Congressman Louie Gohmert clears up misinformation about Congress, Social Security, Pay Raises, Pensions, and Obamacare

Congressman Gohmert does very well at explaining this himself.

In response to the multiple times our office has received chain email making untrue allegations about Congress, Social Security, pensions, pay raises and Obamacare:
ALLEGATION & DEMAND IN EMAIL: Salary of House/Senate members . . . . . . . . . . $174,000/year FOR LIFE. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
ACTUAL FACTS: Members of Congress ONLY receive salaries during the terms for which they are elected. Following their service, former Members of Congress may be eligible for retirement benefits, but such retirement is governed by the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) Act of 1986, the same system as all other federal employees across the country. Member pension amounts depend on years of service, but since 1984, no Member of Congress is entitled to the salary received while in office. It is simply the same retirement as all other federal employees.
DEMAND IN EMAIL: Congress (past, present, & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
ACTUAL FACTS: Members already participate in Social Security, and have since January 1, 1984. Members of Congress may NOT opt out. They are IN the Social Security program like most Americans, no matter how many email chains say otherwise. Those email chains are wrong.
DEMAND IN EMAIL: Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
ACTUAL FACTS: Under Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution, Congress is required to determine its own pay. Unless there is a Constitutional amendment passed, there is no alternative. Although (like most other federal employees) Congressional pay is set to increase automatically, Congress has chosen not to increase its own pay for multiple years. In fact, Congress has not received a pay raise since 2009.
DEMAND IN EMAIL: Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
ACTUAL FACTS: Before Obamacare, Members of Congress had the exact same insurance choices as the lowest level federal employees had under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). Members, and the majority of congressional staffers, are required to purchase insurance on the Obamacare exchanges in D.C. Obamacare specifically eliminated any federal contribution for Members of Congress, although all other federal employees across the country continued to receive that subsidy. However, Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Reid, and President Obama worked out an agreement to go ahead and let Members of Congress receive the federal subsidy anyway. Congressman Gohmert refused to accept the government subsidy, because the law did not allow it, and he knew how hard hit his own constituents were by the law. Without the subsidy, however, the insurance was too expensive for him, so he and his wife went without any health insurance for a number of years, but he now has it through an additional payment through his wife’s employer.

CNN Panels Reaction to Georgia’s Special Election: Priceless

Last night, after the Georgia race was predicted for Handel, the POTUS and many other Republicans were all a buzz on Twitter congratulating Handel on her big win.

The following, from Chicks on the Right, focuses on the CNN Panel.  PRICELESS!

Hannah Bleau (Red Dawn)June 20, 2017 11:15pm

Karen Handel beat out 30-year-old documentary filmmaker Jon Ossoff– the dude who 1.) Had millions of dollars tossed his way and 2.) Didn’t even live in the freaking district.

It was supposed to be a nail-biter, but it wasn’t. Handel won. #ShePersisted, if you will. Super inspiring, right? Where are my ladies at? Chelsea? Warren? Anyone? Hello?

Huh. Odd.

Needless to say, Democrats are melting down. I’m sure there will be a bunch of fun tweets to mock tomorrow, but right now, I want to draw attention to this fantastic screengrab floating around Twitter. This was a CNN panel’s reaction to the results:

DYYYYYIIINNGGGGGG.

This is so great. So so so great.

Read more here

How did your East Texas Legislator vote? #txlege

 

Wes, the creator of the East Texas Legislative Watch Facebook page, does a great job breaking down how our legislators voted on important issues to East Texans.

Priorities, Priorities

The 85th Texas Legislative Session ended on May 30, 2017 with plenty of fanfare and hoopla. During the final week emotions ran high as lawmakers threatened each other, and many important bills died a slow death. Read LONESTAR VOICE recap here. This week, Governor Abbott called for a special session to begin July 18th, resurrecting many of the bills and topics he deems vital for our legislators to take up and pass.

In May of 2016, the Republican Party of Texas, delegates, at their biannual convention passed a platform that included 5 key legislative priorities. The State Republican Executive Committee subsequently added 3 more items and sent the list to Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick and Speaker Joe Straus. These were the items deemed the most important to Republicans for this session. An updated letter from RPT chairman James Dickey and the SREC, calling for a special session can be read here.

As we noted at the beginning of the session, republicans hold the majority of seats in both the House and Senate, so it would be reasonable to expect these priorities to not only have passed but have passed early on and with overwhelming support. Lets take a look at each individually and how each representative within Senate District One did in relationship to the specific priorities.

Priority #1: Pass constitutional carry while maintaining licensing as optional for reciprocity purposes.

