A Letter to the Editor
Dear Big Bend Newswire:
Have spent the last few months following the voting record of our good congressman, Will Hurd. Try as I might, I can not find one instance of him voting out-of-step with the House Tea Party Caucus, nor can I find but very few instances of him voting for the welfare of his constituents in the 23rd Texas Congressional District. For example, he voted to expedite the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) permitting process for natural gas pipelines (H.R. 8). According to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) of the President’s Office: “H.R. 8 includes new, unnecessary provisions that would broaden FERC’s authority to impose deadlines on other Federal agencies reviewing the environmental implications of natural gas pipeline applications. H.R. 8 also would unnecessarily curtail the Department of Energy’s (DOE) ability to fully consider whether natural gas export projects are consistent with the public interest.” It is readily apparent that this is only intended to help pipeline companies, such as Energy Transfer Partners, ram unwanted and dangerous pipelines through his district.
A vote that really puzzled me was his vote to strip the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of its authority to stop/limit corporate mergers (H.R. 2745). The respected, venerable and conservative publication, The Economist, ran two articles over the last two weeks critical of the accelerated mergers/consolidations of American corporations, as it is leading to monopolies, reduced competition, and stifled innovations in our consumer based economy. This is occurring in our airline, pharmaceutical, newspaper, cable TV, and banking industries just to name a few. These mergers are definitely hurting the American consumer, yet Congressman Hurd voted to remove any hurdles to slow down or stop these pernicious mega-mergers.
As I said, I was puzzled as to his motivations driving these votes until I read an article in the Washington Post, dated Sept. 3, 2015, which revealed that Hurd, along with almost two dozen other House Republicans, signed a contract with the National Congressional Republican Committee (NCRC) which, in exchange for surrendering his legislative autonomy to their agenda, the NCRC would make available to his campaign mounds of cash for his reelection. He was sent to Washington to represent us, his constituents, not a bunch of unelected belt-way insiders. I just don’t think this is right.