Issues

Pete Sessions Plan for Securing Our Border and Strengthening Interior Enforcement

Our illegal immigration and border security problems are among the greatest challenges facing our country today. The Obama Administration’s continued refusal to enforce our nation’s current laws has created a crisis on our border, eroded our nation’s rule of law, and put the safety and security of Americans across the nation in jeopardy.

I have always adamantly opposed illegal immigration, blanket amnesty, or any other reward to those who have intentionally and knowingly broken our nation’s immigration laws. Since the onset of President Obama’s lawless executive actions, I have tirelessly worked to fight against  the administration’s unlawful, unwise, and unconstitutional executive amnesty plan.

As a proud Texan, I understand the need to reform our broken immigration system. An effective immigration plan must first secure our borders, strengthen interior enforcement, protect our nation’s rule of law, and prosecute and deport criminal aliens in the United States.

In this Congress, I am proud to be working with Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to introduce the strictest interior enforcement bill in the House that will protect American lives from criminal alien violence. In response to the policies of sanctuary cities such as San Francisco, and the rise of illegal aliens committing criminal activities, on July 31, 2015, I joined Senator Sessions in introducing the House companion to the Protecting American Lives Act. My legislation closes the most dangerous immigration enforcement loopholes by putting an end to sanctuary cities and establishing a mandatory minimum jail time for illegal immigrants.

The future of our country depends on the actions we take today and the American people are counting on us to act to protect our country and secure our future. North Texans, and all Americans, deserve nothing less.

Pete Sessions Plan to Restore our Nation’s Healthcare System

In 2010, Democrats defied the will of the American people and rammed a 2,700 page heath care bill through Congress that sought to take over our entire health care system. From day one, I have led the fight in the House to stop the ObamaCare train wreck, beginning when it came to the House Rules Committee in March of 2010.

North Texas families and businesses have been forced to face the damaging effects of ObamaCare. Employers have cut full-time employees to part-time and dropped employees from their preferred healthcare plan. Health insurance premiums are still skyrocketing and out of pocket costs are growing astronomically. In April the largest health insurance provider United Healthcare announced that it was abandoning ObamaCare and now Aetna, the the third-largest health insurer in the US, will also cease to expand its ObamaCare offerings. Additionally, even though the president promised Americans that if they liked their health care plan, they could keep their health care plan, he knew that this was not the case.

In short, the Democrats’ empty promises about their massive health care bill have become a frightening reality for the American people. ObamaCare is discriminatory, unaffordable, and unsustainable.

That is why for the last 18 months I have been working on a solution with my friend in the Senate, Dr. Bill Cassidy from Louisiana. In May we introduced H.R. 5284, The World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan, a sustainable, non-discriminatory alternative to the President’s onerous law. It empowers all Americans to make their own healthcare decisions, save their hard-earned money in an account that is not use-it-or-lose-it, and ensures that not only single person will ever be coerced onto ObamaCare. The basis of our bill creates a $2,500 tax credit for every American citizen as well as a $1,500 tax credit per dependent minor. This tax credit provides individuals and families with the freedom to use their own dollars to plan and save for their health care futures by assigning their credit to an employer, transferring it to a Roth Health Savings Account, or advancing it for annual distribution. Our plan takes a unique, free-market based approach to healthcare that unleashes doctors, patients, and all individuals from the burdens of ObamaCare, and puts Americans back in charge of their own healthcare.

Health Care Infographic CB EDITS [225040]

 

Pete Sessions Plan for Tax Reform

Our rapidly growing national debt is one of the most pressing issues facing the future of our great country. The United States cannot continue to run huge federal budget deficits. Financing federal overspending through continued borrowing threatens to drown Americans in high taxes and heavy debt leading to a less prosperous future.

Since 1970, the annual federal budget has been balanced during only one four-year period and the federal deficit has climbed from $400 billion in 1970 to over $16 trillion today. If we continue on our current path, in 10 years 95% of all federal tax revenues will be consumed by payments of interest on the national debt and mandatory programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This will leave only 5% of our annual tax revenue available for funding national defense and other essential functions of the government.

Our national debt-to-GDP ratio rivals that of countries like Ireland, Portugal and Greece, which are facing sovereign debt crises. By the end of this decade, the federal deficit will climb to (and remain at) no less than 100% of our GDP. According to economists, once the nation’s debt exceeds 90% of GDP, it begins to stifle economic growth. President Obama has set the wrong kind of new record.  The national debt has increased faster under his administration than under any other president in history. This runaway government spending paralyzes the job market, erodes confidence among America’s employers and has caused the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression.