There were no bills filed in the Senate for this measure. The House however had 5 bills related to the priority but only 2 that met the priority language. HB 375 by Jonathan Stickland (92) never made it out of the Homeland Security Committee. Only Representatives Matt Schaefer (6) and Cole Hefner (5) signed on to this bill. HB 1911 was authored by Rep. James White (19) and later substituted by Rep. Schaefer on April 18th. The CSHB was reported to calendars on the 24th where it died. Rep. Jay Dean (7) signed as coauthor on May 2, Rep Hefner, Feb 22, Rep. Chris Paddie (9) on May 8, Rep Schaefer on March 13, and Rep. Gary VanDeaver (1) signed on March 28. Representatives Travis Clardy (11) and Byron Cook (8) did not sign on as coauthors. Rep. Schaefer sat on the Homeland Committee and Rep’s Paddie and Cook were on the Calendars Committee. HB 300 which did nothing for Constitutional Carry but wanted to decrease the fees for licensing was placed on the general calendar, however its companion, SB 16 was passed and signed by the Governor on May 26. All SD 1 representatives signed on to this legislation except for Rep’s Schaefer and VanDeaver.

Priority #2: Abolish Abortion

Only one bill was filed to completely abolish abortion in Texas in its entirety, HB 948 by Rep. Tony Tinderholt (94).  It was referred to State Affairs and was never given a public hearing. Only Rep Hefner from SD 1 signed on as coauthor, he did so on Feb 6. Rep. Cook chairs the State Affairs Committee and Rep Paddie is a member. There were plenty of bills that addressed the practice of abortion and those will be addressed in a later issue.

Priority #3: Border Security

Only 6 total bills addressed this issue and none made it out of their respective committees.  Rep Schaefer filed HB 2042 which dealt with interstate compact on border security and immigration enforcement. It was never heard in State Affairs committee. The State budget bill SB 1 dealt with funding and will be discussed in a separate article.

Priority #4: Call for a limited Article V convention of states

SJR 2 was passed by both chambers and filed with the Secretary of State’s office on May 11. All SD 1 reps voted for it. All SD 1 reps except Sen. Hughes and Rep Cook signed as cosponsor of the resolution.

Priority #5:  Replace the property tax system with an alternative other than the income tax and require voter approval to increase the overall tax burden.

Representative Valoree Swanson (150), introduced the only bill, HB 1050, which would abolish the property tax and replace it with a more equitable system of funding State obligations. It never made it out of the Ways and Means Committee. No one from SD 1 signed on to this bill. SB 2 by Senator Paul Bettencourt (7) deals with how property taxes are calculated and applied. House version here. This bill ended the session in Calendars and is one of the items to be discussed in the special session. A write up on SB 2 can be found here on our Facebook page. Senator Hughes signed on as coauthor March 20.

Priority #6: School Choice

SB 3, educational savings accounts by Senator Larry Taylor (11) passed the Senate on March 30 but stalled in the House Public Education Committee where Rep VanDeaver sits. HB 1335 by Rep Ron Simmons (65), established ESA’s for special needs kids. It was left pending in Public Education Committee as well. This bill has also been placed as a special session item. No one from SD 1 has signed on to this bill.

Priority #7: Sanctuary Cities

SB 4 was passed and signed by the Governor on May 7. A more in depth analysis of this bill will come at a later date. All SD 1 representatives voted in favor of final version.

Priority #8: Religious Liberty

Several bills were filed this session regarding this issue, however the more notable ones were SB 6 by Senator Lois Kolkhorst (18) and HB 421 by Rep. Matt Rinaldi (115). SB 6 was the so called ‘bathroom bill’ and was passed in the Senate on March 15. The House State Affairs committee never took the bill up, however the Senate through SB 2078 included the measure under school safety concerns. Rep Paddie offered an amendment requiring school districts to have a separate bathroom facility for any child that doesn’t feel comfortable using a common bathroom or locker room. Texas Tribune article here. Many grassroots organizations opposed this amendment. Letter here. This item was also listed a special session item. HB 421 is the ‘church security act’. It made it to Calendars where it also died. Rep’s Dean, Schaefer, Clardy and Hefner all signed on as co-authors. Rep. Cook, Paddie and VanDeaver did not. If I didn’t already say it, Cook and Paddie are on the Calendars Committee.

TX GOP Chair: James Dickey on Special Session

YOU DID IT! 

Yesterday, to the joy of grassroots conservatives and tea party groups across Texas, Governor Greg Abbott announced a Special Session.

