TCC Supports Governor Abbott on Border Security Resources Inquiry

TCC members sent the following letter to Governor Abbott in support of his inquiry on the DHS reduction in aerial support for border security:

Dear Governor Abbott:

The Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC) supports your joint request with Congressman Henry Cuellar to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), asking for clear justifications for the agency’s decision to halve aerial border security resources. We are deeply concerned by this decision and believe that it creates higher risk and lower security on the border for the National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers, local law enforcement, and all Texans.

Aerial observation resources have proven to be an instrumental tool at home and abroad; just as they have provided critical intelligence for soldiers overseas, they have also been shown to be useful technology for protecting the Texas border. At the state level, the Texas Department of Public Safety has one high altitude observation plane deployed to the border region and we recently voted to purchase an additional plane for this purpose. Due to the finite amount of border security personnel, aerial resources are paramount in helping decide where to deploy personnel. As you and Congressman Cuellar state in your letter to the DHS Secretary, Jeh Johnson, “[g]iven the recent surge of migrants from Central America and Cuba along the Southern Border, we believe DHS should be requesting more surveillance and security resources, not fewer[.]” It is imperative that we maintain a state of hyper-vigilance, and limiting our resources impairs our ability to do so.

In order to protect the border to the best of our abilities, we need a constant and accurate stream of intelligence from aerial resources. This information is received and analyzed by border security personnel who are able to incorporate it into concrete strategy. Without it, Operation Phalanx (the aerial- based border security support program), like its Greek namesake, a military formation that relied on every soldier’s shield being interlocked in order to repel an enemy advance, will have a crucial gap that may leave the Texas border vulnerable.

The decision by DHS has placed a large financial and logistical burden upon Texas without any advance notice. TCC strongly supports you in holding the federal government accountable by requesting an explanation from DHS.

Sincerely,

Signatories

TCC Supports Protecting Private Property in Texas with H.R. 2130

Members of the Texas Conservative Coalition sent the following letter to Senator Cornyn and Senator Cruz expressing our support for H.R. 2130:

Dear Senator:

In May 2014, the Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC) wrote a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) expressing our deep concern over its attempt to claim approximately 90,000 privately owned acres of land in Texas as public lands under federal control. That claim was reduced to approximately 30,000 acres, nonetheless we remain steadfast in our opposition to the taking of private land in this manner by the federal government.

We applaud your work to protect the private property rights of Texans along the Red River and offer our support for H.R. 2130, which passed the House on December 9, 2015. That resolution would create an appropriate process, overseen by the BLM and utilizing survey methods developed by the U.S. Supreme Court, by which the land ownership dispute may be resolved.

The most critical components of the bill, however, are that it ensures that affected landowners will have an opportunity to appeal the decisions of the BLM directly to an administrative law judge, and landowners will be able to claim legal ownership of lands that are determined to be public lands if they have held them in good faith. These provisions reflect the reality of the land ownership situation along parts of the Red River and they appropriately place the property rights of Texans squarely at the center of your legislation.

President Obama indicates that he is prepared to veto H.R. 2130. While it is our hope that the President changes course and chooses to support private property rights, we urge you to continue supporting H.R. 2130 even if he does not. You have our support and we thank you for your efforts.

Sincerely,

Senator Brian Birdwell
Senator Donna Campbell
Senator Craig Estes
Senator Bob Hall
Senator Kelly Hancock
Senator Don Huffines
Senator Charles Perry
Senator Charles Schwertner
Senator Larry Taylor
Senator Van Taylor
Representative Rodney Anderson
Representative Trent Ashby
Representative Cecil Bell Jr.
Representative Dwayne Bohac
Representative Dennis Bonnen
Representative Greg Bonnen
Representative Cindy Burkett
Representative DeWayne Burns
Representative Angie Chen Button
Representative Travis Clardy
Representative Byron Cook
Representative Tom Craddick
Representative Myra Crownover
Representative Gary Elkins
Representative Wayne Faircloth
Representative Pat Fallon
Representative Dan Flynn
Representative James Frank
Representative Craig Goldman
Representative Patricia Harless
Representative Jason Isaac
Representative Phil King
Representative Susan King
Representative Stephanie Klick
Representative Matt Krause
Representative Brooks Landgraf
Representative Jodie Laubenberg
Representative Jeff Leach
Representative Will Metcalf
Representative Rick Miller
Representative Geanie Morrison
Representative Jim Murphy
Representative Andrew Murr
Representative Chris Paddie
Representative Tan Parker
Representative Dennis Paul
Representative Dade Phelan
Representative Larry Phillips
Representative Debbie Riddle
Representative Matt Rinaldi
Representative Scott Sanford
Representative Matt Shaheen
Representative Ron Simmons
Representative Stuart Spitzer
Representative Drew Springer
Representative Ed Thompson
Representative Gary VanDeaver
Representative James White
Representative Paul Workman
Representative John Wray
Representative Bill Zedler

 

 

Representative Jodie Laubenberg is a Courageous Conservative

Each legislative session, the Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC) challenges the Legislature to pass bills that will keep Texas the national cultural, economic and political leader that it is today. Following each session, TCC recognizes the outstanding legislators who take up our challenge by naming them Courageous Conservatives based on their voting records. Representative Jodie Laubenberg earned the Courageous Conservative distinction.

Laubenberg, Jodie

Pass the SAFE Act

Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX 10) is the sponsor of H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015. The SAFE Act would require comprehensive background checks of all refugees from Iraq and Syria. The FBI Director, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Director of National Intelligence must certify to Congress that each refugee is not a security threat before that refugee is admitted into the country. TCC strongly urges Congress to pass it.

