Posts filed under Charles Boustany

Boustany Announces Iberia Parish Healthcare Grant

(Lafayette, LA) – Dr. Charles Boustany (R-Lafayette) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded a $3,546,420 Health Center Cluster Grant to the Iberia Comprehensive Community Health Center in New Iberia, Louisiana. The grant program provides funding for community health centers in rural and underserved areas.

Boustany said: “As a doctor, I know the health of Louisianans in rural communities depends on access to high-quality healthcare close to home. This grant supporting healthcare services in Iberia Parish will help improve outcomes for patients and improve public health in the surrounding areas.”

Boustany Calls for Action on Tax Reform on “Tax Day Eve”

(Washington, DC) – Dr. Charles Boustany (R-Lafayette), Chairman of the Ways & Means Tax Policy Subcommittee, spoke at a “Tax Day Eve” event in the United States Capitol where he called for urgent action on reforming the tax code.

Boustany said: “Let me start by saying I don’t know of a single American in my travels throughout my state that likes what’s happening with the tax code. In fact, they’re angry and they’re very frustrated.

“If you’re a family or a small business, you’re bewildered by the complexity and the cost of compliance with this tax code. It’s a drain. It’s a drain on our economic growth; it’s a drain on job creation…

“The fact of the matter is this. We’ve been working on [reform] for a very long time in the Ways & Means Committee. We are in the weeds on it. But the time now is to move forward with action, and with deeds, not just simply words.

“We know what needs to be done. We know what steps need to be taken to simplify the tax code, reduce the level of complexity, make it fair. Because nobody thinks it’s fair today.

“The bottom line now is to act, and that’s what we’re working to do now.”

Posted on April 14, 2016 and filed under Charles Boustany.

Boustany Applauds U.S. Army’s First Female Infantry Recruit

APRIL 12, 2016

Photo source: Daily Mail

Photo source: Daily Mail

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Tammy Grace Barnett of Robeline, Louisiana, for being the first female recruit to enlist with the United States Army infantry.

I am tremendously proud of Tammy, a Louisianian who has stepped forward and answered the call to serve our nation.  Prior to enlisting with the Army, Tammy has been serving her community in Louisiana as a law enforcement officer. On April 7, she gave up her Louisiana law enforcement badge and courageously took the Oath of Enlistment to become the first female recruit to enlist in the United States Army infantry division.  Ms. Barnett truly reflects the spirit of Louisiana by living a life of service.  We are forever indebted to these brave men and women.  To commemorate this fact, I include an article, written by Troy Washington of KSLA News, into the Congressional Record in its entirety here:

 ROBELINE, LA - A Robeline native is making armed forces history as the first woman to enlist in the infantry in the United States Army.

Women in combat has been a topic of controversy for years, but now progress is being made.

Tammy Barnett was a police officer but traded in her badge to make history.

She's looking forward to seeing action on the front lines and making gains for women in the military.

Thursday, Barnett proudly raised her hand to take the Oath of Enlistment.

Dressed in tennis shoes, jeans and a t-shirt, 25-year-old Tammy Barnett stepped into the history books.

Barnett has been meeting with a recruiter since November and this week, at the military processing unit in Shreveport, she took a leap that's never been made before, she joined the infantry in the U.S. Army.

"They told me that I would be the first female in history to go infantry in the military," said Barnett.

Recently, the defense department lifted gender-based restrictions on military service. The historic change cleared the way for women like Barnett who want to serve on the front lines.

On April 4, the processing center received word that women would be allowed to sign up for combat jobs. Now, Barnett is hoping that others will follow her lead.

"I hope that I give them the courage, because I'm a small female, if I can do it, they can do it too, this could give them the courage to step out of their comfort zone," explained Barnett.

Barnett isn't fond of the limelight, but she has no problem stepping forward when it comes to service.

"I was going to go military police, but infantry is similar, and they are more on the front lines, like law enforcement here and I said that's what I want to do," said Barnett.

With her mind made up, Barnett isn't looking back, only forward to a future full of possibilities and breaking barriers for women in the military.

Barnett will head to Fort Benning, Georgia to start training. In the meantime, she says she's going to celebrate her history-making moment by going fishing this weekend.ve the front lines for my country.”

