«Will Hurd (TX-23) Research Report The following report contains research on Will Hurd, a Republican member of Congress in Texas’ 23rd district. ...»
Voted for the FY 2016 Republican Budget to repeal the Affordable Care Act, cut Medicare by $148 billion, and end the Medicare guarantee The House GOP budget turns Medicare into a voucher program for those age 56 and younger By repealing the Affordable Care Act, the House GOP Budget would reopen the prescription drug donut hole for 345,500 Texans Called for effectively cutting federal spending 16 percent, down to 18 percent of GDP, even though a study found that making smaller cuts to reduce spending to 20 percent of GDP would “inevitably force enormous cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and possibly Social Security” Suggested increasing the Social Security retirement age Voted to jeopardize Social Security’s disability program by preventing Congress from redirecting payroll tax revenue, thus risking a 19 percent benefit cut Hurd voted for the FY 2016 Republican Budget, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act, cut Medicare by $148 billion, and end the Medicare guarantee by turning it into a voucher program for those age 56 and younger. By repealing the ACA, the House GOP Budget would also reopen the prescription drug donut hole for 345,500 Texans.
Voted For FY16 Budget To Repeal The Affordable Care Act And End The Medicare Guarantee Voted For FY16 Budget To Repeal The Affordable Care Act And End The Medicare Guarantee. In March 2015, Hurd voted for the FY16 Republican House budget that “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 government-funded 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] House Republican Budget Would Turn Medicare Into Voucher Program, Denying 470,003 Individuals in TX-23 Access To Medicare’s Guaranteed Benefits. The Republican 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.” The House GOP plan would move Medicare to a voucher program by 2024. There are 470,003 residents in the TX-23 district under the age of 45. [Politico, 3/17/15; Census, accessed 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] ACA Makes Medicare Drug Coverage More Affordable Through Closing Coverage Gap Between Beneficiaries Paying Full Cost Before Catastrophic Coverage Took Effect. “The Affordable Care Act makes Medicare prescription drug coverage more affordable by gradually closing the gap in coverage where beneficiaries had to pay the full cost of their prescriptions out of pocket, before catastrophic coverage took effect. This gap is known as the donut hole. Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, out-of-pocket savings on medications for people with Medicare prescription drug coverage continues to grow. More than 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare have saved over $11.5 billion on prescription drugs since 2010 as a result of discounts in the donut hole and rebates in 2010.” [HHS, 7/29/14]
Endorsed “Cuts of 16 Percent Across the Board” to the Federal Budget
Endorsed Drastic “Cuts of 16 Percent Across the Board” To The Federal Budget. “At a Tea Party Forum during the campaign, Hurd said that, ‘Congress needs to cap federal spending to a percentage of GDP- 18% is a good number because that was the number when the budget was last balanced. That would translate to cuts of 16% across the board.’” [Burnt Orange Report, 7/10/14] Note: The Burnt Orange Report cites as its source a Tea Party blog which had video for the event and an accompanying article. Both are no longer accessible but the DCCC has a copy of the article’s text.
