Skip to comments.CONGRESSMAN ALLEN WEST - REPRESENTING FL DISTRICT 22 WEEKLY UPDATE - MAY 16, 2011
Posted on 05/16/2011 3:28:28 PM PDT by seekthetruth
Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans - a very fast-paced week, and here we are for our weekly update to you all. I must share a "Sense of the Congressman" at this time.
This is the last week of high school for my oldest daughter Aubrey Elizabeth. She will be graduating from Archbishop McCarthy and going on to attend Nova Southeastern University to begin her pre-med studies. I just want to take the time to express to all how proud I am of my daughter in this accomplishment. Likewise, my youngest daughter, Austen Brianna, will be completing her middle school years and beginning high school next year. And this Sunday Austen has made the decision to be fully baptized.
I have missed many moments in the lives of my daughters due to my commitment to serve my country. My responsibility has been to set the conditions for them to get the best possible education in order to grow and enjoy all the opportunities our great nation has to offer. My commitment to Aubrey and Austen, and all of your children and grandchildren, is to leave them a far better America than what was left for us, including economic prosperity and unyielding security.
This week was my first ever House Armed Services Committee, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) mark-up. It was an incredible learning experience and gave me a clear insight into the strategic level of national security. From my nearly 25 years of uniformed and retired support to our U.S. military I experienced the tactical and operational levels of national security. It is critical that we continue to provide the resources and guidance to ensure we have the best trained and equipped military in the world, as indicated by the flawlessly executed US Navy SEAL raid to kill Osama bin Laden. In the legislative update section of this report, there will be more discussion on the results of the NDAA. It will now move to the House floor for vote
At this time we are contending with many issues of epic proportion: exorbitant debt and deficits, an eroding security situation in North Africa and the Middle East, questionable relations with Pakistan and operations in Afghanistan, a reconciliation pact between Fatah and Hamas, soaring gas prices in the face of the coming summer vacation season, and an unsecured border and rampant illegal immigration issues.
However, an issue surfaced which could undermine the very fabric of who we are in this constitutional republic.
This week a "draft" Executive Order was leaked which would force any entity competing for a federal government contract to disclose political and third party organization contributions as part of the "Request for Proposal (RFP)" submission process. I was fortunate to be a part of a joint hearing between the Small Business and Oversight and Government Reform Committees on this issue. Under the pretense of "transparency," this is nothing more than an Obama Administration political maneuver. This represents an onerous intrusion of the federal government, but especially President Obama, because political contributions have nothing to do with meeting RFP criteria for services. I find this politicization of federal contracting reprehensible. The White House proves once again it rather play politics than actually govern our nation. These actions make the American people feel our government is untrustworthy. Is it possible the President believes we can be distracted? Or even worse, does he believe the successful US Navy SEAL raid gives him such carte blanche?
Perhaps I should remind us all that even a broken clock can be right twice a day.
- Putting the Gulf Back to Work On Wednesday, the House approved H.R. 1229 by a vote of 263-163, I voted YES. The bill would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and would require the Secretary of the Interior to provide application denials in writing, complete with reasons why the application was not accepted, detailed information concerning any deficiencies, and any opportunities to remedy such deficiencies. H.R. 1229 would deem an application approved if the Secretary has not made a decision by the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date the application is received by the Secretary. H.R. 1229 would set deadlines for certain permit applications under existing leases, and it would provide 30 days, with no extension, for the Secretary to restart Gulf permits approved before the Administrations moratorium was imposed on May 27, 2010. According to the Obama Administration's own estimates, the six-month official moratorium (May 2010-October 2010) on drilling may have cost up to 12,000 American jobs. However, the long-term impacts of the de facto moratorium could be significantly higher. A study by Dr. Joseph Mason of Louisiana State University predicts if the de facto moratorium were sustained for 18 months, there could be a loss of 36,137 jobs nationwide, with 24,532 jobs lost in the Gulf Coast region alone.
- Reversing President Obamas Moratorium Act On Thursday, the House approved H.R. 1231 by a vote of 243-179, I voted YES. The bill would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to require that each five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program offer leasing in the areas with the most prospective oil and gas resources, and would establish a domestic oil and natural gas production goal. The bill would essentially lift the President's ban on new offshore drilling by requiring the Administration to move forward on American energy production in areas estimated to contain the most oil and natural gas resources. Since President Obama took office, he has systematically taken steps to re-impose a new offshore drilling moratorium. The President first abandoned the 2010-2015 leasing plan that would have provided for oil and natural gas leasing in the newly opened areas. His administration postponed and cancelled previously scheduled lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Virginia identified in the 2007-2012 five-year leasing plan for the Outer Continental Shelf. In December 2010, the President announced a restrictive drilling plan that placed the entire Pacific Coast, the entire Atlantic Coast, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and much of Alaska off-limits to future energy productionas it was before record high gasoline prices in 2008 prompted President Bush and Congress to lift the moratoria.