Posted on April 12, 2016 and filed under Louisiana, Charles Boustany.

Boustany Can Lead on Corporate Tax Reform

Photo source: US House

Photo source: US House

Oil & gas and manufacturing jobs could be the first to leave Louisiana and the U.S. altogether if we don’t reform our corporate tax rates. We already have a 35 percent corporate tax rate in the U.S. – the highest in the developed world – and in order to keep companies here, we need to implement common sense corporate tax reform.

Andy Puzder writes a good column about the problems and why we need to reform corporate tax.

Louisiana’s own Congressman Charles Boustany is well positioned to take the lead on this issue as a senior member of the U.S. House tax writing committee.

Posted on March 22, 2016 and filed under Charles Boustany, Taxes.

Boustany Renews Call for Disaster Tax Relief Amid Louisiana Flooding

Image source: Daiky Caller  

Image source: Daiky Caller  

(Washington, DC) – Dr. Charles Boustany (R-Lafayette) renewed his efforts to pass H.R. 3110, the National Disaster Tax Relief Act. Boustany is a cosponsor of the bill along with his Louisiana colleagues Reps. Cedric Richmond (LA-2), Ralph Abraham, MD (LA-5), and Garret Graves (LA-6).

Boustany said: “Bridget and I continue to pray for the safety of our friends across the state of Louisiana. Unfortunately, Louisianans know well that it only takes one storm or natural disaster to destroy your home, business, church, or school. But Louisianans have proven time and again we have the grit and determination to rebuild.

“I believe we must give Louisianans whose lives are turned upside down the chance to rebuild. That’s why I am renewing my efforts to pass federal tax relief for disaster victims to ensure we give hard-working families every opportunity to get back on their feet.”

Boustany has been in contact with local officials in western Calcasieu Parish amid concerns of flooding along the Sabine River in Louisiana’s Third Congressional District. Additionally, Boustany supported Governor Edwards’ request for a federal disaster declaration in seven parishes in North Louisiana. Boustany says he will continue to work with the Governor’s office and his congressional colleagues to include more affected parishes in the disaster declaration as flooding continues to affect more parishes in the state.

The National Disaster Tax Relief Act will:

ØAllow expensing of qualified disaster expenses such as removal of debris or demolition

ØIncrease the tax deduction for charitable contributions for disaster relief

ØAllow the use of tax-exempt retirement plan funds in federally-declared disasters without penalty

ØAllow an additional tax exemption for individuals who are displaced as a result of a federally-declared disaster

ØAllow an exclusion from gross income of imputed income from the cancellation of indebtedness resulting from federally-declared disasters

ØProvide a special rule to allow individuals affected by a disaster from 2012-2015 to claim a full earned income tax credit

ØAllow the issuance of qualified disaster area recovery bonds 

Posted on March 15, 2016 and filed under Louisiana, Charles Boustany.

Charles Boustanty Calls Out Caroline Fayard Over Obama's Gitmo Comments

During another one of his almost daily legacy making speeches as of late, President Obama has decided to push his agenda of moving Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the US, effectively pandering to the left on his quest to close this facility. 

In what is shaping up to be an epic battle for the seat in the US Senate being vacated by Sen. David Vitter, Charles Boustany issued the following today:

Campaign Manager Michael Hare: “If Caroline Fayard won’t stand up to protect Louisiana families now, how will she stand up for them in the United States Senate? President Obama is hell-bent on bringing hardened terrorists to our backyard, but Caroline Fayard hasn’t said a word about it. Dr. Boustany will continue to stand up to protect Louisiana families from President Obama’s dangerous terrorist resettlement plan. He won’t let President Obama put families at risk just to allow the President to fulfill an eight-year-old campaign promise.”

Boustany had the following to say today during a radio interview on Baton Rouge 107.3:

“If the President tries to close Guantanamo Bay, he will be in direct violation of the law. I won’t stand for that. Congress makes law, not the President, and we will not allow him to put American families at risk.”

Let's see if this latest shot over the bow provokes a response from the Democratic candidate Fayard.

