U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant

Proudly Serving the 24th District of Texas
Posted by on April 29, 2015

Marchant Wields Blade Against Wind Subsidies

By Neil McCabe

The green energy barons have had a good run in the Age of Obama, but Capitol Hill conservatives are mounting their first serious challenge to these charlatans in the new Congress with the PTC Elimination Act filed by Rep. Kenny E. Marchant (R.-Texas).

“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.

Continue reading on Townhall.com


Posted by on April 23, 2015

Rep. Marchant to Eliminate Crony Tax Provision

By Brian Darling

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.

Continue reading on the Human Events website


Posted by on March 26, 2015

Marchant bill banning use of personal email for IRS business passes Ways and Means

By Aubree Abril
Published: March 25, 2015 5:01 PM

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

367 House members warn Obama on Iran

By Kristina Wong

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.

Iran letter

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

Marchant targeted personal email before it was a Clinton issue


U.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

Fort Worth WWII veteran gets medals


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.

Martin’s daughter, Bonnie Sue Story, contacted Marchant’s office last year asking about what commendations her father might be entitled to. “He had some of them,” Story said in an interview. “He just assumed that was all he had.”

But when Marchant’s staff looked into Martin’s history as a crew chief on a Lockheed C-46 during World War II in the China-Burma-India Theater, they found he had earned many more decorations than the two or three medals that he had.

“Assisting veterans in retrieving their overdue military decorations is a wonderful privilege,” Marchant, R-Coppell, said in a news release. “The awards they earn in the line of duty represent their valor, sacrifices, and experiences. Mr. Martin and his family will now be able to share his legacy for generations to come, and I am happy to have helped preserve his history of service.”

In 2013 Marchant helped Joseph Ray Perry, the father of then-Gov. Rick Perry, secure the medals he had earned in World War II, as well. Joseph Ray Perry received his awards in Marchant’s office, including one he wasn’t expecting, a Sharpshooters badge.

On Tuesday, Marchant presented Martin seven awards, which were all secured in a picture frame: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, World War II Victory Medal and Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII.

Martin, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, was very pleased at getting the decorations and recognition. “He was very proud to get them,” said Story, whose husband, Jim Story, is a former Bedford mayor. “But at the same time there were so many heroes. He was surprised he was getting any more medals. It was very, very sweet.”*Martin was born and raised in Saint Jo, a small community in North Texas near the Red River. In 1942, he joined the Army Air Forces and logged over 750 hours as a crew chief, often flying over the Himalaya Mountains, which were known as “The Hump.” The trips were hazardous because of primitive navigation tools and bad weather.

According to Marchant’s office, during one mission, Martin and the C-46 crew were stranded on a grass field in the mountains while Japanese aircraft attacked them. After three days, a rescue plane reached them and delivered the parts to fix the plane.

Martin returned to the U.S. and worked for Convair, now part of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., as an electronics inspector for 40 years. He and his wife, Eleanora, had been married almost 67 years when she died in 2011. Martin has three daughters, nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Maria Recio is the Star-Telegram’s Washington bureau chief.

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Posted by on March 09, 2015

GOP congressman wants to ban IRS employees from using personal e-mails for work

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

‘This is an ammunition grab’

By Anna M. Tinsley - atinsley@star-telegram.com

DeWayne Irwin is finding it nearly impossible to keep a popular bullet used in AR-15 semiautomatic rifles on his store shelves.

He even brought about 10 cases of the ammunition from his personal stockpile to sell at Fort Worth Gun.

But as long as the ammo remains under fire from the federal government, which is proposing a ban on the 5.56 mm M855 green-tip ball ammunition, he expects it to keep flying off the shelves.

“Normally, we would have 100 to 120 cases on any given day,” said Irwin, president of Fort Worth Gun, previously known as Cheaper Than Dirt Outdoor Adventures. “But people are in a panic. They are buying it, scared to death it’s going away.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced last month that it is considering banning the bullet, traditionally used for hunting and target practice.

Even as local gun enthusiasts and congressional leaders fire back, ATF officials say there’s a real problem now that some handguns can use the bullet, which is capable of “penetrating body armor … for military and law enforcement.”

The proposed ban is reigniting worries that President Barack Obama will add gun restrictions, and it’s prompting gun supporters to buy as many of the bullets as they can, creating a shortage nationwide.

It’s making Irwin believe something he didn’t think was possible before.

“I firmly believe the Obama administration is after the gun business,” he said. “He couldn’t get the guns, so he will get the ammunition.

“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.

“With few exceptions, manufacturers will be unable to produce such armor-piercing ammunition, importers will be unable to import such ammunition and manufacturers and importers will be prohibited from selling or distributing the ammunition,” the ATF proposal says.

Officials with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence say the green-tip bullets are a threat to law officers, especially now that they can be used in certain handguns.

“This is not a gun grab,” said Brian Malte, national policy director for the Brady campaign. “It’s a proposed rule change to protect the lives and safety of law enforcement officers.”

While the proposal focuses on the green-tip bullets, the non-green-tip version can pierce armor, too. And some fear that eliminating the green-tip bullets is just the first of many steps.