Thanks to the insistence of House Republicans, discretionary spending in 2016 has been pushed back all the way to 2008 levels. Consistent with the governing philosophy we shared with the American people when we won back the House in a historic victory in 2010, our spending victories have driven the annual deficit from $1.412 trillion in 2009 to $544 billion in FY2016. And we’ve achieved this significant deficit reduction while at the same time enacting $620 billion in permanent tax relief, including a five year extension to bonus depreciation.

Because our current path threatens our economy and is unsustainable, I have joined House Republicans in putting forward a pro-growth tax reform plan that fundamentally changes our tax policy. By lowering rates, increasing the standard deduction, streamlining seven tax brackets into three and eliminating a host of special-interest provisions, our plan simplifies the tax code dramatically for families and individuals. And by providing incentives for savings and investment, it fosters economic growth and job creation while ensuring that Americans spend far less time and money filing their taxes.

Under our plan, small businesses will no longer be taxed under the individual side of the code. Instead, they’ll benefit from a critical distinction between wage and business income. This allows for a lower tax rate for small businesses of 25%—the lowest tax rate on pass-through income since before World War II.

Job creators of all sizes will also be able to take advantage of full and immediate expensing on investments in new equipment and technology—another historic first. This zero tax rate on new business investment is a vast departure from today’s complex depreciation rules, which direct businesses to write off purchases over long and often arbitrary periods of time.

It also cuts America’s 35% corporate income-tax rate—the highest in the industrialized world—to a flat 20%. In a change designed to strengthen our global competitiveness, American job creators will no longer be taxed both abroad and at home on the same dollar of income. There will be a zero tax rate on dividends brought home to America.

The current IRS will not exist, but will be redesigned into three distinct service units—one staffed with expertise on business taxation, and another focused on state-of-the art customer service to families and individuals. A third, independent unit will be geared toward helping North Texans quickly resolve their unique tax challenges—in effect, a small-claims court for tax disputes so individuals and small businesses don’t spend thousands of dollars resolving minor tax issues.

I am dedicated to delivering a tax code for North Texans that truly works for them—one that is built on the principles of growth, simplicity, fairness.

Pete Sessions Plan for Job Creation

During a meeting of the White House Conference on Small Business, President Ronald Reagan once said, “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Sadly, those words could not be more true in light of the current Administration’s economic policies of tax hikes, wasteful spending, onerous regulations, and overall hostility to the free enterprise system.

Republicans have a plan that lays the groundwork for a stronger economy and a brighter future for all Americans. These conservative solutions will help create new jobs today, make life work for families across the country, and expand opportunity for everyone – without expanding government. Since January, House Republicans have led the fight in shrinking government and cutting spending. Our efforts build upon these principles to get the American people back to work and put our nation back on a path to prosperity. While President Obama is willing to spend hundreds of millions of the taxpayer’s hard-earned dollars to grow the federal government, we remain focused on reversing Democrats’ failed policies and reducing the size of government so the free enterprise system can flourish. Here’s how we would do it:

Energy Independence:
An “all of the above” approach that expands American energy production will help create jobs, boost manufacturing, and make energy more affordable.

Lowering Health Care Costs and Bolstering Research:
Repealing Obamacare, enacting patient-centered reforms, and eliminating wasteful government spending so we can focus on disease and disorder research will improve care, and bring down the costs that strain families and make it harder for small businesses to hire.

Expanding Education Opportunity:
Reforming federal education policies to empower parents with choice and equal opportunity to seek great teachers and schools, and improve access to college and training, will better prepare students for tomorrow’s job market.

Controlling Spending:
Stopping wasteful spending, strengthening priorities like Medicare, and replacing the president’s sequester with smarter cuts and reforms that help us balance the budget – just like families do – will help pay down our debt and preserve the American Dream.

Fostering Innovation:
Keeping the Internet free from government regulation, stopping cyber-attacks while protecting our privacy, and modernizing our laws will help promote technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

Reforming Immigration and Border Security:
Securing our borders, enforcing our laws, and making the process of becoming a legal immigrant fairer and more efficient will help America remain a magnet for the brightest minds and hardest workers.

Reining in Red Tape:
Removing artificial government barriers and red tape will preserve and strengthen Americans’ ability to build, grow, and compete with anyone.

Expanding Markets for Manufacturers and Small Businesses:
Opening new markets for American-made goods will help lower prices for consumers, create better, higher-paying jobs for workers, and attract new investments in the United States.