Governor Greg Abbott’s robust list of nineteen special session items he says should pass in a legislative special session, which will convene on July 18; however, he also stated that the Medical Board Sunset Bill must pass the Senate before he issues the official call on the nineteen priorities.

The Governor’s list of Special Session legislative priorities:

  1. Teacher pay increase of $1,000 paid for by the State
  2. Administrative flexibility in teacher hiring and retention practices
  3. School Finance Reform Commission
  4. School Choice (Educational Freedom) for special needs students
  5. Property tax reform; passage of SB 2 or “better”
  6. Caps on state and local spending
  7. Preventing cities from regulating what property owners do with trees on private land
  8. Preventing local governments from changing rules midway through construction projects
  9. Speeding up local government permitting process
  10. Municipal annexation reform – private property rights
  11. Talking/Texting while driving local government preemption
  12. Privacy Act
  13. Prohibition of the use of taxpayer dollars to collect union dues
  14. Prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion providers
  15. Pro-life insurance reform
  16. Strengthening abortion reporting requirements when health complications arise
  17. Strengthening patient protections relating to do-not-resuscitate orders
  18. Cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud
  19. Extending maternal mortality task force

I am looking forward to witnessing our Texas Legislators go on the record on important issues set forth in the Republican Party Platform and in the hearts and minds of Texas voters.

Texas Republican Party Chair James Dickey sent the statement below yesterday after, to the joy of conservative and tea party groups across Texas, Governor Greg Abbott announced a Special Session.

My Fellow Texas Republicans,

On behalf of Republicans across Texas, I thank Governor Greg Abbott for calling a special session to provide another opportunity to advance some of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Platform items left unfinished in the regular session.

Governor Abbott included in his call several items which relate to planks from the 2016 RPT Platform as noted:

  • Municipal annexation reform– Plank 37: Property Rights

  • Cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud– Plank 59: Fair Election Procedures

  • Privacy– Plank 87: Gender Identity

  • Prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion providers– Plank 91: Funding

  • School choice for special needs students– Plank 147: School Choice

  • Strengthening patient protections relating to do-not-resuscitate orders– Plank 100: Patient Protection

  • Property tax reform– Plank 175: Tax Burden

  • Prohibition of taxpayer dollars to collect union dues– Plank 197: Right to Work

  • School finance reform commission– Plank 120: Funding

  • Caps on state and local spending– Plank 167: Spending Limitations

To view each platform plank in its entirety, click here.

We need your help to make sure these items are passed into law in a manner consistent with our Platform during this very brief special session. We encourage you to call your representatives right now and engage with them on these issues – find their contact info here. Also, plan to attend hearings and testify on bills during the 30-day session that begins on July 18. Check out the Lege Info section of the RPT website to learn how you can make a difference in the legislative process. Finally, stay tuned for updates, including our next webinar, “A Special Session Primer,” scheduled for June 13 at 7 PM.

I am delivering the message of our Platform to our legislators, and I am committed to working with you so your voice is heard. But I need the resources to ensure our victory, and time is short. Can you show us that you’re “all in” by joining the Grassroots Club today?

I will continue to be a strong voice for our Republican Party of Texas Platform and Priorities throughout the special session and encourage you to stay engaged with us for its duration.

Sincerely,

James Dickey
Chairman
Republican Party of Texas

Call Alert – Tell Congress to Support the CHOICE Act

Friends:

The following is a message from Heritage Action the Financial CHOICE ACT (HB 10):

“Congressional Republicans consistently campaign on the principles of free markets and limited government, and now they have an opportunity to follow through with meaningful legislation.

Later this week, the House will vote on the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10). This bill, introduced by Rep. Jeb Hensarling and based on the ideas of The Heritage Foundation, takes major steps toward repealing some of the most harmful parts of the Dodd-Frank financial overall.

>>> Call your Member of Congress today and urge them to support H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act.

President Obama and huge Democrat majorities in Congress forced Dodd-Frank on the American people in response to the housing collapse and financial crisis of 2007-08. This burdensome new regulatory regime imposed 3,500-plus pages of new rules and regulations on the financial industry, codified “too big to fail” policies, and put taxpayers on the hook for failed banks.

Dodd-Frank not only hurts community banks, small business and consumers, it also created one of the most powerful and unaccountable federal agencies — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Passing CHOICE would protect taxpayers, provide regulatory relief, help restore economic growth, rein in the unaccountable CFPB, and push the government out of the business of enacting price controls.

Tell your Member of Congress to stand for free markets and limited government by calling them and voicing your support for the Financial CHOICE Act.”

