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«Will Hurd (TX-23) Research Report The following report contains research on Will Hurd, a Republican member of Congress in Texas’ 23rd district. ...»

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Some of the money will come from the Federal Reserve. The bill cuts the Fed’s annual dividend payments to large commercial banks, redirecting that money to highway construction. It also drains money from the Fed’s rainy-day fund.” [New York Times, 12/1/15] Voted Against Amendment That Would Have More Equitably Divided Transportation Money For U.S. Territories Voted Against Amendment That Would Have More Equitably Divided Transportation Money For U.S. Territories. In November 2015, Hurd voted against an amendment that “was an attempt to distribute territorial highway funds more equitably among the islands. That, by using objective benchmarks like highway miles, population and traffic to allocate a limited pot of money—currently about 40-million dollars, divided 10-percent each for the NMI and American Samoa, 40-percent each for Guam and the VI.” The amendment failed, 113 to 310. [HR 22, H Amdt. 766, Vote #593, 11/03/15; PNC News, 11/06/15] Voted Against Amendment That Would Have Banned Funding For Landscaping In Transportation Projects Voted Against Amendment That Would Have Banned Funding For Landscaping In Transportation Projects. In November 2015, Hurd voted against an amendment “to repeal the authority of the Secretary of Transportation to approve as part of the construction of federal-aid highways the costs of landscape and roadside development.” “Representative Vicky Hartzler, Republican of Missouri, wanted an amendment that would prohibit the use of federal highway money for ‘landscaping and beautification.’ ‘We should spend our federal highway dollars to improve our roads and bridges, not plant flowers,’ Ms. Hartzler declared. Noting that between 1992 and 2013 about $1.3 billion was spent on landscaping, while 61,000 bridges were classified as structurally deficient, she added, ‘This is outrageous.’” The amendment failed, 172 to 255. [HR 22, H Amdt. 769, Vote #594, 11/04/15; New York Times, 11/05/15] Voted For Amendment Providing For States To Allow Livestock Hauling Vehicles Up To 95,000 Pounds With Permit Costs Limited To $200 Voted For Amendment Providing For States To Allow Livestock Hauling Vehicles Up To 95,000 Pounds With Permit Costs Limited To $200. In November 2015, Hurd voted for an amendment to the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act which would “provide for states to allow, by special permit, the operation of vehicles with a gross weight up to 95,000 pounds for hauling livestock. The cost of a permit could not exceed $200 annually.” The amendment was rejected, 185 to 240. [H R 22, H Amdt 771, Vote #595, 11/04/15; CQ, 11/04/15] Voted Against Amendment Requiring Transportation Projects In Excess of $2.5 Billion To Establish Measures To Identify Potential Cost Overrun Causes Voted Against Amendment Requiring Transportation Projects In Excess of $2.5 Billion To Establish Measures To Identify Potential Cost Overrun Causes. In November 2015, Hurd voted against an amendment to the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act which would “require transportation ‘megaprojects’ - those estimated to cost at least $2.5 billion - that receive federal financial assistance to establish a peer review group and a comprehensive risk management plan to identify and monitor elements that could result in cost overruns or project delays.” The amendment was rejected, 169 to 257. [H R 22, H Amdt. 773, Vote #596, 11/04/15; CQ, 11/04/15] Voted For An Amendment To Establish Program To Allow Companies To Contribute To Roadside Maintenance & Receive Public Thanks Through Roadside Corporate Logos Made Of Live Plants Voted For An Amendment To Establish Program To Allow The Use Of Live Plant Materials For Road Side Maintenance. In November 2015, Hurd voted for an amendment to establish a program to allow the use of live plant materials for road side maintenance. The amendment sought to “to establish a program to permit the use of live plant materials for road side maintenance.” The amendment failed 173 to 255. [HR 22, Vote #600, 11/04/15; On Agreeing to the Amendment, 11/04/15] Amendment Would Have Allowed Companies To Contribute To Roadside Maintenance And Receive Public Thanks Through Roadside Corporate Logos Made Of Live Plants; Critics Labeled It Highway Commercialization. “Under an amendment offered by Rep. Duncan Hunter, 10 states would be allowed to let companies contribute to roadside maintenance and be publicly thanked by setting up corporate logos made of live plant materials. The California Republican said the proposal would save his state millions of dollars annually in roadside maintenance costs and free up funds for other highway projects. DeFazio objected, saying the step would commercialize federal highway right-of-ways and open the door to additional advertising on interstate roads. Hunter expressed surprise. ‘This is one of those things that I thought everybody would enjoy,’ he said. ‘It's environmentally friendly, it uses plants and flowers, and it doesn't cost anybody anything. This is one of those deals that I'm surprised is opposed by any member.’ The amendment was rejected 173-255, with 121 Republicans and 134 Democrats opposed.” [CQ Weekly, 11/13/15] Voted For An Amendment To Standardize Meal And Rest Break Laws For The Motor Carrier Industry Across All States Voted For An Amendment To Standardize Meal And Rest Break Laws For The Motor Carrier Industry Across All States. In November 2015, Hurd voted for an amendment to standardize meal and rest break laws for the motor carrier industry across all states. The “Amendment clarifies the intent of Congress and ensures that the motor-carrier industry can operate under one standard when engaging in commerce and pre-empts a patchwork of 50 different state meal and rest break laws to provide certainty for regional carriers doing business.” The amendment passed 248 to 180. [HR 22, Vote #601, 11/04/15;