Stopping Waste and Fixing Broken Government:
Responsible oversight of government operations will help remove obstacles to growth and ensure accountability for taxpayers.

We need common sense, pro-growth policies to give small businesses and entrepreneurs renewed confidence in our economy and to get Washington out of the way and unleash the free enterprise system. The future of American prosperity depends on fiscally responsible policies today. By lowering taxes, reducing regulations and injecting certainty into our economy, we can restore the confidence and ability of the private sector to grow and create jobs. By unleashing the free enterprise system and encouraging the innovative spirit that drives the American Dream, we will ensure that America continues to be a great nation and that her best days lie ahead.

 

Pete Sessions Plan for Energy Independence

Energy security is a matter of national security. I support an all-of-the-above energy strategy that stimulates innovation, development, and security. Reliable energy sources allow the entrepreneurial spirit of Texans to thrive and promotes freedom from unstable regions often hostile to the values of America. I believe the free market should choose winners and losers in the marketplace, not radical environmentalist who have constructed this Administration’s liberal green energy agenda. There are four key reforms that I’ve tirelessly advocated in the halls of Congress and neighborhoods in North Texas:

Lifting the Crude Oil Ban
In a historic conservative victory at the end of 2015, House Republicans successfully lifted the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. By repealing this antiquated law, we will create an estimated 1 million American jobs in nearly all 50 states and add $170 billion annually to our GDP. This was an important victory for Texas and unleashed the full potential of our already vibrant Texas energy economy.

Reining in the EPA
The EPA has been relentless in their war against the American job creator. Political agendas have dictated misguided regulatory initiatives and crushed businesses large and small. From abusive “sue and settle” litigation practices to disregard for private property rights, the EPA has proved time and again that they cannot be trusted to act in the best interest of Texas, or the nation. In the past year I have supported measures to gut the EPA by $452 million – holding the agency to its lowest funding levels since 2008 and forcing them to scale back $138 million of onerous regulatory programs. In addition I have also supported and fought for numerous legislative victories that will drive down energy prices, create American jobs, and reinvigorate our energy revolution.

Here are a few of those victories:

  • Prohibiting EPA from implementing new greenhouse gas regulations for new or existing power plants;
  • Eliminating funding for greenhouse gas “New Source Performance Standards”;
  • Prohibiting EPA implementation of WOTUS;
  • Prohibiting EPA from changing the definition of “fill materials”;
  • Prohibitions on new methane requirements;
  • Prohibiting the regulation of the lead content of ammunition and fishing tackle; and
  • Prohibitions on harmful changes to the “stream buffer rule”

Promoting Energy Efficiency
Consumers and taxpayers benefit when our energy use is effective and free of government mandates. Reducing government waste, prioritizing existing energy efficiency programs, and reducing burdensome federal efficiency mandates will unleash private sector technologies and spur innovation. Establishing voluntary programs, improving data gathering, and making the federal government use existing best practices related to energy usage will ultimately benefit Texans and all Americans. We need to replace mandates with incentives and regulation with innovation.

Maximizing our Natural Resources
Texas is home to a vast array of natural resources. We have the responsibility to be good stewards of these resources and balance environmental concerns with the needs of Texans. Technology has developed far beyond what we ever believed possible, and as a result we can access and develop our resources including coal, nuclear, oil, natural gas, solar, and wind. I support opening the Outer Continental Shelf, the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, and federally owned land for exploration and development. The Keystone XL Pipeline offers the potential of thousands of jobs, many to Texas families, yet this Administration continues to pile on regulatory and permitting barriers. This President would rather subsidize his green energy favorites rather than agree to Republican policies that will bring economic prosperity and independence to our state and nation.

Pete Sessions Plan for Restoring America’s Future

Washington has a spending problem that has placed our nation on an unsustainable path of trillion dollar deficits and a $17 trillion national debt. That is why I have consistently voted to limit federal spending, reform entitlement programs, and am a co-sponsor of a bill that calls for the passage of the balanced budget amendment. Thanks to the Republican majority in the House, we have been able to hold the line of federal spending, putting total expenditures on a slightly downward path. Declines of total federal expenditures for the past two fiscal years are the first back-to-back annual spending reductions since the Korean War. While these reductions in spending are important, we still have a long way to go.

In 2009 and 2010, when Democrats had control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the federal government went on a spending binge. Through an $831 billion stimulus package, ObamaCare, and Dodd-Frank, Democrats dedicated themselves to more federal spending and increased government interference in the private sector. In 2009, the federal government spent $3.77 trillion and ran a $1.5 trillion deficit, both of which were the largest of all time. The federal government spent $3.67 trillion in 2010 and $3.75 trillion in 2011 and added an additional $2.7 trillion to the national debt.