RPT Chair James Dickey: A pledge to the RPT

Fellow Texas Republican,
This weekend, following the resignation of RPT Chair Tom Mechler on May 20, I was honored to be elected by the State Republican Executive Committee to serve as Chair to fill his unexpired term. I am deeply humbled and I look forward to visiting all corners of our great state to help elect more Republicans up and down the ballot!
Please join me in giving sincere thanks to Tom Mechler for his service to our state Party both as Chair and as Treasurer under former Chair Steve Munisteri. We wish Tom and his family the very best and eagerly welcome their future participation in Party efforts.
I want to thank Rick Figueroa who also ran for this position. Thank you, Rick, for the spirited campaign and I do hope you remain engaged with our Texas GOP.
Now is the time to unite our Party like never before around the conservative principles we hold dear. The Democrats are determined to tear down President Trump and every Republican in Texas.  We cannot miss a step or concede any neighborhood.
The vision on which I campaigned — and my pledge to you — is that I will work with the staff, officials and grassroots of the Republican Party of Texas to do the following:
  1. Advance our grassroots Platform in the Texas Legislature.
  2. Present clearly our core beliefs and win elections with candidates that champion our Party principles.
  3. Empower and grow the Party with strong outreach to all Texas communities.
  4. Partner with all 254 county chairs & 62 SREC to maximize our local ground game across the state and leave no county behind.
  5. Build relationships with new donors while maintaining those with our current supporters.
  6. Appoint the best leaders from all wings of the Republican Party to positions of responsibility so that we can better work together.
  7. Maintain a high standard of transparency, accountability, and collaboration with all Party members.
  8. Manage efficient and focused Party operations.
Thank you to Governor Greg Abbott, statewide officials and members of our Republican Congressional delegation and our Texas Legislature who have contacted me, not only with their congratulations, but, more importantly their concrete assistance in helping the Party raise the funds needed to ensure a successful outcome for the 2018 primary.
None of this is going to work without you and I ask for your support to unite our Republican Party, as we move rapidly toward the 2018 midterm elections.
Together, we can KEEP TEXAS RED, build an even better Republican Party, and preserve the shared Republican principles in the great state we all love.
Thank You and God Bless Texas,
James Dickey
Chairman
Republican Party of Texas

Truth Matters #JamesDickey

Dear Friend,

One of the reasons I am running for Chairman is that I want to ensure we have total transparency with our grassroots Party activists and that they are always told the truth.

Recently, an email was sent from an unknown group with no information about who they are, except that the author was Mike Gibson. In this email, this unknown group uses tactics that purposefully mislead you as to my positions during the 2016 election.

I think it is important for me to personally and directly respond to this misleading email with the best defense possible–the truth.

The truth is:

  • I supported Ted Cruz for President and make no apologies for doing so, as I think Ted Cruz is a solid conservative,

  • As part of my support for Senator Cruz, I ran to become a National Delegate and carry the vote of Texas Republicans to Cleveland,

  • Our Party does not have a nominee until the National Convention votes,

  • Once the Convention did vote and President Trump was the nominee, I supported him wholeheartedly and still do, and

  • I went on television to defend him as nominee and since then as President many times in the most liberal area of the state–Travis County. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHIOW4-U5M0

Even more proof exists from my election as Travis County Chair last year, when I was asked directly whether I would support President Trump, then our nominee, in the general election:

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/james-dickey-reclaims-leadership-the-travis-county-republican-party/GWyO9UtC6NJwVpzdVGOFPO/

 Here’s a recap of how that very public statement of mine went:

 “Dickey… said that, while Trump was not his original candidate and while he had been an advocate at the Republican National Convention for the right of delegates to vote their conscience, he was never a ‘never Trump’ person and felt a party chairman really had to support the whole ticket from top to bottom.”

This is the advantage of always trying to do what is right and not changing based on political winds–the record shows the truth.

The fact that I supported a different candidate in the primary yet wholeheartedly supported the nominee in the general shows you what kind of Chair I will be–one that brings all factions of the Party together and vigorously supports our Republican nominees up and down the ballot.

 The fact that I fought for delegates to have their right to vote also shows you what kind of Chair I will be–one that will fight for the voices of those I represent, whether that’s the voices of the delegates at a Convention or the voices of our grassroots Republicans in the Legislature.

 I will not back down from promoting our candidates, platform, and values, regardless of the pressure and deceptive tactics our opponents may bring against us. I have been a fighter alongside you in the trenches and I will be a fighter with you as your State Chairman.

As your RPT Chair, I will give you honesty, transparency, a complete commitment to our conservative principles that unite us, and a passion to elect more Republicans throughout Texas.

