• Comstock Votes For DHS Funding Bill

    Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, R-10th, issued the following statement on the passage of FY15: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.  This appropriations bill passed the House today by a vote of 236-191.  The legislation also included amendments that rolled back President Obama’s unconstitutional overreach from last year.

    “As a former Department of Justice official who served after the September 11th attacks, I am acutely aware of why Homeland Security funding is so important to defending the nation from terrorist threats,” said Congresswoman Comstock.  “Funding in this bill will help protect Americans from those who want to do us harm.  This bill also included important amendments that rolled back President Obama’s unconstitutional overreach on immigration from last year.  The framers of the Constitution put in a system of checks and balances which President Obama clearly ignored with his executive orders. President Obama said twenty-two times that he could not go against the Constitution, even saying at one point – ‘I am president, I am not king.’ Today the House confirmed the President’s own statements and restored the rule of law.”

  • Griffith Statement on Defunding Executive Action on Immigration

    Congressman Morgan Griffith, R-9th, today issued the following statement after voting in favor of the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill (H.R. 240) and amendments to defund President Obama’s executive action on immigration:

    “The debate about defunding President Obama’s executive action is not exclusively a debate about immigration.  It primarily is a debate about whether or not the President has the authority to enact laws without Congress.”

    “The President should be defending America’s borders and enforcing our laws.  I question the President’s authority to make blanket decisions regarding the prosecution of criminal laws, as opposed to making decisions in a specific individual’s case.”

    “This legislation prevents any funds from being used to carry out the President’s recent executive actions and his 2011 and 2012 memos on prosecutorial discretion and immigration law enforcement priorities.  The bill denies funding for any substantially similar future policy and blocks the use of funds to grant any federal benefit to any unlawful immigrant as a result of the defunded policies.  It also prohibits any federal agency from using federal funds to consider any applications under the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  DACA allows individuals brought to the United States as children and meeting other criteria to be considered for deferred action, subject to renewal.”

    “Clearly, our immigration system is not working for the United States and is not working for immigrants trying to legally come here.  I am proud to support this bill and amendments defunding the President’s unlawful actions, protecting the rights of legal immigrants, facilitating the removal of aliens convicted of serious crimes, and reiterating the House’s strong commitment to policies that support citizen workers and legal immigrant workers.”

     

  • Robert Hurt Votes to Prohibit Funding for President Obama’s Executive Action on Illegal Immigration

    Congressman Robert Hurt, R-5th, released the following statement after the House passage of H.R. 240, the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which would prohibit any government funds from being used to carry out President Obama’s executive actions and reaffirms the constitutional principles that Congress writes our immigration laws and the President is bound to faithfully execute and enforce those laws:

    “The failure of the current and previous administrations to secure our borders and fully enforce our immigration laws undermines our sovereignty, public safety, and the economic security of American citizens. The President has acknowledged time and time again that the Constitution limits the authority of the executive branch to act unilaterally to change the law, yet he has taken action contrary to his constitutional powers and without the consent of Congress by effectively granting legal status to millions of illegal immigrants through unilateral action.

    “The legislation we have adopted today explicitly prevents the funding of the President’s recent executive actions and requires priority removal and deportation of illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes.  These restrictions are meaningful reforms that will discourage, rather than encourage, illegal immigration. These amendments are essential to re-asserting the fundamental principle that Congress makes our laws and the President must enforce them – explicit duties outlined by our Constitution.

  • Comstock Votes To Support Volunteer Fire Departments

    Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, R-10th, issued the following statement on the passage of Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act.  This legislation passed the House today unanimously:

    “Volunteer Fire Departments are an integral part of our community and this legislation will protect them from unfair burdens due to Obamacare,” said Congresswoman Barbara Comstock.  “Many of our citizens especially in the western part of the District rely on emergency services through Volunteer Fire Departments.  I am grateful that this legislation passed so that Volunteer Fire Departments across the District can continue to serve the public twenty-four hours a day, seven-days a week.”

    H.R. 33 amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to ensure that volunteer hours worked by qualified emergency service volunteers are not counted in the determination of full-time employees or equivalents of a given employer for the purposes of the employer mandate under Obamacare.  The Obamacare employer mandate requires all businesses with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees, defined as more than 30 hours per week, to provide employer-sponsored insurance.  H.R. 33 is functionally identical to H.R. 3979, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act of 2014, which passed the House with a vote of 410-0 in March of 2014.

  • Rep. Brat co-sponsors bill to increase job opportunities for veterans

    From the office of Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th:

    Congressman Dave Brat co-sponsored and the House passed this week a bill to ensure that no veteran is left jobless because of Obamacare’s employer mandate.  Brat cosponsored H.R. 22, the Hire More Heroes Act, which would make it easier for veterans to find jobs by exempting them from counting towards the 50 full-time employee threshold that forces businesses to provide health insurance under the Obamacare law.  Veterans who are already enrolled in health care coverage through the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, or TRICARE would be exempted from the count.

    Brat issued the following statement after the House voted to pass the Hire More Heroes Act:

    “Obamacare is a terrible burden on all Americans, and it hits our small businesses – our job creators — hard.  Even worse, because the employer mandate discourages any small business from hiring more than 50 employees, it becomes more difficult for our veterans to find work. American heroes aren’t hard to find, and it is a sad day when we can’t find our heroes jobs. This bill encourages businesses to hire veterans.  While we work to gather the votes necessary to fully repeal Obamacare, measures like this can mitigate some of its damage.  I am proud to have cosponsored this commonsense bill, which will help our veterans find work.”

    H.R. 22 will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.

