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Congressman John Ratcliffe

Representing the 4th District of Texas

Issues

As a member of the House Judiciary Committee and chairman of the House Homeland Subcommittee on cybersecurity, Rep. John Ratcliffe has led the charge on advancing the conservative priorities of Texas' 4th District in Congress. Below you'll find highlights of his legislative initiatives and important votes he's taken on behalf of his constituents on an array of issues:

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Veterans

“I’m proud to represent 63,000 veterans in Texas’ Fourth District, and I'm committed to ensuring they receive the care and respect they most certainly have earned. We will always be indebted to those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms.” 

  • Voted YES on the Working to Integrate Networks Guaranteeing Member Access Now Act (H.R. 512), which would allow Congressional staff with remote access to the VA claims records system so that they can provide timely updates to Veterans in the district.
  • Voted YES on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 4974), which contained $81.6 billion in support of veterans’ benefits and programs, as well as military housing and bases in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Voted YES on the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016 (H.R. 5620), to make it easier for the VA Secretary to fire bad employees, protect whistleblowers and reform the process that veterans use to appeal benefits claims. 
  • Voted YES on the Hire More Heroes Act of 2015 (H.R. 22), to help veterans, grow the economy and encourage small businesses to expand. Additionally, this measure excludes veterans from Obamacare’s harmful employer mandate if they already receive care through TRICARE or the VA. 

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Cybersecurity

“Cybersecurity is national security, and in today’s world, defending against cyber threats plays an enormous role in keeping Americans safe. I will continue utilizing my role as Cybersecurity Subcommittee Chairman to ensure this important goal is met.”

  • Introduced the United States-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016 (H.R. 5877) that was signed into law to help strengthen collaborative cybersecurity research and development efforts with Israel.
  • Co-introduced the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015 (H.R. 1731) that was signed into law to create a much needed framework to promote the timely exchange of critical cyber threat indicators. A nearly identical version of the bill was ultimately signed into law.
  • Introduced the House-passed Support for Rapid Innovation Act of 2017 (H.R. 239), which would provide for more effective coordination with industry and academia to foster research and development of cybersecurity technologies.
  • Introduced the House-passed Leveraging Emerging Technologies Act of 2017 (H.R. 240), which would encourage engagement between the Department of Homeland Security and emerging technology developers and firms to help improve the federal government’s cybersecurity defense and response capabilities in the digital age. *Passed the House by voice vote on 01/10/2017.
  • Introduced the House-passed United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act (H.R. 612), with Rep. James Langevin (D-RI). This bill will create a cybersecurity grant program for joint research and development ventures between Israeli and American entities. *Passed the House by  voice vote on 01/31/2017.
  • Introduced the House-passed Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act (H.R. 3490), which authorized the National Computer Forensics Institute to educate and train state and local law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges on matters relating to cyber and electronic crime and to share information with such personnel in the prevention and investigation of those crimes.

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Health Care

“Dismantling Obamacare has been one of my top priorities since my first day in Congress. This expensive, intrusive law is full of broken promises, and I’m proud to stand up against this failed Washington takeover of healthcare. For the first time since it was passed with zero Republican support, we were able to send a repeal bill all the way to the President's desk - proving that with a different person in the White House, Obamacare can indeed be repealed once and for all and be replaced with market-based, patient-centered reforms.” 

  • Original Co-Sponsor of the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017 (H.R. 184), which would repeal the burdensome medical device tax.
  • Voted YES on the Repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 596), which repeals Obamacare in its entirety and instructs relevant committees to develop conservative healthcare alternatives. 
  • Voted YES on the Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 160), which would repeal the medical device tax which was implemented as a part of Obamacare. 
  • Voted YES on the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 1190), which would repeal a new tax imposed  (IPAB) by the ACA on health insurance that increases the cost of health care coverage, which is estimated to cost $145 billion over the next ten years.
  • Co-sponsor of the American Health Care Reform Act (H.R. 2653), a patient-centered free market alternative to Obamacare which emphasizes sensible measures to reduce cost and increase patient choice.