In 2010, I led the effort by Republicans to take back the House and halt this spending spree. Under my leadership as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Republicans elected 89 freshman Members of Congress and switched 63 Democrat-held seats to the Republican column. Republicans quickly went to work reining in federal spending after removing Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. To begin, House Republicans forced a virtual freeze in the growth of federal spending. Despite opposition from the Democrat-controlled Senate and the White House, total spending by the federal government is now growing by the slowest amount annually in over sixty years.

Since Republicans took back control of the House, I have voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which cut nearly one trillion in spending over a decade and led to another $1.2 trillion in sequester cuts, and the “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act,” which would have cut discretionary spending by an additional $111 billion, reduced mandatory spending by $51 billion, and capped federal spending at 20% of GDP. I was also a cosponsor of a proposal for a balance budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States. While our annual spending is still too high, thanks to House Republicans the federal government is spending $317 billion a year less than it was in 2009.

In this Congress, I voted for Rep. Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity Budget, which would have balanced the budget within 10 years, reformed the tax code, and taken our country off a path of fiscal insolvency and onto a path towards fiscal success. This budget would also take smart and responsible steps to reform our entitlement programs. When the Democrat-controlled Senate refused to pass a budget, I backed “No Budget, No Pay” legislation that forced Senate Democrats to pass a budget or else have their pay withheld.

While the new Republican majority has succeeded in capping federal spending, Congress must continue to take even more steps to control unsustainable deficits, which, if left unchecked, will place too much of a burden on future generations of Americans. That is why I remain fully committed to taking the important steps toward fiscal reform and additional spending cuts in order to get our fiscal house in order.

Since losing their majority, House Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, have argued for alternative spending plans that would have added trillions to the national debt. Their plan is no plan at all. In every situation and in every piece of legislation brought to the House floor (except for national defense), their “solution” is to spend more taxpayer money and move our nation closer to bankruptcy.

Nancy Pelosi today makes the absurd claim that “the cupboard is bare” for any additional cuts in federal spending. In the meantime, thanks to House Republicans and the leadership of Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the General Accounting Office has documented that the federal government could save $125 billion (billion!) if we stopped making public assistance payments to Americans who are not eligible under the law. Food stamp fraud amounts to billions of dollars every year and the Social Security Disability system appears to have been hijacked by trial attorneys who successfully obtain benefits for Americans who are not disabled and do not deserve disability payments.

There is a moral component to the Democrats’ constant argument for more government spending which cannot go unaddressed. If we all know that it is wrong to steal, then how can we condone stealing from future generations? If left unchecked, that is exactly what we are doing, led by this generation of Democrats and the Obama administration.

The unsustainability of today’s national debt and federal unfunded obligations is reaching a critical tipping point. Financial experts such as Mary Meeker and Stan Druckenmiller have documented that if the United States were a business, we would be broke due to our future obligated payments on the debt. Today’s entitlement programs are so over-committed that in order to meet the current payouts obligated to the Baby-Boomer generation, our children may have to pay as much as 80 percent of their incomes in taxes if the U.S. is ever to balance its budget.

What kind of future are we passing on to our children if we have so loaded down their lives to burdensome debt? This scenario of one irresponsible political class obligating future generations to debt, which they cannot afford, has been recently played out in Greece, Spain and, soon, Italy and France. In all of those countries, those younger than 30 are in despair with no real prospects for their most productive years because their countries are bankrupt. Their only option is to be on welfare for the rest of their lives or leave the nation of their birth.

The summary of Druckenmiller and Meeker’s analysis are the same as what Republicans, led by Paul Ryan on the budget, have made for years on the House floor. The federal government cannot continue to spend hundreds of billions more than it receives in taxes every year. We cannot burden future generations with trillions of dollars of debt and economic history shows that economies whose central governments owe as much as the economy produces in annual output are destined to permanently slow job growth. In cases where governments never bring their budget deficits into balance, they run the risk of sudden and dramatic currency devaluations, which has occurred in Argentina, Mexico and, likely soon, Venezuela. In all of these cases, savings of working families were obliterated by their governments.

I am committed to avoiding this same fate for my children and yours. The only responsible step is to bring federal spending under control by limiting future increases, immediately reforming entitlement programs, and quickly eradicating the federal budget with its current unacceptable levels of waste, fraud, and abuse.