Posted by on April 29, 2015
By Neil McCabe
“If we want to build a healthier American economy, Congress must get rid of the dead weight in the tax code that is limiting our nation’s potential. That’s why I have introduced legislation to eliminate the production tax credit,” Marchant said in his April 22 statement.
“Since its creation in 1992, the PTC has ballooned from a temporary boost for energy innovation into a massive special interest handout for the now multibillion-dollar wind industry,” he said. “In fact, because the credit pays claimants for 10 years of energy produced, Americans are currently on the hook for a minimum of $6.4 billion over the next decade.”
The Texas congressman is taking a reasoned approach, trying to wean the wind power off over time.
“The fully mature wind industry should not be spoon-fed by taxpayers any longer. Even the industry’s top lobbying organization admits wind is a mainstream part of the market and has publicly supported a future phase-out of the PTC,” he said.
Others in the wind power trade want their government dole made permanent, like a feudal right. Supporters of wind power feudalism have a friend in President Barack Obama and the Republican leadership, which makes it significant that conservatives are stepping up at all.
The last session of Congress was not a good one for House conservatives. By the time, former majority leader Eric Cantor lost his June primary to a libertarian college professor, the House GOP leadership was already forming a parliamentary coalition with House Democrats to pass the president's agenda.
When time came to pass the Dec. 11 Cromnibus funding bill, rather than deal with conservatives, or wait for the Republicans to take over the Senate in three weeks, Speaker John A. Boehner (R.-Ohio) partnered with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) to get the job done.
As 67 Republicans voted against the Cromnibus bill, Pelosi lent Boehner 57 Democrats to pass the bill 219 to 206. Among the goodies the Republican leadership tucked in the Dec. 11 Cromnibus federal funding bill was the extension of the wind production tax credit through the end of calendar year 2014. The credits had expired at the end of 2013.
If the Republicans had not passed the Wind PTC for 2014, the wind power companies would have been exposed to the realities of the free market—a place wind power can never survive.
Posted by on April 23, 2015
Thursday April 23, 2015
Reps. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) and Mike Pompeo (R-KS) introduced a bill H.R. 1901 to phase out a renewable energy tax credit. Any effort to rid the tax code of cronyism and special interest tax provisions should be applauded.
Cronyism is one of the most disturbing aspects of Washington, DC. We see allegations of Hillary Clinton using her former position as Secretary of State to funnel foreign money into her family foundation.
The Bush Administration bailed out Wall Street when they pushed and passed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for friends on Wall Street.
The Obama Administration rewarded donors with billions in energy contracts with the failed solar panel company Solyndra being a classic example of political favors for Obama’s pals.
Repeal of the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) will go a long way to removing one special interest provision in law that is in place to reward green energy proponents.
This bill will forward the ball on tax reform. Rep. Marchant argued “if we want to build a healthier American economy, Congress must get rid of the deadweight in the tax code that is limiting our nation’s potential.” This is a small but important step in ridding the tax code of every single corporate special interest tax provision.
The purpose of taxes should not be to incentivize certain activities or to punish other activities. For example, tax provisions that promote home ownership, like the mortgage interest tax credit, and sin taxes like high cigarette taxes are attempts to engage in social engineering using the tax code. That is wrong.
Dallas Morning News: Marchant bill banning use of personal email for IRS business passes Ways and MeansPosted by on March 26, 2015
By Aubree Abril
WASHINGTON – The House Committee on Ways and Means advanced Rep. Kenny Marchant’s bill to prohibit IRS employees from using personal email accounts for official business.
“The IRS Email Transparency Act shines a light on irresponsible IRS behavior and takes important steps to safeguard confidential taxpayer information,” Marchant, R-Coppell, said in a statement Wednesday.
When he introduced the bill last month, Marchant said it was in direct response to the results of a committee investigation into the IRS political targeting scandal. That investigation, he said “revealed that, among other abuses, one of the agency’s top officials used her personal email address for official business.”
He said that practice put confidential taxpayer information at risk.
“The use of personal email for official IRS business jeopardizes the security of confidential taxpayer information. This is wrong and it should be against the law,” Marchant said.
The IRS has existing administrative rules banning the use of personal email accounts for official business, said Tom Barthold, chief of staff to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Marchant’s bill would legally prohibit employees from using their personal accounts for any official business.
Posted by on March 23, 2015
A letter to President Obama signed by 367 members of Congress warns that lawmakers must be satisfied that any Iranian nuclear agreement must "foreclose any pathway to a bomb" before they lift sanctions against Tehran.