  • Wittman Supports Keystone XL Pipeline Act

    From the office of Rep. Rob Wittman, R-1st:

    “The Keystone XL pipeline is a long overdue project that will help to achieve North American energy independence and also create American jobs. It is unacceptable that the White House has failed for so long to approve this project, even though the State Department itself has mitigated concerns over potential environmental impacts. I was proud to support the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, and I am hopeful that it will pass the Senate soon. We cannot wait any longer.”

  • Robert Hurt Votes to Protect American Workers and Veterans from the President’s Healthcare Law

    Congressman Robert Hurt, R-5th, released the following statement after voting in favor of two bills to protect American workers from the President’s healthcare law.  H.R. 30, the Save American Workers Act, would the restore the traditional 40-hour definition of “full-time employment” as it relates to the employer mandate in the President’s healthcare law, and H.R. 22, the Hire More Heroes Act, would incentivize businesses to hire veterans by not counting them toward the employer mandate threshold:

    “As we have seen time and time again, the mandates in the President’s healthcare law are directly and negatively impacting the American people.  I share in the frustration and concerns of Fifth District Virginians with this policy.

    “The ‘30-hour rule’ has resulted in fewer jobs and reduced working hours for many Virginians and Americans, putting 2.6 million workers at risk of losing their jobs or their working hours.  The Save American Workers Act would restore the traditional 40-hour definition of ‘full-time employment’ to help protect hardworking Americans from having their hours and wages cut.  The Hire More Heroes Act also reduces the harmful effects of the President’s healthcare law on small businesses and our nation’s bravest men and women.  This legislation provides small businesses relief from the senseless employer mandate in the President’s healthcare law and creates new opportunities for veterans looking to find work.

    “As we begin the 114th Congress, these are exactly the kind of bills we will continue to advance to make it easier for our working families to succeed.   I remain committed to ensuring that all Virginians and all Americans are protected from the harmful impacts of the President’s healthcare law.  I was pleased to see both of these bills pass the House with bipartisan support, and I urge our colleagues in the Senate to take up these good bills and allow the American people to get back to work.”

  • Comstock Votes For The Save American Workers Act

    Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, R-10th, issued the following statement on the passage of The Save American Workers Act which passed 252-172:

    “Obamacare has unfairly harmed working families and small businesses,” said Congresswoman Comstock.  “This legislation will enable employers to restore work hours and put more money into the paychecks of our working families.  According to a Hoover Institute study, the 2.6 million Americans making less than $30,000 a year are most at risk of having their hours and wages cut as a result of the thirty-hour rule.  The Save American Workers Act rights that wrong.  Businesses across America are cutting employees’ hours down to twenty-nine hours because of Obamacare…restaurants; schools; and retailers are being forced to cut hours back.  This bill can restore employees to a forty-hour work week.”

    The Save American Workers Act makes two key changes to the Obamacare employer mandate.  Under this legislation full-time employee means, with respect to any month, an employee who is employed on average at least forty-hours of service per week (rather than thirty-hours as under present law).  The number of full-time equivalent employees for a month is determined by dividing the aggregate number of hours of service of employees who are not full-time employees for the month by 174 (rather than 120 as under present law)

  • Griffith Saves $200,000+ of 2014 Office Budget

    From the office of Congressman Morgan Griffith:

    Congressman Morgan Griffith, R-9th, today announced that he has saved more than $200,000, or 16 percent, of his 2014 office budget.  Griffith’s office has not spent the full office budget allocation in any of the 4 years he has served Virginia’s Ninth District in the House of Representatives.

    Each congressional office is allocated an annual office budget (officially called the Members’ Representational Allowance or ‘MRA’) with which it pays official operating expenses such as district office rent, office supplies, equipment, communications costs with constituents, postage, staff salaries, etc.  These expenses must be in support of the member’s congressional duties and responsibilities. Although the amount Griffith has saved in 2014 is a milestone for his office, there were some anomalies that assisted the efforts to reduce spending.

    Griffith said, “My staff and I always try to efficiently provide Ninth District residents with the best possible constituent services at the lowest possible cost.  I am constantly seeking suggestions from my staff and from constituents as to additional changes we can make to continue saving taxpayer dollars.  Ideas we have implemented have been as simple as printing bills and constituent correspondence on both sides of the page.  We also evaluate every purchase, and have transitioned our annual survey from a printed and mailed version to a less expensive and primarily digital version.  In 2014, I did not fill certain staff positions for a while in my Washington, D.C. office in an effort to assess whether they were necessary or could result in additional savings.  We did ultimately determine these positions were necessary.  While I likely will not be able to replicate this year’s return as expenses vary from year to year based on the needs of the Ninth District, we will continue to closely oversee the office budget just as the American people watch their household budgets.”

    In addition to voting to cut the MRA by 5 percent the first week he was in office, Griffith has saved approximately $528,000.00 of his budget allocation since being sworn in to the House of Representatives in January 2011.

  • Comstock Votes For The Hire More Heroes Act

    Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, R-10th, issued the following statement on the passage of The Hire More Heroes Act which passed unanimously in the U.S. House today:

    “The Hire More Heroes Act is an important piece of legislation that provided us a great opportunity to help both veterans and small businesses,” said Congresswoman Comstock.  Small businesses are the economic engines that keep America moving, Passing The Hire More Heroes Act is common-sense bipartisan legislation that will not only help small businesses, but also help the many veterans seeking good-paying jobs.”

    According to the US Chamber of Commerce, 71% of small business owners say Obamacare makes it more difficult for them to hire more employees.  Under the current law, companies with 50 or more full-time workers must offer health insurance to their employees. The Hire More Heroes Act simply states that veterans enrolled in health-care provided through the VA or Tricare (eight million veterans receive health-care through the VA) are exempt from being counted as part of the 50 full-time employee threshold to provide insurance.   This legislation will encourage companies to hire more veterans and keep firms from cutting back on employees to stay under the 50 person mandate.

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