On Agreeing to the Amendment, 11/04/15] Voted Against An Amendment To Require Local Transit Organizations To Have A 1:1 Debt To Equity Ratio In Order To Qualify For Federal Funding Voted Against An Amendment To Require Local Transit Organizations To Have A 1:1 Debt To Equity Ratio In Order To Qualify For Federal Funding. In November 2015, Hurd voted against an amendment to require local transit organizations to have a 1:1 debt to equity ratio in order to qualify for federal funding. The amendment sought to “require local transit entity to have a debt to equity ratio of at least 1:1 in order to be eligible for federal funds.” The amendment failed 116 to 313. [HR 22, Vote #603, 11/04/15; On Agreeing to the Amendment, 11/04/15] Voted Against An Amendment To Commission A Study On The Safety Of Intrastate Teen Truck Drivers Voted Against An Amendment Commission A Study On The Safety Of Intrastate Teen Truck Drivers. In November 2015, Hurd voted against an amendment to replace the graduated commercial driver’s license program language in the FAST act with a study on the safety of intrastate teen truck drivers. The “Amendment sought to strike the graduated commercial driver's license program language in the bill and replace it with a study on the safety of intrastate teen truck drivers.” The amendment failed 181 to 248. [HR 22, Vote #604, 11/04/15; On Agreeing to the Amendment, 11/04/15] Amendment Sought To Eliminate Pilot Program From The Bill That Would Allow Commercially Licensed Drivers To Drive Large Trucks On Interstate Highways At The Age Of 19 ½ Years; Current Minimum Age For Truck Drivers Was 21 Years. “Voting 181 for and 248 against, the House on Nov. 4 refused to strip HR 22 (above) of a pilot program that would allow commercially licensed drivers as young as 19 ½ years to operate large trucks on the Interstate Highway System. The existing minimum age for truck drivers on interstates is 21 years.