Obama Signs Into Law H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act

Enrollment ceremony for the bill to officially send it to the President for signature

Enrollment ceremony for the bill to officially send it to the President for signature

President Barack Obama has signed into law H.R. 644, which will accomplish the following:

  • Create a dedicated unit within U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to prevent and investigate trade evasion
  • Create a CBP point of contact for private sector trade evasion allegations with the authority to direct evasion investigations and the duty to inform interested parties about the status of investigations
  • Require CBP and Commerce to establish procedures to ensure maximum cooperation and communication in order to quickly, efficiently, and accurately investigate allegations of trade evasion
  • Direct CBP to enter into agreements with foreign countries to enable proactive investigation overseas
  • Require CBP to annually report to Congress on all of the agency’s activities to combat trade evasion

The bill also contains the PROTECT Act safeguarding Louisiana seafood from illegally dumped foreign product.  The Act was shepherded through the Congress by Congressman Charles Boustany, LA-03.

The following was said regarding passage of this bill:

Boustany: “It’s simple – if foreign competitors want to sell in our markets, they need to play by our rules. The PROTECT Act provides necessary safeguards to ensure no foreign entity can undercut American businesses and jobs in our own backyard. This is a monumental win for Louisiana. I’ll keep fighting to ensure our trade laws are fair and work to support American commerce.”

John Williams, Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance: “Simply stated, this would not have happened without the intensive and persistent efforts of Congressman Boustany.  While the Congressman has been an effective champion of the US shrimp industry for many years, the enactment of this legislation may be the most far reaching and beneficial of all.  Every year illegal shrimp imports defraud the federal government and American taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars in unpaid duties.  They have also seriously injured our shrimp fishermen and the economies of coastal communities in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf and South Atlantic.  This legislation will substantially strengthen the ability of US Customs and Border Protection and other federal agencies to investigate, prosecute, and end these harmful fraudulent activities.”

34 Senators, 171 Reps. Urge Circuit Court to Block EPA's Clean Power Plan

Amicus Brief Asks the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to Vacate EPA’s So-Called “Clean Power Plan”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Led by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), 34 Senators and 171 House Members filed an amicus brief today in the case of State of West Virginia, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al.

The amicus brief is in support of petitions filed by 27 states seeking to overturn the EPA final rule identified as the Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602, 80 Fed. Reg. 64,662 (Oct. 23, 2015), also known as the “Clean Power Plan.” A copy of the brief can be found here.

As Senators and Representatives duly elected to serve in the Congress of the United States in which “all legislative Powers” granted by the Constitution are vested, the members state that:

The Final Rule goes well beyond the clear statutory directive by, among other things, requiring States to submit, for approval, state or regional energy plans to meet EPA’s predetermined CO2 mandates for their electricity sector. In reality, if Congress desired to give EPA sweeping authority to transform the nation’s electricity sector, Congress would have provided for that unprecedented power in detailed legislation. Indeed, when an agency seeks to make “decisions of vast ‘economic and political significance’” under a “long-extant statute,” it must point to a “clear” statement from Congress. Util. Air Regulatory Grp. v. EPA, 134 S. Ct. 2427, 2444 (2014) (quoting FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 120 S. Ct. 1291, 1315 (2000)). EPA can point to no statement of congressional authorization for the Final Rule’s central features, precisely because there is none.

Nor has Congress authorized EPA to make the policy choices that are reflected in the Final Rule—a rule that imposes enormous costs on States and the public without achieving meaningful climate benefits. Because of the Final Rule, States will face unprecedented new regulatory burdens, electricity ratepayers will be subject to billions of dollars in compliance costs, and American workers and their families will experience the hardship of job losses due to power plant shutdowns, higher electricity prices, and overall diminishment of the nation’s global economic competitiveness. Choices of this nature are inherently Congressional decisions. See W. Minn. Mun. Power Agency v. Fed. Energy Regulatory Comm’n, 806 F.3d 588, 593 (D.C. Cir. 2015) (“Agencies are empowered to make policy only insofar as Congress expressly or impliedly delegates that power.”) (citing Util. Air Regulatory Grp., 134 S. Ct. at 2445 (2014)). Congress has not authorized EPA to make the central policy choices in the Final Rule and, in many respects, has affirmatively rejected those policies, as it certainly did with respect to cap-and-trade programs for CO2 emissions from power plants.

