot.” “Hurd, a freshman whose West Texas district has the longest stretch of border in the state, said that while he opposes Obama’s immigration policies, the Republican strategy was doomed from the start. ‘This whole thing was flawed, starting with the knuckleheads in the 113th Congress,’ Hurd said. “’They took the wrong hostage. You don’t take a hostage you’re not willing to shoot.’” [Houston Chronicle, 3/04/15]
Voted For Blocking Consideration Of Clean, Long-Term DHS Funding Bill
Voted For Blocking Consideration Of Clean, Long-Term Department of Homeland Security Funding Bill. In February 2015, Hurd voted for blocking consideration of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015, a bill long-term funding bill. “The Democratic Previous Question would force a vote on legislation to provide long-term funding for Homeland Security, without radical, anti-immigrant riders. This is the fifth opportunity for House Republicans to vote for a clean DHS funding bill.” The previous question passed, 240 to 183. A vote against the previous question would have allowed the bill to be considered. [H Res 129, Vote #100, 2/27/15; Democratic Leader, 2/27/15] Voted For Clean, Long-Term Department Of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. In February 2015, Hurd voted for considering a clean, long-term Department of Homeland Security funding bill approved by the Senate and instead voted to disagree with the Senate amendments and request a conference committee. “The House passed a measure along party lines Friday afternoon to go to conference with the Senate to hash out the differences between their long-term bills. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) later announced a motion to agree. But Senate Democrats, who insist on a clean bill, are expected to block plans for a conference on Monday.” The motion passed, 228 to 191. [HR 240, Vote #102, 2/27/15; Washington Post, 2/28/15] Voted Against Clean, Full-Year DHS Funding Bill. In February 2015, Hurd voted against a motion to instruct members of a conference committee to accept a clean, long-term Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill approved by the Senate. According to the motion’s sponsor, Rep. RoybalAllard, “my motion would instruct the conferees to recede to the Senate position, which is the responsible position of providing a full-year funding for the Homeland Security Department... Let the House, like the Senate, do the right thing and send this bill to the President. I urge my colleagues to vote for this motion to instruct conferees to bring back a clean, full-year, bipartisan funding bill for this Nation’s homeland security.” [HR 240, Vote #105, 2/27/15; House Congressional Record, Page H1485, 2/27/15] Voted For Stalling Three Weeks On Passing Long-Term Funding For Department Of Homeland Security Voted For Stalling Three Weeks On Passing Long-Term Funding For Department Of Homeland Security. In February 2015, Hurd voted for continuing FY2015 funding levels for the Department of Homeland Security for three weeks. “Earlier in the day, the House collapsed in failure when a last-ditch attempt to fund the agency for an additional three weeks died at the hands of most Democrats and dozens of Republicans who voted against it.” The resolution failed, 203 to 224. [H J Res 35, Vote #104, 2/27/15;