Amendment sponsor John Lewis, D-Ga., said ‘young drivers may not have the experience needed to handle heavy, dangerous vehicles. Some follow too closely. Others go too fast and don't check their mirrors. Young drivers can use their brakes too much, and that is a real danger when handling an 80,000-pound truck.’” [Oshkosh Northwestern, 11/30/15] Voted For An Amendment To Conduct A GAO Study On The Economic Impact Of Contract Negotiations At West Coast Ports Voted For An Amendment To Conduct A GAO Study On The Economic Impact Of Contract Negotiations At West Coast Ports. In November 2015, Hurd voted for an amendment to conduct a GAO study on the economic impact of contract negotiations at ports on the west coast. The amendment “request[ed] a GAO study on the economic impact of contract negotiations at ports on the west coast.” The amendment failed 200 to 228. [HR 22, Vote #605, 11/04/15; On Agreeing to the Amendment, 11/04/15] Voted Against Requiring Additional Information Be Displayed On Used Cars For Sale And Making Vehicle Safety Databases More Publicly Accessible Voted Against Requiring Additional Information Be Displayed On Used Cars For Sale And Making Vehicle Safety Databases More Publicly Accessible. In November 2015, Hurd voted against an amendment, “that would require the Transportation secretary to make the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle safety databases more publicly accessible and require certain additional information regarding vehicle history to be displayed on used cars for sale.” The amendment failed 176HR 22, Vote #619, 11/05/15; CQ, accessed 1/07/16] Voted For Amendment Reauthorizing Surface Transportation Programs For Six Years, Turning It Into A Block Grant Program And Changing Environmental Reviews Voted For Amendment Reauthorizing Surface Transportation Programs For Six Years, Turning It Into A Block Grant Program And Changing Environmental Reviews. In November 2015, Hurd voted for an amendment to the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act to adopt “the amendments adopted in the Committee of the Whole, including an amendment consisting of the text of the surface transportation reauthorization measure (HR 3763) approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, with modifications. That amendment would reauthorize surface transportation programs for six years, with policy provisions including those that would change the Surface Transportation Program into a block grant program, create a new grant program for nationally significant freight and highway projects, and make a number of changes to the environmental review process..

Another amendment would liquidate the Federal Reserve's surplus funds and redirect that money to the General Fund. The House amendments did not affect a Senate move to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.” The amendment passed 363 to 64. [H R 22, Vote #623, 11/05/15; CQ, 11/05/15] Voted For A Motion For House To Go To Conference With Senate On Six-Year Authorization Of Surface Transportation Programs Voted For A Motion For House To Go To Conference With Senate On Six-Year Authorization Of Surface Transportation Programs. In November 2015, Hurd voted for a motion that “the House insist on the House amendment to the Senate amendment and request a conference on a bill (HR 22) that would provide a six-year authorization of surface transportation programs.” The amendment passed 371 to 54.

[H R 22, Vote #624, 11/05/15; CQ, 11/05/15] Voted For Amendment Expressing Sense Of Congress That The Federal Gas Tax Should Be Reduced By “About 15 Cents” Per Gallon From 18.4 Voted For Amendment Expressing Sense Of Congress That The Federal Gas Tax Should Be Reduced By “About 15 Cents” Per Gallon From 18.4. In November 2015, Hurd voted for “an amendment that called for sharply reducing the 18.4-cents-per-gallon gas tax that is traditionally used to pay for federal transportation projects and transferring authority for most infrastructure projects to states.

The nonbinding amendment, from Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), sought to establish a ‘sense of Congress’ that lawmakers think the gas tax should be reduced by about 15 cents to allow states to play a bigger role in transportation funding. The amendment was defeated in an 118-310 vote on Wednesday evening.” The amendment failed, 118 to 310. [H.R. 22, Amendment #69, Vote #606, 11/04/15; The Hill, 11/04/15] Veterans Issues

–  –  –

 Endorsed “cuts of 16 percent across the board” to the federal budget, including the Department of Veterans Affairs  Cuts would jeopardize medical care for 12,000 veterans in the district receiving it through the Department of Veterans Affairs  Cuts would hurt 46,000 veterans in TX-23 by threatening their access to disability compensation, transportation and small business loans  Hurd’s plan would reduce the $34 million designated for education and career counseling for the TX-23’s veterans  Cuts would jeopardize programs to help homeless veterans  Voted to block consideration of a bill to accelerate skills training for veterans  Voted against protecting whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs  Voted for an amendment to increase the budget of the Department of Veterans Affairs by $1.5 billion Hurd endorsed “cuts of 16 percent across the board” to the federal budget, including the Department of Veterans Affairs. Cuts of the order Hurd supported would jeopardize medical care for the 12,000 veterans in TX-23 receiving it through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Because of the magnitude of such cuts, veterans programs ranging from education and career counseling, to transportation access, designated small business loans, and aid to homeless veterans would be jeopardized.

In Congress, Hurd has voted to block consideration of a bill to accelerate skills training for veterans and against protecting whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs, though he voted for an amendment to increase the department’s budget by $1.5 billion.

Endorsed “Cuts of 16 Percent Across the Board” to the Federal Budget Including Department of Veterans Affairs 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.



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