Accordingly, the Final Rule that has been properly stayed by the Supreme Court should now be vacated by this Court.

Additional Information: Thirty-nine lawsuits seeking review of the Final Rule have been consolidated in the D.C. Circuit. The Final Rule was stayed by the Supreme Court on Feb. 9. The D.C. Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the consolidated cases on June 2. An amicus brief, or “friend of the court” brief, can be filed in order to address concerns and advise the Court on a matter of law that directly affects the case at hand.  

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Plan could cause average electricity rates to rise as much as 43% for families in some states.

Several members of the Louisiana delegation were supportive of this brief, such as Senators Cassidy and Vitter, as well as Congressmen Boustany, Scalise, Fleming and Graves.

Obama Is Trying to Stick It to the Oil and Gas Industry Yet Again

Photo source:  News with Attitude

Photo source: News with Attitude

If there is any more proof needed to see that the President is one of the most anti-oil and gas Presidents, you will find it here.  Our Dear Leader has decided that he will support a $10 per barrel tax on oil in order to support his "clean energy projects."  Clean energy projects, you know, like the wonderful boondoggle that was Solyndra.

Congressman Charles Boustany issued the following response yesterday regarding this decision:

This President has relentlessly attacked the American oil & gas industry and the working families who depend on these jobs. Today, oil prices are at their lowest point in over a decade, and the workforce is hurting. But the President is proposing a tax hike that will be passed on at the pump to these same families who are trying to make ends meet.

“This is another absurd attack on American energy, and it has to stop. I will personally see to it this new tax never sees the light of day.”

Taxpayers that depend on the oil and gas industry to feed and support their families should be very concerned with policies such as these, which are almost certain to continue with another liberal Democrat being elected to the highest office.

Posted on February 5, 2016 and filed under Barack Obama, Charles Boustany, Oil and Gas.

Boustany, Abraham, and Graves Tell Senate to Act on Refugee Security

(Washington, DC) – Congressmen Charles W. Boustany, Jr., MD, (R-Lafayette) Ralph Abraham, MD, (R-Alto) and Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) joined their colleagues in sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging him to hold a vote on the House-passed American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act

The SAFE Act requires the Director of the FBI to certify thorough background checks have been administered for every refugee entering the United States from high-risk countries like Iraq or Syria, and requires that the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Attorney General must affirm every refugee being admitted to the United States is not a security threat. The House passed the SAFE Act on November 19, 2015, but the Senate has not acted on the bill.

On Friday, January 8, authorities arrested two refugees – one in Sacremento, CA, and one in Houston – on terrorism-related charges. According to a report by CNN: “Both men were Palestinians born in Iraq and living as refugees in the United States, according to the U.S. Justice Department… Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, 24, of Houston, is charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, 23, of Sacramento is charged with making a false statement involving international terrorism.”

Boustany said: “We must do everything within our power to ensure no one is ever admitted to this country who wishes us harm. The hard truth is, there are bad actors who are willing to do anything – including exploiting America’s generosity through the refugee program – to attack the United States. If the Administration will not pause the admission of refugees from Iraq and Syria, they should at least be willing to conduct thorough background checks to ensure no one with terrorist ties is brought to this country.”

Abraham said: “The recent terrorism arrests show that the President’s process for vetting refugees is not working. Since he refuses to stop admitting these refugees, we must strengthen the process to make sure no terrorists enter our country. I urge the Senate to pass the American SAFE Act so that we can send this bill to the President. I believe in helping people when we can, but the security of our families and our communities is simply too important to risk on these refugees and the current failed vetting process.”

Graves said: “I commend law enforcement for identifying these individuals’ affiliations, apprehending them and preventing their ability to carry out any acts of terror on our soil, but Friday’s events further expose the shortcomings of the current system being used to vet these refugees coming across our borders. We must be proactive with our efforts to know who these people are, which is why we have called on the Senate to take steps to keep Americans safe by certifying that thorough background checks have been conducted for refuges entering America from high-risk terror countries.”

###

A signed copy of the letter Boustany, Abraham, Graves, and their colleagues sent to Majority Leader McConnell can be found here.