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Energy

"Americans deserve access to reliable, affordable energy, and the Obama administration's war on American energy must stop. I'm committed to doing everything in my power to reduce the overreach of the EPA, and ensure that America's energy portfolio is determined by market forces, not unelected bureaucrats."

  • Introduced a House-passed amendment to the FY2017 Interior Appropriations bill (H.R. 5538), which blocks the EPA from moving forward with the so-called "Clean Power Plan" against a Supreme Court order.
  • Voted YES on the House-passed (H.R. 3), which would repeal the ban on crude oil exports.
  • Voted YES on the House and Senate-passed Keystone XL Pipeline Act (S. 1), which would approve the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. 

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Education

"As the son of two school teachers, I understand the importance of ensuring that our students have the tools and skills they need to succeed. Teachers, parents and local governments should be making decisions about educating our children - not Washington DC."

  • Voted Yes on H.J. Res. 57, which passed the House and Senate to nullify a rule issued by the Department of Education that implements the accountability, data reporting, and state plan provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Voted Yes on H.J. Res. 58, which passed the House and Senate to nullify a rule issued by the Department of Education that imposes new standards on teacher education and preparation. 
  • Voted YES on the House-passed H.R. 529, which amends the federal tax code to allow commonsense improvements to 529 "college savings plans."
  • Voted YES on the House-passed Student Success Act (H.R. 5), which prohibited the federal government from coercing states to participate in Common Core or national standards, repealed the national accountability metrics and achievement levels, provided Title I portability for low-income students for traditional public and charter schools, and reduced the workforce at the Department of Education by eliminating and consolidating unnecessary and redundant programs. 
  • Cosponsored the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2015 (H.R. 711), which would repeal the “Windfall Elimination Provision” and enable hard working public servants, including teachers, to receive the retirement security they’ve rightfully earned. 

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Jobs and Economy

"More freedom and less government is the formula for economic success. It’s this model that’s allowed Texas to lead the nation in job growth since 2008, and it’s about time for Washington to get an overdue dose of these commonsense, Texas economic values."

  • Introduced the House-passed Separation of Powers Restoration Act of 2016 (H.R. 76), which would stop constitutional erosion and restore three, co-equal branches of government as intended by our Framers. By combatting the almighty administrative state, we prevent unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats from creating regulations with the force of law.
  • Introduced the House-passed All Economic Regulations are Transparent (ALERT) Act of 2017 (H.R. 75), which would require the administration to give the American people detailed information about upcoming regulations and prohibits regulations from taking effect unless this information is available for six months. 
  • Voted YES on the House-passed Regulations in Need of Scrutiny Act (H.R. 26) to give Congress the ability to prevent job-killing regulations from going into effect.
  • Introduced the Repeal CFPB Act (H.R. 3118), to completely abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and revert all supervisory, enforcement, and rulemaking authorities back to the agencies previously tasked with such duties. The perversely named CFPB has hurt hard-working Americans by levying overreaching regulatory and compliance costs on regional and community banks.

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National Security and Defense

"Providing for the common defense is one of the primary duties of the federal government – and as a former terrorism prosecutor, I’m committed to ensuring that we fulfill this vital obligation. Our men and women in harm’s way deserve nothing less.”

  • Voted YES on the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which provided $619 billion in funding to support America’s military and to enhance national defense capabilities and provided the biggest pay raise for U.S. service members in six years.  
    • Increased pay for service members by 2.1 percent and bars the president from blocking this raise
    • Prevented Guantanamo Bay detainee transfers to the United States
    • Combated terrorism and radical Islamist extremists
    • Reversed the drawdown on troop numbers
    • Strengthened support for Israel with funds for Israeli cooperative missile defense, including the Iron Dome
    • Prioritized cyber defense capabilities
  • Introduced an amendment to the House-passed Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 4974) to prevent funds from being used for another round of base realignment and closure (BRAC) at the Red River Army Depot. This measure will protect more than 5,000 jobs in the region that provide critical readiness capabilities to the Army.