- Intelligence Authorization for Fiscal Year 2011 On Friday, the House approved H.R. 754 by a vote of 392-15, I voted YES. The bill would authorize programs and funding levels for the Intelligence Community, as well as foreign intelligence activities of the Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Department, and Department of Homeland Security. These activities are intended to enhance national security, support and assist the Armed Forces, and facilitate U.S. foreign policy. The bill would provide budget authority and personnel manning levels for the conduct of intelligence activities in the amounts specified in the classified section of authorizations. This bill is the primary vehicle for exercising credible congressional oversight over the intelligence agencies yet there has not been an intelligence authorization bill, including funding authorities, enacted into law in six years. As a direct result, congressional oversight of our intelligence agenciesincluding spendinghas been significantly diminished.
- National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 At 3:00 am on Thursday morning, the House Committee on Armed Services voted to favorably report to the House of Representatives the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 60-1. I voted YES. Important aspects of the NDAA included three amendments I offered that were passed by voice vote.
The first amendment authorizes to appropriate $8,000,000 to the Department of the Army for the development of a high efficiency air breathing turbine propulsion system for the Army Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).
The second amendment authorizes to appropriate $2,500,000 in funding for Defense Research Sciences for the Navy to conduct research into the magnetic and electric fields of the coastal ocean environment in furtherance of national security objectives.
The third amendment authorizes to appropriate $1,750,000 in funding for the Strategic Environmental Research Program for an offshore range environmental baseline assessment.
The funding authorized in each of these amendments are reprogrammed funds which come from wasteful Department of Defense offsets.
In addition to these three spending amendments, I offered, then withdrew an amendment version of the Global Combat Zone Recognition Act because it has yet to be scored by Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).
Finally, included in the Chairmans bill were the three YouCut bills I introduced, which will generate a total savings of over $80 million in wasteful DOD spending in Fiscal Year 2012 alone.
Within the NDAA, I was one of only five Members who voted against an amendment that allows General Electric (GE) to continue to build the second engine for the F-35. Congress had voted overwhelmingly in H.R. 1 to follow the recommendations of the Department of Defense and Defense Secretary Gates to cut funding for this program. This amendment allows GE to backdoor the defense procurement system.
Finally, after the Subcommittee on Military Personnel voted in favor of a one year moratorium on increasing TRICARE fees, Chairman Buck McKeon altered language in the full committee mark-up that increases TRICARE fees in 2012, and then allows Department of Defense to make annual increases in TRICARE not greater than the percentage of COLA offered to military personnel each year. While the TRICARE increase for 2012 equals just $2.50/month and $5/month for individuals and families respectively, by linking it to COLA from 2013 on, it gives the DOD the ability to essentially raise fees every year from now on, except on those off years when the COLA is not adjusted. This seems to be a major break in the promise of TRICARE to those who joined the military. I do not support this full HASC initiative and recommendation on TRICARE.
Highlights of the Week:
- Tuesday, 10 May, met with Ms. Fran Hunsaker, mother of Leavenworth 10 Soldier, Sergeant William Hunsaker. We discussed his case, the current situation, and issues she has with the military judicial system. Once we have completed the NDAA bill, I shall push for our Military Personnel Subcommittee to set a hearing date. Met with the renowned writer and scholar, Dr. Walid Phares, who is possibly Americas foremost authority on Islamic Jihadism and Middle East affairs. Met with US Army War College staff group and discussed political-military issues. The group featured several senior officers from Senegal, United Kingdom, Poland, and United Arab Emirates and American Army and Marine officers. Spoke at a dinner hosted by Mr. Alex Sanchez, President of the Florida Bankers Association, which included some 20 Florida bank CEOs.
- Wednesday, 11 May, from 10:00 am to 3:00 am Thursday morning was spent in the HASC NDAA mark up. Simultaneously I participated in a Small Business Committee mark-up on Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) enhancement and reauthorization legislation. Had the distinct honor of presenting the GI Film Festival Hero Award to Korea and Vietnam veteran Colonel Wiedhahn (USMC, Ret.) at the reception kicking off the 2011 GI Film Festival.
- Thursday, 12 May, started off with a Florida legislator welcome for Realtor, Chamber, and Space Coast members which featured Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll, Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Senator Marco Rubio. Spoke to the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) at a luncheon held in the Hart Senate Office Building. Participated in a joint hearing on the draft Obama Executive Order on defense procurement contracting political contributions.
- Friday, 13 May, attended a classified briefing with FBI Director Robert Mueller on the PATRIOT Act. Flew home to Plantation for Constituent work week.
- Saturday, 14 May, participated in the Sixth Annual Palm Beach County Police Memorial motorcycle ride, and was keynote speaker. Stopped by the US Military Vets MC West Palm annual ride and party.