President Obama’s approach to security threats from the Middle East is deeply concerning. The Department of Homeland Security has now confirmed that eight illegal aliens from Syria were apprehended while attempting to enter Texas near Laredo on November 16. Two days later, Honduran authorities confirmed the arrest of five Syrians traveling to the United States with fake Greek passports. Heightened scrutiny of refugees is warranted.

Governor Greg Abbott has joined more than half of the nation’s governors in taking the position that Syrian refugees should not be permitted to enter unless the federal government can ensure that terrorists do not evade detection. TCC supports Governor Abbott’s position.

The United States is a compassionate nation, willing to help those in need. However, we must never neglect our national security obligations, especially in a time of armed conflict. 

Congress should take action by passing the SAFE Act.

TCC’s Letter to Governor Abbott on Syrian Refugees

On November 17, 2015, TCC Sent the following letter to Governor Abbott. It expresses our support for his stance on Syrian refugees in Texas.

November 17, 2015

The Honorable Greg Abbott
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Dear Governor Abbott:

The Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC) supports your principled position on refusing to accept Syrian refugees in Texas, and directing the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Refugee Resettlement Program not to participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the State of Texas. The safety of Texans must be paramount.

As you rightfully point out in your letter to President Obama: The threat posed to Texas by ISIS is very real. The events in Garland earlier this year are a stark example of this. There is simply no way to properly vet Syrian nationals, among whom may be terrorists. It goes further than that.  One of the attackers in Paris, France used a fake Syrian passport to gain entry before helping slaughter scores of Parisians.

If the Administration does not change course, President Obama may spark another immigration crisis of his own doing. In the summer of 2014, Texas was flooded with unaccompanied migrant children overwhelming the border, and necessitating deployment of the Texas National Guard. Consequently, the Legislature made $800 million available to help stem border-related crime. Nonetheless, local communities across the state are still dealing with the ramifications of that crisis. We cannot afford another concocted immigration crisis, now or in the future.

We are available to assist your office, and we are prepared to take legislative action when the time comes.

Sincerely,
Senator Paul Bettencourt
Senator Brian Birdwell
Senator Donna Campbell
Senator Brandon Creighton
Senator Craig Estes
Senator Bob Hall
Senator Kelly Hancock
Senator Don Huffines
Senator Lois Kolkhorst
Senator Jane Nelson
Senator Charles Perry
Senator Charles Schwertner
Senator Larry Taylor
Senator Van Taylor
Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson
Representative Rodney Anderson
Representative Trent Ashby
Representative Cecil Bell Jr.
Representative Dwayne Bohac
Representative Dennis Bonnen
Representative Greg Bonnen
Representative Cindy Burkett
Representative DeWayne Burns
Representative Dustin R. Burrows
Representative Angie Chen Button
Representative Giovanni Capriglione
Representative Byron Cook
Representative Myra Crownover
Representative Tony Dale
Representative Gary W. Elkins
Representative Wayne Faircloth
Representative Pat Fallon
Representative Dan Flynn
Representative James Frank
Representative John M. Frullo
Representative Craig Goldman
Representative Patricia Harless
Representative Jason Isaac
Representative Phil King
Representative Stephanie Klick
Representative Matt Krause
Representative Brooks Landgraf
Representative Jodie Laubenberg
Representative Jeff Leach
Representative Will Metcalf
Representative Morgan Meyer
Representative Rick Miller
Representative Geanie Morrison
Representative Jim Murphy
Representative Andrew Murr
Representative Dennis Paul
Representative Dade Phelan
Representative Larry Phillips
Representative Debbie Riddle
Representative Matt Rinaldi
Representative Scott Sanford
Representative Mike Schofield
Representative Matt Shaheen
Representative Kenneth Sheets
Representative Ron Simmons
Representative David Simpson
Representative Stuart Spitzer
Representative Drew Springer
Representative Ed Thompson
Representative Scott Turner
Representative Gary VanDeaver
Representative James White
Representative Paul Workman
Representative John Wray
Representative Bill Zedler

TCC Members Urge Commissioner Miller to Halt Fee Increases

In response to fee increases proposed by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), members of the Texas Conservative Coalition wrote Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller to request “greater scrutiny of the proposed fee increases … in order to fully assess the impact that the increases will have on Texas farmers, ranchers, and the rest of our state’s agricultural economy.” Noting that one in seven Texas jobs are directly related to the state’s agricultural sector, TCC members also underscored their willingness to continue to work to ensure that “fees collected by TDA are retained at the Department and are used for their intended purpose.”

Click here to read the full letter.

TCC Supports Governor Abbott’s Position on Syrian Refugees

Governor Abbott has written a letter to President Obama in which he informs the President that Texas will not accept any refugees from Syria. In the letter, Governor Abbott explains:

The threat posed to Texas by ISIS is very real. ISIS claimed credit last May when two terrorist gunmen launched an attack in Garland, Texas. Less than two weeks later, the FBI arrested an Iraqi-born man in North Texas and charged him with lying to federal agents about traveling to Syria to fight with ISIS. And in 2014, when I served as Texas attorney general, we participated in a Joint Terrorism Task Force that arrested two Austin residents for providing material support to terrorists including ISIS.

Given the tragic attack in Paris and the threats we have already seen in Texas, coupled with the FBI director’s acknowledgment that we do not have the information necessary to effectively vet Syrian nationals, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees any one of whom could be connected to terrorism being resettled in Texas.

TCC supports Governor Abbott on this important issue. We cannot risk the safety of Texans and we urge President Obama to show the same caution for the rest of the nation.