Boustany on Obama’s Gun Control Executive Orders: “Our President is not a king”

(Lafayette, LA) – Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., MD, (R-Lafayette) issued the following statement after President Obama announced he will issue a series of Executive Orders aimed at restricting firearm purchases in the United States.

Boustany also announced he has cosponsored the Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act introduced by Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-IN). The bill renders any such actions that violate the Second Amendment or infringes on Congress’ Article I responsibilities as having “no force or effect,” prohibits funds for such actions, and establishes standing for Congress, state and local governments, and aggrieved persons to challenge such actions in district court.

Boustany said: “When this President can’t get what he wants, he acts unilaterally by Executive Order. Our President is not a king; he is meant to be held accountable by the people who elect him and by the coequal branches of our government.

“While the President complains about congressional inaction, Congress is already working on mental health legislation that will improve treatment and ensure guns are kept out of the hands of the mentally unstable. As a strong defender of our Second Amendment rights, I will work with my colleagues to block any backdoor attempt by the Administration to limit gun ownership for law-abiding American citizens.” 

Posted on January 5, 2016 and filed under Charles Boustany.

Frank Levingston, Oldest World War II Veteran and Lake Charles Resident, Travels to Washington

Photo source: Dropbox

Photo source: Dropbox

Louisiana resident and the oldest living World War II veteran, Frank Levingston, was a guest in Rep. Charles Boustany's office during his recent visit to Washington as part of an Honor Flight from New Orleans.  Levingston is a survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941 and has recently turned 110.

Posted on December 8, 2015 and filed under Charles Boustany, Louisiana, Veterans.

Vitter, Cassidy, and Boustany Applaud Opening of Lake Charles Interim Veterans Clinic

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators David Vitter (R-Metairie) and Bill Cassidy, MD, (R-Baton Rouge) and Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., MD, (R-Lafayette) applauded the opening of the Lake Charles VA Interim Clinic on 814 W. McNeese St. The VA is holding an open house to celebrate the clinic’s official opening today from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.

Vitter and Boustany wrote to the VA in February asking the Secretary to visit Louisiana and see the facilities firsthand. VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson visited Lafayette and New Orleans later that month at Vitter and Boustany’s request, calling the existing Lafayette clinic “inadequate and unacceptable.” During the Deputy Secretary’s visit to Lafayette in February, he announced that veterans in Lafayette would be granted access to temporary additional clinic space by the VA. After follow-ups from the Louisiana delegation, Gibson authorized additional clinic space for Lake Charles.

Vitter said: “While I’m glad to see my years of hard work with Congressman Boustany have come to fruition with the opening of this much needed VA clinic providing access to quality healthcare for veterans living in Lake Charles, I will not stop pushing until the permanent Lake Charles clinic is up and running, as are the interim and permanent clinics in Lafayette. The veterans of southwest Louisiana have waited long enough.”

Cassidy said: “Securing a lease for a permanent VA clinic and opening the interim clinic are steps in the right direction. Until the clinic opens and starts seeing patients, we must continue to ensure our veterans have access to reliable, quality care in south Louisiana. Making sure the VA fulfills its mission to serve our veterans and not bureaucrats must be one of our highest priorities.”

Boustany said: “When I called for the Secretary of the VA to come to Louisiana to view the conditions where it’s treating our veterans, Deputy Secretary Gibson called the facilities ‘unacceptable.’ Today’s opening is the result of a lot of hard work and diligence from our congressional delegation in holding the VA’s feet to the fire and ensuring our veterans’ needs are met. I’m proud to have led this effort to provide better facilities and expanded services for our South Louisiana veterans, because they’ve earned it.”

State Senator Elbert Guillory Considering a Run For The 3rd Congressional Seat

Photo source: AMN News

Photo source: AMN News

With the announcement yesterday by Congressman Charles Boustany that he will seek the Senate seat being vacated by David Vitter, state Senator Elbert Guillory posted this to Facebook this afternoon.