Nearly Identical Plan Would Force Deep Cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the CAP Act, a proposal to limit federal spending to no more than 20.6 percent of GDP – a higher spending cap than Hurd suggested – would “inevitably force enormous cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and possibly Social Security.” [CBPP, 4/15/11] Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: “Only Practical Way To Generate Savings Of That Magnitude” Would Be to Turn Medicare into a Voucher Program. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, under the CAP Act, which would limit federal spending to no more than
20.6 percent of GDP: “The only practical way to generate savings of that magnitude would be to replace traditional Medicare with a voucher for the purchase of private insurance and to convert Medicaid to a block grant, as the Ryan plan would do.” [CBPP, 4/15/11]
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 Against Amendment That Would Strike Provision Turning Medicare Into Premium Support System Voted Against Amendment That Would Strike Provision Turning Medicare Into Premium Support System. In April 2015, Hurd voted against a motion to instruct that would ask the House agree with the Senate in favoring paid sick leave and preventing Medicare from becoming a voucher program. “In the House, Van Hollen, who’s running for Senate in the Old Line State, said he wants the House to vote on at least two things: the right for workers to earn paid sick leave and another that would bar Medicare from being turned into a voucher program, a GOP aspiration.” The motion failed 187 to 239. [H. Con Res. 11, Vote #153, 4/14/15; Motion to Instruct Conferees, 4/14/15; Politico, 4/14/15] Voted To Jeopardize Social Security By Blocking Congress From Redirecting Payroll Tax Revenue From Social Security To The Social Security Disability Program Voted For Jeopardizing Social Security. In January 2015, Hurd voted for a House Rules package that contained a provision that could threaten benefit cuts to Social Security. The provision would block Congress from redirecting payroll tax revenue from Social Security to the Social Security disability program to help keep the program afloat. The provision would block a transfer unless it was part of a larger plan to address Social Security’s finances through benefit cuts or tax increases. The resolution passed, 234-172. [H Res 5, Vote #6, 1/06/15; Politico, 1/20/15] Eleven Million Recipients Of Disability Benefits Faced A 19 Percent Benefit Cut. “The GOP’s immediate target is Social Security’s sprawling disability insurance program, which has grown at a pace far beyond its revenues and will exhaust its trust fund reserves by December 2016, threatening a 19 percent cut in benefits.” [Politico, 1/20/15] Eleven Million People Receive Disability Benefits. “About 11 million people get disability benefits, nearly 40 percent more than a decade ago.” [Associated Press, 1/07/15] Voted Against Measure To Prevent Financial Companies That Harm Seniors From Using Any Emergency Lending Program Established By The Federal Reserve Voted Against Measure To Prevent Financial Companies That Harm Seniors From Using Any Emergency Lending Program Established By The Federal Reserve. In November 2015, Hurd voted against for a Democratic Motion to Recommit that “would ensure that financial companies found to engage in activity that harms seniors’ financial health and stability are prevented from participating in any emergency lending program or facility established by the Federal Reserve.” The motion to recommit failed in the House, 182 - 242. [HR 3189, Vote #640, 11/19/15; Motion to Recommit, 11/19/15] Tax Issues
Repeatedly voted to block legislation closing tax inversion loophole in order to fund investments in US transportation infrastructure Supported simpler tax code, “possibly a flat tax,” which would make the system less progressive and cut taxes for millionaires.
Signed pledge to oppose all tax increases, including the elimination of tax breaks for outsourcers Hurd has repeatedly voted to block consideration of legislation to close the corporate tax inversion loophole, preventing companies from moving overseas to dodge paying taxes, while redirecting that money to infrastructure projects in the U.S. As a candidate, Hurd also supported tax code simplification efforts, including “possibly a flat tax,” even though a flat tax would make the system less progressive and cut taxes for millionaires. Hurd also signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge, declaring his opposition to all tax increases, including the elimination of tax breaks for outsourcers.
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. corporations from moving overseas to dodge taxes. “The second is an infrastructure bill that would stop corporations from relocating abroad and redirect tax money lost through these so-called inversions to infrastructure projects in the U.S. That money would be sent to the highway trust fund.” The previous question passed, 239 to
168. A vote against the previous question would have allowed the bill to be considered. [H Res 5, Vote #4, 1/06/15; Politico, 1/05/15; Congressional Record, 1/06/15] Voted For Blocking Consideration On A Vote To Re-Authorize A Long-Term Transportation Bill And To Crack Down On Corporations That Avoid Taxes By Moving Overseas Voted For Blocking Consideration On A Vote To Re-Authorize A Long-Term Transportation Bill And To Crack Down On Corporations That Avoid Taxes By Moving Overseas. In July 2015, Hurd voted for blocking consideration on “a vote to re-authorize a long-term Transportation Bill that provides 6 years of funding so states and localities can address critical infrastructure needs. The bill would also stop corporations that seek to move abroad to avoid paying their taxes and use that money for transportation improvements here in America.” A vote against the previous question was to force the vote on the longterm Transportation bill and the crackdown on corporations that move overseas to avoid paying taxes. The motion to order the previous question passed, 245 to 182. [H Res 362, Vote #438, 7/15/15; Democratic Leader – Previous Questions, 7/15/15] Voted Against Closing Corporate Inversion Tax Loophole To Fund Investments In U.S.
Transportation Infrastructure Voted Against Closing Corporate Inversion Tax Loophole To Fund Investments In U.S.