In closing, our Congressional office mailed out a letter to the President in support of releasing Jonathan Pollard. Justice has long been served and if President Obama consented to the release of the Lockerbie bomber, then this should not require much deliberation.
Finally, on Friday the news was given that Social Security will run into financial hardship by 2036 and benefits will be cut by 22%. The same report also stated that MEDICARE has until 2024 until it is financially insecure. We can listen to the inept response from the naysayers who just play a political blame game or we can take action.
The choice is yours.
Steadfast and Loyal,
God Bless Congressman Allen West and his family!
We Floridians and All Americans are so blessed to have Congressman West represent us in Congress!
I can support a Cain-West POTUSA ticket. It would certainly be an old fashioned all-American ticket. Two men that people in the USA should be proud of and have children emulate.
We keep waiting for 2012, but will 2012 wait for us? The daily, perpetual, infinite political arrogance of this Thing has finally got me wondering if we’ll even have a 2012 election. There is no audacity beyond this adminisrations comprehension.
I couldn’t understand why he even felt qualifed to run let alone be elected. I’m still in shock 2 1/2 yrs later. He makes the clintons look like a couple of lost Brownies. Something is hugely wrong here that I don’t think voting will fix. We elected a majority Congress, yet IT still moves on as before. They’re not in on it, they just don’t know what to do to stop it, at least in time.
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born February 7, 1961 in Atlanta, GA (Meets the Jus Soli Requirement)
Herman (Buck) West, born in AL
Elizabeth (Snooks) West, born in GA
Both parents were US Citizens at the time of his birth (Meets the Jus Sanguinis Requirement)
Allen West is a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN unlike Comrade Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama.
Allen West is not running, he has stated it so many times. As a VP, he said he would consider the possibility but first the constituents of CD22 will have to release him. I doubt that will happen.
AMERICA'S CONGRESSMAN NOW
AMERICA'S PRESIDENT 2012
I truly wish congressman West would, as a priority, start to recruit other US military officers, active duty and retired, that impressed him when he was in the Army, to also run for congressional office.
All told, they represent a pool of *thousands* who would make superior political leaders, if only someone of West’s stature would persuade them to do so.
Senior non-commissioned officers likewise represent a pool of talent that if encouraged, would make fine representatives in government.
Both of these groups are often far too young for retirement when circumstances and fortune require them to leave active duty.
Above and beyond congressman West, this idea should even be advanced within the Pentagon itself. Not just among flag officers, but throughout the officer corps.
If anything, as a group, especially backed by the Tea Party, they could make great strides in changing the culture of Washington, and restoring the federal government to order and balance.
Whenever I feel like we won’t make it through this and get our country back, I listen to Congressman West and know we will fight on and win.
We the people do have the power and we must stay active and do everything we can to vote out those who do not represent us and vote in those who will.
used several of the clips on the show.
God loves him.
I couldn’t agree more. The leadership qualities of those with military experience is always a plus!
West-Cain is my dream ticket.
Who is going to tell us who this man is? Is he legally there or not? said Karch. What are we going to do to ensure that, if he isnt legally there, it doesnt happen again?
Said West: I will tell you this: That is the dog chasing its tail. The most important thing is, its the policies. Thats what we have to be standing on.
The crowd of about 400 applauded, but Karch wasnt satisfied.
But if hes not, its treason, Karch said.
Said West: You will waste more time worrying yourself to death about that instead of making sure that you expand the majority in the House of Representatives, you win back the U.S. Senate so that you can stand against the policies that are emanating out of the White House What is your objective? Your objective is getting back to a constitutional republic principles and values. If you spend your time worrying about someones citizenship, you will never get to that objective.
West didnt offer his own opinion on Obamas citizenship during the public forum. So PostOnPolitics asked him after the meeting.
He is a citizen. Hes the president. I mean, thats all I know. I am concerned about his policies, West said.
West is either ignorant or a coward regarding Obama's Article II eligibility to be the commander-in-chief.
Allen West is more concerned about towing the republican party line than he is about upholding his sworn oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.
He does not suffers fools gladly. AND he knows his stuff.
I suspicion that any of these flaming libRats that realizes he's about to be questioned by Col West would rather be anywhere else...Col. West goes straight to the bone and accepts no double talk.
WE need him at the helm of this country. NO Establishment, wishy washy, career politician.
So Allen West doesn't want us to "worry" about who is a citizen, paticularly if they live in the whitehouse.
I’m just saying that the abnormal amount of actions this administration has taken over 2 1/2 yrs indicate to me that he’s unconcerned about any legacy.
This person has done things in 2 1/2 yrs that prior politicians couldn’t hope to do in twenty or forty yrs. He is doing things so out of the norm that something is terribly wrong. How did they know exactly how to attack the weak spots in our polical system?
His doing these actions so obviously and onnerously tell me that he’s not going away w a vote. I could be wrong.