“Once they end up taking the ammunition, what goes next is the gun,” said Brian Jones of Fort Worth, who was shopping for ammunition recently at Fort Worth Gun. “Those of us who value the Second Amendment don’t like any of it.”

Marsha McCartney is tired of hearing that argument.

“Every single time somebody wants to do something good — keep officers safe, keep communities safe — they scream it’s a slippery slope and ask, ‘What’s next?’” said McCartney, president of the Texas chapter of the Brady campaign. “We have more guns in this country than any other modern country has, and we have more murders, more accidental shootings, more suicides.”

Even so, “the president has yet to fulfill their fears of banning guns and sending people door to door to pick up guns.”

Congressional reaction

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.

“Day in and day out, law-abiding gun owners in Texas face a White House hostile to their fundamental rights, and I will work with my colleagues to help fight the administration’s latest infringement before it can be implemented,” said Sen. John Cornyn, Texas’ senior senator.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and nearly 240 other congressional members sent a bipartisan letter to the ATF expressing “serious concern” about the proposal and noting that Americans own more than 5 million AR-15s.

The letter says the ban would “interfere with Second Amendment rights by disrupting the market for ammunition that law-abiding Americans use for sporting and other legitimate purposes.”

Among the local House members who signed were Joe Barton, R-Ennis; Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville; Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth; Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell; and Roger Williams, R-Austin.

Marchant echoed some of those thoughts in another letter.

“I am concerned that the framework is broad and open-ended in a way that risks sweeping up many popular forms of ammunition used by law-abiding citizens for legitimate purposes,” he wrote.

Williams said, “Whether it’s immigration, the environment or Second Amendment rights, there is nothing this administration holds sacred enough to allow it to be amended through the proper legislative process.”

This story continues. To read the full version on the Star-Telegram's website, please click here.

Posted by on October 22, 2014

U.S. needs to ramp up response to stop Ebola

By Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas)
October 22, 2014, 8:00 am

America is behind the curve in tackling Ebola. When Liberian-national Thomas Duncan arrived in Dallas, he was later diagnosed with Ebola and died within several days. Two of the healthcare workers who nobly cared for Duncan have since contracted Ebola, while others are being monitored for the disease. It could get worse before it gets better.

Ebola is a critical test of America’s preparedness to stop an epidemic. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola has killed more than 4,000 people and infected more than 8,000, almost all of them from three West African countries. Only one individual in America has died this year from Ebola so far, but we need a much faster and highly coordinated response to contain the virus from spreading.

North Texas, the home of my congressional district, has become a proving ground to tackle the virus. Much attention has understandably been devoted to how the first patient arrived in Texas and when he was diagnosed with the disease. Too little is paid to how the virus can be managed and overcome.

Three things are urgently needed. The first is an immediate flight travel ban to the United States from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. A temporary travel moratorium on non-U.S. citizens from the three major affected countries of Ebola would significantly reduce the possible spread of the disease in America. Medical workers should be allowed to freely travel to the region, but appropriate quarantine measures must be in place on their return. Visas from those in the affected countries should also be temporarily put on hold. The Stop Ebola Act, which Congressman Sam Johnson (TX-03) and I will introduce, would do just that.

The second is enhanced screenings at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport for passengers from the affected areas and those who require appropriate medical assessments. The Obama administration recently selected five U.S. airports for enhanced screening for passengers arriving from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. The DFW Airport, while it does not receive any direct flights from the three countries, should also receive enhanced screening for passengers from those countries. DFW is the world’s third busiest airport and passengers from West Africa can clearly make a simple connecting flight to reach North Texas. It only makes sense to screen passengers from the affected Ebola countries at DFW.

The third is to have an operational Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Quarantine Station with staff at DFW Airport. There are currently 20 CDC Quarantine Stations at airports across the country. DFW, which serves more than 60 million passengers a year, should have qualified CDC workers on hand in case an individual needs to be quickly quarantined.

At a recent Homeland Security Committee field hearing in my district, it became even clearer to me that this threat should be countered more aggressively. The number of cases is roughly doubling every three weeks in the affected African countries, and we are now experiencing how easily, and tragically, the virus can be transmitted at home.

While Ebola is a terrible disease, it can be controlled. Just look at Nigeria, a country that had confirmed cases as recent as July and now has no known cases. Through decisive leadership, the right resources, and a coordinated response, the country was able to safely and effectively prevent an outbreak. The WHO declared on Monday that the outbreak in Nigeria is officially over.

As America tackles this deadly virus, we must all work together to help protect our families and community. Our local officials, healthcare workers, hospital staff, and emergency providers are doing an outstanding job to keep us safe. But to defeat Ebola at home, Washington needs to urgently ramp up its efforts.

Marchant has represented Texas’s 24th Congressional District since 2005. He sits on the Ways and Means and the Education and the Workforce committees.

Originally published on The Hill's Congress Blog on October 22, 2014.

Posted by on October 03, 2014

Pressure mounts for travel ban from West African nations

Washington Bureau
Published: 03 October 2014 11:46 PM
Updated: 04 October 2014 12:06 AM

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.