The letter, which was drafted in early March but released on Monday, warns Obama that "permanent sanctions relief from congressionally-mandated sanctions would require new legislation" from Congress.
"Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief," reads the letter, led by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and ranking member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).
U.S. and international negotiators are up against a March 31 deadline for a framework agreement with Iran to roll back its nuclear program.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and 46 other senators sent a letter to Iran on March 9 warning it that Congress needed to have a role in approving any deal. White House officials blasted that letter, and have threatened to veto any legislation that comes before the talks are set to conclude on June 30.
Senators, however, appear poised to pounce on legislation after they return from recess, which runs between March 30 and April 10.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced on Friday he would schedule a committee vote April 14 on a bill that would allow Congress 60 days to review any deal before its implementation.
Although the House letter does not mention specific legislation, it said, "we are prepared to evaluate any agreement to determine its long-term impact on the United States and our allies."
"We remain hopeful that a diplomatic solution preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon may yet be reached, and we want to work with you to assure such a result," it said.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) indicated Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" that the House would also pursue similar legislation as the Senate.
"As the House, you have some responsibility," he said.
U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) was an original cosigner of the letter. To view this article on The Hill’s website, please click here.
Posted by on March 13, 2015
BY MARIA RECIO AND ANNA M. TINSLEY – STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITERSU.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, must be clairvoyant.
He had just introduced legislation in late February that would prohibit IRS officers and employees from using personal email accounts to conduct official business when suddenly it became one of the hottest issues on Capitol Hill.
Not because of the IRS but because a New York Times story revealed that as secretary of state Hillary Clinton had used only private email accounts far from the prying eyes of archivists.
Marchant, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, was motivated by reports that former IRS official Lois Lerner had targeted conservative fund-raising groups over their tax-exempt status.
“The Ways and Means Committee investigation into IRS political targeting revealed that, among other abuses, one of the agency’s top officials used her personal email address for official business,” Marchant said. “She put confidential taxpayer information at direct risk of falling into the wrong hands. This is a breach of IRS protocol and betrays the trust of the American people. It should be against the law.”
This story originally appeared in the Star-Telegram’s PoliTex blog on March 13, 2015. To view the blog post in its entirety, please click here.
Posted by on March 11, 2015
BY MARIA RECIO – STAR-TELEGRAM WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON – Johnny Wayne Martin, 91, of Fort Worth finally got the medals and recognition he earned for his service in World War II in a ceremony Tuesday at Rep. Kenny Marchant’s office in Irving.
Maria Recio is the Star-Telegram’s Washington bureau chief.Twitter: @maria_e_recio
Posted by on March 09, 2015
By Colby Itkowitz
Several days before the world found out former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton was using a private e-mail account exclusively for all communication, including work-related conversations, a Republican congressman sought to bar Internal Revenue Service employees from using their non-official e-mail for government business.
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Tex.) introduced a bill on Feb. 27 directed at the IRS and intended to address allegations that former IRS official Lois Lerner used her personal account to discuss IRS matters. A House Republican-conducted report released in March 2014 said: “Her willingness to handle this information on a non-official e-mail account highlights her disregard for confidential taxpayer information.”
Marchant’s somewhat prescient legislation highlights a loophole in the Federal Records Act. While federal government employees are discouraged from using personal e-mail, it’s not barred. The law was updated in late 2014 to say that if personal e-mail is used for work, it must be turned over to be officially archived within 20 days.
In September 2014, during a House Oversight Committee hearing on the Lerner e-mails, the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said it’s policy not to use personal e-mails.
“…one of the things we’re doing is making sure everybody understands that you cannot use your e-mail for IRS business,” he said. “That’s been a policy; we need to reinforce that.”
But the official IRS employee manual only says that “sensitive but unclassified” data can’t be e-mailed outside the IRS network, but nothing about an outright prohibition.
In the case of Lerner, House GOP wanted her e-mails during its investigation into whether the IRS had targeted nonprofits for their political leanings when considering tax exempt status.
Though the Clinton story shined a light on the federal government’s e-mail policy, Marchant’s office said he doesn’t have any plans to expand the bill to prohibit official business on all feds’ personal e-mail accounts.
Posted by on March 07, 2015
By Anna M. Tinsley - firstname.lastname@example.org
DeWayne Irwin is finding it nearly impossible to keep a popular bullet used in AR-15 semiautomatic rifles on his store shelves.
“He’s going to burn us, and this is how he’s going to do it,” Irwin said. “He’s got 18 months … and he’s going to executive-order the crap out of us.”