I am deeply honored and humbled by the overwhelming amount of texts, emails and phone calls that I have received since noon today. Your words urging me to run for the Boustany seat in the US Congress have touched me. I will discuss this with my family and pray about it to my Lord. We will make a decision soon. I must say that I was especially touched by the call from a little Cajun grandmother who said that God had sent me to be the voice of the people of South Louisiana. My eyes were damp as I thanked her for her faith and confidence.

Boustany: Senate Announcement Coming Soon

The following email release was sent out from Congressman Charles Boustany's office this morning regarding the US Senate seat that will be opening up with the retirement of Sen. David Vitter:

(Lafayette, LA) – Dr. Charles Boustany, Jr., issued the following statement.

“As a cardiovascular surgeon, I spent nearly thirty years caring for the sick and serving our community. As a United States Congressman, I have achieved the largest legislative repeal of ObamaCare to date, brought two new veterans clinics to Louisiana, stopped congressional leadership from robbing funding for our ports, and led the fight against the Obama Administration’s war on Louisiana energy.

"Louisiana deserves a United States Senator who can lead in times of challenge, offer conservative, workable solutions to complex problems, and bring unity in times of division. After careful deliberation with family and friends, I am planning a formal announcement event in my hometown of Lafayette in the near future. I look forward to outlining my vision for Louisiana and how I intend to help lead our state to the bright future I know lies before us.”

More details on the date and location of Dr. Boustany’s formal announcement event in Lafayette will be made available soon.

Posted on November 23, 2015 and filed under Charles Boustany, David Vitter, Louisiana.

Vitter & Boustany Applaud Lafayette Clinic Campus B Announcement

Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia

(Washington, DC) – Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) and Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., MD, (R-South Louisiana) applauded an announcement by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that a contract agreement has been reached for the supplementary healthcare clinic, known as “Campus B,” in Lafayette. This clinic was authorized by VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson after he traveled to Lafayette to visit with local veterans in February 2015 at the request of Boustany and Vitter. Gibson called the existing VA facilities in the community “inadequate and unacceptable” and ordered the VA to begin searching for additional clinic space.

According to the VA, the building will be located at 309 Saint Julien Avenue in Lafayette, Louisiana. Campus B will provide mental health services, with the goal of alleviating overcrowding issues at the current CBOC on Jefferson Street. The facility will also remain open to patients once the new CBOC on Ambassador Caffery Pkwy is completed. Renovations required for Campus B have caused the VA to expect completion of the facility in May 2016. However, the VA explains they will be granted access to temporary space on a different floor of the same building, where they will be able to begin seeing patients while renovations on the remainder of the facility are completed. The VA estimates the temporary space will open for patients within the next several weeks.

Vitter said: “Our brave veterans deserve the best access to healthcare possible — no matter where they live, whether it’s in a big city or a rural area. That’s why I’ve been working with Congressman Boustany to open VA facilities across southwest Louisiana, and today’s announcement will allow us to better serve those who have already given so much for our country and freedoms.”

Boustany said: “I’ve fought hard to ensure our veterans have the best possible facilities and good access to care in Lafayette. Although we experienced delays on this project, Senator Vitter and I have worked hard to hold the VA’s feet to the fire and ensure they continue moving forward on this promised space. I will continue to hold the VA accountable and ensure they adhere to their timeline to provide this new space with expanded services for our veterans.” 

 

Posted on November 18, 2015 and filed under Charles Boustany, David Vitter, Louisiana.

Boustany Opens Hearing in Ways and Means Meeting with Graphic that Highlights Welfare Program Disorganization

Congressman Charles Boustany opened today's hearing of the Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee with a graphic that shows the utter disorganization that lies within the welfare programs here in the US.

Boustany added, "Today’s hearing takes a step back and reviews the dizzying array of programs designed to help low-income families, and how that patchwork of programs complicates the challenges for those most in need.  

"This federal welfare system is large, fragmented, and growing in cost. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service estimates that we currently operate over 80 programs that provide food, housing, healthcare, job training, education, energy assistance, and cash to low-income Americans.

The goal of this meeting is to "review this array of programs, understand the challenges created by their sheer number, and review some state efforts to rationalize the services they provide. That understanding will lay the groundwork for future efforts to modernize and streamline or, at the very least, better coordinate these programs to help more people achieve opportunity and upward mobility."

Posted on November 3, 2015 and filed under Charles Boustany.