If you have any questions you would like to ask, simply call me. No need for “fake news”–you can get the truth straight from the source. My number is 512-623-0276.

For the Truth and for Texas,

James Dickey

Republican Party of Texas Senate District 1 Volunteer of the Year

 

I am exceptionally grateful to Senate District 1’s SREC’s Sue Evenwel & Dennis Cable for their continued support and faith in me. And the East Texans for Liberty Executive Board & the whole ET4L Team, for their recognition and support.  It is an honor to be selected for the Republican Party of Texas’ Senate District 1 Volunteer of the Year.   ~ Stacy


Stacy McMahan
Republican Party of Texas
Senate District 1 Volunteer of the Year


Please join me in congratulating one of my dearest friends, a great patriot and President of our group, East Texans for Liberty (ET4L), Stacy McMahan, in being named the Republican Party of Texas Senate District 1 Volunteer of the Year!!

Stacy puts in countless hours promoting conservative principles and helping candidates and elected officials on local, state and national levels who share those same ideals. She’s good at holding them accountable too!

We are so proud of her, and so fortunate to have her energy and knowledge as the driving force of our group! No one deserves this great recognition more!

Stacy will be recognized, along with other Senate District Volunteers throughout Texas, at the Governor’s Mansion on Friday, September 22, 2017.

Stacy McMahan BIO:

Stacy McMahan is a lifelong Republican.  Because of professional and family obligations, Stacy watched from the sidelines for many years.  In 2009, that changed and she jumped into the public policy world with a full court press.

Early on, Stacy used her writing and research skills to vet and report on local and statewide issues.  Many followers came to know “StaceinTexas” as a no-nonsense, conservative Republican on her ‘blog’, and a trusted source of information for the grassroots.

As opportunities to work for Republican candidates arose, Stacy embraced them.  Working as part of Ted Cruz’s “Kitchen Cabinet”, and the East Texas liaison for Governor Perry in 2012, along with volunteering on campaigns for Ken Paxton, Matt Rinaldi, Matt Schaefer, and Bob Hall from 2010 to present.

In 2012, Stacy was named Director of the GOTV for the Gregg County Republican Party.  She was honored to be nominated, by the Republican Women of Gregg County, for the Texas Federation of Republican Women Tribute to Women Award in 2014.  She is a member of Republican Women of Gregg County, and an associate member of Republican Women of Northeast Texas and Upshur County Republican Women.  She is a member of the Republican Party of Gregg County and associated with the Republican Party of Upshur County.  She is also President of East Texans for Liberty, a conservative grassroots coalition in Upshur County.

Stacy is a retired paralegal who enjoys raising Nubian goats, with her husband, in Upshur.  They have 3 children.

Read More

Jim Graham: You cannot stay silent

 

Friend —

Why are you and I uncomfortable talking about dismemberment abortion?

Maybe because we are uncomfortable with what a dismemberment abortion does to an innocent unborn baby.

Nothing is more barbaric than killing an innocent preborn baby by removing each one of her limbs and causing her to bleed to death in the very womb that was designed by God to protect her. Additionally, this is the procedure that abortionists use to obtain baby body parts to sell for profit.

We cannot avoid the gruesome reality by simply not talking about this.

The fact that dismemberment abortions are legal in Texas is an abomination that cries to God.

We must talk about this. The same way that many Holocaust survivors want the world to look at pictures exposing the graphic reality of the Holocaust, dismemberment abortion must be exposed to the world in order to eradicate this inhuman procedure.

We must pass a bill to ban dismemberment abortion in Texas.

There are only 39 days left in the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature.

The Texas Senate has passed a ban that would prohibit an abortionist from killing a baby by removing her limbs while she is still in the womb. Not only would banning this monstrous procedure save countless innocent lives, the measure would also dramatically help end the vile trafficking of baby body parts.

However, the Texas House has been sitting on this bill refusing to act. Their stall tactics will cause the deaths of over 1,000 innocent lives over the next two years.

With the clock running out, we are diverting all of our resources to Austin for these remaining weeks until the Texas Legislature adjourns on May 29.

Please give $25, $50, $75, $100, $200, $500, $1,000, or more towards our goal of $40,000 to help our legislative efforts during these last crucial weeks.

YOU will help us save lives as we spend every single day at the Texas Capitol fighting anti-Life forces and do-nothing legislators.

Together, you and I will put an end to the barbarism of dismemberment abortion and soon all abortion once and for all.

You and I have only 39 days to act.

Yours for Life,

Jim Graham