‘Not a gun grab’
Under the ATF proposal, gun owners could use all the M855 green-tip bullets they have, but no more could be made.
As some allege that this is the president’s backdoor way of restricting guns, local Republican congressional leaders are coming out in force against the ATF proposal.
Posted by on October 22, 2014
By Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas)
Posted by on October 03, 2014
By TODD J. GILLMAN
WASHINGTON — Pressure mounted Friday for a ban on travel from Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa — a step the White House and top health officials resist as counterproductive and an overreaction to the virus’ arrival in the U.S.
The potential for the virus to spread farther, in Dallas and to other U.S. cities, has amplified calls for a ban.
On Friday, a hospital in Washington put a Nigerian traveler in isolation with suspicion that he, too, is infected. Public health experts say more cases will inevitably crop up, and the White House deployed top administration officials to offer assurances to an increasingly jittery public.
“Swift action must be taken to ensure that this deadly virus does not spread inside our nation,” said Rep. Kenny Marchant, whose district includes Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan arrived Sept. 19.
Marchant, R-Coppell, called for an immediate ban on all non-Americans coming from Liberia, citing “inadequate screening” of departing passengers and the serious risk to the American public. Sen. Ted Cruz also wants to limit or halt travel from West Africa.
“It is imperative that the FAA take every available precaution in preventing additional cases from arriving in the United States,” Cruz wrote FAA administrator Michael Huerta.
Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has insisted that a travel ban isn’t a good idea.
“I wish we could get to zero risk by sealing off the border, but we can't. The only way we're going to get to zero risk in this country is by controlling it in Africa,” he told Fox News on Friday.
Lisa Monaco, the top White House adviser on homeland security, added: “Right now we believe those type steps actually impede the response.”
A number of African countries and a handful of airlines have curbed or banned air travel to countries wrestling with Ebola — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
From Monrovia, the Liberian capital, Duncan flew to Brussels and Washington on his way to D/FW to visit relatives. Liberian officials say he lied before departure by denying exposure to Ebola. But he had no fever, and didn’t become sick — and contagious — until a few days after his arrival in Texas.
“You may be able to slow it down a bit” and prevent contagious patients from infecting others in transit, Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told reporters. “The idea that you can stop a virus at the airport or before it gets on an airplane is as much an antique as the notion that Ellis Island will screen out all disease among the immigrants.”
Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham, among others, has called for a travel ban.
“Politics trumps security, safety, health security,” Ingraham told her listeners Wednesday. “Obama — familial connection with Africa. … It doesn’t make any sense not to have stopped these flights from coming in.”
U.S. and international public health authorities concede that more Ebola cases are likely to surface in the United States and other developed countries. But with the medical infrastructure to prevent a wide spread of the disease, the tradeoff is worth it, they contend.
At the World Health Organization, spokesman Daniel Epstein said that what Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone need most, he said, is outside help.
“It makes everything much more difficult if the airlines have to stop flying into and out of these countries,” he said, adding that cutting off air connections wouldn’t stop Ebola from spreading anyway. “People could go by land. You could block trains and they’ll go by a boat.”
Marchant has asked House Speaker John Boehner to pursue a travel ban legislatively. He also has asked House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Austin, to hold hearings on implementing such a ban.
Congress isn’t scheduled to return to work until Nov. 12, after a seven-week recess. Boehner’s office declined to weigh in on the matter.
McCaul stopped short of calling for a travel ban but called the Dallas case “a wake-up call.”
He said he’s been in contact with Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and the CDC director “to urge them to reassess our screening efforts at U.S. ports of entry to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent the importation of additional cases into the United States.”
On Friday, Sen. John Cornyn asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske for more information on the agency’s screening process.
“Under current protocols, what specific events or indicators would justify an enhanced screening process by CBP? Is CBP currently considering additional plans to increase enhanced screenings of incoming passengers?” Cornyn wrote.
The customs agency declined to comment Friday but said it would respond to the Texas Republican.
For epidemics, travel bans have been tried before with mixed and often disappointing results.
Garrett, from the Council on Foreign Relations, recalled that at the height of the swine flu epidemic, Asian countries “quarantined entire jet-loads of Americans and Mexicans.” Many spent weeks in hotels.
Yet “every country, no matter what measures they took, ended up getting flu within their borders,” she said.
Staff writer Kimberly Railey contributed to this report.
Follow Todd J. Gillman on Twitter at @toddgillman.To view this story on the dallasnews website, please click here.