Boustany and Abraham Want Border Security Legislation on House Floor

18 House members, including Congressmen Boustany and Abraham of Louisiana, have signed a letter of support to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, regarding H.R. 399, the Secure Our Borders First Act, introduced by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX). The bill will beef up security on the southern border, and provide the opportunity for states to be reimbursed when utilizing the National Guard to conduct border security missions.

The letter states:

We write to request that you bring legislation to the House floor to enhance our nation’s border security. One of our primary responsibilities as Members of Congress is ensuring that our country is protected. Alarmingly, our southern border continues to be exploited for myriad illegal activities.

The southern border continues to be used by transnational criminal organizations to smuggle drugs, money, and weapons into our country increasing violence on both sides of the border. Additionally, we are concerned that without proper security, human trafficking along the border and the victimization of vulnerable individuals will continue unabated.

We applaud Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agents for taking on the often dangerous work of defending our nation’s border. But we must continue to support their efforts by ensuring that CBP has access to the resources, infrastructure and technology agents and officers need as well as clear, constitutionally sound policies to follow while performing their jobs.

We believe Americans deserve to hear a full and vigorous debate on how best to achieve border security and ultimately to see Congress act on the issue to demonstrate our commitment to the CBP officers and agents working to secure our border every day.

Our national security and public safety is at stake, and we cannot afford to continue ignoring these issues. We urge you to work with the committees of relevant jurisdiction to allow the House of Representatives to vote on a bill that will take immediate steps toward achieving operational security of our southern border.

A signed copy of the letter is attached.

 

Charles Boustany on Welfare Reform

Today, Charles Boustany (LA-3) chaired a Ways & Means Human Resources Subcommittee hearing on welfare reform, specifically focused on making reforms to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program

This hearing kicks off an effort to make the first substantive reforms to TANF since the welfare reforms of the 1990’s. Yesterday, National Journal published an article that Welfare Reform is Ways & Means Chairman Paul Ryan’s “Next Big Thing” after the trade agenda. As Chairman of the Human Resources Subcommittee, Dr. Boustany is positioned as Chairman Ryan’s top lieutenant on welfare reform and will continue to play an active role as this initiative moves forward.

“I welcome our members, witnesses and guests to this morning’s hearing on welfare reform reauthorization proposals.

”On April 30, this subcommittee held a hearing on ideas to improve TANF to help more families find work and escape poverty. We had an excellent panel of witnesses who shared their ideas, and since that time members and staff have been discussing ways that we might work together to improve our nation’s welfare system

”Today, our hearing will focus on specific proposals to improve the lives of families on welfare by better promoting work and helping families in need move up the economic ladder. Work is the only way for people to really escape poverty and achieve the American Dream, and we are eager to help more families succeed at doing just that.

”The Ways and Means Committee discussion draft released last Friday is designed to focus on outcomes—helping people get jobs and stay employed—and to help more people move from welfare to self-sufficiency. In short, this discussion draft:

· Revitalizes the work requirement for people collecting welfare benefits;

· Provides states more options to help people prepare to leave welfare for employment;

· Holds states accountable for getting adults off welfare and into jobs;

· Prevents the work requirements from being waived;

· Ends the TANF marriage penalty, among other key reforms; and

· Maintains funding for the TANF program going forward.

”I would like to thank ranking Member Doggett and his staff for working with us on this draft. We are doing this the right way—holding constructive hearings, working in a bipartisan way on draft legislation, and soliciting expert and public comment as our work continues. We welcome our witnesses’ comments, and will be working together to incorporate that feedback as this legislation progresses.

”I would also like to thank the many members who have joined me in introducing specific bills to improve how the TANF program works. Whether it’s ensuring more adults on welfare are engaged in work and activities, providing additional flexibility so these activities meet people’s specific needs, or just setting a goal of reducing poverty through more employment, those bills are important markers on our path to helping families find work, escape poverty, and achieve the American Dream.

”We are joined by several additional members today, including Representative Paulsen and Representative Renacci, who are former members of this subcommittee. We welcome them back, and I appreciate everyone’s contributions to this effort.”

Posted on July 15, 2015 and filed under Charles Boustany.