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Tax Reform

"Everyone can agree that our country’s tax code is convoluted, complex and anti-competitive. I support holding lawmakers' feet to the fire to ensure that we reform this broken system and make it fairer and flatter for American people and American businesses."

  • Cosponsored the Tax Code Termination Act (H.R. 29), which would terminate the IRS after December 31, 2019 and declare that any new federal tax system should be a simple and fair system that meets specified requirements.
  • Voted YES on the House-passed Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act (H.R. 2029), which shielded American families from tax hikes and provided greater economic certainty for businesses.
  • Cosponsored the Fair Tax Act of 2017 (H.R. 25), which would abolish the IRS and replace all federal income taxes with a single national sales tax of 23 percent.
  • Voted YES on the Death Tax Repeal Act (H.R. 1105) which would do just what its name says - repeal this offensive and un-American tax once and for all. 

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Second Amendment

"The Constitution explicitly states that the people’s right to bear arms shall not be infringed upon. I will stand strong against any effort which attempts to deny or limit this right."

  • Cosponsored the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015 (H.R. 986), which would allow valid concealed carry permits issued in one state to be recognized by other states with their own laws protecting the right to concealed carry.
  • Voted YES on the SHARE Act (H.R. 2406), which increases opportunities for hunters, anglers, and recreational shooters; eliminates regulatory impediments and safeguards against new regulations that impede outdoor sporting activities; and protects Second Amendment rights. 
  • Cosponsored the Interstate Transportation of Firearms and Ammunition Act (H.R. 131), which would prohibit the arrest or detention of a person for a violation of any state or local law or regulation related to the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms unless there is probable cause to believe that the person is violating federal law. 
  • Cosponsored the Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act (H.R. 4321) to prevent President Obama's assault on the Second Amendment through executive action.

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Right to Life

"As a strong pro-life advocate, I believe that life begins at conception and must be protected at all costs. I have, and always will, stand up for the rights of the most vulnerable among us."

  • Voted YES on the House-passed H.J. Res. 43, which disapproves of a Department of Health and Human Services Rule from the Obama Administration that coerces states to give family planning funds to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. 
  • Voted YES on the House-passed Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), which bans abortions after 20 weeks.
  • Voted YES on the House-passed Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 (H.R. 3134), which would impose a one-year moratorium on all sources of federal funding (mandatory and discretionary) to Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. 
  • Voted YES on the House-passed amendment to the Conscience Protection Act (S. 304), which prevents governmental discrimination against individuals and health care entities that decline involvement in abortion.
  • Voted YES on the House-passed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act (H.R. 7) to prevent taxpayer funds from being used for abortion. 

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Defeating Radical Islamist Extremism

“As a former federal terrorism prosecutor and as a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, I'm fighting to ensure our citizens are protected from the dangers posed by radical Islamist extremism, which ultimately means putting national security ahead of political correctness to eradicate groups like ISIS."

  • Voted YES on the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act (H.R. 158) to prevent terrorists from abusing the visa waiver program to enter the United States.
  • Voted YES on the American SAFE Act (H.R. 4038), which stops ISIS from infiltrating our borders through the refugee resettlement program.
  • Voted NO on motion to approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (H.R. 3461) to stop the Iranian nuclear deal from going into effect.

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Immigration

"As a U.S. Attorney, I arrested over 300 illegal immigrants on a single day, and as a former terrorism prosecutor I know the threats an unsecured border can bring to our national security. I’ve been fighting to lock down our borders and will continually oppose any form of amnesty for those who continue to break our laws." 

  • Introduced the Executive Amnesty Prevention Act (H.R. 1715), which would prohibit the president’s distortion of current law and nullifies his use of executive memorandums that provide amnesty to illegal aliens, forcing him to execute the law as it was written.
  • Voted YES on the House-passed Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act (H.R. 3009), which denies federal law enforcement grants to sanctuary cities. 
  • Voted YES on the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015 (H.R. 240), to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security while defunding the President’s executive amnesty.
  • Cosponsor of Kate's Law (H.R. 3011) to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to increase penalties applicable to aliens who unlawfully reenter the United States after being removed.

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